I am pleased to announce via this post that my new app News4Me is available for pre-order now, with first available downloads scheduled for April 1, 2017. I started this Web Site on a shoestring, and have not yet built in the logistical capabilities to enable online ordering. I will do that by April 1, but to accommodate the massive numbers of people who will no doubt be clamoring to get this app as soon as possible, I am allowing preorders to be secured by entering your email address at the end of this post and clicking Submit.
News4Me is designed to provide a stream of simple, straightforward news, stripped of all opinion and commentary — as Sgt. Friday of the old Dragnet TV series would say, “Just the facts, Ma’am”. Initial testing of the prototype version was quite a challenge because hardly any content passed through the original versions of the app’s screening algorithms. This initial release, however, consistently produces 2 to 5 minutes of video and about a half page of text on weekdays. On weekends, output goes down to about 1 to 2 minutes of video and a few sentences of text.
News4Me applies a highly sophisticated set of algorithms to media news feeds to distinguish between simple facts and biased interpretations of those facts. For the same reason that Google closely guards the algorithms that made its search engine the Gold Standard, I must do the same with the details of the algorithms that drive News4Me. Just to show the power of News4Me, however, I can describe some of the concepts on which the algorithms are based. The following rules, listed here as a few examples just to show the tremendous power of News4Me‘s algorithms, are among the many screening algorithms in News4Me:
- Screen images that contain both channel and/or program logos of news organizations across the bottom of the screen and one person’s image, but also with any words in his/her narrative like “I think”, “some are claiming”, “alleged”, “undisclosed sources say”, “protesters”, “the left”, “the right”, etc. [these are just examples — this is a very long list].
- Screen images that contain both channel and/or program logos of news organizations across the bottom of the screen and more than one person at a desk or counter [clearly a “panel of experts” expressing their opinions].
- Screen images that contain multiple people, at least one of whom is carrying a placard [clearly a demonstration].
- Sound tracks that have multiple people talking at one time [clearly a poorly-moderated panel discussion].
- All re-Tweets [obviously just a supportive or rebutting remark about the original Tweet].
Features In This Initial Release
Most of the major sources of both news and fake news will be included in News4Me‘s input feed, including the following:
- Broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.
- Cable channels CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and PBS.
- Cable channels CNBC and Fox Business Channel [business and financial focus].
- Web sites, FaceBook pages and Twitter feeds of all of the above sources, plus those of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.
Adjustments That Will Be Made By July 1, 2017
Based on feedback from users, we will make any modifications to News4Me‘s algorithms that appear to be warranted.
Additional Features Under Consideration
- Bias profiles, allowing users willing to recognize their own biases to codify them and set News4Me to stream to them only news that is biased toward their own views. [For some more depth into how this will work, see my post Binary Party Affiliation Choices — We Need Something Better].
- The ability for users to permanently filter out news sources that consistently fail to produce any content that passes News4Me‘s built-in filters.
I am confident that widespread use of this app will, over time, result in a better-informed population, and it has been my pleasure to develop it as a service to my country. All profits from sales of this $1.00 app will be donated to charities that enhance quality of life for all mankind.
[For pre-orders, enter your email address below and click Submit]
Charles M. Jones