Researchers are working on a lie detector to sniff out false tweets

Sure, some less-than-true statements on Twitter are innocuous, but the social media network’s vast audience means it has huge potential to spread inaccurate, even dangerous, information. Citing examples like the 2011 London riots and accusations of vote-rigging during Kenyan elections, researchers at the University of Sheffield have introduced the concept of a lie detector to analyze information shared on Twitter and other sites.

The EU-funded project, dubbed Pheme, will sort online rumors into four categories: speculation, controversy, misinformation and disinformation. Additionally, Pheme will evaluate sources to determine their authority; tweets from the BBC would hold more weight than an unverified user’s, for example. The system will also search for sources to confirm or deny information in a tweet, following social media conversations about a given topic to eventually determine what’s true and what’s false. Hypothetically, users would be able to view info about a rumor’s accuracy via a virtual dashboard.

To test out of the project, scientists will be running trials with the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London. Clearly, Pheme’s goal is to verify news on a national and even international scale — so your Twitter fibs about amazing weekend plans are safe, for now.

10 Things to Know About Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s New CEO

So it’s official: more than five months after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his intention to retire, he has a successor. Satya Nadella, the company’s executive VP of cloud and enterprise, was on lists of potential Ballmer replacements all along, and as higher-profile possibilities like Ford’s Alan Mulally fell off the roster, he went from apparent dark horse to leading candidate to the guy.

Here are some key tidbits to mull over as he gets ready to take on what may be the single most challenging gig in the tech industry.

1. He was born in Hyderabad, India. And moved to the U.S. after graduating from Manipal University. That an immigrant will run this most American of companies is an inspiring story in itself.

2. He’s a longtime Microsoft insider. Nadella joined the company in 1992 from onetime Silicon Valley icon Sun Microsystems; he’s been a Microsoftie for well over half the company’s existence.

3. He’s an engineer. Unlike Steve Ballmer, who was an assistant product manager at Procter & Gamble before joining Microsoft in 1980, Nadella started out as a technologist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Manipal University and a master’s in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

4. But also a business type. In addition to his technology-oriented degrees, he has a master’s in business administration from the University of Chicago.

5. He’s been promoted again and again. Among his other high-level positions before he was appointed executive vice president for the cloud and enterprise group last year: president of the server and tools business, senior VP of R&D for the online-services division, VP of the business division, senior VP of search, portal and advertising-platform group, VP of development for the business-solutions group, and general manager of consumer and commerce.

Satya Nadella Will Replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO

Microsoft released a video late Monday introducing the world to Satya Nadella, a 46-year-old who has been at the company for 22 years and is the man chosen to lead after Steve Ballmer’s exit.

“The one thing that I would say that defines me is  I love to learn,” Nadella said in his first interview as Microsoft’s chief. (He will be the technology giant’s third CEO ever.) “I get excited about new things. I buy more books than I read or finish.”

The appointment of Nadella, a native of Hyderabad, India, makes him the most powerful Indian-born tech executive in the world, according to Reuters. It also ends a months-long search that reportedly included such high-profile executives as Ford CEO Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

Nadella ran Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, where he was responsible for the firm’s ambitious “Cloud OS” effort to move software and storage from on-site computers to the Internet. Previously, Nadella was president of Microsoft’s $19 billion Server and Tools Business, where he’s credited with spearheading the company’s push toward cloud-computing. Over the last two decades Nadella has worked closely with Ballmer and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 from Sun Microsoystems, according to the company. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Now Nadella faces a stark set of challenges. Microsoft has struggled to keep up with Apple and Google in the booming mobile market. Despite pouring billions of dollars into mobile software and gadgets like the Surface tablet, the company has not been able to find a formula to compete successfully with Cupertino and Mountain View. Last fall, Microsoft announced a $7.2 billion deal to buy Nokia’s mobile phone business.

The latest U.S. mobile device and software market numbers underscore the uphill battle Microsoft faces. Microsoft’s mobile software accounts for a just 3.6% of the market, compared to 81% for Google’s Android platform and 12.9% for Apple’s iOS, according to research firm IDC. And Nokia is nowhere to be found on IDC’s list of the top global smart phone manufacturers, which is dominated by Samsung and Apple.