Facebook Exec Says It Helped Put Trump In White House

Facebook’s hardware vice president Andrew Bosworth gestures as he speaks during an AFP interview on September 17, 2019 in San Francisco, California.

 

 

A senior Facebook executive on Tuesday said the world’s biggest social network unintentionally helped put Donald Trump in the White House but warned against dramatic rule changes.

The Trump campaign did effectively use Facebook to rally support for his presidential run, and the social network should be mindful of that without making moves that stifle free political discourse, Andrew Bosworth said in a lengthy post on his personal Facebook page triggered by The New York Times publishing an internal memo he wrote.

“So was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected?” Bosworth asked.

“I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks.”

Bosworth contended Trump was not elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica, but rather because he ran “the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser.”

Since Facebook has the same ad policies in place now, the outcome of the 2020 election could be the same as it was four years ago, he added.

Facebook has maintained a hands-off policy on political ads, in contrast with Google which in November placed restrictions on how advertisers can target specific groups of voters.

“As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear,” Bosworth wrote.

That doesn’t mean Facebook should not draw a line when it comes to how it is used, he reasoned. Clearly inciting violence, thwarting voting, and other blatant transgressions should be banned, but voters should be trusted to decide what kind of leaders they want to elect, according to Bosworth.

“If we don’t want hate-mongering politicians then we must not elect them,” Bosworth wrote.

“If we change the outcomes without winning the minds of the people who will be ruled then we have a democracy in name only. If we limit what information people have access to and what they can say then we have no democracy at all.”

– War rooms –
Bosworth’s comments came with Facebook under pressure to better protect user data and prevent its services from being used to spread misinformation, exacerbate social divides and sway political opinions as was the case in 2016 in the US.

Keeping the social network secure while thwarting misinformation and fending off the competition with new features were among priorities laid out by executives at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Tuesday.

“The innovation piece is important to us while we keep people in the company focused on security,” said Facebook vice president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson.

Facebook provided visitors a look at a revamped “Privacy Checkup” tool for users which is rolling out this week.

“What is top of mind for me is regulation and how the privacy landscape is developing,” Everson said.

“We would like help on the regulatory front for privacy and security.”

Facebook priorities this year include preventing the platform from being used by malevolent actors to influence the US election, according to Everson.

The social network is in nearly 200 countries around the world, where scores of elections take place annually and will apply lessons learned through experience to the US, Everson said.

Facebook will once again have a “war room” to coordinate responses to the election or voter manipulation efforts by state actors or others in real-time.

“The war room model has been working around the world,” Everson said.

“We have 70 to 90 elections each year, so we have been getting better. War rooms are part of our strategy.”

Facebook will ban hyper-realistic deepfake videos ahead of the US election but will still allow heavily edited clips so long as they are parody or satire.

Everson re-affirmed Facebook will stick with its controversial policy of allowing politicians to post information proven to be false.

“We do not believe we are in the position to be the arbiter of truth, but we have been clear that we are continuing to evaluate how we can do it better,” Everson said.

“We don’t want people to mislead on our platform.”

Facebook last month took down a network of accounts it said was using fake identities while spreading pro-Trump messages at the social network and its Instagram service.

BA Fined £183m Over Computer Theft Of Passenger Data

 

British Airways has been fined more than £183 million after computer hackers last year stole bank details from hundreds of thousands of passengers, its parent group IAG said Monday.

In a statement, IAG said the UK Information Commissioner’s Office intends to issue the airline with a penalty notice under the UK Data Protection Act, totalling £183.39 million ($229.7 million, 205 million euros).

The fine is equivalent to 1.5 percent of British Airways’ turnover in 2017, IAG added.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said it would consider appealing the fine as it seeks “to take all appropriate steps to defend the airline’s position vigorously”.

BA’s CEO Alex Cruz said the airline was “surprised and disappointed” by the punishment.

“British Airways responded quickly to a criminal act to steal customers’ data,” he said in the statement.

“We have found no evidence of fraud/fraudulent activity on accounts linked to the theft. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this event caused,” Cruz added.

