Some of the Biggest Economies Aren’t a Big User Of Social Media

From a report: Only 37 percent of Germans use social media, according to a new Pew survey, a surprising figure given the fact that Germany is the world’s fourth-largest economy by GDP, according to the World Economic Forum. Similar patterns follow for …

From a report: Only 37 percent of Germans use social media, according to a new Pew survey, a surprising figure given the fact that Germany is the world’s fourth-largest economy by GDP, according to the World Economic Forum. Similar patterns follow for Japan, France and Italy, ranked 3rd, 6th and 8th in largest economy by GDP.

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Is Social Media Making Us Hate Each Other?

Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. Now an anonymous Slashdot reader reports on Carr’s newest warning:
It seems obvious: The more we learn about other people, the more …

Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. Now an anonymous Slashdot reader reports on Carr’s newest warning:
It seems obvious: The more we learn about other people, the more we’ll come to like them. The assumption underpins our deep-seated belief that communication networks, from the telephone system to Facebook, will help create social harmony. But what if the opposite is true? In a Boston Globe article, Nicholas Carr presents evidence showing that as we get more information about other people, we tend to like them less, not more. Through a phenomenon called “dissimilarity cascades,” we place greater stress on personal and cultural differences than on similarities, and the bias strengthens as information accumulates. “Proximity makes differences stand out,” he writes. The phenomenon intensifies online, where people are rewarded for sharing endless information about themselves. What the research indicates, warns Carr, is that the spread of social media is more likely to create social strife than social harmony.
The article concludes by opposing the idea that “If we get the engineering right, our better angels will triumph. It’s a pleasant thought, but it’s a fantasy… Technology is an amplifier. It magnifies our best traits, and it magnifies our worst. What it doesn’t do is make us better people. That’s a job we can’t offload on machines.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Is Social Media Making Us Hate Each Other?

Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. Now an anonymous Slashdot reader reports on Carr’s newest warning:
It seems obvious: The more we learn about other people, the more …

Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. Now an anonymous Slashdot reader reports on Carr’s newest warning:
It seems obvious: The more we learn about other people, the more we’ll come to like them. The assumption underpins our deep-seated belief that communication networks, from the telephone system to Facebook, will help create social harmony. But what if the opposite is true? In a Boston Globe article, Nicholas Carr presents evidence showing that as we get more information about other people, we tend to like them less, not more. Through a phenomenon called “dissimilarity cascades,” we place greater stress on personal and cultural differences than on similarities, and the bias strengthens as information accumulates. “Proximity makes differences stand out,” he writes. The phenomenon intensifies online, where people are rewarded for sharing endless information about themselves. What the research indicates, warns Carr, is that the spread of social media is more likely to create social strife than social harmony.
The article concludes by opposing the idea that “If we get the engineering right, our better angels will triumph. It’s a pleasant thought, but it’s a fantasy… Technology is an amplifier. It magnifies our best traits, and it magnifies our worst. What it doesn’t do is make us better people. That’s a job we can’t offload on machines.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Startup Still Working On ‘Immortal Avatars’ That Will Live Forever

Startup Eternime, founded by MIT fellow Marius Ursache, is still working on “immortal avatars” that, after your death, will continue interacting with your loves ones from beyond the grave. An anonymous reader quotes CNET:
Give Eternime access to your s…

Startup Eternime, founded by MIT fellow Marius Ursache, is still working on “immortal avatars” that, after your death, will continue interacting with your loves ones from beyond the grave. An anonymous reader quotes CNET:
Give Eternime access to your social media profiles and the startup’s algorithms will scrape your posts and interactions to build a profile… The algorithms will study your memories and mannerisms. They’ll learn how to be “you”… Eternime was announced in 2014 after Ursache developed the idea during the MIT Entrepreneurship Development Program. He wasn’t entirely sure if he should develop the project further and wanted to get a sense of public reaction.

In the first four days, 3,000 people signed up at Eterni.me, the company’s website, for a private beta. Then, Urasche received an email from a man dying of terminal cancer. “Eternime, he wrote, was the last chance to leave something behind for friends and family,” Urasche told me. “That was the moment I decided that this was something worth dedicating my life to”… Since 2014, the Eternime website has largely been silent, although it continues to take names of people who want to test the service. Ursache says the Eternime team has been refining the product over the last two years, testing features, figuring out what will work and what won’t.
“The private beta test is ongoing,” according to the article, “and Ursache says the feedback has been positive.” But unfortunately, the service still isn’t operational yet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Startup Still Working On ‘Immortal Avatars’ That Will Live Forever

Startup Eternime, founded by MIT fellow Marius Ursache, is still working on “immortal avatars” that, after your death, will continue interacting with your loves ones from beyond the grave. An anonymous reader quotes CNET:
Give Eternime access to your s…

Startup Eternime, founded by MIT fellow Marius Ursache, is still working on “immortal avatars” that, after your death, will continue interacting with your loves ones from beyond the grave. An anonymous reader quotes CNET:
Give Eternime access to your social media profiles and the startup’s algorithms will scrape your posts and interactions to build a profile… The algorithms will study your memories and mannerisms. They’ll learn how to be “you”… Eternime was announced in 2014 after Ursache developed the idea during the MIT Entrepreneurship Development Program. He wasn’t entirely sure if he should develop the project further and wanted to get a sense of public reaction.

