Handcuffing Cities to Help Telecom Giants

from Backchannel It’s good to be one of the handful of companies controlling data transmission in America. It’s even better?—?from their perspective?—?to avoid oversight. And it’s best of all to be a carrier that gets government to actually stop existing oversight. The stagnant telecommunications industry in America has long pursued the second of those goals?—?avoiding oversight, or even long-range thinking that would favor the interests of all other businesses and all other Americans over those of AT&T, Verizon, Charter, and Comcast?—?by proclaiming that there is something really magnificent coming any day now from the industry that will make anything regulators […]

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I Wuv You Wobot!

from kottke Rayna is a small child who thinks this hot water heater looks like a robot and she is determined to say hi to it and tell it that she loves it. THIS IS THE CUTEST THING OF ALL TIME THAT IS NOT THAT PHOTO OF OTTERS HOLDING HANDS SO THEY DON’T DRIFT AWAY FROM EACH OTHER WHILE SLEEPING. In the future, when humanity is on trial for the mistreatment of machines, our randomly assigned legal algorithm will introduce this video as Exhibit A in our defense. I like our chances. More here.

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Elon Musk Is Setting Up A Company That Will Link Brains And Computers

from ars technica Billionaire futurist space explorer Elon Musk has a new project: a “medical research company” called Neuralink that will make brain-computer interfaces. Musk’s projects are frequently inspired by science fiction, and this one is a direct reference to a device called a “neural lace,” invented by the late British novelist Iain M. Banks for his Culture series. In those books, characters grow a semi-organic mesh on their cerebral cortexes, which allows them to interface wirelessly with AIs and create backups of their minds. Having a neural lace, in Banks’ fiction, makes people essentially immortal—if they die, they’re revived from […]

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Five New Human Rights For The Digital Age

from Medium Here are some core human rights that I humbly suggest might form part of a what I like to call a Digital Ethics Manifesto: 1. The right to remain natural, i.e. ‘merely’ biological and organic. We must continue to have the choice to exist in an unaugmented state. We need to retain the right to work or be employed, use public services, buy things, and function in society without the need to deploy technology with, on or — most importantly — inside our bodies. Various expressions of what I like to call #WiredOrFired — fears are already an issue […]

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How Not To Freak Out About Cyber War

from The New Yorker In 2007, Admiral Mike McConnell, the wonky former head of the National Security Agency, became the director of National Intelligence, and soon discovered that many senior American officials were not remotely prepared for the advent of digital warfare. (Less than a year earlier, Senator Ted Stevens, of Alaska, who chaired the main Senate committee that regulates the Internet, had described the Web as a “series of tubes.”) To grab his peers’ attention, McConnell adopted the intelligence community’s version of a party trick: when visiting a Cabinet officer, he would pull out a copy of a memo […]

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Police Falsely Told A Man He Couldn’t Film Them. ‘I’m An Attorney,’ He Said. ‘I Know What The Law Is.’

from WaPo One of the first things Jesse Bright did after being pulled over by police on a recent Sunday afternoon was turn on his phone and begin filming. Bright was driving for Uber to make some extra cash, but he works full-time as criminal defense attorney in North Carolina. As a lawyer, he said, he believes strongly that when people record their interactions with police, it helps reduce confusion if their cases end up in court. As he aimed his phone in the direction of officers and recorded, Bright was surprised to hear Wilmington police Sgt. Kenneth Becker tell […]

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Those Jobs Are Gone Forever. Let’s Gear Up For What’s Next.

from freeCodeCamp Manufacturing jobs were a huge part of America’s post-World War II economic miracle. In the early 1980’s, 20 million Americans worked in factories, assembling consumer products like cars and appliances. Well, what happened after that? There are two narratives here. The shorter story arc is about globalization. American corporations moved all the old manufacturing jobs off-shore to relatively poor countries that still had OK education systems (like China). This is the story that most people think of when they realize that, as of 2017, your average high school graduate can no longer own a home and raise a […]

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Amazon Says Your Alexa Recordings Are Protected By The First Amendment

from BuzzFeed News Amazon is turning to the First Amendment to support its refusal to give law enforcement recordings and responses captured by the Alexa voice assistant on an Amazon Echo speaker that may help police solve a murder case. After James Bates was charged with murdering his colleague Victor Collins in Walmart’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas in November 2015, police issued a search warrant for the contents of Bates’ Echo speaker. But Amazon has fired back with a 90-page brief contending that the records Alexa collected are protected free speech. Forbes has reproduced the document in full. Bates also owned an LG […]

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Inside Facebook’s AI Machine

from Backchannel When asked to head Facebook’s Applied Machine Learning group?—?to supercharge the world’s biggest social network with an AI makeover?—?Joaquin Quiñonero Candela hesitated.https://blog.shannonweb.net/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=sharing&action=request&service=twitter&kr_nonce=5ea8b30ae5&refresh=1&for=publicize&nonce=695d4d579e It was not that the Spanish-born scientist, a self-described “machine learning (ML) person,” hadn’t already witnessed how AI could help Facebook. Since joining the company in 2012, he had overseen a transformation of the company’s ad operation, using an ML approach to make sponsored posts more relevant and effective. Significantly, he did this in a way that empowered engineers in his group to use AI even if they weren’t trained to do so, making the ad division […]

