Facebook to Show Users Which Russian Propaganda They Followed

Facebook Inc. will reveal individuals which Russian propaganda pages or accounts they &#x 2019; ve followed and liked on the social media network, reacting to a demand from Congress to deal with control and meddling throughout the 2016 governmental election.

The tool will appear by the end of the year in Facebook &#x 2019; s online assistance center, the business stated in a post Wednesday. It will address the user concern, &#x 201C; How can I see if I &#x 2019; ve liked or followed a Facebook page or Instagram account produced by the Internet Research Agency? &#x 201D; That &#x 2019; s the Russian company that developed countless incendiary posts from phony accounts impersonating U.S. residents. Individuals will see a list of the accounts they followed, if any, from January 2015 through August 2017.

It &#x 2019; s Facebook &#x 2019; s most direct effort to describe to users how they might have been impacted by the IRA &#x 2019; s posts, which reached an approximated 150 million individuals and stimulated debate over weapon rights, migration, race relations and religious beliefs in the United States, in some cases triggering real-world demonstrations on both sides of a dispute.&#xA 0;

&#x 201C; It is essential that individuals comprehend how foreign stars aimed to plant department and skepticism utilizing Facebook prior to and after the 2016 United States election, &#x 201D; the business stated in the post.

Facebook, Alphabet Inc. &#x 2019; s Google and Twitter Inc. appeared in early November for hours of congressional testament to discuss how Russia utilized the platforms to control U.S. people. The business swore to do more to avoid anything comparable from happening in the future, and stated they would check out the possibility of notifying users about their direct exposure.

&#x 201C; I hope that Google and Twitter will follow Facebook &#x 2019; s lead, &#x 201D; stated U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Those business have actually not reacted to a comparable demand, inning accordance with Blumenthal &#x 2019; s workplace.

Representative Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and a member of your house Intelligence Committee, called Facebook &#x 2019; s #x &move 201C; a really favorable action. &#x 201D;

&#x 201C; We anticipate extra actions by the business to enhance openness with regard to Russian abuse of their platforms, &#x 201D; Schiff stated in a declaration.

Facebook will just be revealing individuals the names of the accounts and pages, not the material. A user will just see exactly what they followed or liked, so if they just saw IRA material in their news feeds, they won &#x 2019; t be informed.&#xA 0;

It &#x 2019; s &#x 201C; far more tough &#x 201D; to dependably inform individuals if they were exposed on a specific basis, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch informed Congress previously this month. When individuals like or discuss a post, that post is qualified to appear in any of their pals &#x 2019; news feeds– assisting the material go viral. Facebook argued it couldn &#x 2019; t state for particular who took note of exactly what material. When senators kept in mind that Facebook &#x 2019; s service design is based on the targeting and tracking of advertisements, that position fell flat.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-22/facebook-to-show-people-the-russian-propaganda-they-followed

    Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

    A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens

    Its important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. Im going to tell you that libraries are important. Im going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. Im going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

    And I am biased, obviously and enormously: Im an author, often an author of fiction. I write for children and for adults. For about 30 years I have been earning my living through my words, mostly by making things up and writing them down. It is obviously in my interest for people to read, for them to read fiction, for libraries and librarians to exist and help foster a love of reading and places in which reading can occur.

    So Im biased as a writer. But I am much, much more biased as a reader. And I am even more biased as a British citizen.

    And Im here giving this talk tonight, under the auspices of the Reading Agency: a charity whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. Which supports literacy programs, and libraries and individuals and nakedly and wantonly encourages the act of reading. Because, they tell us, everything changes when we read.

    And its that change, and that act of reading that Im here to talk about tonight. I want to talk about what reading does. What its good for.

    I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldnt read. And certainly couldnt read for pleasure.

    Its not one to one: you cant say that a literate society has no criminality. But there are very real correlations.

    And I think some of those correlations, the simplest, come from something very simple. Literate people read fiction.

    Fiction has two uses. Firstly, its a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if its hard, because someones in trouble and you have to know how its all going to end thats a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, youre on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far.

    The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.

    I dont think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of childrens books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. Ive seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy.

    No such thing as a bad writer… Enid Blytons Famous Five. Photograph: Greg Balfour Evans/Alamy

    Its tosh. Its snobbery and its foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isnt hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you.

    Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a childs love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian improving literature. Youll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant.

    We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up, rung by rung, into literacy. (Also, do not do what this author did when his 11-year-old daughter was into RL Stine, which is to go and get a copy of Stephen Kings Carrie, saying if you liked those youll love this! Holly read nothing but safe stories of settlers on prairies for the rest of her teenage years, and still glares at me when Stephen Kings name is mentioned.)

    And the second thing fiction does is to build empathy. When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. Youre being someone else, and when you return to your own world, youre going to be slightly changed.

    Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.

    Youre also finding out something as you read vitally important for making your way in the world. And its this:

    The world doesnt have to be like this. Things can be different.

    I was in China in 2007, at the first party-approved science fiction and fantasy convention in Chinese history. And at one point I took a top official aside and asked him Why? SF had been disapproved of for a long time. What had changed?

    Its simple, he told me. The Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people brought them the plans. But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine. So they sent a delegation to the US, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Google, and they asked the people there who were inventing the future about themselves. And they found that all of them had read science fiction when they were boys or girls.

    Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere youve never been. Once youve visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.

    And while were on the subject, Id like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if its a bad thing. As if escapist fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in.

    If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldnt you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with(and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real.

    As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.

    Tolkiens illustration of Bilbos home, Bag End. Photograph: HarperCollins

    Another way to destroy a childs love of reading, of course, is to make sure there are no books of any kind around. And to give them nowhere to read those books. I was lucky. I had an excellent local library growing up. I had the kind of parents who could be persuaded to drop me off in the library on their way to work in summer holidays, and the kind of librarians who did not mind a small, unaccompanied boy heading back into the childrens library every morning and working his way through the card catalogue, looking for books with ghosts or magic or rockets in them, looking for vampires or detectives or witches or wonders. And when I had finished reading the childrens library I began on the adult books.