In the first four days, 3,000 people signed up at Eterni.me, the company’s website, for a private beta. Then, Urasche received an email from a man dying of terminal cancer. “Eternime, he wrote, was the last chance to leave something behind for friends and family,” Urasche told me. “That was the moment I decided that this was something worth dedicating my life to”… Since 2014, the Eternime website has largely been silent, although it continues to take names of people who want to test the service. Ursache says the Eternime team has been refining the product over the last two years, testing features, figuring out what will work and what won’t.
“The private beta test is ongoing,” according to the article, “and Ursache says the feedback has been positive.” But unfortunately, the service still isn’t operational yet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook Owns Four Out of the Five Most Downloaded Apps Worldwide

An anonymous reader shares a report: Facebook continues to storm the numbers as the company has claimed four out of the five spots for the most downloaded apps across the globe during the last quarter. Interestingly, Netflix still lords over everyone a…

An anonymous reader shares a report: Facebook continues to storm the numbers as the company has claimed four out of the five spots for the most downloaded apps across the globe during the last quarter. Interestingly, Netflix still lords over everyone as far as revenue goes. New research by app analytics firm Sensor Tower reveals that WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Snapchat were the most downloaded apps for the first three months of this year. While the numbers differed across the App Store and Google Play, one thing both platforms shared is that Facebook owned four out of the top five spots for the most downloaded apps worldwide. While Messenger topped the App Store download charts, Facebook headed the race on Google Play.

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The Trump Administration No Longer Wants Twitter To Reveal the Owner of an Anti-Trump Account

From a report on Recode: The Trump administration informed Twitter on Friday that it would withdraw its demand that the social media company unmask an account critical of the president — a move that prompted Twitter to drop its lawsuit. On Thursday, T…

From a report on Recode: The Trump administration informed Twitter on Friday that it would withdraw its demand that the social media company unmask an account critical of the president — a move that prompted Twitter to drop its lawsuit. On Thursday, Twitter revealed that U.S. customs agents filed a legal order in a bid to get the company to reveal who is behind @ALT_USCIS — a so-called “alt-agency” account that has been taking aim at Trump, his immigration policy and the inner workings of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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The Trump Administration No Longer Wants Twitter To Reveal the Owner of an Anti-Trump Account

From a report on Recode: The Trump administration informed Twitter on Friday that it would withdraw its demand that the social media company unmask an account critical of the president — a move that prompted Twitter to drop its lawsuit. On Thursday, T…

From a report on Recode: The Trump administration informed Twitter on Friday that it would withdraw its demand that the social media company unmask an account critical of the president — a move that prompted Twitter to drop its lawsuit. On Thursday, Twitter revealed that U.S. customs agents filed a legal order in a bid to get the company to reveal who is behind @ALT_USCIS — a so-called “alt-agency” account that has been taking aim at Trump, his immigration policy and the inner workings of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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Twitter Is Ditching the Egg

Long time reader and journalist harrymcc writes: In 2010, Twitter started representing new users with an icon of an egg. It was playful at the time, but the image has come to represent the worst of Twitter: trolls and bots. So the company is killing th…

Long time reader and journalist harrymcc writes: In 2010, Twitter started representing new users with an icon of an egg. It was playful at the time, but the image has come to represent the worst of Twitter: trolls and bots. So the company is killing the egg. For Fast Company, I talked to Twitter’s designers about their rationale for doing away with the well-known symbol, and the challenge of replacing it. From the article: The idea was that “eventually you’d crack out of an egg and become an amazing Twitter user,” says senior manager of product design Bryan Haggerty, who worked on the project and recalls toying with the idea of even showing the hatching in progress. Nowadays, “the playfulness of Twitter is in the content our users are creating, versus how much the brand steps forward in the UI,” says product designer Jen Cotton. Starting today, however, the egg is history. Twitter is dumping the tarnished icon for a new default profile picture — a blobby silhouette of a person’s head and shoulders, intentionally designed to represent a human without being concrete about gender, race, or any other characteristic. Everyone who’s been an egg until now, whatever their rationale, will automatically switch over.

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Facebook Announces Crowdfunding Service To Back Causes Such As Medical Needs

Facebook said today it is introducing a crowdfunding feature to help users back causes such as education, medical needs, pet medical, crisis relief, personal emergencies and funerals. The new tool, which appears to offer similar features as GoFundMe, a…

Facebook said today it is introducing a crowdfunding feature to help users back causes such as education, medical needs, pet medical, crisis relief, personal emergencies and funerals. The new tool, which appears to offer similar features as GoFundMe, allows users 18 or older to “raise money for themselves, a friend or someone or something not on Facebook.” From a report: Personal Fundraisers are available in several specific categories, and require a 24-hour review process. Here are the covered categories for now: Education: such as tuition, books or classroom supplies. Medical: such as medical procedures, treatments or injuries. Pet Medical: such as veterinary procedures, treatments or injuries. Crisis Relief: such as public crises or natural disasters. Personal Emergency: such as a house fire, theft or car accident. Funeral and Loss: such as burial expenses or living costs after losing a loved one.

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