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The half-truth of social media

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One-in-ten bend the truth on social media to make themselves feel good – and men go even further, Kaspersky Lab study reveals.

People are turning to social media in order to show-off to friends, collect as many ‘likes’ as possible and to feel good about themselves. But in this quest for social validation people are playing with the truth and whitewashing their lives. New research from Kaspersky Lab shows that one-in-ten people would bend the truth on social media in order to get more people to like their posts. The research also shows that in their pursuit of likes, men are more likely than women to post their privacy away. Globally, one-in-ten (9%) men would post a photo of themselves naked compared to only 5% of women and 13% of men post photos of their friends wearing something revealing.

To attract attention and secure a significant number of likes, around one-in-ten people (12%) pretend to be somewhere or doing something that might not be strictly true. This rises to 14% of men, suggesting that many would rather get social media attention than share a realistic portrayal of their lives.

The research uncovers that men are sensitive about how many likes they get on social media and, in their hunt for likes, men are more likely than women to reveal something embarrassing or confidential about their co-workers, friends or employers. Thus, 14% of men said they would reveal something confidential about a co-worker, compared to 7% of women, 13% are willing to post something confidential about their employer, and 12% would reveal something embarrassing about a friend compared with 6% of women.

Men also get upset if they do not get the likes they hope for – 24% worry that if few people like their posts, their friends will think they are unpopular, compared to 17% of women. 29% of men also admitted that they get upset if somebody who matters to them doesn’t like their posts.

In the hunt for likes, men tend to go even further than women, posting things that present themselves and their friends in a compromising light, which according to Dr. Astrid Carolus, Media Psychologist at the University of Würzburg, “is in line with the assumption of men being rather less focused on social harmony and rather more willing to take risks.” Thus, 15% of men revealed they would post a photo of friends under the influence of alcohol compared to 8% of women, 12% of men would post a photo of themselves wearing something revealing, and 9% of men are even ready to post a photo of themselves naked compared to only 5% of women.

Evgeny Chereshnev, Head of Social Media at Kaspersky Lab agrees, but warns that this risky behaviour on social media can put people at risk. “In their search for social approval, people have stopped seeing the boundary between what it is okay to share, and what is better kept private,” he says. “But it is important to protect ourselves, as well as the privacy of others. The research shows that 58% of people feel uncomfortable and upset when their friends post photos of them that they do not want to be made public. All in all, people need to become more aware and cyber-savvy about the information they share on social media and install security software on their devices to protect themselves and their loved ones from cyberthreats.”

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CES: Most useless gadgets of all

Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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