Saturday, November 19, 2016

Zuckerberg: Facebook will develop tools to fight fake news

 The planned controls, which were announced in a late night Facebook post, follow accusations that a flood of fake news stories influenced the U.S. presidential election.

"The bottom line is: we take misinformation seriously," wrote Zuckerberg. "We take this responsibility seriously. We've made significant progress, but there is more work to be done."

The CEO said that Facebook (FB, Tech30) is working to develop stronger fake news detection, a warning system, easier reporting and technical ways to classify misinformation. Facebook has also been in contact with fact checking organizations.

For Zuckerberg, it's a sharp reversal in tone from comments made in the immediate aftermath of the election.

"I think the idea that fake news on Facebook -- of which it's a small amount of content -- influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea," he said last week.

Zuckerberg has come under pressure to do more to fight the fake news scourge. Some former employees said the CEO's public comments even contradicts Facebook's pitch to advertisers.

The site's core business is built on the premise that advertisers can use Facebook's targeting tools to show the right users the right message at the right time leading to the right outcome. If it works for advertisers, shouldn't it also work for political campaigns?

Zuckerberg's latest post makes clear that Facebook does not want to play the role of an editor.

"The problems here are complex, both technically and philosophically," he said. "We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties."

Zuckerberg did not say how quickly the measures would be in place. But they should make it much easier for users to flag misleading content -- similar to the way cyberbullying can be reported with a single click on some social media.

The social media giant is also working to undermine the business model used by fake news publishers.

Facebook said earlier this week that it would not place ads from fake news publishers on third party apps or websites, because the content falls under the broader category of "illegal, misleading or deceptive" content. Google (GOOG) has taken similar steps.

"Some of these ideas will work well, and some will not," Zuckerberg admitted. "We understand how important the issue is for our community and we are committed to getting this right."
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Monday, November 14, 2016

Donald Trump is richer than all the American presidents combined

The US presidency has been traditionally held by rich men. Not always—Truman, Coolidge, Lincoln, Grant and a few others were not wealthy and amongst our “poorest” presidents, according to 24/7 Wall Street’s definitive list of presidential wealth adjusted into 2016 dollars.

On the other end of the spectrum, when you adjust for inflation as of 2010, there is George Washington with a net worth of $580 million, Thomas Jefferson with $234 million, and John F. Kennedy with $1 billion—though he hadn’t technically inherited it when he was assassinated.

Combined, the first 44 presidents had around $2.99 billion in assets – in 2016 dollars. While that’s a lot, President-elect Donald Trump currently has a net worth of $3.0 billion, according to Bloomberg. (Still, he’s not wealthy enough to be ranked by its Billionaire list, which is limited to the 500 richest individuals.)

Of course, there’s not great visibility to Trump’s actual net worth—he could have much more or less. While Trump himself claims to have $10 billion, many people have called into question whether he’s a billionaire at all, given his lack of financial transparency and refusal to release his tax returns.

If Bloomberg’s numbers are right—and they are as legit, if not more, than anyone else’s—this makes Trump about $10 million richer than every Commander in Chief who came before him, combined.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Google will display election results as soon as polls close

Google has been highly involved with connecting U.S. voters to timely information throughout this election cycle, by offering everything from voter registration assistance to polling place information in its search result pages. Today, the company announced plans to display the results of the U.S. election directly in search, in over 30 languages, as soon as the polls close.

Web searchers who query for “election results” will be able to view detailed information on the Presidential, Senatorial, Congressional, Gubernatorial races as well as state-level referenda and ballot propositions, says Google.

The results will be updated continuously – every 30 seconds, as indicated by a screenshot shared by the company on its official blog post detailing the new features. Tabs across the top will let you switch to between the various races, like President, House, and Senate, for example. The results will also include information like how many more electoral votes a presidential candidate needs to win, how many seats are up for grabs in the House and Senate, and how many Gubernatorial races are underway, among other things.
This data is presented in an easy-to-read format, with Democrats in blue, Republicans in red, and simple graphs, alongside the key numbers.

While Google has offered voter assistance tools for years in past elections, the company has really stepped up its game in this most recent cycle, with the rollout of web and mobile tools that helped people figure out how to register, how to vote or vote early, where to find their polls, who’s on the ballot, and more. It also made those guides available in Spanish.

