‘HQ Trivia’ players are furious following a contested $25,000 game that no one won

HQ Trivia

  • “HQ Trivia” suddenly went missing from Apple’s App Store, and it’s not clear why.
  • On Sunday evening, there was no winner of a big $25,000 prize game.
  • As the game was finishing out, the last few players were kicked from the game for reportedly violating the game’s terms of service.

On Sunday night, as a $25,000 prize game of “HQ Trivia” came to a close, the winner-to-be was kicked from the game. There was no winner — no happy story of a young teacher suddenly flush with cash.

There was just this relatively bland statement on the “HQ Trivia” Twitter feed soon afterward, which explained to players what happened. “HQ moderators kick players that violate HQ’s Terms of Service and Contest Rules. For more information, please refer to our Terms of Service here: https://hqtrivia.com/legal/,” the game’s account tweeted.

Though “HQ Trivia” reps didn’t explain what rules were broken, players on Twitter claim the winner-to-be was using a “jailbroken” iPhone. Using such a device could mean a player was using software on their phone to correctly guess answers that they couldn’t answer themselves.

HQ Trivia

Next Sunday the prize pool will grow to $50,000. “Tonight we did not find The 1,” the “HQ Trivia” Twitter account said. “The $25k prize rolls over to next Sunday. That means the winner will get $50,000!”

That is, of course, if players are able to download the game. In a bizarre twist, “HQ Trivia” disappeared from Apple’s App Store as of Monday morning. (It remained available on Google Play.) It’s unclear if the game was removed by its developers or by Apple — it’s back on the store now.

An “HQ Trivia” representative didn’t get back to us as of publishing.

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/hq-trivia-disappears-from-apple-app-store-2018-3


I drove a $40,000 Buick Regal Station wagon for a week to see how it compared to a family SUV — here’s the verdict (GM)

Buick Regal TourX

  • Buick has expanded its lineup with a wagon.
  • The Regal TourX is a capable family hauler that has way more style than an SUV.
  • Performance and tech are also strong points.

I grew up in a Buick station wagon — an Estate wagon, to be precise. It was the large-and-in-charge suburban family hauler before SUV sent wagons into near-extinction, leaving surviving examples to be gently nurtured by car writers with a thing for sedan handling and decent cargo capacity.

One can still find wagons for sale, even as full-size SUVs and compact crossovers dominate the US markets. The Subaru Outback will probably never vanish from this realm, and Volvo’s V90 is a nice, big wagon that we enjoyed when we tested it last year. The Volvo V60 Cross Country and Audi Allroad are also in the fight.

Buick Estate Wagon

Enter the Buick Regal TourX, an unlikely new combatant in the, um, wagon wars. Buick is certainly well known for its popular crossovers. The Enclave, Envision, and Encore saved the brand, and the Regal GS sedan is a great sleeper sporty four-door. 

And now, a wagon joins the party. It’s actually a proper European estate (that’s what they call wagons across the pond — they call sedans “saloons,” too, those nutty Euros), sharing a platform with the Opel Insignia. Buick let us borrow a 2018 TourX with all-wheel-drive in the “Essence” upmarket trim level, tipping the price scales with numerous options at just north of $40,000.

I drove it around the Manhattan island and through the ‘burbs of New Jersey for a week. And a good week it was. 

Buick Regal TourX

Normally, I’d start with the Buick tri-shield badge and work my way back, but this time around, we’ll begin with the almost comically capacious cargo area. Drop the rear seats and you have a small pickup truck, with over 70 cubic feet of space. With the rear seats up, the area is still vast, at over 30 cubic feet. I have the hauling needs that three children, one wife, and one dog create, and I couldn’t come up with anything the TourX couldn’t handle. 

Buick argues that the low-slung wagon will be superior for sporting-lifestyle duty than a higher-riding crossover. Mount a roof rack and you’ll be better able to hoist bikes, skis, etc. on and off. Makes sense, but the TourX isn’t exactly a rugged-looking ride. Truthfully, its elegance and chic evoke Buicks of yore, with sleek surfaces and pleasing curves here and there. Our tester was stunning in a Smoked Peal Metallic paint job, with a Shale leather interior.

