Technews Pinboard 491 – Feb 18, 2017

Robotic bee could help pollinate crops as real bees decline | New Scientist
A drone that can pollinate flowers may one day work side by side with bees to
improve crop yields.

No More Resumes? Your Next Click Might Determine Your Job | NewsFactor Network
Increasingly, the traditional CV and interview are being abandoned as firms use new forms of data aggregation to find employees. This new field of recruitment, dubbed workforce science, is based on the idea that the data individuals create while doing things online can be harvested and interpreted and to provide a better idea of a person’s suitability than traditional methods.

Elon Musk Says Humans Must Become Cyborgs To Stay Relevant | NewsFactor Network
Humans must become cyborgs if they are to stay relevant in a future dominated by artificial intelligence. That was the warning from Tesla founder Elon Musk, speaking at an event in Dubai this weekend.

Facebook Gunning for LinkedIn with New Job Search Functionality | NewsFactor Network
Social media giant Facebook is aiming to go head-to-head with LinkedIn. The world’s largest social network announced today that it has launched several new features on its Web site to make it easier for employers to get in contact with job seekers.

Zuckerberg’s Goal: Remake a World Facebook Helped Create | NewsFactor Network
“Across the world there are people left behind by globalization, and movements for withdrawing from global connection,” Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in a Harvard dorm room in 2004, wrote on Thursday. So it falls to his company to “develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.”

Fake News Is ‘Killing People’s Minds’, Says Apple Boss Tim Cook | NewsFactor Network
Fake news is “killing people’s minds”, Tim Cook, the head of Apple, has said. The technology boss said firms such as his own needed to create tools that would help stem the spread of falsehoods, without impinging on freedom of speech.

GM and Lyft could deliver a self-driving fleet next year
GM and Lyft announced their self-driving joint venture over a year ago, and now Reuters is hearing 2018 could be a big year for the effort. While a clear set of nationwide rules on autonomous cars could probably help solidify any plans, the outlet claims their test fleet could include “thousands” of Chevy Bolt EVs, making it the largest group by far. Last May, a WSJ rumor indicated that the test could launch within a year in one city.

Snap Values Itself at Up to $22B Ahead of IPO | NewsFactor Network
Snap Inc. said in a regulatory filing Thursday that the IPO is likely to be priced between $14 and $16 per share. Had the IPO price matched the $30.72 per-share price obtained in its last round of financing, Snap would have a market value of about $30 billion, based on the quantity of outstanding stock listed in its IPO documents.

Google ‘Project Loon’ Discovery Hastens Internet-via-Balloon Reality | NewsFactor Network
The breakthrough consists of a change to the project’s navigational algorithm, which is now capable of sending small teams of balloons to form a cluster of access points over a specific geographic region, according to Teller. “This is a shift from our original model for Loon in which we planned to create rings of balloons sailing around the globe, and balloons would take turns moving through a region to provide service,” Teller said.

Up, Up and Away: Passenger-Carrying Drone To Fly in Dubai | NewsFactor Network
Up, up and away: Dubai hopes to have a passenger-carrying drone regularly buzzing through the skyline of this futuristic city-state in July.

The Bright-Eyed Talking Doll That Just Might Be a Spy – The New York Times
Cayla is a blond, bright-eyed doll that chatters about horses and hobbies. She plays games and accurately answers questions about the world at large. She could also be eavesdropping on your child.

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Technews Pinboard 490 – Feb 12, 2017

Facebook, Google, Others Launch Drive Against Fake News in France | NewsFactor Network
Social media companies Facebook, Google and a group of news organizations launched an initiative on Monday to tackle fake news stories in France, with the media in the spotlight as the country’s presidential election approaches.

Top Italian official says Facebook must do more against hate speech | Reuters
Facebook must do much more to stamp out hate speech on its site, the president of Italy’s lower house of parliament said, warning that rising abuse on various social media was being fueled by fake news.

