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New Machine Learning system may help debunk fake news

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Fake News

New York, Oct 6 (IANS) To combat fake news, a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a new Machine Learning (ML) system that helps to determine whether a news source is accurate or biased.

The researchers believe that the best approach is to focus not on the factuality of individual claims but on the news sources themselves.

“If a website has published fake news before, there’s a good chance they’ll do it again. By automatically scraping data about these sites, the hope is that our system can help figure out which ones are likely to do it in the first place,” said lead author Ramy Baly from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL).

The system needs only about 150 articles to reliably detect if a news source can be trusted, suggests the study to be presented at the 2018 Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) conference in Brussels.

For the study, the researchers from MIT and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), took data from Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC) — a website with human fact-checkers who analyse the accuracy and biases of more than 2,000 news sites, from MSNBC and Fox News to low-traffic content farms.

The team then fed that data to a ML algorithm called a Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier, and programmed it to classify news sites the same way as MBFC.

When given a new news outlet, the system was 65 per cent accurate at detecting whether it has a high, low or medium level of “factuality”, and roughly 70 per cent accurate in detecting if it is left-leaning, right-leaning or moderate.

The team determined that the most reliable ways to detect both fake news and biased reporting were to look at the common linguistic features across the source’s stories, including sentiment, complexity and structure.

For example, fake news outlets were found to be more likely to use language that is hyperbolic, subjective and emotional.

In terms of bias, left-leaning outlets were more likely to have language that related to concepts of harm/care and fairness/reciprocity, compared to other qualities such as loyalty, authority and sanctity.

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MTNL plans to sell assets in Mumbai through DIPAM

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MTNL chairman Purwar

New Delhi, Sep 19 : State-run telecom operator MTNL has submitted a set of assets for monetisation through the framework of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which comes under the Finance Ministry.

The assets proposed for sale include land, staff quarters and telephone exchange in Mumbai, said Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

“MTNL has submitted a set of assets for monetisation through the DIPAM Framework…. No property in Delhi is presently under monetisation through the DIPAM Framework,” he said.

He informed the Lok Sabha that international property consultants have been appointed for end-to-end transaction advice on monetisation of these properties.

Noting that the asset monetisation process is a complex one involving multiple stakeholders and agencies, he said that a specific time frame for the completion of these monetisation transactions cannot be defined at present.

The value at which the assets would be monetised would depend on the feasibility of monetisation of the asset, the monetisation model and the market conditions prevailing at the time of monetisation, Thakur said, adding that it would be difficult to anticipate the sale proceeds presently.

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Mozilla bug may let hackers target Firefox for Android browsers

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Mozilla has fixed a vulnerability in the popular Firefox browser that can be exploited by hackers to hijack Firefox for Android browsers on the same WiFi network and send users to malicious sites, urging the people to install the latest browser update.

The bug was found in Firefox SSDP component by Chris Moberly, an Australian security researcher working for GitLab, reports ZDNet.

The Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) is a simple protocol designed to solve the problem of service discovery over a local network.

“Any Android owner using a Firefox browser to navigate the web during this kind of attack would have his mobile browser hijacked and taken to a malicious site, or forced to install a malicious Firefox extension,” the report mentioned.

The bug has been fixed in Firefox 79. Mozilla said users should update as soon as possible to Firefox v79 for Android to remain safe.

Attackers could leverage exploits to take over outdated routers, and then spam a company’s internal network and force employees to re-authenticate on phishing pages.

The new Firefox for Android now offers Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP), providing a better web experience.

“The revamped browsing app comes with our highest privacy protections ever – on by default. ETP keeps numerous ad trackers at bay and out of the users’ business,” the company said last month.

The Enhanced Tracking Protection automatically blocks many known third-party trackers, by default, in order to improve user privacy online. Private Mode adds another layer for better privacy on device level, it added.


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OnePlus 8T likely to launch on October 14

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 Smartphone brand OnePlus is reportedly planning to unveil OnePlus 8T on October 14 with OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 and 120Hz refresh rate.

OnePlus generally launches its a T series in the month of September but there is a slight change in the launch timeline due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, reports MySmartPrice.

The OnePlus 8T will succeed the OnePlus 7T that launched in India in September 2019. Rumours suggest that the OnePlus 8T will be much more powerful when compared to the OnePlus 8.

The device is codenamed ‘Kebab’ and will feature a 6.55-inch AMOLED display just like the regular OnePlus 8 but with a 120Hz refresh rate.

The smartphone is expected to come with four cameras at the back, with a 48MP primary lens joined by a 16MP wide-angle module, 5MP macro, and 2MP portrait lens, according to the report.

In terms of processor, the smartphone is likely to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chip with 8GB RAM, 128GB internal storage.

In addition, OnePlus is also planning to unveil another device with Snapdragon 662 or 665 chip for a price tag between Rs. 16,000-Rs 18,000.

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