China To Build Giant Facial Recognition Database To Identify Any Citizen Within Seconds

from SCMP The goal is for the system to able to match someone’s face to their ID photo with about 90 per cent accuracy. The project, launched by the Ministry of Public Security in 2015, is under development in conjunction with a security company based in Shanghai. The system can be connected to surveillance camera networks and will use cloud facilities to connect with data storage and processing centres distributed across the country, according to people familiar with the project. However, some researchers said it was unclear when the system would be completed, as the development was encountering many difficulties […]

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How Americans Really Feel About Facebook, Apple, And More

from The Verge This year marked a sea change in our attitude toward tech’s largest players — and not for the better. Facebook, with a user base twice the size of the Western Hemisphere, seems to be in the midst of an identity crisis: CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent much of 2017 on a national tour that The New York Times billed as a “real-world education.” Meanwhile, the platform has become embroiled in a national debate that started with fake news and has evolved into an investigation into how the Russian government weaponized the network to influence the 2016 presidential election. […]

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Apple Does Right By Users And Advertisers Are Displeased

from EFF With the new Safari 11 update, Apple takes an important step to protect your privacy, specifically how your browsing habits are tracked and shared with parties other than the sites you visit. In response, Apple is getting criticized by the advertising industry for “destroying the Internet’s economic model.” While the advertising industry is trying to shift the conversation to what they call the economic model of the Internet, the conversation must instead focus on the indiscriminate tracking of users and the violation of their privacy. When you browse the web, you might think that your information only lives […]

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Co-Parenting With Alexa

from NYTs You are going to have a chance to play with Alexa,” I told my daughter, Grace, who’s 3 years old. Pointing at the black cylindrical device, I explained that the speaker, also known as the Amazon Echo, was a bit like Siri but smarter. “You can ask it anything you want,” I said nonchalantly. Grace leaned forward toward the speaker. “Hello, Alexa, my name is Gracie,” she said. “Will it rain today?” The turquoise rim glowed into life. “Currently, it is 60 degrees,” a perky female voice answered, assuring her it wouldn’t rain. Over the next hour, Grace […]

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Small Businesses In Sweden Try To Adapt To A World Without Cash

from WaPo Sweden is serious about becoming a cashless society. How serious? Even the Abba Museum no longer accepts cash. Now that is serious. Some researchers are predicting that cash there will be a “very marginal payment form” by 2020. Things are definitely trending in that direction. According to this BBC report, less than 20 percent of retailers now use cash. That’s half what it was just five years ago. Everywhere from public transit to tourist attractions — yes, even the Abba Museum — have also gone cashless. Since the government and banking officials announced their plans to reduce bank notes […]

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Waymo vs. Uber: Unsealed Court Documents Reveal Damning Evidence

from The Verge The due diligence report that Uber fought so hard to keep from being used in its legal battle with Waymo and Alphabet was made public on Monday — and it’s easy to see why Uber resisted as hard as it did. The document, prepared by cybersecurity firm Stroz Friedberg as part of Uber’s acquisition of self-driving trucking startup Otto, describes a thorough forensic review of personal devices belonging to five people at Otto, including the much-embattled Anthony Levandowski, who earlier this year attempted to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid turning over documents in the case. The […]

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Google Updates Policy on News Pay Walls. ‘First Click Free’ to End.

from NYTs Publications like The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and The New York Times have long asked readers to pay for access to online articles. But many reading this article online are probably familiar with an easy workaround: Plug a search term or headline into Google, and voilà! Free access to articles normally locked behind pay walls. That digital sleight of hand is great for inquisitive readers, but bad for the publishers that are increasingly dependent on subscription dollars for survival. So now, in an acknowledgment of this industrywide strategy shift, Google is working on new tools that […]

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Learning Curve

from Medium We’re in the midst of the most important shift in civilization since the invention of the steam engine?—?the pervasive application of intelligence into every aspect of the world. My goal today is to equip you with the tools you need for thinking about a world of pervasive intelligence, because that will describe both the sorts of investments you will be presented with, and the overall environment within which you will make those investments. So without further ado, let’s Go… More here.

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Why You Should Be Using a Password Manager

from iThemes Every few weeks, we hear the news that another major website has been hacked. Often these hacks mean your personal information has also been compromised. In this post, we cover the important reasons for why you should use a password manager to protect your online identity, and how to get started with LastPass, a free password manager. More here.