Fighting Fake News Isn’t Just Up to Facebook and Google | NewsFactor Network
You, too, can join the battle against misleading and other “fake” news online. But your options are somewhat limited unless you’re already an academic or data scientist who’s been studying the subject since way before Donald Trump started running for president.

Twitter Moves Again To Clamp Down on Abuse, Hate Speech | NewsFactor Network
Announced today, Twitter’s latest effort includes a change designed to prevent suspended users from repeatedly returning under new account names. Twitter will also give users new abilities to filter out potentially offensive content via “safe search,” and will work to hide — though not delete — conversations that might be abusive.

Why Twitter’s new anti-harassment tools will fail | Computerworld
Twitter’s new policies won’t solve the harassment problem, and they’ll ruin engagement, too

Facebook Stops Advertisers Illegally Discriminating by Race | NewsFactor Network
Enforcing the rules may be tricky, but Facebook plans to use new technology “that leverages machine learning” to identify the most egregious offenders — those that “offer housing, employment or credit opportunities” in a discriminatory manner.

NBC: Russia ‘considers’ sending Snowden back to US
A report by NBC News cites unnamed US intelligence sources claiming that Russian officials are deliberating a handover of Edward Snowden as a “gift” to the Trump administration. Since leaking information on the NSA’s “PRISM” surveillance, the former government contractor has been living in Russia since 2013 on a permit and is a year away from being able to apply for citizenship. He still faces federal charges, and previously, Donald Trump has called Snowden a “traitor,” and a “spy who should be executed.”

Chinese Firms Racing to the Front of the AI Revolution | TOP500 Supercomputer Sites
While US-based firms such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft still dominate the artificial intelligence space, Chinese counterparts like Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba are quickly catching up, and in some cases, surpassing their US competition. As a consequence, China appears to be on a path to reproduce its success in supercomputing in AI.

Anonymous Hacker Takes Down More than 10,000 Dark Web Sites | NewsFactor Network
More than 10,000 Web sites were taken down in an attack launched over the weekend that was aimed at sites hosting child pornography, according to reports. The scale of the hack is massive, accounting for about 20 percent of the so-called Dark Web, and appears to have been the work of a single hacker.

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Technews Pinboard 489 – Feb 4, 2017

Trending Technologies News

The merging of humans and machines is happening now | WIRED UK
Her organisation invented the internet. It gave us the self-driving car. And now DARPA’s former boss sees us crossing a new technological boundary

Is a master algorithm the solution to our machine learning problems? | TechCrunch
Machine learning is not new. We have witnessed it since the 1990s, when Amazon introduced a new “recommended for you” section for its users to display more personalized results. When we search for something on Google, machine learning is behind those search results. The “Friends” recommendations or the suggested pages on Facebook or a product recommendation on any e-commerce site all depend on machine learning.

Autonomous Vehicles Makers Report Disengagement Numbers in California | WIRED
The reports, which cover December 2015 to November 2016, leave a lot to be desired—more on that in a moment—but do offer interesting insights. Google’s program, now called Waymo and gearing up for commercial applications, continues outpacing the competition. The company’s cars drove 636,000 miles with just 124 disengagements, a 19 percent drop from 2015. Its fleet logged nearly all those miles on the quiet, suburban streets of Mountain View and its environs, and most of the interventions followed hardware or software discrepancies, when, say, the car’s lidar and camera reported slightly different data.

AT&T Launching Ultra-Fast 5G Networks in 2 US Cities | NewsFactor Network
During its Innovation Summit in San Francisco yesterday, AT&T unveiled plans to begin moving toward 5G wireless Internet services with launches in Austin and Indianapolis in the coming months.

Information Security News

How Florida is helping train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals
There aren’t enough people with the skills and experience to protect us. An analysis of federal data found that more than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. went unfilled in 2015. Major cybersecurity companies like Cisco and Symantec have projected that global demand for cyber professionals could grow to 6 million by 2019 – with as many as 1.5 million of those positions going unfilled for lack of qualified candidates

5 shocking new threats to your personal data | Computerworld
These five new trends reveal that your security and privacy could be compromised in ways you probably never imagined.