    They were good librarians. They liked books and they liked the books being read. They taught me how to order books from other libraries on inter-library loans. They had no snobbery about anything I read. They just seemed to like that there was this wide-eyed little boy who loved to read, and would talk to me about the books I was reading, they would find me other books in a series, they would help. They treated me as another reader nothing less or more which meant they treated me with respect. I was not used to being treated with respect as an eight-year-old.

    But libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.

    I worry that here in the 21st century people misunderstand what libraries are and the purpose of them. If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated in a world in which most, but not all, books in print exist digitally. But that is to miss the point fundamentally.

    I think it has to do with nature of information. Information has value, and the right information has enormous value. For all of human history, we have lived in a time of information scarcity, and having the needed information was always important, and always worth something: when to plant crops, where to find things, maps and histories and stories they were always good for a meal and company. Information was a valuable thing, and those who had it or could obtain it could charge for that service.

    In the last few years, weve moved from an information-scarce economy to one driven by an information glut. According to Eric Schmidt of Google, every two days now the human race creates as much information as we did from the dawn of civilisation until 2003. Thats about five exobytes of data a day, for those of you keeping score. The challenge becomes, not finding that scarce plant growing in the desert, but finding a specific plant growing in a jungle. We are going to need help navigating that information to find the thing we actually need.

    Photograph: Alamy

    Libraries are places that people go to for information. Books are only the tip of the information iceberg: they are there, and libraries can provide you freely and legally with books. More children are borrowing books from libraries than ever before books of all kinds: paper and digital and audio. But libraries are also, for example, places that people, who may not have computers, who may not have internet connections, can go online without paying anything: hugely important when the way you find out about jobs, apply for jobs or apply for benefits is increasingly migrating exclusively online. Librarians can help these people navigate that world.

    I do not believe that all books will or should migrate onto screens: as Douglas Adams once pointed out to me, more than 20 years before the Kindle turned up, a physical book is like a shark. Sharks are old: there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs. And the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is. Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath-resistant, solar-operated, feel good in your hand: they are good at being books, and there will always be a place for them. They belong in libraries, just as libraries have already become places you can go to get access to ebooks, and audiobooks and DVDs and web content.

    A library is a place that is a repository of information and gives every citizen equal access to it. That includes health information. And mental health information. Its a community space. Its a place of safety, a haven from the world. Its a place with librarians in it. What the libraries of the future will be like is something we should be imagining now.

    Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood.

    Libraries really are the gates to the future. So it is unfortunate that, round the world, we observe local authorities seizing the opportunity to close libraries as an easy way to save money, without realising that they are stealing from the future to pay for today. They are closing the gates that should be open.

    According to a recent study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, England is the only country where the oldest age group has higher proficiency in both literacy and numeracy than the youngest group, after other factors, such as gender, socio-economic backgrounds and type of occupations are taken into account.

    Or to put it another way, our children and our grandchildren are less literate and less numerate than we are. They are less able to navigate the world, to understand it to solve problems. They can be more easily lied to and misled, will be less able to change the world in which they find themselves, be less employable. All of these things. And as a country, England will fall behind other developed nations because it will lack a skilled workforce.

    Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over. There are tales that are older than most countries, tales that have long outlasted the cultures and the buildings in which they were first told.

    I think we have responsibilities to the future. Responsibilities and obligations to children, to the adults those children will become, to the world they will find themselves inhabiting. All of us as readers, as writers, as citizens have obligations. I thought Id try and spell out some of these obligations here.

    I believe we have an obligation to read for pleasure, in private and in public places. If we read for pleasure, if others see us reading, then we learn, we exercise our imaginations. We show others that reading is a good thing.

    We have an obligation to support libraries. To use libraries, to encourage others to use libraries, to protest the closure of libraries. If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future.

    We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read to them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not to stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves. Use reading-aloud time as bonding time, as time when no phones are being checked, when the distractions of the world are put aside.

    We have an obligation to use the language. To push ourselves: to find out what words mean and how to deploy them, to communicate clearly, to say what we mean. We must not to attempt to freeze language, or to pretend it is a dead thing that must be revered, but we should use it as a living thing, that flows, that borrows words, that allows meanings and pronunciations to change with time.

    We writers and especially writers for children, but all writers have an obligation to our readers: its the obligation to write true things, especially important when we are creating tales of people who do not exist in places that never were to understand that truth is not in what happens but what it tells us about who we are. Fiction is the lie that tells the truth, after all. We have an obligation not to bore our readers, but to make them need to turn the pages. One of the best cures for a reluctant reader, after all, is a tale they cannot stop themselves from reading. And while we must tell our readers true things and give them weapons and give them armour and pass on whatever wisdom we have gleaned from our short stay on this green world, we have an obligation not to preach, not to lecture, not to force predigested morals and messages down our readers throats like adult birds feeding their babies pre-masticated maggots; and we have an obligation never, ever, under any circumstances, to write anything for children that we would not want to read ourselves.

    We have an obligation to understand and to acknowledge that as writers for children we are doing important work, because if we mess it up and write dull books that turn children away from reading and from books, we ve lessened our own future and diminished theirs.

    We all adults and children, writers and readers have an obligation to daydream. We have an obligation to imagine. It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that we are in a world in which society is huge and the individual is less than nothing: an atom in a wall, a grain of rice in a rice field. But the truth is, individuals change their world over and over, individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.

