All posts in “Tech”

Sharp’s new smartphone has double the notch for…double the fun?

As phonemakers try their best to make the notch look less obvious, Sharp is doubling it up.

The Japanese electronics maker has unveiled its AQUOS R2 Compact, featuring the company’s first “double notch” design.

While the top notch houses the front-facing camera, the bottom notch features a fingerprint reader which sits below the 5.2-inch 2280 x 1080 IGZO LCD.

Measuring 64 mm wide, it’s noticeably narrower than the newer iPhones and other higher end Android smartphones. Sharp boasts that its design means the phone can be used easily with one hand, a dream that’s long subsided for us.

[embedded content]

Aside from that, the AQUOS R2 Compact runs on Android 9 Pie, boasting a Snapdragon 845 processor, 64GB of internal storage, 4GB of RAM, a 22.6-megapixel rear camera, and a 2,500mAh battery.

It’s unlikely you’ll see the phone outside of Japan when it releases on SoftBank in January next year, sad news if you’re one of those people who can’t get enough of the notch.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f87010%2f49cfef38 6c9f 4fa7 9afe 8b925d9bce5b

Facebook is creating an ‘independent body’ to review controversial content

Mark Zuckerberg published an update on Facebook's progress on content moderation.
Mark Zuckerberg published an update on Facebook’s progress on content moderation.

Image: Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images

Facebook spent much of Thursday attempting to quell the fire caused by the New York Times’ report about executive inaction and politicking on Facebook’s many crises over the past three years. 

It also chose Thursday to publish its latest note from Mark Zuckerberg about some of the “toughest issues” Facebook is addressing. Thursday’s note, the second in this series, addressed “Content Governance and Enforcement.”

“Just as a free society will always have crime and our expectation of government is not to eliminate all crime but to effectively manage and reduce it, our community will also always face its share of abuse,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Our job is to keep the misuse low, consistently improve over time, and stay ahead of new threats.”

Zuckerberg’s first note, published in September, covered how Facebook was combatting election interference. The second note now includes Zuckerberg’s outline for challenges in content management; how Facebook will continuously define the content that is and is not allowed on Facebook, how it will police that content with both human reviewers and artificial intelligence, how it will mitigate the dissemination of what Zuckerberg calls inflammatory “borderline content,” Facebook’s approach to government regulation, and systems for “independent oversight and transparency.”

To that end, one of the most significant announcements was the creation of an “independent body” to review content decisions. Zuckerberg wrote:

In the next year, we’re planning to create a new way for people to appeal content decisions to an independent body, whose decisions would be transparent and binding. The purpose of this body would be to uphold the principle of giving people a voice while also recognizing the reality of keeping people safe.

The body will take some important content monitoring decisions out of the hands of Facebook. Zuckerberg wrote that Facebook is mulling over how to select members of the body, what their scope and processes will be, and more. 

Zuckerberg told reporters on a call Thursday that “The basic approach is if you’re not happy after your appeal, then you can appeal to this board or higher body.”

The independent body is very much in the preliminary stages at this point, though Facebook hopes to have it established by the end of 2019. 

Zuckerberg also shared some statistics, challenges, and other priorities of content reviewing. He wrote that content “nuances” account for a surprisingly high amount of what Facebook considers violating content.

“Today, depending on the type of content, our review teams make the wrong call in more than 1 out of every 10 cases,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It’s important to remember though that given the size of our community, even if we were able to reduce errors to 1 in 100, that would still be a very large number of mistakes.”

The note also addresses how Facebook will approach challenges algorithmic bias, the idea that sensationalist news is some of the content people engage the most with, proactive content removal, regulation, and more. 

Facebook is clearly looking at this prismatic problem from many sides, and attempting to improve in earnest; it will even issue quarterly “transparency reports” now to show its progress on content reviewing.

Facebook likes to say it was “too slow” to address the problems it’s now grappling with, including how Russia set out to manipulate conversation on the social network in the lead-up to the 2016 election. The question is whether the tens of thousands of employee-strong initiatives Facebook is undertaking now is enough to eradicate the rot that it allowed to creep in in the first place.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f86784%2f7aac4b15 04d1 4d7f a838 5f203ea4bbd7

Mark Zuckerberg: It’s ‘simply untrue’ Facebook hindered Russia investigation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has responded to many of the claims in a lengthy investigation from the New York Times, which claimed the social network’s leaders were reluctant to address how Russia manipulated the social network to interfere with the 2016 election.

In a conference call with reporters, Zuckerberg acknowledged that the company was slow to act, but denied that it had hindered investigations by its security team.

“I’ve said many times we were too slow to spot Russian interference,” Zuckerberg said. “To suggest we weren’t interested in knowing the truth or wanted to hide what we knew or wanted to prevent investigations is simply untrue.”

