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Facebook starts testing News, its new section for journalism – TechCrunch

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Facebook’s news section, which was previously reported to be imminent, is here: The company is rolling out Facebook News in a limited test in the U.S. as a home screen tab and bookmark in the main Facebook app.

In a blog post, Facebook’s Campbell Brown (vice president of global news partnerships) and Mona Sarantakos (product manager, news) said that news articles will continue to appear in the main News Feed. However, they said that creating a specific tab focused on journalism “gives people more control over the stories they see, and the ability to explore a wider range of their news interests, directly within the Facebook app.”

Brown and Sarantakos added that the News tab was developed in consultation with publishers, and also based on feedback from a survey of more than 100,000 Facebook users in the United States earlier this year.

It sounds like Facebook News will use both human editors and algorithms to determine which stories you see — an unusual move for a company that’s been hesitant to police the content posted by users and advertisers. Specifically, there will be a section called Today’s Stories, curated by a team of journalists to highlight the biggest national news stories of the day.

At the same time, Facebook will also provide algorithmic story suggestions based on your interests and activity. You’ll be able to hide articles, topics and publishers that you don’t want to see, and to browse sections devoted to business, entertainment, health, science and technology, and sports — topics where Facebook users apparently felt underserved.

“Regarding personalization, publishers worry that machine learning has limits and they’re right,” Brown and Sarantakos wrote. “We have progress to make before we can rely on technology alone to provide a quality news destination.”

Nonetheless, they suggested that algorithms will be “driving the majority of Facebook News,” and that they’ll be working to ensure that those algorithms are also surfacing “new forms of journalism in the digital age, including individual, independent journalism.”

Also included: a section where users who have linked their news subscriptions to their Facebook accounts can browse content from those subscriptions.

Facebook News

Which publishers will be included? Brown and Sarantakos said they must be part of Facebook’s News Page Index, and also by abide by the company’s Publisher Guidelines, which includes prohibitions against misinformation (as flagged by third-party fact checkers) and hate speech.

Facebook did not provide a list of participating publishers, but screenshots of the News section include stories from The Wall Street Journal, Time, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, Bloomberg, Fox Business, Business Insider, NPR and others; spokespeople for The Post, BuzzFeed and the LA Times confirmed their participation.

So even if publishers have been burned by relying too much on the social network in the past, it sounds like they’re not going to give up on working with Facebook.

It probably helps that the company is paying some of these publishers millions of dollars a year, according to Recode. (A Facebook spokesperson told me, “To ensure we’re including a range of topic areas, we’ll start by paying a subset of publishers who can provide a steady volume of fact-based and original content.”)

BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith told me via email that BuzzFeed is “glad to participate” and that “Facebook is taking the lead in recognizing the value news provides to these platforms in a tangible way.”

And Hillary Manning, The Los Angeles Times’ vice president of communications, said (also via email), “We anticipate that we’ll reach new readers through Facebook News and, as we reach more readers, we expect to see more growth in our digital subscriber base.”

Facebook says News will be available to a limited group of users in the U.S., starting today.



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Kia EV6 GT Packs 576 Electric Horses And A Drift Mode

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You might not associate Kia with performance vehicles, but with 576 horsepower on tap, the new EV6 GT unveiled during Monterey Car Week aims to change that.

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This Electronic ‘Skin’ Lacking A Chip Could Be The Future Of Wearables

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But here’s the exciting part: The electronic skin can also be easily customized with a different kind of ion-sensing membrane that is sensitive to other chemicals like glucose and cortisol in the sweat. “We showed sodium sensing, but if you change the sensing membrane, you could detect any target biomarker,” adds co-author of the paper, Jun Min Suh. 

In 2018, a team from Stanford University also came up with a wearable device that can measure cortisol levels in sweat and analyze stress levels. Additionally, 2021 wearable-centric research from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in France revealed that cortisol can be used as a biomarker for treating conditions like burnout and obesity.

Another critical benefit is that the electronic skin is flexible, which means the comfort aspect has already been taken care of. That’s a huge relief, as sleeping while wearing a smartwatch so that it collects detailed information about heart rate patterns is not the most comfortable experience. Plus, sleep tracking coupled with continuous heart rate monitoring is also quite taxing on the battery life of a smartwatch. 

An electronic skin that can transmit data related to heart rate and changes in the chemistry of sweat without a chip or transmission gear is a truly remarkable step. Work in the domain has been making tremendous process. From the potential for tattoos that monitor health to artificial skin that can heal its own bruises, the possibilities are almost endless. 

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TikTok Is Furious About This Dodge Charger EV Feature

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While the TikTokers present at the event seemed blown away by the new Daytona SRT, their comments sections were not as kind. The vehicle’s exhaust feature was panned by a number of users in the replies, with one of the commenters on Fitrich76’s video simply replying: “We reving [sic] speakers now.” Another TikToker, Justin Hillard, is amongst the crowd predicting the move to electric will backfire on Dodge. He said: “Funny part is they will see the sales go down very quickly. Because no one wants electric. Especially because if everyone has to go electric then.” Caleb Schueng added, “You [sic] can I download the challengers exhaust sound? I wanna put it in my civic.”

Comments on ModdedDetroit’s TikTok followed a similar theme, with one user stating: “Such a sad era we’re going into.” Another user simply said, “we truly are going into dark times,” and one user criticized the vehicle’s figurative lack of soul. A notable portion of the comments section claimed Dodge was going to go out of business, though one user did say the car was better than Ford’s Mach-E.

These are just examples from a couple of accounts, but they do seem to reflect the broader reaction across social media. Influencers attending the events seemed quite complimentary about the new EV, while the majority of their followers tore the concept apart. In several cases, the electric engine sound was likened to the noise Simba from “The Lion King” made when he was trying to roar. You could easily argue that comment sections are the last places you want to look while gauging public opinion, but there’s also a case for saying these are the exact people Dodge was hoping to win over with the Daytona SRT.

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