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Facebook says Netflix and Spotify ‘needed’ write access to users’ messages

22 Dec 18
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Facebook on Wednesday said it was necessary to grant Spotify and Netflix special access to users’ private messages to enable integration of messaging features.

The social media giant said in a blog post that experimental features no longer offered required granting read/write access to the companies. The blog post comes a day after The New York Times reported that Facebook gave the companies greater access to users’ personal data than the social-networking company previously disclosed.


“We’ve been accused of disclosing people’s private messages to partners without their knowledge,” Facebook VP of Product Partnerships Ime Archibong wrote in a blog post. “That’s not true.”

The experiments allowed Facebook users to share messages with friends about what they were listening to on Spotify or watching on Netflix, Archibong said. He said the experiences were only available when users logged into the services through Facebook and were shut down nearly three years ago.

In order for you to write a message to a Facebook friend from within Spotify, for instance, we needed to give Spotify “write access.” For you to be able to read messages back, we needed Spotify to have “read access.” “Delete access” meant that if you deleted a message from within Spotify, it would also delete from Facebook. No third party was reading your private messages, or writing messages to your friends without your permission.

Facebook has been under scrutiny since the revelation in March that consultancy Cambridge Analytica had misused Facebook user data in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election. Since then, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has testified in front of Congress and the European Parliament to answer questions about Facebook’s handling of user data.











Archibong’s post comes a day after the Times reported that Facebook had special data-sharing arrangements with several companies, including giving Microsoft’s Bing search engine access to the names of all Facebook users’ friends without consent and permitting Yahoo to view streams of friends’ posts as recently as this summer.

In a statement Tuesday, Facebook denied allowing its partners to ignore people’s privacy settings. Netflix said that while it tried to use Facebook to boost its usability among customers, it never read users’ private messages on the social media site.

Amazing Things Computers Can Do

20 Dec 18
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2014 had a considerable amount of “firsts” in equipment, programming, and mechanical technology. Here’s our profoundly abstract determination. 1/9 In April, electronic craftsman Squarepusher discharged an EP called Music for Robots, which was played by real robots with melodic superpowers. The guitarist of Z-machines, Mach, plays two guitars with the guide of 78 fingers and 12 picks. Universe triggers notes on his console with lasers and drummer Ashura utilizes his six arms to employ 21 drumsticks. Z-Machines were made at the University of Tokyo by CGI craftsman Yoichiro Kawaguchi, apply autonomy build Naofumi Yonetsuka, and media craftsman Kenjiro Matsuo. Squarepusher’s goal was to check whether robot performers could play candidly captivating music. “Some portion of what intrigues me is the point at which we tune in to a robot, do we hear it out as though we’re tuning in to a human?” he said. “I wasn’t endeavoring to influence it to imitate an individual, yet I was attempting to influence it to accomplish something which I needed to hear. Presently the inquiry remains, is the thing which I need to hear a person?” Screenshot: through ZIMA Zmachines

1. Play “Candidly Engaging” Music

In April, electronic craftsman Squarepusher discharged an EP called Music for Robots, which was played by genuine robots with melodic superpowers. The guitarist of Z-machines, Mach, plays two guitars with the guide of 78 fingers and 12 picks. Universe triggers notes on his console with lasers and drummer Ashura utilizes his six arms to employ 21 drumsticks. Z-Machines were made at the University of Tokyo by CGI craftsman Yoichiro Kawaguchi, mechanical technology design Naofumi Yonetsuka, and media craftsman Kenjiro Matsuo.

Squarepusher’s objective was to see if robot musicians could play emotionally engaging music. “Part of what interests me is when we listen to a robot, do we listen to it as if we’re listening to a human?” he said. “I wasn’t trying to make it emulate a human being, but I was trying to make it do something which I wanted to hear. Now the question remains, is the thing which I want to hear a human being?”

2. Use “Right-Brained” Chips

Chips motivated by the billions of neurons in the human cerebrum made a sprinkle this year. Current equipment structures separate calculation and capacity of data and work successively, constraining the measure of information which can be handled and combined. So neuromorphic chips incorporate information stockpiling and handling and can work in parallel, copying the manner in which the human cerebrum forms tactile data like pictures and sound in a greatly parallel way. Such chips could perceive designs in a lot of information more proficiently than current straight or “left-brained” models.

