Internet

Facebook taps algorithm to improve Trending Topics feature

Facebook taps algorithm to improve Trending Topics feature

Facebook has detailed some changes with Trending Topics, the small feature that earned it a bunch of controversy earlier this year. Among the changes, says Facebook, is that from now on an algorithm will be dealing with Trending Topics as the social network eliminates human-written topic summaries. As a result, the topics will look more simplistic, and will show how many people are talking about the topic rather than a description of what the topic is about.

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Twitter may soon let users filter out offensive keywords

Twitter may soon let users filter out offensive keywords

According to new reports, Twitter may eventually grant its hundreds of millions of users a keyword filter, allowing them to automatically block keywords they find offensive. The social networking site is said to be working on such a feature, though no official announcement has been made. If these reports prove to be true, it'll be Twitter's latest attempt to combat the abuse that can, at times, run rampant on the site and drive users away.

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Dropbox urges users to change old passwords, no hack happened

Dropbox urges users to change old passwords, no hack happened

There has been troubling rise of hacking incidents in the past two years or so, so when Dropbox, perhaps the most used cloud storage service in the world, starts sending prompts for users to change their passwords, there is naturally no small amount of worry spreading around. Dropbox does reassure its users that there has been no known intrusion or compromise. They’re just taking a precautionary measure considering how old most of the passwords were. And it might be a good idea to change yours today, too.

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Google Fiber goes live in Salt Lake City

Google Fiber goes live in Salt Lake City

Google Fiber has gone live in Salt Lake City, giving residents in the region the opportunity to sign up for Google’s high-speed and relatively inexpensive gigabit Internet service. Sign-ups are being taken until October 20 of this year; those interested are able to search with their street address to see if it is possible to get service at their home or apartment. Both residential and small business plans are being offered.

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Google adds Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe games to Search results

Google adds Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe games to Search results

Google can be a great when you find yourself bored, as it offers a gateway to all (or at least most) of the world's information. That's all well and good, but it also requires you put your reading comprehension skills to work. If you're like me and you sometimes enjoy being entertained without investing much brain power, you'll be pleased to know that Google has embedded two classic games into its search results.

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YouTube’s Backstage feature could move beyond video

YouTube’s Backstage feature could move beyond video

Currently, YouTube is king of the video streaming world, but other competitors like Facebook Live and Snapchat are beginning to rise up. So what do you do when these ubiquitous social networks begin encroaching on your territory and challenging your position as ruler of the roost? You become more like them, apparently, with YouTube rumored to be rolling out a new feature called Backstage later this year.

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Latest Facebook test brings autoplay audio to News Feed videos

Latest Facebook test brings autoplay audio to News Feed videos

It isn't exactly a secret that Facebook is continually trying to fine-tune the News Feed through various tweaks and tests, but the company has rolled out a new, small-scale test that leaves us scratching our heads. Some users in Australia might find that those autoplay videos that show up in News Feeds are now accompanied by, of all things, autoplay sound.

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Google Search will penalize sites that use interstitial ads next year

Google Search will penalize sites that use interstitial ads next year

Advertisements on the internet can range in annoyance, with intrusive interstitial ads that pop-up over text being among the most frustrating. Google is gearing up to take a harder line against sites that show these kinds of ads early next year, and it's doing so as a way of making content easier to access on mobile.

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North Korea has its own propaganda streaming service

North Korea has its own propaganda streaming service

While North Korea has a strong reputation for being secluded, controlling, and run by a totalitarian government, that doesn't mean the country is totally without the technology we take for granted in the western world. As we've seen before, the country makes its own computer and smartphone operating systems, such as the OS X-copying Red Star OS. And now, despite the fact that the internet barely exists there, they've even got their own streaming video service.

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Comcast’s Gigabit Internet trial kicks off in Chicago

Comcast’s Gigabit Internet trial kicks off in Chicago

Comcast has announced that its Gigabit Internet service is now live in Chicago as a trial first announced earlier this year. This trial follows ones in Atlanta and Nashville earlier this year, and will eventually be followed by similar trials in Detroit and Miami. Comcast’s Chicago trial is using existing infrastructure to deliver its service, which costs $139.95/month without a contract, though Comcast says it will be testing promotional pricing.

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Twitter tackles extremism by purging 235,000 (more) accounts

Twitter tackles extremism by purging 235,000 (more) accounts

Twitter has been criticized over what many view as an inadequate level of effort to rid itself of extremist accounts. In light of those criticisms, Twitter has worked toward reversing the trend, and has regularly been purging accounts that promote or are otherwise related to extremism. Back in February of this year, for example, the company announced the suspension of more than 125,000 accounts. Today the company announced that it has upped itself, this time suspending a massive 235,000 accounts.

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Google Fiber looks for alternatives to building its own network

Google Fiber looks for alternatives to building its own network

If you've been disappointed by the rather slow roll out of Google Fiber, it would appear you're not alone. Alphabet Inc. seems a little frustrated as well, and as a result, the company will begin looking for alternatives to laying its own cable and building out its network at its current slow pace. These new initiatives would include testing wireless technologies, leasing existing fiber networks, and working with towns and municipalities to get them to lay the fiber networks Google would ultimately use.

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