Facebook Contemplating Transparency on Platform

In an article for CNBC, Julia Boorstin covers the most recent development in FaceBook’s ongoing transparaceny debacle that this time involves Presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg.  Facebook is apparently concerned about the lack of transparency regarding Bloomberg’s campaign in regards to campaign staffers and activists using the platform to garner support for the former New York Mayor’s Presidential campaign.  Currently, posts advocating for Bloomberg’s campaign don’t specifically indicate that these endorsements are in fact created by paid campaign staffers and supporters. According to the article, Facebook is in the process of considering necessary steps to increase transparency and make these campaign posts more obvious in their partiality.  In recent months, the social media juggernaut has been progressively taking steps to gain users trust through increased transparency regarding campaign advertisements as a result of the Cambridge Analytical debacle the company faced in early 2018. That particular scandal arose after it was reported that the company had unethically gathered user data to target political ads supporting Donald Trump for President in 2016.  Since then Facebook has instituted new policies such as flagging political ads and launching a database that reports ad purchases in relation to politics and special interests. 

I find it interesting that Facebook is now reactively making transparency regarding advertisements on its platform a priority after years of ignoring the issue altogether.  The mounting distrust and negative press the site has received in recent years has obviously had some kind of effect on the company’s standards in relation to transparency on the platform.  It remains to be seen however if the company can rebound from the awful public relations issues the site has been facing in recent times and potentially gain consumer trust. 



8 Year Old Making $26 Million A Year Reviewing Toys


8 year old Ryan Kaji was the highest paid Youtube star of the year according to Forbes. His Youtube channel, Ryan ToysReview has 23 million subscribers. He has built his business empire from simply reviewing toys with the help from his parents. He has been hosting unboxing videos on Youtube since 2015, and slowly it has grown to be a popular brand called Ryans World. The channel was slow growing until a video he released in 2015 went viral. It was a video of him reviewing a box containing more than 100 toys from Pixar Cars series. That video now has over 1 billion views. Ryans business was able to grow with the help of kids entertainment company Pocket Watch . The company was about to bring Ryans World to Colgate, Nickelodeon, Roku, and Walmart. He now has merchandise that can be purchased at Target, and Amazon.

Facebook Says They Are Able To Locate Users Who Decline Tracking

It seems like every week there is something new involving facebook and privacy. The company had admitted in a letter to two US senators that they able to locate someone even after they opt out of precise location tracking. Facebook had stopped tracking location data when users specifically opt out of the service, but there are other forms of information and data that they are able to use to piece together where someone is. The company says that there are several benefits as to why they need your location for advertisements and to fight hackers and battle misinformation but that is still crazy. There really is no privacy any more it seems like and all these big companies are simply sharing our data for money. That is pretty concerning to me and im sure a lot of other Americans that we can check the option to not have our location tracked but it still is. I wonder how many other options and services that I decline from, but are still being done without my knowledge…

Alexa, Where Are My Glasses?


Article: https://www.wired.com/story/everything-amazon-announced-2019/

Amazon has announced a series of wearable internet of things products including glasses, headphones, and even a ring. The company also announced new speakers and other Alexa products. Amazon has been known to release more affordable virtual assistant products than their competitors, such as Apple, and they are trying to continue to be the leader in this category.

At first glance, it’s not hard to confuse the Echo Frames as some sort of attempt at making a successful version of the failed Google Glass. However, the Echo Frames are merely a way to access Alexa without having to use your hands. They feature only a microphone and speakers. If they become successful, it is possible that a camera version could be released, though the bulky look of the Frames make that hard to see happening. The starting price for them will be a steep $180.

Echo Buds are Amazon’s competitor to Airpods. They are handsfree earbuds that feature Alexa capability as well as a Bose sound cancelation feature. Echo Buds will sell for $130.

The Echo Loop is the most absurd product of them all. Amazon is taking an even larger leap with this Alexa enabled smart ring than they are taking with the Echo Frames. The Loop has basically the same capabilities as the frames, but with the added benefit of looking like a lunatic while speaking into your hand in public.

Amazon announced a new revamped Echo Speaker with significantly improved sound quality. Also announced was Echo Studio, a speaker focused on 3d audio; an echo dot with a clock; Echo Show 8, an echo device with a screen; Echo Glow, an echo lamp; an “Eero” wifi router; and two new Ring doorbell cameras.

Alexa will also be getting new computer learning updates.