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Google AI Blog: Night Sight: Seeing in the Dark on Pixel Phones
Night Sight is a new feature of the Pixel Camera app that lets you take sharp, clean photographs in very low light, even in light so dim you can't see much with your own eyes. It works on the main and selfie cameras of all three generations of Pixel phones, and does not require a tripod or flash. In this article we'll talk about why taking pictures in low light is challenging, and we'll discuss the computational photography and machine learning techniques, much of it built on top of HDR+, that make Night Sight work.
twig  changelog 
6 hours ago by leolaporte
Google CFO Expects to Double New York Staff Over the Next 10 Years - WSJ
Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech D.Live conference on Monday, Alphabet and Google finance chief Ruth Porat said Google is adding talent at a faster pace outside Silicon Valley than at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, including at new facilities in Detroit and Los Angeles.
twig  693 
yesterday by leolaporte
Nigerian firm takes blame for routing Google traffic through China | Reuters
The issue surfaced on Monday afternoon as internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet Inc’s Google had been routed through China and Russia, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked.

Main One said in an email that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, the West African firm said.
twig  693 
yesterday by leolaporte
Waymo CEO Says Alphabet Unit Plans to Launch Driverless Car Service in Coming Months - WSJ
Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech D.Live conference on Tuesday, Waymo’s John Krafcik said the new service will charge individual passengers for rides as well as businesses, such as Walmart Inc., WMT -0.90% who want to pay to shuttle their customers to stores. The service will initially be available to a small group of riders in the Phoenix area, but will expand to more people in the coming months, he said.
twig  changelog  693 
yesterday by leolaporte
What is Project Fi, how does it work, and why do I want it? | Android Central
Google today announced a change to Project Fi (soon to be Google Fi, perhaps) that will enable an always-on VPN (virtual private network) for data traffic over both cellular and third-party WiFi networks. A VPN can be seen as a tunnel that data goes through, and anything in that tunnel is encrypted to keep snoopers from seeing what you're doing on any given network. Project Fi previously used a VPN for all cellular traffic, but today's change keeps you protected during those times you duck in and out of WiFi coverage.
twig  changelog  693 
yesterday by leolaporte
Man who made hoax call in deadly 'swatting' pleads guilty
Tyler R. Barriss , 26, admitted to making the false report resulting in a death, as well as cyberstalking and conspiracy related to the deadly swatting calls in Kansas. The deal with prosecutors will send him to prison for between 20 and 25 years, if the judge accepts it. He had previously pleaded not guilty in Kansas.
twig  693 
yesterday by leolaporte
Google Internet Traffic Is Briefly Misdirected Through Russia, China - WSJ
Internet research firm ThousandEyes said incorrect routing instructions redirected some traffic intended for Google’s addresses to Russian network operator TransTelekom, China Telecom Corp. and MainOne, a provider in Nigeria.
twig  693 
yesterday by leolaporte
Pandora brings its Genome technology to podcast recommendations | TechCrunch
The Podcast Genome Project, as it’s called, is now powering a new recommendation system that will be combined with human editorial oversight to offer content suggestions for Pandora users.

