Showing posts from November, 2015
November 28, 2015 Stop stores and airports from tracking your movements By   Kim Komando Did you know that for several months Wal-Mart tested a facial recognition system that can pick an individual out of a crowd and track them automatically through a store?   It's true.   Wal-Mart was mainly using the system to spot known shoplifters, but I'm sure you can think of more worrying purposes. Facial recognition is one of many technologies that brick-and-mortar retailers are testing to get real-time data on their customers. Online stores can see exactly what products and ads a user looks at, but offline retailers traditionally only know what people buy. They want to change that so they can maximize their marketing and profits. HOW RETAILERS TRACK YOU While facial recognition is still in limited use, many retailers, and other locations with a lot of traffic like airports, are using Mobile Location Analytics to track your exact location. For example, an airport knows how

Silicon Valley professionals are taking LSD at work to increase productivity

Silicon Valley professionals are taking LSD at work to increase productivity An increasing number of twenty-somethings are reportedly 'micro-dosing' on psychedelic drugs - and they say it's making them better workers             By Adam Boult 3:35PM GMT 26 Nov 2015 Could taking LSD at work make your more productive? It seems unlikely, but that’s apparently what some Silicon Valley professionals have been doing - and reporting great results. According to Rolling Stone, a growing number of people are experimenting with "microdoses" of psychedelics to help them work. A microdose of LSD is around 10-15 micrograms, approximately a tenth of a “normal” dose. At that dosage, Rolling Stone describes the drug’s effects as “subperceptual”: " 'Enough, says Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, ‘to feel a little bit of energy lift, a little bit of insight, but not so much that y

These 3 judges hold the fate of the Internet net neutrality rules in their hands

These 3 judges hold the fate of the Internet in their hands By Brian Fung November 24 at 6:15 AM Next week, a federal appeals court in Washington will hear one of its biggest cases of the year, one whose outcome will directly affect how Internet providers can alter your experience online. At stake are the government's net neutrality rules banning telecom and cable companies from unfairly discriminating against new or potential rivals. Using their power in the marketplace to control what services consumers can access from their smartphones, tablets and PCs, Internet providers could be granted more latitude to favor preferred Web sites — if the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit says so. Three judges from the D.C. Circuit have been named to hear the oral argument on Dec. 4. Much like the Supreme Court, the very makeup of this panel could subtly shape the course of events. What do we know about the judges? Are they familiar with the issues? How might they vote

Two dozen Disney IT workers prepare to sue over foreign replacements

Two dozen Disney IT workers prepare to sue over foreign replacements Increasingly, U.S. IT workers are alleging discrimination By Patrick Thibodeau  Computerworld | Nov 23, 2015 1:25 PM PT At least 23 former Disney IT workers have filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the loss of their jobs to foreign replacements. This federal filing is a first step to filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination. These employees are arguing that they are victims of national origin discrimination, a complaint increasingly raised by U.S. workers who have lost their jobs to foreign workers on H-1B and other temporary visas. Sara Blackwell, the Florida attorney representing the workers, says the deadline for Disney employees terminated on Jan. 30 for filing EEOC actions is Thursday. These employees are making discrimination claims with the EEO under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, citing in part "hostile treatment in f

All Excuses Aside, Apple's Major Problem Is Tim Cook

All Excuses Aside, Apple's Major Problem Is Tim Cook 11/15/2015 @ 9:30AM Yes, I have heard all the good guys (long only crowd) make excuses for Apple’s terrible performance this year to date. Yes, the market cap is too big. (It’s getting bigger for the likes of Amazon, Google/Alphabet, Microsoft et al despite being “too” big as well.) That argument holds no water given what other companies have done this year and despite their own giant market caps. No market cap monitors anywhere you look. Yes, investors don’t understand Apple. (Maybe that’s one of the issues with Apple and an Apple-specific issue.) Yes, they have this, that and the other coming down the pipeline. (So do other companies–no competitor is standing still.) Yes, Tim Cook and Eddy Cue and Jony Ive said that this is Apple’s year like they said last year was and the year before (all the while selling tens of million in stock options, if not hundreds of millions). Yes, wait until next year for

Publishers underwhelmed with Apple News app

Publishers underwhelmed with Apple News app Friday, November 13, 2015 · 10:23 am “When Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp expressed frustration with his company’s performance on Apple News last week, his complaints apparently were just the tip of the iceberg,” Lucia Moses reports for Digiday. “Other publishing execs are unhappy about everything from the traffic they’re getting from the two-month-old news aggregation app to the user experience to the data Apple’s giving them.” “As one publisher, who like others wouldn’t talk on the record for fear of jeopardizing their relationship with Apple, said, ‘The traffic is underwhelming,'” Moses reports. “Data is also a sticking point. Apple is providing weekly data reports including basics like the volume of page views and shares, but publishers want a dashboard that they can use to analyze data on demand, and more demographic data on users. To appeal to publishers, Apple was supposed to let them count the views toward their traffic and let

It’s Way Too Easy to Hack the Hospital -- Changing meds, stealing identities...

