SciTech wRap for February 3, 2018
This week in the SciTech wRap, Facebook says time the amount of time people are spending on the service has gone down, a social media firm is under inevstigation for selling fake followers to celebrities, and Russia claims it launched 11 satellites without any glitch whatsoever.
Here are some of the most impressive stories in science and technology from the week that's passed.
Time spent on Facebook is down, and that might be a good thing
Facebook reported earnings that beat expectations, though the social network's goal is now more on prioritizing personal interactions among users over the time they spend on the service.
Changes to Facebook meant people spent some 50 million hours less on the service daily, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued that having users engage more with friends' posts could lead to further financial opportunities for the company.
Social media firm under investigation for selling fake followers
The New York Attorney General opened an investigation into social media firm Devumi for selling fake followers to people on various social media outlets. The practice is a small part of a larger mosaic, one in which black market identity crafters sell fake accounts wholesale to social media firms, so they can sell the amassed fake followers to real social media users for status and standing online.
Russia launches 11 satellites 'without glitch'
Russia successfully launched 11 satellites from its Vostochny cosmodrome this week, the third rocket liftoff from the new spaceport, the Roscosmos space said.
"In accordance with the flight program, the Fregat upper-stage placed into orbit space vehicles of main and secondary payloads," the space agency said in a statement. They added the Soyuz rocket and the upper stage "performed without a glitch."
Sony's profits are up more than tenfold
Sony said its 9-month profit had soared more than tenfold. The company upgraded its annual profit forecast, expecting its annual net profit will reach 480 billion yen, up from an earlier estimate of 380 billion yen.
Sales of smartphone parts and the PlayStation game console are said to be the cause.
"Smart" sex dolls fill a void in China
It's not just your appliances that have gotten "smart" upgrades. In China, enterprising company EXDOLL is working to make sex dolls with "smart" functionality, allowing the sex doll to communicate with a smartphone app.
EXDOLL hopes to roll out more advanced robots in the future. These would have, it is hoped, artificial intelligence technology, complex facial expressions and body movements, voice recognition systems, and eyes that can follow people's movements.