Twitter is now pushing recommended tweets to everyone

Twitter is now pushing more tweets from accounts users don’t already follow into their timelines. The company revealed that it’s now surfacing recommendations to all its users, even people who had successfully avoided them in the past.

“We want to ensure everyone on Twitter sees the best content on the platform, so we’re expanding recommendations to all users, including those who may not have seen them in the past,” the company wrote in a tweet.

It’s not clear how many more recommendations users should expect to see in their "home" timeline, or if Twitter is making recommendations more prominent in other parts of the app as well. In its tweet, the company pointed to a blog post from September, which states that “recommendations can appear in your Home timeline, certain places within the Explore tab, and elsewhere on Twitter.” For now, it seems that recommendations won't appear when viewing the "latest" timeline, which sorts tweets chronologically and has historically not included tweets from accounts that aren't already being followed.

Anecdotally, it seems some users are already reportingnoticeablechanges to their timelines, with the appearance of new topic suggestions and many tweets from seemingly random accounts. In a tweet from its support account, the company told one frustrated user to switch back to the chronological "latest" timeline to avoid the surge of recommended content.

Though the change may feel jarring, it’s not the first time the company has experimented with adding more suggested content. Twitter has been pushing recommendations into various parts of its service for years, though it has sometimes tweaked how often these suggestions appear. In the past, Twitter has also been careful to note that it bars certain types of content from recommendations in order to avoid amplifying potentially harmful or low-quality content, though it’s not entirely clear if that’s still the case. The company no longer has a communications team. The curation team, which was responsible for elevating content throughout Twitter, was also eliminated during the company's mass layoffs.

Interestingly, Twitter’s current CEO, Elon Musk, hasn’t always spoken favorably about the platform’s recommendation algorithms. Back in May, he tweeted that using the app’s “latest” timeline was crucial to “fix” Twitter’s feed. “You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don’t realize,” he said at the time. Musk, who has also spoken about his desire to open source Twitter’s algorithms, hasn’t yet weighed in on the new expansion of recommendations, or how the feature works.

Update 11/30 8:55 PM PT: This story has been updated to reflect that Twitter's support account confirmed recommendations won't appear in the "latest" timeline, which sorts tweets chronologically.

You can now play your own World Cup with this fully functional LEGO Foosball Table!

Watch as football icons Thierry Henry and Marcus Rashford battle it out on this mini LEGO foosball table in the video above…

With its DIY design that lets you even customize the players down to their jerseys, hairstyles, and skin colors, the LEGO Table Football MOC may just be the coolest interactive build of all time! The fully operational tabletop game is made up of 2339 LEGO elements, has 5 players on each team, and even comes with its own dugout that also doubles up as the audience while you play a quick game of soccer… ahem, football.

Designer: Donát Fehérvári

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Unlike most LEGO Ideas that exist as fan-made concepts garnering support on LEGO’s fan forum, this creation from Donát Fehérvári actually made it to becoming a box set. Fehérvári debuted this MOC (My Own Creation) back in 2021 as a submission to LEGO’s We Love Sports online competition. Winning the Grand Prize with 1244 votes, the build even got a nod of approval from the LEGO Ideas Review Board, which agreed to turn it into a box set available for people to buy. Just in time for the FIFA World Cup, that too!

The set is relatively easy to construct, and models itself on the traditional foosball table, albeit with a smaller footprint and just 5 players on each side as opposed to the traditional table that has as many as 11 players per team. The players are controlled by poles that can be pushed, pulled, or even turned to have the foosballers move around and kick the tiny white plastic foosball. Goal counters above each goalpost let you count as many as 5 goals – perfect for a short game spanning a few minutes.

What’s remarkable about the LEGO Table Football, however, is its inclusivity. The set allows you to build 22 minifigures (with 12 of them waiting in the dugout while 10 play on the field) of varying ethnicities and personalities. The kit includes 44 different heads and 43 hairstyle types, letting you play with both male and female players. The accompanying dugout (or cheering station) lets you store the extra heads and wigs underneath, and perhaps my favorite element is the tiny trophy cup included with the set that goes to the victor of the game!

