04th Jan 2019 by Sam Benzie

Facebook is struggling to monitor its content, Google Payment can now operate in Europe, Roku adds more Channels to its Premium Subscription Plan, Lensa can fix our selfies

Facebook is struggling to monitor its content

2018 wasn’t the best of years for Facebook, and the social media platform hasn’t had the best start to 2019. Facebook’s reluctance to change and unwillingness to take time to make comprehensive differences to how it moderates content has left the brand in hot water again.

A recent New York Times article has topped off Facebook’s bad year; the article focused on the leaked internal documents that show how Facebook attempts to regulate content on its platform and the issues that are found with these attempts. Facebook has become the tech giant that people just love to hate, but the company doesn’t seem to be making the right moves to fix this.

From the leaked documents, it has been made clear that those Facebook workers who police the content are not only overworked but rely on information that is outdated and incorrect. Obviously, monitoring all of the data that Facebook users create is a hard task, especially with the pressure that the company has been under lately. But Facebook is not doing enough to relieve the pressure; with a lack of local moderators, many posts can be removed due to a lack of local knowledge on important issues and their impacts.

Along with this, the report revealed that the workers moderating the content come from external companies where Facebook has no real way of knowing if they get the right training and are able to handle the volume of content effectively. For these kinds of problems, Facebook is now being targeted by multiple regulatory bodies and governments. The tech company is now being investigated by regulators in the US, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Latvia, Singapore, France and Belgium, suggesting that Facebook’s problems are far from over.

Google Payment can now operate in Europe

Google Payment has been intending to break into the financial services market and has now been granted an e-money licence by the Lithuanian Central Bank. This move will open up many opportunities for Google to be able to offer e-money issuance, payment processing, and services related to electronic money wallets across Europe. It will also allow Google to join the increasing number of “fintech” firms that are gaining licenses to offer their services in Europe.

Now Google isn’t going to become a bank overnight. The licence that they have been granted will allow the company to store and transfer money electronically, but will not allow them to offer full banking services. Google is a bit late to this party, but better late than never I suppose. Facebook has a permit in Ireland, and Amazon and PayPal have theirs from Luxembourg.

Google’s current e-money efforts are centred on Google Pay, after the merger of Google wallet and Android Pay. They have already began to upgrade Google Pay with several features like integration into messages, NFC payments and P2P transfers, as well as payments for everyday excursions such as trips out and cinema tickets.

Roku adds more Channels to its Premium Subscription Plan

There are now even more streaming options for Roku users at no extra cost. Roku is offering a centralised solution with the option to tailor your subscription with add-on channels and services.

Roku has been focused on pushing its hardware, Roku Express and Roku Ultra, and has partnered with smart TV manufacturers to offer a built-in app. Users are able to create their account and then add a variety of add-on apps to improve their streaming services including: YouTube TV, Sling TV, Netflix and CBS. With the newest update, users will be able to subscribe to the Premium plan where users will be able to stream from an even wider range. The latest channels to be added include: SHOWTIME, Starz, EPIX, Baeble Music, curiosityStream, Smithsonian Channel Plus, Tastemade and more.

Lensa can fix our selfies

Prisma Labs, the developers of the Prisma neural networks app, have launched Lensa - a new app that, using AI technology, can correct your selfies. The newest app by the innovative company is Lensa Photo Editor, and it describes itself as the “best photo app for selfies” by using AI features.

The idea of the app is that it is a one-click editing tool that works perfectly for selfies and portraits. The apps photo-editing features include teeth whitening, eyebrow tinting, a ‘face retouch’ skin smoothing feature, and an ‘eye contrast’ feature that helps make users’ eye colours stand out in their selfies.

Not only does the app fix photos after they’ve been taken, it can even fix the photo while it’s being taken. If you take a photo too close, Lensa’s algorithm is able to reconstruct faces in 3D to fix the disproportions. It can also add a background blur feature, allowing users to focus themselves in the image. This may not sound like a one touch app, but Lensa has a feature that does everything for the user automatically, making things a lot easier! The app is free to download, but paying a $4.99 monthly subscription will allow users to access more features.

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