Why Facebook’s news feed changes are bad news for democracy | Emily Bell

News organisations say they have seen a steady drop off in Facebook referred traffic

“Homepage. Even the word sounds old. We bring the news to your social feed.” A week ago this is what you would have found on the not-the-homepage of the millennial-focused video site Now This News. Icons for Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook guided viewers out on to the social web where the real action was. Click there now and it is a different story: social media icons have been relegated to the very bottom of the page, while stories like “Unicorn Noodles Are Now A Thing” and “Cape Town is Going to Run Out of Water” are plastered over Now This videos.

The homepage is back, and not just for those chronically old people over 40, but for every news organisation that wants to survive falling off the great Facebook cliff of 2018. Because last week Facebook announced it was changing its recipe for the news feed – the stream of posts anyone sees when they open up their account – and that the net effect would be to promote more things posted by family and friends, and fewer things produced by publishers.

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Ōkami HD review: rebirth of a goddess

2006’s Hokusai-inspired video game is transformed in an exemplary HD rerelease

If the American novelist Chuck Palahniuk skewered the almost-lie that money buys happiness with his quippy adage that the things we own end up owning us, the newly rereleased Ōkami (and pretty much every other video game in which you play God) spoils the idea that the life of a deity is in any way enviable. Sure, as the benevolent goddess Amaterasu, freshly incarnated as a white wolf, you have the power to change the world in extravagant ways, both galactic and molecular.

With a flourish of that mystical calligraphic brush clenched between your fangs you can, for example, paint entire suns into the world, daub leaves back on to the branches of barren trees, or splotch a missing star on to a lapsed constellation. More often, however, you are a god of small things, engaged in the mundane busywork of answering the prayers of the villagers who live within your domain. With a swipe of the bristles you must light their fires, fix their bridges, repair their tools, replace their lost objects and, when cleaving passing demons in two, save their lives. To crib Palahniuk’s format: the god we follow ends up following us.

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Pyeongchang 2018: welcome to the future…

In the first of a new series on ideas and advances in science, nature and tech, we look at the innovations coming to this year’s Winter Olympics

South Korea boasts the speediest broadband in the world (an average of 28.6Mbps compared to the UK’s 16.9) and connectivity will be further boosted at Pyeongchang by the introduction of a 5G mobile network at games venues, courtesy of Intel. 5G delivers download speeds of 100Mbps (Stoke-on-Trent was recently crowned the town with the fastest 4G connection in the UK at 26.6Mbps). The tech giant is planning to show off the capabilities of its enormous mobile bandwidth by offering such delights as transcendent live streaming and unsurpassed live VR experiences to visitors.

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Millions could save £180 a year on broadband by chasing deals

Service providers put out their best tariffs at set times of the year, but many users are failing to take advantage of them, says comparison site

Broadband providers put out their best deals at the end of the month or every three months when they want to push up their subscriber numbers, it has been claimed.

A new analysis of broadband usage has found that the average household could save almost £180 a year by switching providers. However, the best deals are only available at certain times of the month, according to ctrlio, a website which compares tariffs according to use.

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Got something to hide? You’ll love this Honor feature

The Honor View 10 offers an interesting feature called Private Space that will allow you to a secret area on your phone, without installing any additional apps. We’ll tell you how to access and secure the Private Space, and what it could be most useful for.

(This is a preview – click here to read the entire entry.)

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