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despite bigger ambitions, google is still an ad business

given the controversy surrounding youtube's ads recently, it's clear that google would benefit from extra vigilance on not just ad placement but the content it approves as well. on the company's earnings call today, google ceo sundar pichai, who sits on alphabet's board of directors, said the company remains "focused on making sure youtube remains a safe platform with great content."it uses machine learning to pick out content that violates policy, and according to pichai, more than 6 million videos removed last quarter were first flagged by machine systems. more than 75 percent of these "were removed before receiving a single view," he added.but when asked what the company is focused on for youtube right now, pichai mentioned the t...




byton teases its second “experience-driven” vehicle

byton isn't releasing details for the unnamed sedan until ces asia in june, though we do know it's built on the same electric platform as the company's suv concept. the 'smart utility vehicle' as the company named it, is the first in an expected lineup of vehicles prioritizing the passengers' in-car experience with dashboard-spanning screens replacing the instrument panel and swiveling seats. conceivably, the sedan will integrate all the bell...




facebook details its fight to stop terrorist content

facebook defines terrorism as, "any non-governmental organization that engages in premeditated acts of violence against persons or property to intimidate a civilian population, government or international organization in order to achieve a political, religious or ideological aim." and it notes that governments aren't included due to a "general academic and legal consensus that nation-states may legitimately use violence under certain circumstances." the company said that detection technology has been instrumental to its success in rooting out terrorist content as has its counterterrorism team, which grew from 150 people to 200 since june.focusing on isis and al-qaeda -- since they pose the greatest global threat, says facebook -- the comp...




'fortnite' is coming to china

according to a donews report, some of that investment will be spent building the game's esports scene in china. anyone who played the original will be able to transfer their data, skins and items to the chinese version for a limited time. tencent has allegedly already built a dedicated app to teach players about the game and watch live broadcasts, and those who visit the game's chinese site and pre-order it earn special items. whether or not fortnite blows up there as much as it has in the us, tencent will have a hold o...




gog gets social by adding user profiles

the biggest addition is a new feed showing what your friends are playing, when they earn achievements and make forum posts. you're broadcasting your own activity by default, though that can be tweaked in settings. you can choose to have your profile, game library and friends list viewable by everyone, friends or just you, similar to steam's recent privacy changes.but ev...




'handmaid's tale,' '3%' and 'archer'

this week the nfl draft takes place, squeezed in between nba and nhl playoffs action. at the same time archer is back to open another season, along with netflix's 3% and the handmaid's tale on hulu. we also have the season finale of ...




a vr film forced me to confront my fear of the sea

considering i also get creeped out by schools of fish, my whale phobia isn't actually too shocking. many fears are irrational, and trying to overcome them is no easy feat. photographer michael muller confronted his own deep fear of sharks by "learning to dive without protection and cage-free with great white sharks," ultimately documenting that journey in his new vr film series into the now.premiering at tribeca film festival's vr arcade this year, into the now is an exploration of a wide range of issues. from how vr can help stress disorders like ptsd and anxiety, to climate change and overfishing, the first episode was a meandering ride that covered myriad topics. it could do with more focus and a coherent plot or message. muller expect...




samsung could use ar emoji as stand-ins during video chats

the concept could even draw on ambient and biometric data (such as your heart rate or pupil dilation) to gauge your emotional state and reflect that in your avatar.this is just a patent, and there's no certainty that samsung will make use of it. the company first filed th...




netflix gives 'fast and furious' the cartoon treatment it deserves

the collaboration is part of a five-year relationship that has already brought 14 animated kids and family programming to netfix based on dreamworks properties, like guillermo del toro's dreamworks trollhunters, dreamworks spirit riding free (there's a naming convention here) and all hail king julien. there are an additional four planned series coming this year, as well.the new fast & furious animated series will revolve around tony toretto, a teen who follows in the footsteps of his cousin dom (played by vin diesel in the movies). tony is recruited by a government agency to infil...




volvo's s90 ambience concept is a planetarium for passengers

unveiled at the beijing auto show, the specially built s90 has "seven visual themes synchronized with audio and scent." a pampered passenger would lean back and watch a relaxing scene projected on the ceiling of the vehicle while they listened to an audio track and was surrounded by "one of four bespoke scents" which would be emitted by a specially built portal in the center console.volvo says that this concept is built specifically for the china market. martin andersson the senior commercial product ma...




