If you’ve ever wondered how Facebook decides what goes into your feed, well, now you can find out. In a rather surprising move of transparency, Facebook is publishing a paper explaining its News Feed Values. The long and the short of it is that Facebook puts friends and family first, it doesn’t squash diverse ideas, and Spam is on its way out, while user controls that better manage what you see are in.
As of today, that friends-first attitude is being implemented formally with an algorithm change which will put your friends posts up top, well before you might see any sponsored content, or even posts from news outlets and listicles from other social media sites. It’s a big shift for Facebook, which seems to believe that if you like using Facebook more, then you’ll use it more often, and that’s a boon to ad sales, no matter where those ads end up appearing in your feed.
Remember the Amazon Fire Phone? Yeah, Amazon kinda wishes it didn’t remember that epic fail, either. It started out with iPhone pricing, then dropped to $1. Nobody bought it, and then Amazon just sort of let it fade to black in the background. Nothing to see here folks, just go about your phone shopping business … hey did you see this Samsung phone?
It now seems as if Amazon has devised a clever workaround that manages to put its services and apps front and center on your phone, but without it having to actually make a phone. Here’s the plan: Amazon will subsidize the phone to bring the price down for its Prime customers, if those Prime customers are willing to accept the phone pre-loaded with Amazon apps, AND ads displayed on the phone’s lock screen.
Right? See? That’s pretty smart, Amazon. And with fewer and fewer carriers offering subsidies, the lower-priced Android phones are going to look pretty attractive to budget-minded buyers.
Finally – and this is as much a PSA as it is a news story – Toyota is involved in yet another massive recall, and, yes, it does involve airbags. Again. In total, 3.4 million Toyota vehicles are involved, and the culprit are side-curtain airbags, and faulty fuel tanks.
This time, it isn’t the now-notorious Takata corp’s airbags, rather side-curtain airbags made by Autoliv, which are known to crack and partially inflate in some 1.43 million Toyota Prius’s and Lexus CT compacts. The other 2.87 million vehicles, made up largely of Prius and Corollas, have emissions control canisters that tend to crack and leak fuel under the weight of a full fuel tank. Toyota says that just under 1 million of its vehicles suffer from both issues.
Reuters reports that, so far, no injuries have resulted from either problem, but if you think you might be affected, you should certainly get your car in for service. You can check whether your car is involved in the recall by visiting this link.