Taboola partners with ZTE to launch a news feed for smartphones (and you won’t believe what happens next)

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You’re probably familiar with Taboola, at least in passing. It’s the source of many sponsored news sections on websites. Now, Taboola is looking to become part of your smartphone with its new “content discovery” platform. It looks a lot like the Google Feed, but it’s not. In fact, it could come off like one giant ad on your phone.

Taboola pitches its news feed as a way to get personalized news. Instead of searching for content, you just swipe over to the Taboola screen on your device and start browsing.

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Taboola partners with ZTE to launch a news feed for smartphones (and you won’t believe what happens next) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Facebook adds 360-degree photos and HD video to Messenger, publisher information to News Feed

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Facebook is rolling out new features today to what are arguably its most important products: the News Feed and Messenger. On the Messenger side, you’ll get panoramic photos and HD video support. Meanwhile, the News Feed will get additional tools to help you assess the credibility of a publication that appears in your Feed.

Facebook added support for sending images up to 4K resolution in Messenger recently, and now you can do even bigger images in the form of panoramas.

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Instagram will make newer posts appear at the top of your feed

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Instagram Android app

Instagram’s algorithmic timeline has draw a lot of ire from users who complain about not seeing new posts in chronological order. Now it sounds like Instagram may be taking steps to change that.

Instagram announced today that it’s “making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed.” With the current algorithmic feed, you might see a post that’s four days old at the top of your feed, then have to scroll down a bit before you see something new. These changes aim to fix that.

Another change coming to Instagram is a “New Posts” button. This button will let you decide when you want to refresh your feed rather than having it happen automatically and bumping you to the top when you don’t want that to happen. Tap the button and you’ll be sent to the top of your Instagram feed to view your new posts.

These sound like solid improvements to Instagram’s feed. While it doesn’t sound like the company is switching back to a totally chronological feed, these changes should help to ensure that you see more new posts as they come in.

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Two major Instagram feed changes: new posts will show up first & no auto refresh

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Instagram is making some important changes to its feed, the company announced today…. Read the rest of this post here


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Tooth-Mounted Diet Tracker Could Feed Our Unhealthy Relationship With Food

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Is Fitbit not accurate enough for you? Apple Watch simply not invasive enough?

Maybe a wearable stuck to your tooth would be more your style.

Researchers at Tufts University have created just that. They’ve engineered a tooth-mounted sensor that tracks your every bite (and what it contains). Such a device could be useful, but it could also exacerbate our already-problematic relationship with food.

The device is two square millimeters in size and sticks to the surface of a tooth. The sensor is ingeniously simple — when its central layer changes encounters different chemicals (salt, ethanol), its electrical properties shift, transmitting a different spectrum of radio waves. Currently, the patch is set up to wirelessly transmit information about glucose, salt, and alcohol to a mobile device; its creators think it could be adapted to monitor even more metrics, including “a wide range of nutrients, chemicals and physiological states,” according to a press release.

The tooth-mounted sensor, a tiny gold square mounted on a person's front tooth.
Image Credit: Fio Omenetto, Ph.D., Tufts University

With such a simple and inexpensive design, the sensor could be made widely available. That could be a huge boon to researchers who need a cheap way to track nutrients in a study, or to people who want to get their diet in check and for whom expensive fitness trackers are out of reach, or just don’t cut it. After all, let’s face it, we’re terrible at remembering what we ate, and how much of it.

But a tracker like this one could also have some negative side effects.

Mobile calorie and exercise-tracking apps already allow people to obsess over their every meal down to the macronutrient, and anecdotal evidence suggests doing so can exacerbate obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and eating disorders. Clinical psychologist Lara Pence, of the Renfrew Center Eating Disorder Treatment Facility, told New Republic: “It doesn’t really take research for us as an organization or for me as a clinician to see their damaging qualities.” She emphasized that the sense of guilt that trackers promote when a user surpasses their calorie allotment “speaks to the very core pathology of the disease: If I do this, then I have to do that.”

