Snapchat & Teens; Your AI Muse; Apple; Online Reviews

Posted October 20th, 2015 at 12:00 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

I’m 15 and Snapchat Makes Me Feel Awful About Myself

Writer Ruby Karp argues that Snapchat’s latest update encourages FOMO or fear of missing out among teenagers. She says teens are obsessed with the Snapchat stories feature, which lets them “boast” about who they are with, what they’re doing — and “what everyone else is missing out on.”

The AI That Writes Articles for You is Available for Testing

Wordsmith is Automated Insight’s new platform for taking care of repetitive, time-consuming writing tasks. Wordsmith creates a story based on uploaded data and user definitions of the story structure.

Tim Cook: We Should Have Both Privacy and Security

Apple CEO Tim Cook again argued in favor of strong encryption during a debate with government agencies on Monday. He also defended privacy, saying users should not have to choose between privacy and security.

Chinese Firm Behind Snooping iOS Apps Admits Guilt

Apple has been busy removing and banning up to 256 apps from the App Store for sniffing out user data. The culprit – a Chinese advertising firm – has admitted guilt and apologized for collecting private user data.

Beware of Scammers Impersonating Apple Tech Support

A report from cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes says crooks are masquerading as Apple technicians to lure unsuspecting victims to their website, The elaborate scheme makes victims believe something is wrong with their computers and seduces them to call the fake technicians.

Amazon Cracks Down on Fake Reviews

Amazon has filed suit against more than 1,000 people who allegedly offered themselves for hire to write fake product reviews and, on occasion, offered to let sellers write their own reviews, which they would then post.

How to Spot a Fake Online Review

Can tell a fake review from a real one? Research firm Mintel found that 49 percent of those surveyed believe online reviewers get incentives from the sellers whose products are being reviewed. Here are a few tips to help you determine what’s real and what’s not.

Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

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