Facebook’s scary plan to record your conversations while you watch TV


the Facebook logo on an iPhone 6 Plus
Facebook’s new patent is as worrying as it sounds.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Some believe Facebook is already using our smartphones to hear our private conversations. That’s not true, but the social network is certainly considering it.

Facebook has applied for a new patent that describes a method of tapping into our microphones to listen to our reactions to TV ads. It’s just as invasive as it sounds.

Apple meets with U.S. intelligence to talk fake news


Apple News
Apple has already taken steps to fight fake news.
Photo: Apple

Apple is among the tech companies which recently met with members of the U.S. intelligence community to discuss the upcoming midterm elections.

Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Oath, Snap and Twitter were approached because of continued concerns about the way that tech platforms were allegedly used for spreading fake news during the 2016 Presidential elections.

Apple, other tech titans cross swords on consumer privacy


Apple takes privacy seriously
Apple takes consumer privacy seriously, but Google and Facebook don't. Can an industry trade group that includes all three company reach any kind of consensus?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Information Technology Industry Council will meet on Wednesday. This trade group, made up of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and others, will discuss consumer privacy.

The proceedings are likely to be contentious, as these companies have very different views on the subject.

Facebook finally going to charge you for some content


Facebook subscription fees are coming.
Declutter My Home is one of a handful of Facebook groups that get to test charging subscription fees.
Photo: Facebook

A pilot project allows people who run Facebook groups to charge subscription fees for the content they create. During the testing process, this is an option for a limited number of group admins.

The fees can range from $4.99 to $29.99 a month. Facebook isn’t taking a share of the revenue.

Instagram wants to battle Apple and Netflix with original content


Cult of Mac Instagram profile
Instagram could soon offer original shows of its own.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

After beating out every other photo-sharing platform and stealing Snapchat’s lunch money, Instagram is jumping into video.

A new report claims the service is adding support for uploading videos up to an hour in length. It is also in talks with content creators and publishers about the possibility of delivering original long-form videos that could compete with shows from the likes of Apple and Netflix.