    Look around you: I mean it. Pause, for a moment and look around the room that you are in. Im going to point out something so obvious that it tends to be forgotten. Its this: that everything you can see, including the walls, was, at some point, imagined. Someone decided it was easier to sit on a chair than on the ground and imagined the chair. Someone had to imagine a way that I could talk to you in London right now without us all getting rained on.This room and the things in it, and all the other things in this building, this city, exist because, over and over and over, people imagined things.

    We have an obligation to make things beautiful. Not to leave the world uglier than we found it, not to empty the oceans, not to leave our problems for the next generation. We have an obligation to clean up after ourselves, and not leave our children with a world weve shortsightedly messed up, shortchanged, and crippled.

    We have an obligation to tell our politicians what we want, to vote against politicians of whatever party who do not understand the value of reading in creating worthwhile citizens, who do not want to act to preserve and protect knowledge and encourage literacy. This is not a matter of party politics. This is a matter of common humanity.

    Albert Einstein was asked once how we could make our children intelligent. His reply was both simple and wise. If you want your children to be intelligent, he said, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. He understood the value of reading, and of imagining. I hope we can give our children a world in which they will read, and be read to, and imagine, and understand.

    This is an edited version of Neil Gaimans lecture for the Reading Agency, delivered on Monday October 14 at the Barbican in London. The Reading Agencys annual lecture series was initiated in 2012 as a platform for leading writers and thinkers to share original, challenging ideas about reading and libraries.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/neil-gaiman-future-libraries-reading-daydreaming

    Wiki warriors: activists fighting to keep truth of brutal Marcos regime in Philippines alive

    Revisionism ending up being swarming in the middle of indications the descendants of the previous totalitarian have actually never ever been closer to a political return

    I ts generally like playing in the sandbox. You develop a sandcastle then another kid occurs and simply kicks it over. Thats how it feels to be on the cutting edge of details warfare in the Philippines , discusses computer system developer Carlos Nazareno.

    The 39-year-old is among a handful of dedicated Wikipedians who modify delicate pages about Philippine history, consisting of that of previous Philippine totalitarian Ferdinand Marcos and the years he ruled the nation under martial law.

    The job has actually handled higher significance in current months, amidst issues the previous judgment household is closer than ever to making a political return, and fears the incumbent president Rodrigo Duterte is utilizing comparable methods. Duterte stated martial law in May to squash an Islamist revolt on this island of Mindanao a state that has actually because been extended up until 31 December.

    Narazeno will invest hours ridding a page of untruths, tidying up historic revisionism and backing it up with sources, despite the fact that there is a high opportunity another user will occur and kick over the sandcastle erasing all of it in one go.

    Back and forth the cyber tussle goes, a series of modifications, removals and repairs, up until it lastly spirals into exactly what is understood in Wikipedia world as an edit war.

    Its mentally draining pipes, confesses Nazareno, who nonetheless feels obliged to continue.

    Marcos household a spectre over Philippine politics

    For years there has actually been a collective project to paint the Marcos household in a more benign light, however it was ratcheted up on Wikipedia late in 2015, and the questionable edits continue.

    The greatly challenged Wikipedia page of Ferdinand Marcos. Photo: Wikipedia

    A spike in modifications accompanied the questionable heros burial for Marcos , who perpetuated his 20-year-rule over the Philippines through a mix of martial law, rights abuses and corruption.

    On the Ferdinand Marcos Wikipedia page, which over the previous years has actually been modified usually about 300 times a year, modifications increased from 375 in 2015, to 1,328 in 2016.

    Changes made on pages about martial law, and kid Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr likewise revealed efforts to control the truths in a pro-Marcos way.

    One popular example in the defend the tradition of Ferdinand Marcos is making use of the word kleptocrat in the very first line of his page. It has actually formerly been eliminated, due to the fact that, as any search on Google inevitably tosses up the Wikipedia page and a brief excerpt of that post, the opening line is important.

    Other little however considerable edits erasing the word taken from the term taken wealth assistance shape a more tasty image of the late leader, a president, who in addition to the notorious excesses of his better half Imelda, is implicated of ransacking an approximated $ 10bn from the hardship stricken nation .

    But considering that leaving the governmental palace through helicopter in 1986, the Marcos household has actually staged an amazing political resurgence.

    Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos in 1970. Photo: PA

    They are simply at the doorstep of Malacaang palace today, states Raissa Robles, a Filipina investigative reporter, of how close the Marcos household is once again to power.

    After losing the vice governmental vote by 260,000 votes in 2015, Bongbong a 59-year-old previous senator objected to the outcomes and the case is continuous.

    When it pertains to the Marcos household, the improving of history is an extensive business. It appears in school books, historic sites, and in a series of slick YouTube videos, generally with the very same lines of attack: vilification of opposition figures, exaggeration of Marcos household accomplishments and proliferation of unproven truth.

    One claim apparently made by Imelda Marcos herself in 1992 is that the household is wonderfully rich since her partner found the legendary Yamashita gold declared war loot from the 2nd world war rumoured to be concealed in a series of underground collapse the Philippines.

    The Wiki warriors

    It is rather inescapable that battle over the past has actually made its method onto Wikipedia, the online, open-source encyclopaedia checked out by 500 million individuals a month.

    Its substantial, states Joshua Lim, a Filipino-American Wikipedia administrator of the websites reach. It is not a surprise individuals are going to wish to co-opt the biggest loudspeaker they can discover for their own individual program.

    That anybody can modify a Wikipedia page if they understand how, is exactly what makes the website both susceptible and lovely, he states.

    We wish to ensure the details individuals get is as honest and precise as possible, he describes. That is weakened, sadly, when individuals make edits like this, when individuals attempt to whitewash the Marcos story, and merely attempt to represent Ferdinand Marcos as a hero when plainly there are more sides to him.

