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One Degree News Brief … November 9, 2017

Twitter Increases 280 Character Tweet Limit For Everyone

Twitter is rolling out a new 280-character limit for Tweets following a successful trial period with a selected number of users.
While Twitter has experimented with a number of new features that have drastically changed the experience, such as quoted Tweets, threads and images that don’t count towards the limit of a post, the 140 limit has remained sacrosanct. The same constraint on Direct Messages was lifted in 2015 however.
Twitter said that although there might be an “emotional constraint” to the old limit, it is not worried that longer posts will damage the appeal of the platform.

US approves lab-grown insects to kill mosquitoes

Finally, a mosquito you won’t want to swat.
A bio-tech start-up got the OK from the feds last Friday to release lab-grown skeeters in 20 states — including New York — an army of weaponized insects whose mission is to target wild, disease carrying mosquito populations, the journal Nature reported.
Kentucky-based MosquitoMate will infect the males, which don’t bite people, with Wolbachia pipientis bacterium — which doesn’t affects mosquitoes but not animals or humans. The hope is the males mate with female Asian tiger mosquitoes, which do bite humans, and are carriers of dangerous viral

Why so many people still think Facebook is listening to them

LISBON—One of Facebook’s (FB) top executives on Tuesday denied many users’ worst fear about the social network — that its apps surreptitiously listen to your speech to target you with ads.
“No, we’re not using anyone’s microphone to do any of that,” Messenger head of product Stan Chudnovsky told CNBC’s Laurie Segall at Web Summit, a tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal. “None of that is happening.”
But many Facebook users won’t believe him or Facebook’s earlier denials. History and the available evidence make it not crazy to suspect the social network, while the sophisticated tracking systems that inventory our interests online remain too opaque for normal humans to decipher.

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”

— Thomas Jefferson

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