Buick Regal TourX

The 250-horsepower, turbocharged four-banger can propel the Buick wagon from o-60 mph in about 6.5 seconds, while the eight-speed automatic helps post 24 mpg combined (21 city/29 highway). An auto shutdown/restart at idle might annoy some drivers, as it can’t be deactivated. But it bumps up fuel economy and reduces emissions. For a vehicle of decent size, the TourX offers moderately crisp handling and some pep off the line, as well as steady and quiet freeway cruising with ample passing power. 

You could give the TourX a push and it would probably respond happily, but its natural desire is to be smoothly piloted with one-hand on the wheel, just like it’s 1978 again.

Buick Regal TourX

Tech-wise, the TourX is like almost every other vehicle in the General Motors fleet. The Intellilink skinning of GM’s excellent infotainment system runs off responsive touchscreen that while not large isn’t dinky, either. Bluetooth connections are a snap, and with OnStar 4G LTE wifi connectivity on board, you can run seven devices without sucking any wireless data from your plan. You have AUX and USB ports for devices, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and in the case of my tester, a tasty Bose audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio. 

My final impression of the TourX is that it’s a great option for stylish suburbanites who will like the cargo capacity and the big back seat for kids. This demographic is supposed to buy SUVs, but if you don’t like to ride high and truck-like, then wagons continue to be a dandy alternative. And with the Buick Regal TourX, you have a handsome newcomer that’s as suited to a night on the town as it is for runs to the beach or the lake. 

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/buick-regal-tourx-station-wagon-review-pictures-2018-2

Apple won’t quit until it owns every important part of the iPhone (AAPL)

Tim Cook

  • Apple is building its own screens, according to a report in Bloomberg. 
  • It’s the latest sign that Apple wants to own all the core technologies that go into its products.
  • Apple already designs its own processors, programming languages, and GPUs. 

Apple is executing on a years-long strategy to own all the core technologies that go into its products.

If it’s successful, it could mean that Apple could have a major advantage over Samsung and other Android phone makers: features they can’t copy. 

The latest project that Apple is striking out on may be its biggest yet — it wants to design and build its own screen, according to a new report from Bloomberg

Currently, Apple buys its displays from companies like Samsung. This means that while the parts that go into devices such as the iPhone X are tuned and customized, they are generally available to other companies. For example, other devices including the Samsung Galaxy S9 use OLED displays provided by Samsung. 

So Apple has built its own display manufacturing facility in California, according to Bloomberg. This factory is dedicated to building screens using a technology called MicroLED, which is emerging and hasn’t yet been used on mainstream products. Apple’s hoping to use them on the Apple Watch, and current working MicroLED prototypes are brighter and have a finer level of control over colors, according to the report. 

It’s sure to be a long and expensive process, but Apple can afford it. Apple currently has 300 engineers on the project, and it won’t be ready for mass production for at least three years, and it could get killed before then. 

If Apple succeeds, then it will have something that no other smartphone maker can match. 

Not the first time 

iphone 7 a10 chipApple’s project to build its own screens is only the latest sign that the company wants to design and own every important part that goes into the iPhone.

This mission started in 2008, when Apple bought a little-known chip company called PA Semi. That technology and team eventually produced a custom Apple processor called the A4, which debuted in the iPad in 2010.

That seems to have worked out — Apple has used its own custom chips in all iPhones and iPads since then, and they’ve gotten really good. The A11 chip in the latest iPhones may even be faster at some tasks than desktop processors made by Intel. 

“Apple now finds itself making bets in terms of controlling core components in products,” independent Apple analyst Neil Cybart wrote in December, before Apple’s display plans were revealed. 

It’s not just chips and screens. Apple has also designed and owned its fingerprint sensor technology, Touch ID, created its own wireless chip, W1, and recently introduced its own graphics processor, jettisoning Imagination Technologies, which previously provided the technology for iPhone graphics. 

It also owns many of the key software and hardware components that are needed to build the True Depth camera used on the iPhone X to securely lock and unlock the device. In 2014, it announced its own programming language, Swift, that can be used to build apps and software for Apple computers. 

