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Key points of Mark Zuckerberg’s statement to the US Senate

Francisco Saravia



Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, told the US Senate about the data leak from the social network and its relationship with third-party app developers including data companies like Cambridge Analytica.

Zuckerberg has not had the best weeks of his life lately. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the filtering of data from the platform; It is very likely that he has not slept a whole lot while on his trip to Washington.

Lawmakers called on the CEO to explain himself, ask questions about his company operations, and shed some light to the rumors that have been swirling around the internet regarding their data practices. Normally he speaks to the public, as himself, through his social network. Engaging his followers in the comments, answering some questions and dodging most. But this time was different. This time he was on the hot seat. Answering questions from people who could potentially dictate how the multi-billion dollar communications company operates in the future. If you didn’t know what you were watching, it seemed like Mr. Zuckerberg was on trial!

Thursday morning a major fall in shares of Facebook was reported, but after Mark Zuckerberg faced the questions of the Senate the shares recovered with an increase of almost 3%; reflecting a good response from investors. So after ten hours of testimony, the CEO of Facebook gained almost 3 billion dollars because he has more than 401 million shares of the most popular social network in the world. It is mentioned that in total, Facebook shares have gained 4.5% since the start of operations on Tuesday morning after his first statements

These are some key points from the hearings:

Mark Zuckerberg before the US Congress

The first sensation left yesterday by Zuckerberg’s statement; it’s that he does not know things. Many of these things being paramount for the functioning of Facebook. Or at least that’s what he said. “Senator, I do not have that information.” “I do not know,” were phrases with which we became familiar as the hours of this meeting passed.

Perhaps in this area one of the most remarkable things is when Zuckerberg said not to know if Facebook follows you “spying” even when you close your web session. That is, if you know everything you do on the Internet. And well … it seems to me that users in general know more about this than he does himself.

The statement began with a robotic speech and clearly memorized; to the point of asking us his Mark had sent his protocol robot to supply it in such an uncomfortable moment.

“It was my mistake, and I’m sorry, I started Facebook, I run it, I’m responsible for what happens here,” said the CEO of the most powerful social network in the world. But that was not news either, since he had already apologized during the scandal; maybe just at the moment he felt between the sword and the wall.

Something else: Mark confirmed that Cambridge Analytica may not be the only company that took advantage of user data. In fact, they are investigating others, although he did not delve into names. And speaking of CA; it’s been confirmed that they knew in 2015 about this data leak, although he assured that they faced the company and they told them that the data had not only not been used; but they had been eliminated completely. It was a lie and Zuckerberg said he was sorry he believed the company’s word.

Facebook and advertising
An important issue that for years has been on everyone’s mind was also touched: Does the social network listen to the users with the microphone of their cell phone to focus on advertising? Mark rejected this theory (once again, it is not the first) with a resounding NO. Are you sure, Mark? We have all seen it, we have all felt it. But it seems that this will remain an urban legend without confirmation for a while longer.

On the other hand; one of the senators told Zuckerberg that when he speaks, for example, of chocolate with his friends; start to see this advertising on Facebook. He asked if there will be a way to pay (with money) for advertising to stop harassing him. Zuckerberg said no. You can run away, but do not hide from the ads on Facebook.

One of the most iconic moments of the afternoon was when a senator asks how the CEO of Facebook does to support a company that provides free services. “Senator, we run ads.” You can see that magical moment of Zuckerdroid above. Here something was clear: Facebook is not free, you pay being a target for advertising. But, come on, we already knew that.

Is Facebook a monopoly?
Mark was asked who are the competitors of Facebook. He talked about Google, of course. Also from Amazon; even from Microsoft, but the senator stopped him. He wanted to know what his direct competence was; another social network that was like Facebook and did what they did. There is not. At this, Zuck was asked: “Will not you have a monopoly?” He replied that he does not see it that way. Only that.

We know you do not read the terms and conditions … and Mark knows it too
Do you really read them? No. Almost nobody does it. And our friend Zuckdroid knows it and has no qualms about saying it.

“I am a lawyer and I do not understand what it means (with a thick stack of papers in your hand), do you think that ‘average’ people understand this?”, Referring to Facebook’s terms and conditions. “I do not think average people read it,” says Zuckerberg. It’s that simple and so successful. But there is a problem: even if they try to read it, they probably do not understand it; It is not a light or friendly reading.

These were just some of the high points of Mark Zuckerberg’s statement yesterday; but the story continues. Stay tuned for more on this story through the coming weeks.

