Big Tech &
Facebook needs regulation to combat fake news, say MPs (2 minute read)
With deep-fake technology becoming more common, politicians are becoming more concerned with disinformation and fake news being propagated without restrictions. Damian Collins, a politician in the UK, has spoken out against social media giants such as Facebook, calling for stronger policies and action against such content. He states that social media companies have a responsibility to identify and remove content that is designed to spread misinformation. With the current algorithms, if a user engages with specific content, they are served with more of the same material, causing users to be stuck in feedback loops.
Australia in Tree-Planting Binge to Help Meet Climate Targets (1 minute read)
Australia aims to plant a billion trees by 2050, in order to reach its Paris Agreement climate targets. It is estimated that the trees planted will remove up to 18 million tons of greenhouse gas per year by 2030. Currently, Australia produces 500 million tons of CO2-equivalent per year, mainly due to its reliance on coal fuel. The Paris Agreement means that Australia has agreed to lower its carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2030, however, there are still no policies specifying Australia’s strategies to reach its target.
Watch Israel's historic moon launch live (1 minute read)
Israel will attempt its first moon landing on February 21, and if everything goes to plan, it will be the fourth country to achieve the feat. The spaceship, called ‘Beresheet’, will be launching with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which will also carry other satellites and research equipment. A live video feed of the launch will begin at approximately 8:30 pm EST on February 21, and a link to the feed can be accessed through the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Awesome Design Tools (GitHub Repo)
This GitHub repository contains a large list of design tools, all categorized and annotated with a quick, keyword-based description of what the tools do. It is designed to be easily searchable based on the task that the user wants to do. Users can contribute to the project by submitting a pull request or contacting the owner directly through Twitter.
Joe Schmoe: An illustrated avatar collection for developers and designers (Web Tool)
Joe Schmoe is an API that will generate an avatar that can be used as a placeholder profile picture for a website. It is possible to use the API to generate a different avatar every time or users can opt for a specific avatar to be used every page load. It is very simple and easy to use and there is a demo of the tool available on the site.
The weird rise of cyber funerals (2 minute read)
After we die, our physical affairs may be easily taken care of, but our digital footprint is much more difficult to remove. Specialist companies exist that provide ‘digital undertaking’ services, where the company will track down and remove information about the deceased, and failing to do so, will flood search engine results with false information to hide real information about the deceased. Social media companies such as Facebook have introduced features such as allowing a legacy contact to delete or memorialize a deceased person’s page. With the increasing amount of data that we volunteer to the internet, removing the information after we die is increasingly important.