Apple is also likely to build its own wireless modem chip that will enable its devices to connect to high-speed cellular networks. It’s currently in a bitter legal battle with Qualcomm, its previous modem supplier, which many industry observers believe is a prelude to introducing its own modem. 

“Apple is moving to the point at which it will have near complete control over every major component powering its device. Whether it is seen in new kinds of displays, smarter cameras, or custom silicon, hardware has a role to play in pushing more intelligent software and services,” Cybart continued. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried a toy that lets you experience what it feels like to pop a pimple

Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/apple-creating-its-own-screens-in-california-factory-report-2018-3

I tried the popular Silicon Valley diet credited with boosting energy and prolonging life — and I can see why people are obsessed

erin cake london

I’ve been ignoring my mother for a week and a half.

For the past 10 days, I’ve stifled the small voice she instilled in the back of my mind to remind me that forgoing breakfast is nutritional doom — all for the sake of a diet known as intermittent fasting.

The diet essentially involves abstaining from food for a set period of time ranging from 16 hours to several days — and surprisingly, it has a lot of scientific backing.

Large studies have found intermittent fasting to be just as reliable for weight loss as traditional diets. And a few studies in animals have suggested it could have other benefits, such as reducing the risk for certain cancers and even prolonging life.

Silicon Valley loves it. A Bay Area group called WeFast meets weekly to collectively break their fasts with a hearty morning meal. Facebook executive Dan Zigmond confines his eating to a narrow time slot; many other CEOs and tech pioneers are sworn “IF” devotees — some even fast for up to 36 hours at a time.

I opted to try a form of the diet known as the 16:8, in which you fast for 16 hours and eat (or “feed,” as some proponents call it) for eight hours. With this regimen, you can eat whatever you want — as long as it doesn’t fall outside the designated eight-hour window.

Here’s how it went.

Before starting my fast, I checked in with doctor Krista Varady, one of the first researchers to study intermittent fasting in humans. I also had a standard check-up with my primary care doctor.

Varady is a nutrition professor at the University of Illinois and wrote a book about fasting called “The Every-Other-Day Diet” in 2013. She told me that the most scientifically supported benefit of intermittent fasting is weight loss.

Most of Varady’s IF research has involved obese people. Study subjects have lost a significant amount of weight — roughly the same amount they would have on a traditional diet that involves strict eating and calorie counting.

I told Varady that I was trying out the diet not to lose weight but rather to find out how feasible the plan was. She said that while certain people shouldn’t try intermittent fasting — those over 70, people with type 1 diabetes, and women who are pregnant or lactating — “most people can give it a try.”

Some research suggests that intermittent fasting has a handful of other benefits, from increased focus to a reduced risk of certain diseases. Some studies even suggest it may help prolong life, but most of that research has been in animals, not people.

Anecdotally, intermittent fasters report that their diets have helped them become more productive, build muscle faster, and sleep better. Members of a Silicon Valley startup called HVMN skip eating on Tuesdays and claim they get more work done on that day than any other.

Varady said that hundreds of people in her studies have reported similar benefits. “But we haven’t studied or quantified any of that yet,” she said.

With the go-ahead from my doctor and Varady, I was ready to find out for myself. Based on advice from other IF fans, I chose to break my daily fast at 12 p.m. and stop eating at 8 p.m., giving me eight hours to eat or “feed.”

I wanted the last meal before my first 16-hour fast to be good, so I made one of my favorites: homemade pizza with arugula and chicken breast.

See the rest of the story at INSIDER
Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/what-is-intermittent-fasting-beginners-2018-3

iPhone X is ‘flagging’ as customers balk at $1,000 price tag — Nomura (AAPL)

tim cook blue

  • A small chorus of analysts says they are lowering their estimates of sales of iPhone X because it is too expensive.
  • “Many component suppliers for iPhone X have seen very low shipments since Feb,” a note from Nomura says.
  • “We do not believe it is coincidence that the highest end of the product portfolio, the X, is the model that is flagging.”

The analyst team at Nomura has joined their colleagues at Longbow Research and Bernstein in expressing alarm at what they believe are lackluster sales of iPhone X.