IBM reported in August that it had stuffed the biggest number of chips ever on to its most recent chip, the TrueNorth processor. Fueled by a million fake neurons and 256 million neurotransmitters (in the cerebrum a neurotransmitter enables electrical charge to go between neurons) the chip is spread out in a system of 4,096 neurosynaptic centers which incorporate memory and calculation and work in parallel in an occasion driven mold. TrueNorth utilizes a negligible 70 milliwatts in activity, giving it a power thickness (control utilization per cm2) 10,000 lower than generally microchips. This enables it to productively perform control hungry errands like recognizing and grouping objects in a video stream.

3. Beat The Turing Test

In June, a chatbot program called Eugene Goostman induced 33% of human examiners that it was really a 13-year-old kid, making it the primary bit of programming to finish the Turing test. Alan Turing anticipated in a 1950 paper that constantly 2000 a PC would play the impersonation diversion alright that “a normal investigative specialist won’t have over 70% shot of making the correct distinguishing proof following five minutes of addressing.” Developers Vladimir Veselov and Eugene Demchenko gave Eugene the identity of a high school Ukrainian kid so as to influence holes in his insight to appear to be progressively conceivable.

4. Perform Accurate Quantum Calculations

In October Australian specialists guaranteed a quantum figuring achievement when they made two new sorts of quantum bit, or “qubit”. A bit is dependably in one of two states—0 or 1—while a qubit can be in superpositions, i.e., in both of its conceivable states on the double. Once a qubit is estimated, be that as it may, it has one known state. A quantum PC keeps up an arrangement of qubits which can be in each conceivable mix of 0s without a moment’s delay, giving it the possibility to perform complex figurings exponentially quicker than traditional PCs.

The principal kind of qubit made by the analysts abuses an iota made of phosphorous, which accomplished 99.99% precision in quantum activities, while the second depends on a fake particle made of ordinary silicon transistors. Both qubits were housed in a thin layer of silicon from which attractive isotopes had been evacuated to take out clamor in the quantum computations. (Quantum states are exceptionally delicate and inclined to obstruction, a reality that has ended up being one of the significant snags to the improvement of a pragmatic quantum PC.) The group additionally set another world record by saving a quantum state for an entire 35 seconds.

5. Break The Broadband Barrier

In September Akamai reported that the normal worldwide Internet association speed had crushed the 4 megabit-per-second broadband limit out of the blue, hitting 4.6 Mbps amid the second quarter of 2014. The worldwide normal pinnacle association speed likewise expanded 20% to 25.4 Mbps between the first and second quarter of 2014.

South Korea had the most noteworthy normal association speed at a rankling 24.6 Mbps pursued by Hong Kong (15.7 Mbps) and Japan (14.9 Mbps). The normal association speed in the United States was a generally drowsy 11.4 Mbps.

6. Peruse Your Emotions

Specialists in Bangladesh utilized keystroke elements and content example investigation to recognize the feelings of clients. The product scanned for seven passionate states: euphoria, fear, outrage, misery, appall, disgrace, and blame. Euphoria was the most straightforward feeling to identify—the product accomplished 87% precision—trailed by indignation at 81%.

Full of feeling processing intends to perceive, show, and reenact human feelings so programming can adjust its conduct to the passionate condition of its client. Potential applications incorporate learning, state of mind checking, and robots that connect with people.

7. Make A Realistic Virtual Universe

A global research group this year mimicked 13 billion years of grandiose advancement out of the blue. The recreation kept running on supercomputers utilizing programming called Arepo. A normal PC would require about 2,000 years to run a similar recreation. Cosmologists utilize such models to test different hypotheses by looking at the result of a recreation dependent on specific suppositions to the universe as we see it now. This specific reenactment is the first to demonstrate dim issue clustering into obvious issue which later frame the main cosmic systems. Subsequent to recreating 13 billion years of time, the virtual universe which develops looks fundamentally the same as our own, supporting the hypothesis that dim issue was urgent to the beginning of our universe.

