Facebook narrows your News Feed, Snapchat expands your options and Elon Musk just wants to watch the world burn: The Week in Review

Mindset Digital
Mindset Digital // February 2, 2018

Our weekly roundup brings you a list of curated content in social, technology and Mindset Digital happenings from need-to-know to silly social trends.

Last week in social…

Facebook says share local. Like it or not, more local news is coming to your News Feed. Mark Zuckerberg posted this week that in an effort to “turn down the temperature on the more divisive issues” shared online, Facebook will show more stories from local and regional news sources in your area. Zuckerberg expects news coverage to make up about 4 percent of the average user’s feed (down from the previous 5 percent). Emphasizing local publishers might help weed out fake news sites, but that “less divisive” part remains to be seen: any member of their area Nextdoor group can tell you that there’s no rage so pure as neighborhood pettiness rage. (via Recode)

Strava heat maps reveal sensitive information at home and abroad. Remember the end of last year when all those companies were doing their fun year-in-review recaps? Fitness app Strava got in on the action with heat maps showing user activity around the world. It’s a cool use of data, and mostly harmless—unless you’re the military and people can now figure out the locations of your bases and the workout (or patrol) routines of soldiers. The general lesson is always read that TOS, although in this case Strava doesn’t exactly make it easy to opt out or parse the details of its privacy options. Meanwhile, the US military is now reviewing their own security practices. (via the Verge)

Snapchat introduces BitMoji Deluxe

Snapchat introduces Bitmoji Deluxe. Good news, Bitmoji lovers: Snapchat will be adding customizable skin tones, hairstyles, hair colors, facial features and more to help you get your Bitmoji just right. You can basically be your own police sketch artist as you select the perfect style to reflect your fictional cartoon avatar. And Classic and Bitstrip styles will still be available, just in case Deluxe is a little bit too lifelike for you. After all, they’re your cartoon eyebrows… do whatever you want with ‘em. (via Snapchat)

Last week in technology…

How’s that industry-wide Spectre fix going? Not great, Bob! Microsoft has taken the unusual step of issuing a second out-of-cycle update, and this latest one actually disables Intel’s own buggy fixes that could cause random reboots and even data loss. Microsoft says this new update will prevent reboots, but users will have to manually download the fix. It didn’t seem like things could get much worse after we first learned about the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws. And yet… (via the Verge)

The not-so-Boring Company is selling this year’s hot-ticket item. See what we did there? Because yep, after selling out 50,000 baseball caps Elon Musk has promised something more exciting: fully functional branded flamethrowers (branded fire extinguisher sold separately). The $500 flamethrowers are already sold out, which means 20,000 internet randos now have the ability to shoot fire without adult supervision. So even if the Boring Company never gets around to tunnel work, Musk can always turn a profit in merchandising. Let’s see: lunchbox, breakfast cereal, flamethrower… that means a baby Musk doll must be next. (via Ars Technica)

Jeff Bezos, Gordon Ramsay and Cardi B walk into a bar… Move over, Doritos. For the second year in a row, Amazon is making a big play for Super Bowl ad time. This year’s gonzo celebration of Alexa features Cardi B, Gordon Ramsay, Rebel Wilson, Anthony Hopkins and even an appearance from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Sure, the celebrity choices are all over the map. And Jeff Bezos should hire this guy to play him instead. But it’s a cute concept and it beats sitting through yet another car commercial. Plus they’ve ironed out that whole “Alexa responds to TV ads” issue, so sit back and enjoy. (via Mashable)

Last week at Mindset Digital…

The Mindset Digital Podcast returned this past week. Weekly Roundup writer Matt Weiner joined our Creative Director Pete Brown to break down the phenomenon that is HQ Trivia, and we test out whether Google is fast enough to make a difference in the popular daily trivia game.

Thank you, Internet!


A “Human Uber” service debuted in Japan recently. The odd service straps a screen to a Human Uber’s face and allows you to live remotely using their body. The researchers who developed it call it the Chameleon Mask, and it is technically “physical and social telepresence using human surrogates.” I never wanted to be an Uber driver, but this seems much more interesting.

Matt Weiner and Pete Brown contributed to this week’s roundup.