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Google shaking up smartphone search recommendations

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Google is about to change the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones in a shift that’s expected to sway where millions of people shop, eat and find information. The revised formula, scheduled to be released Tuesday, will favor websites that Google defines as “mobile-friendly.” Websites that don’t fit the description will be demoted in Google’s search results on smartphones while those meeting the criteria will be more likely to appear at the top of the rankings —…

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Freakonomics: Can computers replace journalists?

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New software developed by computer science and journalism professors at Northwestern University, and licensed and distributed by Narrative Science of Evanston, Ill., may be bad news for some writers.  The software can generate news stories from hard data inputs.  ”There’s no human author and no human editing,” says Stuart Frankel, Narrative Science’s CEO. “But the stories sound really good.”  So far, the software has been applied primarily to sports statistics, but Frankel sees applications in medicine, crime and finance as well.…

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