BA had revealed the hack in September, just a few months after the European Union tightened data protection laws with the so-called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The stolen data comprised customer names, postal addresses, email addresses, and credit card information.

However the 15-day breach, which was fixed on discovery, did not involve travel or passport details.

Following disclosure of the hack, BA promised to compensate affected customers and took out full-page adverts in the UK newspapers to apologise to passengers.

It had meanwhile described the mass theft as “a very sophisticated, malicious, criminal attack on our website”.

IAG is the owner of five airlines, including also Aer Lingus, Iberia, Level and Vueling, none of which were affected by the hack.

GDPR establishes the key principle that individuals must explicitly grant permission for their data to be used.

The case for the new rules had been boosted by a scandal over the harvesting of Facebook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica, a US-British political research firm, for the 2016 US presidential election.

AFP

23 Vehicles Burnt As Fire Guts Mechanic Village In Agidingbi

fireThe spate of fire outbreaks in Lagos has just got another incident added to its list, as an inferno overnight gutted a mechanic village in the Agidingbi axis of the state.

A total of 23 vehicles, generators, computers and gas cylinders were torched, raising eyebrows over the issue of safety in areas with high concentration of combustible items.

The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), in reaction to the incident, said sensitization on safety measures is on the rise, to curb fire outbreaks in the state.

Recently, a fire incident that occurred around Lawanson area in the state claimed at least five lives.

 

Anambra State First Lady Empowers 200 Physically Challenged

wife of the Anambra state governor, ebele obianoThe wife of the Anambra State Governor, Mrs Ebele Obiano, has distributed prosthetic limbs and empowering items to 200 physically challenged persons in the state.

During the fitting of the limbs at the Women Development Center, Awka, Anambra State capital, Mrs Obiano said the gesture was to enable them earn a better living.

The Governor’s wife sponsored the programme through her pet project, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ).

The first phase of the programme was held in December last year, with 300 physically challenged persons benefiting.

The women in the state appreciated the effort of Mrs Obiano, which they said uplifted the living condition of the physically challenged in the state.

Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike, in his remark, commended the state governor for efforts in reviving the hope of the down trodden in the state.

In addition to the artificial limbs, the beneficiaries were also given computers, laptops, and grinding machines among other empowerment items.

Mrs Obiano also asked graduates with disabilities, who finished in the last six years, to submit their personal details to her office through their respective local government chairmen for employment.

According to her, the state government is set to give jobs to 1,000 physically challenged persons.

UNESCO Says Millions Needed To Restore Mali Heritage

African officials and academics will meet in Paris this month to discuss how to repair and safeguard mausoleums and ancient manuscripts in Mali that were destroyed by Islamist rebels, U.N. cultural agency UNESCO said.

UNESCO believes most of some 300,000 centuries-old texts, ranging from scholarly treatises to old commercial invoices, are safe, although around 2,000 manuscripts may have been lost at the ransacked Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu.

Written in ornate calligraphy, the brittle texts represent a compendium of human knowledge on everything from law, sciences and medicine to history and politics, which academics say prove Africa had a written history at least as old as the European Renaissance.

Equipment installed at a library in Timbuktu to start digitizing them was smashed by the rebels, and computers holding data were burned, as they fled the ancient city last month ahead of its liberation by French forces, said UNESCO’s assistant director-general for culture, Francesco Bandarin.

The Paris-based agency will chair the February 18 meeting, send experts to Mali to assess the damage and try to raise funding to scan and preserve surviving texts, its director-general Irina Bokova said on Friday.

The damage to Mali’s tangible heritage wrought by the rebels is likely to be around $4-5 million, but the cost of rebuilding mausoleums and digitizing tens of thousands of manuscripts was harder to estimate, she told a news conference.

“We will send a mission of experts to assess the damage once security conditions allow so we can make an estimate of what we need,” said Bokova, who visited Timbuktu, a UNESCO world heritage site, with French President Francois Hollande last week.

“We have the basis of a plan of action and we will expand on this at a round table on the 18th,” she said.

Bandarin said 11 mausoleums and tombs had been destroyed during the rebel occupation of northern Mali, but UNESCO planned to rebuild them using photographs and local experts.