Nomura’s Anne Lee and her team lowered their prediction of iPhone X sales for Q1 2018 (Apple’s fiscal second quarter) to between 8 million and 12 million units, down from their prior forecast of 13 million to 18 million. “Many component suppliers for iPhone X have seen very low shipments since Feb, which could cause very low utilisation rate and poor mix for 1H18F,” she told clients today.

Her colleague Jeffrey Kvaal and his team blamed the price of the iPhone X, which is around $1,000 in the US and £1,000 in the UK.

The “market may no longer tolerate rising ASPs,” he wrote, referring to the iPhone’s “average selling price”:

“One factor that is likely suppressing the smartphone market is price. We see several indications the market elasticity is falling. Obviously, Apple’s iPhone ASPs have climbed from $645 in FY16; we model $742 in FY18. We do not believe it is coincidence that the highest end of the product portfolio, the X, is the model that is flagging.”

He also reduced his estimate of Apple’s earnings for the full fiscal year. “We thus lower our FY2018 iPhone units from 226mn to 221mn, below consensus of 224mn and our EPS from $11.56 to $11.40, also below consensus of $11.48. We maintain our $175 target and Neutral rating.”

Last week, Longbow Research sent a note to clients saying that its sources inside Apple’s Asian supply chain believed the iPhone X was not selling well. “The cut for 1Q is worse than usual and worse than what has happened in prior years,” one source said. “The March quarter has been low and we’re expecting flat production year over year,” another added.

Prior to that Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi Jr. published a note saying that he believed the second-hand iPhone market is cannibalising new iPhone sales. The useful life of an iPhone has become longer over time, up to four years with careful use. Many people are choosing a used iPhone on the second-hand market over the cost of a new phone. After all, the iOS experience is largely the same on all iPhone models. “The upshot is that Apple’s iPhone installed base growth of *new* phones — likely the best leading indicator of future iPhone sales — may be lower than many realize, and looks to be flat in FY 18,” he told clients.

Kvaal touched on that too. “As replacement cycles lengthen, the average upgrade rate is at its lowest in years. C4Q was only 7.6%, below the prior three years of 10.8%, 8.8%, and 8.4%.” He believes that Apple’s massive “installed base” of existing users will eventually spur new iPhone sales because “replacement rates will not lengthen forever.”

Join the conversation about this story »

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/iphone-x-is-flagging-as-customers-balk-at-1000-price-tag-nomura-2018-3

Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes explains what he learned from sinking $25 million into a business venture that ultimately failed

Chris Hughes

  • Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes ultimately made $500 million for helping his Harvard roommate Mark Zuckerberg build the company in its first three years.
  • Hughes bought The New Republic magazine, a long-running liberal journal, in 2012, with hopes of making it a financially stable mainstream success.
  • After investing $25 million into it and losing three quarters of his staff over editorial changes, the magazine barely added any readers, and he sold it in 2016.
  • Hughes told us it taught him that ambitious goals should not require radical means to achieve them.

Chris Hughes was feeling at the top of his game in 2012. He cashed out his remaining stake in Facebook, the company he helped his Harvard roommate Mark Zuckerberg build in its early days, for a total of around $500 million when it went public in May. He also still had clout from his success as a digital strategist for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

And so in his new role as the owner of The New Republic magazine, which he bought for a couple million in March, he “came in guns blazing,” he told us in an interview for Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It.”

“I loved the journalism that The New Republic had done for decades, nearly a century at that point, and really believed that more people should be reading it,” he said.

Four years and $25 million later, however, and Hughes had lost three quarters of his staff and was trashed in the media. He was forced to sell.

Hughes is now the founding CEO of the Economic Security Project, a nonprofit advocating for a guaranteed income in the United States, and he used his recent book “Fair Shot” to finally speak about The New Republic fiasco. He said that it actually taught him a valuable lesson about expectations and risk that he’s since been mindful of.

You can subscribe to the podcast and listen to the episode below:

“I took those early lessons from Facebook and the Obama campaign and set really unrealistic goals,” he told us. “Those goals I do regret. I wanted to take the journalism and move it to an audience of millions, or tens of millions, and, in the process, skipped over the fact that The New Republic was a small print magazine with a circulation of 35,000 when I bought it.”

