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Showing posts from May, 2016

Facebook Wants to Help Sell Every Ad on the Web - Trackibg Non Users

Facebook Wants to Help Sell Every Ad on the Web The social network will show ads to non-Facebook users on other websites
By JACK MARSHALL May 27, 2016 12:00 a.m. ET
Facebook has set out to power all advertising across the Internet.
To that end, the social network and online advertising company said Thursday it will now help marketers show ads to all users who visit websites and applications in its Audience Network ad network. Previously Facebook only showed ads to members of its social network when they visited those third-party properties.
The change is a subtle one, but it could mean Facebook will soon help to sell and place a much larger portion of the video and display ads that appear across the Internet. The change will also intensify competition with Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google, which dominates the global digital-advertising market, and a wide range of other online ad specialists.
“Publishers and app developers have some users who aren’t Facebook users. We think we can do a…

Meet Zenbo, the Asus robot that costs no more than a smartphone

Meet Zenbo, the Asus robot that costs no more than a smartphone
Voice-controlled companion, whose touchscreen face shows its emotions, can entertain kids and control the lights
Asus’s chairman, Jonney Shih, introduces Zenbo: ’Our ambition is to enable robotic computing for every household.’ Photograph: Ritchie Tongo/EPA
By Samuel Gibbs Tuesday 31 May 2016 07.27 EDT
The Taiwanese electronics manufacture Asus has unveiled a home robot called Zenbo that can talk, control your home and provide assistance when needed – all for the cost of a top-end smartphone.
The $599 (£410) robot rolls around on two wheels in the shape of a vacuum cleaner ball with cameras an oblong head extruding from the top with a colour touchscreen displaying a face with emotions. It is capable of independent movement, can respond to voice commands and has both entertainment protocols for keeping kids amused and home care systems to help look after older people.
Jonney Shih, the Asus chairman, said: “For decades, hu…

Tech Giants Vow to Tackle Online Hate Speech Within 24 Hours

Tech Giants Vow to Tackle Online Hate Speech Within 24 Hours
By Stephanie Bodoni May 31, 2016 — 2:05 AM PDT Updated on May 31, 2016 — 3:48 AM PDT
U.S. Internet giants Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Google and Microsoft Corp. pledged to tackle online hate speech in less than 24 hours as part of a joint commitment with the European Union to combat the use of social media by terrorists.
Beyond national laws that criminalize hate speech, there is a need to ensure such activity by Internet users is “expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame,” the companies and the European Commission said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
The code of conduct arrives as Europe comes to terms with the bloody attacks in Paris and Brussels by Islamic State, which has used the Web and social media to spread its message of hate against its enemies. The companies said it remains a “challenge” to strike the right bal…

US court says cops don't need a warrant for cell location data

US court says cops don't need a warrant for cell location data
The case reverses a decision from last year — which may push the case into the hands of the Supreme Court.
By Zack Whittaker for Zero Day | May 31, 2016 -- 19:38 GMT (12:38 PDT)
Police do not need a warrant to determine a suspect's location based off cell-site information, an appeals court has ruled.
In a 12-3 vote, the Fourth Circuit appeals court overturned a notable decision last year, arguing that the government can get the information from a third-party, which doesn't violate a person's Fourth Amendment right to protection against unwarranted searches and seizures.
The case will be a bump in the road for privacy advocates, who have for the past few years tried to clarify the use of location-based data collected from cell phones and GPS devices. The Supreme Court has yet to take up a case that would definitively rule on the matter.
In Tuesday's ruling, Judge Diana Motz said obtaining cell-site loc…

Governments Turn to Commercial Spyware to Intimidate Dissidents

Governments Turn to Commercial Spyware to Intimidate Dissidents
By NICOLE PERLROTH MAY 29, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO — In the last five years, Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates, has been jailed and fired from his job, along with having his passport confiscated, his car stolen, his email hacked, his location tracked and his bank account robbed of $140,000. He has also been beaten, twice, in the same week.
Mr. Mansoor’s experience has become a cautionary tale for dissidents, journalists and human rights activists. It used to be that only a handful of countries had access to sophisticated hacking and spying tools. But these days, nearly all kinds of countries, be they small, oil-rich nations like the Emirates, or poor but populous countries like Ethiopia, are buying commercial spyware or hiring and training programmers to develop their own hacking and surveillance tools.
The barriers to join the global surveillance apparatus have never been lower. Dozens of com…

Eric Holder says Edward Snowden performed a 'public service'