He said Mali’s ancient artefacts also needed protection from international trafficking gangs, who run a trade worth some $6-8 billion a year and have taken advantage of recent chaos in countries like Libya to loot items.

Staff at a museum in Bamako now storing some of the Malian manuscripts for safekeeping will attend the February 18 meeting and receive training in keeping the texts safe.

“The lesson from this is clear. Cultural artefacts are exposed to crises and need to be protected,” Bandarin said.

 

Facebook Posts:Man arrested for insulting sultan in Malaysia

The sister of a Malaysian man who has been charged with insulting a state sultan on Facebook says he is innocent and plans to lodge a complaint over his detention.

Anisa Abdul Jalil, sister of Ahmad Abdul Jalil, says her brother was charged Thursday with making offensive postings on Facebook last month.

She says the charges are ridiculous because there is no evidence linking Ahmad to the posts in question, which were made by someone using the name “Zul Yahaya.”

According to AP, Ahmad was freed on bail Thursday after six days of detention. Anisa says he will file a complaint with police for unlawful detention and intimidation.

Nine Malaysian states have sultans and other royal figures. Though their roles are largely ceremonial, acts provoking hatred against them are considered seditious.

 

Galaxy S III smartphone sales now over 30 million – Samsung

Phone manufacturing company Samsung has announced that it has sold more than 30 million flagship Galaxy S III smartphones in about five months, making it one of the fastest selling smartphones in the world.

Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker made this announcement today and it launched the smartphone at the end of May, months before competitors began shipping the latest versions of their top phones.

When Apple Inc., unveiled the iPhone 5 in September, Samsung launched an advertising campaign poking fun at the new iPhone.

The South Korean firm said the S III is selling at a much faster rate than its predecessor announced a year ago, the Galaxy S II. The S II took 14 months to hit 30 million sales. Sales of the Galaxy Note II, which fills a market niche between smartphones and tablets, surpassed 3 million in 37 days, Samsung said last week.

The runaway demand for high-end smartphones fuelled record profits at Samsung in recent quarters while other consumer electronics firms were hit by the global economic downturn that dented demand for TVs and personal computers.

Research firm IDC ranks the South Korean firm as the world’s top smartphone seller in the last three quarters. In the latest July-September period, Samsung sold 56.3 million smartphones versus Apple’s 26.9 million, IDC said.

Samsung, which also makes TVs, home appliances, semiconductors and display panels, got almost 70 per cent of its third-quarter operating profit from the division that makes mobile devices, cameras and computers.

Nomura Financial Investment in Seoul forecasts that Samsung will sell 67 million smartphones in the October-December quarter. That would be about 10 million units more than Samsung’s smartphone sales in the previous quarter.

Samsung does not disclose its quarterly smartphone sales figures, but analysts and research firms say the company sold a record 56-58 million smartphones in July-September.

Nomura, which is more optimistic about Samsung’s prospects than other forecasters, says Samsung’s mobile communications business will post 5 per cent growth in fourth quarter profit from the third quarter, thanks to the high-end phones – the S III and the Note II.

Microsoft and partners begin accepting pre-orders for Windows 8

Microsoft has started accepting pre-orders for multiple versions of Windows 8. Boxed retail products, OEM copies and even product key cards are starting to appear online at various retailers in the US including Amazon, Best Buy, the Microsoft Store, Office Depot and Staples.

Pricing starts at $69.99 for Microsoft’s Windows 8 professional upgrade and the pro pack product key card. Users can elect to pick up the full OEM version of Windows 8 in 32- or 64-bit flavours for $99.99. Those after the professional edition can expect to pay $139.99.

If a boxed retail version isn’t for you, Microsoft suggests waiting until October 26 to upgrade online. Using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, consumers will pay just $39.99 for the update. Online upgrading to Windows 8 Pro will be supported in 140 countries, 37 languages and 23 currencies worldwide.

Finally, Microsoft reminds us those consumers who purchased (or will purchase) an eligible Windows 7 computer between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 will be able to take advantage of discounted upgrade pricing. Expect to pay just $14.99 for an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro starting October 26. Details on how to redeem this offer can be found here.

