Posted on August 15, 2018 by staff

Daily Briefing: Alex Jones, AR windshield & social stalking


Twitter suspends Alex Jones for a week

Twitter has decided to suspend the account of controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for up to seven days.

Jones’ personal account will remain online but will be locked “read-only” mode – meaning he will not be able to post new tweets or retweet messages.

The move was prompted by Jones tweeting a link to a video in which he called on his supporters to ready their “battle rifles” against the mainstream media.

A Twitter spokesperson said the post was in violation of the company’s rules on abusive behaviour and inciting violence.

It comes a week after Apple, Facebook and YouTube banned Jones’ content from their platforms.

Apple files patent for AR windshield

For years now we’ve had the dangers of using a phone while driving drummed into us – but what about if your whole car was a phone? We might find out before long, as Apple has just filed a European patent for AR windshields.

Designed for autonomous vehicles, drivers would be able to do things like make FaceTime calls on their windscreen and see their speed relative to the local limit.

Apple are confirmed to be working with Volkswagen on an autonomous vehicle, so keep your eyes on the road ahead for updates.

Pay someone to do your social stalking for you

Social media ‘creeping’ has become a weirdly acceptable form of digital stalking – whether it’s a crush, an ex or a potential employee, you can find out a lot of information about someone without ever meeting them in the flesh.

Private investigation agency ‘Vet Your Date’ will gather information on clients’ potential dates to guard against the rise of ‘catfishing’ – the practice of luring people into a relationship by pretending to be someone else online.

The company’s founder, intelligence analyst Andy Bertram, is often able to find out whether a person is who they claim to be using just a profile picture, address and contact details.

YouTube cracks down on conspiracy quacks

As the line between real and fake news blurs, Google-owned YouTube – which is often a hotbed for videos created by outright conspiracy theorists – is adding new information boxes under some of its more questionable video content.

The company will add paragraphs from Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica directly below videos which stray into unfounded or downright made-up territory.

Wikimedia, the non-profit which operates Wikipedia, said they had not been made aware of the feature ahead of its release and were “happy to see people, companies, and organizations recognise Wikipedia’s value” but encourages “companies who use Wikimedia’s content to give back in the spirit of sustainability”.

LA subway installs body scanners in US first

The Los Angeles subway will become the first public transport system the US to install body scanners that can screen passengers for weapons and explosives.

The machines are built to ‘x-ray’ commuters for suspicious objects on a person’s body from 30 feet away and can scan more than 2,000 passengers per hour without slowing them down.

The portable devices will be installed in the coming months according to officials.