Facebook removes hundreds of misleading accounts, Google is using AI to cool its data centres and Netflix hopes to take a bite out of its Apple fees.
First up from LinkedIn: Hundreds of accounts have been removed by Facebook. The move comes after the social media giant identified the sites as “influence campaigns” aimed at spreading misinformation. More than 650 accounts have been removed so far and according to Facebook most of them came from Iran and Russia. The accounts were linked to four separate campaigns, three of which came from Iran and one originating in Russia. Two of the Iranian campaigns created pages and groups promoting pro-Iranian political agendas around the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S.. One was even linked to state run Iranian media. The other Iranian campaign engaged in cyber attacks including attempting to hack accounts and spread malware. The fourth campaign, which according to The Guardian, Facebook was most vague about came from Russian and was connected to the country’s military intelligence services. This news comes after Facebook has also been found to be rating users on their trustworthiness when they report news articles as false. Twitter has apparently also removed 300 accounts originating in Iran linked to misinformation campaigns.
Next trending on Google: Artificial intelligence is now running the show at Google’s data centres. The centres hold thousands of servers that power everything from Google Search to Gmail and YouTube. And it takes a lot to keep those servers cool and running so a couple years ago Google decided to use AI to do the work. The AI is in charge of the data centre cooling systems, and originally it was only intended to make recommendations but Google eventually figured it was easier to have a fully automated system. So for a few months now the AI has been implementing actions on its own using British AI company DeepMind’s technologies. It works like this: every five minutes the system takes a snapshot of the cooling system and the info is fed into DeepMind’s neural networks.The AI then assesses the necessary actions to maintain temperature while reducing energy consumption. It runs safety checks and then implements. According to an Engadget article, Google says this has produced 30 per cent energy savings and the system continues to find new energy saving techniques. The tech giant apparently also said data centres may not be the only places that could benefit from this type of AI and plan to apply it to other industrial settings.
Last up from LinkedIn: Netflix no longer wants to pay fees to Apple. The streaming service is looking for a way to avoid user subscriptions through the Apple app store. In the past Netflix has allowed downloading, and make subscription payments through the Apple store. But app makers doing this have to pay Apple 30 per cent of a first year subscription and 15 per cent in the following years. A TechCruch report found that the company is running a trial in 33 countries, asking users to sign up for a subscription on its website rather than the app store. The trial began in June and included 10 countries but as of August 2nd it is directing new or lapsed subscribers in over 30 countries, including Canada to renew subscriptions by logging payments directly with Netflix. This trial will apparently run until September 30th. And Netflix isn’t the only company tired of paying these fees. Spotify also cut off subscription payments through Apple and Amazon also forces its users to make purchases in browsers.