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The post You can now play your own World Cup with this fully functional LEGO Foosball Table! first appeared on Yanko Design.

Google begins refunding Stadia hardware purchases made on the Google Store

Google tweeted today that it’s beginning to process refunds for Stadia hardware bought on the Google Store. The company announced in September that its cloud gaming service was joining the long list of projects buried in the “Google graveyard.”

Google is refunding purchases for the Stadia controller and bundles that included a Chromecast Ultra with the WiFi-connected gamepad. Earlier this month, it began reimbursing users for Stadia game purchases, ensuring most users recoup the money they’d sunk into the service. However, Google isn’t refunding subscription fees for Stadia Pro (its answer to PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass) or Stadia hardware bought from Best Buy.

The company says it will process the refunds automatically. It expects most of them to complete by the time the cloud-gaming service shuts down on January 18th. If the company can’t refund your original form of payment automatically, it will email you through the Google account you used for the purchase(s).

Although Stadia’s demise disappointed its small but devoted band of enthusiasts, the shutdown wasn’t exactly shocking. The writing had been on the wall since the company began scaling back its investment in the platform barely over a year after its launch.

Robots are learning to brace themselves against walls to avoid falling

So much for giggling at robots falling down. Researchers at the University of Lorraine have developed a "Damage Reflex" system (aka D-Reflex) that has a humanoid TALOS robot prop itself against a wall when one of its legs is broken, much like a human who just lost their balance. The neural network-based system uses its experience (in this case, 882,000 training simulations) to quickly find a point on the wall most likely to provide stability. The robot doesn't need to know how it was damaged, and can reach out roughly as quickly as a person.

The result, as IEEE Spectrumnotes, is the anti-comedy you'd expect. Instead of a tumble to the ground, the robot braces itself against the wall like someone who just sprained their ankle. It's not particularly graceful and requires that the robot stops its hand the moment it makes contact, but it's effective in three out of four tests.

D-Reflex isn't guaranteed to prevent a fall, if partly because it can't account for every possible position or surface. It also doesn't help the robot recover once it averts catastrophe — you won't see the automaton limping along a wall until it finds help. The current approach is also based around a stationary bot, and won't help if an actuator fails mid-stride.

Researchers hope to make a system that's useful on the move, however, and envision robots that can grab chairs and other complex objects when a fall is imminent. This could save the cost of replacing worker robots that would otherwise plunge to their doom, and might lead to more 'natural' bots that learn to use their environments to their advantage. One thing's for sure: if the robopocalypse happens, tripping the machines won't stop them for long.

This aesthetically designed hand crank power bank will never let you down

Smart gadgets rule our lives for the most part, and they need to be juiced up constantly to make our life seamless. In mind-boggling research, Forbes has found out an average US home has 20.2 smart devices. Now, because of changing lifestyles, these smart devices need frequent charging.

Relying on a power bank for active outdoorsy life can only go to a limit, and itself can go out of charge. Having no juice left in the mobile devices and your power bank in a secluded location can be tricky, and there’s got to be the last resort to save the day.

Designer: Pelin Özbalcı

Into the picture comes a hand-cranked power bank that comes loaded with a dynamo to charge the battery slowly when no other option is there. A smart accessory that fulfills the intended purpose without losing out on the minimalistic aesthetics of carrying it in your pocket. Last Resort power bank has a hand-crank mechanism hiding tactically in the power bank itself – ready for use whenever desperate situations arise.

The gracefully hidden hand crank blends into the design – giving off a slight peek to remind the users what it can do. Once taken out, the gadget transforms into a working dynamo as soon as the arm is reattached to the keyhole. Spinning the crank starts the charging indicated by the flashing orange lights. The battery percentage is indicated by the white lights on the power bank.

