Items tagged with (NASDAQ:FB)

Facebook's attempt to create a cryptocurrency appears to be stillborn as major partners are pulling out of the project. PayPal backed out of the project recently, and now reports indicate most of the other major backers have walked away. Facebook has now lost the backing of Mastercard, Visa, eBay, and Stripe. Regulators around the world have put the Libra project under a microscope for months. Facebook announced its Libra project in June and intended to have the cryptocurrency available in 2020. The plan was to integrate Libra into Facebook services and use the currency for e-commerce transactions on its platform and others. Initially, there were several major backers of the project, and those... Read more...
How do you get to Sesame Street? Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg may hold the key. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Primary School is working alongside the Sesame Workshop to offer a new education curriculum.  The Primary School and Sesame Workshop have been working together on this new curriculum over the last two years. They have tested the curriculum at The Primary School’s site in East Palo Alto, California. The program is centered on the “whole child” approach, which concentrates on a student’s academic, cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and mental needs. The new curriculum is particularly focused on integrating “social emotional learning... Read more...
Many companies are working hard to improve their artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. AI could impact everything from medicine to silly Instagram overlays and everything in between. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are all toiling to gain an edge in the AI field by leveraging their massive treasure troves of data, but what are their existing privacy policies and user data security track records? Which of these companies cares the most about protecting your privacy? Should you even trust Amazon, Apple, Facebook, or Google with your data? We examined the kind of data that is collected by the above companies and how it is shared, their virtual assistants, and privacy controls. We also reviewed... Read more...
Facebook is making a major investment into mind control, and while that would normally scare the spit out of us, we are actually optimistic about this latest venture. Or acquisition, we should say—Facebook has agreed to acquire CTRL-labs, a brain-computing startup that developed a wristband users can control with their minds. Following the acquisition, CTRL-labs will join the Facebook Reality Labs team. The goal is to flesh out technology that allows for interacting with devices in "more natural, intuitive ways." How exactly this will manifest remains to be seen, though Facebook seems intrigued by the idea of a neural wristband. "The vision for this work is a wristband that lets people... Read more...
Do you remember the Facebook Phone, aka the HTC First? That device crashed and burned in spectacular fashion. What about the Facebook Portal? That smart display family launched last year in sizes up to 15.6-inches, but it hasn't exactly won over the consumer market like competing entries from Amazon (Echo Show) and Google (Nest Home Hub Max). Facebook is now trying again to prod consumers into buying its first-party hardware, which brings us to the Portal TV and some other new Portal hardware. The Portal TV looks somewhat like a reincarnation of the unloved Microsoft Kinect camera for the original Xbox One. The device plugs into a free HDMI port on your television and allows you to partake... Read more...
In the infinite wisdom of Facebook, the world's largest social network felt it necessary to put a call out to Android and iOS users—practically every person with a mobile phone—to pay attention to new location controls being rolled out to their devices from Google and Apple, respectively, because simply put, "Facebook is better with location" tracking. The rather blunt blog post by Facebook explains some of the ways users might benefit when allowing Facebook to track their location, including the background when not actively using the Facebook application. "It powers features like check-ins and makes planning events easier. It helps improve ads and keep you and the Facebook community... Read more...
Anyone who has a Facebook or Instagram page and thinks that posts they make to a private account are actually private may be disappointed. Photos and videos that are put into private accounts on Instagram and Facebook are still vulnerable to a straightforward workaround that allows any of that content to be shared. The workaround also enables the sharing of Instagram Stories content as well. A user only needs a very basic understanding of HTML to exploit the workaround and the ability to make a few clicks. The user simply needs to inspect the images and videos that are loaded on the page and pull the source URL from the page. That public URL can be shared with people who aren't logged into Instagram... Read more...
Earlier this week, we brought you news that Facebook had yet another epic privacy fail after information pertaining to hundreds of millions of users was found on an external server. The server was fully exposed and publicly accessible, leaving roughly 420,000 million Facebook IDs and their associated phone numbers available for anyone to peruse and use for their own nefarious deeds. This revelation came after a string of privacy and security goofs by Facebook, so a new safeguard that the company is putting in place might put some of its regular users at peace. Facebook announced this week that it will allow its users to opt-out of some facial recognition features available on the site.... Read more...
Facebook must once again deal with the repercussions of a major security blunder. An exposed server recently published more than 419 million phone numbers and Facebook IDs. At least 133 million of those phone numbers were based in the United States. Anyone could have accessed the information before the server was finally taken down. Security researcher Sanyam Jain was the first to find the exposed server. The server was not owned by Facebook, but still contained users’ Facebook IDs and phone numbers. A Facebook ID is a public number that is associated with an account. The number often contains portions of a person’s Facebook name and it is not difficult to determine the owner of the... Read more...
When we think of Minecraft, we think of an addictive game that allows us to escape the rigors of everyday life to embark in a simplistic, virtualized world that is both fun and engaging. However, Facebook sees Minecraft as more than just mere child's play -- in fact, it's using the game as a training ground of sorts for its AI assistant. Team members from Facebook Research are using the 3D sandbox game because of its near limitless ability to create and rules that are "simple and predictable within certain limits" according to MIT Technology Review. This simplicity makes Minecraft a perfect fit for a generalist AI assistant. Facebook researcher Arthur Szlam and his team have crafted an AI... Read more...
Oculus CTO and legendary game developer, John Carmack recently went on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast where he talked about the state of augmented and virtual reality. Carmack talked a bit about Facebook's recent suggestions that the future of Insight and Guardian motion-tracking technologies is all-day wearable augmented reality glasses. He underscored that future isn't immediately on the horizon. Carmack also talked about other companies in the AR and VR space, such as Magic Leap. He said that Magic Leap has been underdelivering on its early hype. He says that technology hasn't advanced to the point yet where AR glasses can be made small enough for users to wear all day, and that Oculus could... Read more...
Much like Apple, Google, and Amazon have admitted to paying contractors to listed to audio from their respective digital assistants, Facebook is now coming clean about its own similar practice. In a new report today, Facebook confirmed that it has been using paid contractors to listen to audio clips obtained from users of its highly popular Messenger chat app. It also claims that it has since ceased its program. Messenger offers an optional feature that has the ability to transcribe spoken audio to text. For those that opted-in to the feature, Facebook's contractors had the ability to listen in on those conversations in order to provide more accurate transcriptions. There are obvious... Read more...
WhatsApp bills itself as a free and secure messaging application with end-to-end encryption and cross platform support, all of which have made it a popular option. However, it may not be as secure as advertised. Vulnerabilities that were disclosed last year have still not been addressed, and if abused, could allow an attacker to spoof messages. Researchers at Checkpoint disclosed the a trio of attack vectors last year, explaining that they could enable a hacker to change a user's messages, change a sender's identity, and make private messages viewable to the public. One of those has been addressed, but two of the attack vectors still remain, as researchers recently demonstrated at the Black Hat... Read more...
It already seems like big tech companies can read our minds—it's a bit eerie to see an ad for something that we were thinking about. You can chalk those instances up to a combination of fancy predicative algorithms and coincidence. Nevertheless, Facebook is actually developing a brain-computer interface (BCI) that can actually transcribe your thoughts into written text. Sounds like the stuff of science fiction, right? Not that long ago, it would have been. But it is an actual project at Facebook Reality Labs, and it has been a point of focus since at least 2017. Facebook is also not alone in this kind of research—a start-up called CRTL-labs has been dabbling in BCI technologies for... Read more...
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