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Facebook leads industry creating simple privacy controls, including Snapchat-like ‘Data Stories’

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In its ongoing efforts to recover from the Cambridge Analytica scandal this spring, Facebook has detailed its collaboration with a design lab focused entirely on privacy and located in Dublin, Ireland.

News of the lab comes from Facebook’s responses to questions from the United States Senate that were released this week by the Senate commerce committee, and follow CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional hearings in April (via Bloomberg).

The lab is called TTC labs — “Trust, Transparency, and Control” — and is a cross-industry program that aims to improve privacy controls for services like Facebook and many others. Facebook said that the lab was started “in recognition of the need for improved approaches to data transparency across all digital services.” According to the lab’s website it’s been around for a while, so Facebook likely chose to highlight its partnership with the initiative to earn some favor during the congressional hearings.

TTC labs was “initiated and supported by Facebook,” and has more than 60 other organizations involved, although names are not given. The ultimate goal is said to be the creation of “people-centric” privacy practices that are user friendly and “easy to understand and control.”

In the latest blog post on the lab’s site the group discusses how design can educate users about how their data is used, using “clear illustrations” to “effectively educate people about data flow and data connections in a step-by-step way.” Other articles talk about “Building people’s trust over time” and “Making cookies transparent.”

In another article, TTC labs details how data controls and transparency can be explained to users in ways that are less technical and more familiar to them. Using the example of an app called “Friendlee,” the group built customizable data controls into an ephemeral story format like Snapchat “to educate teens” about privacy and allow them to easily update their privacy settings without needing to navigate confusing menus.

Friendlee uses an ‘ephemeral story format’, an experience already embedded in the app, to educate teens to understand and make choices about their data without having to actively look for data settings or deletion. Once they have used Friendlee for a while, it prompts them with a ‘data story.’ This story is about an interest that Friendlee identified, such as football, with the story showing content and actions that have made Friendlee believe they like football. At the end of the story, they are asked whether this is actually true using simple, conversational language.

The language around the actions is purposely kept human and is based on self-reflection, not on a technical process like ‘delete this data’. The teen is able to take control of their data without having any knowledge of activity logs or data settings. Instead, they can reflect on it in the context of their own self-identity.

It’s important to note that TTC labs’ blog posts are concepts at this point, so it’s unclear if Facebook itself will implement similar features into its own apps and website.

Brooklyn-based writer, editor and creator with a love of all things streetwear and/or delicious. Always on the hunt for the next best coffee shop. Obsessed with new sunglasses.

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Amazon Now Taking Pre-Orders For Microsoft’s Surface Go Tablet

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A couple of weeks ago Microsoft launched their latest Surface tablet in the form of the Surface Go. Shortly after the launch Microsoft started taking pre-orders for the device via the official Microsoft Store, but in case you prefer doing your shopping on Amazon for whatever reason, Amazon has also started to accept pre-orders for the tablet as well.

In terms of pricing, there is no difference from the Amazon listing and the Microsoft listing. This means that the model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage will retail for $399, while the 8GB RAM and 128GB memory option will retail for slightly more expensive at $549. Some might wonder why shop through Amazon when you can buy it from Microsoft directly, but there are some advantages depending on where you live.

For example some reports have pointed out that over in Spain, Amazon Spain is giving a 25% discount on the higher-end model where instead of it being priced at 599 EUR, it is now priced at 449 EUR, so for our readers in Spain, you will be able to take advantage of this discount. However the downside is that the tablet will only begin shipping to you on the 28th of August for those living in Europe, versus the US where it is set for a release on the 2nd of August which is this coming Thursday.

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Mowgli Movie Will Now Release On Netflix In 2019

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Mowgli is a live-action Jungle Book adaptation that director Andy Serkis has been working on. Netflix has now purchased the rights to this movie and it will, therefore, be released on the online streaming network. The release date has been moved to 2019 as a result of this development which will now see this movie being released on Netflix first. This movie is different from Disney’s live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling classic which the studio released in 2016.

Rohan Chand stars in the lead role with Christian Bale playing Bagheera, Cate Blanchett playing Kaa, and Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the role of Shere Khan. Andy Serkis himself will be playing Baloo.

This movie was actually supported to be released in 2016 as well but it has been delayed multiple times since then. The first trailer was released recently which mentioned October 19th, 2018 as the theatrical release date.

That was before Netflix had decided to acquire the rights to Mowgli. EW reports that with this acquisition, the release has been delayed yet again. Netflix is going to premiere Mowgli on its platform at some point next year.

Serkis has said that the decision to move the film to Netflix will help avoid a direct comparison with the Disney movie. The platform will also enable the director to have more creative freedom and explore darker themes, going so far as to explore the violence between animals.

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New iPad Pro Lineup Might Ditch The Headphone Jack

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Ever since Apple ditched the standard 3.5mm headphone jack on recent iPhone models there has been speculation that the company will do this for its other mobile devices as well. A new report has surfaced which claims that the upcoming iPad Pro lineup is not only going to be slightly smaller than its predecessor but will also ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The iPad Pro lineup due next year will reportedly see its dimensions being reduced a little for both the 10.5 inch and 12.9 inch models. The report also reiterates earlier rumors that the new iPad lineup is going to feature FaceID. A recent iOS 12 beta also revealed that there’s a big possibility that this biometric access control system might arrive with the next generation of Apple’s tablet.

The new iPad Pro models might be designed for vertical use as FaceID will reportedly not work when the tablet is in landscape mode. It may also adjust the positions of the Lightning connector and the smart connector for the keyboard for this purpose.

It is as yet unclear when Apple is going to unveil these new tablets. There have been a lot of reports and rumors about them in recent months and they will likely continue in the days to come.

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