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Showing posts from September, 2017

Online right fumes after YouTube ad crackdown

Online right fumes after YouTube ad crackdown
BY ALI BRELAND - 09/30/17 04:27 PM EDT 
YouTube is in hot water with conservative users and creators, with the Google-owned video giant accused of discriminating against the right as YouTube takes ads off content that it says violates the terms of service.
Last month, YouTube quietly made moves to remove advertisements on certain types of content that it says is not consistent with its terms of service.  YouTube doesn’t serve ads on demonetized videos, meaning big hits to the bottom line for conservative YouTube personalities.
YouTube says that its efforts are aimed at cracking down on hate speech, but conservative and right-wing video creators say they’re frustrated by the changes.
The video streaming service began the initiative after several major companies like Coca-Cola, Amazon and Microsoft pulled their ads from YouTube in the spring after the Times of London noticed that advertisements for their brands appeared alongside videos o…

IBM Now Has More Employees in India Than in the U.S.

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IBM Now Has More Employees in India Than in the U.S.
IBM has shifted its center of gravity halfway around the world to India, making it a high-tech example of the globalization trends that the Trump administration has railed against.
By VINDU GOEL SEPT. 28, 2017
BANGALORE, India — IBM dominated the early decades of computing with inventions like the mainframe and the floppy disk. Its offices and factories, stretching from upstate New York to Silicon Valley, were hubs of American innovation long before Microsoft or Google came along.
But over the last decade, IBM has shifted its center of gravity halfway around the world to India, making it a high-tech example of the globalization trends that the Trump administration has railed against.
Today, the company employs 130,000 people in India — about one-third of its total work force, and more than in any other country. Their work spans the entire gamut of IBM’s businesses, from managing the computing needs of global giants like AT&T an…

Black Lawmakers Pressure Facebook Over Racially Divisive Russian Ads

Black Lawmakers Pressure Facebook Over Racially Divisive Russian Ads
By YAMICHE ALCINDOR SEPT. 28, 2017
WASHINGTON — Members of the Congressional Black Caucus pressured Facebook this week to seriously examine how the site allowed Russian operatives to use advertising to target Black Lives Matter and sow racial divisions ahead of last year’s election.
In a letter Tuesday to the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, Representative Robin Kelly, Democrat of Illinois, wrote that Russian-backed Facebook pages promoted “incendiary anti-immigrant rallies, targeted the Black Lives Matter movement and focused attentions on critical election swing states like Wisconsin and Michigan.”
Russian groups backed by the country’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, paid Facebook to influence voters last year by “purchasing ads designed to inflame and exploit racial, political and economic rifts in the U.S.,” Ms. Kelly wrote.
Ms. Kelly’s letter follows weeks of criticism of Facebook over its disclosure …

Elon Musk’s Plan to Girdle Earth With Satellites Hits Turbulence

Elon Musk’s Plan to Girdle Earth With Satellites Hits Turbulence
FCC to defer on constellations of thousands of satellites International role seen possibly limiting power for SpaceX
By Alistair Barr  and Todd Shields September 26, 2017, 1:00 AM PDT September 26, 2017, 8:29 AM PDT
Elon Musk’s ambitious plan to surround the Earth with thousands of internet-beaming satellites is encountering turbulence from regulators concerned about interference with competing systems.
SpaceX, the rocket startup Musk runs, filed for permission for its constellation of refrigerator-sized satellites late last year. Selling broadband from orbit is a key part of how SpaceX plans to make money beyond its original rocket-launching service.
But the U.S. Federal Communications Commission dealt the project a setback Tuesday with a decision that could force power reductions on SpaceX satellites, and potentially limit the spectrum they can use, making them less effective.
The regulator on a 5-0 vote decided to d…

Driverless hover-taxi makes first 'concept' flight in Dubai

Driverless hover-taxi makes first 'concept' flight in Dubai September 25, 2017
Dubai has edged closer to its goal of launching a pioneering hover-taxi service, with the authorities announcing a successful "concept" flight was made on Monday without passengers.
Safety features for the two-seater air taxi include emergency parachutes and nine independent battery systems, according to Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA).
It said the prototype, supplied by Germany-based Volocopter, can fly for 30 minutes at a maximum speed of 100 kilometres per hour (62mph).
The RTA envisions that the hover-taxi will eventually be integrated into the city's existing public transport network, which includes a metro system, tramway and buses.
Passengers would be able to book their "autonomous air taxi" and track its arrival and route using an app.
Authorities anticipate five years of testing to put in place safety procedures and legislation governing the cutting-e…

