Tech round-up for May 16: LG giving away TVs, Far Cry 5 sputters, Facebook's transparency report, mixing music online

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, LG really wants you to get a G7 smartphone, Ubisoft travels to Montana with Far Cry 5, Facebook’s first transparency report, and a website lets you mix music.

LG giving away a free TV with every preorder of a G7 smartphone

In an effort to spark sales of its new G7 ThinQ handset, LG is giving away TVs.

The limited time offer is available between May 18 and 31. The smartphone is being released on June 1.

After completing the online claim form, you’ll be able to take your proof of preorder purchase to a participating retailer to get your smart TV. You’ll have until July 31 to claim the bonus.

The screen that LG is offering up is a 43-inch, 4K television that supports high dynamic range. It’s got a retail value of $600.

Far Cry 5’s fits and starts in Big Sky Country

Ubisoft’s latest instalment in the Far Cry series is set in Montana and hinges on a religious cult. While the mechanics of the game are fun, the narrative leaves something to be desired. In trying to tease out the complexity around point of view and perspective, Far Cry 5 ends up being a bit silly.

I’d contrast what I think the developers were trying to do with the six-episode documentary, Wild Wild Country, airing on Netflix, which details the true-life story of the Rajneeshees and their attempt to create a community in Oregon.

Facebook reports on how bad the conversations really are

Facebook is trying to regain some credibility with the first Facebook Transparency Report, something the company says will become standard operating procedure.

The first report is another eye opener. More than 800 million posts were deleted in the first three months of this year, 2.5 million of which were related to hate speech, 1.9 million were considered to be terrorist propaganda, and 3.4 million contained graphic violence.

Most of the content removed from Facebook was considered to be spam.

The report also shows that Facebook deleted 583 million fake accounts in the first quarter of 2018.

Facebook is mostly using computers to do the screening, and the company says part of the problem is that the AI being used are not able to comprehend nuanced language.

None of this has anything to do with protecting the personal information of Facebook users, though, which is what the recent scandals have been about. That remains your responsibility, it seems.

Website demonstrates creative experiment with sound and music

The website In B Flat has been around for nearly ten years, but I’ve just discovered it. The Internet can be an amazing place.

It was created by musician and composer Darren Solomon, and the conceit was simple. He asked people to submit videos of them playing music in the key of B flat.

He chose 20 submissions, then he assembled them in a grid of embedded YouTube videos.

Each video is a performance on a different instrument with its own tempo. There’s a Nintendo DS, guitars, a clarinet, keyboards, a muted trumpet, a violin, and even a toy horn.

When played together they create a soundscape that is absolutely unique.

Because of the curating that Solomon performed, visitors to the site can click on the links in any order and at anytime, even adjusting the volume of the different videos, to create a unique mix of music.

You’ll lose hours playing around at the site, but here’s one person’s arrangement so you can get the idea.

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