Tech News

Facebook Targets Annoying Clickbait, Apple Launches First Bug Bounty… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 05-08-2016

Facebook tries to eradicate clickbait from your News Feed, Apple launches a bug bounty program, Google Maps makes the Himalayas fun, Oliver Stone hates smartphones, and unboxing the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in a water park.


Facebook Tries to Tackle Clickbait Again

Facebook is tackling clickbait once again, making another concerted effort to rid the social network of this style of headline. This is an ongoing effort on Facebook’s part, as it originally cracked down on clickbait in August 2014 Amazon Buys Twitch, Facebook Hates Clickbait, Night Trap Returns, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Huawei hates Tizen and Windows Phone, PlayStation Home is closing its doors in Asia, Night Trap is back, and a dad destroys his son's game collection, possibly. Read More , and then tried again in April 2016 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. Read More .

This latest effort comes after users told Facebook that they “specifically want to see fewer stories with clickbait headlines or link titles”. These are “headlines that intentionally leave out crucial information, or mislead people, forcing people to click to find out the answer”.

Everybody reading this should know what clickbait headlines are Buzzworthy: 5 Clickbait Headlines Guaranteed to Annoy [We Ask You Results] You may consider the headline of this article to be clickbait. But it isn't, honestly. Read More by now, but, just in case, Facebook offers up a couple of examples: “He Put Garlic In His Shoes Before Going To Bed And What Happens Next Is Hard To Believe,” and, “The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless.”

To combat these types of headlines, which can still prove very effective despite people knowing what they represent, Facebook is “making an update to News Feed ranking” in the next few weeks. This should mean “people will see fewer clickbait stories,” but I can’t say I’ve noticed the previous two efforts making a significant difference.


Facebook has divulged its methodology this time, revealing it’s using a system which “identifies phrases that are commonly used in clickbait headlines”. The two key factors are a) headlines which withhold information and b) headlines which create misleading expectations. Which is a great attempt at clarifying what does and doesn’t constitute clickbait 10 Sure Signs You've Fallen For Click Bait With The Onion's new satirical publication, Clickhole, the social webs have finally taken a good look in the mirror. If you were unconscious to click bait, it's time you woke up. Read More .

Apple Is Launching a Bug Bounty Program

Apple is launching a bug bounty program designed to discover vulnerabilities in its products and services. This is the first time Apple has expressly offered cash rewards to developers for finding bugs. Until now, the company has merely maintained a tip-line for people to disclose bugs they happen to uncover.

The bug bounty program will launch in September, and offer rewards for those finding working exploits in recent hardware and the latest version of iOS. Unfortunately, this isn’t open to everyone, with Apple initially inviting a select band of trusted security researchers. However, the program may be opened up over time.

Apple is one of the last big tech companies to launch a bug bounty program. Google pays out millions of dollars each year as a result of its bug bounty program Google Will Pay You $100+ If You Just Help Them Out Google has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to regular users for doing one simple thing. Read More , and even the Department of Defense has previously invited security researchers to “Hack the Pentagon” in an effort to uncover vulnerabilites The Pentagon Needs Hackers, Windows 10 Beats Windows 8... [Tech News Digest] The Pentagon needs white-hat hackers, Windows 10 grows in popularity, Spotify finds new music for you, Amazon's Alexa is the new Sherlock Holmes, and Where's Waldo goes full circle. Read More .


Explore the Himalayas in Google Maps

Google has released a free app which turns exploring the Himalayas into a fun game. The app, called Verne: The Himalayas, takes the form of a simple free-roaming sandbox game, with the player controlling a yeti as he wanders the area discovering various things peppering the landscape.

Everything you find has an educational element to it, but it’s all presented in a fun style to help maintain kids’ interests. You can zoom in for a Street View-style perspective, fly up into the sky for a bird’s-eye view, or just seek out all of the speakers recounting facts about the region. Verne: The Himalayas is available on Android right now.

Oliver Stone Warns: “Turn Off Your Phone”

Acclaimed movie director Oliver Stone is keen for you to “Turn Off Your Phone”. In a PSA which will play before showings of his new movie Snowden, Stone reminds us just how powerful those devices we all carry around in our pockets are. For good and for bad.

In a frankly menacing tone Stone warns, “The information you put out into the world voluntarily is enough to burn your life to the ground. This will be our undoing”. He may have a point and it’s a theme Snowden will surely explore. So, are you going to turn your phone off now? Or just install the best security and privacy apps 10 Best Security & Privacy Apps for Smartphones & Tablets Security threats to smartphones and tablets are endless. Beyond the internal security options of your device, you should be using a few apps to protect your smartphone - here are some we recommend. Read More and hope for the best?


The Galaxy Note 7 Meets a Water Park

And finally, while I’m not particularly a fan of unboxing videos How to Make YouTube Unboxing Videos People Will Like YouTube unboxing videos are incredibly popular, but – in most cases – incredibly dull. Here are ten ways to make unboxing videos entertaining, fun, engaging, possibly amusing, and absolutely not dull. Read More , because, well, they’re absolutely pointless, this one grabbed my attention and refused to let go. Why? Because it all takes place in a water park, and water parks, as we all know, are awesome.

The video shows a “T-Mobile Product Dude” unboxing the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 while riding down water slides. The idea, of course, is to demonstrate the water-resistance of the device, but the result is one of the funniest unboxing videos we have ever seen.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 — the company’s new flagship phablet, boasting a 5.7-inch screen, an octa-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and stylus support — is already available for pre-order, with a release date set for August 19. [H/T Android Authority]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Do you regularly encounter clickbait on Facebook? Does Apple need a bug bounty program? Will you be playing Verne: The Himalayas? Will you be taking any notice of Oliver Stone’s warning to “Turn Off Your Phone?” Are you impressed by the Samsung Galaxy Note 7?


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: Torbakhopper via Flickr

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