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Showing posts from April, 2019

Alphabet (Google Parent) drops after reporting ad revenue slowdown

Alphabet drops after reporting ad revenue slowdownLauren FeinerMON, APR 29 2019 • 7:53 PM EDT KEY POINTS ·Alphabet shares are up 24% this year, but the stock fell after hours Monday following disappointing revenue. ·Ad sales growth is decelerating at Google.  ·The company was hit with a $1.7 billion fine from the European Commission in the quarter. Alphabet shares fell about 7% after Google’s parent company reported revenue that fell below analyst estimates for its first-quarter 2019. The drop wiped more than $60 billion off Alphabet’s market cap.
Here’s what Alphabet reported compared to Wall Street’s expectations:
·Earnings per share: $11.90 per share, ex-items, vs. $10.61 expected, per Refinitiv survey of analysts ·Revenue: $36.34 billion, vs.$37.33 billion expected, per Refinitiv survey ·Traffic acquisition costs: $6.86 billion, vs. $7.26 billion expected, according to FactSet ·Paid clicks on Google properties: +39% ·

ABC News to Air Diane Sawyer 2 Hour Special on the Impact of Screen Time, Technology & Social Media on Families

ABC NEWS ANNOUNCES DIANE SAWYER TELEVISION EVENT DOCUMENTING THE IMPACT OF SCREEN TIME, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL MEDIA ON FAMILIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY The Two-Hour Special Report Features Solutions for Families ‘ScreenTime: Diane Sawyer Reporting’ Airs Friday, May 3 (8:00 - 10:00 p.m. ET) on ABC
Today, American adults spend the equivalent of 49 days a year on their phone and tablets. For six months, Sawyer and her team traveled across the country talking to families, teachers, doctors, and even tech insiders to pursue questions, answers and solutions. From coast to coast, a question: people love the wonders of technology but have they become too consumed with the little screens in their pockets?
After sending out a call to families across America, Sawyer and the team received messages from parents including a mom from the Midwest who said she felt so disconnected from her kids who were always on screens. ABC News brought in cameras and documented her family’s use of social media througho…

'A Goldmine for Identity Thieves': Unprotected Database Puts 65% of American Households At Risk

'A Goldmine for Identity Thieves': Unprotected Database Puts 65% of American Households At Risk
By CHRIS MORRIS April 29, 2019
A pair of security experts has discovered an online, unprotected database that hosts personal data for 80 million American households. And, perhaps even more concerning, they’re not sure who it belongs to.
Among the data included on the 24 GB database is people’s full names, full street addresses, marital status, date of birth, income bracket, home ownership status and more. (Information such as income, dwelling type and gender is coded.)
Ran Locar and Noam Rotem of VPNMentor discovered the database and say they believe it is the first time a breach of this size has included such detailed information.
“This open database is a goldmine for identity thieves and other attackers,” they said.
Beyond identity thieves, the information on this database could be used to target older and more vulnerable people for phishing and scam attempts. Because real world …

Be wary of robot emotions; ‘simulated love is never love’

Be wary of robot emotions; ‘simulated love is never love’
BY RACHEL LERMAN April 26, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When a robot “dies,” does it make you sad? For lots of people, the answer is “yes” — and that tells us something important, and potentially worrisome, about our emotional responses to the social machines that are starting to move into our lives.
For Christal White, a 42-year-old marketing and customer service director in Bedford, Texas, that moment came several months ago with the cute, friendly Jibo robot perched in her home office. After more than two years in her house, the foot-tall humanoid and its inviting, round screen “face” had started to grate on her. Sure, it danced and played fun word games with her kids, but it also sometimes interrupted her during conference calls.
White and her husband Peter had already started talking about moving Jibo into the empty guest bedroom upstairs. Then they heard about the “death sentence” Jibo’s maker had levied on the product as i…

Lettuce-Farming Robots Might Grow Your Next Salad

Lettuce-Farming Robots Might Grow Your Next Salad
California’s grow houses are making use of applied intelligence and robotics to cultivate the time- and labor-intensive greens.
By Dimitra Kessenides April 26, 2019, 3:00 AM PDT
Your next salad might include leafy greens grown by robots in California greenhouses. About 75 percent of the lettuce farmed in the U.S. comes from that state’s Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley. Cultivating it requires warm temperatures, not too much rain, and lots of time and labor. Startups such as Iron Ox, a maker of agricultural robots, and big players such as John Deere are investing in artificial intelligence to raise produce more efficiently.
At Iron Ox’s fully robotic grow house in San Carlos, Calif., an autonomous robot plants, cares for, and harvests crops. 
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-04-26/lettuce-farming-robots-might-grow-your-next-salad

