Facebook Tackles Clickbait, Sega Makes a Virtual Comeback… [Tech News Digest]
Facebook tries to eradicate clickbait, Sega Genesis classics arrive on Steam, Snapchat face-swaps your photos, PSN gets two-factor authentication, and hacking a dating website to find more matches.
Facebook Changes the News Feed Again
Sometimes I feel like my friends don't even get that I'm liking all of their dumb Facebook posts ironically.
— Sarah (@thetigersez) April 22, 2016
Facebook is changing the News Feed once again, and this time it’s trying to remove clickbait from the equation. How? By measuring how long you actually spend reading content you click on. This should lessen the number of spurious articles showing up in your News Feed, as websites which employ these kinds of tactics to drive page views get punished for their crimes.
Facebook is making these changes as part of its Feed Quality Program, which sees thousands of people being surveyed every day about their thoughts on the News Feed. As well as helping Facebook determine that the time spent on content is a crucial metric to consider, the Feed Quality Program has led Facebook to vary up the sources you’ll now see in your News Feed.
Of course, it should be noted that there’s a vast difference between clever headlines designed to pique people’s interest and headlines which promise something they then fail to deliver. The former is just good marketing, while the latter is false advertising. Only time will tell whether Facebook can successfully weed out true clickbait without punishing others.
We don’t go in for clickbait here at MakeUseOf, but we do try to create compelling headlines designed to sell the 1,000-word articles that follow. Are we doing well where that’s concerned? This is a good opportunity to ask you what you think of our content, headlines, sections, and overall direction. So if you have any thoughts, please do let us know in the comments below.
Sega Brings the Genesis to Steam
Sega is making a comeback! Unfortunately, it’s only doing so in virtual form on Steam. Still, for anyone who grew up playing Genesis (also known as Mega Drive) in their bedrooms, the new Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub will fill the nostalgic hole in their life.
The Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub is a virtual hub designed to look like the bedroom of a teenage gamer from the 1990s. There’s your unmade bed, there’s your CRT television, and there’s your shelf full of Genesis games just waiting to be played for hours on end.
The Hub will launch on April 28th, and be available to anyone who owns one of the 16-bit Sega classics on Steam. There are dozens of old Genesis games available to download, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, Ecco the Dolphin, and Gunstar Heroes.
As part of the Mega Drive Classic Hub, Sega is adding Steam Workshop support for all Genesis titles. This means PC gamers with a creative bent will be able to mod their favorite games and share them on Steam. Which could make for some fascinatingly twisted takes on Sega classics.
Face-Swap With Your Snapchat Photo Roll
When someone doesn't reply to me on Snapchat but I know they opened it. pic.twitter.com/yPi3p8NY3z
— Not Will Ferrell (@itsWillyFerrell) April 22, 2016
You can now swap your face with any other face present in your Snapchat photo roll. Which includes your own face, and things the Snapchat app decides are faces but actually aren’t. Snapchat will automatically detect faces on your photo roll, meaning you no longer have to position your friend in just the right position.
This feature is part of the latest Snapchat update, which is already available on iOS and on Android. To enable it, hold down on the screen to open the selfie lens option, and then tap on “Face-Swap From Camera Roll Lens”. You can then have literally minutes of fun making yourself look like an idiot.
Sony Adds 2FA to PlayStation Network
— Tuomas Tonteri (@tontsa) April 20, 2016
Sony is adding two-factor authentication (2FA) to the PlayStation Network, and about time too . While this isn’t yet official, a Sony representative told Polygon, “In order to further safeguard our users and their accounts, we are preparing to offer a 2-step verification feature. More details will be shared at a later date.”
The news leaked when various people entered the wrong login information after the latest firmware update, and noticed mention of 2FA. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring you enter an addition piece of information (such as a code generated inside a mobile app).
PlayStation Network has had its fair share of security scares over the years, the most serious of which being a hack which caused an outage lasting 23 days . So, why it has taken Sony so long to institute this extra layer of security is anyone’s guess.
Hacking OkCupid to Find Love
And finally, anyone who has ever tried online dating — and we mean proper online dating, not hookup apps like Tinder — will know that it’s a tricky world to master . Women will generally get a lot of unwanted attention, and men will generally get no attention whatsoever. That’s just the way it is.
However, it turns out it doesn’t have to be that way. At least if you’re intelligent and resourceful enough to game the system. This video shows what happened when data scientist Chris McKinlay did just that. Surely this is a geeky romantic comedy just waiting to happen. [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you welcome the new changes Facebook is making to the News Feed? Which Sega Genesis games do you remember fondly? Will you be using Snapchat’s new Face-Swap feature? Will you be enacting two-factor authentication on PlayStation Network? Have you found love through a dating website?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credit: Michael Coghlan via Flickr