In the spotlight
Facebook to curb microtargeting in political advertising
Microtargeted political adverts are thought to be used by candidates to deliver different messages to different constituencies. Facebook’s plans to limit political advertising have taken another step, according to reports , as the company firms up plans to stop political advertisers from sending messages to very small numbers of people.
Google to ban politically targeted advertisements
Google is going to ban political advertisers from targeting audiences based upon their political preferences, the company announced. The company said its new policy would be implemented in the UK within a week, and in the rest of the world in January, as the company faces mounting criticism over its advertising policies during the general election.
General election 2019: the digital ad battle in Scotland
Advertising on social media has become an everyday part of political campaigning. So, what have Scotland’s parties done so far at this election to target voters in key marginals? How does it work?
Twitter unveils final details for political ad ban, but it’s still looking murky
Twitter has outlined details of its new political advertisement policy, weeks after its CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Twitter that the platform would no longer allow those ads. But even though the company aimed to clear up how the policy will unfold, some big questions remain.
Agriculture & Environment
Greenhouse gases surge to record in 2018, exceeding 10-year average rate: U.N
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2018, rising faster than the average rise of the last decade and cementing increasingly damaging weather patterns, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday.
More sustainable agriculture, with smaller budget
The agricultural sector is one of the world’s most significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. However, thanks to new technologies and modern farming techniques, emissions linked to agriculture are expected to decrease – keeping in mind the climate targets set by the EU for 2030 and 2050.
Arctic’s oldest ice shows signs of change
Stretches of the Arctic’s oldest ice, and its thickest the last refuge ice that should survive even when the Arctic Ocean technically becomes ice-free in summers later this century are now disappearing twice as fast as the rest of the Arctic icecap.
Transport & Energy
Decarbonising industry: how much policy-driven adoption is needed to let the market take over
Decarbonising industry is one of the world’s greatest challenges. The costs, today, are huge and therefore the technology adoption required has hardly started. But several technologies already exist.
Tesla’s electric pickup truck flouts convention with angular design and armored glass
With a starting price of $39,900, the Cyber truck is less expensive than initially flagged but its polarising design could limit sales in a segment symbolic of a rugged, practical American lifestyle.
Is Automation Always Better?
“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth,” wrote I’ve been in the field of automation long enough to see that many of the most impressive advancements are still quite new. Take driverless cars, for instance.
The challenge of artificial intelligence
After decades of living in a common internal market, many people seem to have forgotten how important it is, and how easy. But when you travel to for example the United States, and you forget your adapter, you can’t even charge your mobile phone – a problem that never occurs when you travel on the European continent.
Home alarm systems: how can I improve my security?
Technology companies are selling a lot of new gadgets to increase home security, including smart locks, motion detectors, window sensors and digital cameras. Many are part of the trend towards “smart homes” with internet-connected doorbells, lighting, voice assistants and so on.
Czech government approves digital tax aimed at internet giants
The Czech government approved a 7% digital tax proposal on Monday aimed at boosting state coffers by taxing advertising by global internet giants like Google and Facebook, broadcaster Czech Television reported.
Food & Health
Insight into the genome’s dark matter
Expansions of DNA repeats can lead to diseases but are very hard to analyze. A method developed by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin allows for a detailed look at these previously inaccessible regions of the genome.
Trying to help parents decide to vaccinate kids against HPV? Consider storytelling
Health campaigns on social media aimed at increasing human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination may see greater success, according to Drexel University researchers, if they inject a narrative into information-based posts.
Apple heart study shows a lot of promise for digital health, but cardiologists still have questions
Stanford Medicine published its long-awaited research on the Apple Heart Study, which represents one of the largest research efforts of its kind that relies on consumer devices to better understand human health.
Science policy & Communication
Security Think Tank: Stopping data leaks in the cloud
Misconfigured cloud environments are increasingly identified as the source of damaging data breaches and leaks, raising serious questions for enterprises. Where does responsibility for data security in the cloud lie, and how can security professionals best work with their teams and cloud providers to resolve the problem?
Opinion: blocking the disabled on the web means blocking innovation
Without the inspiration and innovation of two disabled individuals, the digital world likely wouldn’t be what it is today. Yet that same world so summarily excludes disabled individuals today that we’re eliminating the very people we will need to solve the web’s future problems.
Instagram tests hiding how many people like a post. That has influencers worried
Instagram has begun to hide the number of users who have “liked” a photo for some accounts in the US in an ongoing effort to create a less stressful experience.The shift had influencers, artists, celebrities and everyday users up in arms – Nicki Minaj even said she’d stop posting on the platform – with many worrying the transition will lose them followers and ultimately income.
An exclusive interview with John Bell, Director Healthy Planet at EU Commission: “Europe needs an ambitious ‘Green Innovation Deal’”
John Bell, European Commission, at Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin (25 November 2015) “Europe needs an ambitious ‘Green Innovation Deal’ to accelerate towards our 2030 goals and to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
Europe’s dream to claim its ‘digital sovereignty’ could be the next big challenge for US tech giants
U.S. tech firms could face new challenges in Europe amid a growing debate about data privacy and security. Some European leaders across the 28-member bloc are voicing concerns about the reliance on American and Chinese tech companies for storing data.
Quebec pharmacist wins international award for defending science
A Quebec pharmacist and blogger who takes on junk science with cartoons, a sense of fun and a no-nonsense attitude has won a prestigious international prize for science communication. Olivier Bernard, also known as “The Pharmafist,” was awarded the John Maddox Prize on Tuesday for his work in….