Walmart experiments with AI to monitor stores in real time

Walmart experiments with AI to monitor stores in real timeBy ANNE D'INNOCENZIO April 25, 2019
LEVITTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Who’s minding the store? In the not-too-distant future it could be cameras and sensors that can tell almost instantly when bruised bananas need to be swapped for fresh ones and more cash registers need to open before lines get too long. Walmart, which faces fierce competition from Amazon and other online retailers, is experimenting with digitizing its physical stores to manage them more efficiently, keep costs under control and make the shopping experience more pleasant. On Thursday, the retail giant officially opens its Intelligent Retail Lab inside a 50,000-square-foot Neighborhood Market grocery store on Long Island. Thousands of cameras suspended from the ceiling, combined with other technology like sensors on shelves, will monitor the store in real time so workers can quickly replenish products or fix other problems. The technology, shown first to The Associated Pr…
Planet of the APPS! Chimpanzee ‘figures out’ how to use an iPhone to scroll through videos and photographs·JD Durkin from Queens, New York shared the video of the cellphone  ·Mr Durkin told his followers on Twitter about his concerns over the advance ·The chimpanzee appeared to be consciously scrolling through the photos  · By DARREN BOYLE FOR MAILONLINE11:12 EDT, 25 April 2019 · According to the Infinite Monkey Theorem, if you give enough apes sufficient time and plenty of typewriters, then they should be able to rattle out the complete works of William Shakespeare.  However, one chimpanzee appears determined to get a head start on his simian friends by picking up an iPhone and trying to master a few of the more basic features.  The one-minute-long experiment prompted excited internet users to share footage of the  inquisitive chimpanzee.  JD Durkin from Queens, New York, who posted the footage expressed his concern over the prospect of technologically advanced apes. 
He added: 'An ape fig…

57% of voters believe that Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is threat to the human race

57% SEE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AS THREAT TO HUMAN RACEby Scott RasmussenPosted on April 24, 2019 | Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters believe that Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is at least somewhat of a threat to the human race. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 43% disagree and do not see it as a threat. Those figures include 16% who consider A.I. is a Very Serious threat while 10% say it is not a threat at all. Concern about A.I. threatening the human race has been a regular feature of science-fiction films, including classics such as The Matrix. The number currently considering A.I. to be a threat is up three points since November. Other recent studies show a significant increase in the number who believe A.I. and Robotics will lead to mass unemployment. There has also been a growing concern about the impact of A.I. on education, health care, and the economy. Younger voters are a bit more concerned about A.I. than voters over 50. Republicans are a bit more concerned th…

AT&T’s Pay-TV Subscribers Continue to Flee

AT&T’s Pay-TV Subscribers Continue to Flee
Wireless business gains customers despite phone-sale slowdown; ‘Aquaman’ buoys media unit
By Drew FitzGerald and Kimberly Chin April 24, 2019 5:08 p.m. ET
AT&T Inc.’s pay-television subscriber base continued to erode during the first quarter, adding pressure on the telecom and media giant to develop a new streaming service aimed at cord-cutters.
The Dallas company reported a net loss of 544,000 so-called premium TV customers, a category that includes DirecTV satellite subscriptions and U-verse fiber-optic packages, during the first three months of the year. The online cablelike service DirecTV Now shed 83,000 customers.
Shares in AT&T fell 4.1% to $30.79 Wednesday. The stock is still up about 8% this year.
The reported pay-TV losses would have been even deeper were it not for a change in the way AT&T records disconnections. The company said it now counts severed accounts based on billing cycles, a change that boosted total pa…

Sri Lanka social media shutdown part of global discontent with Silicon Valley

Sri Lanka social media shutdown part of global discontent with Silicon Valley
By Tony Romm April 23, 2019 — 5.54am
Washington: The Sri Lankan government's decision to shutter access to social-media sites after Sunday's deadly bombings may mark a turning point in how countries around the world perceive Silicon Valley - and their willingness act to stop the spread of falsehoods online.
A decade ago, Facebook, Twitter and their social-media peers helped spearhead pro-democracy uprisings that toppled dictators throughout the Middle East, and their services were seen as a way to help in catastrophes, allowing authorities a vehicle to convey crucial information and organise assistance.
Today, though, those same social-media sites appear to some as a force that can corrode democracy as much as promote it, spreading disinformation to an audience of millions in a matter of minutes and fuelling ethnic violence before authorities can take steps to stop it.
That sense is heightened by tech gia…

Federal investigation of Facebook could hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable on privacy, sources say

Federal investigation of Facebook could hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable on privacy, sources sayByTony RommApril 18 at 8:33 PM
Federal regulators investigating Facebook for mishandling its users’ personal information have set their sights on the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, exploring his past statements on privacy and weighing whether to seek new, heightened oversight of his leadership. The discussions about how to hold Zuckerberg accountable for Facebook’s data lapses have come in the context of wide-ranging talks between the Federal Trade Commission and Facebook that could settle the government’s more than year-old probe, according to two people familiar with the discussions. Both requested anonymity because the FTC’s inquiry is confidential under law. Such a move could create new legal, political and public-relations headaches for one of Silicon Valley’s best known — and image conscious — corporate leaders. Zuckerberg is Facebook’s co-founder, chief executive, board cha…