The New York Times report, which was based on months of investigation and dozens of interviews, had said that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and the company’s Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos, had clashed over how to deal with Russian interference. Tensions between the two had been previously reported, but the latest report went much farther, stating that Sandberg had admonished Stamos for investigating the issue without prior approval and for his discussions with Facebook’s board.

The report also detailed Facebook’s work with Definers, a public relations and consulting firm whose staffers directed inflammatory coverage of Apple and other Facebook rivals. 

Zuckerberg repeatedly said that he had only learned of Facebook’s work with Definers from the NYT report and that Sandberg was also previously unaware of the relationship. When asked who was aware, Zuckerberg simply said “someone on our comms team must have hired them.” As COO, Facebook’s corporate communications team is under the purview of Sandberg.

“As soon as I read it, I looked into whether this is the type of firm we want to be working with, and we stopped working with them,” he said. “We certainly never asked them to spread anything that wasn’t true.”

Facebook had previously published a blog post stating that “our relationship with Definers was well known by the media” but that the company had ended its contract with the firm. 

The occasion for the press call was Facebook’s latest transparency report, which details how the company enforces its community standards that govern content on the platform. In addition to new stats on takedowns of fake accounts, spam and other problematic content, the company plans to create an “independent body” to handle appeals of content decisions, Zuckerberg said.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f86885%2fda5e7102 f85f 46cc 8799 4447f6e50806

This dongle turns your iPad into a touchscreen Mac (sort of)

Disclosure

Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.

Luna Display brings macOS to your iPad.
Luna Display brings macOS to your iPad.

Image: LUna display

Ever pick up your iPad and think about how much more you could get done on it if only it ran macOS? Now, a small red dongle turns that into a reality.

Luna Display by Astropad is a tiny dongle that connects your MacBook to an iPad wirelessly, turning the tablet into a second monitor for your laptop. However, with Apple’s long-awaited new Mac Mini now available, Luna Display tested whether its adapter would turn the new iPad Pro into a touchscreen display for the desktop Mac.

In a blog post and video posted below, Luna Display breaks down the result.

[embedded content]

With the Luna Display dongle plugged into the Mac Mini, a user simply opens the Luna Display app on their iPad. The video output is then pushed over WiFi from the Mac Mini to the iPad. So, macOS isn’t actually running on the iPad, it’s just acting as a display.

As you can see in the video, however, the coolest feature about the Luna Display is that all of the iPad’s touchscreen features still work. Luna Display is the closest you’ll get to using a touch version of macOS. Luna Display also works with a bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

Another neat feature about Luna Display is that because it’s simply pushing the macOS display to the iPad through its app, one can open and close the app to toggle back and forth between iOS and macOS on the iPad.

The Luna Display dongle can be purchased from the Astropad website for $80. If you already have an iPad, this dongle could also be a good option in general for your Mac Mini, which doesn’t come with a display. And the touchscreen will make all your friends with MacBooks jealous.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f86938%2f3bd8560b f85d 4dbb 8a15 46ffa427d877

Facebook’s board says Zuckerberg was too slow to spot Russian interference

Mark Zuckerberg is forced to publicly contend with a new critic today: His very own board.

Following the Nov. 14 New York Times bombshell report detailing a host of gross miscalculations and alleged malfeasance at the social media giant both in the run up to and following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Facebook board has come out with a statement. And oh boy, even filtered through innumerable layers of corporate speak the message is clear: Board members aren’t happy with Mark Zuckerberg.

“As Mark and Sheryl [Sandberg] made clear to Congress, the company was too slow to spot Russian interference, and too slow to take action,” read the statement, tweeted by Mike Isaac of the New York Times, in part. “As a board we did indeed push them to move faster.”

Translation: Zuckerberg and Sandberg were moving too slowly, and needed a strong kick in the pants. 

The statement goes on to say that it would be “grossly unfair” to suggest the two execs “tried to ignore [Russian interference] or prevent investigations” into it, but still, to issue anything less than a full-throated statement of support at a moment when Mark Zuckerberg once again finds himself in the hot seat is more than a little telling. 

Could the worm, slowly, be starting to turn?

The Facebook board statement was punctuated by a Nov. 15 conference call with the press, in which Zuckerberg said that he only learned about Facebook’s hiring of Definers — an opposition research firm accused of using anti-Semitism to discredit Facebook critics — by reading the New York Times story about it. 

So, maybe it’s true that Zuckerberg didn’t try to interfere with his company’s investigation into the Russian government’s attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election. But, it’s also possible that that’s only true because he wasn’t really paying attention to any of it in the first place. 

Either way, it looks like Zuckerberg will be keeping a close eye on things going forward — even if only because his board demands it.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f85967%2f5ac3511e 3588 47d0 817e 3d170500d683