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Facebook Scientists Experimented On Users By Manipulating Content

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< fbWe all know Facebook controls and contrives content, especially through ads and the news feed. But in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Facebook scientists acknowledged how, and how much, they’ve been manipulating content for just under 700,000 users. Their publication, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” pretty much says it all — scientists wanted to see whether the positive or negative tone of users’ posts would affect later posts by users who had seen them. Essentially, they wanted to know whether someone’s state of mind can be spread via social networks. I’m sure it’s not surprising that they learned that, absolutely, mood is contagious on Facebook.

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Google Buys Dronemaker Titan Aerospace In Bid To Provide Internet To Everyone

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titan aerospaceIf you go to the Titan Aerospace website, instead of seeing information about the drones it makes, you simply find the announcement that they’re “thrilled to announce that Titan Aerospace is joining Google,” as though that partnership is more important than the work they do. Maybe it is. It’s strange, though not surprising, that whatever was there two days ago is gone, erased, as though their real history starts at the moment Google acquired them.

Google hasn’t said how much it paid for the company, so we can use our imaginations to guess the amount, which undoubtedly is so large that for most of us it doesn’t even seem real. The bigger question, though, is what Google has in store for the drones.

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Facebook Buys Oculus Rift And Creates A Rift Of Its Own

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Oculus RiftGFR has done some reporting in the past about the Oculus Rift, the wearable virtual reality display system that is thought to be ushering in a new age of “truly immersive” virtual reality. Even NASA thinks so. Oculus Rift got its start via Kickstarter, and rose to prominence in the world of gaming and virtual reality. So naturally, Facebook just bought it.

Oculus Rift netted $2.4 million on Kickstarter, and Facebook bought it for $2 billion. Facebook is pretty smart when it comes to its acquisitions, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, and there’s no doubt Oculus Rift is a great investment. Mark Zuckerberg says that, in addition to gaming, Facebook plans to use Oculus for a slew of other experiences and applications. Given Sony’s new Project Morpheus VR headset, Oculus may face some competition, and Facebook’s resources could certainly help keep Oculus on top.

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An Epic Who Fan Video, The Doctor’s Facebook Video, And An Unexpected Crossover

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After the barrage of news, rumors, and outright lies that filled our days here at GFR in the months and weeks leading up to the one-two punch of The Day of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor, you might think I’d be all Who’d out at this point. But damned if that epic fan trailer up top doesn’t make me want to go back and rewatch Matt Smith’s final outings all over again. Check it out if you haven’t, a well-edited fan tribute to the “Doctor Trilogy” made up of “The Name of the Doctor,” The Day of the Doctor, and The Time of the Doctor. It’s a great idea for a trailer, and the only thing I think YouTuber RunAndRemember should have done differently was to find a way to incorporate Paul Gann’s “Night of the Doctor” webisode.

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Facebook Will Soon Be Using AI To Analyze Your Posts

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FBFor better or worse, we’re all acquainted with Facebook. You can use it to share your reaction to last night’s Breaking Bad, provide real-time updates of your attempt to make lemon bars for the first time, or chronicle your new baby’s adventures in feeding, sleeping, nursing, and burping. It’s so commonplace to mention these details that we rarely think about the consequences, aside from whom we might be annoying or who might be annoying us with various inanities. In addition to the slew of ads users find on Facebook, and social networking site’s questionable privacy polices, Facebook is poised to harvest even more information and insight into their users. And, undoubtedly, to leverage what they learn as much as they can.

Facebook’s AI team is hard at work developing something called “deep learning,” an artificial intelligence that processes data much like a human brain would, using simulations of networks and brain cells. What does that mean, exactly? While computer programs are already adept at identifying key terms, likes, and other information to get an understanding of where and how users spend their time and money, deep learning AI can determine users’ emotions, even if a post isn’t obvious about them. The AI can also identify objects in users’ photos (it might notice, for example, that you have an iPad and then target you with new apps, or it might notice that you have a dog and start feeding you ads about allergies and heartworm medication). The AI can also, based on the content of posts, the associated emotions, and other information gleaned from the site, make predictions about what people are likely to do.

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New Hunger Games Posters: Like Your District Immediately

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hunger gamesRejoice, Panem fangirls and fanboys! The promotional campaign for Lionsgate’s adaptation of The Hunger Games continues in its cryptic, viral way with the release of posters representing each of Panem’s Districts.  Each of the newly released posters promotes one District, featuring an Soviet looking emblem with the district’s indicative export/economic role and the text “Like your district immediately”.

See the posters which have been released so far, after the jump.