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As I surf around and use the internet for myriads of purposes I run into post after post after post of news that quite frankly may not be totally true yet people seem to believe the crazy stories. I know we live in a crazy world but to believe everything you read is in itself…crazy. One of the most prominent sources of fake news being social media. I am not going to state any one source but I constantly witness people sharing, posting, tweeting and retweeting news that you can pretty much call fake at first glance yet people share them anyways, exceptions being malware controlled posts.
There are sites dedicated to publishing fake news and chances are that crazy news post you see pop up on your screen was started by one of those sites. Google is taking a stand against ‘fake news’ by introducing a Fact Check tag in their search results. When you search for info about a contested subject, Google will serve a page from a fact-checking site. The fact check will show up at the top in an area you most likely have seen before where things like recipes, TV show episodes, movie showtimes, and band discographies show as you perform searches on said subjects. The fact checks will be pulled from sites like Snopes and PolitiFact. These fact checks will also show information about the person who made the claim, details about the claim, and whether said site thinks it is true. After the top section traditional news stories will be presented as usual. The fact-check feature won’t remove false and offensive stories on Google but it is an attempt to better educate users on what they are reading about. To add in I would like to add that if Google will be pulling from different fact-checker sites you will run into different opinions on the specific news you are looking at.
Google in a blog post said, “These fact checks are not Google’s and presented so people can make more informed judgements,”
“Even though differing conclusions may be presented, we think it’s still helpful for people to understand the degree of consensus around a particular claim and have clean information on which sources agree,”
Google will not make it easy for fact checker sites to be recognized by implementing criteria that is rather long. Some part of the criteria involves use of Schema.org ClaimReview markup on pages where public statements are analyzed. The content must adhere to Google’s News General Guidelines which has a good amount of the same guidelines as any journalist. The final decision will be based on Google’s algorithms which will determine who is an authoritative source of information.
“If a publisher or fact check claim does not meet these standards or honor these policies, we may, at our discretion, ignore that site’s markup.”
Google News started something similar which was started during the US presidential election where a lot of news was not very trustworthy. Since it was a success Google then expanded the feature to Germany, France, and then went further by adding it in the Google News and Weather app in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
There has been fire shot out at sites who provide fake news online and as mentioned Google is taking steps to identify false and offensive content which is a battle in itself. Some of the shots fired come from different sources like a recent report by The Outline which shows how often Google’s search results can provide such fake news. Fake news is trending and along with that causing increased concern where, for instance, a parliamentary inquiry has been started by the UK Culture, Media and Sport Committee into investigating “fake news.” The inquiry has also urged British newspapers to called for a deeper examination of the issue.
Again I say the move by Google won’t erase the problem, but it will help people to make more informed decisions on the content that they read and hopefully people won’t be so quick to post all that garbage news. I suggest anyone reading this post that as they use Google or Facebook and run into news that sounds weird or crazy that they open up another browser window and do a search on the subject first and look to see if that news shows up on the bigger and widely known news sites. If not, chances are it is not true or has been exaggerated.
Last Year Twitter streamed the Thursday night NFL games with success, but for this season, football is jumping to the Amazon. Amazon and the NFL have announced a 50 million dollar agreement for the streaming rights to 10 Thursday Night Football games for the 2017 season which multiplies Twitter’s deal by five.
Amazon has been trying to expand its TV offerings and this, I think, would make for a huge win in that area. You have a lot who have ditched cable for whatever reason (Kodi maybe) who may have put money into Amazon Prime to fill that missing gap. Twitter was a least an option to get some football into that busy schedule. The idea here overall being to cut the cord that comes from traditional TV. So now the NFL livestreams will be limited to paying Amazon Prime subscribers which costs $100 per year. I don’t see anyone forking out that money just to see football on Thursday alone but the attention is sure to attract new subscribers for Amazon.
There are other streaming sources like CBS and NBC but those streams require CBS All Access premium service and cable authentication, respectively. I will add in that Verizon is also an option but that’s limited to Verizon users which would take something extra to get those streams onto your big screen. I could think of a few ways though. If you want to know how just leave a comment.
