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Report: Facebook employees argued to ban Trump posts as hate speech

Some of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's Facebook posts sparked a heated debate among employees over whether his comments constitute hate speech and violate the site's terms of use, according to a report published Friday by The Wall Street Journal.

>> Read more trending stories

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation, the newspaper reported that complaints centered around "certain posts about banning Muslims from entering the U.S." The debate was officially settled in December, when Facebook CEO determined that censoring Trump would be "inappropriate."

"That decision has prompted employees across the company to complain on Facebook's internal messaging service and in person to Mr. Zuckerberg and other managers that it was bending the site's rules for Mr. Trump, and some employees who work in a group charged with reviewing content on Facebook threatened to quit," according to The Wall Street Journal.

The social network announced in a news release Friday that it would be slackening some of its community standards in order to allow people to post and share newsworthy but controversial subjects.

"In the weeks ahead, we're going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant or important to the public interest – even if they might otherwise violate our standards," the statement said. "We will work with our community and partners to explore exactly how to do this through new tools and approaches to enforcement."

The company said it is focused on allowing users to share more controversial stories while still protecting minors and others from seeing graphic, inappropriate content. Facebook said it would do so with input from experts, law enforcement officials and others.

According to a study published in May 2016 by the Pew Research Center, about 62 percent of adults in America get their news from social media. Facebook is widely regarded as the most popular site. About 44 percent of Americans get their news from the social media site, according to Pew.

Homeland Security investigating after massive cyber attacks take down sites across the internet

Federal officials are monitoring reports of at least two cyber attacks that took down pages and services across the internet on Friday. One of the attacks is ongoing as of 2 p.m. EDT.

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White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the Department of Homeland Security, which monitors cyber threats against the United States, is monitoring the situation.

"At this point, I don't have any information to share about who might be responsible for this malicious activity," Earnest said.

>> Related: Twitter, Spotify among major websites down Friday morning

The outages appear to have stemmed from dedicated denial of service (DDOS) attacks levied against Dyn Inc., one of the world's foremost providers of internet services. The company runs domain name servers, known commonly as DNS, which provide infrastructure for internet services.

"They (DNS) work as a phone book or map to the internet, making sure that when someone writes an address into their computer or phone, it can be directed to the right place and show the right information," The Independent reported.

>> Related: Russian hackers release information about 25 more Olympic athletes

Dyn confirmed that it started monitoring and fighting an attack on its infrastructure around 7 a.m. The company announced that services has been restored by 9:20 a.m.

However, a second attack was reported just before 12 p.m., again targeting Dyn's infrastructure.

"Our engineers continue to investigate and mitigate several attacks aimed against the Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure," the company said in an update posted just before 2 p.m.

>> Related: FBI investigating Democratic National Committee hack

It was not immediately clear whether the attacks were related.

Dyn is based in New Hampshire; However, it provides services for multiple U.S.-based sites, and the attack on its servers caused issues loading the American sites in parts of Europe, Japan and other places, according to outage maps from Down Detector.

>> Related: WikiLeaks emails: FBI investigates, Podesta claims he was targeted by Russian hackers

A DDOS attack occurs when a website gets an influx of requests meant to overload the site and make it inaccessible.

Toddlers OK'd to video-chat in new recommendations from pediatricians

The American Academy of Pediatrics on Friday announced updated recommendations for parents hoping to shield their children from the worst effects of new technologies.

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The group released its recommendations after reviewing the latest scientific evidence on children and digital media use. Among other suggestions, the AAP said toddlers should be limited to using screens only while video-chatting.

The organization has traditionally recommended toddlers stay away from using screens at all until they become 2 years old. The guideline was first set out in 1999, according to NPR.

Studies indicate that despite the 1999 recommendation, most families operate under the assumption that applications like Skype and FaceTime “don't count.”

In a policy statement, AAP cautiously agreed and cited emerging evidence that young children can learn some words while video-chatting “with a responsive adult.”

The organization warned, however, that scientific evidence shows there is still harm caused by “excessive digital media use.”

