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Facebook, Cambridge Analytica under pressure for data deal and misuse

A messy, messy business

It’s going to be a busy day for Mark Zuckerberg following revelations that a political strategy and data firm working with the Trump campaign wrongly used data from 50 million Facebook users during the last election. Publications and politicians in both the United States and England have called for more scrutiny of the deal Facebook had with Cambridge Analytica, the firm founded by ex-Trump strategist Steve Bannon and GOP donor Robert Mercer.

Facebook stock has plunged by nearly ten percent and some users are fleeing the social media platform following the revelations, but Facebook has punched back, saying they’re the victim after  Cambridge Analytica misused the data they legitimately received. Cambridge Analytica is also now under the microscope after senior executives, including high-profile leader Alexander Nix, were recorded offering political dirty tricks for sale by UK news outlet Channel 4.

Nix and associates were caught on camera talking about using bribes, ex-spies, fake IDs and sex workers to put enemy politicians in compromising situations. It’s a complicated and still-developing story, so hit the links above for the Channel 4 report.

The eyes have it

Many tech prognosticators think facial ID systems are the next big thing in phone security, but for Android users, there could be a problem.

Reuters is saying that Apple’s implementation of their complicated but apparently successful Face ID tech has given them a two-year head start on the competition, and that similar systems probably won’t show up on Android phones until next year at the earliest. One major problem: A hardware shortage of the needed tech. Of course, the sophisticated Face ID tech isn’t just for unlocking your iPhone, it’s also used for purchases, and things like the fun animojis.

But the tech at the heart of Face ID – especially the 3D sensing and mapping hardware – will also be crucial in future AR applications going forward, according to Reuters. Can Samsung, LG and the rest catch up? We’ll see, but probably not until next year.

Box full of retro fun

Nintendo has been selling their retro consoles like crazy, and for a while there, it looked the most famous name in video games – Atari – was hot on their heels with the fabled “Ataribox.”

Set for launch late last year, the retro console was held back at the last minute. Now, Atari says a debut really, really is coming soon, and the retro-cool console even has a new name: The Atari Video Computer System, or “VCS.” Also released: New images of the system, including two controllers: A distinctly Atari 2600-style throwback joystick, and a more modern wing-style controller that should be familiar to anyone under 30.

Atari says the VCS will ‘change the way you interact with your TV,’ just like the 2600 originally did, which is a pretty tall order in this day and age. According to gamer site Destructoid, there will be more news about the console this week from the Game Developers Conference, and pre-orders should start next month.

 We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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