After Hughes bought the magazine, he envisioned it as a magazine that could be relevant in the mainstream and still smart. He moved its offices from Washington, DC to New York and made editorial changes that ramped up production of daily stories and revamped the magazine’s layout and website. Much of his newsroom rejected these changes, casting him as a patronizing tech millionaire trying to commoditize journalism and destroying it in the process.

Twenty employees and 36 of 38 contributing editors resigned. Many of them vented their anger publicly, and Hughes’ years of glowing press turned sour.

In his book, Hughes said that he felt that he was once again being cast in an extreme light. As he saw it, he wasn’t the hero people wanted him to be in the Obama campaign, and he wasn’t the villain people wanted him to be at the New Republic. He was, he explained, trying to save a beloved magazine from extinction by transforming it, and doing so in a way that was ignoring the desires of his staff.

On top of the drama, the needle barely moved in terms of subscriptions and online readers. The attempt had failed.

“And I think I would have been better served and the institution would have been better served had I adapted more modest means to the enterprise,” he told us. He was writing checks for $500,000 each month and digging himself deeper into a hole. “If I’d invested that kind of money, but over a longer period, and instead of trying to reach tens of millions all of a sudden with a somewhat niche kind of magazine, trying to reach a smaller and more engaged audience,” he’d have had a better shot at enhancing the magazine without prompting mutiny.

He doesn’t see it as a total loss, noting that he’s proud of a lot of stories published and user experience changes made under his tenure, but sees where he made mistakes.

“I mean, that’s why I didn’t start an organization to campaign for UBI right off the bat,” he said, referring to Universal Basic Income, a system in which every citizen receives a guaranteed income regardless of their circumstances. Instead, Hughes’ organization is advocating for a guaranteed income of a monthly $500 sent to working Americans making under $50,000. It is certainly quite ambitious, but one Hughes doesn’t see as impossible, and he is willing to support policies that gradually ease into it.

As he wrote in “Fair Shot,” his failure at the New Republic taught him that, “just because an idea is bold does not mean that the means to achieve it need be. A prosaic and incremental approach can be a more effective way to put poetic ideals into practice.”

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/facebook-cofounder-chris-hughes-on-lesson-from-new-republic-failure-2018-3

10 things in tech you need to know today (FB, AAPL, GOOG)


Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Monday.

1. Facebook is under huge pressure from politicians in the US and UK after The Guardian reported Cambridge Analytica, a Trump-linked research firm, accessed personal information of 50 million people via a Facebook app. Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica from its platform for violation of its terms of service.

2. Facebook has banned the whistleblower behind the Cambridge Analytica revelations, Christoper Wylie. Wylie is unable to use WhatsApp, Facebook, or Instagram.

3. YouTube Kids, an app intended to be a child-friendly version of YouTube, shows conspiracy theory videos in kids. The app contains videos by conspiracy theorist David Icke, who claims the world is ruled by reptile-human hybrids.

4. Apple is designing and making its own screens for the first time, according to Bloomberg. The company has reportedly set up a secret manufacturing facility close to its headquarters in California to create microLED screens.

5. Tinder’s parent firm, Match Group, is suing its biggest rival Bumble for alleged patent infringement and over claims that two early Bumble executives who previously worked at Tinder took confidential informationAccording to Recode, it might be a way for Match to acquire Bumble.

6. Facebook is investigating whether one of its own employees knew about the Cambridge Analytica data leak. Social psychology researcher Joseph Chancellor works at Facebook but his position is under review, according to Bloomberg.

7. The price of hyped cryptocurrency Ether has dropped after the SEC said it was investigating dozens of Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs. The price currently sits at $547.42, down from more than $1,000 at its peak in January.

8. Computer security researchers are worried about a mysterious iPhone-unlocking tool called “GrayKey”, a grey box which can crack devices in hours or days. Security firm Malwarebytes, which got hold of the box, speculated the box uses zero-day flaws to crack the phones.

9. Twitter will ban ads relating to cryptocurrencies, after Facebook and Google did the same. The ban will apply in the next fortnight, according to Sky.