"What's most important is that parents be their child's 'media mentor,'” Dr. Jenny Radesky, lead author of the policy statement, said in a news release. “That means teaching them how to use it as a tool to create, connect and learn."

The following recommendations were made by AAP:

For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing. For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them. For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.

To support the recommendations, the group also launched an online digital media use planning tool on its website.

Twitter, Spotify among major websites down Friday morning

You may have had issues checking your Twitter feed Friday morning and you weren't alone. 

According to the website, widespread reports around New England showed sites like Twitter, Reddit, Spotify, SoundCloud and Tumblr were out of service for Friday morning. 

>> Read more trending stories  

The sweeping outage is being blamed on a DDOS attack against a Dyn DNS, a service provider based in Manchester, N.H., according to TechCrunch

The domain name system (DNS) service provides domain registration and other online infrastructure support for many major websites. 

A DDOS (Dedicated Denial of Service) occurs when a website receives more requests than its host can process, some use this as a method of attacking websites or web hosts by sending a massive number of requests. 

Here's how to endorse a political candidate on Facebook

For those who use Facebook as an outlet to voice their political opinions, one feature makes the boldest statement: officially endorsing the candidate of your choice on the social media platform.

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To endorse a candidate, users only have to complete five steps: 

  1. Click the Endorsement tab on the political figure's Facebook page
  2. Click Endorse
  3. Choose the audience you want to see your endorsement post
  4. Write something to go along with your post
  5. Click Post

According to Facebook, users who post their endorsements to a public audience can be featured on candidates' pages if the candidates decide to repost any specific endorsement status.

Only pages that mark a figure as a politician, political candidate or government official can have the endorsement option.

Among those who can be endorsed are presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Duke, a Great Pyrenees that won a third one-year term as honorary mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota, in August, and Mayor Stubbs, a cat that has been the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, since the 1990s.

New device lets parents hold smartphone, feed baby simultaneously

For parents of newborn babies that need to multitask, a new device could be the answer to their problems.

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Swipe&Feed is a smartphone and baby bottle accessory. It was invented by Tim Causa of Reston, Virginia, who was trying to figure out a way to catch up on work while feeding his son, Jack. The infant had acid reflux issues and had to take a bottle every hour, Causa told WTVM.

"For 25 minutes at a time, I was in a dark, quiet room feeding my son. It dawned on me that I could do some catch-up work while he fed, but I needed something to help me hold a bottle and my smartphone," Causa told WTVM. "I searched online for solutions, but nothing was on the market. That's when I decided to seize the opportunity and solve the problem myself."

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>TODAY SHOW SIGHTING! It's hard to believe that an idea I had a year ago has progressed from a rough prototype to a...Posted by Tim Causa on Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Causa said the device will fit iPhone 6, 6s or the new iPhone 7 without a case, in addition to most Android devices. The device also fits most baby bottle sizes. 

Pre-orders are available via their website and on a Kickstarter page. 

Causa appeared on the “Today” show on Wednesday and noted afterward on his Facebook page that the Kickstarter goal already has passed 50 percent with 18 days remaining.

“It's hard to believe that an idea I had a year ago has progressed from a rough prototype to a professionally engineered, patent pending product that has now been featured on the ‘Today’ show,” he wrote.

Causa told WTVM that there has been some backlash on social media about his device impeding on the quality bonding time between a parent and child.

"Quite frankly, since I used it at night, I don't think much bonding time is being missed out on during those dark-room-3 a.m, bottle feedings,” he told the station via email. “I think the most disturbing aspect is how quickly people forget that parenting is tough, and shaming a parent who is doing their best and occasionally needs to find a break is terrible.

"We expected some backlash — the internet is full of warriors without a cause, but I'm hoping that my product would provide a solution to working parents like us who are just trying to do their best."

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Samsung, Apple battle in Supreme Court

Two of the world's largest technology companies went head to head in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

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Apple sued Samsung for infringement of the iPhone design. Lower courts ordered Samsung to pay Apple all of the profits made by violating the patents. Samsung is fighting the amount owed to Apple.

