Google and Facebook have banned cryptocurrency ads — but these networks still haven’t

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Microsoft, Snap and Twitter are exceptions — for now.

Google, the world’s biggest online ad company, announced last week it would no longer show ads related to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. That move followed Facebook’s January ban on cryptocurrency and ICOs ads, joining Chinese web giants Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, which haven’t allowed these kinds of ads for much longer.

That means companies like Coinbase or Gemini, which serve as marketplaces and exchanges for virtual currencies, and advertisers promoting an ICO or encouraging the purchase of a particular cryptocurrency, are effectively shut out of 70 percent of the world’s digital ad market.

So where can cryptocurrencies — which currently have a combined market value of $ 331 billion — still advertise?

Microsoft, which owns search engine Bing, is the biggest ad platform to allow cryptocurrency ads. The company booked $ 6.97 billion in advertising revenue last year.

“We continually review our policies, and ongoing monitoring of this emerging model may lead to later changes that best meet the interests of our users, partners and network,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. “In that context, we are currently evaluating our position on cryptocurrency advertising.”

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, however, states in its privacy policy that it bans ads related to the “sale of virtual currency.” LinkedIn will be responsible for less than 20 percent of Microsoft’s ad revenue this year, according to eMarketer estimates.

Twitter and Snap both still show cryptocurrency ads, though Twitter might soon change its policy. Twitter booked $ 644 million in ad sales in the most recent quarter, a 1 percent gain over last year, and Snap generated about $ 277 million in advertising, a 72 percent rise.

As always, there are exceptions.

While Snap allows cryptocurrencies ads, it bans ads for cryptocurrency ICOs. Here’s a recent ad for crypto investment advice:

Though Facebook banned ads for cryptocurrency “financial products and services” and ICOs, it still allows ads related to the industry, like the one below for an equity offering in Bitzumi, a cryptocurrency marketing platform. If the ad were for Bitzumi’s crypto exchange itself it would be prohibited, according to Facebook.

Oath, the Verizon-owned umbrella company that houses AOL and Yahoo, told Recode it doesn’t allow ads for ICOs or “specific currencies.” “We also don’t allow ads which are misleading or promote themselves as get-rich-quick schemes,” an Oath spokesperson said.

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How to Automatically Drop Poor Wi-Fi Networks on iPhone

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Poor Wi-Fi networks are a curse. Often, if the network is slow or the signal is weak, you’re better served by disconnecting from it entirely and using your mobile data allowance instead. But continually connecting and disconnecting from Wi-Fi networks is annoying. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a tool that would automatically dump a network if it wasn’t performing, but reconnect if the speed later improved? Well, there is! It’s called Wi-Fi Assist, and it’s only available on iOS devices. But how do you set it up? Thankfully, it’s easy. We’re going to show you everything you need…

Read the full article: How to Automatically Drop Poor Wi-Fi Networks on iPhone

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Europe asks social networks to remove terrorist content within an hour

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The European Commission published new guidelines for social networks today and among them is a request for these sites to remove reported terrorist content within one hour. In 2016, the Commission called for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft t…
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We’re One Step Closer to Super-Fast 5G Networks

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is ready to auction off access to the radio frequencies needed to operate the next generation of wireless networks, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

All wireless devices communicate over the air via radio frequency, also known as wireless spectrum. Spectrum is finite, and certain radio frequencies can be used only for certain purposes. No two companies can send their communications across the same frequency on the spectrum from the same location simultaneously, so they purchase licenses from the FCC to ensure dedicated access to their respective frequencies.

To operate 5G (fifth generation) wireless networks, which are expected to be 100 times faster than today’s 4G networks, companies will need access to very specific frequencies on the spectrum. During a speech at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, Pai announced plans to open up bidding on these highly desirable frequencies.

According to Pai, the FCC will start accepting bids in the 28 GHz band in November 2018, with an auction of spectrum in the 24 GHz band following shortly after. However, the FCC will only be able to follow that schedule if Congress changes current legislation on how the government handles bidders’ pre-auction payments by May 13, Pai said.