Like the Music Genome – the music information database capable of classifying songs across 450 different attributes – the Podcast Genome Project is also a cataloging system designed to evaluate content. But in this case, its focus is on audio programs.
twig  693 
yesterday by leolaporte
Waymo to Start First Driverless Car Service Next Month - Bloomberg
Waymo, the secretive subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is planning to launch the world’s first commercial driverless car service in early December, according to a person familiar with the plans. It will operate under a new brand and compete directly with Uber and Lyft. 
twig  693 
yesterday by leolaporte
Amazon selects New York City and Northern Virginia for new headquarters
Amazon today announced that we have selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for our new headquarters. Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington. The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America. In addition, Amazon announced that it has selected Nashville for a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities. The Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville will create more than 5,000 jobs.
twig  693 
yesterday by leolaporte
Google's trying to win at hardware. Meet the woman altering its design | WIRED UK
You might have not heard of Ross – but it’s this soft-spoken, grey-haired woman who would later add the mint-green power button to the Pixel smartphone. It’s Ross who turned your Google speakers into river pebbles. It’s Ross who signs off any other Google hardware product before it hits the shelves. Can she turn the search giant into a mighty hardware design leader – and even nudge people to like Google Glass?
twig 
3 days ago by leolaporte
The Art Institute of Chicago Has Put 50,000 High-Res Images from Their Collection Online
The Art Institute of Chicago recently unveiled a new website design. As part of their first design upgrade in 6 years, they have placed more than 52,000 high-resolution images from their collection online, available to all comers without restriction.
twig  692 
3 days ago by leolaporte
Why Sweden's cashless society is no longer a utopia | World Economic Forum
The development raises some crucial issues regarding the state’s role in the payment market. For hundreds of years, the public has been offered central bank notes and coins. If cash stops working, it would leave all individuals to rely on the private sector alone to get access to money and payment methods. This would be a historical change without precedence. Norway is seeing a similar trend, and the two central banks are cooperating in this area. In the Eurozone, cash is still used to a high degree. The value of the outstanding amount of cash is equivalent to 10% of the Eurozone GDP, versus the Swedish equivalent of only 1%.
twig  692 
3 days ago by leolaporte
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Gets Reputation Hit After Data Blunders | Fortune
Only 22% of Americans said that they trust Facebook with their personal information, far less than Amazon (49%), Google (41%), Microsoft (40%), and Apple (39%).
twig  692 
3 days ago by leolaporte
Tech C.E.O.s Are in Love With Their Principal Doomsayer - The New York Times
“If humans are hackable animals, and if our choices and opinions don’t reflect our free will, what should the point of politics be?” he wrote. “How do you live when you realize … that your heart might be a government agent, that your amygdala might be working for Putin, and that the next thought that emerges in your mind might well be the result of some algorithm that knows you better than you know yourself? These are the most interesting questions humanity now faces.”
692  twig 
3 days ago by leolaporte
Google AI helps NYT get a handle on 5 million photo archive - CNET
The newspaper's "morgue" has 5 million to 7 million photos dating back to the 1870s, including prints and contact sheets showing all the shots on photographers' rolls of film. The Times is using Google's technology to convert it into something more useful than its current analog state occupying banks of filing cabinets.

Specifically, it's using Google AI tools to recognize printed or handwritten text describing the photos and Google's storage and data analysis services, the newspaper said. It plans to investigate whether object recognition is worthwhile, too.
twig  692 
5 days ago by leolaporte
Facebook Allowed Advertisers to Target Users Interested in “White Genocide” — Even in Wake of Pittsburgh Massacre
Earlier this week, The Intercept was able to select “white genocide conspiracy theory” as a pre-defined “detailed targeting” criterion on the social network to promote two articles to an interest group that Facebook pegged at 168,000 users large and defined as “people who have expressed an interest or like pages related to White genocide conspiracy theory.” The paid promotion was approved by Facebook’s advertising wing. After we contacted the company for comment, Facebook promptly deleted the targeting category, apologized, and said it should have never existed in the first place.
twig  691 
11 days ago by leolaporte
iPhones are Allergic to Helium | iFixit
Of course, the reason that you’ve never heard of this before is because it’s such a rare situation. But silicon manufacturers are aware of it and do what they can to minimize the problem. David told me that “A helium leak test is a pretty standard MEMS test done by most companies to assess vacuum packages.”

So that’s it! Like an incredibly tiny grain of sand, the helium molecules are small enough to get inside the device, physically stop the clock, and turn your phone temporarily into a paperweight.