samsung pay finally works with your paypal wallet

the paypal feature should work wherever samsung pay does, and you'll earn reward points the same way as before. you'll still have to link a bank account or debit card for thos...




atlanta spends more than $2 million to recover from ransomware attack

it's unclear whether atlanta paid or tried to pay the ransom, but evidence suggests city officials didn't attempt to or were unsuccessful. the affected services are still not fully up and running and ahead of the ransom deadline, the attackers took down the communication portal that would have been used to pay the fee.the question of whether to pay a ransom or not isn't always an easy one to answer. agencies like the fbi typically discourage paying these types of ransoms, with one reason being it might encourage attackers to keep doing what they're doing. but not everyone agrees with that reasoning. "refusing to pay a ransom is unlikely to demotivate cybercriminals from conducting further attacks, as they will always find someone else...




despite bigger ambitions, google is still an ad business

given the controversy surrounding youtube's ads recently, it's clear that google would benefit from extra vigilance on not just ad placement but the content it approves as well. on the company's earnings call today, google ceo sundar pichai, who sits on alphabet's board of directors, said the company remains "focused on making sure youtube remains a safe platform with great content."it uses machine learning to pick ou...




twitch's custom extensions can now ask for bits

the support is available today through dozens of extensions on launch, and it's available to both affiliates and partners.no, the thought of having to pay just to interact with a streamer isn't thrilling -- some of these features have been available for free, including channel bots that don't require extensions. this does give you...




adobe premiere makes it easier to edit insta360 pro footage

360 video typically needs to be stitched together before and after editing, making for a pretty tedious process. now, if you've got an insta360 pro camera and a copy of premiere, you can start editing right after import - no pre-editing stitching required. the plug-in that allows this basically creates proxy footage, a quick-stitched, lower-resolut...




facebook explains what advertisers know about you

the company also emphasized that you can opt out of ad targeting (though not advertising as a whole). it also insists that its social network is the product, not you -- it's the "ability to connect" that matters, facebook said.while these are important points and may help assuage the fears of those convinced facebook is harvesting every ounce of personal data, it doesn't entirely address the concerns that prompted mark zuckerberg's testimony before congress. the concern wasn't that facebook was selling data, but that it didn't keep close tabs on what data apps could collect ("t...




google assistant's routines are an easy way to automate your home

if you've set up any smart home devices to work with the google assistant, you won't be surprised to learn that everything involving routines (and smart devices in general) is routed through the google home app for ios and android. the app's "home control" settings area lets you add devices from a wide variety of manufacturers. i tested it with a tp-link light bulb and smart plug, an ecobee 3 thermostat, the nest camera iq and multiple google home and chromecast devices. while the google assistant can control all of these, not all of them actually work with the routines feature -- you can't have the nest cam automatically start broadcasting its feed to a chromecast, for example.fortunately, the thermostat, smart plug and light bulb were...




deezer now creates weekly playlists based on your listening habits

flow will have daily recommendations in addition to genre stations, and as you'd expect, you can favorite any song and add it to a new or existing playlist. as the verge points out, there are also flow playlists full of brand new music, and those will refresh weekly.this is the sort of thing that was more or less pandora's bread and butter in the early days of music streaming. back in 2013, apple added genius shuffle to itune...




why is a celebrity personal finance guru suing facebook?

lewis is the founder of moneysavingexpert, a hugely influential uk site that advises people on the cheapest financial and commercial products. if you've ever read the points guy, then you've got a fair idea of what lewis does, but with a focus on consumer credit and household bills. he regularly appears on good morning britain, one of the uk's major morning shows and even has his own prime-time broadcast tv show. so, in the uk at least, he has cultivated a brand as an honest and serious champion of consumer rights.which explains why so many crypto scams have harnessed his likeness to sell "bitcoin from home," and "increase your income!" scams. often, as in the example images seen here (taken from lewis' own statement), the scammers mock ...




court blocks trump's delay of fuel efficiency penalties

it's not certain what if anything the white house can do next, although epa chief scott pruitt has been pushing to relax the standards and reduce the ability of states to set stricter environmental protection policies. companies could still be on the hook if they fell short of goals, but the chances of their falling short would be that much lower.as it stands, the administration's attempt to roll back penalties ...