The Next Level

The most obvious benefits of 5G networks will be far faster speeds and shorter loading times on our personal devices.

A high-definition movie that currently takes an hour to download on a 4G network is expected to take just seconds with a 5G network. Also 5G networks are expected to be able to manage more data at once — so cell reception issues, say during a major sporting event, caused by too much user traffic may be rendered obsolete.

The benefits of 5G extend far beyond our smartphones and laptops, though. Hyper-fast networks could enable a doctor in one country to virtually control a surgical robot on the other, and it could increase the safety of autonomous vehicles by allow them to communicate with one another more quickly.

5G may arrive even sooner than expected, too. On February 25, 2018, Nokia’s Chief Executive Rajeev Suri told Reuters that his company is accelerating their 5G plans, with the first commercial roll-outs expected in 2018. Both AT&T and Verizon will begin offering customers 5G networks this year too.

If the FCC’s impending auction goes ahead as planned, 2019 may be the year the 5G revolution begins in earnest.

The post We’re One Step Closer to Super-Fast 5G Networks appeared first on Futurism.


Telecommunications Networks Could Help Scientists Sync Up Telescopes

Timing Is Key

When it comes to observing objects in space, two (or more) telescopes are far better than one. By observing a single object at a single moment in time using radio telescopes at different locations, researchers can glean information about its location or other characteristics that they couldn’t deduce using a single telescope.

For the process to work, though, the radio telescopes need to be perfectly in sync, and now, a new study has found a way to achieve that synchronicity more cheaply and simply than the standard method.

Seeing Stars: The FAST Radio Telescope
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Typically, very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) arrays, the networks of telescopes using for radio astronomy, require at least one stable frequency source at each radio telescope. Usually, that stable frequency source is an atomic clock, with hydrogen masers being the most common type. These devices are very expensive because of the incredibly sophisticated mechanism required to achieve such precision.

For their experiment, researchers from several Australian institutions collaborated on a new method for achieving a stable frequency reference using just one atomic clock at one telescope.

First, the team imprinted the radio frequency reference from the atomic clock at the CSIRO Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) onto a laser beam. Then, they sent the beam to another radio telescope 155 kilometers (96 miles) away and back again via a standard fiber optic communications network incorporating several amplification stages.

Using the stable frequency reference, the team calibrated the two radio telescopes and used them to observe an object in space. They found that the primary limiting factor between the telescopes was the atmospheric difference between the two locations and not the stable frequency signal.

“In practice, very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) is usually limited by the distortion of the atmosphere, which affects the arrival of radio waves in the same way that variations in the atmosphere makes stars ‘twinkle,’” co-author Ken Baldwin, deputy director of research at the Australian National University’s research school of physics and engineering, told Futurism.

“The key point is that our timing precision is significantly better than the effect of atmospheric distortion, so that astronomers will have at least as good performance as they do with current methods.”

The experiment had no negative impact on the general traffic using the fiber optic network, either.

“By running the experiment on optical fibers also carrying normal traffic, we showed that transmitting the stable frequency standard doesn’t affect the data or telephone calls on the other channels,” said Baldwin in a news release. “This is necessary to gain the cooperation of the telecommunications companies that own these fiber networks.”

Seeing Farther

Some of our biggest breakthroughs in astronomy were made possible by telescope arrays.

Just last year, scientists used New Mexico’s Very Large Array radio observatory to track down one source of the mysterious fast radio bursts (FBRs) emanating from space, Chile’s Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to discover the “basis for life as we know it,” and California’s Allen Telescope Array to examine our first interstellar visitor, the asteroid ‘Oumuamua.

New, more powerful arrays are also on the horizon. This year, construction will begin on the world’s largest radio telescope: the Square Kilometer Array (SKA). This mammoth set of radio telescopes will span across Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and when complete, it will expand the range of the observable universe, allow for extreme tests of general relativity, and give us new insight into the large-scale structure of the cosmos.

