The end of August is nigh but there’s still time to squeeze in one last PCGuide weekly roundup. Surprisingly, TikTok has taken a backseat in terms of news and instead, Facebook has took up the mantle. We’ve also seen the Trump administration being sued again, this time by WeChat, LG announcing an air-purifying mask, our first look at Elon Musk’s Neuralink, and more.
First, let’s talk Facebook. Last week it became clear that Facebook was withholding evidence about atrocities in Myanmar but now, new revelations have come to light.
Myanmar is facing charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority in 2017, which the UN called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
This week, Reuters heard, Facebook is sharing deleted data associated with the Myanmar military and hate speech against Rohingya from 2018 with the Independent Investigative Mechanism on Myanmar (IIMM). The tech giant had been aware of the evidence for over a year and had refused to share it with law enforcement – even in the case of genocide. The company originally said it had deleted 18 accounts and 52 pages associated with the military, including the page of its commander-in-chief.
While Facebook has been known for shady work, withholding evidence in an atrocity like this is on a whole other level.
In another news piece painting Facebook in a less than favorable light, they’ve failed to address militia complaints that led to two deaths in Kenosha protests.
Facebook had known about the militia group, Kenosha Guard which had used Facebook to organize against the recent Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, according to The Verge. The group issued a call to arms, urging gun owners to defend the city from those protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake by police.
Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha policeman while attempting to arrest him over a domestic violence charge, leaving him paralyzed and sparking a wave of protests across the city. In response, Kenosha Guard created an event called “Armed Citizens to Protect our Lives and Property,” which has been shared by far-right forum InfoWars, and calling for “patriots” to take up arms and defend Kenosha city from protesters – which they called “evil thugs”.
The militia group joined police in suppressing protesters and rioters and were apparently welcomed by some. On Wednesday, a member of the group – now identified as 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse – opened fire, killing two protesters. It appeared he left the scene unnoticed, and was later identified through CCTV footage and charged with double homicide.
Facebook has now taken down the Kenosha Guard group and blocked Rittenhouse’s accounts from both Facebook and Instagram. But, The Verge found, Facebook had had ample warning to remove the group prior to the fatal atrocities of Wednesday night.
So, a little too late for Facebook removing the group but, at least it was done at some point. Hopefully, with any future groups that pop up on Facebook, they’ll be given the ban hammer before anything develops.
Now we’ve talked about how Facebook has managed to fumble twice in one week, let’s get into Trump yet again being sued, this time by a group of WeChat users.
A group of WeChat users with no affiliation to the app’s owner, Tencent, are suing the Trump Administration over his executive order to ban the Chinese owned instant messaging service by September.
The main group behind the lawsuit is the US WeChat Users Alliance as well as a small business and some other plaintiffs, reports The Wall Street Journal. They claim that banning the app is unconstitutional because it violates WeChat users’ rights to free speech, due process, and equal protection under law.
Importantly, the lawsuit states, “In issuing the Executive Order, the president acted beyond his authority provided by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which precludes the President from ‘directly or indirectly’ regulating personal communications and the international exchange of information”.
There seems to be a bunch of lawsuits in action against the U.S President at this current time but this one is lacking in backing somewhat, not having the power of someone like Tencent thus potentially falling flat on its face. But, hey, you never know, it could hold strong.
We haven’t reported on much COVID-19 news for a while but this next piece from LG is somewhat related, with them announcing an air-purifying mask.
The mask uses two replaceable H13 HEPA filters, similar to those used in its not-so-wearable home range of air purifiers. The Korean tech giant is calling the mask a solution to a short supply of disposable masks and inconsistent homemade masks, but it isn’t clear yet whether these masks will be able to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The LG PuriCare Wearable will use Dual Fans and a patented Respiratory Sensor to sense whether you are breathing in our out and adjust the speed of the fans accordingly. “The fans automatically speed up to assist air intake and slow down to reduce resistance when exhaling to make breathing effortless,” reads the announcement.
The mask is designed ergonomically to ensure comfort when wearing it for long periods of time and to minimize air leakage around the nose and chin. When it was first announced, LG planned to gift 2000 PuriCare Wearables to a hospital in South Korea to help staff manage with wearing a mask all day, much like Apple at the start of the widespread lockdowns.
There’s certainly more tech in this than the traditional surgical masks on the market and those working in hospitals would certainly benefit from the features.
Finally, in more tech developments, it seems Elon Musk is ready for the next-generation with the debut of Neuralink, the Brain-Machine Interface.
Musk is pushing to advance the human in the race against AI, which he believes will come to a head in the next five years if we don’t act soon enough. At the minute, though, Musk is focused on creating chips that can help medical patients, such as paralyzed individuals and those with neurological disorders. The multi-billionaire entrepreneur has been welcomed into the science community, although many think his goals are little out of reach, especially in terms of the timescales.
According to Musk, the procedure of implanting the chip will be as seamless as Lasik eye surgery and will be done by a robot, but they’re not quite there yet. The start-up’s only other public event showed off a “sewing machine-like” device which is capable of stitching threads into a person’s head.
Human trials were originally set to start at the end of this year, but there have been no updates on that so far.
Musk is certainly an eccentric inventor but Neuralink could be the crossover between implantable tech and the human race.
These are the main news stories but we’ve also published a bunch more pieces, here’s an insight:
- Amazon’s Halo Fitness Wearable Looks Groundbreaking
- Microsoft Flight Simulator Gets 79Gb Patch Update
- Wired Finds Law Enforcement Requests for Smart Home Data Are Up 72% since 2016
As usual, we’ve also provided you with a feature article as well as a how-to to help you with your mouse
For the feature, we looked at distance learning in the COVID-19 world we’re living in, providing the do’s and dont’s to keep you motivated when not in the classroom. In terms of the how-to, we’ve looked at how to change mouse DPI, enabling you to switch up your mouse sensitivity to your heart’s content.
Last, but no means least, is this week’s PCGuide giveaway. We have a Corsair MM711 mouse up for grabs! Head over to the giveaway page and get your free entry in!