Eric Holder says Edward Snowden performed a 'public service' Matthew Jaffe, University of Chicago Institute of Politics Updated 8:07 AM ET, Mon May 30, 2016
Story highlights
Eric Holder says Edward Snowden acted illegally, but that he did a public service The former Attorney General also said there is a "race-based" component to Trump's campaign
The Axe Files, featuring David Axelrod, is a podcast distributed by CNN and produced at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. The author works at the institute.
Chicago (CNN)Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says Edward Snowden performed a "public service" by triggering a debate over surveillance techniques, but still must pay a penalty for illegally leaking a trove of classified intelligence documents.
"We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes …

Mind-reaching machine could soon turn your secret thoughts into speech

The device that eavesdrops on the voices in your head: Mind-reaching machine could soon turn your secret thoughts into speech
Scientists want reproduce speech from brain recordings in real-time Goal is to help those affected by motor disease such as Lou Gehrig's Such a novel device would communicate people's intended thoughts via an electronic speaker or writing device, the say
By ELLIE ZOLFAGHARIFARD FOR DAILYMAIL.COM PUBLISHED: 16:15 EST, 27 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:38 EST, 28 May 2016 A mind-reaching machine that can translate thoughts into speech is coming closer to reality.
The research has been ongoing for several years, and recently, scientists successfully managed to playback a word that someone is thinking by monitoring their brain activity.
While there remains a long way to go, they say this could help victims of stroke and others with speech paralysis to communicate with their loved ones.
Professor Robert Knight and his team at UC Berkeley have been studying how hear…

Secret Text in Senate Bill Would Give FBI Warrantless Access to Email Records

Secret Text in Senate Bill Would Give FBI Warrantless Access to Email Records
By Jenna McLaughlin May 26 2016, 12:31 p.m.
A PROVISION SNUCK INTO the still-secret text of the Senate’s annual intelligence authorization would give the FBI the ability to demand individuals’ email data and possibly web-surfing history from their service providers without a warrant and in complete secrecy.
If passed, the change would expand the reach of the FBI’s already highly controversial national security letters. The FBI is currently allowed to get certain types of information with NSLs — most commonly, information about the name, address, and call data associated with a phone number or details about a bank account.
Since a 2008 Justice Department legal opinion, the FBI has not been allowed to use NSLs to demand “electronic communication transactional records,” such as email subject lines and other metadata, or URLs visited.
The spy bill passed the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, with the pr…

McDonald's French HQ Raided In Tax Fraud Probe

McDonald's French HQ Raided In Tax Fraud Probe
The restaurant chain is investigated over suspicions it is avoiding tax by channelling its French earnings to Luxembourg.
16:38, UK, Thursday 26 May 2016
The French headquarters of McDonald's were raided last week as part of a tax fraud probe, police say.
Financial and tax crime officials searched the company's premises near Paris on 18 May, seizing documents, a police source said.
The investigation follows suspicions the restaurant chain has been unlawfully lowering its tax bills by funnelling its earnings in France to Luxembourg, where its European headquarters are based.
A spokesman for McDonald's confirmed the company was "co-operating fully with authorities on this matter".
The decision to investigate the company was confirmed last year by European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who has already found against Fiat Chrysler and Starbucks' tax arrangements in the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Foxconn replaces '60,000 Chinese factory workers with robots'

Foxconn replaces '60,000 factory workers with robots' 7 hours ago
Workers have complained in the past about conditions in Foxconn's factories Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn has reportedly replaced 60,000 factory workers with robots.
One factory has "reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots", a government official told the South China Morning Post. Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, added: "More companies are likely to follow suit."
China is investing heavily in a robot workforce.
In a statement to the BBC, Foxconn Technology Group confirmed that it was automating "many of the manufacturing tasks associated with our operations" but denied that it meant long-term job losses.
"We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus o…

Building robot McDonald's staff 'cheaper' than hiring workers on minimum wage

Building robot McDonald's staff 'cheaper' than hiring workers on minimum wage
The worrying forecast could threaten jobs at the fast food franchise, a former CEO of the company warns
BYJESSICA HAWORTH 10:18, 25 MAY 2016 UPDATED17:32, 25 MAY 2016
A former McDonald's CEO warned that robots will take over staff jobs at the fast food empire - because it's cheaper than employing humans.
Ed Rensi has said that buying highly skilled robotics is a cheaper alternative than employing people on minimum wage to work in the company's worldwide restaurants.
He warned that huge job losses are imminent, and commented that it would be 'common sense' to replace humans in the workplace.
This comes as a study into the future of human employment has predicted a surge in machine-led work such as robotic counsellors, body part makers and virtual lawyers.
The worrying research, by professor of management practice at London Business School, Lynda Gratton, and futurologist David…

