Google to prioritize “original reporting” in search

THE TECH CIRCUIT - Yasunari Ramon Suarez Taguchi (The Freeman) - September 18, 2019 - 12:00am

Google caught the ire of confused tech industry players last week when the firm announced that it will be implementing changes to its search algorithm to prioritize “original reporting.”

A post published on the official Google blog revealed the move, which appears to be a part of the internet-of-things giant’s efforts to curb the proliferation of “fake news” – a change which will entail having 10,000-plus human reviewers ‘train’ its search algorithm to generate results that are geared to elevate searches and queries.

The post says that the change aims to “show the latest and most comprehensive version of a story.” This suggests that follow-up stories are likely to be ranked higher than their “breaking news” counterparts.

What got tech industry players riled up wasn’t this aspect to the change, though, but rather the overall impact it may have in the overall internet-of-things sphere.

Given Google’s standing in the internet, a shift in the dynamic of its search algorithm can have adverse impact to web-oriented businesses and organizations – worst case scenarios of which would ground an online entity’s business model as obsolete.

A number of tech industry players have also expressed their sentiments on the change, with most of them questioning how Google aims to distinguish “original reporting.”

Website developers and online marketers have also raised questions as to how the change would affect strategies like search engine optimization-anchored copywriting, keyword density-based strategies and the like.

Mozilla’s “Firefox Private Network”

Mozilla, maker of the famed Firefox web browser suite, made waves early this month for developing a built-in Firefox feature that blocks third-party trackers from ‘snooping’ on its users’ online activities.

Over the weekend, the firm once again got the attention of netizens in rolling out a security tool that further positions the Firefox browser as “a secure, encrypted path to the web.”

Dubbed “Firefox Private Network” and currently on beta, the toolset is essentially a type of virtual private network (VPN) that works within the browser’s ecosystem. This means that it only works within the bounds of the Firefox web browser and is not a foolproof alternative to dedicated VPN operating system tools.

In its documentation pages, Mozilla refers to the tool as “free for a limited time,” which is hinting that it may be a subscription-based service when it goes out of beta.

For now, netizens can access the toolset on their Firefox browsers by logging-in to a Firefox account and activate it from the browser’s settings pane.

Users of the tool can set safeguards around their online activities like mask what sites they visit or steer clear from ad trackers, thereby afford them with an added layer of security when browsing the net.

The latest by Apple, other than the iPhone 11 line

Apple made waves last week in unveiling new models that comprise this year’s version of the iPhone line.

But as well-received as the debuts of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max models were, these weren’t the only items which the brand presented on September 10.

The brand’s 7th gen iPad, which is an updated variant of the iPad line was presented too, which comes with a 10.2-inch Retina screen, “Smart Keyboard Support,” the new “Apple Pencil,” and the intuitive “iPadOS” mobile operating system.

The new “Apple Watch Series 5” was also unveiled, featuring an “Always-On” Retina display, a built-in compass and provisions for international emergency calls.

In terms of app-and-service offerings, the brand also announced the forthcoming rollout of two new services: the subscription-based “Apple TV+” and gaming-oriented “Apple Arcade.”

Though the brand had previously announced the shows that’re to be expected from the “Apple TV+” video-on-demand service, its official launch on November 1 was announced, along with the revelation that the purchase of an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Mac comes with a 1 year subscription to the service.

For gaming fans, the new “Apple Arcade” will have a salvo of exclusive titles and features and will be formally launched on September 19. The service aims to add new games each month.

More information on Apple’s new products and services are hosted on Apple’s official online channels.

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