And Google heavily pushed voters to get involved with home page ads on its usually sparse site. In addition, it’s today running a banner at the top of Gmail that offers to show you where to vote – something it hasn’t done in years past. The Google Doodle is also being used to remind people of the election.

The increased efforts come at a time when more people are turning to the web to get information about the elections. The company says it has seen a 233 percent increase in search traffic for the phrase “how to vote” compared with the 2012 elections, for example.

The election results will be made available as soon as the polls close on Election Day, says Google. The company also notes it will be live streaming election news on YouTube via the channels offered by NBC, PBS, MTV, Bloomberg, Telemundo, The Young Turks, and others. Already, viewers spent over 20 million hours watching and rewatching the debate live streams on the site, the company added.

An Actual Snake Found on anActual Air Plane

Ten years ago, Samuel L. Jackson warned us against those motherf**king snakes. Now it’s real. On a commercial flight to Mexico City, there was an actual snake on an actual plane!

A Twitter user kindly provided us with video proof of this extraordinary incident.

How did the snake get on the plane? How did it get loose? Is everyone okay?

In a statement to the AP, AeroMexico said that the plane got priority landing and that workers “secured the reptile.” But honestly, if this flight crew doesn’t offer up a free showing of Snakes on a Plane on its next flight, it’s really missing an opportunity for greatness.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Manny Pacquiao routs Jessie Vargas, claims welterweight belt

There was high drama before Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas threw a single punch on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

That is because Floyd Mayweather, the retired superstar, strode to ringside with his daughter during the final undercard bout and took a seat in front of the ringside media, immediately igniting renewed talk of a rematch with Pacquiao, whom he outpointed in May 2015 in the richest fight in boxing history.

But that rematch would not even be discussed without a Pacquiao win. No worries.

With Mayweather, whom Pacquiao said he invited, leaning in and intently watching the fight, Pacquiao stormed to a one-sided decision victory to reclaim a welterweight world title before a wild crowd of 16,132. After the scores of 118-109, 118-109 and a very questionable 114-113 card from judge Dave Moretti in favor of Pacquiao were announced, Pacquiao climbed the ring post with his new belt over his shoulder in front of Mayweather and smiled at him.

Mayweather responded by giving him a thumb's up. Mayweather's comment to the ringside media on Pacquiao's performance: "Not bad." scored the fight 119-108 for Pacquiao, who was coming out of a brief retirement that followed his lopsided decision win against Timothy Bradley Jr. in April, followed by his winning a senate seat in the Philippines. Now the question is: Will Mayweather join him in returning?

"I'm just taking [my daughter] to the fight," said Mayweather, who does not typically go to fights other than the ones his Mayweather Promotions puts on.

Pacquiao said he came back because he missed boxing and devised a schedule to juggle both jobs. He said he still wanted to make big money, much of which he gives away to the poor in his country. The biggest money would be a rematch with Mayweather. Their fight generated some $600 million. First he had to dismiss Vargas, which he did handily.

"I feel happy," Pacquiao said. "I'm trying every round to knock him down, but I don't want to be careless. I was very careful to go inside because I know he will counter me. I feel I could do more, but every round I did try to knock him out. I wanted to win every round. Walking into the ring tonight as a challenger energized me."

Pacquiao maintained a brutal schedule preparing for the fight. He trained in the morning and at night, with a full day of senate work in between. He fought this weekend only because the date was during a senate recess.

Trainer Freddie Roach was proud of him.

"He worked so hard for me in the gym and so hard for the Philippines in the senate," Roach said. "He had a killer schedule, but one only Manny could complete."

Before the opening bell, Pacquiao looked over at Mayweather, pumped his fist and smiled. After a fairly close opening round, Pacquiao landed a lightning-fast straight left hand that landed flush and dropped Vargas to the seat of his pants late in the second round. He quickly beat the count from referee Kenny Bayless and did not seem too badly hurt.

"Fighting Manny Pacquiao is like playing a very fast game of chess," Vargas said. "You have to be alert at all times. There's a lot of punches coming in. He was very fast, and he was very sharp. His speed surprised me at the beginning, and that [knockdown] woke me up. He has tremendous speed. Fighting Pacquiao only elevated my game, and it makes me better."

Pacquiao, the only fighter in boxing history to win world titles in eight weight classes, kept up an intense attack in the third round, and Vargas looked like a deer in headlights as the crowd went wild with chants of "Manny! Manny!" He was jumping in and out and tagging Vargas with left hands and making him miss badly.