8. Give A Robot Hand “Feeling”

Dennis Aabo Sørensen would now be able to feel distinctive sorts of weight on three fingers of his prosthetic, mechanical hand utilizing a gadget which cooperates with the nerves in his arm. The Swiss analysts who manufactured the gadget deciphered powers identified on the automated fingertips into electrical heartbeats sent to the ulnar (connected to the pinky finger) and middle (connected to the pointer and thumb) nerves in the fragile living creature and blood arm.

This permits Sørensen to feel the contrast among light and commanding weight and recognize the surface and state of the protest held by his hand, for instance, a material versus a wooden question. The specialists asserted that it was the first occasion when that an amputee could “feel” continuously through a tactile upgraded prosthetic.

9. Start Up Instantly

Most PCs today utilize an unpredictable type of arbitrary access memory (RAM) which requires electrical flow so as to encode information. At the point when a PC is closed down and current never again streams, all information contained in RAM is lost. This additionally makes genuine moment begin unimaginable since the RAM should be re-populated on startup. Passing current additionally expends a lot of vitality, quite a bit of which disseminates as warmth. Yet, this is evolving. In December specialists at Cornell University declared that they had created non-unpredictable magnetoelectric memory innovation that utilizes a low voltage instead of flow, gigantically decreasing force utilization. The gadget is produced using a ferroic material called bismuth ferrite, which has the uncommon normal for being both attractive and electrically spellbound. The polarization can be exchanged by applying an electrical field, for instance by exchanging the estimation of a bit from 0 to 1. Interestingly with opponent advances, the gadget works at room temperature and utilizations a request of extent less vitality. The scientists guarantee this new type of memory could make low-control, moment on figuring a pervasive reality.


Uber slapped with $1.2M in British, Dutch fines for 2016 hack

27 Nov 18
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Uber was hit with a pair of fines by British and Dutch regulators Tuesday for its failure to protect customer data during a 2016  breach.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined the ride-hailing service £385,000 ($490,760), and the Netherlands’ Data Protection Authority imposed a 600,000 euro ($678,780) penalty.

In October 2016, hackers stole names, emails and driver’s license numbers of 57 million drivers and riders in multiple countries by breaching Uber’s system. Uber paid $100,000 to the data thieves to delete the information, which didn’t include Social Security numbers of US citizens or credit card information.

It impacted 2.7 million British and 174,000 Dutch riders and drivers, according to the two governments.

“This was not only a serious failure of data security on Uber’s part, but a complete disregard for the customers and drivers whose personal information was stolen,” Steve Eckersley, ICO’s director of investigations, said in a statement. “At the time, no steps were taken to inform anyone affected by the breach, or to offer help and support. That left them vulnerable.”

Since the breach occurred prior to introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May, both fines were issued under old legislation. GDPR, the EU law that gives citizens more control over their personal data, allows for a maximum fine of 20 million euros or 4 percent of a company’s annual global revenue from the previous year, whichever is higher.

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Bose SoundSport Wireless review: The Bluetooth sports headphone to beat

26 Nov 18
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Bose’s SoundSport Wireless, the company’s first Bluetooth sports headphone. isn’t perfect either, but it may just be the best Bluetooth sports headphone currently out there.

What makes it the best? Well, it’s very comfortable to wear, sounds good, seems well built, and — at $150, £140 or AU$249 — it isn’t outrageously priced.

Like the original SoundSport wired, which remains in the line and gets a price chop from $130 to $100, this new SoundSport Wireless has an open design. By open, I mean you don’t jam the earbud into your ear and completely seal off your ear canal (that type of headphone is referred to as a “noise-isolating” in-ear headphone). Thanks to Bose’s StayHear+ eartips, which come in three sizes — small, medium, large — the bud sits loosely in your ear yet remains securely in place.

This model is equipped with a special sport version of the StayHear tips that’s different from the StayHear tips included with Bose’s earlier in-ear headphones, so they aren’t interchangeable. I should also point out that because the earpieces extend out from your ears you’ll probably have some trouble wearing these under certain helmets.

The ear pieces are somewhat bulky, but not so bulky to feel heavy on your ears. However, if there’s a criticism of this headphone’s design, it’s that the ear pieces could protrude out a little less and be more discrete-looking. Easier said then done, of course — today’s battery technology is holding back miniaturization efforts.