Social Impact News

A ban on immigration is an attack on Silicon Valley
Almost immediately after President Trump signed an executive order banning immigrants from seven muslim majority countries from entering the US, tech companies have come out in force against it. The ban left hundreds of people detained in airports, even those with green cards. Some were even deported.

What Happens If Net Neutrality Goes Away?
We’ll likely see new business models and video streaming products from the big ISPs if Trump removes net neutrality rules, and upstart content providers could struggle to compete.

Prof: “Can you sue the President based on his tweets? We’re about to find out” | Ars Technica
“It’s quite extraordinary to have the president of the United States staying publicly, repeatedly, that what we are going to try to do is to single out a constitutionally-protected group,” he told Ars. “It’s quite strong evidence and it would be remarkable if the plaintiffs didn’t rely on it.”

Tech Industry News

Snap Is Going Public—Offering Ideas, Not Profits
The company hopes that its disappearing messages, first-person video, and AR will make it seem like an exciting visionary—rather than a loss-maker.

Tech Firms Fear Guest-Worker Programs Are Next Trump Target | NewsFactor Network
The U.S. technology industry spent the weekend pushing back against President Trump’s executive order banning citizens of several Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Tech companies may have a tougher fight coming, with high stakes for thousands of Puget Sound-area workers: reform of guest-worker visa programs that the likes of Microsoft, Amazon.com, Google and a host of Indian outsourcing firms rely on.

Amazon Increasingly Wants To Be Its Own Deliveryman | NewsFactor Network
Its Monday announcement of a new air cargo hub in Kentucky is merely Amazon’s latest foray into building out its own shipping and logistics unit. If successful, the move could ultimately mean lower costs for Amazon — and possibly faster delivery and low prices for consumers. But it could also pit Amazon against package deliverers like FedEx and UPS.

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Technews Pinboard 488 – Jan 27, 2017

Ajit Pai

Trump FCC Chair Pick Puts Net Neutrality in Crosshairs | NewsFactor Network
Ajit Pai, named the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission by President Donald Trump yesterday, is likely to seek changes to the organization’s stance on Net Neutrality. Pai was one of two commissioners to vote against the FCC’s 3-2 approval of the Open Internet Order in early 2015.

Google reacts to Trump immigration order by recalling staff
According to Bloomberg, the employees in question work in the US but are abroad either on business or for a vacation. A lot of them tried to get back into the country before the President signed on the dotted line, but not everyone made it back in time.

Google Gets Rid of 1.7 Billion Bad Ads | Online Advertising | E-Commerce Times
Google on Wednesday said it removed 1.7 billion bad advertisements from its various sites in 2016, more than double the prior year’s totals. Google took several steps to crack down on the deceptive advertising, including updating its policies to protect users from “misleading and predatory offers.” It also beefed up its technology to help identify misleading ads and remove them, according to Scott Spencer, Google’s director of product management, sustainable ads.

Saudi Arabia Warns Destructive Computer Virus Has Returned | NewsFactor Network
Saudi Arabia is warning that a computer virus that destroyed systems of its state-run oil company in 2012 has returned to the kingdom, with at least one major petrochemical company apparently affected by its spread.
Suspicion for the initial dispersal of the Shamoon virus in 2012 fell on Iran as it came after the Stuxnet cyberattack targeting Tehran’s contested nuclear enrichment program.

Apple Joining Google, Amazon, Facebook on Artificial Intelligence | NewsFactor Network
Appe is reportedly planning to join the Partnership on AI, an industry group aimed at studying and formulating best practices for artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Apple would be joining other technology companies in the group, including Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Although an announcement is expected as soon as this week, neither Apple nor the partnership has issued any official comment on the move.

Facebook Takes Aim at Fake News with New ‘Trending’ Formula | NewsFactor Network
Facebook is updating its “trending” feature that highlights hot topics on its social networking site, part of its effort to root out the kind of fake news stories that critics contend helped Donald Trump become president.
With the changes announced Wednesday, Facebook’s trending list will consist of topics being covered by several publishers. Before, it focused on subjects drawing the biggest crowds of people sharing or commenting on posts.

