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Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales is launching a community-powered news site

Jimmy Wales

LONDON — It was Kellyanne Conway who convinced Jimmy Wales to create a media company.

On Tuesday, the Wikipedia cofounder announced Wikitribune, a new community-powered news outlet that aims to combat fake news and mistrust of the media — and he says it was remarks by the controversial Trump advisor who inadvertently pushed him to do so.

“I’ve been thinking about this for quite a long time, I’ve been working on ideas and so forth, it was always a backburner project,” he told Business Insider in a telephone interview on Monday.

“But there was a moment: A friend had persuaded me that we should all give Donald Trump 100 days, we should just assume the best and hope he would do well, and be supportive on the presidency in general.

“And then on day one, Kellyanne Conway came out and said ‘alternative facts,’ and I was like ‘that’s it, game over, I’m done, I can’t put up with this.’ So that’s when I really started pushing forward, to say this really needs to happen — I need, for my personal feeling of values in the world, I need to be involved in trying to help with this problem.”

Wikitribune will work as a kind of hybrid between a traditional news organisation and Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Professional journalists will work alongside community volunteers to write and edit stories, “working side-by-side as equals,” Wales said.

The 50-year-old internet entrepreneur will, at least at first, serve as CEO and in an editor-in-chief-esque role managing the site’s output.

kellyanne conway donald trumpThe organisation is currently running a 30-day crowdfunding campaign to raise money to hire and pay journalists, with the website launching once the campaign concludes. It hopes to hire 10 journalists to begin with — but to expand beyond that as soon as it is able.

Generating revenue is a notoriously tricky problem for media organisations, who see organisations like Google and Facebook gobble up advertising revenue while news consumers grow accustomed to free access to news. Wikitribune won’t attempt to buck this trend by charging a compulsory membership fee — instead it will ask readers if they’re willing to pay a voluntary subscription or make a donation to fund its operations, in a similar vein to Wikipedia.

Wales said Wikitribune will focus on news stories with impact over viral pieces: “You can’t beat them at your own game, you’ve got to do something different and interesting.” This kind of citizen-augmented journalism will prove valuable in stories like data breaches, he said, when large numbers of eyeballs are needed to “go through really tedious stuff” to find the newsworthy information hidden inside.

There has been debate in liberal circles about “fake news” for months amid historically low levels of trust in the mainstream media. Some have even suggested that fake news stories circulating on platforms like Facebook helped Donald Trump win his shock victory in the US presidential election.

But “citizen journalism” and community-driven investigations can have problems with reliability too — perhaps most notoriously when would-be sleuths on Reddit accused the wrong man of being behind the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

“Reddit has some amazing fantastic communities, it has some horrible places, it’s a big noisy place, but it isn’t really designed for — and it doesn’t really aim at — doing fact-checked journalism and publishing stories,” Wales said.

“In that particular case I actually felt like Reddit as a whole got treated a bit unfairly, like, a handful of people on a messageboard started claiming that ‘hey, we think this guy did it.’ Well, that’s the internet for you, it’s broad, wide open.”

He added: “For us, it’s a matter of: If you were going to publish a story you would really want to have that fact-checked, approved, and so forth … the difference is you’ve got to set firm social norms and rules up front about what it is we’re trying to accomplish.”

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NOW WATCH: People on Twitter are roasting United Airlines after a passenger was forcibly dragged off a plane

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Windows 10 Tip: Keep track of your tabs with Microsoft Edge

It’s easy to lose track of what’s in your tabs, especially if you have many tabs open from the same site that all look alike. The new tab preview bar and “Set these tabs aside” features in Microsoft Edge with the Windows 10 Creators Update allow you to easily manage and navigate your tabs.

Keep track of your tabs with the new tab preview bar:

The new tab preview bar in the Windows 10 Creators Update gives you a visual preview of every tab you have open without leaving your page.

The new tab preview bar gives you a visual preview of every tab you have open without leaving your page. Quickly manage your tabs using the preview bar without waiting for the pages to load by clicking on this Tab preview bar in Microsoft Edge icon next to the open tabs. You can also scroll through the previews with touch, mouse wheel, or a touchpad.

Set tabs aside for later:

Microsoft Edge makes it easy to sweep aside all the tabs you have open into a collection that you can restore at any time. Just click the “Set these tabs aside” button on the upper left-hand corner of your browser. Click the button next to that to see tabs you’ve set aside, then click “Restore tabs” to jump back in.

Head over here to learn more about getting the best out of Microsoft Edge, and have a great week!

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Apple cuts App Store affiliate commission from 7% to 2.5%

 Apple just sent an email to members of the App Store affiliate program saying that App Store commissions will be reduced from 7 percent to 2.5 percent on May 1st — that’s a 64 percent cut. While this change will have no effect on App Store users, it has some implications on the App Store ecosystem.
Many websites from the Apple community link to App Store downloads with a unique… Read More

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An Instagram bug has been preventing users from disabling their accounts for months

 A number of Instagram users have found they’re no longer able to temporarily disable their accounts – a feature, similar to Facebook’s, that allows you to take a break from the social network for a period of time, but stops short of a full account deletion. The bug has been spotted in the wild since at least February, and is the subject of a number of complaints across… Read More

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Instagram’s rapid attack on Snapchat, in one chart

Facebook has been trying to squash Snapchat for a long time. Remember (the other) Poke? Or Slingshot? Or that time it tried to buy the company outright? None of those really worked out. Over the past year, though, Mark Zuckerberg and company appear to have found a way to stunt Snapchat’s growth: Make a total rip-off, but do so within an app that’s already massively popular.