10. Tech investor Peter Thiel has claimed there are ‘no successful tech companies in Europe’ and said EU regulation stemmed from regional jealousy of Silicon Valley’s success. Thiel made the comments during an event in New York.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/10-things-in-tech-you-need-to-know-today-march-19-2018-3

What to do about a screaming child on board, according to flight attendants

baby crying airplane

  • Kids on airplanes has become a controversial topic of late.
  • With each new report surrounding a disruptive child on an airplane, the debate continues: How should airlines, parents, and flight attendants deal with the situation?
  • We asked some flight attendants to weigh in.


How airlines, parents, and crew handle disruptive kids is a mounting and divisive issue, Business Insider’s transportation reporter Mark Matousek reports.

In February, a YouTube video of a toddler screaming, climbing on a chair, and running through the aisles during an eight-hour flight surfaced. Commenters’ reactions were deeply split between criticism towards and sympathy for the child and his parents.

In March, a video shared on social media shows a man and his young daughter getting kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight after the child reportedly threw a tantrum during boarding. Southwest airlines said the family was placed on the next flight after “a conversation escalated onboard” between the crew and the passenger. Other passengers and some on social media have criticized the crew and Southwest for how they handled the incident.

As Matousek reports, the idea of airlines introducing “child-free zones” is gaining traction. More than half of the 4,000 travelers Airfarewatchdog surveyed in 2017 said families with children under 10 years old should be required to sit in a separate section of the plane.

Since playing the blame game rarely leads to real solutions, we asked flight attendants to weigh in on what they think airlines, parents, and flight attendants can do when kids are being disruptive. They had a few thoughts:

There isn’t a whole lot the airline can do to stop the disruption

“Airlines can’t handle disruptive children. Besides advising the parent that the kids need to talk quieter, sit down, or not kick the seat in front of them, there’s really nothing we can do.”

Flight attendants can sometimes compensate nearby passengers

“I’m not sure there’s much that can be done with a fussy, over-tired toddler. I’ve seen it in action, and it’s very difficult for everyone around. I give free drinks when I can, but not everyone drinks liquor.”

If a passenger is uncomfortable throughout their flight, they should definitely tell the flight attendants to see if they can be accommodated.”

“Ask to change seats if there are any, use ear plugs, drink a lot of vodka. Crew can help to a certain extent.”

Tell the airline

“If the flight is full and they can’t change your seat, I would reach out to the airline and explain the situation to see if they will provide credit for their next flight.”

Let the parents handle the situation

“Parents should always have entertainment and food for kids.”

Parents should come prepared

“As an uncle who just traveled with his two-month-old nephew, the best strategy to flying with a baby is to get them fed and sleeping before the plane takes off and to make sure you have a pacifier to help pop their ears.”

As should passengers

“Passengers should put on their earphones, listen to music, or watch a movie.”

“This is why you should always bring earplugs and an eye mask! There’s not a whole lot flight attendants can do besides politely tell the parent that their child needs to sit down or lower their voice. Parents have it hard flying with kids, especially on long flights.”

Child-free zones probably won’t work

“Whether you have a child-free zone on the aircraft or not, you’re still in the same metal tube in the sky. There will never be an enclosed area due to security reasons.”

And they may not be fair

“Parents shouldn’t feel segregated for having children, and they’re not the issue — the people who are bothered by the children tend to become more disruptive then the child.”

Ultimately, everyone needs to be patient

“We all need to be patient with each other. Who can control a screaming child?”

“Babies cry — its a part of life. And sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. Give those mamas and papas a break.”

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Banning laptops from plane cabins could make flying more dangerous — here’s why

Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/how-airlines-parents-flight-attendants-should-handle-disruptive-kids-2018-3

Christopher Wylie, the 28-year-old whistleblower of the Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica, says his Facebook account has been disabled

christopher wylie cambridge analytica

  • Christopher Wylie is the 28-year-old whistleblower on Cambridge Analytica, the data-analytics firm that played an important role in Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Brexit Leave campaign.
  • Wylie said his Facebook account was disabled on Sunday, “for blowing the whistle, on something they have known privately for two years.”
  • Facebook says it is suspending Wylie’s Facebook account, despite his role as a whistleblower, as it carries out its investigation on Cambridge Analytica.

Christopher Wylie, the 28-year-old man who both founded and blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica, the data-analytics firm that played an important role in Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Brexit Leave campaign, had his Facebook account disabled on Sunday.


Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica from its platform on Friday, amid multiple revealing stories published in The New York Times and The Guardian over the weekend that included interviews with Wylie, who oversaw the conception and realization of Cambridge Analytica’s tool that harvested millions of Facebook profiles illegitimately, to be used for various political campaigns in both the US and UK.

In an interview published in The Guardian on Sunday, Wylie detailed how Cambridge Analytica harvested data from more than 50 million Facebook profiles between June and August 2014, even sharing a 2016 letter from Facebook’s own lawyers admitting that Cambridge Analytica “had acquired the data illegitimately,” and asking Wylie to delete the data.

Perhaps most troubling is that, according to Wylie, Facebook never followed up in the two years since that letter to see if he had, in fact, deleted the stolen data. (He didn’t.)


Despite reportedly having evidence that Cambridge Analytica had illegitimately collected user data, Facebook did not suspend Cambridge Analytica until Friday — more than two years after the alleged data breach from Cambridge Analytica was first reported, and four days after The Guardian reportedly sought comment from Facebook about the story.

Facebook, for its part, doesn’t call the incident a “breach.” A spokesperson told The Guardian: “Protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything we do, and we require the same from people who operate apps on Facebook. If these reports are true, it’s a serious abuse of our rules.”

So, why did Facebook suspend Wylie’s account? Business Insider reached out for comment, and Facebook was not immediately available to respond.

Facebook did say on Friday that it would suspend Wylie’s account — as well as the accounts of Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge, and Strategic Communication Laboratories, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company — while it carried out its investigation. It’s unclear if Wylie’s account would be restored after the investigation ends.

The full stories about Wylie, Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, and the roles they played in the 2016 presidential election are truly incredible and worth reading — The New York Times story, as well as The Guardian’s interview with Wylie and its story on the harvested Facebook profiles.

And check out this video from The Guardian below, featuring an interview with Christopher Wylie.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/christopher-wylie-cambridge-analytica-whistleblower-facebook-account-disabled-2018-3

Viacom is cozying up to YouTube as the TV giant plays catchup in digital (VIAB)

Nick Cannon

  • Viacom is rolling out an original show exclusively on YouTube for its kids network Nickelodeon, after fighting with YouTube parent company Alphabet for years.
  • It’s the first of many original projects planned by the recently formed Viacom Digital Studios.
  • The cable TV giant, which has a portfolio of networks aimed at younger audiences, is playing catch-up in digital media.

A media company announcing an original series project with a digital outlet these days doesn’t necessarily raise eyebrows – except maybe when the names involved are Viacom, Nickelodeon and YouTube.

Last week, during its annual upfront sales presentation to advertisers, the kids network Nickelodeon announced that it was planning a series this spring featuring Nick Cannon on YouTube.

Consider that:

  • Parent company Viacom had famously been embroiled in a legal battle with YouTube-owner Google over copyright infringement from 2007 to 2014.
  • Cable networks have generally focused on using the web for promoting their TV series, and have been hesitant to put money into original digital series – in part to not alienate their cable distribution partners, who pay them significant fees to carry their networks.
  • Viacom in particular has not focused on developing digital audiences.
  • Not to mention that YouTube has been embroiled in multiple bad stories involving kids on the platform. 

But it’s a “new era” at Viacom, said Kelly Day, former chief business officer at the youth-focused digital content company AwesomenessTV, who was named president of the newly launched Viacom Digital Studios division last November.

Viacom is trying to embrace digital programming without leaning too hard on TV properties

Day says she has a clear mandate: to build audiences on the biggest tech platforms by creating native content. The newly announced Nick Cannon-helmed competition show “Musical Dares,” which was born as a skit on Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice franchise, is just a “sneak preview” of the emerging strategy, she told Business Insider.

“[Viacom CEO] Bob Bakish has made pretty dramatic changes,” said Day. Bakish, who assumed his role in late 2016, shook up the cable giant last year by announcing a focus on six flagship networks, while deemphasizing others. 

Since Bakish took the reigns at Viacom, his focus has been almost entirely about shoring up the company’s linear TV ratings. That’s meant rebranding the Spike network as Paramount, and talking up modest growth for the likes of MTV. 

