Friday roundup: A week in tech, 10 September | News

The Innovation and Technology Network Strip

The Innovation and Technology Network


Friday roundup: A week in tech, 10 September

It’s been a few weeks since Facebook’s last major fiasco…actually, there have been plenty, but I’ve got bored of writing about them.

Let’s start again. It’s been a few hours since Facebook’s last major fiasco, and the latest gross, completely unacceptable disaster is absolutely typical of the firm’s capacity for nightmarish pratfall.

Long-suffering users of the seemingly above-the-law network were asked if they’d like to "keep seeing videos about primates" after watching an embedded newspaper video that featured black men.

The blundering company blamed its AI recommendation system for the appalling message and said sorry. Furthermore, the offending system has since been disabled and an investigation has begun! All sorted then.

And there’s been yet more algorithmic asininity. The firm has been accused of allowing its AI to exercise bias when targeting people with job ads, breaking equality law into the bargain.

Campaign group Global Witness did an experiment that revealed most adverts for mechanics were shown to men, while listings for nursery nurses were aimed at women almost entirely.

In a statement, Facebook said: “Suck it up, losers.”

No, they didn’t. They actually said: "Our system takes into account different kinds of information to try and serve people ads they will be most interested in and we are reviewing the findings within this report."


Brexit tech roundup

Three has become the third mobile provider to announce the return of roaming charges for Euro-drifting Brits.

From May next year, customers who begin a new or upgraded contract after 1 October will find themselves £2 a day lighter while texting, talking or internetting in the hated EU.

EE and Vodaphone have already declared their intentions to unleash a new age of roaming charges.

So, thanks, Brexit.

And now on to PayPal. From November, the internet-money-moving enterprise will raise the payment fee between British and European Economic Area (EEA) firms to 1.29%, up from 0.5%.

According to the company, things like the rise in interchange fees between the UK and EEA has seen it incur additional costs.

Finally, EU rules that cap credit and debit card interchange fees at 0.2% and 0.3% no longer apply to UK businesses – because of, you know, that referendum – thus Mastercard and Visa will be upping them fivefold before the year’s out.

Once again, thanks, Brexit.


Roundup roundup

TikTok, the latest in a long line of enormous digital time-wasting systems, has officially overtaken YouTube in terms of the time users in the UK and US spend engaging with absolute claptrap. However, they won’t be closing YouTube this week as it still has two billion monthly users to TikTok’s 700 million. Read more about this boring story here.

Have you wondered what the people living in 1900 thought the world would be like in 2000? Me neither. Anyway, here’s an article about it which I haven’t read so I’m still none the wiser.

Facebook has decided to launch some ‘smart glasses’ – sunglasses that feature front-facing cameras so wearers can capture pictures and video as they swan about, and which they can then upload to the internet for fellow digital casualties to endure. Read more about this depressing development here.