WT.Social – The Answer?

Source: WT.Social homepage

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, has taken it upon himself to create what has been pegged as a ‘Facebook rival’.

WT Social is a social networking website that has taken an oath not to sell the data of its users – a sight for sore eyes in a world where internet users have to opt out of data-gathering mechanisms every other site they click on for just a second. Instead of surviving off data-selling and intrusive advertisements, WT Social aims to thrive based off of donations from its customerbase, which is notably how Wikipedia has been maintained throughout the years and managed to keep itself ad-free. Due to the success of Wikipedia operating in this way, it stands to reason that Jimmy Wales could spread that success story into WT Social.

While it could be difficult for the fledgeling website to attract a crowd already immersed in other social networks, it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility- as new social networks take the world by storm overnight at a regular frequency. With over 160,000 members already, hopefully it will be a success.

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Google’s $1.5m Bounty – On Google Pixel

Person Using Nexus Smartphone

According to the BBC, uncovering security flaws in the Google Pixel’s Titan M Security chip, people can make up to $1.5 million, a massive increase from the previously established $200,000.

This is not an unusual practice for companies (with even Apple, Facebook, Samsung and others doing the same), as it encourages individuals who may discover such exploits to give them to the original company- rather than to trade them in to criminals who can use the information maliciously.

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Impolite Robots: The Menace You Never Knew to Fear

Robot holding screen in front of human
Source: Carnegie Mellon University

According to research performed by Carnegie Mellon University, the rather delightful robot presented in the image above can actually be a devastating confidence-crusher for the aspiring gamer.

In the experiments, 200 adult participants played a game against a humanoid robot who would either attempt to encourage them with words of praise, or discourage them. The method of discouragement, of course, came in the form of the most ruthless remarks, such as: ‘Honestly this game is a bad experience’. Cutting.

The results of the research ended up being that trash-talk from robots did indeed impact upon the players’ ability to think clearly and make rational decisions. On the bright side, however, it appears that nice robots have nice impacts. Maybe we all just need a motivational robot in our lives.

Notably, at least a quarter of the participants found themselves humanising the robot. Younger participants were found to humanise the robot in question less, which the paper considered attributing to their generation being used to considering robots to be machinery.

In conclusion, this study provides a very interesting glimpse into the workings of the human mind- and raises the question to all of us of ‘do we take negative criticisms too seriously, especially when they are unbased?’. If allowing the unbased negative criticism of an innocent game robot get into your head can mess with your scores and reasoning, it stands to reason that people must be inconvenienced by this kind of unbased criticism widely in day-to-day life.

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