Stories by Ina Fried

The pitfalls of online personalization

Stranger things compilation. Several pictures of the main characters.
A Netflix orginal series, "Stranger Things." Photo: Netflix.

Concern over how Netflix tweaks promos for individual users — recently reignited by a Twitter thread questioning if race and gender are being targeted — highlights the challenges internet companies face when deciding just how much to personalize their services.

Why it matters: Netflix says its artwork personalization algorithms aren't based on race, ethnicity, gender or location, but on a user's viewing behavior. However, it's hard to say if viewers' preferences on genres or even minority actors have been picked up by algorithms that then personalize promotional artwork.

Apple to introduce more hardware at Oct. 30 event in New York

Apple invitation
Photo: Apple

Apple, which recently debuted new versions of its iPhone and Apple Watch, has announced that it's hosting an event on Oct. 30 in New York to showcase its new hardware, including what it has in store for the holidays.

What to watch: The company is widely expected to introduce an iPad that, like recent iPhones, drops the fingerprint-sensing home button in favor of FaceID and an all-screen design. Other possible introductions include a rumored MacBook Air replacement as well as its delayed AirPower wireless charging mat.