    There have to do with 500 Filipino Wikipedia editors, however just a handful deal with the Marcos pages. Theyre primarily low-profile computer system developers, web designers and young experts, those old adequate to bear in mind the days of martial law and young sufficient to comprehend the Wikipedia mainframe.

    When Nazareno began modifying Wikipedia a years earlier, he dealt with pages about sci-fi motion pictures and martial arts. Nowadays he is more thinking about dealing with pernicious, historic untruths.

    The modifying has actually been actually active this previous year and I believe this has actually been an outcome of [president Rodrigo] Dutertes win since theyre seeing the web is a truly effective tool which an individual on the web, specifically in politics, it can assist make or break them, he states.

    <img class="gu-image"itemprop="contentUrl"alt="Former"philippine very first woman imelda marcos kisses the glass case of her late hubby
    ferdinand marcos in 2014.” src =”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/fcdff18f5e43f3262938391c21e54a7d05913a34/0_156_3052_1831/master/3052.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=e45ebd6d756ff011af6844fe3bf6c518″/&gt; Former Philippine very first girl Imelda Marcos kisses the glass case of her late partner Ferdinand Marcos in 2014. Picture: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

    Influence and power online

    Armies of giants sending copy-and-paste messages and memes assisted attract extensive assistance for Dutertes swashbuckling governmental quote in 2015, and have actually stayed a force in assistance of his drug war , bothering and sometimes threatening critics and reporters .

    The fight for reality has actually played out extremely in the Philippine cyber sphere, and not simply for domestic functions. When Donald Trump introduced his governmental quote, the biggest percentage of his Facebook fans were inexplicably from the Philippines. Experts stated the information was an indicator of giant farms.

    On Wikipedia there is no chance to understand for sure who or exactly what may be behind doubtful edits, offered there is a choice to do so anonymously. Eventually however, its a numbers video game. The more edits made, the higher the opportunity of forming the story.

    Lamenting that Wikipedia is frequently considered as an undependable source, editors such as Nazareno hope more academics, particularly history teachers, may get included to form a bulwark versus the tide of false information.

    Because you understand whats much faster than the speed of light? asks Nazareno, rather dryly. The speed of a rumour.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/02/wiki-warriors-activists-fighting-to-keep-truth-of-brutal-marcos-regime-in-philippines-alive

    Can Jack Ma, Asias richest man, create 1m jobs in the US?

    The creator of Alibaba, among the worlds greatest online merchants, made the guarantee at a pre-inauguration conference with Donald Trump

    Jack Ma was predestined to live a common life. He stopped working the Chinese university entryway test a number of times prior to being accepted by the worst school in Hangzhou, and he was declined from a lots tasks even offering chicken at KFC. Ma was all set to settle into a peaceful life as an English instructor in eastern China, a position with couple of improvement potential customers, when, throughout a journey to Seattle in 1995 working as a translator for a trade delegation, whatever altered.

    A pal revealed Ma the web. He put a toe on to the details superhighway with a one-word search beer and, 20 years later on, Ma is the wealthiest guy in Asia, head of an e-commerce and financing empire that consists of Alibaba , among the biggest merchants on the planet. As soon as again set his sights on the United States, #peeee

    Now Ma has. In a prominent conference with Donald Trump prior to the inauguration, Ma assured to develop 1m tasks in the United States, and has actually lost no time at all ingratiating himself into Trumps inner circle. He has actually dined alone with Ivanka Trump, and recently commerce secretary Wilbur Ross sat beside Ma at a conference of United States and Chinese business owners. Those political connections might benefit him as he looks for to obtain American business in a nation that is progressively careful of huge Chinese financial investment.

    For Trump, the headings of Mas job-creating plan might be more vital that any real tasks produced.

    As a merchant, its about understanding your client, and Trump does not appreciate anything thats not substantial, states Duncan Clark, a long time pal and author of Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built. He figured a million is an excellent number to obtain Trumps attention. Reasonably, without a significant acquisition, I cannot see how thats possible, he includes. In the United States context, its a huge number.

    For years, Ma has actually been pressing his vision of United States small companies offering to Chinese consumers through his online markets. He is frequently called the Jeff Bezos of China, and there are clear resemblances. Both constructed e-commerce empires and, like Bezos and the Washington Post, Ma even owns a an old recognized paper, in his case Hong Kongs South China Morning Post.

    But theres a crucial distinction: while Bezoss Amazon offers items to customers, keeping enormous storage facilities and running an advanced logistics network, Alibabas websites are merely a medium, linking customers with merchants who deliver through independent carriers. This has actually led specialists to state Alibabas organisation design is better to Googles than Amazons.

    Alibabas strength has actually constantly been resolving ineffectiveness, producing a site that enabled a host of companies to offer straight to customers throughout the infancy of the web in China and beginning an online payment system when it was troublesome to wire funds. The business flagship platforms, Taobao (just like eBay) and Tmall (much like Amazon), have actually developed a one-stop look for customers, and Alibaba is exporting the design to emerging markets such as Russia and Brazil.

    <path d="M4.6" 12l -.4 1.4 c -.7.2 -1.9.6 -3.6 -.7 0-1.2 -.2 -1.2 -.9 0 -.2 0 -.3.1 -.5 l2-6.7 h.7l.4-1.5 4.2 -.6 h. 2l3 12h1.6 zm -.3 -9.2 c -.9 0-1.4 -.5 -1.4 -1.3 c2.9.5 3.7 0 4.6 0 5.4 0 6.5 6 1.3 c0 1 -.8 1.5-1.7 1.5 z “/> Jack Ma with Donald Trump, January 2017. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

    But the United States provides a brand-new obstacle, and e-commerce is currently a congested area. Alibaba might not have exactly what it requires to stimulate enormous task production in the United States. Its an extremely not likely target for task production in any possible timespan, stated Christopher Balding, a teacher of organisation and economics at Peking Universitys HSBC organisation school. If were talking 25 or 40 years, perhaps Alibaba might develop that lots of tasks.

