News

Facebook is still leading users to COVID-19 misinformation

Accurate data is paramount to stopping the spread of the deadly virus

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With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, accurate data is paramount to stopping the spread of the deadly virus. That said, politicized false news should ideally give way to scientifically backed information during this critical period. Of course, a large chunk of the burden lies with popular social media platforms today. However, according to new research, Facebook is still leading users to COVID-19 misinformation.

Reported by research firm Avaaz, health-related misinformation has reached 3.8 billion views for a year. This includes both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research pinpointed around 80 “popular” health-related Facebook accounts that initially spread the misinformation articles. The account’s followers then spread the articles to their own circles. Most critically, the secondary followers will start seeing more and more of the same misinformation on their feeds because of Facebook’s algorithm — regardless of whether they believed the initial article or not.

Of note, Facebook has previously promised to curb misinformation a few years ago and for the current pandemic. However, despite the mandate, health-related misinformation still pervades, racking up “almost four times as many views” as the top ten globally recognized health institutions. Further, the platform even admits that 125 million Facebook accounts are fake but still active on the site, further creating an algorithm that misinformation accounts can easily capitalize.

As it stands, Facebook has not caught 84 percent of the misinformation articles tested by the firm. This includes a COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theory supposedly perpetrated by Bill Gates. It also includes a fake directive that doctors were instructed to overreport infection numbers, 5G-related conspiracies, and a number of fake cures.

In the end, the report suggests a “detoxifying” strategy for the current algorithm. Though the platform already promises to label factually incorrect information, massive amounts of misinformation still slip through the cracks. If the world hopes to bounce back, social media needs to step up.

SEE ALSO: Twitter will label misleading Coronavirus tweets to curb misinformation

News

ASUS Zenfone 8 Series: Price and availability in the Philippines

Pre-orders come with a freebie!

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Zenfone 8 Flip

Yes, they’re back for real! After skipping a couple of generations, ASUS is bringing back the Zenfone to the Philippines. They’re bringing over both Zenfone 8 Series phones — the Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip!

Both phones are flagship level being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. But they’re pretty different. Here’s a quick look at their specs side by side.

Zenfone 8

Zenfone Flip 8

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Display 5.9” Samsung AMOLED, 120Hz 6.67” Samsung AMOLED, 90Hz
OS Android 11, Zen UI 8 Android 11, Zen UI 8
Configuration 6GB + 128GB

8GB +128GB

8GB + 256GB

16GB + 256GB

*No storage expansion

8GB +256GB

*Up to 2TB storage expansion via MicroSD

Battery 4,000mAh 5,000mAh
Cameras 64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

12MP front-facing

64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

8MP telephoto

*Flip camera module

The Zenfone 8 is unique in that it offers flagship capabilities in a compact body. The phone has a 5.9″ display Samsung AMOLED display. For comparison, the closest thing to it overall is the iPhone 12 mini which has a 5.4″ display.

Watch our Zenfone 8 review

 

Meanwhile, the Zenfone 8 Flip is ASUS sticking to their guns and offering something unique in the flagship segment. As the name suggests, this has the Flip camera module. So when taking selfies, you’re essentially using the best cameras on the phone that’s typically only on the rear for every other flagship.

Read our Zenfone 8 Flip Unboxing and First Impressions

Zenfone 8 Flip

Price and availability

The ASUS Zenfone 8 Series is available for pre-order starting May 14, 2021 at official ASUS Concept Stores,
accredited online and offline shops. Successful pre-orders will get a free Rhinoshield Solidsuit Hardcase and a JBL Go 3.

Pricing are as follows:

  • ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip, 8GB + 256GB, Galactic Black and Glacier Silver — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 16GB + 256GB, Obsidian Black — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 8GB +128GB, Obsidian Black and Horizon Silver — PhP 34,995
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Gaming

PS5’s DualSense controller gets two new colors

Midnight Black and Cosmic Red

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DualSense

Not too fond of the white DualSense controller on the PS5? Sony PlayStation heard you as they announce two new colors of this haptic wonder — Midnight Black and Cosmic Red.

The PlayStation blog waxed poetic while describing the new colors: “Midnight Black features two subtly different shades of black with light grey detailing to reflect how we view space through the night sky. Cosmic Red offers a striking black and red design inspired by the unique vivid shades of red found throughout the cosmos.”

The DualSense controller is one of the biggest innovations of the PlayStation 5. Combining Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Triggers, it offered developers a new way to have gamers experience games. This was most evident in the recently released roguelike survival shooter Returnal.

The new colors are indeed striking. Could this be a sign that we might see Midnight Black and Crimson Red plates for the actual PlayStation 5?

The new lineup of colors will be available at participating retailers globally starting June 2021. The exact date will vary by location. You may check with local retailers for availability.

SEE ALSO:

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India

Redmi Note 10S launches with Helio G95, 64MP camera

Comes with an upgraded camera

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Just after two months of launching the Redmi Note 10 series, Xiaomi has returned with a successor. The affordable segment plays a crucial part for the company, and the lineup has proven to be a marvel. What’s new in the Redmi Note 10S?

The design is extremely similar to the predecessor, and it’ll be hard to differentiate between the two. Xiaomi calls it EVOL design, and it’s also a part of the Redmi Note 10 Pro series.

On the front, it has a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution with a standard 60Hz refresh rate. Powering the phone is a Mediatek Helio G95 processor, coupled with Mali-G76 MC4 GPU. It supports expandable storage via a dedicated microSD card slot.

The rear sports a quad-camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front gets a 13-megapixel selfie shooter, which is embedded in a punch-hole cut-out.

Backing these internals is a 5000mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging. Xiaomi claims the Redmi Note 10S can go zero to a hundred percent in around 78 minutes. The fingerprint sensor is located on the side and doubles up as the power button.

Redmi Note 10S is priced at INR 14,999 (US$ 203) for the 6GB+64GB variant and INR 15,999 (US$ 217) for the 6GB+128GB option. It’ll be available in three colors — Deep Sea Blue, Frost White, and Shadow Black. Sales start from May 18 via Amazon India, Mi.com, Mi Home stores, and retail stores.

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