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nss  twig  691 
12 days ago by leolaporte
Intel CPUs impacted by new PortSmash side-channel vulnerability | ZDNet
"Security and SMT are mutually exclusive concepts," he added. "I hope our work encourages users to disable SMT in the BIOS or choose to spend their money on architectures not featuring SMT."
sn  twig  691 
12 days ago by leolaporte
Without new laws, Facebook has no reason to fix its broken ad system - The Verge
After Facebook implemented its own rules and agreed to adhere to the Honest Ads Act, all momentum on the bill stalled. The bill had bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House, but fizzled out as Congress awaited Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill before taking any action. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is known for his expansive take on the first amendment, also questioned the necessity for the bill and has yet to bring it up for a vote. In light of Vice’s reporting, it’s fair to question how genuine Facebook was in its support for the bill.
twig  691 
12 days ago by leolaporte
Flickr will end 1TB of free storage and limit free users to 1,000 photos - The Verge
Flickr is also adding numerous changes and enhancements to the $49.99-per-year Flickr Pro service over the course of the next few months. Paid customers will be given unlimited storage for photos and videos at full resolution, no ads, additional data on how their photos are performing, “premier” customer service, videos up to 10 minutes long (instead of three minutes), and partner discounts from Adobe, Smugmug, Peak Design, and more.
twig  691 
12 days ago by leolaporte
The CIA's communications suffered a catastrophic compromise
In fact, the Iranians used Google to identify the website the CIA was were using to communicate with agents. Because Google is continuously scraping the internet for information about all the world’s websites, it can function as a tremendous investigative tool — even for counter-espionage purposes. And Google’s search functions allow users to employ advanced operators — like “AND,” “OR,” and other, much more sophisticated ones — that weed out and isolate websites and online data with extreme specificity.

According to the former intelligence official, once the Iranian double agent showed Iranian intelligence the website used to communicate with his or her CIA handlers, they began to scour the internet for websites with similar digital signifiers or components — eventually hitting on the right string of advanced search terms to locate other secret CIA websites. From there, Iranian intelligence tracked who was visiting these sites, and from where, and began to unravel the wider CIA network.
twig  691 
12 days ago by leolaporte
Private messages from 81,000 hacked Facebook accounts for sale - BBC News
Hackers appear to have compromised and published private messages from at least 81,000 Facebook users' accounts.
The perpetrators told the BBC Russian Service that they had details from a total of 120 million accounts, which they were attempting to sell, although there are reasons to be sceptical about that figure.
Facebook said its security had not been compromised.
And the data had probably been obtained through malicious browser extensions.
twig  691 
12 days ago by leolaporte
Passcodes are protected by Fifth Amendment, says court – Naked Security
The latest from the Florida Court of Appeals put a twist on that: whereas the government in the past has only had to show that the defendant knows their password, in this case, the court says that the government needs to show that it knows that specific evidence needed to prosecute the case is on the device, not just that there’s a reasonable certainty the device can be unlocked by the person targeted by the order.
sn  twig  691 
12 days ago by leolaporte
Facebook shares climb despite Q3 user growth and revenue | TechCrunch
But the real growth story depends on its core US/Canada and Europe markets where Facebook saw zero growth and lost 1 million monthly users respectively last quarter. In Q3, Facebook added 1 million monthly users to reach 242 million in the US/Canada region, but held flat at 185 million dailies there. It lost 1 million users in Europe in both dailies and monthlies. Those markets make up over 70 percent of its revenue, which is why the slow growth and shrinkage is scaring Wall Street.
twig  691 
14 days ago by leolaporte
Facebook - Facebook Reports Third Quarter 2018 Results
Daily active users (DAUs) – DAUs were 1.49 billion on average for September 2018, an increase of 9% year-over-year.
Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 2.27 billion as of September 30, 2018, an increase of 10% year-over-year.
Mobile advertising revenue – Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 92% of advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2018, up from approximately 88% of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2017.
twig  691 
14 days ago by leolaporte
How Facebook Failed To Build A Better Alexa (Or Siri)
Facebook bought multiple speech-based companies and hired experts specializing in voice technology over the last five years, but it has struggled to turn those investments into useful services, two senior sources who worked at the company told Forbes, largely due to chaotic product priorities and confusion over where researchers should focus their time. "After five years, to still not have a product is shameful," said one.
twig  691 
14 days ago by leolaporte
A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley - The New York Times
But in the last year, a fleet of high-profile Silicon Valley defectors have been sounding alarms in increasingly dire terms about what these gadgets do to the human brain. Suddenly rank-and-file Silicon Valley workers are obsessed. No-tech homes are cropping up across the region. Nannies are being asked to sign no-phone contracts.