Indeed, one 2017 study found that fitness tracking devices in general were associated with eating disorder symptoms among college students (though, strangely, the same didn’t hold true for calorie counting apps). Unfortunately, there’s a considerable lack of clinical research on their broader impact.

How would a sensor that takes away the most labor-intensive part of fitness tracking — data entry — fit into that trend? To paint with a broad brush, modern culture already has an unhealthy obsession with appearance and body type. A tooth-mounted sensor probably wouldn’t give people eating disorders; these medical conditions are much more complex than that. But it could potentially worsen the symptoms of people who already have these disorders, and make it much easier for others to forget that eating sometimes isn’t just about calories and nutrients — it’s also something that can bring cultural understanding and, you know, joy.

The post Tooth-Mounted Diet Tracker Could Feed Our Unhealthy Relationship With Food appeared first on Futurism.

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Instagram is Changing the Feed Again, Will Focus on Newer Posts

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It has been two years since Instagram announced that it was changing its feed to be “algorithm-based”, which the social network said would try to show you content you were more likely wanting to see, rather than just the newest posts from the accounts you followed. Continue reading
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Instagram will improve its terrible feed by showing newer posts at the top

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Instagram made the switch to a non-chronological feed a while back, and many users are still unhappy with it. Today, Instagram says it’s rolling out some changes to make the feed less terrible. Well, Instagram didn’t call the feed “terrible,” but that seems to be the consensus outside the company. Soon, you’ll see newer posts near the top and have more control over refreshing.

According to the new blog post, Instagram is testing a “New Posts” button in the feed.

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Instagram Turns Off Auto Feed Refresh, Changes Feed Algorithm to Focus on Newer Posts

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Instagram today announced that it’s making changes to the Instagram feed algorithm to address concerns users have had with the feed for quite some time now.

Instagram originally used a chronological feed, showing the newest Instagram posts first when you opened up the app, but the company changed that in June of 2016 to display posts based on relevancy. The change caused days-old posts to be displayed in some situations, which users were unhappy with.

Starting today, Instagram is planning to focus more on surfacing newer posts, a change the company is making based on user feedback. It won’t be the same as the original chronological feed, but Instagram says new posts will show up first.

Based on your feedback, we’re also making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed. With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won’t miss the moments you care about. So if your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up.

Instagram is also disabling the feature that causes the Instagram feed to automatically refresh. Instead, Instagram is testing a “New Posts” button that will let users decide when to refresh a feed.

Tap the button and you’ll be taken to new posts at the top of feed — don’t tap, and you’ll stay where you are. We hope this makes browsing Instagram much more enjoyable.

Instagram says additional feed improvements will be introduced over the course of the next few months.
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Facebook Launching News Feed Tool to Let Users Quickly Revoke Permissions From Apps

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this afternoon addressed the ongoing Cambridge Analytica situation, in which Cambridge Analytica used personal data acquired from Facebook in an illicit manner by a third-party app to create targeted political advertisements during the 2016 election.

Zuckerberg outlined a multi-step response that Facebook plans to take to prevent this situation from recurring, and one feature Facebook will add is a new tool at the top of the News Feed which will let people see which apps they’ve used.

Any app used on the Facebook platform has access to a user’s personal data, so the Facebook tool will let people see which apps have their info and it will offer up an easy way to revoke permissions.


This tool is already available through Facebook’s privacy settings, but the company plans to make it more accessible to all users.

Back in 2014, Facebook implemented changes to reduce the amount of data apps had access to (the CA data was pre-2014), and Facebook says it will now investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before the platform change.

We will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. We will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough audit. And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps.

Zuckerberg also says Facebook plans to remove developers’ access to data if an app hasn’t been used in three months, and the amount of data provided to an app when a user signs in will be further restricted to name, profile photo, and email address. Access to posts or other private data will require users to explicitly approve the action.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has resulted in a massive “Delete Facebook” movement from users concerned over the data Facebook collects and how it’s used, and Facebook stock has sharply declined this week.

Facebook users who are not satisfied with Zuckerberg’s response can permanently delete a Facebook account by clicking this link. Before doing so, it’s recommended Facebook users download an archive of their content so no photos are lost.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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