Facebook announced today it’s altering its news feed algorithm to combat clickbait. Facebook’s algorithms will note when a high number of people click on a link and then come right back to Facebook. They’ll also note if links receive low numbers of comments and likes. Those are signs of clickbait and the Facebook algorithm will not hesitate to demote such links. After enough people have been suckered into clicking to prove its clickbait.
Darren Kitchen is on the show and we’ll talk about the hack of Secret that means your secrets can never fully be Secret. Also how to hack traffic lights. Plus Len Peralta is here to illustrate the show!
The Verge has been chatting with sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans who say September 30th is tentatively when a press announcement of the next version of Windows is scheduled. The OS, codenamed Threshold is expected to come out as a technical preview sometime in September or October. What is guessed by many to end up being called Windows 9, will have a new mini start menu, get rid of the charms bar, and have a few other UI tweaks. We might even get a version of the Cortana virtual assistant. It’s possible we’ll get detail son the unification of Windows RT and Windows Phone as well.
Jeff Cannata is on the show. We’ll talk about Twitter’s new policy of removing photos of dead family members and how it ran right into free speech issues with the videos of reporter James Foley’s death.
CNET reported on Barnes and Noble’s announcement of the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, essentially the same hardware as the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, but with Nook’s custom interface. There is only one model with 8 GB of storage though the Tab 4 does have an SD card slot. The other diffeerence is the price. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 lists for $199. Adding the Nook to the end reduces that to $179 after an in-store rebate. Barnes and Noble intends to separate the Nook business from its bookselling business.
Molly Wood is on the show and while we celebrate the movement of Ballmer from tech mogul to eccentric sports owner, we also ponder why Uber and others seem to think they can make Webvan and Kozmo’s business models work again.
Brian Ibbott is on the show and we’ll talk about 50 Cent’s new earbuds that measure your heart rate and the way the ice bucket challenge for ALS is revealing subtle secrets about tech moguls. And Len Peralta is here to illustrate the episode!
The Berlin Senate’s State Department for Civil and Regulatory Affairs ordered Uber to stop infringing passenger transportation law with its service. The Senate is concerned for passenger safety with unlicensed drivers as well as insurance to cover the drivers themselves. Uber says they have insurance but they still face €25,000 fines for every ride in violation. Uber also will appeal the decision and believes it can continue service.
James Bamford, author of the Puzzle Palace and Shadow Factory published an account on Wired of his 3 days spent interviewing Edward Snowden in Moscow. Among the many revelations, Snowden cites two main discoveries that caused him to do what he did. On was the data center built in Blufdale, Utah to store intercepted data. For the other, he describes a tool called MonsterMind that would monitor all digital communications and ‘auto fire’ without human supervision if it detected an attack. Snowden also claims he was told the US caused the Internet outage in Syria in 2012 when covert software installation on an ISP went wrong. He also expresses disapproval of cyberattacks on China which he says target civilian institutions like universities and hospitals.
Allison Sheridan is on the show today. We’ll cover the big GamesCon announcements like Skylander, how Viv will beat Siri’s pants off, and why women spend more money on and are more loyal to mobile games. Won’t you join us?
Microsoft delivered a slate of Xbox news at GamesCon in Cologne , Germany. CNET compiled a list of the announcements. The Xbox will get an exclusive on “Rise of the Tomb Raider” set to arrive in late 2015. The Xbox One will get DLNA support for media centers as well as the ability to playback media from USB. Two new bundles are coming. An all-white Xbox One with “Sunset Overdrive” will sell for $400 w/o Kinect on 10/28/ and “Call of Duty Advanced Warfare” with a specially skinned Xbox One and 1TB hard drive arrives fro $500 November 3. Among several other game-related announcements, the Halo 5: Guardians beta begins December 29.