    By contrast, WalMart, the biggest personal company in the United States, uses 1.5 million individuals . If Ma has the ability to provide on his pledge of 1m tasks, it would reduce the variety of jobless employees by an incredible 14%.

    Ma was born in the beautiful city of Hangzhou in 1964, 2 years prior to the start of the Cultural Revolution , a years of political turmoil that saw his moms and dads and grandpa maltreated by components of the judgment Communist celebration. His daddy beat him, inning accordance with a 2013 bio, however Ma discovered his escape in mentor himself English. From the age of 12, Ma would cycle for 40 minutes to the citys hotels to use foreign travelers his services as a guide around the West Lake so that he might practice his English.

    The west was his lifeline in a land where he wasnt on the elite track, states Duncan Clark. He had a hard time in school, hes not an engineer, hes not a technical man, so he ended up being an English instructor. Mas capability to check out an audience, however, is on a par with a standup comic, Clark includes, and some have actually explained his charm as Jack Magic.

    That beauty is progressively being directed at Trump administration authorities. Beyond the million-jobs propaganda story, Ma is working to encourage the United States federal government that his objectives are harmless as he makes a $1.2 bn quote for MoneyGram , the second biggest remittance company in the United States in an offer that has actually raised national-security issues.

    His repeat efficiencies with Trump and his administration program he is making considerable inroads, states Michael Wessel, head of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission , a oversight body that reports to Congress. Ma isn’t really thinking about America prospering, hes thinking about Ma, Alibaba and China prospering. As a knowledgeable, international business person, Ma is running in his own interest which, sometimes, may likewise be the interests of the Chinese Communist celebration. That needs to be thought about whenever he acts.

    The MoneyGram offer has brought in substantial opposition from legislators in Washington, depending upon that a great deal of military households utilize the business to move loan. The purchase is yet to be authorized by United States regulators in a procedure that might see the matter chosen by Trump.

    Last year, Alibaba confessed that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission was examining the accounting practices of its logistics network and its substantial Singles Day online shopping occasion its like Black Friday however much, much larger a matter that has yet to be fixed.

    At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, Ma chastised the United States , stating that while America took advantage of globalisation, it was wasting trillions of dollars on foreign wars and ignoring the nations facilities and its own people.

    Back in China, Mas ties to the federal government have actually been important. At a time when Chinese president Xi Jinping is signalling that business must control abroad purchases, Mas continuing push in the United States is a clear indication of his political influence. And in 2014, when Chinas state administration for market and commerce released findings revealing that more than 70% of products in a random sample on Taobao were phony , Ma met the head of the company, who consequently declared that the report was simply the minutes of a conference and had no legal impact.

    While Ma intends to motivate American small companies to offer on the business high-end market, Tmall, in December 2016 the United States federal government put its much bigger sibling website, Taobao, on a blacklist of well-known markets understood for the sale of fake products and offenses of copyright rights.

    The blacklisting was not the very first problem for Alibaba. The business was burned on its very first efforts to broaden into the United States when, quickly after establishing the business, Ma was required to close down a workplace it opened simply outdoors San Francisco after less than a year. Another endeavor an online shopping website like Amazon called 11 primary was shuttered in 2015.

    Despite these obstacles, Ma is pressing on with his dream for United States services to offer to China through his sites. In June, Alibaba hosted a conference, Gateway, in Detroit, which was focused on bringing more little companies into its community. Among the speakers, something of a poster kid for Alibaba, was Sam Wolf, who turned his households vitamin shop in rural Philadelphia into an online huge selling 40,000 items all over the world. His business, LuckyVitamin, began offering on Tmall in November and Wolf approximates he has actually employed about 20 staff members ever since, though just a portion handle China straight, with a lot of operating in stock or accounting.

    But when LuckyVitamin started offering in China, it currently had the experience of broadening into more than 30 nations around the globe, and Wolf cautioned that opening a store on Tmall was the most tough.

    Selling on Tmall resembles beginning a brand-new company, rather than just including a brand-new channel for sales, Wolf states. Its not a light switch, its not a get-rich-quick chance where you can simply double your organisation over night by unlocking to China. Its a marathon, not a sprint. Any person who concerns Tmall with get-rich-quick goals is going to be dissatisfied.

    Along with LuckyVitamin, Ma has actually encouraged a handful of other organisations to offer through his sites. To satisfy his pledge of 1m tasks, he requires more than 50,000 business to reproduce Wolfs success in the next couple of years.

    By then, or course, Trump will likely have actually carried on to his next family pet job, and Ma, the English instructor turned tech billionaire, will have greased the wheels worldwides 2 biggest economies.

    Additional reporting by Wang Zhen

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/30/can-jack-ma-create-on-million-jobs-us-donald-trump-alibaba

    ‘It’s all sextortion and revenge porn’: the woman fighting cyber abuse in Pakistan

    With ladies in Pakistan suffering harmful and progressively lurid kinds of onine harassment, Nighat Dad is leading the fight to make the online world much safer

    A fter the killing of Qandeel Baloch last summertime, Nighat Dad reached breaking point.

    Visiting institution of higher learnings throughout Pakistan , Dad had actually been developing rather a credibility for herself and her work. She was getting the word out about the Digital Rights Foundation she developed in 2012 to assist Pakistani females handle the brand-new phenomenon of online harassment.

    But when Baloch, a popular social networks celeb, was killed by her sibling, there was a spike in the variety of girls in Pakistan who stated they felt significantly risky online and wished to throw down the gauntlet. A growing number of ladies started looking for Dad to relate awful stories of online harassment, vengeance pornography and males doctoring pictures of females in order to obtain loan from them. She felt herself having a hard time under the weight of obligation.