Those who have exposed their children to screens try to talk them out of addiction by explaining how the tech works.
twig  690 
19 days ago by leolaporte
Half Of The News Outlets We Asked Would Take Cash To Post Our Content
Of the 22 outlets who replied conclusively, 12 of them—more than half the total—were willing to publish paid content without disclosing it as such.
twig  690 
19 days ago by leolaporte
How Amazon Closely Targets Ads - The Atlantic
On Thursday, Amazon reported that the category of its business devoted to advertising and “sales related to our other service offerings” made nearly $2.5 billion in net sales in just the third quarter of 2018. In the third quarter of 2017, it made less than half that, $1.12 billion. A September report from eMarketer estimated that Amazon is now the number three digital-ad seller in the country, behind Facebook and Google. Brands will spend $4.61 billion advertising on the Amazon platform this year, the report estimated. Mike Olson, an analyst with PiperJaffray, anticipates that Amazon advertising revenue will reach $8 billion this year, a number that will double to $16 billion by 2020, and that will soon overtake in profitability Amazon’s big moneymaker, Amazon Web Services, which sells cloud-computing services.
twig  690 
19 days ago by leolaporte
Copyright Office Ruling Imposes Sweeping Right to Repair Reforms | iFixit
You can now jailbreak Alexa-powered hardware, and other similar gadgets—they call these ‘Voice assistant devices.’
You can unlock new phones, not just used ones. This is important for recyclers that get unopened consumer returns.
We got a general exemption for repair of smartphones, home appliances, or home systems. This means that it’s finally legal to root and fix the Revolv smart home hubs that Google bricked when they shut down the servers. Or pretty much any other home device.
Repair of motorized land vehicles (including tractors) by modifying the software is now legal. Importantly, this includes access to telematic diagnostic data—which was a major point of contention.
It’s now legal for third-parties to perform repair on behalf of the owner. This is hugely important for the American economy, where repair jobs represent 3% of overall employment.
twig  690 
19 days ago by leolaporte
How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’ - The New York Times
What Google did not make public was that an employee had accused Mr. Rubin of sexual misconduct. The woman, with whom Mr. Rubin had been having an extramarital relationship, said he coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013, according to two company executives with knowledge of the episode. Google investigated and concluded her claim was credible, said the people, who spoke on the condition that they not be named, citing confidentiality agreements. Mr. Rubin was notified, they said, and Mr. Page asked for his resignation.
twig  690 
20 days ago by leolaporte
Apple’s Tim Cook makes blistering attack on the “data industrial complex” | TechCrunch
“Taken to the extreme this process creates an enduring digital profile and lets companies know you better than you may know yourself. Your profile is a bunch of algorithms that serve up increasingly extreme content, pounding our harmless preferences into harm.”