Facebook Is Testing News Feed-Style Ads Inside Messenger | NewsFactor Network
Facebook said last summer that it was running out of places to show users ads in News Feed, its moneymaking machine, meaning it would need to sell ads elsewhere to keep growing. On Wednesday, Facebook announced that it has found a new place: Inside Messenger, its standalone messaging app.

Rogue Tweeters in Government Could Be Prosecuted as Hackers | NewsFactor Network
The online campaign began with unauthorized tweets — on subjects such as climate change inconsistent with Trump’s campaign statements and policies — that have been mostly deleted from official agency accounts. It shifted tactics Thursday as at least 40 new but unofficial “alternative” accounts for federal agencies began spreading across Twitter. It wasn’t clear how many unofficial accounts were run by government employees, but there were early indications that at least some were created by federal workers using their work email addresses — and that may have exposed their identities.

AI System as Good as Experts at Recognizing Skin Cancers | NewsFactor Network
The US-based researchers say the new system, which is based on image recognition, could be developed for smartphones, increasing access to screening and providing a low-cost way to check whether skin lesions are cause for concern.

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Technews Pinboard 487 – Jan 20, 2017

Gadget Mountain Rising in Asia Threatens Health, Environment | NewsFactor Network
The waste from discarded electronic gadgets and electrical appliances has reached severe levels in East Asia, posing a growing threat to health and the environment unless safe disposal becomes the norm.

Hacking Group Releases Trove of Malware Tools | NewsFactor Network
Network security is about to get a lot more complicated for enterprise IT departments. Numerous hacking tools believed to be designed by the National Security Agency (NSA) just hit the Internet, available at no charge to anyone who wants to download the files. The tools include 61 files that appear to target Windows machines. The release of the hacking tools comes courtesy of the hacking collective calling itself the Shadow Brokers. The group previously announced that it planned to sell the tools to the highest bidders, but appeared to have backed off that plan after the sale failed to attract enough interest. The group had originally requested at least 10,000 bitcoins — the equivalent of about $8.2 million — in exchange for access to the files.

Mississippi Sues Google, Saying It Violates Student Privacy | NewsFactor Network
In a news conference Tuesday, Hood said Google is breaking Mississippi consumer protection law by selling ads using data from services it provides to schools.

Tesla Allows Self-Driving Cars To Break Speed Limit, Again | NewsFactor Network
Now, that update has been reversed, allowing Tesla Motors owners to return to breaking the speed limit. The car is still capped at five miles per hour faster than the limit on non-divided roads, however.

View more TechNews Pins, sortable by topic, at https://pinboard.in/u:kbaldauf/.

Technews Pinboard 486 – Jan 13

Researchers warn peace sign photos could expose fingerprints
As if the constant data breaches that threaten to expose the one password you use for absolutely everything weren’t enough, apparently you now need to start worrying about posting that cute selfie. The peace sign is many people’s go-to picture pose, and it’s particularly popular in East Asia, but according to researchers it’s also the perfect way to expose your fingerprints online. In a study conducted at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII), investigators found that, if the focus and lighting was right, they could recreate fingerprints from images shot up to 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) from the subject.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler defends net neutrality in final address
FCC Chairman and net neutrality champion Tom Wheeler will be stepping down next week when the Trump administration takes office. Wheeler’s Open Internet Order, which passed in 2015, was instrumental in keeping the internet a level playing field, but the Republicans have already indicated that rolling back the legislation will be a top priority for them once the GOP regains control of the agency. On Friday, Wheeler used his last public address as FCC chair to give one final defense of net neutrality and a look at the legal battles to come.

Who Hacked? Trump Challenges Intelligence Agencies He’ll Oversee | NewsFactor Network
President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday escalated his blunt public challenge to the U.S. intelligence agencies he will soon oversee, appearing to embrace WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s contention that Russia did not provide his group with the hacked Democratic emails that roiled the 2016 election.