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The New York Times Claws Its Way Into The Future

from Wired ARTHUR GREGG SULZBERGER doesn’t remember the first time he visited the family business. He was young, he says, no older than 6, when he shuffled through the brass-plated revolving doors of the old concrete hulk on 43rd Street and boarded the elevator up to his father’s and grandfather’s offices. He often visited for a few minutes before taking a trip to the newsroom on the third floor, all typewriters and moldering stacks of paper, and then he’d sometimes go down to the subbasement to take in the oily scents and clanking sounds of the printing press. This was the early […]

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How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking

from Wired IN THE SPACE of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.  In many ways, this was all my fault. My accounts were daisy-chained together. Getting into Amazon let my hackers get into my Apple ID account, which helped them get into Gmail, which gave […]

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A Battle Rages For The Future Of The Web

from ars technica The W3C, led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, looks set to standardise DRM-enabling Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) in browsers, a move that betrays the founding principles of the open Web. When Berners-Lee invented the Web, he gave it away. His employer at the time, CERN, licensed the patents royalty-free for anyone to use. An open architecture that supported the free flow of information for all made it what it is today. But that openness is under assault, and Berners-Lee’s support for standardising EME, a browser API that enables DRM (digital rights/restrictions management) for media playback, has provoked a raging battle within the […]

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The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet. It’s The End Of The Middle Class

from Wired IN FEBRUARY 1975, a group of geneticists gathered in a tiny town on the central coast of California to decide if their work would bring about the end of the world. These researchers were just beginning to explore the science of genetic engineering, manipulating DNA to create organisms that didn’t exist in nature, and they were unsure how these techniques would affect the health of the planet and its people. So, they descended on a coastal retreat called Asilomar, a name that became synonymous with the guidelines they laid down at this meeting—a strict ethical framework meant to ensure […]

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Spyware’s Odd Targets: Backers of Mexico’s Soda Tax

from NYTs Last summer, Dr. Simón Barquera’s phone started buzzing with a series of disturbing text messages from unknown numbers. One said his daughter had been in a serious accident. Another claimed to be from a friend whose father had died — with a link to funeral details. Yet another message informed Dr. Barquera, the director of nutrition policy at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, that a Mexican news outlet had accused him of negligence, again with a link. And in more menacing messages, someone claimed to be sleeping with Dr. Barquera’s wife. That included a link to what […]

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University Attacked By Its Own Vending Machines, Smart Light Bulbs & 5,000 IOT Devices

from Network World Today’s cautionary tale comes from Verizon’s sneak peek (pdf) of the 2017 Data Breach Digest scenario. It involves an unnamed university, seafood searches, and an IoT botnet; hackers used the university’s own vending machines and other IoT devices to attack the university’s network. Since the university’s help desk had previously blown off student complaints about slow or inaccessible network connectivity, it was a mess by the time a senior member of the IT security team was notified. The incident is given from that team member’s perspective; he or she suspected something fishy after detecting a sudden big interest […]

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Does Your School Need Better Technology Or Better Thinking?

from TeachThought Using technology to enhance learning is an incredibly exciting idea, and as an area of education is growing fast. Blended learning, mobile learning, connectivism, and other increasingly popular ideas all owe their existence to technology. But the reality in the majority of public schools in the United States is less than cutting edge. While there is little data available to pinpoint exactly what is being done where, five of the more common applications of technology in the classroom appear below. The unfortunate reality here is that in lieu of significant progress in how technology is used in the […]

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Who Will Lead In The Smart Machine Age?©

from Forbes We are on the brink of a technology tsunami that will likely be as challenging and transformative for us as the Industrial Revolution was for our ancestors. This tsunami will be led by artificial intelligence (AI), increased global connectivity, the Internet of Things, major advances in computing power, and virtual and augmented reality.  As a result, the Smart Machine Age (SMA) will fundamentally change the availability and nature of human work and make obsolete the dominate Industrial Revolution model of business organization and leadership. The organization of the future will be staffed by a combination of smart robots, […]

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Here Is How to Fend Off a Hijacking of Home Devices

from NYTs MODERN homes today are getting internet-connected light bulbs, thermostats, TVs and speakers. So with a simple voice command or the touch of a button on our smartphones, we can set the temperature, turn on a light or prepare the TV to record a program. What could go wrong? A lot more than most people are prepared for, it turns out. If one of these devices gets hijacked, hackers could potentially snoop around for sensitive data like financial or health information. Or they could use a network of compromised devices to perform a widespread attack that takes down major websites, […]

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New Weather Satellites Can Spot Floods Before They Happen

from Wired People should go easier on meteorologists when they get the weather forecast wrong. Those guys are doing their best, OK? Plus, they’re dealing with some significant scientific handicaps. Even some of the most advanced like weather satellites in the world can’t reliably tell the difference between clouds and ice. But that won’t be problem much longer. Last November, NASA launched GOES-16—NOAA’s next generation weather satellite—into geostationary orbit about 22,000 miles from Earth. On January 15th, it started to send back pictures. The new satellite images aren’t just pretty: Compared to the previous generation, GOES-16 has three times the spectral channels capturing images at […]

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