That app, Instagram, added its Snapchat-aping “Stories” feature last August, almost a full five years after Snapchat launched. But according to an Instagram announcement earlier this month, the feature has already hit 200 million daily users. As this chart from Statista shows, that’s not only up from the 150 million users Instagram Stories had in January, it’s also well above Snapchat’s last reported daily user count. (We’ll get an update to the latter on May 10.)

This doesn’t mean people will suddenly stop using Snapchat; it’s still hard to tell how many people go to Instagram specifically for the Stories bit. But that’s not really the point. You can bemoan Facebook’s robotic lack of innovation all you want, but the reality is that all of its apps are huge. It’s never had to out-design Snapchat to stop it from siphoning off users and potential ad dollars.

If anything, the smartest thing Facebook could do is a rip-off; then, the battle becomes about which app is more likely to have more people you care about using it. Instagram, with its 600 million users, will usually win that fight. (Facebook’s three (!) other Snapchat clones don’t seem to be doing so hot, yes, but Instagram’s audience and core product are closest to Snapchat.) People may not leave Snapchat in droves because of Instagram Stories, but they’re probably less likely to download it in the first place. That’s good news for Facebook, creative pride be damned.

COTD_4.24 instagram vs snapchat

SEE ALSO: A new estimate says Samsung’s Galaxy S8 costs much more to make than Apple’s iPhone 7

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NOW WATCH: US Customs could require you to open your phone at the border — here’s how to protect your privacy

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New close-up photos of Saturn's largest moon may be the last for decades

cassini spacecraft titan illustration nasa jpl caltech

  • Cassini is a NASA spacecraft that has orbited Saturn since 2004.
  • On April 22, the probe took its last close-up photos of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.
  • Flying past the moon nudged Cassini onto a path that will eventually destroy the spacecraft.

NASA’s long-lived Saturn probe, Cassini, has paid its final visit to the planet’s largest moon, Titan.

The moon is larger than Earth’s and bigger than the planet Mercury. It’s covered in thick haze and smog, contains seas of liquid hydrocarbons, has a crust made of ice — and just might be habitable to alien life.

Cassini flew by the giant moon and photographed it on April 22, less than two weeks after the probe captured an awe-inspiring image of Earth through the rings of Saturn.

The latest batch of images started arriving at Earth-based radio dishes on April 23, after traveling 878 million miles through deep space. Scientists are now taking the raw black-and-white data and processing it into color photographs.

This shot, for example, merges red and near-infrared light (which can pierce Titan’s thick atmosphere) from Cassini’s camera sensor, revealing the partly-lit surface of Titan:

titan moon cassini april 22 2017 kevin gill flickr ccbysa2 33860063290_e39a7c765a_o

The blue-colored regions are dark material that researchers believe are dry seabeds.

A closer view of Titan, likely taken within about 600 miles of the moon, more clearly shows some of those dark areas:

titan moon magic island cassini april 22 2017 kevin gill flickr ccbysa2 34055431151_d9736dac15_o

With these and dozens of other new images, NASA locked in its final look at the mysterious moon.

Scientists are especially curious about a “magic island” that seems to consistently appear, disappear, and reappear in one of Titan’s shallow seas over time.

“We don’t know what it is. It might be some hydrocarbon gas, and these bubbles periodically come to the surface,” Linda Spilker, a Cassini project scientist and a planetary scientist at NASA JPL, told Business Insider, adding the gas might be methane or ethane. “This happens in lakes on Earth.”

NASA would prefer to continue exploring Titan and other bodies near Saturn with Cassini, but has said its plucky probe is running out of fuel — and out of time.

Cassini’s coming doom

NASA launched Cassini in October 1997, and the nuclear-powered probe reached the Saturn system following seven years of flight. After it dropped off a probe called Huygens in 2004, it began circling the planet and spying on its vast collections of moons and rings.

However, the mission will soon come to a fiery end.

The spacecraft is dangerously low on a propellant that’s required to correct or change its orbit. Because Cassini has earthly microbes stuck to its body, scientists don’t want the probe to crash into and contaminate Titan or other moons like Enceladus, an ice-encrusted world that’s hiding a warm saltwater ocean.

So, NASA is going to burn up the $3.26 billion probe in the thick clouds of Saturn.

saturn enceladus cassini nasa jpl caltech“Cassini’s own discoveries were its demise,” Earl Maize, an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) who manages the Cassini mission, said during an April 4 press briefing. “Cassini has got to be put safely away. And since we wanted to stay at Saturn, the only choice was to destroy it in some controlled fashion.”

Cassini’s April 22 flyby of Titan marks the official start to what NASA calls the spacecraft’s “Grand Finale“: a new, risky set of orbits that will dive the probe through the relatively narrow gap between Saturn and its rings.

