Nokia and Facebook Are Touting Their Undersea Exploits

 

Nokia and Facebook are setting speed records under the sea.

The two companies revealed the results of multiple field trials of their 5,500-kilometer (3,418-mile) submarine cable between New York and Ireland, saying that the cable used new probabilistic constellation shaping from Nokia Bell Labs and shaped 64-QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation), setting a spectral efficiency record of 7.46 b/s/Hz (bits per second per Hertz) and boosting the system’s capacity by nearly 2.5 times.

Nokia and Facebook also tested an 11,000-kilometer (6,835-mile) round-trip submarine transmission using shaped 64-QAM, and the two companies reported a record spectral efficiency of 5.68 b/s/Hz, as well as their first demonstrations of wavelengths of 200 gigabits per second and 250 Gb/s and 16 QAM via a transatlantic submarine route.

The two companies said the results of the first test indicated the potential for upgrading the cable to 32 terabits per second, per fiber, and the second test demonstrated “sufficient performance margin to support reliable, commercial operation.”

Full results will be presented in a post-deadline paper at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition, being held in Los Angeles Tuesday through Thursday.

Facebook global optical network architect Stephen Grubb said in a release announcing the test results:

Facebook wants to increase the pace of innovation and adoption of next-generation optical technologies. This field trial with Nokia demonstrates that the scalable optical technology of PCS together with narrow linewidth laser sources can achieve capacities extremely close to the Shannon limit. This ensures that we are both maximizing our investment in submarine cable systems, as well as continuing to drive the cost per bit of submarine transport lower.

Nokia head of optical networking Sam Bucci added:

We are thrilled to partner with Facebook to promote our common commitment to accelerating innovation in optical transmission. By demonstrating promising areas of Nokia Bell Labs research such as PCS, as well as coherent technologies available today, we hope to chart a path forward for the industry toward higher capacities, greater reach and more network flexibility.

The new hello button on Facebook is causing a lot of embarrassment- and here’s why

FACEBOOK has quietly introduced a brand new hello button so people can give each other a virtual wave.

But it seems the brand-new feature has been causing endless embarrassment, with users complaining they’ve accidentally sent a hello to people they aren’t friends with, or even worse – ex-partners.

 Facebook quietly introduced the new hello button on the site earlier this month

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Facebook quietly introduced the new hello button on the site earlier this month

Earlier this month, the new button started appearing at the top of people’s profiles on the social media site – right next to where you would click to send a friend request.

It is believed that Facebook bosses say it is a casual way of introducing yourself to someone and if they say hello back, it then gives you the option to form an online friendship.

But with many people using the social network to check up on their ex-partners, snoop on their boss or check out their crushes, many have hit the hello button by accident.

This in turn means that the person they have been online stalking knows that there have been people searching their profile.

And taking to Twitter, many have complained how the new features has left them cringing with embarrassment.

One revealed: “I was stalking my managers Facebook whilst I was at work and accidentally sent a “hello”, wow never wanted to die so much in my life.”

Emily added: “The amount of times I’ve accidentally hit the hello button on facebook is a joke, looking proper eager to people I’m not even friends with.”

Another person tweeted: “Trying to add people on Facebook and hitting the say hello button noooooooo I am not waving at u, mortified.”

While Amy wrote: “Why has Facebook made a “hello” button look like an absolute creep when I’m trying to add someone.”

However, Facebook fanatics have discovered a way to take back your hello, before the person sees it.

All you have to do is click the hello button again and it gives you the chance to take back the online greeting.

 

Facebook Beats Privacy Lawsuit in US Over User Tracking

HIGHLIGHTS

  • US court dismissed litigation accusing Facebook of tracking its users
  • Facebook’s been said to track user activities even after they log out
  • Judge said the plaintiff failed to show its reasonable impacts

A US judge has dismissed nationwide litigation accusing Facebook Inc of tracking users’ Internet activity even after they logged out of the social media website.

In a decision late on Friday, US District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California said the plaintiffs failed to show they had a reasonable expectation of privacy, or that they suffered any “realistic” economic harm or loss.

The plaintiffs claimed that Facebook violated federal and California privacy and wiretapping laws by storing cookies on their browsers that tracked when they visited outside websites containing Facebook “like” buttons.

But the judge said the plaintiffs could have taken steps to keep their browsing histories private, and failed to show that Menlo Park, California-based Facebook illegally “intercepted” or eavesdropped on their communications.

Facebook Beats Privacy Lawsuit in US Over User Tracking

“The fact that a user’s web browser automatically sends the same information to both parties,” meaning Facebook and an outside website, “does not establish that one party intercepted the user’s communication with the other,” Davila wrote.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond on Monday to requests for comment. Facebook did not immediately respond to a similar request.

Davila said the plaintiffs cannot bring their privacy and wiretapping claims again, but can try to pursue a breach of contract claim again. He had dismissed an earlier version of the 5-1/2-year-old case in October 2015.

The case is In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 12-md-02314.

 

Facebook must delete hate postings, Austria court rules

 

A court in Austria has ordered that Facebook must remove postings seen as hate speech, in a ruling that is set to have international implications.

The case was brought by the country’s Green Party after its leader was targeted by a false account.

The court said postings not just in Austria but worldwide must be deleted. Facebook has not yet commented.

The ruling is seen as a victory for campaigners who want to make social media platforms combat online trolling.Facebook icon

  • What should social networks do about hate speech?
  • Children see ‘worrying’ amount of hate speech online

The appeals court in Vienna ruled that postings against Greens’ leader Eva Glawischnig as any verbatim repostings should be removed.

It added that merely blocking the messages in Austria without removing them for users abroad was not sufficient.

The court said it was easy for Facebook to automate this process.

