Posts

Why Your Face Will Soon Be the Key to All Your Devices

Why Your Face Will Soon Be the Key to All Your Devices
Better-than-ever face-recognition tech means you will be able to forget your passwords—with more security
By Christopher Mims Aug. 20, 2017 6:00 a.m. ET
It was a memorable moment in Pixar’s 2004 classic “The Incredibles,” one that seemed wildly futuristic at the time: Mr. Incredible picks up a wafer-thin tablet computer, and it scans his face to verify his identity before divulging his secret mission.
Thirteen years later, many slim phones and tablets unlock with the press of a thumb—and just this sort of mobile facial scanning is on the way.
Forget fiddling with passwords or even fingerprints; forget multiple layers of sign-in; forget credit cards and, eventually, even physical keys to our homes and cars. A handful of laptops and mobile devices can now read facial features, and the technique is about to get a boost from specialized hardware small enough to fit into our phones.
Using our faces to unlock things could soon become r…

Patients diagnosed using EMAILS: NHS invest in new electronic GP consultations

Patients diagnosed using EMAILS: NHS invest in new electronic GP consultations
NHS ENGLAND is to invest tens of millions of pounds in electronic GP consultations, where patients are diagnosed using email, after nationwide trials were hailed as a success.
By LUCY JOHNSTON AND NED KELLY, EXCLUSIVE 00:01, Sun, Aug 20, 2017 The £45million fund is set to be released this autumn following trials of the service, which supporters say has seen many patients avoiding the need to visit their practice altogether.
However the service has been criticised by some doctors who say online consultations are only in place to cut costs at the expense of patient safety. They say a virtual service will mean vital and potentially lifesaving health information could be missed.
Currently over 400 doctor’s surgeries have been trialling the new system and preliminary data shows the eConsultation service leads to as many as 60 per cent fewer face-to-face family doctor visits because health problems are resolve…

Tech Censorship of White Supremacists Draws Criticism From Within Industry

Tech Censorship of White Supremacists Draws Criticism From Within Industry
The moves by tech companies like Cloudflare have been chided for threatening freedom of expression online
By Yoree Koh Updated Aug. 19, 2017 8:28 a.m. ET
The debate intensified over whether the growing number of tech companies that blocked white supremacists and a neo-Nazi website on the internet have gone too far, as a prominent privacy group questioned the power a few corporations have to censor.
The Chief Executive of Cloudflare Inc., one of several internet companies this week to cut ties with Daily Stormer, effectively preventing the neo-Nazi website from appearing on the web, admitted he set a troubling precedent.
“As [an] internet user, I think it’s pretty dangerous if my moral, political or economic whims play some role in deciding who can and cannot be online,” Matthew Prince, CEO and co-founder of Cloudflare, said in an interview.
On Thursday, the nonprofit privacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation…

Silicon Valley billionaires are the new robber barons

Silicon Valley billionaires are the new robber barons
By Victor Davis Hanson Published August 17, 2017
Progressives used to pressure U.S. corporations to cut back on outsourcing and on the tactic of building their products abroad to take advantage of inexpensive foreign workers.
During the 2012 election, President Obama attacked Mitt Romney as a potential illiberal "outsourcer in chief" for investing in companies that went overseas in search of cheap labor.
Yet most of the computers and smartphones sold by Silicon Valley companies are still being built abroad -- to mostly silence from progressive watchdogs.
In the case of the cobalt mining that is necessary for the production of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, thousands of child laborers in Southern Africa are worked to exhaustion.
In the 1960s, campuses boycotted grapes to support Cesar Chavez's unionization of farm workers. Yet it is unlikely that there will be any effort to boycott tech companies that use lit…

Facebook, Airbnb Go on Offense Against Nazis After Violence

Facebook, Airbnb Go on Offense Against Nazis After Violence
Charlottesville attack a ‘moment of reckoning,’ SPLC says Companies in past have avoided becoming arbiters of morality
By Sarah Frier, Jeff Green, and Olivia Zaleski August 17, 2017, 2:00 AM PDT August 17, 2017, 8:42 AM PDT
When white supremacists plan rallies like the one a few days ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, they often organize their events on Facebook, pay for supplies with PayPal, book their lodging with Airbnb and ride with Uber. Technology companies, for their part, have been taking pains to distance themselves from these customers.
But sometimes it takes more than automated systems or complaints from other users to identify and block those who promote hate speech or violence, so companies are finding novel ways to spot and shut down content they deem inappropriate or dangerous. People don’t tend to share their views on their Airbnb Inc. accounts, for example. But after matching user names to posts on social-med…

Death of the Trucker? Charm Fades as Truck Driver Hiring Lags

‘Smokey and the Bandit’ Charm Fades as Truck Driver Hiring Lags
Struggle recruiting millennials risks worsening U.S. shortage Autonomous truck technology threatens to shake up industry
By Claire Ballentine August 17, 2017, 2:00 AM PDT August 17, 2017, 6:53 AM PDT
It’s been 40 years since Burt Reynolds starred in “Smokey and the Bandit” and made driving a rig on the open highway seem like a cool way to make a living. That same year, only “Star Wars” sold more tickets.
These days, “Star Wars” still fills theaters but trucking no longer captures the imagination of movie goers or, it turns out, the young and unemployed. Veteran drivers are leaving the profession, and young people entering the workforce are put off by long hours away from home and the profession’s low-brow image. The result is a U.S. trucking industry with high turnover and a dwindling number of new recruits.
“The question is where we’ll be in five or 10 years,” said Steve Viscelli, a sociologist at the University of Penn…

Smartphone separation anxiety is growing problem, says scientist

Smartphone separation anxiety is growing problem, says scientist
Do you use your phone constantly?
TOM BAWDEN Published: 17:39 Tuesday 15 August 2017
Smartphones are so central to our lives that being separated from them for any length of time can put people into a high state of anxiety – and the problem, it seems, is only going to get worse.
Researchers have been looking into the reasons for our ‘smartphone separation anxiety’ – known as nomophobia – and found that it has little to do with being unable to make or receive a call.
The main reason, they found, is to do with the key role our smartphones play in our overall identity by recording numerous memories that act as an extension of ourselves.
Social media scrapbooks
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provide huge streams of photographs and comments from friends, relatives and heroes which act as a vast and powerful scrapbook of our lives.
For many people, posting about their actions on social med…