    I reached my limitation, where I resembled, I do not believe that I can handle this, she states. It was effecting on my psychological health. The regret I felt that if Im not going to react to this call or the message which Im getting in the middle of the night, possibly this individual will lose their life or possibly there is a worry of violence.

    Recognising there was an immediate requirement, Dad broadened her operations and introduced Pakistans very first cyber harassment helpline. Now, Dad and her group of 12 consisting of a counsellor field as much as 20 calls a day.

    The cases vary from ladies desiring suggestions on social networks security settings to more severe issues. Every day we are dealing with these problems. There are concerns of identity theft, blackmail, there are females shot being raped then blackmailed to avoid it browsing the web, states Dad.

    Technology is ever altering, so violence in the online areas has actually likewise increased. It has actually ended up being sextortion, doxing and vengeance pornography. Its enormous.

    In 2015, more than 3,000 cybercrimes were reported to Pakistans Federal Investigation Agency. About 45% of the females targeted were utilizing social networks. In May, Dads group commissioned a research study that discovered 70% of ladies hesitated of publishing their images online lest they need to be misused; 40% had actually been stalked and pestered on messaging apps.

    These figures are not a surprise to Rabia Mehmood, a Pakistani innovation reporter. Harassment is a substantial problem for ladies with access to innovation in Pakistan, and has actually been so because the days of landlines, she states. The shift to much better connection, more user control of gadgets and platforms, has actually not eliminated the online abuse and violence for ladies [ it has] just made the concern a lot more plain.

    In Pakistan, outspoken ladies have actually gotten rape and death risks, defamation of characters run versus them, and their contact details has actually been shared on social networks. We have actually seen a transitioning of violence and harassment of ladies from the offline world to online areas.

    There is little aid offered. A trust deficit in between the ladies and authorities exists in Pakistani society, states Mehmood. Ladies think justice will not be served, there is worry of being shamed and evaluated, and lastly, unknowning the ideal treatment of looking for aid.

    In 2015, Dad was called by a group of girls studying at Edwardes College in Peshawar. Somebody was publishing their Facebook page images together with their names and contact number specifying they were woman of the streets.

    It emerged that 2 guys had actually been effectively blackmailing Peshawars female trainees for a number of years by threatening to launch digitally doctored naked picturesof them unless they were paid.

    Most ladies, fearing for their credibilities, felt required to fulfill the needs.

    However, with Dads assistance, a number decided to resist. The females reported the blackmail as a criminal activity and the males were apprehended.

    As the images published were not nudes, and were composed completely in the Pashto language, they were not discovered to be in breach of Facebooks neighborhood requirements standards. Due to the fact that the text might not be comprehended by Mark Zuckerbergs organisation, this was.

    Dad started to lobby Facebook. We discovered a space in Facebooks systems, states Dad, who lastly was successful in having the posts eliminated.

    As an outcome of exactly what took place in Peshawar, Facebook has actually broadened its operations to consist of more native language speakers to evaluate material.

    Online violence versus ladies is an international concern, its simply that the effects are various in Pakistan because of culture, religious beliefs, social standards, patriarchy as well as the absence of awareness, states Dad.

    She is positive. Mainly, ladies in fact resist now. When females would simply remove themselves from innovation however thats not a service, there were times. We actually desire them to recover these areas by understanding the best ways to resist, and I believe modification is occurring. Its sluggish, however its taking place.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jul/17/sextortion-revenge-porn-woman-fighting-cyber-abuse-pakistan-nighat-dad-qandeel-baloch

    Uber’s scandals, blunders and PR disasters: the full list

    The business has actually had a relatively nonstop string of errors, from its questionable CEO to doubtful methods and unwanted sexual advances claims

    Uber has actually been rocked by a stable stream of scandals and unfavorable promotion in the last few years, consisting of discoveries of doubtful spy programs, a high-stakes innovation suit, claims of unwanted sexual advances and discrimination and awkward leakages about executive conduct.

    The PR catastrophes culminated in CEO Travis Kalanick taking an indefinite leave of lack today and pledges of strong reform that mostly disregarded the ride-hailing business strained relationship with chauffeurs.

    Here is a timeline of a few of the most substantial debates.

    Boob-er reaction, February 2014

    Uber CEO Travis Kalanick dealt with reaction for a sexist joke about his increasing desirability, informing an Esquire press reporter: We call that Boob-er.

    Targeting the rival, August 2014

    Uber dealt with allegations that it scheduled countless phony flights from its rival Lyft in an effort to cut into its services and revenues. Uber employers likewise supposedly spammed Lyft motorists in an effort to hire them far from the competitor.

    The God View scandal, November 2014

    Uber executive Emil Michael recommended digging up dirt on reporters and spreading out individual details of a female press reporter who was vital of the business. He later on said sorry . It was likewise exposed that Uber has a so-called God View innovation that permits the business to track users places, raising personal privacy issues. One supervisor had accessed the profile of a press reporter without her consent.

    Spying on Beyonc, December 2016

    A previous forensic private investigator for Uber affirmed that staff members frequently spied on political leaders, stars and exes, consisting of Beyonc.

    Self-owning pilot failure, December 2016

    Regulators in California bought Uber to eliminate self-driving lorries from the roadway after the business released a pilot without licenses. On the very first day of the program, the lorries were captured running traffic signals, and biking supporters in San Francisco likewise raised issues about the automobiles developing threats in bike lanes. The business blamed red-light concerns on human mistake, however the New York Times later declared that the business declarations were incorrect which the self-governing innovation stopped working.

    <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/video/2016/dec/15/uber-self-driving-car-drives-through-red-light-in-san-francisco-video"data-link-name =" in" body link"class=
    “u-underline”> Uber self-driving cars and truck drives through traffic signal in San Francisco

    False marketing, January 2017

    Uber was required to pay$20m to settle accusations that the business deceived individuals into owning with incorrect pledges about incomes. The Federal Trade Commission declared that a lot of Uber chauffeurs made far less than the rates Uber released online in 18 significant cities in the United States.

