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Showing posts from May, 2018

Tech’s Titans Tiptoe Toward Monopoly

Tech’s Titans Tiptoe Toward Monopoly
Amazon, Facebook and Google may be repeating the history of steel, utility, rail and telegraph empires past—while Apple appears vulnerable
By Christopher Mims May 31, 2018 12:24 p.m. ET
Imagine a not-too-distant future in which trustbusters force Facebook to sell off Instagram and WhatsApp. Imagine a time when Amazon’s cloud and delivery services are so dominant the company is broken up like AT&T. Imagine Google’s search or YouTube becoming regulated monopolies, like electricity and water.
Facebook Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are enjoying profit margins, market dominance and clout that, according to economists and historians, suggest they’re developing into a new category of monopolists. They may not yet be ripe for such extreme regulatory action, but as they consolidate control of their markets, negative consequences for innovation and competition are becoming evident.
For example, some who study the past compare Ama…

Watch: A robotic finger uses its lab-grown muscles to lift an object

Watch: A robotic finger uses its lab-grown muscles to lift an object
By Echo Huang May 31, 2018
Metal robot arms can help us assemble cars and make cocktails, but they don’t yet have the flexibility of human arms, hands, and fingers. Advances in “biohybrid” robotics, which combine biological elements with mechanical ones, are paving the way for machines that will move a lot more like humans one day.
Robotics researchers at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science, for example, have managed to graft living muscle onto an artificial fingerbone, allowing a robotic finger to pick up and drop a ring—a task that looks easy but is actually a complicated dance of joint movements, muscle control, and neural signals. Their research, published in Science Robotics on Wednesday (May 30), detailed the process, which involved growing muscles from primitive muscle cells.
The lab-grown muscles had the ability to contract, and allowed the rotation of a robotic joint in two directions.…

Canon shutters 80-year history of film cameras

Canon shutters 80-year history of film cameras
The EOS-1v model camera
The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:00 pm, May 31, 2018
Canon announced Wednesday it would end sales of its EOS-1v, the last remaining model of film camera that the company has sold in Japan. The company’s film cameras, which symbolize Canon’s old-time roots, will come to the end of their 80-year history.
As the sales of film cameras have been on a decline due to the spread of digital cameras, the company stopped the production of the EOS-1v in 2010 and currently is shipping its remaining stock.
The company said it will continue to accept repair orders and other customer inquiries until Oct. 31, 2025, even after finishing selling the product.
Canon’s film cameras have a sales history of about 80 years since the company’s predecessor released the Hansa Canon in 1936, having developed it from a prototype.
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004478492

Facebook sinking fast among US teens: survey

Facebook sinking fast among US teens: survey
May 31, 2018
Facebook is rapidly losing ground against rival internet platforms in attracting and keeping US teenagers, a survey showed Thursday.
The Pew Research Center report confirms a trend seen in other surveys, showing a sharp drop in Facebook's share of what had long been a core age segment for the huge social network.
The survey found 51 percent of US teens ages 13 to 17 use Facebook, compared with 85 percent for YouTube, 72 percent for Instagram and 69 percent who are on Snapchat.
The landscape has shifted since a 2014-15 Pew survey which found Facebook leading other social networks with 71 percent of the teen segment.
According to the survey, 95 percent of the teens survey said they used a smartphone and 45 percent were online "almost constantly," with both figures showing increases from prior surveys.
"The social media environment among teens is quite different from what it was just three years ago," said…

Facebook investors grill Zuckerberg: 'Emulate George Washington, not Vladimir Putin'

Facebook investors grill Zuckerberg: 'Emulate George Washington, not Vladimir Putin'
JP Mangalindan Chief Tech Correspondent Yahoo Finance May 31, 2018
Facebook’s (FB) shareholder meeting on Thursday was a heated affair, as investors vented their frustrations over the social network’s handling of recent scandals.
“If privacy is a human right … then we contend that Facebook’s poor stewardship of user data is tantamount to a human rights violation,” stated Christine Jantz, chief investment officer at Northstar Asset Management, which is a Facebook investor.
Facebook risked becoming a “corporate dictatorship,” James McRitchie, a Facebook investor, said to Zuckerberg.
“Mr. Zuckerberg, take a page from history,” McRitchie added. “Emulate George Washington, not Vladimir Putin.”
This is a good way to ‘hold us accountable’
Investors’ harsh remarks stemmed from recent controversies, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal that engulfed the company earlier this year. In mid-March, re…

