Facebook Testing Tools to Help People Discover Local News

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Facebook testing products that meaningfully engage with their community
  • The test have just begun and are on three products
  • Facebook is also using software to intercept graphic content

A day after reports emerged of guidelines that Facebook follows to censor sensitive content, the social media giant said it is testing products to connect its users to local news.

As part of its ongoing push to build relationships with local publishers, Facebook is testing products that meaningfully engage with their community, a report on Poynter.org website said on Monday.

The tests, part of the Facebook Journalism Project, have just begun and are on three products, Poynter quoted a Facebook spokesperson as saying.

Facebook Testing Tools to Help People Discover Local News

“One points users in community-linked Facebook groups to additional local news. Another, launching Tuesday, offers users who make their cities of residence public a badge identifying them as a local when they comment on a local publisher’s stories. A third helps people find local groups,” the spokesperson said.

 

The social media giant is looking to establish baseline metrics for the availability and discoverability of news and identify the levers that move users to consume, share, comment and form community around local news.

“This test allows administrators of groups that regularly discuss local news to add a news unit to the group. This unit will be dynamically populated based on our local news classifier with recent articles from publications that serve the location of the group. Members can then easily share an article from the unit as a link share in the group,” he said.

According to the spokesperson, publishers want new ways to connect local stories to people in the communities they serve and are encouraged to see the company testing product ideas specific to local news distribution.

 

BlackBerry Says Its New Solution Can Help Businesses Monitor WhatsApp Chats

HIGHLIGHTS

  • BlackBerry has partnered VoxSmart to offer data monitoring services
  • It provides ability to capture, record, store and analyse mobile voice
  • Services will be useful for firms to monitor WhatsApp and WeChat chats

To enable financial institutions monitor data on WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging platforms in line with the upcoming European Union (EU) directive, BlackBerry has partnered with the leading mobile surveillance and compliance firm VoxSmart.

Together with BlackBerry UEM (Unified Endpoint Management), which connects and manages endpoints, VoxSmart’s ‘VSmart’ will provide financial services firms with the ability to capture, record, store and analyse mobile voice, text and third-party instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp and WeChat.

BlackBerry Says Its New Solution Can Help Businesses Monitor WhatsApp Chats

“Together with VoxSmart, we can enable businesses around the world to effortlessly capture conversations on endpoints including smartphones, wearables, tablets and laptops,” said Florian Bienvenu, Senior Vice President of EMEA Sales, BlackBerry.

“This joint solution is an excellent example of how BlackBerry is leveraging its software portfolio and developing strong partnerships to secure the Enterprise of Things,” Bienvenu added in a statement.

The companies have partnered to help financial services firms comply on time with the European Union’s “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive” (‘MiFID II’).

MiFID II, which comes into effect on January 3, 2018, demands that all financial services firms in Europe must keep records of all services, activities and transactions for at least five years.

 

Records include all electronic and instant messaging communications, telephone conversations and text messages related to or intended to conclude in a transaction, even if one does not occur.

The directive seeks to make financial markets in Europe more resilient, transparent and investor-friendly.

“VoxSmart is the only global mobile compliance solution that can capture, record, store and analyse both voice and third party instant message applications such as WhatsApp and WeChat,” said Oliver Blower, CEO, VoxSmart.

“Our partnership with BlackBerry has already led to additional proofs of concept exercises from other global investment banks and financial services firms, who are seeing the MiFID II Directive as a chance to refine their approach to mobile security and compliance,” Blower added.

Already successfully deployed to several global investment banks and trading houses, VSmart provides a perfect balance between user experience and compliance, securing and enabling regulated users, all while adhering to stringent global regulations.

New CERN Particle Accelerator May Help Both Doctors and Art Sleuths

A new particle accelerator unveiled at CERN, the European physics research centre, is expected to spawn portable accelerators that could help doctors treat cancer patients and experts analyse artwork.

CERN is gradually upgrading its hardware to get more data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), its 27-km (17-mile) circular accelerator that smashes protons together at almost the speed of light to probe basic questions about the universe.

Its latest upgrade, resembling a 90-metre oil pipeline hooked up to a life support machine, replaces the 39-year-old injector that produces the flow of particles for the LHC.

Standing by the new Linac 4 machine, which cost CHF 93 million ($93 million or roughly Rs. 597 crores) and took 10 years to build, project leader Maurizio Vretenar said CERN had miniaturised the technology and saw many potential uses.

New CERN Particle Accelerator May Help Both Doctors and Art Sleuths

“It’s a brave new world of applications,” he told Reuters in Linac 4’s tunnel 12 metres under Geneva.

CERN has already built a version to treat tumours with particle beams and licensed the patent to ADAM, a CERN spin-off owned by Advanced Oncotherapy.

Another medical use is to create isotopes for diagnosing cancers. Since they decay rapidly, they normally have to be rushed to patients just in time to be used.

“With our portable technology they could be made inside the hospital already,” Vretenar said.

 

His next goal is a one-metre prototype weighing about 100kgs, with which museums could analyse paintings and jewellery. The bulk of funding for the project came in a few weeks ago.

“We are building something portable,” he said. “We already have a collaboration with the Louvre, and with the Italians at Florence at the Italian institute for conservation of artworks.”

The Louvre in Paris is the only museum in the world that already has an accelerator, and when it is closed on Tuesdays, artefacts are taken down to the basement for analysis, he said.

Other museums don’t have the same luxury, and may not want to send their artworks away for analysis.

The results take a few hours and can show which mine a piece of jewellery came from, or detect heavy elements that date and identify the paint used, revealing restorations or fakes.

There’s no risk of damage, Vretenar said.

“We are very careful. The intensity of particles is very low,” he said. “It’s not like here, there’s only a few protons.”