Apple and Google have announced the latest form of their coronavirus tracing system which, for iOS users, does not require downloading an app. As expected, the system uses random Bluetooth identifiers (a more privacy-protective approach than GPS data) to alert people if they come close to someone with COVID-19 for a significant period of time. The key is that on Apple devices, state public health authorities that have opted into the program — providing their criteria for what counts as an exposure to COVID-19 and guidance for what residents should do if exposed — will have their customizations built into iOS.
Conspiracy theories fly across YouTube, Facebook plays host to extremist communities — and all the while Big Tech's stock is soaring. In Terms of Disservice: How Silicon Valley is Destructive by Design, Dipayan Ghosh points to Silicon Valley's business models, which direct the waves of personal data that flow across the internet, as an underlying issue.
But what's the trillion dollar tech company supposed to do? When the protests first started, Sherrell Dorsey, founder of The Plug, which reports on the Black tech economy, started tracking every tech company’s statement addressing race with her team.
In the runup to yesterday’s landmark antitrust hearing featuring the leaders of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, Dipayan Ghosh wanted to see what “unifying theory” Congress would develop about how these companies work. Ghosh worked on privacy issues at Facebook and tech policy at the Obama White House and is now co-director of the Digital Platforms & Democracy project at Harvard.
In a moment where society is collectively reckoning with just how deep the roots of racism reach, a new paper from researchers at DeepMind — the AI lab and sister company to Google — and the University of Oxford presents a vision to “decolonize” artificial intelligence. The aim is to keep society’s ugly prejudices from being reproduced and amplified by today’s powerful machine learning systems. The paper, published this month in the journal Philosophy & Technology, has at heart the idea that you have to understand historical context to understand why technology can be biased.
Apple and Google have stipulated how public health authorities around the world can use their upcoming coronavirus tracking system in an effort to preserve user privacy.
Apple and Google have detailed the latest privacy protections for their ambitious COVID-19 tracking collaboration via a series of technical documents on their cryptography, API and Bluetooth specifications.
The original name for Manveer Heir's new game studio that focused on stories of people of color was Big Mouth Games. The former BioWare and Raven Software designer embraces his loudness. Now, he's putting his money where his considerable mouth is.
It's been a year and nearly eight months since the EU's data privacy law, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), came into force and 114 million euros ($126 million) in fines have been imposed so far, according to a new report. The law firm DLA Piper also said that 160,000 data breaches have been reported in this time -- most of them coming from the UK, Germany or the Netherlands. The last year has seen an increase in breaches reported by 12.6 per cent compared to the first eight months of the GDPR.
A lot of people at CES know Mindy Zemrak. On Thursday, she strode no further than five meters into Eureka Park, the show's startup section, when someone heard her voice and turned around. It was Dmitri Love, founder of a crypto-investment platform called Bundil that appeared on the TV show Shark Tank two seasons ago and earned an investment from Kevin O'Leary. Zemrak is the head of casting, and hence the main gatekeeper, for Shark Tank. She has been with the show, where budding entrepreneurs make their best pitches to a panel of business giants, from its very first season until now, when it's preparing for its 12th. For the past few years, the start of every season's casting has begun here, with a trip to CES.
It's not that Alishba Imran isn't impressed by her tour of Zappos HQ, the Disneyland of corporate campuses, with its "zapponians" who earn "zollars" and play "zing zong" on breaks. But she might not see herself working at a big corporation like this. Her goal is to be "influential." She describes herself as a blockchain and machine learning developer and researcher and sees her future in health care and finance infrastructure. She chats about fractional ownership and the direction of 5G as well as stoicism and first principles. She is 16 years old.
Watergen's GENNY runs on a simple mechanism. It draws moist air in through a filter at the back of the device like a dehumidifier then cleans and dispenses it out the front like a standard water cooler. (As a bonus, it'll purify the air around it too). It can dispense 13 liters of water per day with 9 KWH of energy and works in 15-40 degrees celsius with a relative humidity of more than 25 per cent.
It had been 28 years since Apple last made an official trip to CES until today when Jane Horvath, the company's senior director for global privacy, appeared on a panel discussing consumer privacy.
To make an ideal personal air filter, said Mikal Peveto, you'd need a seal around your face. The head of US for Aō Air is presenting an alternative at CES: the Atmōs. The device uses small fans to create a high-pressure pocket of clean air at the front of a mask that you breathe from, no seal necessary. The transparent device goes over your mouth, with air drawn in just below your ears, where there are also sensors that measure one's respiration rate. The goal is to take it to consumers -- tonight, in fact. It'll be available for pre-order for $350, shipping in July of this year.