    #DeleteUber goes viral, January 2017

    A #DeleteUber project went viral after the business raised rise rates throughout a taxi demonstration at a New York airport versus Donald Trumps take a trip restriction. An overall of approximately 500,000 users supposedly erased accounts after the scandal emerged.

    Trump ties, February 2017

    CEO Travis Kalanick resigned from Trumps advisory council after users threatened a boycott. Kalanick stated: Joining the group was not indicated to be a recommendation of the president or his program however regrettably it has actually been misinterpreted to be precisely that.

    Sexual harassment scandal, February 2017

    Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler went public with claims of unwanted sexual advances and discrimination , triggering the business to work with previous United States attorney general of the United States Eric Holder to examine her claims . The story triggered prevalent dispute about sexism and misbehavior throughout Silicon Valley start-ups.

    Google suit, February 2017

    Waymo, the self-driving vehicle business owned by Googles moms and dad corporation Alphabet, submitted a suit versus Uber , implicating the start-up of computed theft of its innovation. The match, which might be a deadly obstacle for Ubers self-governing automobile aspirations, declared that a previous Waymo worker, Anthony Levandowski, took trade tricks for Uber. Uber later on fired the engineer .

    <path d ="M4 .6″12l -.4 1.4 c -.7.2 -1.9.6 -3.6 -.7 0-1.2 -.2 -1.2 -.9 0 -.2 0 -.3.1 -.5 l2-6.7 h.7l.4-1.5 4.2 -.6 h. 2l3 12h1.6 zm -.3 -9.2 c -.9 0-1.4 -.5 -1.4 -1.3 c2.9.5 3.7 0 4.6 0 5.4 0 6.5 6 1.3 c0 1 -.8 1.5-1.7 1.5 z”/> Anthony Levandowski, head of Ubers self-driving program, was fired after a suit brought by his previous employeer Waymo. Photo: Eric Risberg/AP

    Deceiving police, March 2017

    The New York Times reported that Uber for many years utilized a tool called Greyball to methodically trick police in cities where the business breached regional laws. The business utilized Greyball to recognize individuals thought to be working for city companies and performing sting operations, the Times reported. The discoveries caused the launch of a federal examination .

    CEO captured chewing out a motorist, March 2017

    Kalanick was captured on electronic camera arguing with his own Uber motorist, who grumbled about the trouble earning a living with the business decreasing rates. The embattled CEO chewed out the motorist: Some individuals do not prefer to take duty for their own shit. … They blame whatever in their life on someone else. Best of luck! He later on released an apology and stated he meant to obtain management aid.

    Escorts in Seoul, March 2017

    Tech news website the Information reported that a group of senior staff members, consisting of Kalanick, checked out an escort and karaoke bar in Seoul in 2014, resulting in an HR grievance from a female marketing supervisor. Customers at the bar normally choose females to sing karaoke with prior to taking them house.

    Spying on the competitor, April 2017

    News dripped of a secret program that Uber internally called Hell that permitted the business to spy on its competing Lyft to discover chauffeurs working for both business and to assist guide them far from the rival.

    Underpaying chauffeurs, May 2017

    Uber accepted pay chauffeurs in New York City 10s of countless dollars after confessing underpaid them for more than 2 years by taking a bigger cut of fares than it was entitled. The typical payment per motorist is anticipated to be about $900.

    Twenty workers fired, June 2017

    Uber exposed that it had fired more than 20 workers following an examination into the unwanted sexual advances claims and workplace culture.

    Questioning a rape victim, June 2017

    Reports exposed that a leading Uber executive had acquired the medical records of a female who was raped by an Uber chauffeur, supposedly to cast doubt upon the victims account. The executive, Eric Alexander, was fired after reporters discovered of the event, inning accordance with tech site Recode and the New York Times. The female later on took legal action against the business for breaching her personal privacy rights and maligning her.

    A vigil in Delhi kept in assistance of a female who was raped by her Uber motorist in the Indian capital. Picture: Anindito Mukherjee/REUTERS

    Kalanick departs of lack, June 2017

    Kalanick revealed that he would take an indefinite leave of lack as the business launched a damning report on workplace culture that advised Uber evaluation and reallocate the CEOs obligations.

    Board members sexist joke, June 2017

    David Bonderman resigned from Ubers board after he made a sexist joke throughout an all-staff conference about reforming the business and fighting unwanted sexual advances. The investor had actually joked that there was most likely to be more talking with another lady on the board. He stepped and asked forgiveness down hours later on.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/18/uber-travis-kalanick-scandal-pr-disaster-timeline

    Google’s future is useful, creepy and everywhere: nine things learned at I/O

    With Google Assistant coming to the iPhone, the company hopes to kill off Siri and wants to see inside your home as it reiterates its AI-first approach

    There were whoops and cheers from developers as Google announced the incremental ways it is strengthening its grip on many aspects of peoples lives at its annual developer conference, Google I/O.

    There were no jaw-dropping major product launches nor executives proclaiming their utopian vision of the future (ahem, Mark Zuckerberg). Instead there was a showcase of features, powered by artificial intelligence, designed to make people more connected and more reliant on Google.

    We are focused on our core mission of organising the worlds information for everyone and approach this by applying deep computer science and technical insights to solve problems at scale, said CEO Sundar Pichai.

    By combining the personal data harvested from its users with industry-leading (and human Go player beating) artificial intelligence, Google is squeezing itself into spaces in our everyday interactions it hasnt been before, filling in the gaps and oozing into new territory like a sticky glue that is becoming harder and harder to escape.

    Heres what the key I/O announcements tell us about Googles future.