Microsoft spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc was quick to highlight the packaging used for retail DVDs in a blog post earlier today. The rep said boxes consist of one of five vibrant illustrations and is constructed completely from paper, a move that allowed Microsoft to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent. The new material also cut packaging weight by 41 per cent compared to Windows 7 retail offerings.

LeBlanc also pointed out that consumers will be able to pre-order Windows 8 PCs and devices from OEM partners starting today. Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Samsung and Sony have all announced new fall line-ups featuring Microsoft’s new operating system.

Angry Birds ‘Star Wars’ to debut on Windows 8

Rovio Entertainment has just announced a new Angry Birds version called Star Wars, but what’s more interesting for all Microsoft fans is that the new game will also be available on Windows 8 platforms.

Angry Birds Star Wars will thus be released in November on a record number of platforms, including iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, Mac, PC, Windows Phone and Windows 8.

The collaboration between Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm Ltd. will allow Windows 8 users to take full advantage of the new operating system’s touch features, such as swiping and pinching.

“This is the best Angry Birds game we’ve ever done. It’s the best parts of Angry Birds with all new cutting-edge gameplay set in in a galaxy far, far away,” said Peter Vesterbacka, the Mighty Eagle and CMO of Rovio.

Intel unveils 27-inch all-in-on desktop tablet

It was called a developers’ conference by Intel and it was hosted in San Francisco little did the computer world know that it was about to be bombarded with a new invention by the chip-making company as it was used as a medium to unveil a desktop computer prototype that has a display that can double as a 27-inch tablet with a four-hour battery life.

Slate producers like Samsung, with its Galaxy Note II, and Apple, with its expected iPad Mini, are down-sizing the tablet’s classic 10-inch form factor. But Intel must think that there’s room to push the form at the other end of things.

Called the Adaptive All-In-One, the 2.5-inch thick unit has 1080p HD resolution and has the guts of a personal computer, including optical drive, input/output ports and high-performance graphics processor. On the desktop, it plugs into a dock that charges its battery and connects it to peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse. Its touchscreen can be used both on and off the dock.

The display panel weighs 14 pounds. That may have been portable in the days of the Osborne I, but it’s not very portable by today’s standards. Intel recognizes that deficiency and is working with screen and battery manufacturers to slim down the units.

All-In-One computers aren’t anything new, and in recent times they’ve been gaining popularity. Apple has been flogging the form for years with its iMac line and just this week HP introduced a slick new addition to the category, the SpectreONE.

Some tablet makers have also dipped their toes in the detachable screen waters. For example, Asus’ Transformer tablet line has a dock that transforms the slates into a mini-laptop.

With ideas like the Adaptive All-In-One, Intel hopes to pump some excitement into a PC market that seems to get more moribund with each passing quarter. For the quarter ending in June, for instance, Gartner reported that PC shipments declined 5.7 per cent. IDC’s estimates for the period were even worse: a 10.6 per cent drop.

The traditional desktop is a box that’s beige, black, or brown and most likely it’s under the desk but now, the adaptive all-in-one in terms of design will surely change the way that people interact with their desktop PCs.

Lies:These apps and sites can help

There’s been a rumour about a new website that shows what percentage of someone’s Twitter followers are “fake,” “inactive” and “good.”

If the Fake Follower Check site is accurate, some of the biggest Twitter users, including President Obama, Lady GaGa and Justin Bieber, have thousands or even millions of “followers” who aren’t real people.

After so much research it was concluded that there is apparently, a massive lies-for-sale industry made up of services that either offer tools to help people lie, or tell lies directly on behalf of their customers.

Popularity lies

How much does it cost to fake popularity? On the cheap side, you can buy 1,000 Twitter followers for $14 on a site called InterTwitter; 5,000 followers cost $43; 100,000 cost $487.

Followers are even cheaper on FanMeNow, where you can buy 1,000 followers for $10 — or 1 million for $1,350.

Higher-end sites like Buy Active Fans promise not just followers, but engaged followers — and even American ones. But those higher quality followers will cost you: 1,000 global followers cost $10, but 1,000 Americans will set you back $50. A global 100,000 runs $460, but the same number of Yanks costs $4,650.

