Internet

Snapchat pulls racist Asian stereotype lens

Snapchat pulls racist Asian stereotype lens

Snapchat is being heavily criticized (again) over a racist filter, this time for making one available that produces Asian caricatures from user selfies. If the criticism sounds familiar, that’s because it is; it was only back in late April that Snapchat received backlash for a Bob Marley filter that earned accusations of blackface. Snapchat didn't remove that Bob Marley filter, saying at the time that it had the blessing of his estate, but it has pulled the most recent offensive filter.

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Facebook Messenger’s new bot allows you to message the president

Facebook Messenger’s new bot allows you to message the president

Revealed back in April, Facebook Messenger's bots have taken off in a big way. Now numbering in the thousands, these chat bots do all sorts of things, from helping you find travel deals to bots that allow you to send whatever feedback you may have to brands and corporations. Messenger is adding another bot to the list today, but this one definitely stands out from the rest, as it lets you send a note to President Obama.

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Fast.com speed test arrives as mobile app for Android and iOS

Fast.com speed test arrives as mobile app for Android and iOS

Back in May, Netflix launched an Internet speed test called Fast.com. You don’t have to be a Netflix user to use it, but it is a nice way to see what speeds you’re getting and find out whether it’s the reason your video keeps buffering. According to Netflix, it has seen millions of people use Fast.com to check their speeds, and so now they’re offering them another option: Fast as a mobile app for iOS and Android.

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Twitter Moments rolls out to more creators, everyone else soon

Twitter Moments rolls out to more creators, everyone else soon

Twitter has announced that it's rolling out its Moments feature to more users today. The feature, which allows users to string together a series of tweets to make one comprehensive story, was launched last year and has so far been slow to move into wider tests. That's changing today, but the feature won't be available for all Twitter users for some time to come.

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Facebook updates ad controls, moves to make ad blockers less effective

Facebook updates ad controls, moves to make ad blockers less effective

Facebook is coming to terms with the fact that people generally dislike ads, and this means both good and bad things for its users. The good news first: Facebook has announced that it will update its ad preferences, allowing users to pick and choose what kind of ads they see alongside content on the site. Essentially, this update allows you to remove categories from the list of things Facebook has determined you might like, allowing the ads you see to fall more in line with your actual tastes.

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FTC sets its sights on sneaky sponsored social media posts

FTC sets its sights on sneaky sponsored social media posts

While some types of sponsored content are easy to spot, that kind of transparency hasn't quite made its way into the social media realm. Tweets, status updates, Instagram photos and more dot the digital landscape with celebrities holding or using products, slyly showcasing notable brands to their thousands or millions of followers. Often times, these posts are advertisements the individual is getting paid to publish...but rarely are the statuses flagged as such.

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AT&T U-verse is increasing data cap from 600GB to 1TB

AT&T U-verse is increasing data cap from 600GB to 1TB

If you have an AT&T U-verse Internet subscription, you may get a surprise the next time you log in: a message saying the 600GB data cap will soon be increased to a more forgiving 1TB. The move doesn't come too long after AT&T increased its then-current data cap to 600GB, which it began enforcing more strongly than the 250GB cap some subscribers had before that. Those who still need more data will have the option of paying $30/month extra or paying overage charges.

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Facebook strengthens efforts against News Feed clickbait

Facebook strengthens efforts against News Feed clickbait

If you're anything like me, your Facebook News Feed is probably a mess of posts featuring Donald Trump, babies, and articles with clickbait titles. It isn't exactly a secret that Facebook has a clickbait problem, and a big one at that. Despite previous efforts to trim down the amount of clickbait that appears in any given user's News Feed, the problem persists, and it's led Facebook to implement a new - and hopefully improved - News Feed algorithm.

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Average US internet speeds make significant rise in first half of 2016

Average US internet speeds make significant rise in first half of 2016

With the rise of fiber internet and the amount of recognition companies like Google Fiber are getting, you'd be forgiven for feeling a little disappointed in your broadband connection. However, a new report from Ookla is showing us that the wider availability of fiber options may just be a good thing for those with fixed broadband connections, as average broadband speeds have taken a rather large jump year-over-year in the first half of 2016.

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Qualcomm: Wi-Fi Alliance’s new test plan biased against LTE-U

Qualcomm: Wi-Fi Alliance’s new test plan biased against LTE-U

And so the debate, nay, war, between proponents of LTE-U on the one side and Wi-Fi on the other has just entered a new, and perhaps more tumultuous stage. Pressed to make a move after numerous delays, the Wi-Fi Alliance has finally released the latest version of its test plan to ensure the interoperability of LTE-U and Wi-Fi spectrums. But as far as Qualcomm, one of the main advocates of LTE-U, is concerned, that plan is rubbish, failing to take into account proposals from the other side and turning a blind eye to the situation entirely.

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YouTube Kids adds YouTube Red support and all of its features

YouTube Kids adds YouTube Red support and all of its features

YouTube Kids, the company’s child-friendly platform, now supports YouTube Red. This means YouTube Red subscribers can download the YouTube Kids app for their child and have it work with all of YouTube Red’s features, including ad-free videos for parents who want to avoid having advertisements flashed in their kids’ eyes. As of today, the support is available in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Google expands AMP support in new Search preview

Google expands AMP support in new Search preview

Back in February, Google launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (or AMP for short), which serves as the company's answer to slow-loading webpages on mobile devices. It would appear to have taken off in a big way, with Google revealing today that there are more than 150 million AMP docs in its indexes and that a whopping four million more are being added each week. This success has led Google to test the waters on rolling out AMP on a wider scale.

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