Internet

Amazon puts a learning AI in charge of reviews

Amazon puts a learning AI in charge of reviews

Amazon has quietly tweaked its reviews algorithm, using machine learning to not only push fresher feedback to customers, but learn which reviews are most useful. The changes, which went into action on Amazon's US site late last week, could well make a noticeable difference to which customer reviews show up top of the list and which are buried at the bottom; meanwhile, it could also have a big impact on how many stars each product scores.

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Cuba is about to expand its Internet accessibility

Cuba is about to expand its Internet accessibility

More widespread Internet in Cuba looked likely to happen back in December, and it arrived a short while later, but only in a very limited fashion. Half a year later, though, and things are changing again: the insular nation is about to expand the region that has Internet access by rolling out 36 WiFi hotspots in various places. In addition, the cost to get online is going to decrease, which is one of the biggest barriers currently. With the current prohibitive pricing, few can afford to get online in the nation.

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Free WiFi service launched at the Taj Mahal

Free WiFi service launched at the Taj Mahal

As one of the seven wonders of the world, India's Taj Mahal has become one of the latest tourist destinations to offer free WiFi to visitors. The service was launched as a result of a government programs that not only aims to attract more tourists, but also to spread internet access to a greater number of cities. Now visitors will have to 30 minutes of free network access, allowing them to post selfies to their favorite social networks.

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NYC audits Verizon’s FiOS promise, finds it lacking

NYC audits Verizon’s FiOS promise, finds it lacking

Carriers are being held up to government scrutiny this week. Just days after AT&T was fined by the FCC for throttling data, it's Verizon's turn to be on the hot seat, this time with the New York City government breathing down its neck. The office of Mayor Bill de Blaiso says that Verizon has greatly failed to deliver on its promise back in 2008 to put high-speed fiber-optic connections throughout the city, under its FiOS service. Naturally, Verizon denies the allegation and even hints that this audit might have ulterior motives.

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Facebook testing ‘See First’ feature for News Feed

Facebook testing ‘See First’ feature for News Feed

Facebook, it seems, is testing more than one feature this week. Following screenshots showing a "Suggested Topics" feature that is apparently in testing to help users come up with things to talk about, another feature has surfaced: it is called 'See First', and it lends some control over how a user sees his or her news feed. In this case, See First is exactly what it sounds like -- a way to mark what you want to see first, such as statuses posted by people you care about rather than that person you met briefly at a convention a few years back.

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Canadian government websites hit with cyberattack

Canadian government websites hit with cyberattack

Following disclosure of a massive breach of government data in the United States (and a second breach), word has surfaced that the Canadian government has undergone its own cyberattack. The attack targeted Canadian government websites and email systems, having been a denial of service attack against the nation's gc.ca server. The cyberattack was confirmed by Treasury Board President Tony Clement, and it affected several agencies in the nation’s government, including the websites of its Transport, Justice, Foreign Affairs, Industry, Employment, and Labor departments.

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Google Trends gets real-time data, new homepage

Google Trends gets real-time data, new homepage

Google has introduced real-time trends, allowing users to see what has caught the Internet's attention and how much interest some particular topic or event is generating in the moment. It uses data about the recent basketball game as an example, with the resulting data being broken down by team. This marks Google Trends’ biggest expansion since 2012, and will help researchers, the general public, journalists and more track the popularity of topics and events as they happen. This includes minute by minute information rolling through in real time, and is based upon billions of searches on Google.

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Time Warner Cable about to be hit with first net neutrality lawsuit

Time Warner Cable about to be hit with first net neutrality lawsuit

In addition to Time Warner Cable maintaining its reputation as one of the U.S.'s most-hated ISPs, it looks like the company is about to become the first face a lawsuit for violating the FCC's new net neutrality rules. The update rules went into effect roughly a week ago, and now the Washington Post is reporting that one company is preparing to sue TWC for charging them with much higher rates in order to avoid throttled speeds — basically, holding its internet traffic for ransom.

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BitTorrent Shoot shares media across mobile devices in a snap

BitTorrent Shoot shares media across mobile devices in a snap

BitTorrent has released a new app to share byte-heavy content like long videos and batches of photos between various mobile devices without ever having to make a detour at the cloud. Just like all things BitTorrent, this app is all about preserving your privacy. Content will go directly between mobile devices, bypassing the cloud entirely to keep anything shared beyond the reach of prying eyes (or a police warrant). The interface is incredibly simple. Choose to send files from your mobile device and Shoot creates a convenient QR code, granting recipients access with a quick scan.

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Twitter’s auto-playing videos have arrived

Twitter’s auto-playing videos have arrived

The auto-playing video. It's okay if you don't like it. Others feel the same way, so you're not alone. The problem is that despite the large number of people who detest videos that start playing without permission, social networks are launching them anyway. Twitter's auto-playing videos are now upon us, at least if you're using iOS of the web (if you're not, your day of reckoning is inbound). Twitter announced the feature's arrival in a statement today, calling it a "new standard for viewability."

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Google’s Project Loon turns two

Google’s Project Loon turns two

Google’s Project Loon has turned two, and it has achieved various milestones during its short life. The pilot test for the balloon-based Internet project took place in 2013, which the Project Loon team says successfully connected Charles Nimmo, a sheep farmer, to the Internet. The project came to fruition even earlier than that, though, with the first tests involving it having happened all the way back in 2011. Those very early tests involved using easily obtainable radio components and a weather balloon.

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Reddit institutes new anti-harassment policy, bans 5 subreddits

Reddit institutes new anti-harassment policy, bans 5 subreddits

Reddit, the self-titled "front page of the internet," recently instituted a new anti-harassment policy that aims to curb trolling and other behaviors that go beyond internet discussions and inflict real-world pain on people. In an act showing they mean business, the social site has banned five communities, known as subreddits, for violating rules "based on their harassment of individuals." Reddit says they are "banning behavior, not ideas," in that subreddits will be banned if they use the website "as a platform to harass individuals."

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