The front of the accessory has soft-to-touch material, and the back surface has a high-grade non-slip surface. This ensures you can crank Last Resort by keeping on the edge of an object without making it topple over. While there are many such accessories out there, this one edges ahead in terms of aesthetics and functionality. I just hope, the power bank can crank up enough charge to fuel high-end mobile devices of the current era.

The post This aesthetically designed hand crank power bank will never let you down first appeared on Yanko Design.

YouTube is repeatedly crashing for some iOS users but a fix is on the way

Google is working to fix an issue that is causing the YouTube mobile app to repeatedly crash for some iOS users. “Hi, we’re aware that many of you using the YouTube app on iOS devices may be experiencing crashes,” the company said in a tweet caught by The Verge. “We’re so sorry about this & have begun working on a fix! Updates soon.”

As of the writing of this article, YouTube has yet to share more information on the situation. Google did not immediately respond to a comment request from Engadget. We’ll update this article once there’s more information to share. It’s unclear how widespread the problem is among iOS users. On my iPhone, I was able to watch this incredible video of the Artemis 1 launch synced to “Free Bird” without issue during my lunch break. However, Downdetector indicates there have been more than 7,500 reports in the US of the app not working.

‘Mass Effect: Legendary Edition’ is free for all PS Plus subscribers in December

Sony's December free games for PlayStation Plus Essential include Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. Subscribers can play remastered versions of the classic trilogy at no extra charge. The collection, released in May 2021, includes Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 with modernized 4K graphics and tighter gameplay.

Developer BioWare saved the biggest upgrades for the 15-year-old original. While the non-remastered version is nearly unplayable by modern standards, the remaster is friendlier for modern gamers with more consistent weapon accuracy, tighter camera controls, a dedicated melee button and snappier combat. BioWare also tweaked its handling of the trilogy’s endings, ditching the original approach that required a separate app download to get the best finale. In the new version, your final outcome is based exclusively on your decisions across all three titles.

Other free PS Plus Essential games for December include third-person platform fighter Divine Knockout: Founder's Edition and open-world RPG Biomutant. In addition to new free games added each month (yours to keep as long as you remain subscribed), PlayStation Plus Essential gives you access to online matchmaking in paid titles. The service costs $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year. It replaced the standard PS Plus earlier this year, when Sony added more expensive Extra and Premium tiers to compete with Xbox Game Pass.

Retro-looking automatic washing machine brings smart washing functions

When it comes to functional appliances in my home, I’m not really particular with the design since I don’t have a specific aesthetic that I’m going for. What I need is something that’s affordable, can fit into my small space, and can do what needs to be done. Every once in a while though, when I see something that has a cute design, it piques my interest. Most of the time though these are just product concepts so I’m not really sure if it will translate well when it becomes a consumer product.

Designer: Yathin Krishna

This concept for an automatic front-load washing machine caught my attention because of its retro design. The Toshin Machine looks like a toy rather than an actual washing machine, looking like a cross between a lego set, a game boy and some other retro-futuristic kinds of devices. But it was designed to be an actual machine that should be able to automate your clothes-washing experience, whether you’re going for a quick wash or a steam clean and has a moon crystal drum and smart automated select features.

While you’d probably want to thoroughly wash your clothes, there are times when you don’t have enough time so the Quick Wash feature should come in handy. The Steam Clean is there so you can give your clothes a deep clean when you need to. Inside, you get a moon crystal drum with shaped ridges bringing a gentle tumble to your clothes when they’re being washed and the small exit water holes in the drum actually protect your fabric from being caught in the whirl.

The Toshin Machine also is designed to have a smart select AI that will suggest to you what’s the best mode to set for your machine depending on the weight data. Design-wise, the retro-futuristic look is pretty interesting as you don’t see a lot of washing machines with that kind of design. Now whether that will translate into an actual fully functional piece of appliance that both looks cute and does what it needs to do is another question. Even though I don’t wash clothes at home, I wouldn’t mind having this if it makes my life easier and if it looks that cute.

