Archive for "February, 2018"

  1. Germany Cracks Whip Against Hate Speech on Social Media

    14 Feb 2018 ...  

    Germany Cracks Whip Against Hate Speech on Social Media

    Germany on Monday began enforcing its new Network Enforcement Act, or NetzDG, which imposes a fine of up to 50 million euros (US$60 million) on social media networks that fail to remove hate-inciting posts promptly.

    The controversial law, adopted in mid 2017, just entered its formal enforcement phase. It is designed to help combat hate and fake news at a time when ISIS-linked terror and anti-immigrant extremism have been on the rise in Germany.

    Further, Russian hackers have been accused of trying to sow nationalist tendencies through social media attacks in Western countries facing elections.

    The law calls for fines of up to 50 million euros on major social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other channels.

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  2. 2017 in Tech: The Year of Foreshadowing Big Things to Come

    14 Feb 2018 ...  

    2017 in Tech: The Year of Foreshadowing Big Things to Come

    2017 may be the year that developments in the tech world truly were overshadowed by other world events: deepening divisions in the United States and the looming threat of war with North Korea; numerous high-profile Hollywood players, TV personalities, politicians, journalists, business executives and others involved in sexual misconduct scandals; terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere; and the announcement of yet another royal wedding in the United Kingdom, to name just a few.

    With all of that going on, it would be easy to overlook Apple’s introduction of another iPhone or Nintendo’s comeback with a hit video game console. The truth is that 2017 could be what sports teams often call “a rebuilding year.”

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  3. Ready Player One and the Troubled Future of VR

    14 Feb 2018 ...  

    Ready Player One and the Troubled Future of VR

    One of the issues with virtual reality is that expectations have been overset massively with TV shows like
    Star Trek: The Next Generation, which promised an artificial reality indistinguishable from reality. VR failed.

    It didn’t have to — there is a pattern to bringing out successful technology that is repeatable. You create a complete experience regardless of cost, then cost-reduce it. That way, you have a model for where you need to go. Sadly, the more common path is to try to hit an aggressive price point first and deliver a crippled experience.

    The coming movie
    Ready Player One showcases the eventual goal for VR as an uncompromised platform: a meshing of technology and the human experience so that the user can’t perceive the difference.

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  4. Google removes tappable shortcuts from search app

    14 Feb 2018 ...  

    Less than a year after launching this feature, Google has removed the shortcuts offering quick answers on weather, sports & entertainment info.

    Google removes tappable shortcuts from search app

    ouh_desire / Shutterstock.com

    Google has quietly dropped the tappable shortcuts feature the company released just about a year ago in the Google search app. That feature aimed at giving you a quick way to access Google features without having to search for them.

    Andy B. from the Google Search & Assistant team wrote in a Google help thread that the feature was indeed removed to give more prominence to the new feed experience in the search app, which will make it “easier than ever to discover and explore what matters to you,” he added.

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  5. Google adds new SEO Audit category to Chrome’s Lighthouse extension

    14 Feb 2018 ...  

    The popular auditing tool used by developers and search marketers now enables users to run basic SEO checks against site pages.

    Google adds new SEO Audit category to Chrome's Lighthouse extension

    Webmasters, web developers and SEOs are getting a new feature in the widely used website auditing tool Lighthouse. Google announced today the addition of an “SEO Audits” category to the Chrome extension. You can access the new audit category via the “Options” button in the extension.

    By no means a replacement for a comprehensive SEO audit, the new feature does provide feedback on basic/fundamental SEO best practices, returning a report that checks for:

    • Descriptive anchor text.
    • Titles, description.
    • If the page can be crawled by Google.
    • HTTP status code.
    • Valid hreflang and rel=canonical tags.
    • UX — legible font sizes, plugins.
    • … and makes recommendations for additional reports.

    From a sample report I ran against Starbucks.com:

    Google adds new SEO Audit category to Chrome's Lighthouse extension

    SEO Audit Report from Lighthouse Extension

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  6. The need for speed: Google dedicates engineering team to accelerate development of WordPress ecosystem

    14 Feb 2018 ...  

    Google’s partnership with WordPress aims to jump-start the platform’s support of the latest web technologies — particularly those involving performance & mobile experience. And they’re hiring WordPress experts.

    The need for speed: Google dedicates engineering team to accelerate development of WordPress ecosystem

    Google has invested heavily in shaping the architecture of the web, working with developers, the open-source community and the SEO community to ensure adoption of technologies and practices as part of its mission “to contribute to the prevalence of a healthy, flourishing, and vibrant web.”

    Most recently, Google has partnered with open-source content management system (CMS) WordPress, arguably the largest, with market share nearing 59 percent and an estimated 1/3 of all web content published through the platform — including our three publications.

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