Facebook updates PyTorch with a focus on production use

During last year’s F8 developer conference, Facebook announced the 1.0 launch of PyTorch, the company’s open-source deep learning platform. At this year’s F8, the company launched version 1.1. The small increase in version numbers belies the importance of this release, which focuses on making the tool more appropriate for production usage, including improvements to how the tool handles distributed training.
“What we’re seeing with PyTorch is an incredible moment internally at Facebook to ship it and then an echo of that externally with large companies,” Joe Spisak, Facebook AI’s product manager for PyTorch, told me. “Make no mistake, we’re not trying to monetize PyTorch […] but we want to see PyTorch have a community. And that community is starting to shift from a very research-centric community — and that continues to grow fast — into the production world.”
So with this release, the team and the more than 1,000 open-source committers that


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Facebook is the new crapware

Welcome to 2019 where we learn Facebook is the new crapware.
Sorry #DeleteFacebook, you never stood a chance.
Yesterday Bloomberg reported that the scandal-beset social media behemoth has inked an unknown number of agreements with Android smartphone makers, mobile carriers and OSes around the world to not only pre-load Facebook’s eponymous app on hardware but render the software undeleteable; a permanent feature of your device, whether you like how the company’s app can track your every move and digital action or not.
Bloomberg spoke to a U.S. owner of a Samsung Galaxy S8 who, after reading forum discussions about Samsung devices, found his own pre-loaded Facebook app could not be removed. It could only be “disabled”, with no explanation available to him as to what exactly that meant.
The Galaxy S8 retailed for $725+ when it went on sale in the U.S. two years ago.
A Facebook spokesperson told Bloomberg that a disabled permanent app doesn’t continue


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Facebook open sources PyText NLP framework

Facebook AI Research is open sourcing some of the conversational AI tech it is using to power its Portal video chat display and M suggestions on Facebook Messenger.
The company announced today that its PyTorch-based PyText NLP framework is now available to developers.
Natural language processing deals with how systems parse human language and are able to make decisions and derive insights. The PyText framework, which the company sees as a conduit for AI researchers to move more quickly between experimentation and deployment will be particularly useful for tasks like document classification, sequence tagging, semantic parsing and multitask modeling, among others, Facebook says.
The company has built the framework to fit pretty seamlessly into research and production workflows with an emphasis on robustness and low-latency to meet the company’s real-time NLP needs. The product is responsible for models powering more than a billion daily predictions at Facebook.

Another big highlight is the framework’s modularity, allowing it


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Here’s how to find out if your Facebook was hacked in the breach

Are you one of the 30 million users hit by Facebook’s access token breach announced two weeks ago? Here’s how to find out.

Facebook breach saw 15M users’ names & contact info accessed, 14M’s bios too

Visit this Facebook Help center link while logged in: https://www.facebook.com/help/securitynotice?ref=sec.
Scroll down to the section “Is my Facebook account impacted by this security issue?”
Here you’ll see a Yes or No answer to whether your account was one of the 30 million users impacted. Those affected will also receive a warning like this atop their News Feed:
If Yes, you’ll be in one of three categories:
A. You’re in the 15 million users’ whose name plus email and/or phone number was accessed.
B. You’re in the 14 million users’ who had that data plus account bio data accessed including “username, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birthdate, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places they


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A Look at Facebook’s Use of Systemd

At an event this month (you can find the video of it here), Davide Cavalca, a production engineer at Facebook, spoke about the growing adoption of systemd at the data centers of the company. From a report: Facebook continues making use of systemd’s many features inside their data centers. Some of their highlights for systemd use in 2018 includes: Facebook’s servers have been relying on systemd for about the past two years. Facebook is using CentOS 7 everywhere from hosts to containers. While relying on CentOS 7, Facebook backports a lot of packages including new systemd releases, Meson, other dependencies, and of course new Linux kernel releases. Facebook is working on “pystemd” as a Python (Cython) wrapper on top of SD-BUS.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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Facebook API changes mean you can no longer cross-post from Twitter

Twitter users can no longer automatically cross-post to Facebook. The restriction has come about after Facebook made changes to the way third parties are able to make use of its APIs. It means that Twitter users who have connected their Facebook account to make it easier to post the same content on both services via Facebook Login can’t have their tweets automatically posted to Facebook. The — rather unsatisfactory — solution from Twitter is simply copy the URL of a tweet, and this can then be manually posted to Facebook. See also: Facebook wants you to stop using it so… [Continue Reading]


Original URL: https://betanews.com/2018/08/02/twitter-facebook-crossposts-stop/

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Facebook Deleted 583 Million Fake Accounts in the First Three Months of 2018

Facebook said Tuesday that it had removed more than half a billion fake accounts and millions of pieces of other violent, hateful or obscene content over the first three months of 2018. From a report: In a blog post on Facebook, Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management, said the social network disabled about 583 million fake accounts during the first three months of this year — the majority of which, it said, were blocked within minutes of registration. That’s an average of over 6.5 million attempts to create a fake account every day from Jan. 1 to March 31. Facebook boasts 2.2 billion monthly active users, and if Facebook’s AI tools didn’t catch these fake accounts flooding the social network, its population would have swelled immensely in just 89 days.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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Facebook Gave Data About 57 Billion Friendships To Academic

Before Facebook suspended Aleksandr Kogan from its platform for the data harvesting “scam” at the centre of the unfolding Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social media company enjoyed a close enough relationship with the researcher that it provided him with an anonymised, aggregate dataset of 57bn Facebook friendships. From a report: Facebook provided the dataset of “every friendship formed in 2011 in every country in the world at the national aggregate level” to Kogan’s University of Cambridge laboratory for a study on international friendships published in Personality and Individual Differences in 2015. Two Facebook employees were named as co-authors of the study, alongside researchers from Cambridge, Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. Kogan was publishing under the name Aleksandr Spectre at the time. A University of Cambridge press release on the study’s publication noted that the paper was “the first output of ongoing research collaborations between Spectre’s lab in Cambridge


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Facebook Open Sources Its Network Routing Platform Open/R

Facebook will open source its modular network routing software Open/R, currently used in its backbone and data center networks, which “provides a platform to disseminate state across the network and allows new applications to be built on top of it.” An anonymous reader quotes TechCrunch:
Facebook obviously has unique scale needs when it comes to running a network. It has billions of users doing real-time messaging and streaming content at a constant clip. As with so many things, Facebook found that running the network traffic using traditional protocols had its limits and it needed a new way to route traffic that didn’t rely on the protocols of the past, Omar Baldonado, Engineering Director at Facebook explained… While it was originally developed for Facebook’s Terragraph wireless backhaul network, the company soon recognized it could work on other networks too including the Facebook network backbone, and even in the middle of Facebook network,


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