“We shouldn’t sugarcoat the consequences. This is surveillance,” he added.
mbw  twig  690 
21 days ago by leolaporte
Apple to Launch TV Subscription Service Globally — The Information
Apple is planning to launch its upcoming TV subscription service in more than 100 countries, three people familiar with the company’s plans told The Information. That would quickly make Apple a competitor with both Amazon and Netflix, both of whose video services are widely available internationally.
twig  mbw  680 
22 days ago by leolaporte
Wikipedia founder lays off all journalists from his new media website - The Verge
In the process, the company has laid off its 12 original editorial staffers, reports The Drum, following the April departure of CNN and Reuters journalist Peter Bale, who initially assembled the team. The WikiTribune began in August of last year, and Wales and his co-founder Orit Kopel posted a note to the site earlier this week first mentioning the “major personnel changes” and the reframing of its focus on the community.
twig  690 
22 days ago by leolaporte
Facebook adding "fbclid" parameter to outbound links.
After doing a quick search on Google, I have noticed that a few websites have already had their pages indexed with this new “fbclid” parameter attached. Another good reason why you should always explicitly set the canonical URL for each page.
twig  690 
23 days ago by leolaporte
The Titan M Chip Powers Up Pixel 3 Security | WIRED
Titan M heads off these boot-time attacks by tying into Verified Boot, a feature introduced in 2017 with Android Oreo. Verified Boot confirms that you’re running the correct version of Android as soon as you turn it on; by leveraging Titan M, the Pixel 3 ensures the integrity of that check before an attacker has a chance to downgrade you to something more vulnerable, or meddles with your bootloader.

The chip also helps prevent fake log-ins, both by limiting the number of passcode attempts and by having a direct electrical connection to the Pixel’s side buttons so that an attacker can’t create fake button presses to make it seem like a user is present when none is.
twig  sn  690 
23 days ago by leolaporte
China requires blockchain-based information service providers to register users using real names, censor postings and store user data | South China Morning Post
Under proposed new rules, companies and entities operating in China that provide blockchain-based information services will have to ask users to register their real names and national identification card numbers, censor content deemed to pose a threat to national security and store user data to allow inspection by authorities.
The Cyberspace Administration of China published the draft regulations on its website on Friday for public consultation until November 2. It is not clear when the rules will come into effect.
twig  690 
23 days ago by leolaporte
Apple CEO Tim Cook Is Calling For Bloomberg To Retract Its Chinese Spy Chip Story
This is an extraordinary statement from Cook and Apple. The company has never previously publicly (though it may have done so privately) called for the retraction of a news story — even in cases where the stories have had major errors or were demonstratively false, such as a This American Life episode that was shown to be fabricated.
mbw  twig  689 
25 days ago by leolaporte
Alexa’s new Whisper Mode goes live | TechCrunch
At Amazon’s Alexa event last month in Seattle, the company teased a new feature soon coming to its voice assistant: the ability to whisper. The company demonstrated how whispering a request – like “play a lullaby” – to Alexa would trigger the voice assistant to respond in kind. Today, Amazon says Whisper Mode is officially going live.
twig  689 
27 days ago by leolaporte
Microsoft co-founder Paul  Allen dies of cancer at age 65
Earlier this month, Allen revealed that he had started treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the same type of cancer he was treated for in 2009. In 1983, Allen left the company he founded with Bill Gates when he was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, which he defeated.
twig  ww  689 
4 weeks ago by leolaporte
Pixel Buds Real-Time Translations Available on All Google Assistant Headphones – Droid Life
Google updated one of their Pixel Buds support pages yesterday to note that “Google Translate is available on all Assistant-optimized headphones and Android phones,” where it used to say “Google Translate on Google Pixel Buds is only available on Pixel phones.”
twig  688 
4 weeks ago by leolaporte
SF judge denies Lime’s request to block electric scooter deployment | TechCrunch
Following the SFMTA’s decision to grant Skip and Scoot electric scooter permits, Lime sent an appeal requesting the agency reevaluate its application. At the time, the SFMTA said it was “confident” it picked the right companies. Just yesterday, Lime said it believed “that it has no choice but to seek emergency relief in the court” and take legal action.
twig  688 
4 weeks ago by leolaporte
Google's Area 120 killing Reply, but features 'will live on' - 9to5Google
The message was sent out to users that installed Reply this morning, with Google thanking them for helping test the app. Noting that it was an “experiment,” Area 120 is now ending it. “Reply will live on in other Google products,” with the team at Area 120 working with other, unspecified groups at Google to integrate the 10 months of “ideas and learnings.”
twig  688 
4 weeks ago by leolaporte
Google Privacy Upgrades Could Jolt Gmail App Developers - WSJ
Apps that don’t fall into categories of either email or productivity services will be cut off from all Gmail data, and other developers will be restricted from selling data they collect or using it to target advertising or market research, Google said in a blog post Monday.
twig  688 
4 weeks ago by leolaporte
Jeffrey Katzenberg And Meg Whitman Unveil Name Of 25-35 NewTV Venture: Quibi, short for Quick Bites
Media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and veteran tech executive Meg Whitman used the prominent platform of Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit to announce the name of their new mobile video startup and drop the names of four high-profile Hollywood players who will create content for the subscription service.

