Instagram ‘Take a Break’; Congress Doesn’t Get TikTok; Google Pixel 6 Cam; 85% World Population Affected by Climate Change-German AI

Facebook continues in siege mode, announcing a new ‘take a break’ feature, and measures aimed at nudging teens away from harmful content. Yesterday, Facebook rolled out VP of Global Affairs Nick Clegg on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ to tout the features. Also coming online…optional controls for parents to supervise teens (and of you think that will work, I have a big, orange bridge between San Francisco and Marin County to sell you). Clegg didn’t give a timeline for when the features will launch, so may be in the vaporware stage at this point. Clegg did say that Facebook’s algorithms “should be held to account, if necessary, by regulation so that people can match what our systems say they’re supposed to do from what actually happens.” Will all this be enough to keep the government from making Facebook spin off Instagram and WhatsApp? Stay tuned. 

While members of Congress from both sides of the aisle seem appropriately fired up about regulating Facebook and its subsidiaries, TikTok…owned by ByteDance out of China, seems to be under the radar. The Atlantic reports that most lawmakers (and older people in general) just think of it as a dance/video app. We reported last week on its explosive growth- now up to some one billion plus users….mostly younger ones. Besides dance and entertainment, it appears a significant number of teens are getting their news and discussing politics on the platform. Remember the use of the app last year to overbook tickets to a Trump rally in Tulsa. Yes, it was a teen prank, but gives one indication of the power of the app. Congress should have its eye on TikTok every bit as much as on Facebook and it’s Instagram. 

More info has leaked out about the upcoming Google Pixel 6 phones. 9to5google.com says the camera captures 150% more light. Apparently, both Pixel 6 models will sport a 50MP primary sensor for the cams! The Pixel 6 Pro will have a 12MP ultra wide camera and a 48MP 4X telephoto, which will be exclusive to that model. A feature previously leaked, ‘Magic Eraser,’ was again confirmed, but no real details to flesh it out. It is apparently powered by Google Photos, and will be able to erase ’stranger and unwanted objects’ from you photos. Also expected: face de-blur and better handling of skin tones. The reveal event is October 19th.

Researchers in Germany used AI to crunch over 60,000 climate change studies, and the result? 85% of humanity is affected by human-induced climate change. Cnet.com notes that the AI also determined that climate change is not only here, but will get a lot worse if we don’t act very soon. The study was led by Max Callaghan of Berlin’s Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. The changes not only affect 85% of us, but impact 80% of the land people inhabit. 



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