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‘Fake news on Facebook didn’t sway US elections,’ says Zuckerberg

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SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook Founder and Chief Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday rejected the thought that false stories shared at the social network paved a path of victory for President-elect Donald Trump.

“The idea that fake news on Facebook, which is a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way I think is a pretty crazy idea,” Zuckerberg said during an on-stage chat at a Technonomy technology trends conference in California.

He also dismissed worries about Facebook users existing in “bubbles” where they only see news or perspectives echoing their viewpoints.

“Voters make decisions based on their lived experience,” Zuckerberg said.

“You don’t generally go wrong when you trust that people understand what they care about and what’s important to them and you build systems that reflect that.”

He added that research gathered at Facebook suggests news-filter bubbles are not a problem.

While acknowledging the importance of the election, Facebook chief advised maintaining faith that most progress in innovation is made by private citizens, typically without help from the government.

“These elections make a real difference in the world, but it would not be right to suggest that it changes the fundamental arc of technology or progress over time,” Zuckerberg said.




Technology

Tesla to cut 7% of workforce amid tough profit outlook

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NEW YORK: Elon Musk’s electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors announced Friday it was cutting its workforce by about seven percent in a push to keep the Model 3 affordable for middle-income consumers.

Shares plunged following the announcement, which also signaled a tough profit road
ahead for Tesla.

The round of job cuts — which follow an earlier downsizing announced in June — comes as the envelope-pushing company faces pressure in its home market on prices from the phasing-out of a tax credit for electric car purchases.

Musk did not release an estimate of the employment hit but the company had 45,000
employees in October, suggesting about 3,150 would be cut.

Musk, who originally conceived of the Model 3 as a reasonably priced option for consumers who could not pay the lofty prices of its first two vehicles, said action was needed if the company was to succeed in its mission of challenging conventional autos.

“While we have made great progress, our products are still too expensive for most people,” Musk said in a blog post announcing the layoffs.

“We need to continue making progress towards lower priced variants of Model 3.”

 

 

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Technology

LG’s 17-inch laptop sets new Guinness World Record

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SEOUL: South Korean electronics maker LG Electronics Inc. claimed today that its 17-inch ultra-thin laptop has been recognized as the world’s lightest laptop for its size by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Among 150 kinds of 17-inch laptops sold in seven countries, the LG gram 17 weighing in at just 1,340 grams set the new Guinness record after it was launched earlier this month, the company said.
It was LG gram series’ third Guinness record, following two titles that were secured by laptops with 15.6-inch and 14-inch screens.
The 17-inch laptop, equipped with a 2,560 x 1,600-pixel resolution and 16:10 ratio LCD display, is slim and light enough so people can take it anywhere, the company said. LG claims the laptop can run up to 19.5 hours on its 72 watt-hour battery.
The LG gram 17 also won the Innovation Award from the Consumer Electronics Show held earlier this month in Las Vegas.

 

 

 

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Environment

WWF implementing SMART with IWMB

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ISLAMABAD: WWF-Pakistan with Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) are implementing Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) for eliminating poaching and illegal wildlife trade in the country.
WWF Manager Conservation Muhammad Waseem said SMART patrolling system was based on wildlife monitoring and conservation systems in the selected Protected  Areas (PAs) of the country for snow leopard preservation in Gilgit-Baltistan and overall wildlife species in Margalla National Park, he added.
He said the software was completely a modern technology based accessible both on Android smartphones and personal computers having Global Positioning System (GPS), pictures and various other features that would help wildlife conservators and national park managers to handle patrolling and monitoring of vast areas under their control.
He said WWF was providing technical assistance to IWMB and research students of various universities making a study on various wildlife management species.
To a question, he said WWF Pakistan had successfully controlled the illegal trafficking of  Pangolins from the country where the species was threatened to get extinct.
The WWF had made extensive efforts for the capacity building of the Customs department and regional wildlife departments to control the unlawful smuggling of Pangolins who were significantly important for the agricultural produces of the country.
He added that WWF-Pakistan was also working on watershed projects in Ayubia and  Khanpur Dam locations whereas the project was proceeding at a satisfactory pace.

 

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