June News Bytes

* Apple has recently confirmed a potential bug in iTunes. The issue was detected by some users who reported some of their locally stored music files were missing. After a blogger publicly accused Apple of deliberately deleting user music and replacing those files with DRM-encumbered versions, Apple made an official statement, stating that Apple has investigated the problem and developed a more secure iTunes update that would hopefully solve the problem. Apple also stated that the deletions were unintentional and that the circumstances under which the files went missing could not be reproduced to resolve the ‘mystery.’ The update was released in late May, and it appears the extra safeguards have been effective in preserving iTunes music files.

* Following accusations of suppressing conservative political viewpoints on its Trending Topics, Facebook has revealed insights on the inner workings of this popular feature. The accusation of political bias came in the tech blog Gizmodo, which based its assertion on the views of a single anonymous Facebook user. Despite questionable research and reporting on the part of that blog, Facebook responded by publicizing its methods of choosing and displaying Trending Topics, which uses a computerized algorithm and real people efforts. According to the social media outlet’s Vice President of Global Operations Justin Osofsky, the guidelines for determining what topics are trending ensure there is no political or ideological bias and display only what is most popular. Furthermore, different users will see different results in their Trending Topics sections, based on their own preferences and interests as determined by their internet activity.

* Google has released a new Gboard application, which fuses search capabilities with a soft keyboard. The app is designed for iOS mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. It allows users to perform searches without exiting programs in use. This reduces much awkward toggling between programs and allows users to easily find information they need and integrate it into the target program on their devices. The keyboard supports glide typing, so users can quickly input search terms, and the results display as a small card that does not obscure the entire screen. If needed, users can copy and paste items from the search results into other open programs and then easily exit out of the search. These searches using the Gboard app are executed simply by pressing the letter “G” on the keyboard, which also supports gifs and emojis.