Oops: Anti-Hacking Company Gets Hacked Big Time | NewsFactor Network
The Israeli firm Cellebrite, known for hacking mobile phones for police agencies around the world, confirmed that it suffered a 900GB data breach.

TechNews Pinboard #485

2017: AI’s Coming Out Party

E-Comerce Times – Artificial intelligence will be having a big coming out party in 2017. While there are plenty of opportunities in this space for workers, executives, investors and partners, not every company that uses the term “AI” in its marketing will become a serious winner in the field.

5 Big Predictions for Artificial Intelligence in 2017

MIT Technology Review – Expect to see better language understanding and an AI boom in China, among other things.

Why connecting all the world’s robots will drive 2017’s top technology trends

The Conversation – If you want to make predictions for the future, you need to find the trajectory of events in the past. So to work out what shape digital technology will likely take next year, we should look back to the major developments of 2016. And the past year’s developments point to a 2017 shaped by the next phase of virtual and augmented reality, the emergence of an internet for artificial intelligence and the creation of personalised digital assistants that follow us across devices.

Driverless New Year: Self-Driving Startups To Watch in 2017

CES: 5 Things To Watch at the Biggest Tech Show of the Year

NewsFactor Network – Virtual reality/augmented reality are poised to be the rabbit everyone chases at the upcoming CES 2017 trade show in Las Vegas — a massive consumer electronics extravaganza that opens Jan. 5.

How to Think Like a Futurist

MIT Technology Review – Some technological trends fizzle out while others overturn everything. Author Amy Webb explains how she discerns which ones will go in which direction.

The Robotic Grocery Store of the Future Is Here

MIT Technology Review – Swarm robotics, autonomous delivery vehicles, and machine-learned preferences will help deliver your food faster.

Bitcoin Rides the Uncertainty Wave

E-Comerce Times – The price of bitcoin soared to a new three-year high on Monday, surpassing the US$1,000 mark for the first time, in response to economic and geopolitical uncertainty in China following the U.S. presidential election.

How much are you worth to Facebook? A free tool now provides the answer

CORDIS – It is a well-known fact that Facebook is more than a social media channel. Each year, the company makes about 4 billion dollars in advertising revenues. What people advertising on Facebook did not know until now, however, is how much profit their own activity actually generates.

The Making of Virtually Real Art With Google’s Tilt Brush

New York Times – Google is calling on dozens of artists, animators and illustrators to serve as Artists in Residence for the VR painting app, Tilt Brush.

Study: carpooling apps could reduce traffic 75%

MIT CSAIL – Transportation studies put the annual cost of congestion at $160 billion, which includes 7 billion hours of time lost to sitting in traffic and an extra 3 billion gallons of fuel burned. One way to improve traffic is through ride-sharing – and a new MIT study suggests that using carpooling options from companies like Uber and Lyft could reduce the number of vehicles on the road 75 percent without significantly impacting travel time.

Britney Spears Is Not Dead; Sony Blames Hackers for Tweet

NewsFactor Network – “Sony Music Entertainment’s Twitter account was compromised. This has been rectified,” it said. “Sony Music apologizes to Britney Spears and her fans for any confusion.”

Why Is There No Fake News on LinkedIn? Its Editor Explains

 View all of my TechNews Pins, sortable by topic, at https://pinboard.in/u:kbaldauf/.

#484 November 02, 2016 – FCC Delivers More Data Protection for Consumers


This week’s headline story: FCC Delivers More Data Protection for Consumers

data_protectionNew rules adopted yesterday in a close vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are aimed at increasing privacy protections for customers of broadband Internet services. The rules spell out opt-in and opt-out requirements for different types of customer data that ISPs can use or share with others, and also set out new requirements for transparency and security. The new rules classify as “sensitive” any ISP data about customers’ exact geo-location, Social Security numbers, Web browsing history, communications content as well as health, financial and children’s information. Before service providers can use or share such data, they will have to obtain an opt-in OK from customers. In addition, customers will be able to opt out of the sharing of other kinds of personal information such as email addresses or types of ISP services used.