The first ring-gap dive is slated to occur on April 26, and Cassini will complete 20 similar dives in the coming months. But in early September, Cassini will swing close enough to Titan for the moon’s gravity to send the robot to its death.

“That final orbit gives us Titan’s goodbye kiss,” Spilker told Business Insider. (If we get any images of Titan from that last trip, they won’t be as close-up as this recent batch.)

The probe will enter Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017, taking as many readings as it can before it breaks apart and burns up. “I don’t think of this as killing Cassini. I see it as a glorious end to an incredible mission,” Spilker said. “It’s Cassini’s blaze of glory.”

Once Cassini vanishes, it may be the last probe that NASA sends to Saturn for decades. There are currently no other missions to Saturn or its moons on the books, and although the US government is slowly making plutonium-238 — a nuclear fuel that’s required to power NASA’s most ambitious robots — the space agency’s current stockpile has run too low to launch another Cassini.

SEE ALSO: Earth has shockingly little water and ice compared to these ocean worlds

DON’T MISS: 25 amazing photos that prove you’re a stowaway on a tiny, fragile spaceship

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NOW WATCH: The first images from NASA’s descent onto Saturn’s largest moon

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Anonymous app Yik Yak, once valued at $400 million, reportedly sold its engineers to Square for $3 million (SQ)

Yik Yak founders Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll

Payments company Square has acquired the engineering team behind Yik Yak for less than $3 million, according to a new report form Bloomberg, citing sources. 

The anonymous chat app used to be valued at $4oo million after raising more than $73 million in venture capital. At its prime, Yik Yak was considered the darling of the anonymous messaging space, having attracted a young user base of college students that would compulsively open the app multiple times a day to stay informed. 

Now, less than three years after it launched and skyrocketed to its $400 million valuation, Square has acquired Yik Yak’s engineering team, leaving the fate of the app unknown. As part of the deal, Bloomberg reports that between five and ten engineers will join Square’s teams in Atlanta. Rumors of the impending sale were first reported by The Verge. 

Square declined to comment. Yik Yak didn’t return request for comment.

Founded in 2013, Yik Yak at first grew rapidly as high schoolers and college students latched onto the anonymous messaging app. However, the company faced problems with harassment and bullying in the app and never quite found a good way to combat it. Last August, it made a move to do away with anonymous and add real profiles, but it never took off in the same way again. Yik Yak laid off 60% of its team at the end of 2016, and has reportedly now divested itself of its engineering team as it circles the drain.

SEE ALSO: ‘Almost destined to fail:’ The stars of HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ talk about why social media today is troubled

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NOW WATCH: Forget the Apple Watch — this mechanical $65,000 square watch is stunning

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Read all about IT: CEOs see IT as more important than ever

As IT rises up the list of business priorities, CEOs are more likely to read about new technologies than they are to ask their CIOs for information.

That’s one of the findings in a new survey by Gartner, in which 31 percent of business leaders questioned put IT among their top three priorities. It’s the highest-ever ranking in the survey for IT, which was trumped only by profits and growth, cited by 58 percent.

The 388 business leaders questioned — mostly CEOs, with a smattering of CFOs and COOs — are twice as likely to want to build up in-house IT capabilities (57 percent) as to outsource it (29 percent), which ought to be good news for CIOs.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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The Unspoken VR Tournament is coming to Microsoft Store!

The Unspoken VR Tournament is coming soon to select Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and Canada

The Unspoken VR Tournament is coming soon to select Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and Canada.* Oculus Rift works natively with Windows 10, which makes it easy to set up, jump in and have an incredible VR gaming experience.

On May 13, you can slip into a hidden world of bare-handed spellcasting and magicians’ duels at your local Microsoft Store. Local winners will then return to the store to battle it out in a series of regional competitions on May 20. Finalists will be flown out to New York City for the national finals at the flagship Microsoft Store in New York on June 3 to compete for the grand prize: Rift and Touch, plus an Oculus Ready PC and $1,250 in cash!

Follow Microsoft Store on Facebook for more updates.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open only to legal residents of the United States and Canada excluding Quebec. Open to players 13+, some restrictions apply. Round 1 ends 5/13/17. For details, see www.oculus.com/unspoken-tournament or your local Microsoft Store.
Rules: www.oculus.com/unspoken-tournament/legal/rules.

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Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15207 for Mobile

Hello Windows Insiders!

Today we are excited to be releasing Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 15207 to Insiders in the Fast ring. This build is exactly the same as Build 15205 released last week but with one additional fix we would like extra coverage on from Insiders:

  • We have added a privacy page to the Windows 10 Mobile OOBE and upgrade experiences that allows you to quickly and effectively make common privacy changes while setting up the device. However, Insiders have reported that their device would crash or reboot shortly after unlocking their device for the first time after the upgrade if their device did not have a password configured to unlock the device. After updating to Build 15207, you will see this privacy page one more time – but should no longer experience a crash or reboot.

Thanks to the Insiders who reported this issue and helping us fix issues quickly like this one!

Keep hustling,
Dona <3

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