Uber installs panic button for riders to curb sexual assault

Uber installs panic button for riders to curb sexual assault
By Rebecca Joseph May 29, 2018 9:58 pm
A panic alarm is being added as a safety feature to every U.S. Uber rider's app, which will call 911. It's one of several safety features being added to the app.
Uber is adding additional features — including a panic button — to help stop sexual assault and harassment.
The ride-sharing company has been facing accusations of sex crimes from its users directed at its drivers for years.
A class-action lawsuit, filed in November 2017, alleges that thousands of women have “endured unlawful conduct by their Uber drivers including rape, sexual assault, physical violence and gender-motivated harassment.”
Since then the company has said it implemented stricter background checks for drivers.
The company also added a feature (which was first announced in April) on the Uber app that will allow riders to notify 911, and it’s testing a feature that would send the user’s location to 911 oper…

Inside 'Project Indigo,' the quiet info-sharing program between banks and U.S. Cyber Command

Inside 'Project Indigo,' the quiet info-sharing program between banks and U.S. Cyber CommandBy Chris BingMAY 21, 2018 | CYBERSCOOP
A confidential information-sharing agreement between the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and U.S. Cyber Command reveals the blurring line between the country’s public and private sectors as the U.S. government becomes increasinglyreceptive to launching offensive hacking operations. The pilot program, codenamed “Project Indigo,” recently established an information-sharing channel for a subunit of FS-ISAC known as the Financial Systemic Analysis & Resilience Center (FSARC). That subunit shares “scrubbed” cyberthreat data, including malware indicators, with the Fort Mead-based Cyber Command, according to current and former U.S. officials. The broad purpose of Project Indigo is to help inform U.S. Cyber Command about nation-state hacking aimed at banks. In practice, this intelligence is independently evaluated and,…

5G Wireless Service Is Coming, And So Are Health Concerns Over The Towers That Support It

5G Wireless Service Is Coming, And So Are Health Concerns Over The Towers That Support It
May 29, 2018 at 10:29 am
(CBS News/CBSNewYork) – The wireless industry is in a race to roll out 5G service. The network is supposed to be up to 100 times faster than current data speeds, but it requires cellphone tower equipment to be closer to users than before. Wireless companies in the U.S. say they’ll have to install about 300,000 new antennas – roughly equal to the total number of cell towers built over the past three decades. That’s causing outrage and alarm in some neighborhoods, as antennas go up around homes.
At a lab in New York, Verizon invited CBS News’ Tony Dokoupil to meet some of the entrepreneurs developing tools to run on the next generation of wireless technology. Jonathan Reeves, the CEO of Arvizio, said 5G service is extremely important to his company’s mission. His product allows users in different locations to interact with 3D images projected through a lens.
“Today, we can…

NY Woman wrote a negative Yelp review — and it made her life a nightmare

I wrote a negative Yelp review — and it made my life a nightmare
By Beth Landman and Julia Marsh May 28, 2018 | 10:55pm | Updated
Yelp reviewers, beware.
A Manhattan woman who gave one-star reviews on Yelp and ZocDoc to a Kips Bay gynecologist has spent nearly $20,000 defending herself against a defamation suit filed by the physician, according to her and court papers.
And the litigation has only just started.
“I gave an honest review of my experience to warn others, and he is trying to silence me. It’s a nightmare,’’ Michelle Levine told The Post.
Levine said she found Dr. Joon Song of New York Robotic Gynecology & Women’s Health online and went to him for a checkup in July 2017.
“A week later, he billed my insurance company $1,304.32 for the new-patient visit and ultrasound, and I got a bill for $427 that wasn’t covered,” she said.
“The annual was supposed to be free!”
Levine alleges in court filings that Joon never even gave her a manual pelvic exam, instead simply asking her …

How China acquires ‘the crown jewels’ of U.S. technology

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How China acquires ‘the crown jewels’ of U.S. technology
The U.S. fails to adequately police foreign deals for next-generation software that powers the military and American economic strength.
By CORY BENNETT and BRYAN BENDER 05/22/2018 05:10 AM EDT
The U.S. government was well aware of China’s aggressive strategy of leveraging private investors to buy up the latest American technology when, early last year, a company called Avatar Integrated Systems showed up at a bankruptcy court in Delaware hoping to buy the California chip-designer ATop Tech.
ATop’s product was potentially groundbreaking — an automated designer capable of making microchips that could power anything from smartphones to high-tech weapons systems. It’s the type of product that a U.S. government report had recently cited as “critical to defense systems and U.S. military strength.” And the source of the money behind the buyer, Avatar, was an eye-opener: Its board chairman and sole officer was a Chinese steel magnate w…