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Apple’s Use of Face Recognition in the New iPhone: Implications

from ACLU Apple unveiled its new iPhone X Tuesday, and it will include extensive face recognition capabilities. Face recognition (as I have discussed) is one of the more dangerous biometrics from a privacy standpoint, because it can be leveraged for mass tracking across society. But Apple has a proven record of achieving widespread acceptance for technologies that it incorporates into its phones. So what are we to think of this new deployment? The first question is whether the technology will be successful. Face and iris recognition technology incorporated into some other phones (such as Samsung’s) has widely been seen as […]

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Combating Sexism in Tech With Honesty: The Impact of Upload’s Silence

from Medium I was the Creative Producer at Upload until most of the Upload San Francisco staff and I quit after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against its founders. We used to love Upload for its reach and ambition, but our trust in the company has faltered since our departure. These are my thoughts on bro culture in tech and the impact of Upload’s silence. Upload jump-started my career and made me feel welcome when I moved to San Francisco by myself. Will and Taylor treated me extremely well, and I once viewed them as both my mentors and […]

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Your Artificial Intelligence Is Not Bias-Free

from Forbes Machines have no emotions. So, they must be objective — right? Not so fast. A new wave of algorithmic issues has recently hit the news, bringing the bias of AI into greater focus. The question now is not just whether we should allow AI to replace humans in industry, but how to prevent these tools from further perpetrating race and gender biases that are harmful to society if and when they do. First, a look at bias itself. Where do machines get it, and how can it be avoided? The answer is not as simple as it seems. To […]

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The Equifax Hack And How To Protect Your Family — All Explained In 5 Minutes

from freeCodeCamp In 1989, the US government decided to concentrate our most sensitive data in the hands of three giant finance corporations: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These three corporations now store our biographic information, every address we’ve ever lived at, and every major financial transaction we’ve ever made — all so they can assign us a FICO credit score. And one of these companies just got hacked. On September 8, Equifax announced what is now the worst data breach in history. And yes — you are most likely a victim of it. Here’s how this whole disaster unfolded. More here.

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A Hardware Privacy Monitor for iPhones

from Schneier on Security Andrew “bunnie” Huang and Edward Snowden have designed a hardware device that attaches to an iPhone and monitors it for malicious surveillance activities, even in instances where the phone’s operating system has been compromised. They call it an Introspection Engine, and their use model is a journalist who is concerned about government surveillance: Our introspection engine is designed with the following goals in mind: More here.

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Every Business is a Technology Business

from HuffPo According to Gartner, global IT spending is projected to reach $3.5 trillion in 2017. Data Center Systems represent $171 billion spend in 2017. The explosion of data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices and video streaming has created a great demand for bandwidth in data centers. Data center trends and focus areas on bundling of 25GbE bundles up to 100GbE speeds, big data analytics, higher port densities, and power efficiency is driving the next generation data center architectures. In a digital economy, businesses today expect reliable, flexible, and secure data center systems with purpose-driven innovation for greatest business […]

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The Walls Are Closing In On Tech Giants

from Axios Tech behemoths Google, Facebook and Amazon are feeling the heat from the far-left and the far-right, and even the center is starting to fold. Why it matters: Criticism over the companies’ size, culture and overall influence in society is getting louder as they infiltrate every part of our lives. Though it’s mostly rhetoric rather than action at the moment, that could change quickly in the current political environment. Here’s a breakdown of the three biggest fights they’re facing. More here.

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Europe Is Developing Offensive Cyber Capabilities. The United States Should Pay Attention.

from Net Politics It is no surprise that the United States and its European allies are looking to integrate offensive cyber capabilities as part of their military operations. Last year, the Pentagon boasted about dropping “cyber bombs” on the self-declared Islamic State group. France and the United Kingdom have built similar capabilities, as have smaller European states, such as Denmark, Sweden, Greece and the Netherlands. Unfortunately, as NATO members rush to build their capabilities, they will quickly have to confront challenging trade-offs. Cyberweapons—or specifically the vulnerabilities they exploit—tend to be single use weapons: once a defender or vendor identifies a […]

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Robots Aren’t Human. You Only Make Them So

from Wired IF A ROBOT were to look at you with a twinkle in its eye, you wouldn’t be blamed for running away in terror. But that plunge into the uncanny valley doesn’t bother Max Aguilera-Hellweg, who’s been photographing anthropomorphic bots since 2010. “I’ve never found myself afraid of any of them,” he says. In fact, he’d love for his subjects to appear more lifelike. A student of anatomy—Aguilera-­Hellweg graduated from med school at 48—he looks for “the right angle to find that bit of humanness.” But the point of his new book, Humanoid, isn’t to terrify you. It’s to […]

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Canada Tries to Turn Its A.I. Ideas Into Dollars

from NYTs Long before Google started working on cars that drive themselves and Amazon was creating home appliances that talk, a handful of researchers in Canada — backed by the Canadian government and universities — were laying the groundwork for today’s boom in artificial intelligence. But the center of the commercial gold rush has been a long way away, in Silicon Valley. In recent years, many of Canada’s young A.I. scientists, lured by lucrative paydays from Google, Facebook, Apple and other companies, have departed. Canada is producing a growing number of A.I start-ups, but they often head to California, where […]

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23 Things Artificially Intelligent Computers Can Do Better/Faster/Cheaper Than You Can

from Seth’s Blog Predict the weather Read an X-ray Play Go Correct spelling Figure out the P&L of a large company Pick a face out of a crowd Count calories Fly a jet across the country Maintain the temperature of your house Book a flight Give directions Create an index for a book Play Jeopardy Weld a metal seam Trade stocks Place online ads Figure out what book to read next Water a plant Monitor a premature newborn Detect a fire Play poker Read documents in a lawsuit Sort packages If you’ve seen enough movies, you’ve probably bought into the homunculus […]

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