What’s driving Silicon Valley to become ‘radicalized’

What’s driving Silicon Valley to become ‘radicalized’
By Elizabeth Dwoskin May 24 at 5:00 PM
SAN FRANCISCO — Like many Silicon Valley start-ups, Larry Gadea’s company collects heaps of sensitive data from his customers.
Recently, he decided to do something with that data trove that was long considered unthinkable: He is getting rid of it.
The reason? Gadea fears that one day the FBI might do to him what it did to Apple in their recent legal battle: demand that he give the agency access to his encrypted data. Rather than make what he considers a Faustian bargain, he’s building a system that he hopes will avoid the situation entirely.
“We have to keep as little [information] as possible so that even if the government or some other entity wanted access to it, we’d be able to say that we don’t have it,” said Gadea, founder and chief executive of Envoy. The 30-person company enables businesses to register visitors using iPads instead of handwritten visitor logs. The technology tracks who…

Facebook admits rogue employees may have shown bias against conservatives

Facebook admits rogue employees may have shown bias against conservatives Social media giant denies ‘systematic’ discrimination
By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Monday, May 23, 2016
Facebook announced Monday it was sending employees out for retraining and would discontinue some of its practices as it sought to defend itself against charges of political bias against conservatives.
The online giant denied that it’s shown “systematic political bias,” but admitted employees played a bigger role than previously acknowledged in determining what news is highlighted in the trending topics section.
Facebook also acknowledged that rogue employees may have unintentionally discriminated against conservative stories or even acted with malice in “isolated improper actions.”
In one instance Facebook rejected a story this year about the opening of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — the largest gathering of right-wing activists in the country. Facebook says that was likely…

Will This Augmented Reality Machine Really Replace Your PC?

Will This Augmented Reality Machine Really Replace Your PC?
Neuroscience-based tech may one day replace PCs and phones. By Selina Wang May 24, 2016
Among the seagulls and pelicans of Silicon Valley’s Redwood Shores, there’s a startup called Meta that’s trying to change everything about computers and the way we use them.
Put on the Meta 2 headset, and ten holographic computer screens will hover in mid-air. Press the floating Amazon.com webpage with Nike sneakers and the shoes pop out. You can pull the image apart and examine the inner soles. A phone icon appears in front of you, ringing. Press it, and the caller appears in holographic form. She can hand you a model of the Vienna Opera House; you can hold it and turn it around.
With Meta’s technology, you become the operating system by controlling 3D content with your hands. Meta is a smaller player in the growing field of augmented reality, which puts digital images on top of the real world. (It’s not virtual reality, a more immersive…

Pizza Hut Adding Pepper Robots to Restaurants in Asia

Pizza Hut Adding Pepper Robots to Restaurants in Asia BY DON REISINGER MAY 24, 2016 12:48PM EST
The move is intended to push MasterCard's MasterPass digital wallet, which Pepper will accept at the pizza chain.
Hungry for a slice? Ask Pepper, the SoftBank-designed humanoid robot.
MasterCard has inked a deal with Pizza Hut to bring Pepper to restaurants across Asia by the end of 2016. The move is intended to push MasterCard's MasterPass digital wallet, which Pizza Hut patrons can use by either tapping the Pepper icon within the wallet or by scanning a QR code on Pepper's display, while connected to Wi-Fi. Pepper can also provide recommendations and offers.
"Core to our digital transformation journey is the ability to make it easier for customers to engage, connect and transact with Pizza Hut," Vipul Chawla, Managing Director of Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia, said in a statement. "With an order-and-payment-enabled Pepper, customers can now come to expect persona…

WP: How Facebook can influence the news, not just share it - No way to fact check 'trending data' or Any Facebook Data...

How Facebook can influence the news, not just share it
By Callum Borchers May 22 at 8:00 AM
The big media-technology story of the moment is about the news in Facebook’s “trending” box. But what about the news stories that are influenced by what’s in that box or in the other places where Facebook tells journalists what people care about?
Conservatives have been up in arms since Gizmodo reported last week that some Facebook workers who curate the network’s trending news section allow their own (mostly liberal) biases to influence which topics in politics — and everything else — qualify for promotion in a special box on users’ homepages. The concern is that right-leaning views might be suppressed by a technology giant that wields tremendous power over what is presented to some 167 million Americans as buzzy and newsworthy.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg quickly denied censoring content but said he and his company “take this report very seriously and are conducting a full inve…