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The Top Tech Billionaires Got Richer in 2019, Except for One

The richest 20 tech billionaires have all seen massive additions to their net worth in 2019, with one notable exception, Business Insider reports. Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, had a costly divorce that has dented his net worth, but he's still at the top of the billionaire pile.


Advertisers Follow Their Audience to Mobile

Fifty-four percent of search ad spending went to mobile platforms in Q3, as advertisers followed the audience migration from desktop to mobile devices, according to a study that marketing technology firm Kenshoo shared with Mobile Marketer. Mobile made up 88 percent of total social media ad spending and more than 70 percent of all paid search impressions in the quarter were on mobile devices.


Google Will Stop Indexing Flash Content in Search


Google sidelined Flash in Chrome over the past few years. Now, Google Search will soon stop indexing Flash content on the web, making it that much harder for users to find it, ZDNet reports. Google plans to fully remove Flash support from Chrome in December.


Kids' Video Screen Time Has Doubled 


A new report says more than twice as many young people watch videos every day as did four years ago, and the average time spent watching videos—mostly on YouTube—has roughly doubled, to an hour each day, the Washington Post writes. The report, based on a survey released Tuesday by Common Sense Media, found that overall screen time among young people hasn’t changed much since 2015.


Creating Great Visuals for Social Media


Facebook posts with photos get more likes and comments, LinkedIn posts with images have a 98 percent higher comment rate, and Tweets that include visual content are three times more likely to get engagement. Clearly, the importance of creating visual content for social media cannot be overstated, Hootsuite says. But what are the keys to creating engaging visual content on social media?


Google's Bare-Bones Experiment

An experimental Google app called Desert Island replaces the colorful grid of app icons on home screens with just their names in black text. Only seven must-use apps appear on the main screen, Fast Company reports. By stripping down the home screen to its essentials, Desert Island asks users to reconsider what they’re really hoping to accomplish when taking out their phones.


New Basic iPad Delivers at a Lower Price


The new iPad is one of Apple's most un-Apple products—it's the only one that sees Apple racing to the bottom on price. There are compromises here in both design and performance compared to the rest of the lineup, though it is an indisputable step up on both fronts compared to last year's base iPad, Ars Technica reports.


The Best State for Online Privacy: California

Laws governing online privacy vary widely from state to state. To find out how each U.S. state ranks from least to most private, Comparitech evaluated each one of them based on 20 key criteria. California ranked No. 1 and Wyoming brought up the rear. New York was in the middle of the pack.


The Spread of Social Media Manipulation

Organized social media manipulation has more than doubled since 2017, with 70 countries using computational propaganda to manipulate public opinion, according to a new report from the Oxford Internet Institute. The report explores the tools, capacities, strategies and resources employed by global “cyber troops,” typically government agencies and political parties, to influence public opinion.


Rats at the Wheel


To study cognitive abilities in rats, scientists at the University of Richmond built a tiny hot rod for rats to drive to food, CNet reports. Whenever the rats touched and drove the plastic car forward, they were rewarded with Froot Loops. It turns out that rat drivers actually can steer a car—so long as they get their Froot Loops.