Philippines tops Facebook’s basketball game
On March 17, Facebook secretly rolled out Messenger Madness, named after one of the most popular annual sporting events in the United States – March Madness. It’s a hidden virtual basketball game inside the Messenger app. Activating the game is simple: use the basketball emoji in any Messenger conversation and tap on it afterwards.
Several virtual layups and dunks later, Facebook said the Philippines tops the list of countries with the most Messenger Madness sessions in the world.
View the full infographic to see who else in the world ranked in the top 10:
The virtual basketball game has been played nearly 700 million times and took place in as much as 61 million different conversations on Messenger. Around 57% of all sessions had high scores between 1 and 10 points and only 1% got to 31 points or more.
It’s worth noting that every 10 points increases the game’s difficulty. Once the user reaches 10 points, the rim starts to move sideways, after 20 points it moves even faster, lowering the user’s chances at scoring. A missed shot would also reset the score back to zero.
The high score in each conversation is shown on the upper right side of the screen. No award is given to the high scorer of each conversation though, but he/she earns bragging rights.
[irp posts=”8888″ name=”Facebook lets you add color to status updates now”]
Twitter has a secret VIP list of users to boost
Including Elon Musk himself
Have you noticed something different about your Twitter feed? Since Elon Musk bought the platform, a few accounts are popping up more frequently than most users would want. Apparently, there is a reason for that. Uncovered recently, Twitter has reportedly been boosting a list of VIPs to appear more prominently in everyone’s feed.
In documents obtained by Platformer, Twitter is maintaining a list of VIPs consisting of about 35 users ranging in popularity. The platform is secretly boosting the visibility of posts from these profiles for a while now, according to the report.
It’s no surprise that the list contains Musk himself. Since buying the platform, Musk’s posts have found themselves on the feeds of every Twitter user. In addition to Musk, the list also contains NBA superstar LeBron James, US President Joe Biden, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Ben Shapiro. It also includes odder additions like a Tesla-focused account named @teslaownerssv and Derek Guy, a menswear writer.
It’s certainly a bag of notable personalities from several industries and everywhere on the political spectrum. It’s not just a who’s who curated by Musk himself. According to the report, the list was created to test an algorithm that boosts the visibility of high-profile users whenever they drop off in engagement.
Unfortunately, the list does put Twitter’s push for a more open platform into question, especially if only a select few are getting boosts.
SEE ALSO: Twitter just had its source code leaked
Why is Apple Music Classical a big deal?
It’s a pretty big development
Classical music isn’t for everyone. Though the genre has a rich history going back centuries, the world of music has evolved and branched out into different genres and tastes. That said, there’s been a lot of talk about the recently released Apple Music Classical. And it’s not just for classical music enthusiasts, either. Here’s why Apple Music Classical is an exciting development for anyone who likes music.
Today, Apple released the classical-themed app for the public. After weeks of speculation and confirmation, Apple Music Classical is finally available on the App Store.
All about the metadata
As the name suggests, the app is Apple Music tailored for classical music fans. The catalog contains over 5 million tracks. It also comes with an upgraded algorithm, allowing for more accurate and more specific searches. The name of the game here is metadata.
Today, listeners can typically rely on knowing only the song names, artists, and albums to find their requested track. However, there are a lot more that goes into a song: writers, composers, instruments, recording venues. This issue explodes tenfold for classical music.
For example, simply searching for Beethoven’s ninth symphony on Spotify is largely inadequate. By now, there are hundreds of recordings performed by different orchestras all over the world. Which one should you choose? Apple Music Classical simplifies this by allowing users to search according to composer, orchestra, conductor, soloist, ensemble, and many more.
The algorithm should be useful if implemented into the main app, too. Imagine being able to discover new favorites by searching for specific instruments. How about a rock song that uses a theremin? How about a very specific Rihanna performance recorded live? An advanced algorithm can make searches like these easy.
Listening to classical in 3D
Besides the improved metadata, the new app also offers high-fidelity audio going up to 192Hz/24-bit quality. With Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos, it should sound like you were at a concert yourself. What makes this even better is that it will come with an Apple Music subscription, not as an additional expense.
While lossless music is already available for free in some streaming services, the continuous addition of more hi-fi music wrapped in a better package makes the price of a subscription much more worth it.
Apple Music Classical is now available on the App Store. An Android version is also coming soon.
SEE ALSO: Apple Music is getting a separate app for classical fans
Twitter just had its source code leaked
Taken down now
Before Elon Musk acquired Twitter, he promised better transparency to show how the platform operated. Whatever Musk’s plan for this is, he probably wasn’t expecting someone else to do it for him. Over the weekend, a GitHub user reportedly leaked a significant portion of Twitter’s source code for public viewing.
A website’s source code is its biggest asset. Inside, users can delve into what makes a website tick, including portions that the developers don’t usually want others to see. For cybersecurity enthusiasts and hackers, gaining access can expose vulnerabilities to patch or exploit. For a competing website, it can provide a needed advantage. Needless to say, Twitter is worried about the recent leak.
Over the weekend, a GitHub repository published Twitter’s source code, exposing the inner workings of the platform for all to see. Right now, the company has already issued a takedown notice and shut down the repository, but not before others have seen and potentially downloaded the code.
Twitter itself has confirmed the authenticity by starting an investigation into the leak. The company is trying to figure out where the leak came from. Additionally, it is requesting GitHub to hand over the information — including real names and addresses — of any user who downloaded the code for themselves.
For Musk’s part, the Twitter owner remains committed to releasing bits of the platform’s code. The platform is scheduled to release the code for its recommendation algorithm soon — a welcome release but a far cry from what the leak revealed.
SEE ALSO: Twitter is working on a way to hide the blue checkmark
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