Filmmakers Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro and Antoine Fuqua and noted producer Jason Blum will all create shows for the new mobile subscription service, which launches next year. 

“These people are so excited about doing something new. They want to be the pioneers. They want to be able to show the path in doing this,” said Katzenberg. “We are going to do be able to do extraordinary storytelling.”

Whitman announced the service will be called Quibi, short for quick bites of content.

“Jeffrey can’t stop saying the name Quibi,” Whitman said. “I think that will be a fun name for us.”
twig  688 
4 weeks ago by leolaporte
The breach that killed Google+ wasn’t a breach at all - The Verge
Part of the disconnect comes from the fact that, legally, Google is in the clear. There are lots of laws about reporting breaches — primarily the GDPR but also a string of state-level bills — but by that standard, what happened to Google+ wasn’t technically a breach. Those laws are concerned with unauthorized access to user information, codifying the basic idea that if someone steals your credit card or phone number, you have a right to know about it. But Google just found that data was available to developers, not that any data was actually taken. With no clear data stolen, Google had no legal reporting requirements. As far as the lawyers were concerned, it wasn’t a breach, and quietly fixing the problem was good enough.
twig  688 
4 weeks ago by leolaporte
Yossi Appleboum Disagrees with How Bloomberg is Positioning His Research Against Supermicro
We have a problem. The problem is the hardware supply chain. All of us are dealing with what happened to Supermicro, and whether Amazon knew or did not know. That is not the main issue for me. The main issue is that we have a problem. It is global. This is why I think Supermicro is suffering from the big players. I am talking about the really big players who know that they have the same problem, and they are kind of using the story right now to throw Supermicro under the bus instead of coming out and saying that it is a global problem, let’s fix it and find a solution.
twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women | Reuters
That is because Amazon’s computer models were trained to vet applicants by observing patterns in resumes submitted to the company over a 10-year period. Most came from men, a reflection of male dominance across the tech industry.
twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Google Photos update makes an already smart app even smarter
Live albums is a feature that automatically adds photos of people and pets to an album as you take them. To create a live album, select ‘Automatically add photos of People & Pets’ option while creating it, and add people to it. This feature is rolling out to Android, iOS, and the web app in select countries.
changelog  twig 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
DoNotPay App Lets You 'Sue Anyone By Pressing a Button'
The app works by having a bot ask the user a few basic questions about their legal issue. The bot then uses the answers to classify the case into one of 15 different legal areas, such as breach of contract or negligence. After that, Do Not Pay draws up documents specific to that legal area, and fills in the specific details. Just print it out, mail it to the courthouse, and violá—you’re a plaintiff. And if you have to show up to court in person, Do Not Pay even creates a script for the plaintiff to read out loud in court.
twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Android Creator Is Said to Build AI Phone That Texts for You - Bloomberg
The design of the new mobile device isn’t like a standard smartphone. It would have a small screen and require users to interact mainly using voice commands, in concert with Essential’s artificial-intelligence software. The idea is for the product to book appointments or respond to emails and text messages on its own, according to the people familiar with the plans. Users would also be able to make phone calls from the planned device.
twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Leaked Transcript of Private Meeting Contradicts Google’s Official Story on China
Gomes’s remarks to staff, which can be read in full below, highlight the stark contrast between Google’s public and private statements about Dragonfly. The secretive project has been underway since spring 2017 — and has involved about 300 employees, the majority of whom have worked full-time on the plan. It was far beyond an “exploration,” and the plan to launch it was well-developed, as some of Google’s own employees have themselves highlighted in recent weeks, despite the company’s efforts to suppress such information.
twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
This is the Google Pixel 3 XL - Android Authority
From the time I had with the device, I was quite surprised by the build quality. The device is polycarbonate, probably to allow for wireless charging, but it felt just as good if not better than the white Pixel 2 XL. (Update: On closer examination, we think the device’s back is actually made of glass, with a texture applied). While I couldn’t confirm the screen resolution, I’m certain it must have been QHD. The display looked miles better than the previous OLED on the Pixel 2XL, and it’s obvious Google has put a lot of time into the small parts of the device.
twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Netflix, Already a Studio in All But Name, Is Buying a Studio - Bloomberg
The world’s largest paid online TV network is in final negotiations to purchase ABQ Studios, with eight sound stages in Albuquerque, according to a statement Monday. Terms weren’t given. Netflix already shoots the supernatural drama “Chambers’’ and the epic ‘‘Messiah’’ in New Mexico and previously shot its Emmy-winning series “Godless’’ there as well.
twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Sony commits to successor for PlayStation 4 | Financial Times