But included in the mostly TV-centric strategy revamp unveiled in 2017 were plans to “invest in short form content,” reported The Hollywood Reporter.

In fact, during Viacom’s most recent earnings call, Bakish told investors that the company wants to double its web video view numbers in 2018 versus 2017 while more than tripling watch time on platforms like Facebook and YouTube – while also putting more resources toward “OTT” or video delivered via apps on devices like Roku and Apple TV. 

“Our goals for this division are ambitious,” Bakish said.

“He’s not giving lip service to digital,” Day said. “He really wants to diversify and make it clear that we are not just cable TV brands. We know that cable TV viewership is shrinking … we have to think about the business model long term and how [new outlets] can it support these brands. So we are really focused on social and mobile.”

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From digital marketing to digital programming

Day said that while Viacom has already amassed a large social media footprint of 100 million plus followers, those channels have lagged when it comes to engagement. Social media had been managed by the company’s marketing division and was focused on promotion.

Indeed, until recently both Hollywood and Silicon Valley executives often complained that Viacom was adrift when it came to figuring out digital media.

“We weren’t thinking as a programmer on these platforms,” Day said. “To date they were not super effective at driving people elsewhere. And we know that some of these users may or may not be watching TV anymore. That’s why this team was founded.”

The team includes 300 people focused on creating digital projects for four Viacom networks: MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

The plan is to find formats and series that work for Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Initially, Viacom wants to focus on driving engagement and learning how to program via these outlets, and not worry about making money until down the road. “It’s an investment,” Day said.

A different view on YouTube

YouTube is priority one for the new group. “Historically it has been underinvested here,” Day said. But that’s changing fast. Over the past few months Nickelodeon has doubled its production output on YouTube, and the channel’s subscriber base has eclipsed 3 million.

The Nick Cannon-led show is being conceived of as a “tentpole” for the channel, Day said, and the show is also likely to end up on YouTube’s kids app. “Musical Dares” is much like Musical Chairs, only kids may find themselves sitting on spinning or vibrating chairs, or getting slime dumped on their heads.

Bronwen O’Keefe, Nickelodeon’s EVP of Live Action and Movies, said that clips of the musical performance show “Lip Synch Battle Shorties” had performed particularly well on Nick’s YouTube channel, giving the network confidence that a music-themed game would work.

“A big part of our strategy this year is to be really mindful of the idea, ‘How do we reach kids?'” she said. “And we’re not blind to the fact that kids are interested in YouTube.”

But the networks wants to make sure it’s not just using YouTube to dump leftover clips of its TV shows. “This is a show,” she said. “This is developed as a show, not something like the B team.”

Kids programmers and advertisers have to be cautious on the web

Of course, Nickelodeon’s YouTube ramp up comes following a string of controversies regarding kids and YouTube. A New York Times investigation found that questionable videos had found their way onto the kids app. Meanwhile, YouTube has had to deal with advertisers’ ads running next to creepy videos featuring adults dressed as kids characters.

It’s worth pointing out that according to its community guidelines, YouTube is aimed at consumers aged 13 and older.

Day said that she’s “not worried,” noting that there are “lots of kids on YouTube … and this is a show for kids. Brand safety is a huge priority for us, and we’ve been at the forefront of that issue.”

O’Keefe added that Nickelodeon has full control over what ends up on its YouTube channel. “Nobody is more well versed than us in how you have to be careful with kids on the web,” she said.

Beyond Nickelodeon and YouTube, Day’s group is exploring shows for platforms like Snapchat Discover and Facebook Watch. Next month, the company is hosting its first ever ‘Newfront,’ a presentation to media buyers and brands that is essentially the digital answer to the TV upfronts, when each network introduces its lineup of upcoming shows.

So expect lots of new projects. Day likened what her team is doing to how digital media companies (like her old company AwesomenessTV) have been able to quickly crank out content without a lot of legacy obstacles.

“We can be fast moving and agile just like them. And we have this massive scale.”

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Source: http://www.thisisinsider.com/viacom-is-cozying-up-to-youtube-as-the-tv-giant-plays-catchup-in-digital-2018-3