Hashtag Trending – Seniors love Alexa, terrible-looking websites, and Google changes algorithm

A new report says seniors enjoy the benefits of voice-assistants like Alexa, another report highlights the websites that don’t know what they’re doing, and Google is changing its search algorithm to prioritize original news reporting.

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A new study from the MIT Technology Review says people need to kick the stereotype that seniors are bad with tech to the curb. Older adults are embracing voice assistants as helpful tools in their daily lives, and MIT says it’s a huge untapped market. The report goes on to say that seniors use it for everything from daily tasks to chatting friends. On LinkedIn, many suggest voice tech helps seniors and gives them more meaningful lives, while critics think it could pose a privacy threat for a vulnerable population.

Also trending on LinkedIn is a report that says finance companies’ websites are more difficult to read than the 1851 novel Moby Dick. The report, by software company VisibleThread, said websites of investment firms suffer from low readability, excessive use of passive voice, long sentences and complex word use, the report found. The firms that scored highest in website readability were Vanguard, Federated Investors and Putnam Investments. At the bottom of the list: BlackRock, BNY Mellon Investment Management and Santander Asset Management.

And lastly, Redditors are talking a lot about how Google is changing its search algorithm to prioritize original news reporting. Google says it has distributed new instructions to its army of 10,000+ human reviewers, whose feedback helps train the Google algorithm that actually delivers search rankings.The tech giant also said there is no absolute definition of original reporting, nor is there an absolute standard for establishing how original a given article is. Google says it can mean different things to different newsrooms and publishers at different times, so, quote, “our efforts will constantly evolve as we work to understand the life cycle of a story.”

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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