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Here’s What We Were Searching for on Google This Year

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Google just released its annual Year in Search, in which it ranked the top 10 trending searches in 2014 that got the biggest boost in search traffic this year compared to last year. (The actual “most popular” list would be pretty boring, Google says, because it wouldn’t change much: We search for generic stuff like “weather” and “Google” year after year, although I’m convinced that this list is more interesting than the search engine is letting on).

This year’s top 10 trending searches is both predictable, and fascinating, offering up a snapshot of our national psyche; it’s a shorthand for the people, places and things that captivated our attention and left us wanting to learn more.

The list is a mixed bag, ranging from serious crises, to big events, to Internet and entertainment trends. No. 1, however, is poignantly predictable: Robin Williams. The actor and comedian took his own life in August, and his passing unleashed an outpouring of searches.

From there, we have a major global event (the World Cup, at No. 2), troubling international news topics (Ebola, at No. 3, Malaysia Airlines, No. 4, ISIS, No. 7, and Ukraine, rounding out the list at No. 10) as well as domestic protests (Ferguson, 8), and a viral charity campaign that took the Internet by storm, raising millions for Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, 6).

But two items on the list strike a considerably less serious tone: Disney’s out-of-the-ballpark animated hit Frozen, which tells the tale of two sisters, nabbed the No. 9 spot (not a surprise, if you have kids or know kids or know of anyone who has kids).

Meanwhile, ringing in at No. 5 on the trending search topics this year we have…Flappy Bird.

Flappy Bird? Seriously? Yes, the ridiculously difficult mobile game was a cultural sensation, coming out of seemingly nowhere and quickly flapping its way to the top of the app charts, but did the game really leave such an impact on our collective curiosity? Apparently, yes, yes it absolutely did.

Check out the full list below:

1. Robin Williams

2. World Cup

3. Ebola

4. Malaysia Airlines

5. Flappy Bird

6. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

7. ISIS

8. Ferguson

9. Frozen

10. Ukraine

source:http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240990

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Internet

INSTAGRAM IS USING AI TO DETECT BULLYING IN PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS

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Last year, Instagram introduced an enhanced comment filter that uses machine learning to spot offensive words and phrases in challenging contexts. Now, the company is expanding similar coverage to photos and captions. Today, it announced that it will use AI to “proactively detect bullying” before sending content to human moderators for review.

The new feature will roll out to users in the coming weeks, launching in time for October’s National Bullying Prevention Month in the US and just before Anti-Bullying Week in the UK. The same technology is also being added to live videos to filter comments there as well.

This is the first product announcement under new Instagram chief Adam Mosseri who took over following the hasty departure of co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger last month. The split was reportedly due to simmering tensions between the pair and parent company Facebook, which has frequently meddled with Instagram’s product.

With public trust in Facebook continuing to fall, Instagram remains the bright spot in the company’s product lineup. It’s popular, profitable, and it has yet to be tainted by the scandals that have undermined Facebook. In this context, using AI to help weed out offensive content and keep Instagram a home for good vibes is extremely important.

A story published in Wired last year explained some of the details of Instagram’s machine learning comment filters, but it’s well-established that this sort of technology is no silver bulletfor content moderation. AI is cheap to deploy at scale, yes, but it still has trouble dealing with human context and nuance. That’s why it’s good that these new bullying filters also send content to human moderators to perform the final check. Automation without oversight is a recipe for disaster.

Interestingly, Instagram says it’s not just analyzing photos captions to identify bullying, but also the photo itself. Speaking to The Verge, a spokesperson gave the example of the AI looking for split-screen images as an example of potential bullying, as one person might be negatively compared to another. What other factors the AI will look for though isn’t clear. That might be a good idea considering that when Facebook announced it would scan memes using AI, people immediately started thinking of ways to get around such filters.

Along with the new filters, Instagram is also launching a “kindness camera effect,” which sounds like it’s a way to spread a positive message as a method to boost user engagement. While using the rear camera, the effects fill the screen with an overlay of “kind comments in many languages.” Switch to your front-facing camera, and you get a shimmer of hearts and a polite encouragement to “tag a friend you want to support.”

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FACEBOOK IS TESTING ITS VERY OWN DATING APP

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Yes, Facebook Dating is a real thing. And we may have just received a sneak peek.

Jane Manchun Wong — an app researcher who’s spotted Facebook features in the past, like Talent Show — posted photos from what she claims is an internal test of Facebook Dating.

 

The company wouldn’t say whether these pics are the real deal, although it did confirm it’s testing Facebook Dating internally.

Two months ago, at its F8 developer conference, Facebook shared that it was developing a dating app. Aspiring yenta Mark Zuckerberg explained it was “going to be for building real, long-term relationships, not hookups.”

Later, on its blog, Facebook dished out a few more details: “People will be able to create a dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile — and potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends. They’ll have the option to discover others with similar interests through their Groups or Events.”

From Wong’s photos, it looks like the app will let you prevent your current Facebook friends from seeing your dating profile, thus avoiding potential embarrassment. It’ll also offer a variety of gender options, including trans man, trans woman, and non-binary.

No word on when, exactly, Facebook Dating will become available to the public. Guess you’ll just have to make do with Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, Happn, Grindr, Hinge, and the thousands of other dating apps out there in the meantime.

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Internet

WHATSAPP MESSAGES AND SENDERS CAN BE ALTERED AFTER YOU RECEIVED THEM, SAY RESEARCHERS

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Security researchers have discovered that it’s possible for hackers to change both the content and the sender of a WhatsApp message after you’ve received it …

This includes the ability to change quoted messages, to make it appear you said something you didn’t.

CNET reports that the possibility was discovered by Check Point Software Technologies.

The firm] found that hackers can create a hacked version of the app and alter a quoted message (a past one that someone is replying directly one) to change the content or sender.

The hacker would, however, need to be part of the chat, so the vulnerability mostly applies to group chats.

WhatsApp told the NYT that it was not aware of the technique being used in the wild, and a cure would be worse than the problem.

One solution would be to create transcripts of every message exchange to verify the accuracy of every quote. Creating such a transcript is a significant privacy risk because those accounts of what people wrote to each other must be stored somewhere, the company said.

All WhatsApp messages are protected by end-to-end encryption, which means that only those within a chat would be able to exploit the loophole. Storing a transcript would effectively mean removing that end-to-end encryption.

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