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Month: January 2019

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Facebook and Twitter removed hundreds of accounts linked to Iran, Russia and Venezuela



The Facebook accounts had garnered about two million followers and researchers say they amplified anti-West viewsFacebook and Twitter both announced on Thursday they had taken down hundreds of accounts believed to have been part of coordinated influenc…

Apple leaves Facebook offices in disarray after revoking app permissions



Move comes after Facebook exploited loophole to harvest data about apps installed on people’s iPhones

Apple has left Facebook’s campus in disarray after the company revoked the social network’s permission to build or run employee-only applications, according to reports. Employees were reportedly left unable to read cafeteria menus, call for inter-office transport or use versions of the social network’s own apps.

The move came on Wednesday, the day after it was revealed that Facebook had allegedly exploited a loophole in Apple’s approval system to bypass rules that banned the harvesting of data about what apps are installed on a user’s phone. Facebook Research, an app the company paid users as young as 13 to install that routed their iPhone traffic through the company’s own servers, had been built using an enterprise developer certificate (EDC) issued by Apple to companies that need to build applications for internal use.

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How do I recover an email address I lost when my phone was stolen?



Tay’s mobile was taken and his password changed. How can he get back into his inbox?

Somebody stole my phone and changed my email password. I’ve tried to recover it, but I don’t have the phone number linked to my account because my phone was stolen. What should I do? Tay

First, recover your phone number, which is much more important than the phone.

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Silent Hill at 20: the game that taught us to fear ourselves



This horror thriller shocked the games industry with its tense world of terror – and its monstrous vision is as fearsome as ever

A father and daughter are driving through a remote area of America when a ghostly figure steps into the road, forcing the car to swerve wildly. As the man regains consciousness, he realises the car is a wreck and his daughter is missing. Shocked and confused, he staggers into the nearby town of Silent Hill, where his nightmare truly begins.

Loaded with dread, this scene could be the opening of a nasty horror movie. In fact, it’s the setup to the classic video game Silent Hill, launched on this day 20 years ago by the Japanese gaming company Konami. Alongside Capcom’s Resident Evil, the title helped popularise the survival horror genre of action thrillers, which are characterised by tense exploration, expressionistic camera angles, fiendish environmental puzzles and limited access to weaponry, making every encounter with a monster a mortal challenge.

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Sunless Skies review – a galaxy of terrors awaits



PC; Failbetter Games
This imaginative and darkly humorous steampunk survival game has you fearfully chart a vast, hostile universe

Depending on what you want from it, Sunless Skies is a merciless odyssey of oddball sci-fi survival, or a fantasy novel trilogy’s worth of wild, written ideas. You’re the captain of a spacefaring locomotive, braving cosmic fiends, blunderbuss-toting pirate trains and encroaching madness as you explore a darkly fantastical British empire’s faltering colonisation of the malevolent stars. Travel is slow, lonely and lethal: your crew is at constant risk of starvation, your hull at constant risk of destruction and your mind at constant risk of snapping.

At each dock you pull into, an assortment of strange characters awaits. Each has their own unexpected short stories to tell – if you can draw them out by meeting their demands or passing tests of chance. The frequently twisted flights of both fancy and language in these tales are delightful. Characters and places burrow their way into your memory thanks to acid-tongued words or unexpected twists – secrets, lies, diseases, murders, devils.

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How Facebook robbed us of our sense of self



Fifteen years ago, the social network site was set up to connect people. But now, with lives increasingly played out online, have we forgotten how to be alone?

‘Thefacebook is an online directory that connects people through social networks at colleges. We have opened up Thefacebook for popular consumption at Harvard University. You can use Thefacebook to: search for people at your school; find out who are [sic] in your classes; look up your friends’ friends; see a visualization of your social network.”

On 4 February 2004, this rather clunky announcement launched an invention conceived in the dorm room of a Harvard student called Mark Zuckerberg, and intended to be an improvement on the so-called face books that US universities traditionally used to collect photos and basic information about their students. From the vantage point of 2019, Thefacebook – as it was then known – looks familiar, but also strange. Pages were coloured that now familiar shade of blue, and “friends” were obviously a central element of what was displayed. However, there was little on show from the wider world: the only photos were people’s profile pictures, and there was no ever-changing news feed.

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Block party: scientists celebrate robot that can play Jenga



MIT researchers develop machine with physical skills needed to master children’s game

The humble game of Jenga has become the latest human pursuit to fall to machines, scientists have announced.

In what marks significant progress for robotic manipulation of real-world objects, a Jenga-playing machine can learn the complex physics involved in withdrawing wooden blocks from a tower through physical trial and error.

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Block party: scientists celebrate robot that can play Jenga



MIT researchers develop machine with physical skills needed to master children’s game

The humble game of Jenga has become the latest human pursuit to fall to machines, scientists have announced.

In what marks significant progress for robotic manipulation of real-world objects, a Jenga-playing machine can learn the complex physics involved in withdrawing wooden blocks from a tower through physical trial and error.

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Facebook posts record profit despite year of scandal



Fourth-quarter results beat expectations for earnings and revenue as profit hits $6.88bn, up from $4.27bn a year before

Facebook closed the book on its scandal-plagued year Wednesday, with strong fourth quarter financial results that beat analyst expectations for earnings and revenue.

The results highlighted how divorced Facebook’s business success is from its public reputation, which suffered another blow Wednesday when Apple punished the app maker for violating its rules with a program that paid users as young as 13 to install an app that surveilled them.

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