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I am a driven, curious, and innovative bilingual technologist and serial entrepreneur. Passionate about technology and how the web, social media, computer and mobile devices work together. Beta tester for Google Maps, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Google, Facebook, Instagram and Android System Webview which is driving progressive web apps & android instant apps. Co-Founder of FitTube, SpringfieldDaily & SpringfieldAuction + many more!

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Vitamin Water will pay 100 thousand dollars to anyone who does not use a smartphone for a year

Staff Contributor



Would you be willing? Me neither.

How many dollars do you need to stop using your cell phone for 365 days, without accessing anything? For me, I think there would not be enough dollars.

But that’s what Vitamin Water (from Coca-Cola Company) wants to find out, which will select a “lucky” one, who must spend a year with a flip phone that only receives and makes calls. Note: not text messages either.


The challenge #NoPhoneForAYear already has several trying to be selected for it.  Some claim that it is very little money, others say it would be very easy, but what would it be like for you? Note that this also means not using a tablet. Maybe you can “get the urge” to check your social media with a computer, but not much more.

Do you want to try to be selected? You have to upload a photo with the corresponding hashtags that will surprise the VitaminWater team enough to really think you need a break from your mobile.


You have until January 8.

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Hey Facebook, are you listening? Woman claims she has PROOF her phone is spying on conversations

Staff Contributor



It is not the first time that this topic is put on the table. Many people in fact, are sure that Facebook listens to the conversations they have live with their friends or relatives, all in order to direct publicity towards them.

And it is that for coincidence, it is too much. The reality is clear: to many it has happened that we chatted with someone about such product or place (without doing Google searches or anything similar, all in person), and when you open Facebook you start to see advertising that has everything to do with the talk that you just had Scary.

Adelaide Bracey is originally from Australia. She was chatting with a friend of his in person about going some day to relax in a sauna. Then he opened his profile and of course he did: advertising about saunas in his area. So random everything. What are the possibilities?

I did not search it on Google, and then it appears as an ad on my Facebook. It’s really creepy, the girl commented to The Australian.

Facebook itself has repeatedly denied it uses microphone recordings to target ads.

“Facebook does not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed,” a company spokesperson said.

“Some recent articles have suggested that we must be listening to people’s conversations in order to show them relevant ads. This is not true.

“We show ads based on people’s interests and other profile information – not what you’re talking out loud about.

“We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio.

“This might include recording a video or using an optional feature we introduced two years ago to include music or other audio in your status updates.”

Do you think your phone is spying on you? To believe them or not to believe them?

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Goodbye Uncanny Valley: NVIDIA creates an AI that designs exact faces to the real ones

Staff Contributor



Tonight’s nightmare will be courtesy of the guys from NVIDIA. Our readers do not need an explanation of  what the Uncanny Valley consists of. So when you watch this video you will realize that it will soon be a thing of the past. And obviously it had to start with the software.

It turns out that the company has just published the results of its most recent research project. Under the title of A Style-Based Generator Architecture for Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN).

Where, in collaboration with specialist engineers have created the maximum GAN. Able to assemble a generator of fake faces based on blends of styles.

Where the Artificial Intelligence neural network takes different facial features of other people to combine them and create photo-realistic faces:

Each and every one of the images that we see up there do not exist. They were generated by the Artificial Intelligence of NVIDIA.

At first glance, anyone could think that it is a photograph of a real person. And that frankly is disturbing.

In the end, this project may represent the first seed for a new era in the robotics and artificial intelligence industry.

Do not miss the video where it explains in detail how this AI works.

Top three theories

First, the uncanny valley might occur at the boundary where something moves from one category to another, in this case, between non-human and human. Christine Looser and Thalia Wheatley looked at mannequin faces that were morphed into human faces and found a valley at the point where the inanimate face started to look alive.

Second, the presence of a valley may hinge on whether we’re able to believe that near-human entities possess a mind like we do. A study by Kurt Gray and Daniel Wegner found that robots were only unnerving when people thought that they had the ability to sense and experience things, and robots that did not seem to posses a mind were not frightening.

A final compelling area for future research is that the uncanny valley occurs because of mismatches between aspects of the robot’s appearance and/or behaviour. Angela Tinwell’s work has looked at many types of mismatch, including speech synchronisation, speech speed and facial expressions. In one 2013 study, near-human agents that reacted to a startling noise by showing surprise in the lower part of their face (not the upper part) were found to be particularly eerie. This study suggested that this may be even be reminiscent of the pattern of expressive behavior exhibited by humans with psychopathic traits.



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