The head of the Austrian Green party, Eva Glawischnig, casts her ballot at a polling station in Vienna, Austria on 29 September, 2013.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionEva Glawischnig was targeted by fake Facebook accounts

A Green lawmaker, Dieter Brosz, said Facebook could no longer claim it was just a platform and needed to take responsibility for tackling hate postings.

Internet giants including Facebook, Twitter and Google have all come under fire in many countries for failing to remove hate speech from their platforms promptly.

Last month, German ministers approved plans to fine social media firms up to 50m euros ($53.3m; £42.7m) if they fail to remove hate speech and fake news quickly.

The companies have recently announced measures to address the issue:

  • Facebook said it would hire 3,000 people to help stop hate speech, child abuse and self-harm being broadcast on the website
  • Google said changes on how its core search engine works would help stop the spread of fake news and hate speech

 

WhatsApp Shaves Off a Little More Privacy

WhatsApp on Thursday announced an update to its terms and privacy policy — the first in four years.

Among other things, the changes will affect the ways users can communicate with businesses while continuing to avoid third-party banner ads or spam messages, according to the company.

whatsapp

However, WhatsApp will begin to share some personal details about its 1 billion users — such as phone numbers and other data — with Facebook, its parent company. The information sharing will permit better tracking of basic metrics, allowing Facebook to offer better friend suggestions, for example — and of course, to show more relevant ads.

Connected Network

The increased connectivity and information sharing might not be apparent to WhatsApp users initially. Further, neither WhatsApp nor Facebook actually will read any messages, which are encrypted. Phone numbers and other personal data won’t be shared with advertisers.

Despite those limitations, the fact that WhatsApp will share any relevant information with Facebook has raised some flags.

“This announcement should be very concerning to WhatsApp users, who have been promised many times by both WhatsApp and Facebook that their privacy will be respected and protected,” said Claire T. Gartland, consumer protection counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

“That is why many individuals use WhatsApp in the first place,” she told the E-Commerce Times.

“WhatsApp may claim otherwise, but this is really the beginning of the end of privacy through that service,” warned Jim Purtilo, associate professor in the computer science department at the University of Maryland.

“We’ve seen this cycle before. Web users visiting sites with a browser once had some sense of privacy, but it didn’t take servers long to figure out how to share traffic data with one another and piece together profiles of each user,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“Today, any time you visit a site which offers a Facebook login or an AddThis tag, you also transmit a trace of your activity to big corporations to analyze and use,” Purtilo added. “Just browsing is enough — traffic analysis lets companies fill in the blanks, and this paints a pretty rich picture of you. You’d be pretty naive to think they go to this trouble for your benefit.”

End of Privacy

The warnings over privacy concerns actually go back to 2014 when Facebook first acquired WhatsApp for approximately US$19.3 billion.

“Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau, sent a letter to the companies during Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp warning the companies that the privacy promises made to WhatsApp users must be respected,” recalled EPIC’s Gartland.

“WhatsApp’s blog describes two different means of opting out of the proposed new sharing,” she noted, “and neither of these options appear consistent with Rich’s letter, which requires Facebook to get users’ affirmative consent before changing the way they use data collected via WhatsApp.”

Moreover, it does not appear as if WhatsApp even plans to secure what could be considered “meaningful, informed opt-in consent from its users to begin sharing this information with Facebook,” Gartland suggested.

Opt-Out Process

Users will be able to opt out, according to WhatsApp, but it likely will require reading the fine print — something few users actually do.

“WhatsApp says in a FAQ that existing users can opt out of sharing account information with Facebook for use by Facebook to improve the user’s ‘Facebook ads and predicts experiences’ in two ways,” said Karl Hochkammer, leader of the Honigman Law Firm’s information and technology transactions practice group.

“One way to opt out is to click the ‘read’ hyperlink before accepting the new terms of service and privacy policy, scroll to the bottom of the screen, and uncheck the box,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“This is set up to make the default rule an opt-in, with the option of opting out, so if someone agrees to the new terms and privacy policy without opting out, WhatsApp is also saying that a user has 30 days to make this decision by changing the user account’s settings,” Hochkammer explained. “Even if someone opts out, the information will still be shared with Facebook, but it won’t be used in connection with the user’s Facebook account.”

This method of opting out, in essence, could result in a user’s private information still being shared with Facebook.

“All WhatsApp has effectively said is that they are ready to apply the same analysis techniques to messaging as had previously been done for Web browsing,” remarked Purtilo.

“Privacy goes out the window at that point, even if bit by bit,” he added. “You can’t monetize such services without knowing how to tailor your advertising, and the only way to tailor it is by opening up the traffic and content for analysis, so that big corporations will have an even richer picture of you.”

Will Users Care?

It could be that WhatsApp can’t afford to disregard the wishes of an installed base of more than 1 billion users, but it’s questionable whether many of those users actually care about the new policies.

“On one level, this was probably inevitable. Facebook is a public company that faces investor scrutiny to make a profit,” observed Greg Sterling, vice president of strategy and insight at the Local Search Association.

“It is the logic of the market, and thus was unlikely that WhatsApp could continue with the small subscription model,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “It simply has too large a user base for Facebook to ignore from the advertiser point of view.”

Though there may be a loud and vocal minority that objects, most users will accept the changes.

“Look at the many changes that Facebook has made over the years,” said Sterling.

“That hasn’t had a detrimental impact on the company, even as many of its users are distrustful of Facebook,” he pointed out.

WhatsApp “is probably betting that users who would never try their service under these terms are now sufficiently dependent that they give up their data rather than invest the effort to find alternate products,” said Purtilo, “and we’ve seen that before as well. This is how privacy dies, bit by bit.”