Bits: The Ugly and Antisocial Side of Social Media

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Thursday, August 27, 2015
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The Ugly and Antisocial Side of Social Media | It is passé to say these days, but maybe it bears repeating after Wednesday: Social media is a powerful thing.

We’ve long seen the implications of a world in which just about anyone, from practically anywhere in the world, can broadcast messages and videos to everyone else. Many of the everyday effects are positive. There is no doubt that it is easier to feel more connected to personal interests and far-flung friends because of online services like Twitter and Facebook.
There are also nasty downsides when people decide to use these new communication tools for wicked means. Extremist groups cling to Twitter to distribute hateful propaganda. Online mobs pounce on a misstep or misstatement.
Wednesday brought the latest reminder – a horrible reminder – of this. The man who is thought to have shot two journalists in Virginia turned to Twitter and Facebook to show a video of the shooting. While those companies quickly suspended the accounts with the videos, the images already were bouncing around the Internet, powered by people who had shared the accounts with followers and friends.
As Farhad Manjoo writes, “The horror was the dawning realization, as the video spread across the networks, that the killer had anticipated the moves – that he had been counting on the mechanics of these services and on our inability to resist passing on what he had posted.”


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The chief of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, center, at a Window's 10 event in Nairobi last month.

The Appeal of Free: 75 Million Users Download Windows 10 in First Month | The early audience-building of both users and developers is crucial for Microsoft, and the early results look encouraging.

Chris Lehane, who is joining Airbnb, spent more than six years working in the Clinton White House.

Airbnb Appoints Chris Lehane, Former Adviser to Bill Clinton, as Head of Policy | Airbnb is appointing Chris Lehane, once a top political adviser to Bill Clinton and Al Gore and a longtime strategist, as its head of global policy.

Brian Krebs, a well-known security blogger, has been looking into the Ashley Madison hack and has zeroed in on a blogger named Thadeus Zu.

Security Blogger May Have New Lead in Ashley Madison Hacking | Fallout from the breach of the adultery dating site spreads as law enforcement investigates further. A song from the rock band AC/DC has a role in the inquiry.


Facebook Tests a Digital Assistant for Its Messaging App | Facebook is wading into the increasingly crowded field of digital personal assistants with a new offering called M.

Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift to Newark public schools provided a canvas to examine a failing school district.

The Melting of Mark Zuckerberg’s Donation to Newark Schools | “The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?” looks at how applying business principles to education can go awry.

Co-op City in the Bronx, with more than 15,000 apartments, is one of the places in New York City that has not yet been equipped with Verizon FiOS high-speed Internet.

As Service Gaps Remain, City Says Verizon Broke Promise on FiOS | The company says it met its promise to have fiber-optic cable for FiOS pass all three million homes in the city by the end of last year. The city’s response: not even close.

Joseph F. Traub.

Joseph Traub, Who Helped Bring Computer Science to Universities, Dies at 83 | Mr. Traub, who founded the computer science department at Columbia, helped the emerging academic discipline garner respectability and resources.

Personal Technology

Pregnancy Apps Do Everything but Ease Labor Pains | Now that downloads help track labor and a baby’s development and can help a child fall asleep, one must ask: How did we ever have babies before apps came along?

Video Feature: Back-to-School Apps for the Organized Student | Make your own flashcards and other study aids, and keep on schedule with some education apps.

In the Privacy area of the Windows 10 settings, users can control how much personal data they want to share with the system's apps and services.

Staying Private in Windows 10 | Microsoft collects personal data on users of Windows 10, but privacy controls can be adjusted.



I Had a Baby and Cancer When I Worked at Amazon. This Is My Story | Medium
Amid continuing debate over the workplace culture at Amazon, Julia Cheiffetz, a former employee, shares her experience. – Kelly Couturier

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