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Showing posts from September, 2018

Facial recognition technology used at airports had 85% match rate during tests

Facial recognition technology used at airports had 85% match rate during tests
By Hugo Martin SEP 28, 2018 | 1:15 PM
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is expected to complete a 30-day test next month of the use of facial recognition technology to screen international travelers at Los Angeles International Airport.
But an audit by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General found that pilot programs to test the technology at nine airports last year had a combined match rate of only 85% — below the agency’s goal of a 97% to 100% match rate.
The Department of Homeland Security hopes to use facial recognition to better track and record the approximately 1 million foreign travelers who each year enter and exit the country, with about 300,000 traveling by air.
During the pilot programs at airports in Boston, Houston, New York and Atlanta, travelers were photographed as they prepared to board planes. The cameras used facial recognition technology to match u…

When fake news kills: Lynchings in Mexico are linked to viral child-kidnap rumors

When fake news kills: Lynchings in Mexico are linked to viral child-kidnap rumors
By Patrick J. McDonnell & Cecilia Sanchez Los Angeles Times Sep 28, 2018
ACATLAN DE OSORIO, Mexico — Ricardo Flores’ goal was to study hard, become a lawyer and earn enough so that his parents could return from the United States — the destination of multitudes from this impoverished corner of south-central Mexico.
“Ricardo always said that once he was working, he was going to tell my mom to come back, because he missed her so much,” recalled his younger brother, Jose Guadalupe Flores, 16.
That dream came to a violent end one afternoon last month after rumors began circulating on social media and the WhatsApp messaging service that a pair of robachicos, or child snatchers, were on the prowl.
An enraged mob attacked Flores, 21, and his uncle, Alberto Flores Morales, 56, beating them before dousing them with gasoline and burning them alive on the street outside the police station here. The pair had bee…

Tech Giants Lobby Congress to Avoid New CA Privacy Law...

BIG TECH IS APPEALING TO CONGRESS TO HELP GET AROUND CALIFORNIA’S NEW ONLINE PRIVACY LAW
By David Dayen September 28 2018, 10:11 a.m.
AFTER CALIFORNIA PASSED the most sweeping online privacy law in the nation this summer, big tech went back to the state legislature to weaken it. While that effort fizzled before the end of the state’s legislative session, a more insidious strategy emerged this week: going around California and appealing to Congress.
Alastair Mactaggart, who led the California effort, told The Intercept that a Wednesday hearing in Congress left him concerned that Congress might pre-empt the state legislation at the behest of giant tech firms.
“Tech has had zero regulation,” Mactaggart said in an interview. “For them it’s been this Wild West of being able to monetize information any which way. They will pull out all the stops to try to get back to where they were.”
Mactaggart, a Bay Area real estate developer, became an unlikely activist when he bankrolled a ballot meas…

Radical new plan to upend the World Wide Web - Users control their own Information

Exclusive: Tim Berners-Lee tells us his radical new plan to upend the World Wide WebWith an ambitious decentralized platform, the father of the web hopes it’s game on for corporate tech giants like Facebook and Google.BY KATRINA BROOKER September 29, 2018 12:01 AM Last week, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, asked me to come and see a project he has been working on almost as long as the web itself. It’s a crisp autumn day in Boston, where Berners-Lee works out of an office above a boxing gym. After politely offering me a cup of coffee, he leads us into a sparse conference room. At one end of a long table is a battered laptop covered with stickers. Here, on this computer, he is working on a plan to radically alter how all of us live and work on the web.
“The intent is world domination,” Berners-Lee says with a wry smile. The British-born scientist is known for his dry sense of humor. But in this case, he is not joking. This week, Berners-Lee will launch, Inrupt, a startup t…

Facebook security breach allowed hackers to control the accounts of up to 50 million users

Facebook security breach allowed hackers to control the accounts of up to 50 million users
Facebook discovered a security issue that allowed hackers to access information that could have let them take over around 50 million accounts, the company announced on Friday.
Following the disclosure, shares of Facebook extended midday losses and ended trading 2.5 percent down.
By Michelle Castillo September 28, 2018 CNBC.com
Facebook discovered a security issue that allowed hackers to access information that could have let them take over around 50 million accounts, the company announced Friday.
"This is a very serious security issue, and we're taking it very seriously," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a call with reporters.
Facebook shares, which were already down about 1.5 percent before the announcement, extended losses after the disclosure and ended down 2.6 percent.
The company said in a blog post that its engineering team found on Tuesday that attackers identified a weakness in…

The secret data collected by dockless bikes is helping cities map your movement ...sparks concerns...

The secret data collected by dockless bikes is helping cities map your movement
Lime and other companies are gathering masses of location-based information that some cities are leveraging to improve their streets.
by Elizabeth Woyke September 28, 2018
Ask Tim Corcoran about the most popular destinations for bike-share trips in South Bend, Indiana, and he can give you a list, or even GPS latitude and longitude coordinates. As the city’s planning director, Corcoran is responsible for overseeing a program that enables residents to rent bicycles via a mobile app and then pick them up and drop them off pretty much wherever and whenever they want. He doesn’t actually run the rental service, though. Lime, a Silicon Valley startup, manages the program and keeps Corcoran in the loop via a steady stream of data about bike activity in South Bend.
Lime is able to collect this information because its bikes, like all those in dockless bike-share programs, are built to operate without fixed station…