While consumer data is now more heavily protected from abuse by ISP’s, there are no policies protecting your data from the many data brokers that buy and sell people’s personal information in a multibillion-dollar industry. Nobody knows how many so-called list owners and list brokers are operating nationwide. The best guess is tens of thousands. These businesses operate largely unregulated, overseen day to day by no official authority, and if there’s ever need to correct files as a result of a death, divorce or similarly life-changing event — there’s pretty much nothing you can do to hold these firms accountable. Federal regulators are working to address the problem.

other Technology Headlines…

  • Flying drones could soon re-charge whilst airborne with new technology [Imperial College]
    One of the greatest limitations of drone aircraft is the limited time that they can be powered by a rechargeable battery. The time for flight of a hobbyist drone ranges from minutes to a couple hours. Researchers at Imperial College in London have developed a system in which drones can recharge wirelessly in-flight, allowing the aircraft to stay airborne indefinitely.

and in Tech Industry News…

  • New Generation of MacBooks Are Here [NewsFactor]
    Apple has released a new generation of MacBooks. The new MacBook pro features a fingerprint sensor to unlock the computer, and a new touch-sensative display panel above the keyboard that can be programmed to be used with different software for different functions.
  • Microsoft Gets Creative with Surface Studio Desktop PC [NewsFactor]
    Mac vs PC Debate Reignited as New Models Revealed [NewsFactor]
    Microsoft Is Looking Like the New Apple [MIT]
    Microsoft has released a new Surface Studio Desktop PC designed for the needs of engineers, designers and other creative professionals. The desktop Surface features a 28-inch touch-screen monitor, connected to a processing base, that can lie nearly flat, turning into a digital whiteboard for drafting engineering blueprints, film storyboards or other pursuits.
  • Google Suspends Fiber Expansion Plans, Cuts Staff [NewsFactor]
    Google has suspended its Google Fiber project that has brought Gigabit speed internet to more than eight cities in the US. The reasons behind the pause is that subscriber numbers are much lower than expected, and new wireless technologies may allow the company to provide equally fast networks to cities for much less money.
  • Facebook Fighting Snapchat With New Photo App [NewsFactor]
    Facebook is rolling out a new feature in its mobile app that works just like Snapchat. The feature uses the phone camera and messaging feature to allow users to”share moments as they happen and express yourself more.” The camera includes a number of optional special effects like facial masks, and once a photo or video is opened you’ll have 24 hours to respond to it otherwise it’ll disappear.

and finally…

  • Accepting More Facebook Friend Requests Is Linked to Lower Mortality [NewsFactor]
    Scientists who studied Facebook activity and mortality rates of registered California voters found that people who received many friend requests were far less likely to die over a two-year period than those who did not. Initiating friend requests, however, seemed to have no effect on death rates whatsoever.

#483 October 26, 2016 – Internet of Things Attack Takes Down the Web

This week’s headline story: Internet of Things Attack Takes Down the Web

DDoS attack shows dangers of IoT 'running rampant'
DDoS attack shows dangers of IoT ‘running rampant’

A cybersecurity attack that brought down half the Web for two hours Friday morning ushers in a new era of hacking. The attack used Internet-enabled cameras as a platform to launch a huge Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against Inernet performance management company Dyn. The attackers exploited default passwords in web cams and other Internet-connected hardware to send a monstrous 1.2 trillion bits of data every second at Dyn’s servers. Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology, a Chinese electronics company, has acknowledged that weak default passwords on many of its devices were partly to blame for the attack and is recalling millions of Web-enabled cameras that were sold in the U.S.

