March 4, 2021

Space Technology

There were more searches for terms like “misinformation” and “disinformation” in 2020 than in years past. | John Nacion/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Neither the media nor fact-checkers controlled the online conversation surrounding “misinformation” this year.

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It was hard to avoid misinformation online in 2020. A pandemic and a polarized presidential election had the internet swirling with everything from false cures for Covid-19 to misleading claims of election fraud. But another reason you kept encountering misinformation is that people have been talking about it a lot more than they were last year.

It’s become common for people across the political spectrum — and even noted spreaders of misinformation — to invoke the term “misinformation” to try to discredit facts and narratives they don’t like. The term has become a shorthand for dismissing political opponents in the polarized war over truth that’s being fought online.

According to the misinformation-tracking firm Zignal … Read the rest


Facebook and Apple are arguing over your privacy (Credit: Getty)

Apple’s blue tick verification has been removed by Facebook as privacy arguments between the tech giants have escalated.

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook criticised Apple for its upcoming privacy changes.

Now it seems Facebook has made the battle more personal, as media consultant Matt Navarra noticed the iPhone giant had had its tick removed on Tuesday morning.

Facebook give almost all big brands and organisations a blue tick on its official social media pages to authenticate their identity.

All of Apple’s big rivals, like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Samsung have their blue ticks – but at some point recently, Apple lost out. has contacted Facebook for comment.

It seems Apple still has its blue tick on Facebook-owned Instagram, though the two companies have separate management teams.

The barney started when Apple added privacy ‘nutrition labels’ to apps in the … Read the rest


Santa needs your help delivering presents to your villagers.

During the month of December, our Animal Crossing islands look more festive. Trees are strung with colorful lights, villagers decorate their homes with festive decorations, snow blankets the ground, and players are visited by a special someone on Christmas Day. Looking forward to the fun holiday festivities? Here’s everything you need to know about Toy Day, Jingle the Black-Nosed Reindeer, Festive DIY recipes, gift giving, and more in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

What to do on Toy Day — December 24th

The majority

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  • Google announced it’ll fix one of the worst things about running the Chrome browser on Windows 10, the resource drain.
  • Chrome can consume plenty of memory on Windows PCs, impacting the overall performance and leading to crashes.
  • Google confirmed it found a way to allow users to completely shut down Chrome processes and free up memory when the browser slows everything down.

Google Chrome is the world’s most popular browser, and that’s hardly a surprise. It’s fast, features many useful tricks, and supports plenty of useful extensions that can improve the internet surface experience. Chrome is also terribly annoying, to the point where I’ve been looking to ditch it for years. It’s a resource hog and can significantly impact battery life on laptops. As I’m typing these words, my MacBook’s fans have gone into action, a sign that Chrome is consuming way too many resources. These are problems that Google … Read the rest


In 2018, Sam Cole, a reporter at Motherboard, discovered a new and disturbing corner of the internet. A Reddit user by the name of “deepfakes” was posting nonconsensual fake porn videos using an AI algorithm to swap celebrities’ faces into real porn. Cole sounded the alarm on the phenomenon, right as the technology was about to explode. A year later, deepfake porn had spread far beyond Reddit, with easily accessible apps that could “strip” clothes off any woman photographed.

Since then deepfakes have had a bad rap, and rightly so. The vast majority of them are still used for fake pornography. A female investigative journalist was severely harassed and temporarily silenced by such activity, and more recently, a female poet and novelist was frightened and shamed. There’s also the risk that political deepfakes will generate convincing fake news that could wreak havoc in unstable political environments.

But as the … Read the rest


Apple, led by CEO Tim Cook, might finally be ready to produce its own line of cars. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Apple car, if there is one, could be on the road by 2024.

The long-rumored, long-dead Apple car may have been resurrected. Reuters reports that Apple is planning to start production of its own line of electric cars with pioneering battery technology in 2024. Apple has not confirmed the report, but investors took the news seriously enough to send Tesla’s already volatile stock into a dip.

Apple has been trying to get a car project rolling for years with little public success so far — which makes the prospect of it actually producing its own car by 2024 no sure thing. That said, building a new car line is a daunting process that will always take time, especially if the company behind it is hoping to incorporate … Read the rest


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If you had to pick which creature is the schoolyard bully under the waves you probably wouldn’t have gone with the octopus.

But it turns out the cephalopods will lash out and punch fish for seemingly no reason other than spitefulness.

This has been captured on film and analysed by scientists in a new paper for the scientific journal Ecology.

They say that this thuggish behaviour – which they call the ‘active displacement’ happens while octopuses team up with fish to hunt together. When things are getting a bit hectic, the octopuses will lash out at the fish to keep them away from the grub. It’s a bit like shoving someone else out of line at the queue … Read the rest


It means a 50% reduction in commission for 98% of App Store developers.

What you need to know

  • Apple is now confirming to developers their enrollment in the App Store Small Business program.
  • Developers who earn less than $1 million per calendar year can apply for commission rates of just 15% as opposed to the usual 30%.

Apple has reportedly started sending confirmation emails to developers who have joined its App Store Small Business Program.

From 9to5Mac:

Eligible developers are now beginning to receive their App Store Small Business Program confirmation emails from Apple after submitting their applications earlier in the month.

Apple announced the move on November 18 stating:

Apple today announced an industry-leading new developer program to accelerate innovation and help small businesses and independent developers propel their businesses forward with the next generation of groundbreaking apps on the App Store. The new App Store Small

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  • A few days ago, a report said that Apple is still developing its own self-driving electric car, detailing a breakthrough battery innovation the company is reportedly working on.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk addressed the Reuters story about Apple’s car plans, indicating that some of the rumored Apple battery innovations might already be used in Tesla cars.
  • Musk also claimed that he pitched Tesla to Apple for around $60 billion in the “darkest days” of the Model 3.

A report from Reuters said a few days ago that Apple is still interested in making its own self-driving car, with a tentative production set for 2024 at the earliest, essentially reviving the Apple Car rumor. The iPhone maker was rumored several years ago that it created a special division within the company to develop a vehicle of its own — Project Titan. As years passed, those rumors died down. The … Read the rest


There are two stories you hear about making a living as an artist in the digital age, and they are diametrically opposed. One comes from Silicon Valley and its boosters in the media. There’s never been a better time to be an artist, it goes. If you’ve got a laptop, you’ve got a recording studio. If you’ve got an iPhone, you’ve got a movie camera. GarageBand, Final Cut Pro: all the tools are at your fingertips. And if production is cheap, distribution is free. It’s called the internet: YouTube, Spotify, Instagram, Kindle Direct Publishing. Everyone’s an artist; just tap your creativity and put your stuff out there. Soon, you too can make a living doing what you love, just like all those viral stars you read about.

The other story comes from artists themselves, especially musicians but also writers, filmmakers, people who do comedy. Sure, it goes, you can put … Read the rest