Belgium to sue Google for not blurring military sites

Belgium to sue Google for not blurring military sites
The Belgian Defense Ministry had requested the tech giant to blur satellite images of sensitive military sites. Several other countries have expressed national security concerns over Google Maps in the past.
Belgium has said it will take legal action against Google for not complying with its requests to blur satellite images of sensitive defense sites.
The Belgian Defense Ministry said it had asked the technology giant to blur sites such as air bases and nuclear power stations, citing national security concerns.
"The Ministry of Defense will sue Google," a ministry spokeswoman said, without giving further details.
Google has previously complied with similar requests from other countries including France and the Netherlands. However, in Belgium, military sites including the Kleine Brogel air base near the Dutch border, nuclear plants, the country's crisis center and petroleum installations in the Port of Antwerp can s…

Exclusive: In test case, U.S. fails to force Facebook to wiretap Messenger calls - sources

Exclusive: In test case, U.S. fails to force Facebook to wiretap Messenger calls - sources
By Joseph Menn, Dan Levine SSEPTEMBER 28, 2018 / 12:05 PM
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - U.S. investigators failed in a recent courtroom effort to force Facebook to wiretap voice calls over its Messenger app in a closely watched test case, according to two people briefed on the sealed ruling.
Members of a joint federal and state task force probing the international criminal gang MS-13 had tried in August to hold Facebook in contempt of court for failing to carry out a wiretap order, Reuters reported last month.
Arguments were heard in a sealed proceeding in a U.S. District Court in Fresno, California weeks before 16 suspected gang members were indicted there, but the judge ruled in Facebook’s favor, the sources said.
The details of his reasoning were not available.
The government’s request had alarmed technology executives and privacy advocates. Officials in the United States and other Western count…

Is Amazon Unfairly Copying Products? EU Quizzes Merchants

Is Amazon Unfairly Copying Products? EU Quizzes Merchants
By Natalia Drozdiak, Aoife White & Spencer Soper September 27 2018, 10:58 AM
(Bloomberg) -- European Union antitrust regulators are asking whether Amazon.com Inc. unfairly copies popular products sold by rivals on its online marketplace, according to a questionnaire sent to merchants.
In a 16-page form to be filled out by Oct. 9, regulators want to know whether Amazon has in recent years started to sell products under its own brand that are "identical or very similar" to ones merchants have offered on the company’s website and what impact that’s had on their business.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager last week said her department had opened a preliminary investigation into Amazon to check how the Seattle-based company gathers information on sales made by competitors on the Amazon Marketplace and whether that gives it an unfair edge when it sells to customers.
Speaking at an event in Washington on Fr…

Zuckerberg consolidates power after high-level defections...

Instagram founders' exit means no one to challenge Zuckerberg
Sep 26 2018 07:44 Sarah Frier, Bloomberg
Shares of Facebook fell after the founders of Instagram left the social networking giant under unexplained circumstances.
While he took time off for paternity leave this month, Instagram’s Kevin Systrom had time to reflect on all the small ways Facebook had started to impose its will on the photo-sharing app he co-founded.
Earlier this year, his parent company asked for prompts within Instagram that would drive traffic and add content to its main social network. Meanwhile, Facebook removed some of the links to download Instagram from the Facebook app, people familiar with the matter said.
Facebook also wanted more influence over Instagram’s functions such as ad sales, reducing the potential for growth in the app’s own staff in the coming year. Then, in July, CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed to take credit for Instagram’s success on the company’s earnings call.
Systrom and his co-found…

Billionaire LA Times : Social media 'cancer of our time'...

Billionaire LA Times owner calls 'fake news' and how it spreads on social media the 'cancer of our time'
LA Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong advocates for a change in how people consume news on social media.
Social platforms may have revolutionized how people get information, but they've also been criticized for spreading fake news.
"The short attention span we're creating in this millennium is actually very dangerous," he says.
Berkeley Lovelace Jr. September 26, 2018 CNBC.com
Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong on Wednesday advocated for a change in how people consume news on social media, calling misinformation and how it's spread the "cancer of our time."
"The short attention span we're creating in this millennium is actually very dangerous," said Soon-Shiong, the new owner of the Los Angeles Times. "It's the unintended consequences of social media."
Soon-Shiong, also chairman and CEO of biotech firm NantKwest…

World's first FLYING CAR that can turn into a plane in less than a minute and soar along at 100 mph is going on sale in the US next month

World's first FLYING CAR that can turn into a plane in less than a minute and soar along at 100mph is going on sale in the US next month·First two-seat hybrid-electric vehicles will be delivered to customers next year  ·They are manufactured by Terrafugia, owned by the parent company of Volvo ·Price has not yet been determined but preliminary sales will begin next month  By TIM STICKINGS FOR MAILONLINE PUBLISHED: 13:45 EDT, 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 22:04 EDT, 26 September 2018
The world's first flying car is set to go on the market with pre-sales scheduled to begin next month.  The first of the two-seat hybrid-electric vehicles, which can switch between driving and flying modes in less than a minute, will be delivered to customers next year.  According to manufacturer Terrafugia, which belongs to the parent company of Volvo, the Transition can fly up to 400 miles (640km) at top speeds of 100mph (160kmh).  The price has not yet been determined but preliminary sales for the first of…

Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two by 2028 — and one part will be led by China

Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two by 2028 — and one part will be led by China
Speaking at a private event hosted by Village Global VC yesterday night, tech luminary and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that the internet will bifurcate into Chinese-led and US-led versions within the next decade.
Under Sundar Pichai's leadership, Google has explored the potential to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, stirring up controversy internally and outside the company.
By Lora Kolodny September 20, 2018
Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China.
Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green…