Vargas began to find his footing midway through the fight. There were many exciting exchanges on the inside, and Vargas landed a thudding right hand as the bell ended the sixth round.

"He worked so hard for me in the gym and so hard for the Philippines in the senate. He had a killer schedule, but one only Manny could complete."

The eighth round was action packed as Vargas (27-2, 10 KOs) backed Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) up with a right hand before Pacquiao unleashed a flurry. They traded shots, and Pacquiao connected with an overhand right in the final seconds.

Vargas, 27, of Las Vegas, emerged from the round with a bloody gash over his right eye that cutman Rafael Garcia went to work on as soon as the round ended. When Pacquiao nailed Vargas with a right hand in the ninth round, blood went flying from Vargas' wound.

The 37-year-old Pacquiao, the first senator to win a world title, kept the pressure on in the 12th round. He came into the fight having not scored a knockout in 11 consecutive fights since a 12th-round stoppage of Miguel Cotto to win a welterweight title for the first time in November 2009, and he seemed to really be gunning for one. But Vargas was tough and took plenty of hard shots, including a right hand that sent him backward in the final minute of the fight.

"It was a tough fight, but let's give credit to Pacquiao and his legendary performances," said Dewey Cooper, Vargas' trainer. "He is a great champion."

Pacquiao did not come to the news conference after the fight because of the time it took for him to provide a sample for his doping test and because he needed 16 stitches to close a gash he suffered on the top of his head from an accidental head-butt in the 12th round. It came as a surprise that he needed stiches because the cut was not noticeable when it happened since there was virutally no blood.

Pacquiao earned a minimum of $4 million, and Vargas made a career-high $2.8 million for the first defense of the vacant title he won in March with a ninth-round knockout of then-undefeated former U.S. Olympian Sadam Ali. According to CompuBox punch statistics, Pacquiao landed 147 of 409 punches (36 percent), and Vargas connected on 104 of 562 (19 percent).

If Mayweathwer wants a rematch, Pacquiao is certainly interested but did not call him out.

"I'm gonna go back home to the Philippines and back to work in the senate, and then I'll talk to [Top Rank promoter] Bob [Arum] about my next fight," he said. "I don't know who the fight will be. Whoever the people want me to fight. I am not picking an opponent. Whoever my promoter gives me, I will fight. Anybody at 147. [Junior welterweight champion Terence] Crawford at 140? Not a problem."

But what about Mayweather?

"I invited him to come tonight," Pacquiao said.

It would seem clear that there will soon be another invitation, a mutual one from each to meet again, this time inside the ring.

'Doctor Strange' Opens to Spellbinding $85M in U.S., Hits $325M Globally

Doctor Strange opened to an even better-than-expected $85 million from 3,882 theaters at the North American box office, further expanding Marvel Studios and Disney’s superhero universe and putting the movie’s early global total at a magical $325.4 million.

Overseas, it earned another $118.7 million this weekend for a foreign cume of $240.4 million (it began rolling out in select foreign markets more than a week ago.)

Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the lesser-known superhero Stephen Strange, gives Disney five of the 10 top openings of 2016 so far, and is another coup for Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige and Disney’s marketing team. Also, it beat the first installments in the Thor, Captain America and Ant-Man franchises.

In the film, Cumberbatch plays a top surgeon who, after his hands are injured in a car accident, seeks out the help of the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), a master of the mystical arts. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rachel McAdams also star in Doctor Strange, which marks the biggest domestic opening for all four actors. It cost $165 million to produce.

Doctor Strange, boasting glowing reviews and an A CinemaScore, wasn’t the weekend’s only success story in a needed morale boost for Hollywood after revenue tumbled 10 percent in September and October. Animated event film Trolls and Mel Gibson’s tough World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge came in on the high end expectations after likewise scoring strong reviews and A CinemaScores.

DreamWorks Animation and Fox’s Trolls took second place with $45.6 million from 4,060 theaters. Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick star in the animated musical, based on the classic children’s doll. Timberlake served as an executive producer of the soundtrack, which includes his original hit song “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

Hacksaw Ridge followed in third place with $14.8 million from 2,886 theaters, a solid start for a tough, R-rated war film. And it’s Gibson’s first directorial outing since Apocalypto a decade ago (that movie debuted to $15 million).

