Showing posts from 2019

UK academics set to launch 'virus' software for online ‘hate speech’ in time for 2020 election

UK academics set to launch 'virus' software for online ‘hate speech’ in time for 2020 election Joshua-Caleb Barton Virginia Campus Correspondent on Dec 30, 2019 at 2:10 PM EDT Researchers at the University of Cambridge have proposed a software program that treats online “hate speech” like a computer virus. Users would be presented with a warning and a “Hate O’Meter” rating before deciding whether or not to view content that may be regarded as “hate speech." Researchers at one of the world's oldest universities hope to launch a technology that allows users to block online "hate speech" much like a computer virus. Users will be able to decide whether or not they want to view content with the help of a handy "Hate O'Meter." Thanks to researchers at the University of Cambridge, the largest social media companies in the world may soon have the ability to preemptively quarantine content classified by an algorithm as “hate speech"

Italy Follows France in Levying a Digital Tax

Italy Follows France in Levying a Digital Tax New tax threatens to deepen dispute with U.S. on how to tax big tech companies By   Eric Sylvers  in Milan and  Sam Schechner  in Paris Dec. 24, 2019 12:47 pm ET Italy soon will join France in applying a new tax on large tech companies, a move that could deepen trans-Atlantic trade tensions and snarl up already-faltering negotiations over how best to tax companies such as  Facebook  Inc.  and Google parent  Alphabet  Inc. The new tax, passed this week by Italy’s parliament, will take effect Jan. 1. Similar to the tax implemented this year in France, Italy’s imposes a 3% levy on some digital revenue for companies with more than €750 million in global revenue, including least €5.5 million in Italy. The Italian announcement, combined with the French tax, complicates a broader effort among more than 100 countries to overhaul corporate taxation for the digital age. Many countries say U.S. tech companies pay too little income tax

5G Underwhelms in Its First Big Test in South Korea

5G Underwhelms in Its First Big Test In South Korea, where the next-generation wireless network has been rolled out widely, download speeds have risen but many users aren’t impressed By   Eun-Young Jeong Updated Dec. 31, 2019 7:13 am ET SEOUL—When 5G services launched here in April, Jang Dong-gil was among the first wave of South Koreans to sign up. Now eight months in, Mr. Jang, a 30-year-old tech company worker, has a chilling review for the next-generation technology: 5G hasn’t lived up to the hype. “I don’t feel the difference,” said Mr. Jang, who uses a 5G-enabled  Samsung Electronics  Co.  handset. On many days, he said, he switches off his 5G service altogether because his connection often drops as his phone pingpongs between 5G and the existing 4G LTE network. For most of 2019, South Korea was home to the vast majority of the world’s 5G users, offering the broadest lessons in what the next-generation network has to offer. Though it is still early in the glob

Singapore Goes on Global Offensive to Defend ‘Fake News’ Law

Singapore Goes on Global Offensive to Defend ‘Fake News’ Law Philip J. Heijmans and Yoolim Lee Bloomberg • December 26, 2019 (Bloomberg) -- Singaporean diplomats are taking the lead in defending a two-month-old fake news law, challenging international media outlets and free-speech advocates it says are publishing misleading claims on the contentious legislation. Since the law was enacted in October, authorities in the Southeast Asian city-state have invoked it four times against critics and once against Facebook Inc., which was required to attach a government-issued “correction” to content deemed to contain falsehoods. Government officials have also countered critical media coverage of the law, known as the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act. Foo Chi Hsia, Singapore’s High Commissioner to the U.K., stated the Economist had misrepresented the law, writing in a Dec. 21 letter to the editor that it “should be looked at in the same context as our belief in

Twitter Begs Users to Target Themselves for Ads

Twitter Begs Users to Target Themselves for Ads Scott Duke Kominers December 30, 2019   (Bloomberg Opinion) -- A few weeks ago, Twitter gave users an early holiday present in the form of "Topics," a feature that lets them subscribe to feeds on a given subject. As the company explained it, the feature reduces the need for users to track down accounts to follow; rather, “the conversation will come to you.” Although Topics sound like it might be a boon for users, it’s a barely veiled attempt to improve the platform’s ad targeting. And Topics shares the deficiencies of the rest of Twitter’s model, so it probably won’t work out that well. As I've written before, Twitter faces a fundamental problem in leveraging its user data. Because the platform encourages brief and superficial interactions, it’s hard for the company to evaluate content quality, much less learn about specific users’ preferences and interests. That’s bad for Twitter's top line, which depends o

As robots take over warehousing, workers pushed to adapt... Stress, injuries...

As robots take over warehousing, workers pushed to adapt   By MATT O'BRIEN December 29, 2019 NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Guess who’s getting used to working with robots in their everyday lives? The very same warehouse workers once predicted to be losing their jobs to mechanical replacements. But doing your job side-by-side with robots isn’t easy. According to their makers, the machines should take on the most mundane and physically strenuous tasks. In reality, they’re also creating new forms of stress and strain in the form of injuries and the unease of working in close quarters with mobile half-ton devices that direct themselves. “They weigh a lot,” Amazon worker Amanda Taillon said during the pre-Christmas rush at a company warehouse in Connecticut. Nearby, a fleet of 6-foot-tall roving robot shelves zipped around behind a chain-link fence. Taillon’s job is to enter a cage and tame Amazon’s wheeled warehouse robots for long enough to pick up a fallen toy or relieve a