It’s Way Too Easy to Hack the Hospital Firewalls and medical devices are extremely vulnerable, and everyone’s pointing fingers By Monte Reel and Jordan Robertson | November 2015 from Bloomberg Businessweek In the fall of 2013, Billy Rios flew from his home in California to Rochester, Minn., for an assignment at the Mayo Clinic, the largest integrated nonprofit medical group practice in the world. Rios is a “white hat” hacker, which means customers hire him to break into their own computers. His roster of clients has included the Pentagon, major defense contractors, Microsoft, Google, and some others he can’t talk about. He’s tinkered with weapons systems, with aircraft components, and even with the electrical grid, hacking into the largest public utility district in Washington state to show officials how they might improve public safety. The Mayo Clinic job, in comparison, seemed pretty tame. He assumed he was going on a routine bug hunt, a week of solo work in clean and

Tor Project warns: Academics accused of helping FBI de-anonymize Internet users

Tor Project warns: Academics accused of helping FBI de-anonymize Internet users By Andrew Blake - The Washington Times - Thursday, November 12, 2015 Researchers from Carnegie Mellon are being accused of helping the FBI exploit a vulnerability that allowed investigators to gather information on users of Tor, an online tool that allows individuals around the globe to browse the Internet anonymously. Tor Project, the not-for-profit group behind the technology, said on Wednesday that academics from Carnegie Mellon University made “at least $1 million” by helping the FBI de-anonymize Tor users earlier this year during the course of a criminal investigation. “Such action is a violation of our trust and basic guidelines for ethical research. We strongly support independent research on our software and network, but this attack crosses the crucial line between research and endangering innocent users,” Tor said in a statement. Tor allows users to stay relatively anonymous on

Robots could steal 80 million US jobs: Bank of England

Robots could steal 80 million US jobs: BoE Alexandra Gibbs 6 Hours Ago One central bank has some frightening predictions when it comes to job stability in the future. 80 million jobs in the United States are at risk of being taken over by robots in the next few decades, a Bank of England (BoE) official warned on Thursday. With U.S. data showing that total nonfarm employment hit 142.6 million in October, that's roughly over half of the total jobs at risk. And the U.S. isn't the only one who'd be at the mercy of the mechanical hands. In a speech at the Trades Union Congress in London, the bank's chief economist, Andy Haldane, said that up to 15 million jobs in the U.K. were at risk of being lost to an age of machines, which is almost half of the employed population currently. To come to its conclusion, the Bank of England conducted a U.K. study which organized occupations into three categories: high, medium and low probability of automation, a

Bullying and breaking promises is wrong -- so cut it out, Microsoft

We all learned in kindergarten that bullying and breaking promises is wrong -- so cut it out, Microsoft         InfoWorld | Nov 5, 2015 Microsoft is doing all it can to snatch defeat on the operating system front from the jaws of victory. Now that it finally has a version of Windows that people actually like, the company is acting like a bully, practically forcing reluctant users to upgrade to Windows 10. Office 365, which is central to the company's shift to a cloud-based business, works closely with Windows 10, but Microsoft this week suddenly announced it will effectively raise prices and eliminate free storage for users of OneDrive, the storage component of Office 365. To complete the laundry list of obnoxious moves, Microsoft recently announced that PC makers must stop installing Windows 7 and Windows 8.x by November 2016. As near as I can tell, that's the first time in more than a decade that PC makers (and thus users) had so little choice. These acti

Autonomous robot designed to stroll store aisles and keep check on inventory

Robot keeps stores stocked with Doritos Autonomous robot designed to stroll store aisles and keep check on inventory By Sharon Gaudin Computerworld | Nov 12, 2015 12:50 PM PT An autonomous robot was unveiled this week that can make sure that when you're hankering for Doritos, there's a bag waiting for you at the market. Simbe Robotics, based in San Francisco, announced its first product, a 30-pound robot called Tally that can move up and down a store's aisles checking inventory. The robot determines what products need restocking and send reports to workers who can add more stock. Tally also is set up to work during normal store hours, alongside employees and customers. "Tally performs repetitive and laborious tasks of auditing shelves for out-of-stock items, low stock items, misplaced items, and pricing errors," the company said in a release. "Tally has the ability to audit shelves cheaper, more frequently, and significantly faster than e