Jeff Bennett keeps referring to "P.E." As in, some 30 percent of men have been afflicted with P.E; the causes of P.E. are not exactly known; P.E. is defined by a male orgasm within a minute of penetration. Just to be clear, he's talking about premature ejaculation. But Bennett's company, Morari, thinks there's a solution. It involves electrodes. He's at CES to promote the technology, even if it draws the occasional snicker. And even if he has to resort to euphemisms. "We want to be seen as leaders in male sexual health," he said.
Jacques Slade is a 43-year-old father of three who lives an hour north of LA. He has worked in real estate, taught at a charter school and written music; he also spent nine years at Washington Mutual bank before its collapse. But it was his YouTube channel, which he started in 2013, that's given him a career. He now has more than a million subscribers and recently showed Jeff Goldblum how to unbox a pair of Nikes, on the actor's new Disney+ show. On a Wednesday in October, Slade stood on a pedestrian bridge in suburban southern California's over-90 degree sun, held a brand-new Puma sneaker in his outstretched palm and tossed it in the air. In his other hand he held his camera, trying to snap the shutter to get the perfect floating shot. A couple times the shoe tumbled to the floor. Slade swore. He reviewed his shots. "Trash!" he said.
We hear about disruption all the time -- to transport, to media, to manufacturers. What happens when it comes for the circus? The centuries-old entertainment form used to be the place to see incredible, death-defying feats. Now, we see that kind of wonder on our smartphone screens all the time.
Every now and then, a designer decides we all need to spend less time on our phones and sets out to fix that by making us a second phone. Except not a full bells-and-whistles smartphone. A minimalist phone that lets you disconnect without feeling totally rudderless. For most people, it's a simpler device to use on weekends and vacations; if you can pull it off, it might replace your Apple or Android handset completely. So far, there have been two main approaches.
So you want to send a short, instant, text-based dispatch to another human. The options are endless -- iMessage, Slack, Instagram, WhatsApp, Skype, Snapchat -- but their security is variable. Short of whispering words into another person's ear, it's difficult to guarantee that no one else will ever be eavesdropping. For anything you wouldn't want to be seen by your ISP or used against you in a court of law, end-to-end encryption is necessary. It works by giving every user of an app a public key and a private key. Messages sent to you are encrypted with your public key and can only be opened with the private key. To anybody without your private key -- including the app company or a government that comes for the data later -- the text is indecipherable.
Scientists only mapped the human genome 16 years ago, but today you can get a basic test of your genetic code from Walgreens. It's estimated some 26 million people have already sent their spit to direct-to-consumer DNA-testing companies, and the number is predicted to multiply to 100 million by 2021.
In Her Story, developer Sam Barlow did a rare thing: He created a new video game format. Four years later, he's made Telling Lies, which releases on August 23rd. It's a game with almost identical gameplay -- centered simply on typing search terms into a video database -- but a lot more polish. It's the fat-budget feature film to Her Story's shoestring indie. Whereas the original was carried by one actor, its successor has four main performers, nearly 100 cast members and dozens of speaking roles.
It's been 20 years since Mob Rule, the organized crime real-time strategy game. Despite a few efforts like Omerta - City of Gangsters, Gangsters 2: Vendetta and Gangland in the years since, there hasn't been a true successor in the Mafia-meets-strategy genre. Empire of Sin is aiming to inherit that position. It will launch in Spring 2020 on Switch, PS4, Xbox, PC and Mac with a mix of gang management simulation and turn-based tactical combat. In an E3 demo, the team from Romero Games played as Al Capone, who dons a pin-striped grey suit, chomps on a fat cigar and brandishes tommy guns in both hands. He lands in Chicago's Little Italy with its moody streets and jazz-infused speakeasies.
In The Outer Worlds, there are specially bred swine called "cystypigs." You find them in a factory farm near Fallbrook, a smuggler's town on a distant planet. Maybe you climbed through the sewers and emerged face to ass with one, or entered through the front door for a sweeping view of their pens. But there they are: swine coated in bulbous, meaty tumors that swell up, drop off and are ground and canned to be sold commercially as "boarst wurst." As one in-game ad says: "You haven't tried the worst until you've tried boarst wurst." Megan Starks was part of the team that authored this sick scenario. A senior narrative designer who holds an MFA in creative writing, she pens plot-lines, dialogue, characters and even item descriptions at Obsidian Entertainment. After writing for dense RPGs like Tyranny and Pillars of Eternity II, she's now working on the developer's latest ambitious universe, set in a hyper-capitalist dystopia run by competing corporations. You'll roam frontier space colonies covered in wild flora and fungi as well as wilder humans. It lands October 25th on PS4, Xbox One and PC.