Samsung says the design is just a sliver of the phone and that consumers do not buy the phone solely based on its look.

"The design was not applied to the innards of a phone," Samsung attorney Kathleen Sullivan said outside the court. "The batteries, the processors, the electronic componentry that makes the phone smart."

Design patents do protect the physical appearance of a product. Apple owns three of those patents to preserve the iPhone's front face design, surrounding rim, rectangular shape with rounded corners and grid of colorful icons.

"Eleven times now Samsung has been found guilty of intentionally and blatantly copying the iPhone," said Noreen Krall, Apple chief litigation officer.

If Apple wins at the Supreme Court, Samsung could lose $400 million. If Samsung wins, the amount likely will be reduced and sent back to lower courts for a final ruling. The court's decision has the potential to set a precedent for all design-patent cases.

Samsung stops making Galaxy Note 7 due to safety concerns

UPDATE, 5:46 a.m. ET: Samsung Electronics "has made a final decision to stop production" of the Galaxy Note 7 as reports come in that the smartphones are igniting, the Associated Press reported early Tuesday.

In a regulatory filing Tuesday, the company said it made the move for customers' safety.

Samsung previously halted sales of the phones worldwide and told users to turn off the devices and stop using them.

ORIGINAL STORY: Samsung has halted production of one on its newest phones after more reports about replacement models and is asking those who still have the phone to turn it off.

"Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available," the company said in a news release.

>> Read more trending stories  

The world's biggest smartphone maker recalled 2.7 million Galaxy Note 7 phones in early September after reports that the battery can catch fire, The New York Times reported.

Samsung had been replacing the original models of the phone with new devices that it claimed were safer.

The company promised consumers that the replacement devices had safe batteries, but a Southwest Airlines flight last week had to be evacuated after a Note 7 started smoking. The phone's owner said it was a replacement model. Samsung is investigating, The New York Times reported

Some mobile carriers in the U.S. stopped selling the phones after that and after other reports of the phones smoking or catching fire.

AT&T and Verizon said Sunday that the companies were stopping sales or replacements of the device. T Moble also announced that it was also halting the sales of the phone, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Verizon said that if customers didn't feel safe with their current Note 7s that they can replace it with another smartphone.

The Note 7 was introduced as a response to Apple's iPhone, retailing for about $900.

Replacement Samsung Note 7 smokes on plane, flight evacuated

A Southwest Airlines flight from Louisville, Kentucky, to Baltimore was evacuated Wednesday morning after officials said a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone belonging to a passenger began to smoke.

>> Read more trending stories

The Verge reports all passengers and crew exited the plane with no injuries reported, but the phone was a replacement that was verified as safe by Samsung. The Galaxy Note 7 smartphone was recalled by Samsung last month after multiple incidents showed the phone's battery causing injuries and damage.

Brian Green, the phone's owner, told The Verge that he picked up the phone from an AT&T store on Sept. 21 after bringing in his original phone. A photograph of the box displays a "black square symbol," which indicates that it is one of the verified replacement phones by Samsung, The Verge added.

>> Related: FAA doesn't want Galaxy Note 7 phones on planes

According to Green, he "powered down the phone" when he entered the plane and placed it in his pocket, which is when it began to smoke. He dropped it onto the floor of the plane and saw a "thick grey-green angry smoke" emanating from the device. The phone later burned through the carpet and subfloor of the plane, which a friend of Green's observed when he returned to retrieve some personal items, The Verge added.

Green told The Verge that his phone had an 80 percent charge when the incident occurred and he had been using a wireless charger since being given the device. Samsung has not yet commented on the incident and Green's phone was taken by the Louisville Police Department arson unit and he was given an iPhone 7.

>> Related: Why are electronics like Galaxy Notes exploding?

The CPSC issued a warning to people with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices to stop using their phones last month and a Palm Beach Gardens man learned the hard way after the device exploded in his pocket.

Read more at The Verge.

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