Hoping to win over both Oscar voter and faith-based moviegoers, Hacksaw Ridge stars Andrew Garfield as a U.S. Army medic who became the first conscientious objector in history to win the medal of honor after staying behind and saving more than 75 lives, despite refusing to take up arms because of his religious beliefs.

The $40 million was financed independently before Lionsgate picked up U.S. rights.

As awards season intensifies, Focus Features debuted Jeff Nichols’ interracial drama Loving in four theaters in Los Angeles and New York. The movie posted the top theater average of the weekend, or an estimated $48,750.

Loving stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as married couple Richard and Mildred Loving, a white man and a black woman, who spent nine years fighting for the right to live in Virginia before the U.S. Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling, invalidated state laws forbidding interracial marriages.

Elsewhere at the specialty box office, A24’s awards contender Moonlight continued to impress when expanding into a total of 83 theaters in its weekend. The movie moved up the chart to No. 11, grossing $1.3 million for a theater average of $16,053 — one of the best of the weekend — and domestic total of $3.1 million.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Secret Service rushes Donald Trump off stage at rally

Donald Trump was abruptly brought off the stage by Secret Service in the middle of a Saturday night rally when an unidentified man apparently tried to rush the stage.

Multiple witnesses near the front of the stage told reporters that they believed that the man had a gun, but the claim could not be confirmed by Yahoo News. The Secret Service said no weapon was found.

Trump had paused his stump speech to call out a protester when several Secret Service agents suddenly rushed to him and grabbed him off the stage. Chaos ensued as the crowd began to hurry away from the stage. Some moved back toward a barricaded area where the press corps was set up and began screaming at them.

“Why don’t you cover this!” a man screamed as reporters stood on their chairs with cameras, trying to get a better look. “Liars!”

As rally attendees began to fearfully race for the exits, Trump aides rushed to the candidate’s traveling press corps and ordered them to immediately head to the motorcade.

Reporters ran through the crowd. Heavily armed police officers with machine guns were seen escorting a man backstage. They declined to comment to reporters about the incident.

Trump’s traveling press corps was initially rushed toward the motorcade, amid word from the campaign that the candidate would not return to the stage. But about seven minutes after the incident began, Trump’s entrance song — “God Bless the USA” — suddenly boomed throughout the convention hall and reporters hurried back in the room, where the candidate retook the stage.

“No one ever said it would be easy for us,” Trump said, thanking the Secret Service. And then he returned to his usual stump speech.

After the rally, Trump released a statement thanking law enforcement officers. “I also want to thank the many thousands of people present for their unwavering and unbelievable support. Nothing will stop us – we will make America great again!” he said.

This was not the first time Secret Service have rushed to protect the Republican nominee at a campaign rally. In March, Trump was surrounded by agents after a man suddenly headed to the stage at an event in Ohio. The man, 22-year-old Thomas Dimassimo, was blocked before he ever reached Trump and was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Trump claimed the man was tied to ISIS, but experts dismissed the assertion.

Dad of 17-Month-Old Charged After Child's Mother Texted Him Photos of Toddler's Lifeless Body

A Pennsylvania father has now been charged after he didn’t call 911 when the mother of his children threatened to kill them and sent him photos of their 17-month-old son’s lifeless body.

The mother, 21-year-old Christian Clark, was arrested and charged with homicide and attempted murder after she allegedly smothered their 17-month-old to death and attempted to kill their 2-year-old, all while telling their dad what she was doing through text.

Read: Mother of Girl Whose Been Missing for 5 Years Arrested in Connection With Her Death

The children’s father, Andre Price Jr., was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of child endangerment.

The McKeesport man didn’t alert authorities even though Clark sent him videos of his son’s limp body Tuesday night along with alleged texts saying, “Ya kids ain’t safe here I don’t want them here... So you better pray for your kids” and, “I’m killing them,” with a laughing emoji.

Only after Clark sent a third video showing her picking up the boy’s limp body by the arm and tossing him on the bed, did Price ask Clark to try to revive him, police said.

Read: Teen Allegedly Beats Grandmother to Death Out of Anger That She Hid His Beer

"Try to wake him up I said hold him," he texted. "It’s okay I’m dialing 911," Clark responded in another text, according to reports.

Clark reportedly told police she found the boy unresponsive.

Police previously said that the inital argument between the two parents started over Price’s alleged cheating.