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Instagram is using object recognition tech to describe photos for visually impaired users – TechCrunch

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Instagram is a visual service; it’s a feed of photos and videos and memes that users take in, but the company is rethinking how to optimize a visual service for users with visual impairments via a couple of new features.

The accessibility-focused update rolling out today offers two options to give visually impaired users alternative text descriptions of what’s happening in posts. One leverages user text input while the other uses Facebook’s object recognition tech to do the heavy lifting.

The descriptions will surface for users utilizing screen readers. The user-input alternative text option will pop up in advanced settings when a user is posting a photo. It’s definitely a little out of the way, but it exists now, so that’s something. While there’s a level of depth that can only come from a human-written visual description, the company’s use of its object recognition software is obviously going to be carrying out most of the text descriptions on items in the Feed, Explore and Profile sections.

It’s an interesting proposition for a service that has made a name for itself through being almost entirely visual, keeping text and external navigations at bay while promoting a feed that’s all about visual absorption. At this point Instagram is far from fringe, and neither is the segment of the population that has a visual impairment — 285 million according to the blog post announcing the feature.

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Bluetti Gives Veterans And Military Personnel A Treat This Memorial Day Weekend

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Bluetti is including some of its best and most versatile power stations up for grabs this memorial weekend with big price cuts. The EP500 (originally $4,599, discounted at $4,399) and EP500 Pro (originally $5,999, discounted at $4,999) may challenge your definition of “portable,” but they are great for instantly providing backup power to a whole house when the grid goes down, especially with their huge 5,100Wh batteries. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 716Wh EB70S and 537Wh EB55 (originally $599, discounted at $549) won’t break your back with their super portable sizes. Make no mistake, though, they might be small, but they’re big on power and ports.

Of course, Bluetti’s modular power stations are also joining the party. The AC200 MAX and the B230 battery module (originally $3,299, discounted at $3,099) together dish out over 4,000W of pure AC Sine Wave of power. The AC200 MAX can also be charged to full in just two hours by combining both AC and solar inputs. The AC200P (originally $1,599, discounted at $1,499) brings the best of both worlds of power and portability with its 2,000Wh battery capacity, multiple outputs that can power 17 devices all at once, including wireless charging. And, of course, you can even expand that power by connecting a B230 battery module.

Bluetti’s Veterans and Military Benefits Program starts on May 26 at 7:00 PM PDT and ends on May 31 at the same time. It is open to both active personnel and veterans, and they only need to have their status verified through ID.me to get the discounts. Bluetti notes that the program is available for personal use only.

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The Reason The FTC Just Hit Twitter With A $150 Million Fine

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In the FTC order, the commission states that Twitter had access to personal data from more than 140 million users in just the 2014 – 2019 period, which it then shared with advertisers. This was at a time when Twitter’s terms and conditions explicitly stated to its users that this information would be used for the sole purpose of securing their accounts.

According to the FTC and the United States Department of Justice, Twitter began sharing user data with advertisers in 2013 — around the same time it started allowing users to add their phone numbers for two-factor authentication. Before being called out by the FTC, Twitter maintained that it collected phone numbers and email addresses for the purpose of improving account security. Users could, for example, easily reset their passwords, or unlock their accounts using a verified phone number or email address. 

While the average Twitter user likely assumed their phone number and associated data were secure with Twitter, the company disregarded the trust users placed with them and shared this data with advertisers, the FTC orders states.

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Sony Promises A Big PS VR2 Launch Game Lineup

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According to Sony, the more than 20 games the PS VR2 will have available at launch will include both first-party and third-party titles. According to SIE president Jim Ryan (quoted by Video Games Chronicle), the company is investing a considerable amount of money in ensuring that gamers have plenty of titles to choose from. Unfortunately, Ryan didn’t go into detail as to which games we should expect. No matter — we already know of one title being developed specifically for the PlayStation VR2, and from the looks of it, it’s going to be a good one.

“Horizon Call of the Mountain” is a new game set in the “Horizon” universe and it’s currently being made by Guerrilla and Firesprite. As per the official PlayStation website for the title, the story will allow the player to control an entirely new character, but we will also be reunited with familiar characters from the previous games. Just a quick peek at the screenshots shows what appear to be stunning visuals, and the trailer, short as it may be, only builds on that. Provided that the PS VR2 hardware can handle it — and it should, seeing as the game is being made exclusively for that platform – “Horizon Call of the Mountain” could end up being one of the most beautiful VR titles to date. Much like the headset itself, the game also doesn’t have a release date as of yet. However, all signs point to it being worth the wait.

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