At BGR Chris Smith writes about Google's prodigious data collection:
"But that doesn’t change the fact that Google collects an incredible amount of data about you, especially from that device you use most, your Android phone"
And so I was amused as a Google Fi subscriber on a Pixel XL running Google Chrome and signed into my Google Account that the ad in the middle of the article was for Project Fi. If Google can't help paying BGR under these set of circumstances then we're some way off from the adtech singularity.
What if everyone recognizes a news source and say half of them trust it but it isn't true?
A five mile guided hike from Samuel P. Taylor State Park to the Leo T Cronin Fish Viewing Area along Lagunitas Creek and back again to spot spawning Coho Salmon. The hike was a program offered by Turtle Island and the specific route will vary based on where the salmon are currently active. Having done this once I think I could spot them again without assistance but it's well worth donating to get the full naturalist led experience.
I'm hoping that a chat banner notification is for really great chats only and not some subtle distinction between chat notification types that I can't figure out even after some moderate to heavy googling. If anyone knows seriously please tell me.
Four Painted Lady butterflies eclose (emerge) from their chrysalises. The video has a timelapse and then realtime video of each butterfly in turn.
The Trust Project is a well meaning but doomed attempt to deal with fake news.
Facebook, Google, Bing and Twitter are all on board because it's important to be seen to be doing something about the problem. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch writes:
"Here’s how this will work in practice: starting today on Facebook, an icon will appear next to articles in the News Feed. When you click on this icon, you can read information the publisher has shared related to their organization’s “ethics and other standards, the journalists’ backgrounds, and how they do their work,” according to an announcement from The Trust Project."
Please take a minute to scroll through the Trust Protocol Phase I MVP. Yes, this is a minimal viable product where your most recent Diversity Staffing Report is required. I don't think they understand what an MVP is. Which would be fine if they understood how to fix the problem. They don't.
Back in January I wrote this about fake news on Facebook:
"The horrible danger is that if you don't fact check every stupid quote on image meme the power of repetition lodges them somewhere in your subconscious where they become that thing that you read somewhere. Which is OK if you only read quality news but deadly if you want to catch up on old friends quickly."
And back in 2010 on cable news and the Fairness Doctrine:
"24-hour news stations are especially bad because most days there just isn’t that much news. This leaves a choice between repeating the news that exists which is boring, or making stuff up which is a lot more fun. Unfortunately It’s also corrosive."
Yes, it would be nice to have a set of standards around more easily vetting the provenance of "news" that you find on the internet. But the problem is with people taking bullshit at face value (myself sometimes included). When you scroll by something that meets the loose standards of your confirmation bias the damage is done. You're not clicking any Trust Project icon and you're sure as fuck not upgrading Acrobat just to read the Breitbart Diversity Staffing Report.
The Trust Project isn't the answer. Facebook just pulled their disputed flag. The Fairness Doctrine isn't coming back. Is there a technology based fix that might work?
"That’s not going to happen, argues Data & Society founder and Microsoft researcher danah boyd. Google, Facebook, Twitter—none of these companies is sitting on a silver-bullet solution. As boyd wrote for us earlier this year, we have more than a technology problem: “[W]e have a cultural problem, one that is shaped by disconnects in values, relationships, and social fabric."
From The Fake News Culprit No One Wants to Identify: You on Backchannel recently. I see. It's up to me. I have to fix it.
I uninstalled Facebook and Twitter from my phone just over a week ago. I'm not abandoning social media entirely (although I toy with this regularly). Just pulling back a bit.
For the first few days I'd regularly find my finger headed to launch Facebook. Every time I had a minute to kill. Facebook has no end (usually) so it works even when my RSS feed is empty. I stocked Feedly up with more wholesome content (Trust Project approved no doubt). By the end of the first week I was sometimes even leaving my phone in my pocket.
Now I catch up on Facebook on my laptop every day or two. It's a much better experience - when you check 200 times a day the feed algorithm gets increasingly desperate to please you. It panics and serves up lame memes from someone who you think must have been a coworker at some point but don't really remember. I get through a few updates from friends that I'm actually interested in and bail before hitting the questionable stuff.
It's up to you too.