Microsoft Surface Event Sept. 22; Apple Plans More Watch Health Features; Twitter Bows ‘Safety Mode’; Facebook Reduced Political Content in FeedsPosted: September 1, 2021
Microsoft has announced a Surface hardware event for September 22nd. Theverge.com reports that the media invite says “the company will talk about devices and Windows 11.” The expected devices will probably be a successor to the Surface Duo and a new Surface laptop. Images of a new Duo 2 leaked out earlier this summer. Expected changes are a triple cam system with telephoto, ultra wide, and standard lenses. The replacement for the Surface Book 3 will likely be dubbed the Surface Laptop Pro, not the Book 4.
We reported earlier this year that Apple was still working on a blood sugar monitor in the Watch. Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, they are also testing monitoring blood pressure trends, a thermometer for fertility and sleep tracking, and sleep apnea detection. Most of these features are not expected in this month’s new Watch, but may be in the 2022 model. Interestingly, the blood pressure monitor works differently from the cuffs we are all used to. Apple’s method measures the speed of the wave of a heartbeat via a user’s artery using sensors. The blood glucose monitor, which could be life saving for diabetics, has been in development for quite a while, and apparently is still giving Apple trouble as they work to perfect reliable tech for a Watch based feature.
Twitter has started testing out a new ’Safety Mode,’ which will automatically block unwanted replies. Macrumors.com says the feature should cut down on spammy or abusive replies to posts. The feature will auto block accounts that uses insults, or send repetitive, uninvited replies or mentions. If turned on, Safety Mode stays active for about 7 days. Accounts that you follow will NOT be auto blocked.
Facebook has rejiggered their algorithms once again, and has started reducing political content in your News Feed. Engadget.com reports that this comes on the heels of tests in the US, Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia. The social net claims this is all in response to the FB community. Facebook does admit that some engagement signals are better for them than others in predicting if posts seem interesting or valuable to users. Hopefully, the changes will help reduce the level of misinformation on the platform. Facebook also thinks it may make their network a more welcoming place…as some people get turned off pretty quickly by political arguments. The change is the usual rolling one, so you may not have seen it yet.