Facebook expects to launch oversight board this summer
- Facebook expects its long-simmering oversight board to begin hearing cases this summer, with board members to be announced “in the coming months.” The announcement came on Tuesday, as the company released a set of recommended bylaws for the body and gave new details about how it will be structured.
- Conceived as an independent body to handle Facebook’s most difficult moderation decisions, the board will exist as its own corporate entity, funded by an irrevocable $130 million donation from Facebook.
- Once a claim is submitted for appeal (either by the user or by Facebook itself), the company envisions a complete adjudication of the process within 90 days, including publication of the board’s decision and a policy recommendation from Facebook.
- Despite Facebook’s deep involvement in the process, the board’s new administrative chief emphasized the independence of the board and its role in holding the Facebook corporation to account.
To contain disease outbreaks, health officials rely on people’s trust
- As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, the Chinese government and health officials around the world are counting on an intangible factor to help them contain the virus: trust.
- “In West Africa, during the Ebola crisis, people distrusted government not because they were uninformed, but because in the past, the government had done things that weren’t trustworthy,” he says.
- Many people living in China have good reasons to feel the same way: during the SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003, the Chinese government mislead public health officials and attempted to conceal the extent of the problem.
- While the World Health Organization has said that Chinese officials are being more transparent during this outbreak, people living through it are less confident that their government is telling them the whole story.
- Blair says that there may also be less compliance with public health practices in China if trust is that low, just as there was in Liberia.
BoJack Horseman’s finale signals the end of a Netflix era
- BoJack Horseman feels like the end of an era for Netflix, one that produced long-running series like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.
- Hastings even wore a BoJack Horseman sweater in a 2015 earnings call, hoping investors and reporters watching the call had “a great binge weekend on one of the most incredible shows.” Bob-Waksberg felt like he earned the trust of viewers, and the continued trust of Netflix, to delve deeper into what they wanted to see.
- Even amid Netflix’s shift — the company was moving into film, and even reality TV was being introduced, despite Sarandos saying Netflix wasn’t interested in the genre just a few years prior — BoJack Horseman remained a staple.
- Netflix had to keep increasing its content budget — and debt load — to replace licensed series like Friends and The Office with new originals.
United Airlines suspends some China flights after coronavirus outbreak
- United Airlines is suspending some flights to and from China because of a “significant decline in demand” brought on by the emerging coronavirus outbreak, the company announced on Tuesday.
- Flights between major US hubs and Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong will be suspended between February 1st and February 8th, CNBC reports.
- United offers more flights to and from China than any other US airline.
- It provides about 12 flights per day between the US and China (and Hong Kong), but that total number will decrease by about “three or four” per day, according to CNBC.
- United says it’s suspending the flights because demand for travel between China and the US has dropped in the days since the outbreak began, rather than as part of any attempt to stop the spread.
Scroll makes hundreds of websites ad-free for $5 per month
- A new subscription service called Scroll is offering ad-free access to hundreds of websites — not by blocking the ads, but by working with an expanding group of publishers to take the ads down in exchange for a slice of the subscription fee.
- Scroll keeps $1.50 of its $5 fee, and publishers divide up the other $3.50, primarily based on how each user divides their time.
- In order to properly pay publishers, Scroll keeps track of everything you read across the websites it supports.
- Publishers will be able to see anonymized, aggregated data so that they can audit the payouts, but they can’t see what individual people are reading.
- People are used to reading the web for free, and — even if they don’t like it — everyone expects ads across the web.
Apple’s latest iOS update fixes a location tracking bug and makes Screen Time limits more secure
- Apple today released iOS 13.3.1, and the new update contains two important fixes.
- Nevertheless, iPhone owners now have a way to “control the use of location services by the U1 Ultra Wideband chip,” per iOS 13.3.1’s release notes.
- The new iPhone and iPad update (iPad OS 13.3.1 is also being released today) contains a number of fixes for the Mail app.
- It gets rid of a bug that potentially allowed remote images to load in emails even when the option was disabled, and it also addresses an issue that caused “multiple undo dialogs to appear in mail.” Rounding it out are fixes for FaceTime, the Photos app (no more delay when editing Deep Fusion photos), CarPlay, and a bug that could prevent push notifications from being delivered over Wi-Fi. For HomePod owners, Indian English has also now been added as the latest Siri voice option.
Former Windows chief reveals Microsoft’s reaction to the iPad
- Microsoft tried to make tablet PCs a thing with Windows XP, but the company didn’t get the timing, hardware, and software right in order to succeed.
- Apple’s biggest iPad challenge to Windows was the promise of 10 hours of battery life, something that was “unachievable in PCs struggling for 4 hours with their whirring fans,” admits Sinofsky.
- What Sinofsky doesn’t reveal is how, exactly, Microsoft responded to the iPad. Windows 8 was the response, an operating system that attempted to bring many of the clever user interface elements of Windows Phone over to laptops and PCs. While it worked relatively well on pure tablet devices, it confused laptop and PC users who weren’t used to the way Windows 8 worked.
- Microsoft kept it secret from its partners until the last minute, and it formed a new team internally to create its own tablet hardware with ARM-based processors inside.
CDC expands health screenings for coronavirus to 20 airports
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding its enhanced health screening to 20 airports as part of its efforts to identify people with the new coronavirus who are traveling into the United States, the agency said in a press conference today.
- The 20 airports that are now part of screening efforts are the US’s existing quarantine stations — ports of entry into the country that are always staffed with public health officials who watch for any sick international travelers.
- “We’re building on our regular day to day activities,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during the press conference.
- Both the US State Department and the CDC have issued Level 3 travel warnings for China, saying that people should avoid all non-essential travel to the country.
Pokémon Home cloud storage service will launch in February for $3 a month
- Essentially, people can use their phones and mobile devices to store pokémon from the old Pokémon Bank and transfer them into Pokémon Switch games as long as those pokémon are supported in the newer games.
- Customers who choose to use the basic, free version of Home won’t be able to transfer pokémon from the Bank system.
- There’s a limit of 20 people per room, and while the trading has no cost, players will only be able to create a room if they’re paying for the premium plan.
- Finally, “Friend Trade” will let players trade with nearby users who are registered as friends in Pokémon Home.
- Premium customers can use a feature called “Judge,” which allows them to see how strong their pokémon are, and mobile users will get updates and news via the Home app.
This leather AirPods Pro case makes Apple’s earbuds feel more premium
- Nomad has released a new AirPods Pro case, and, like the company’s previous AirPod cases, it’s thoughtfully designed for something that’s effectively just a case that you put on top of another case.
- Like nearly all of Nomad’s cases, the AirPods Pro cases are plastic shells wrapped in leather (sourced from the Horween Leather Company), which feels slightly worse than if the entire thing were made of leather.
- Lastly, despite the plastic / leather construction, the case is still small enough to allow the AirPods Pro to work with wireless Qi chargers.
- But if you’re looking for the most premium materials and features for your AirPods Pro case, Nomad’s option looks like it checks all of the boxes that a leather case could possibly offer.
- Vox Media has affiliate partnerships.
- These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.