A good bet still to this day is the over-the-air TV antenna. The NFL only offers their Game Pass subscription which does not stream live games. You can watch the games though about a half hour after the games are over while DirecTV has the only live streaming option in the U.S.
Expect to see Amazon ads for the NFL streams while they toot their own horn on their other video services but this is nothing new as Amazon is always using whatever it offers to attract you into grabbing Amazon even more with their myriads of ads that you see as you perform your web functions.
Netflix has broadened its offline streaming feature to Windows 10 via its Windows 10 PC app. So Netflix users will have another option whenever they are without Internet access.
Netflix added the feature in their most recent update to the Netflix app in Windows 10. Take note the Windows Store doesn’t show you what version of the Netflix app you’re using so just manually check for updates using the large blue button in the upper-right corner of the Windows Store app.
The Netflix app will show you a large popup type screen that shows the new “download and go” ability. The Find me something to download button doesn’t at this time display a list of downloadable titles so you will have to find them yourself.
The offline streaming option was only available for its mobile apps such as Android and iOS which was not without its fair share of flaws but was overall a welcome addition. The Netflix app is a Microsoft UWP app so I am guessing the offline streaming will pop up on Windows phones and on the Xbox.
So what is the big deal right? On a mobile device is cool but this opens up the feature to be used on larger screens which notebooks and desktop PCs have. So more time enjoying content instead of squinting at your mobile device to keep up. There are ways around it with options like screen mirroring to any available TV screen you have but from a PC doing this can be much easier without the occasional text or app notification disturbing your viewing of content.
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Ninja is back with some more windows tips and tricks…
Using the Edge Browser While Shopping
First I would like to mention that you make sure your data is backed up in some way. Windows 10 will at times make some major updates. One example is the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. I have had reports of lost data and broken/lost applications after having this update take place on computers. One part of this update though may prompt you to do your online shopping using the Edge browser instead. See once you open sites like Best Buy or Target Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, will often give you its 2 cents and offer the use of coupons that it finds automatically. Now that can be very helpful.
I would also like to add in that you can do as Chrome does and add addons or extensions in Edge which also came with the Anniversary update. There are not many just yet that you can install but you may find some useful like AdBlock. You can check out the images to get an idea how to access the shopping suggestions and extensions.
Windows Calendar Update
The taskbar calendar was not so useful before but Microsoft has been hard at work by adding some extra functionality into it. The taskbar calendar is now integrated with Windows 10’s core Calendar so all your dates and events now show. You can click on the events to view or edit them and it will also show your Google events if you have your google email setup in windows 10’s email app. As you can see it is showing my Bizarre Holidays that I have setup in my Google account. This should have been included from day one if you ask me.
Windows Dark Theme
This item here should have also been a part of Windows 10 from day one but Microsoft is learning what its users want. Through the feedback app and forums that Microsoft has setup a lot have requested a way to change from the light theme. the light theme at times makes it hard to distinguish one window from another if you have a lot of windows open. Ever click on the wrong windows trying to get at a certain desired window? Maybe you even minimize or closed the window you wanted by accident. To find the option you goto Settings > Personalization > Colors.
The light theme was so annoying to me at times I changed the theme color manually. I posted on this in my Getting the White Out post while also showing how you can set your colors to update according to your currently set background in the previous Tips and Tricks post. I may have mentioned Dark Mode there too. 🙂 (Yeah I really disliked light theme.)
Windows Audio Sources
Windows 10 volume control has been rather cumbersome if you are an audiophile. Having to change where the audio you want is coming from has always been a task requiring the Control Panel and going into properties of the device in order to change. Now you can change your audio source by clicking on the name of the source. To get to it you look for that speaker icon on the bottom in your taskbar and just click on it. It may show art first only one source but if you look again you will see an arrowhead pointing upward. You just have to click that to open up the other options. What this means is you can switch from your headphones to your speakers to your Roland Aira TR-8 and back again much easier.
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