How to Regulate Facebook Like a Broadcaster

How to Regulate Facebook Like a Broadcaster
By Jeff John Roberts Sep 25, 2017
Russian agents paid to promote thousands of Facebook accounts in a bid to poison the U.S. political system with propaganda and fake news. It's no surprise, then, that some in Congress are calling for Facebook to be subject to television's "Stand by Your Ad" rules, which require political ads to identify who is behind them.
The proposal is promising but just scrapes the surface of a larger question: How should the government apply TV-era rules to Facebook, the most powerful media platform the world has ever known?
For years, the idea of such regulation was a non-starter—and for two good reasons. First, unlike the airwaves that carry broadcast TV, the Internet is a big, open place with room for everyone to express themselves.
Second, the government is notoriously bad at technology (recall the roll-out of Healthcare.gov). This means attempts to regulate Facebook and other online platforms mig…

Robot farmers successfully plant, harvest by themselves...

ROBOT FARMERS HAVE SUCCESSFULLY PLANTED AND HARVESTED BARLEY BY THEMSELVES
By Dyllan Furness — Posted on September 25, 2017 1:33 pm Robot-ran farms have the potential to increase efficiency in the agriculture industry.
Humans have been cultivating plants for some 10,000 years and, for much of that time, we’ve used beasts of burden to help tend the fields. Just last century, humans turned from animal strength to machine power, leading to huge leaps in agricultural efficiency and scale. Over the past few years, farms have deployed emerging technologies like drones and autonomous driving systems to make the farmers’ job even less strenuous — but human hands were still needed throughout the process.
Now, researchers at Harper Adams University and agricultural company Precision Decisions have removed humans from the farm entirely in a project called Hands Free Hectare. From planting to tending and harvesting, no human stepped foot on the acre and a half barley farm in rural England. It wa…
After London Bans Uber, New York Weighs Limits to Help Cabbies
Council may study ride-sharing impact on taxi medallion values Cab owners say they’re in dire straits and need city’s rescue
By Henry Goldman September 25, 2017, 1:02 PM PDT
A week after London moved to revoke Uber Technologies Inc.’s operating license, the company and its electronic ride-hailing competitors are feeling the heat in New York as city officials consider moves to regulate and control the industry.
The City Council on Monday was considering a six-month study of Uber’s impact on the traditional yellow cab business, where the value of medallions -- licenses to operate taxis -- has dropped by 90 percent in the past four years. Medallion owners and some council members say the city shouldn’t have allowed companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in New York without applying the same fees and regulations.
The taxi owners are pushing for officials to rescue their industry. They are emboldened by London’s move to ban U…

Natalya Kaspersky's Snoop-Proof Phone Helps Putin Thwart Spies

Natalya Kaspersky's Snoop-Proof Phone Helps Putin Thwart Spies
Taiga smartphone prevents spying by apps such as Google Designer InfoWatch bets on demand from companies, agencies
By Ilya Khrennikov September 25, 2017, 2:02 AM PDT
A Russian security company run by Kaspersky Lab’s co-founder is introducing a smartphone that prevents Google and other apps from snooping on users, seeking to capitalize on the country’s tensions with the U.S.
The Taiga phone, designed by Moscow-based InfoWatch Group and named after desolated forests in Siberia, runs its own Android-based firmware that lets apps run on the device but stops them from collecting data. The phone also has a built-in agent that gives the administrator -- such as a corporate IT department -- control over what apps will work on the device and what content the user can access or share.
“Most smartphone apps collect certain data on users and send it to outside servers,” said Natalya Kaspersky, head of InfoWatch. “When people use …

Apple totally lied about the glass back on the iPhone 8

Drop test confirms Apple totally lied about the glass back on the iPhone 8
Zach Epstein September 25th, 2017 at 9:18 AM
When Apple unveiled the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X during its big September press conference a couple of weeks ago, the company said the glass backs on the phones is the strongest glass ever to be used on a smartphone. There’s no reason to beat around the bush: that was a lie. Apple has been known to bend and stretch the truth from time to time, and the company’s executives are nothing if not dramatic while unveiling new products. But the claim that the glass back on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X is the strongest ever isn’t just dramatic, it’s disingenuous. Don’t believe us? Let’s check out a brand new test that utilized a professional drop test machine.
The glass backs on Apple’s new 2017 iPhone lineup might be really strong. They might even have a copper-infused layer like Apple said on stage earlier this month. But the claim that these phon…