“At this point, what I can say is it’s necessary to have a next-generation hardware,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, in an interview with the Financial Times. He declined to formally name Sony’s future console the “PlayStation 5”.
twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Security researcher cited in Bloomberg's China spy chip investigation casts doubt on story's veracity
"Spreading hardware fear, uncertainty and doubt is entirely in my financial gain, but it doesn't make sense because there are so many easier ways to do this," Fitzpatrick said, referring to the purported hardware implant. "There are so many easier hardware ways, there are software, there are firmware approaches. There approach you are describing is not scalable. It's not logical. It's not how I would do it. Or how anyone I know would do it."
twig  sn  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Facebook launches Portal auto-zooming video chat screens for $199/$349 | TechCrunch
Knowing buyers might be creeped out, Facebook’s VP of Portal Rafa Camargo tells me “We had to build all the stacks — hardware, software, and AI from scratch — and it allowed us to build privacy into each one of these layers”. There’s no facial recognition and instead just a technology called 2D pose that runs locally on the device to track your position so the camera can follow you if you move around. A separate chip for local detection only activates Portal when it hears its wake word, it doesn’t save recordings, and the data connection is encrypted. And with a tap you can electronically disable the camera and mic, or slide the plastic privacy shield over the lens to blind it while keeping voice controls active.
twig  sn  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Google is shutting down Google+
This review crystallized what we’ve known for a while: that while our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps. The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.
changeling  twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Brett Kavanaugh and the Information Terrorists Trying to Reshape America | WIRED
But there's another aspect to this that is critical: In terms of information architecture, Gamergate was a signal event—a rally-point for the charlatans and hucksters who would become leaders because they could put words to a previously poorly defined sentiment that was more widespread than anyone wanted to think.
twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
The Internet’s keepers? “Some call us hoarders—I like to say we’re archivists” | Ars Technica
The company currently stands as the second-largest scanner of books in the world, next to Google. Graham put the current total above four million. The archive even has a wishlist for its next 1.5 million scans, including anything cited on Wikipedia. Yes, the Wayback Machine is in the process of making sure you’re not finding 404s during any Wiki rabbithole (Graham recently told the BBC that Wayback bots have restored nearly six million pages lost to linkrot as part of that effort). Today, books published prior to 1923 are free to download through the Internet Archive, and a lot of the stuff from afterwards can be borrowed as a digital copy.
twig  688 
5 weeks ago by leolaporte
UK high court blocks mass privacy action against Google | Technology | The Guardian
The high court’s ruling did not address the facts of the case, although Mr Justice Warby conceded that “it is arguable that Google’s alleged role in the collection, collation, and use of data obtained via the ‘Safari workaround’ was wrongful, and a breach of duty”. But it found that Google’s actions did not cause damage to users, and that it was impossible to lump the millions of potentially affected people together into one class for the purposes of a lawsuit.
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5 weeks ago by leolaporte
Supply Chain Security is the Whole Enchilada, But Who’s Willing to Pay for It? — Krebs on Security
Like it or not, the vast majority of electronics are made in China, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. The central issue is that we don’t have any other choice right now. The reason is that by nearly all accounts it would be punishingly expensive to replicate that manufacturing process here in the United States.
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5 weeks ago by leolaporte
The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies - Bloomberg
Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.
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5 weeks ago by leolaporte
A Penthouse Made for Instagram - The New York Times
The 2,400-square-foot space — which rents for $15,000 a month — was designed as a backdrop for Instagram stars, who have booked it through October.
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6 weeks ago by leolaporte
California Law Bans Bots From Pretending to Be Human | News & Opinion | PCMag.com
The measure bans automated accounts from pretending to be real people in order to "incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election," effective July 1, 2019. Automated accounts will still be able to interact with users, but they will have to disclose that they are not, in fact, humans, according to NBC.
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6 weeks ago by leolaporte
Here come Wi-Fi 4, 5 and 6 in plan to simplify 802.11 networking names - CNET
But in an effort to make the wireless networking terms more useful and less like alphanumeric gibberish, the Wi-Fi Alliance trade group has some new names it wants for those technologies: Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6.
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6 weeks ago by leolaporte
Travellers refusing digital search now face $5000 Customs fine | RNZ News
The Customs and Excise Act 2018 - which comes into effect today - sets guidelines around how Customs can carry out "digital strip-searches".