Security experts are blaming the rise of increasingly massive DDoS attacks on the rapidly expanding number of network-connected devices on the Internet of Things (IoT). Earlier this month, researchers at Akamai Technologies noted that weak protections on IoT devices has helped to create the “Internet of Unpatchable Things.” Cybersecurity experts are calling for standardized security measures for connected devices like webcams, printers and routers in the wake of a massive cyber attack.

other Technology Headlines…

  • Sweden’s highest court bans drones with cameras [ars technica]
    The Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden has ruled that all drone cameras count as surveillance devices, and as such, can only be used to prevent crime or accidents, banning the use of camera drones by the general public. Car- or bike-mounted cameras are legally fine the court decided.
  • Pittsburgh’s AI Traffic Signals Will Make Driving Less Boring [IEEE Spectrum]
    Traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy $121 billion a year, mostly due to lost productivity, and produces about 25 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. In urban areas, drivers spend 40 percent of their time idling in traffic. One major contributor to the problem is traffic light technology that is not responsive to traffic needs. New smart artificial-intelligence-fueled traffic signals have been developed by a new startup company named Surtrac, that adapt to changing traffic conditions on the fly. In pilot tests in Pittsburgh, the smart traffic-management system has reduced travel time by 25 percent and idling time by over 40 percent.

and in Tech Industry News…

  • Tesla Equipping Cars To Drive Completely on Their Own [NewsFactor]
    Tesla Motors is starting to build its electric cars with all the sensors, cameras and other gear needed to drive completely on their own when regulations allow the technology to take over that responsibility. After additional testing and getting the necessary regulatory clearance, all the cars rolling off Tesla’s assembly lines will have the equipment needed to be fully autonomous, says CEO Elon Musk who believes the technology will be twice as safe as a human driver.
  • Microsoft Stock Pushes to an All-Time High [NewsFactor]
    Microsoft’s quarterly earnings exceeded investor expectations last week, fueled by growth in sales of server software and the company’s range of cloud-computing offerings. The optimistic report boosted the company’s share price to all-time highs in after-hours trading.
  • AT&T To Acquire Time Warner for More than $108 Billion [NewsFactor]
    AT&T has made a bid to acquire Time Warner for more than $108 billion. If approved, the deal would give AT&T control of some of the most valuable content companies in the world, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, DC Comics and HBO as well as television networks TNT, TBS, and CNN.

and finally…

  • Uber’s First Self-Driven Truck Delivery Was a Beer Run [NewsFactor]
    Otto, the self-driving truck startup that was acquired by Uber for $700 million, has completed the world’s first completely autonomous commercial freight delivery. It’s cargo? 45,000 bottles of beer. Budweiser to be precise.

#482 October 19, 2016 – Whitehouse Embraces AI

This week’s headline story: Whitehouse Embraces AI

whitehouseThe White House has released a new pair of reports, offering a framework for how government-backed research into artificial intelligence should be approached and what those research initiatives should look like. The primary paper, entitled “Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence,” focuses on the general state of and challenges faced by AI. The paper points out that “AI needs good data. If the data is incomplete or biased, AI can exacerbate problems of bias.” The Whitehouse wants AI researchers to share information across the industry so that all involved can make informed decisions. The report emphasizes the need for early education in data science because doing so “helps to avoid the negative consequences of narrowly focused AI development, including the risk of biases in developing algorithms, by taking advantage of a broader spectrum of experience, backgrounds, and opinions.” Read more about the Whitehouse reports on AI at TechCrunch using the link in the shownotes.

other Technology Headlines…

  • Google, automakers object to California rules for self-driving cars [Reuters]
    Google and Automakers raised a litany of concerns about California’s proposal to set new, mandatory rules for testing self-driving cars in the state. Industry officials said the rules could hobble their efforts in self-driving vehicle testing and development, claiming it would force a 12-month delay between testing a vehicle and deploying it on public roads.

and in Tech Industry News…

  • Amazon Launches For-Pay Streaming Music Service [NewsFactor]
    Amazon is launching a paid streaming music service, the latest entry in an increasingly crowded field. Amazon Music Unlimited is being positioned to compete against existing services such as Spotify and Apple Music. It will cost $8 per month, or $80 a year, for members of Amazon’s $99-a-year Prime loyalty program. Non-Prime members will pay $10 a month, the same monthly fee charged by Spotify and Apple Music.