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11th April 2017

Google Takes Fact-Checking Worldwide

Hillary Clinton has personally ordered several assassinations; Donald Trump once referred to Republican voters as “the dumbest…in the country”; and literally everyone is a Russian agent.

FAKE NEWS is everywhere.

The sheer quantity of misinformation on the internet is as evident as the need to do something about it. Luckily Google, along with its sister think-tank Jigsaw, is attempting just that.

Google first started tagging certain bits of content as fact-checked in October last year. Certain news articles earned the “Full Fact” label, helping users quickly judge the trustworthiness of the source at a glance.

At the time, the label only applied to certain [...]

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20th March 2017

Google Sets Inaccurate & Offensive Content in its Crosshairs

Google’s latest quality raters’ guidelines have been released, and have been updated to give raters new ways of flagging sites with content that could be considered upsetting, offensive or inaccurate.

That there is upsetting, offensive or harmful content on the internet should be abundantly clear to anyone who’s ever innocently searched for the best way to celebrate a particularly bountiful lemon harvest; for how, as just one man, you should tackle opening one tricky jar; or for the best way to make waffles appropriate for a 65th wedding anniversary.

Not that it should be surprising to anyone, really.

The same goes for inaccurate content. FAKE NEWS. Sad! [...]

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28th February 2017

Nokia Re-Releases the 3310… Sort Of

It’s out with the new and in with the old as once-great Finnish mobile manufacturer Nokia takes us back to the halcyon days of slow texting, long battery life and phones that can stop a bullet. That’s right, the 3310 is back.

Except that’s not quite true.

It’s not really the 3310. It’s just a similar looking plastic phone.

And it’s not really a statement of intent for the wistful (or even the ironic) luddite, it being announced alongside two new very-much-smartphones.

No, what this is is the most ludicrous marketing gimmick since sliced bread. And look how that turned out.

Nokia is not a name that’s been on many lips for a while now, and its return [...]

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20th February 2017

YouTube Waves Goodbye to Non-Skippable 30-Sec Ads

And why this is good news for advertisers

From 2018 onwards, advertisers will no longer be able to prevent users from skipping 30-second ads they place at the beginning of videos on YouTube.

Shorter videos (up to 20 seconds) will still be able to be made non-skippable.

The decision was made in the name of making advertising work better for more people; ensuring that advertisers can get their point across while users do not feel disadvantaged or inconvenienced.

A Google spokesperson said: “We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second un-skippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead [...]

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