Facebook Experiments On Users, Having Sex With Your iPad, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, The Internet’s Own Boy is one documentary worth watching, BlackBerry invites us all to check our facts, Photoshop Express lands on Windows Phone, binge-watching is bad for your health, and Apple paints the iPhone as an extra parent.
Facebook Conducts Experiment On Users
Let’s call the Facebook experiment what it is: a symptom of a much wider failure to think about ethics, power and consent on platforms.
— Kate Crawford (@katecrawford) June 28, 2014
In 2012, Facebook conducted an experiment on almost 700,000 users to test the emotional impact of using the social network. The experiment saw data scientists manipulate what kind of status updates people saw in their feed to determine whether seeing mostly positive ones would lead to mostly positive reactions and vice versa.
The full study can be accessed via the PNAS website, but the results of the experiment suggest people’s emotions can indeed be affected by what they’re exposed to on Facebook. And, by extension, the Internet as a whole.
This experiment has caused much controversy and consternation over the past weekend. While it was almost certainly legal thanks to Facebook’s Data Use Policy constituting informed consent, most people agree it wasn’t very ethical. It also demonstrates the power we’ve all given to Facebook purely by using the service.
Read more at Tumbling Conduct and then let us know what you think of Facebook’s experiment in the comments section at the end of this article.
Aaron Swartz Doc Available To Watch
The documentary about the life and death of Aaron Swartz, titled The Internet’s Own Boy, is now available to watch in movie theaters across the U.S. and online. It can be purchased on Vimeo for $6.99, or watched for free under a Creative Commons license at Archive.org.
Swartz was a computer programmer and political activist involved in the development of RSS, Creative Commons, Reddit, Markdown, and more besides. He tragically committed suicide at the age of just 26 after being accused of illegally downloading academic journals from MIT. This documentary tells the full story.
BlackBerry Launches Fact Check Portal
BlackBerry is sick of its competitors spreading misinformation about the company and its products, and has launched BlackBerry Fact Check (#BBFactCheck) to fight back. This new blog will find fictions about BlackBerry as spread by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others, and present its own version of the truth. Which is a great idea, but is anyone actually going to listen?
Photoshop Express Lands On Windows Phone
FB’s psyop manipulation of news feed = outrage. Mass culture of photoshop models leading to psych issues in women = societal norm.
— Ethan Eismann (@eeismann) June 30, 2014
Photoshop Express is now available on Windows Phone, with Adobe finally releasing the image-editing app on Microsoft’s mobile operating system. Adobe Photoshop Express for Windows Phone uses the same freemium business model as the iOS and Android versions. But while the iOS app arrived in 2009 and the Android app arrived in 2011, it’s taken this long for Adobe to bring Photoshop Express to Windows Phone. Shameful.
Binge-Watching Is Bad For Your Health
No I am not an undateable 21 year old who lives with his parents and is binge watching Pokemon on their Netflix account. Yes I am.
— Zach Heltzel (@zachheltzel) June 19, 2014
Binge-watching a TV show on DVD, Blu-ray, or Netflix is a fantastic way of wasting a weekend, especially if you prepare for it by following our guide to binge-watching . Unfortunately, it turns out binge-watching isn’t the healthiest activity in the world. Yes, it’s less healthy for you than going for a walk. Who’d have thought, eh?!
We know this from a study of couch potatoes conducted in Spain and recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The research suggests people who watch TV for more than three hours each day are doubling their risk of dying compared to those who watch TV for less than one hour each day. I hate to think what regular 8-hour binge-watching marathons do.
Apple Paints iPhone As Extra Parent
The latest run of Apple adverts have concentrated on showing how its products fit into everyday life. The newest Apple ad, embedded above, shows how the iPhone can act as a kind of surrogate parent. Some of the examples seem a little far-fetched, but we would love to hear from parents whether this ad rings true or not.
Fleshlight LaunchPAD Brings Sexy Back
And finally, if you have ever wanted to have sex with your iPad then Fleshlight has made your dreams come true. The Fleshlight LaunchPAD is an iPad case which allows you to enjoy sexy time with your iPad. Quite literally. And if you’re unaware of what a Fleshlight is we suggest Googling it right about now. We’re certainly not going into detail here. Because prudish.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Are you angered by Facebook experimenting on its users? Have you watched the Aaron Swartz documentary? If so, what did you think? Would you ever buy an iPad case you can literally have sex with?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Alternatively, let us know of any technology news stories we may have missed.
Image Credit: Bruce Turner via Flickr