The post Retro-looking automatic washing machine brings smart washing functions first appeared on Yanko Design.

Twitter claims ‘none of our policies have changed’ as advertisers continue to flee

One month into Elon Musk’s chaotic takeover of Twitter, the company is once again trying to reassure advertisers and users about the direction of the platform. In its first blog post since Musk’s acquisition, the company attempted to explain what “Twitter 2.0” means for the company.

Twitter is right now facing a massive decline in ad revenue as major advertisers have halted spending amid concerns over policy changes instituted by Musk. In the blog post, though, Twitter says that “brand safety is only possible when human safety is the top priority” and that “none of our policies have changed.”

However, it’s difficult to square that claim with the company’s recent confirmation that it will stop enforcing its COVID-19 misinformation rules, and the recent reinstatements of previously banned accounts. “Our approach to policy enforcement will rely more heavily on de-amplification of violative content: freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” the blog post says, without elaborating.

Musk has previously said that “negative” tweets will be “deboosted” and only visible to those searching for them. It’s not clear if these changes have been implemented. Twitter no longer has a communications team.

The blog post also notes that Twitter’s Trust and Safety team “continues its diligent work to keep the platform safe from hateful conduct, abusive behavior, and any violation of Twitter's rules.” The post, signed by “The Twitter Team,” comes one day after the company’s former head of Trust and Safety said the platform is less safe under Musk’s leadership. Yoel Roth, a longtime policy executive at Twitter who had worked closely with Musk in the days immediately following his takeover, said in an interview that Musk ignored warnings from the Trust and Safety team ahead of the disastrous rollout of Twitter Blue’s paid verification.

The blog post is the latest sign of how badly Musk needs to win back Twitter’s advertisers. The company has already lost at least half of its top 100 advertisers, according to a recent report in Media Matters. And newsletter Platformer reported Tuesday that ad revenue is down 15 percent in Europe and the Middle East, in addition to the mounting losses in the US ad market. The Financial Times recently reported that Musk has resorted to personally calling the CEOs of major brands “in order to berate them” for pulling back on ad spending. Musk has also publicly called out Apple CEO Tim Cook for "mostly" halting its advertising on the platform.

Much like Musk's "town hall" with advertisers earlier this month, it's unclear if Twitter's latest statements will be enough reassurance for brands to start spending again. In addition to Musk's chaotic policy changes and the Twitter Blue fiasco, the mass layoffs and resignations have also gutted the teams that typically work closely with ad agencies and brands, which has only further complicated the already strained relationships. 

Fusion power is ‘approaching’ reality thanks to a magnetic field breakthrough

Fusion power may be a more realistic prospect than you think. As Motherboardreports, researchers at the Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have discovered that a new magnetic field setup more than tripled the energy output of the fusion reaction hotspot in experiments, "approaching" the level required for self-sustaining ignition in plasmas. The field was particularly effective at trapping heat within the hotspot, boosting the energy yield.

The hotspot's creation involved blasting 200 lasers at a fusion fuel pellet made from hydrogen isotopes like deuterium and tritium. The resulting X-rays made the pellet implode and thus produce the extremely high pressures and heat needed for fusion. The team achieved their feat by wrapping a coil around a pellet made using special metals.

The notion of using magnets to heat the fuel isn't new. University of Rochester scientists found they could use magnetism to their advantage in 2012. The Lawrence Livermore study was far more effective, however, producing 40 percent heat and more than three times the energy.

Practical fusion reactors are still many years away. The output is still far less than the energy required to create self-sustaining reactions. The finding makes ignition considerably more achievable, though, and that in turn improves the chances of an energy-positive fusion system. This also isn't the end of the magnetism experiments. A future test will use an ice-laden cryogenic capsule to help understand fusion physics. Even if ignition is still distant, the learnings from this study could provide a clearer path to that breakthrough moment.