Some of these businesses will also sell you followers and fans on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other sites.

The fake Twitter followers industry is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, a huge fake-popularity industry takes many forms. An application called One million Clicks, billed as a Web traffic simulator, will make it look like your site is getting mad traffic.

For $5, you can even have a fake girlfriend on Facebook. A site called GirlfriendHire lets you browse and pick a phony companion — and that person will actually provide the service of posting on your wall, etc., so your family and friends think you really are dating someone.

Telephone lies

Even Google Voice will lie for you. When you “block” a number on the service, anyone who calls from that number will get a perfectly convincing “this number is no longer in service” message.

You can install a huge number of iOS and Android apps that simulate calls to your phone. Most of these will ring your phone, spoofing a fake caller ID (“Look, it’s the president again!”) and then coach you through a conversation. The software tells you what to say so that others in the room will think you’re responding. Some of the more popular apps include Fake-a-Call for iOS, Fake Conversation for iOS and Fake Call Me for Android.

 

Similar apps will send you fake text messages. For that service, try Fake-a-Message.

If you want to pretend to be someone you’re not while making a real phone call, there’s an app for that. Fake Voice will mask your voice, making it sound like someone else’s.

A Windows application also called Fake Voice does something similar.

There’s also an interesting subcategory of smartphone apps that spoof your GPS location, making it look like you’re somewhere you’re not. These include Fake GPS Location on Android.

Identity lies

If you’re an Android user and want people to believe you’re an Apple user, you can use the Fake iPad 3 Screen app. (Make sure your Android tablet is rectangular with rounded corners.)

Some software lets you pump pre-recorded video into webcam software to make it seem like you’re someone or somewhere you’re really not. PerfectFakeWebcam and Fake Webcam are two of the more popular options.

A download called Pwn Mail spoofs the sender address for outgoing email. That means you can send email, but the recipient thinks it came from whomever you specified.

All-purpose lies

Some lying software is just plain goofy. For example, an iOS app called Fake a Fish lets you take one of your actual photos and add an image of a big fish, so it looks like you caught it.

FatBooth for iOS enables you to modify a photo of someone to make him look fatter.

A site called iFakeSiri will let you type in the dialogue of a fake conversation between you and Apple’s voice assistant, Siri. The site will produce a convincing screen-capture spoofing the conversation.

Most of these, of course, are for pranks and fun. But another site is very serious about helping you flat-out lie.

A service called the Alibi Network will actually tell just about any lie you want to tell, and it will do it by email, fax or phone. The service’s professional liars are standing by to call your spouse or boss. When they call, they’ll leave a number for callback, and the caller will get a voicemail message. They’ll even print certificates of achievement, showing that you attended a seminar or passed some test.

If you were asked to justifying these computer-aided products, what would your answer be?

A lot of people who are probably users or intending users will tell you it depends on how people use them but truly any of these could be used for good or ill.

Logitech unveils washable keyboard

The new Logitech washable keyboard K310 can be referred to as ‘A life saver’ for most computer users the world over as computers are being relied on most time, with so much care in mind in terms of spillages which may occur thereby danaging the keyboard especially but no matter how careful one can be accidents do happen.

With the arrival of the Logitech Washable Keyboard one can simply wash away the liquid perils that threaten to damage the equipment.

This durable full-size PC keyboard can endure more than just a light dusting. Users can rinse the K310 in the sink or even submerge it (excluding the USB cable) in up to 28cm of water. Drainage holes on the back help it to dry out, while the keys are laser printed and UV coated so that they won’t fade in the wash. This extra protection also means that they are built to last for up to 5m keystrokes.

The familiar keyboard layout comes complete with F-keys and a number pad, plus 12 hot keys for instant access to most-used applications. No software set-up is required, users simply plug in and type.

The K310 is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 and is expected to be available in Europe from October 2012.

Panic sets in when a cup of coffee or a soda spills all over our keyboard, which is why Logitech designed the Logitech Washable Keyboard K310 to look and function like new, even over time.” said Sophie Le Guen, senior director of mice and keyboards at Logitech.