    1. AI is Googles unique selling point

    Google reiterated that the company has shifted from a mobile-first to an AI-first approach. This means using AI at the core of all of its new products, whether thats to improve image recognition in Google Assistant or for beating human players at Go.

    2. Google wants to see as well as hear your surroundings

    Lens is Googles answer to Facebooks augmented reality Camera Effects platform. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Lens is Googles answer to Facebooks augmented reality Camera Effects platform. It comprises a set of vision-based computing capabilities, combined into Google Assistant and the Photos app, that works to understand what youre looking at. So you can point the camera at a flower and it will identify the species or automatically connect to a wifi network by showing the camera the log-in details printed on the sticker on the router. You can also hold your camera up to a restaurant in the street and see reviews.

    3. Google Assistant is getting smarter

    Googles equivalent of Siri, Google Assistant, is embedded in Android devices including smartphones, watches and Google Home. Googles Scott Huffman noted that Assistant would become even more conversational over the coming months, allowing you accomplish tasks with a quick chat.

    In addition to having voice recognition, Google Assistant, drawing on Lens, can now take in, understand and have conversations about what you see. For example, if you are in Japan but dont read Japanese, you can hold the Assistant up to a sign advertising some street food and it will read and translate the text. You can then ask what does it look like? and Google will know that the it refers to the name of the food written on the sign and it will pull up pictures of the dish.

    It comes so naturally to humans, and now Google is getting really good at conversations too, said Huffman.

    4. Google Home is getting creepier (and more useful)

    The voice-activated smart speaker Google Home will offer proactive assistance rather than waiting for you to say OK, Google to wake it up. For example, it might notify you if you have to leave your house earlier than expected because traffic is particularly heavy. Perhaps the company will start proactively advertising to customers in the future?

    Less creepy is the option to make hands-free calls from the Google Home speaker. You simply ask it to dial any landline or mobile number in the US or Canada and it will do so for free. The device can also now recognize up to six different voices in a household and adapt to personal preferences accordingly.

    Hands-free calls are coming to the Google Home speaker. Photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters

    5. Google wants to replace Siri on iPhones

    A key theme throughout the keynote was creating a seamless experience across devices, even if that device isnt in Googles Android ecosystem. This means that Google Assistant is now available on the iPhone.

    Assistant is widely considered much smarter than Siri, thanks to the fact that Google harvests a lot more personal data than privacy-conscious Apple. This means that frustrated Siri users wanting to translate a sentence into another language, play a movie on their Chromecast-enabled TV or order takeout using voice commands will now be able to do so.

    6. Its trying to keep YouTube creators happy

    Ever since Google added stricter controls for advertisers on YouTube after it was discovered ads were being placed alongside hate speech or terrorist videos, some vloggers have complained about making less money.

    YouTube relies on these internet celebrities to post regular videos and live streams as they attract huge audiences to the platform. That might explain why the company has launched the super chat, announced in January. Audience members can pay to have their comment featured prominently during a live stream and in turn donate money to the YouTuber or their chosen cause. The feature was enabled during a popular live stream of a New York-based giraffe giving birth in February, allowing the zoo to make tens of thousands of dollars.

    YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaks on stage during the annual Google I/O developers conference. Photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters

    7. It wants to take a slice of recruitment advertising

    Google for Jobs is a new search function that, by disintermediating the many job listings middlemen, makes it easier for people to find employment (and harder for those listing sites to make money).

    We want to better connect employers and job seekers through Google for Jobs, said Pichai.

    The company has worked with partners including LinkedIn, Monster, and Career Builder to aggregate search in one place similar to what its done with its airline-search tool, Google Flights. The company uses machine learning to understand and group together roles for which employers and employees use different words, for example store clerk and retail manager.

    Pichai positioned the launch as an effort to boost American employment, but its sure to help get Google already taking, along with Facebook, the lions share of online advertising revenue a bigger slice of the pie.

    8. It needs to attract the next billion or two

    During the I/O keynote, Pichai stated that seven of Googles products had more than a billion monthly users: Google search, Android, Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Google Play and Gmail. However, if its to continue to grow, it needs to attract the so-called next billion users, typically users in lower-income countries just starting to come online through mobile devices. Thats why Google has developed Android Go, a pared-down version of the mobile operating system for entry-level devices that uses less data and loads apps more quickly, even when the signal is poor.

    Android Go will be embedded in the latest version of Googles mobile operating system, Android O, which is more battery efficient and features better protections against viruses and malware in downloaded apps a notorious problem for Android devices compared with iPhones.

    Pichai stated that seven of Googles products had more than a billion monthly users. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    9. Its realistic about VR and AR

    Theres a bucketload of hype around virtual reality and augmented reality, but Googles approach felt more measured, focusing on the immediate, practical applications (perhaps a symptom of being burned by the now defunct Google Glass prototype, launched with great fanfare and an army of tech evangelists).

    The company already has an entry level VR headset that uses a smartphone as the screen, but it teased a couple of more advanced standalone DayDream headsets, made in collaboration with HTC and Lenovo. The details were scarce but Google emphasised that unlike with Oculus or HTC Vive headsets, DayDream headset users wouldnt need expensive computers to power them or rigs of external cameras to detect the persons position.

    With augmented reality, Google described a visual positioning system similar to GPS but with accuracy to the level of centimetres. It works by using the camera to identify objects visually within a space, for example a large store. This means youd be able to hold up your camera (or wear a pair of smart glasses) and be guided to a specific product on a shelf. This extends Googles mission to organize the worlds information in the physical domain.

    Imagine what it could mean to people with impaired vision, said Clay Bavor, vice-president of virtual reality, who suggested that Google-powered camera phones (or other wearable devices) could act as a blind persons eyes.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/18/google-assistant-iphone-ai-future-things-we-learned-at-io