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News & Views

Weekly Tech Roundup: October 13

How Russian content ended up on Pinterest

Facebook and Twitter have both held up their hands and admitted that propaganda from Russian “troll farms” made its way onto their platforms in the run up to the 2016 presidential election. Apparently, some of these posts were eventually cross-pollinated onto visual network Pinterest. “We believe the fake Facebook content was so sophisticated that it tricked real Americans into saving it to Pinterest,” says the site’s head of public policy, Charlie Hale.

Tim Cook prefers AR over VR

In a speech at the University of Oxford, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that he has “never been a fan of VR.” He believes that outright virtual reality has the potential to “isolate” people, while augmented reality’s mix of real world views and computer-generated imagery has use cases “in education, in consumers, in entertainment, in sports. I can see it in every business.”

UK government considers classifying Google and Facebook as publishers

Culture secretary Karen Bradley has stated that the British government is considering reclassifying internet companies such as Facebook and Google as publishers, in order to foster a greater degree of accountability regarding copyright infringement and extremist content online. At present, they are considered conduits of information, with limited responsibility for the content that appears on their platforms.

Alibaba to spend $15 billion developing next generation technology

E-commerce giant Alibaba has announced plans to double its R&D spend to $15 billion over the next three years. The company will establish seven reseach labs around the world and hire over 100 scientists to explore the applications of AI, IoT and quantum computing.

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