Previously, Customs could stop anyone at the border and demand to see their electronic devices. However, the law did not specify that people had to also provide a password.

The updated law makes clear that travellers must provide access - whether that be a password, pin-code or fingerprint - but officials would need to have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.
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6 weeks ago by leolaporte
Google Maps' new commute tab plans every leg of your journey
There's also support for mixed-mode commutes. Those who drive and take public transport will now see more information for each leg of their trip, including traffic delays, train departure times, and walking duration. All of this will be factored into your ETA. You'll also be able to see where your train or bus is in real-time -- so you can spend more time eating breakfast in the morning if it's running late. This feature is rolling out to 80 cities worldwide, with an extra perk for Syndey's denizens (in conjunction with Transport New South Wales) that shows how full your bus or train is.
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6 weeks ago by leolaporte
Calif. enacts net neutrality law—US gov’t immediately sues to block it [Updated] | Ars Technica
Specifically, the new California state law prohibits Internet service providers from blocking or throttling lawful traffic and from requiring fees from websites or online services to deliver or prioritize their traffic to consumers. The law also bans paid data cap exemptions (so-called "zero-rating") and says that ISPs may not attempt to evade net neutrality protections by slowing down traffic at network interconnection points.
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6 weeks ago by leolaporte
Feds Force Suspect To Unlock An Apple iPhone X With Their Face
It happened on August 10, when the FBI searched the house of 28-year-old Grant Michalski, a Columbus, Ohio, resident who would later that month be charged with receiving and possessing child pornography. With a search warrant in hand, a federal investigator told Michalski to put his face in front of the phone, which he duly did. That allowed the agent to pick through the suspect's online chats, photos and whatever else he deemed worthy of investigation.
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6 weeks ago by leolaporte
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