Twitter prioritizes breaking news in an app redesign

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Online news and social networking service, Twitter, announced  that it is changing up its service in favour of major events to make it easier for people to access the latest breaking news. This shift in focus sets the service apart from other social media networks such as Facebook who have opted to focus less on live events and news and more on the personal lives and interests of its user base. In terms of what they’re changing, the  app will now feature a “happening now” module to highlight all kinds…

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Blockchain technology may play a major role in equalizing American cities

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The city of Austin is currently piloting a program in which its 2,000 homeless residents will be given a unique identifier that’s safely and securely recorded on the blockchain. This identifier will help individuals consolidate their records and seek out crucial services. Service providers will also be able to access the information. If successful, we’ll have a new, more efficient way to communicate and ensure that the right people are at the table to help the homeless. In Austin and around the country, it seems that blockchain technology is opening a range…

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Facebook’s new AI research is a real eye-opener

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There are plenty of ways to manipulate photos to make you look better, remove red eye or lens flare, and so on. But so far the blink has proven a tenacious opponent of good snapshots. That may change with research from Facebook that replaces closed eyes with open ones in a remarkably convincing manner. It’s far from the only example of intelligent “in-painting,” as the technique is called when a program fills in a space with what it thinks belongs there. Adobe in particular has made good use of it with its…

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Sky.Garden: Revolutionizing Kenya’s E-Commerce Sector

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Upon noticing that the economic sector in Kenya only caters for the top tier in the economic pyramid which leaves little room for individuals and businesses that exist within the lower segments of the economy to reap the benefits of online transactions, Sky.Garden decided to come up with a sophisticated eCommerce platform that they can use to expand their geographical reach. ITBusinessDirect spoke to Isaac Hunja the Chief Marketing Officer about their work. How can you define the technology sector in Kenya? I would describe the technology sector in Kenya…

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Children exposed to horror film ads on YouTube

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Children were left distressed after seeing ads for a horror film on YouTube, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has revealed. Three parents contacted the ASA after their children saw ads for Insidious: The Last Key – rated 15 in the UK. One ad for the film was shown before videos of songs from Frozen, instructions for building a Lego fire station and a clip from the cartoon PJ Masks. The ASA has upheld the complaints. In a second ad, the ASA said a young woman was seen “lying on a…

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Facebook may now ban bad businesses from advertising

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Facebook will now let you file a complaint about businesses you’ve had a problem with if you bought something after clicking on one of their ads. If enough people complain about a business, it could lead to Facebook banning the company from running ads. The new policy is rolling out globally starting today, and it’s meant to help Facebook fight back against another type of advertising abuse on its platform. Facebook says it’s trying to combat “bad shopping experiences,” which can cost customers and make them frustrated with Facebook, too.…

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Google brings offline translations for 59 languages to its Translate app

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Currently, when the Google Translate apps for iOS and Android has access to the internet, its translations are far superior to those it produces when it’s offline. That’s because the offline translations are phrase-based, meaning they use an older machine translation technique than the machine learning-powered systems in the cloud that the app has access to when it’s online. But that’s changing today. Google is now rolling out offline Neural Machine Translation (NMT) support for 59 languages in the Translate apps. Today, only a small number of users will see…

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You can Now Delete Unopened Sent Messages on Snapchat

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Snapchat will now let users delete sent messages before they’re opened, as reported by 9to5Mac. The company rolled the feature out to some people yesterday, and everyone should have it within the next few weeks. To delete a sent message, simply press and hold on the media (text, audio, photo, etc.) you’d like to get rid of and a pop-up will appear asking if you’d like to delete. Just tap, and the content in question will disappear. The person you sent the message to will still get a notification that…

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Net Neutrality is Finally Dead and there is Little to Expect

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After months of delays, the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality finally took effect yesterday. But if you’re expecting broadband providers to suddenly feast on their customers and institute every now-legal impediment they can on free expression, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. What comes next isn’t internet hell but legal purgatory. First, the technical aspect of things: Restoring Internet Freedom, the FCC rule that officially does away with 2015’s Open Internet Order, was proposed last April, finalized in November, passed in December, entered into the Federal Register in February, approved by…

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Instagram might soon let you post videos up to an hour long

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Instagram is considering doing away with video length constraints, according to The Wall Street Journal, which published a report about “a new feature” that would let users post long-form clips of up to an hour. That would open new creative flexibility for users and bring Instagram closer in line with YouTube and its own parent company, Facebook. The plan is described as tentative, so Instagram could ultimately decide against radically extending the maximum running time of videos on its platform. The new feature “will focus on vertical video” according to…

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