Thanks to this new research, scientists could have a cheaper and potentially simpler way to facilitate the precision timing that underpins a telescope array. Given that telecommunications networks are already in place, this new method could dramatically reduce set-up costs, making research projects and astronomical observation using VLBI arrays more accessible.

“When atomic clocks were first invented, no one thought that they would provide timing standards that would be used for GPS navigation, for example,” said Baldwin in the news release. “We hope that in the same way, easy access to frequency standards that are just as stable as those found in a national measurement laboratory will be an enabling technology for many applications that require precise timing and accurate frequency measurements.”

If researchers take advantage of this new way to access frequency standards, 2018 could deliver even more remarkable astronomical discoveries than last year.

The post Telecommunications Networks Could Help Scientists Sync Up Telescopes appeared first on Futurism.


Twitter is using neural networks for smart auto-cropping of Images

Twitter feed doesn’t show images in full on the news feed, and the company thinks that it can be challenging in rendering a consistent UI experience and the photos more often than not are framed awkwardly. Today Twitter is solving the problem by using neural networks for smart auto-cropping of Images. The company previously used face detection to focus the view on the most prominent faces in the pictures which had its own limitations when presenting images. Now with neural networks, Twitter will focus on “salient” image regions. In general, people tend to pay more attention to faces, text, animals, but also other objects and regions of high contrast. This data can be used to train a neural network to identify what people might want to look at. The basic idea behind this is to use these predictions of the neural network to center a crop around the most interesting region. However, doing a pixel-level saliency analysis of all the pictures uploaded to Twitter can be a lengthy process so to address the concern, engineers developed a smaller, faster neural network that can identify the gist of the image. Secondly, Twitter is said to have developed a pruning technique to iteratively remove feature maps of the neural network …
Fone Arena

Twitter is using neural networks to improve photo cropping

Twitter doesn’t show full photos when they appear in the stream—you need to tap to expand the whole image. Unfortunately, the cropped version of the photo is often framed awkwardly because it’s just the middle section of the image. Twitter is solving that problem with a neural network that can understand the composition of your images.

The neural network is looking for so-called “salient” image regions. Scientists have studied what people consider salient in images for years using eye-tracking technology.

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New Android 8.1 feature will show speeds of Wi-Fi networks before you join them

Google Pixel 2 XL hands-on

Android 8.1 isn’t available on many devices quite yet, but those that do have it are now getting a new feature.

Google has announced that on Android 8.1, users will be able to see the speeds of Wi-Fi networks before they connect to them. When you’re viewing nearby public Wi-Fi networks, you’ll see one of the following four options:

  • Slow: If you can use Wi-Fi calling, you can make phone calls and send texts.
  • OK: You can read webpages, use social media, and stream music.
  • Fast: You can stream most videos.
  • Very Fast: You can stream very high-quality videos.

If for some reason you’d like to disable this feature, you can do so by going into Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi Preferences > Advanced > Network rating provider > None.

This looks like a pretty nifty feature. It can be frustrating when you’re out and about and you’re looking for some Wi-Fi to get you faster speeds than cellular or just to save some data usage, but then you connect to a Wi-Fi network and find your speeds slow to a crawl. With this feature, you can avoid that situation entirely. – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

Android 8.1 now shows you how fast public Wi-Fi networks are

Although Android 8.1 has been out for a few weeks now, Google interestingly hasn’t stopped adding new features to its latest software release. Case in point: speed labels for public (open) Wi-Fi networks. This functionality has started rolling out today. Once you get it, you will see an estimation of how fast each nearby public Wi-Fi network is, as portrayed in the screenshot to the left. The levels are Very Fast (20+ Mbps), Fast (5-20Mbps), OK (1-5Mbps), and Slow (0-1Mbps). These labels should help you quickly decide whether it’s worth connecting to such a network, hopefully saving… – Latest articles