Maureen Dowd: Mark Zuckerberg Very Scary - may be learning what it’s like to be Dr. Frankenstein

Will Mark Zuckerberg ‘Like’ This Column?
Mark Zuckerberg may be learning what it’s like to be Dr. Frankenstein.
By Maureen Dowd SEPT. 23, 2017
WASHINGTON — The idea of Mark Zuckerberg running for president was always sort of scary.
But now it’s really scary, given what we’ve discovered about the power of his little invention to warp democracy.
All these years, the 33-year-old founder of Facebook has been dismissive of the idea that social media and A.I. could be used for global domination — or even that they should be regulated.
Days after Donald Trump pulled out his disorienting win, Zuckerberg told a tech conference that the contention that fake news had influenced the election was “a pretty crazy idea,” showing a “profound lack of empathy” toward Trump voters.
But all the while, the company was piling up the rubles and turning a blind eye as the Kremlin’s cyber hit men weaponized anti-Hillary bots on Facebook to sway the U.S. election. Russian agents also used Facebook and Twitte…

Manufacturers in China ‘ill-prepared for Industry 4.0’

Manufacturers in China ‘ill-prepared for Industry 4.0’ says McKinsey report
Despite being the ‘world’s factory’, its manufacturing productivity is still only a quarter of developed countries
By Wendy Wu PUBLISHED: Monday, 24 April, 2017, 9:02am
Chinese manufacturers are not well prepared to brace for the coming wave of digitalisation to narrow the gap with advanced economies, McKinsey & Company suggest in a report.
McKinsey sent the warning when it launched a Digital Capability Centre at Tsinghua University, the fifth it has set up after ones in the United States, Germany, Italy and Singapore, to facilitate the application of smart production and digital operation to reshape manufacturing.
As the world’s factory, China produced 70 per cent of mobile phones, 80 per cent of air conditioners and 91 per cent of personal computers, but its manufacturing productivity was still only a quarter of developed countries.
Aiming to transfer the country from a manufacturing workshop to a leadi…

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/business/media/the-not-so-glossy-future-of-magazines.html

The Not-So-Glossy Future of Magazines
By SYDNEY EMBER and MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM SEPT. 23, 2017
One evening in mid-September, a gaggle of writers and bon vivant editors gathered by the outdoor fireplace and ivy-covered trellis of a West Village tavern. Steak was served, and the toasts lasted late into the night, the revelry trickling out to the nearby sidewalk.
It could have been a scene from the Jazz Age heyday of the Manhattan magazine set — or even the 1990s, when glossy monthlies still soaked up millions of dollars in advertising revenue, and editors in chauffeured town cars told the nation what to wear, what to watch and who to read.
This night, however, had an elegiac tinge. The staff of Vanity Fair was saluting the magazine’s longtime editor, Graydon Carter, who had announced that he was departing after a 25-year run. In the back garden of Mr. Carter’s restaurant, the Waverly Inn, star writers like James Wolcott and Marie Brenner spoke of their gratitude and grief.
Mr. Carter has…

Chinese robot dentist is first to fit implants in patient’s mouth without any human involvement

Chinese robot dentist is first to fit implants in patient’s mouth without any human involvement
Successful procedure raises hopes technology could avoid problems caused by human error and help overcome shortage of qualified dentists
PUBLISHED: Thursday, 21 September, 2017, 6:30pm UPDATED : Friday, 22 September, 2017, 9:43pm
A robot dentist has carried out the first successful autonomous implant surgery by fitting two new teeth into a woman’s mouth, mainland media has reported.
Although there were human medical staff present during the operation, they did not play an active role while it was being carried out.
The one-hour procedure took place in Xian, Shaanxi, on Saturday, according to Science and Technology Daily.
The implants were fitted to within a margin of error of 0.2-0.3mm, reaching the required standard for this kind of operation, experts said.
The technology was designed to overcome mainland China’s shortage of qualified dentists and frequent surgical errors.
It was develope…