Technology readings

By Enrique Dans | Relevant technology-related news, curated daily by Enrique Dans (https://enriquedans.com)

On Social Media, Lax Enforcement Lets Impostor Accounts Thrive

When Hilary Mason, a data scientist and entrepreneur, discovered that dozens of automated “bot” accounts had sprung up to impersonate her on Twitter, she immediately set out to stop them.<p>She filed dozens of complaints with Twitter, repeatedly submitting copies of her driver’s license to prove her …

Social Media

Why the iPhone Is Losing Out to Chinese Devices in Asia

Apple’s market share is stagnant or declining in Asia, paving the way for other smartphone makers<p>NEW DELHI—The iPhone X has set a new benchmark for smartphone prices and bolstered Apple Inc.’s bottom line, but its steep price may be hobbling its future in Asia’s biggest markets and allowing Chinese …

Mobile

Ad tech company Criteo just had a killer quarter

Criteo<p>French ad tech company Criteo set off fire alarms in the ad tech world late last year when it announced lower revenue guidance for 2018 and its stock price plummeted.<p>So naturally, everyone was surprised when Criteo crushed its 2017 fourth quarter earnings on Wednesday. In fact, it's stock …

Digital Advertising

Look out, Wiki-geeks. Now Google trains AI to write Wikipedia articles

Er, well, ish. Text summarization is still pretty tricky for non-humans, thoughA team within Google Brain – the web giant's crack machine-learning …

Natural Language Processing

What will smart speakers be like in 2023?

The past year has been great for the smart speaker industry. Smart speakers, the voice-activated, home-based devices that allow you to make searches, play music, and even purchase items, skyrocketed in popularity in 2017, with sales more than tripling. Brands like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and …

Automation

Flummoxed Facebook helped Mueller

Facebook cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller, quietly supplying Russian-placed material that was cited in Friday's blockbuster …

Donald Trump

Inside Facebook's thinking on the Russia fallout

Facebook has traditionally been a reactive company, but it's learning that it needs to focus on communicating its strengths and weaknesses in …

Marketing

Project Loon engineer sees a tool for future disaster response in Puerto Rico | Ars Technica

The number of people Loon connected in Puerto Rico has doubled since November: 200k+.<p>AUSTIN, Texas—"So this happened—this is September 2017," Juan …

Project Loon

Residential solar is cheap, but can it get cheaper? Paths to $0.05 per kWh | Ars Technica

NREL releases a paper similar to Tesla's stated solar roof business plan.<p>The price of solar panels has fallen far and fast. But the Energy Department …

Solar Power

Facebook plans to use U.S. mail to verify IDs of election ad buyers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will start using postcards sent by U.S. mail later this year to verify the identities and location of people who want to purchase U.S. election-related advertising on its site, a senior company executive said on Saturday.<p>The postcard verification is Facebook's …

Robert Mueller

We’ve reached peak smartphone. What are Apple and Samsung going to do now?

You don’t really need a new smartphone.<p>Sure, some of them squeeze more screen into a smaller form. The cameras keep getting better, if you look very close. And you had to live under a rock to miss the hoopla for Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone X or the Samsung Galaxy S8. Many in the smartphone …

Mobile

New AI model fills in blank spots in photos

TOKYO -- A new technology uses artificial intelligence to generate synthetic images that can pass as real.<p>The technology was developed by a team led …

Machine Learning

Bill Gates: ‘A.I. can be our friend’

If you saw the video of Boston Dynamics' robot dog opening up a door for its fellow robot dog this week and were summarily frightened into believing …

Bill Gates

Why Microsoft should scrap Bing and call it Microsoft Search

Commentary: Recently, Microsoft began to feature its own name on Bing Translator. Perhaps it's time for the Bing brand to be retired.<p><i>Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives</i><p>I contacted Microsoft and asked a simple question: "Am I going bonkers?"<p>I …

Bing

Amazon’s Latest Ambition: To Be a Major Hospital Supplier

The online retailer is pushing hard to expand its foothold in medical supplies, creating a marketplace where hospitals could shop to stock emergency rooms, operating suites and outpatient facilities<p>Amazon.com Inc. is pushing to turn its nascent medical-products business into a major supplier to …

Enterprise Tech

Google’s Guinea-Pig City

Will Toronto turn its residents into Alphabet’s experiment? The answer has implications for cities everywhere.<p>Quayside is a nondescript, 12-acre chunk of land on the southern edge of Toronto’s downtown. It’s just three miles from my apartment, but getting there takes almost an hour by subway, bus, …

Urban Design

Artificial Intelligence Will Create More Jobs Than It Will Eliminate and Here’s Why

Robots stealing jobs — emerging reality or unfounded fear? Before panic descends and we begin imagining scenarios where redundancies abound and pink …

Keynesian Economics

AlphaZero and the Curse of Human Knowledge

DeepMind has shown us that statistical learners are better suited to playing Chess and Go than humans<p>In December 2017, Google DeepMind’s new chess …

Silicon Valley’s Tax-Avoiding, Job-Killing, Soul-Sucking Machine

Four companies dominate our daily lives unlike any other in human history: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. We love our nifty phones and just-a-click-away services, but these behemoths enjoy unfettered economic domination and hoard riches on a scale not seen since the monopolies of the gilded …

Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook and Twitter worked just as advertised for Russia’s troll army

Social platforms are an effective tool for marketers — and nation states who want to disrupt an election.<p>We’ve known for more than a year that Russian actors used social media to try and influence the 2016 presidential election.<p>Now we know more about those campaigns, thanks to a lengthy indictment …

Black Lives Matter

What Matters In The Mueller Indictment

The charges against 13 Russians allege they tried to discourage Americans from voting and communicated with “unwitting” people in the Trump campaign.<p>Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office brought an indictment Friday charging the alleged Russian propaganda outfit called the Internet Research …

Internet Research Agency

Russians accused of information warfare used tech to whip up controversy and cover their tracks - MIT Technology Review

The Download<p>What's up in emerging technology<p>Today<p>Russians accused of information warfare used tech to whip up controversy and cover their tracks<p>US …

Internet Research Agency

Digital nomads are hiring and firing their governments

The nation state has survived wars, plagues, and upheaval, but it won’t survive digital nomads, not if people like Karoli Hindriks have something to say about it. Hindriks is the founder of Jobbatical, a platform that allows digital nomads to find work in other countries and helps with the …

Innovation

Amazon owns my Echo; I’m just feeding it

It’s no secret that voice assistants are a Trojan horse. You “buy” a voice assistant like an Echo Dot or a Google Home, and you plug it in and give it your Wi-Fi password. But you don’t “own” it like you own a computer. The software is controlled entirely by Amazon or Google or some other …

Automation

Russian Trolls Stole Real US Identities To Hide in Plain Sight

Sixteen months after the 2016 election, it's no longer a surprise that the Russian government stooped to lies and disinformation to push a pro-Trump, …

Internet Research Agency

A Blockbuster Indictment Details Russia's Attack on US Democracy

Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into Russia’s impact on the 2016 election entered a new phase Friday, as his team indicted 13 Russian …

Robert Mueller

Did Russia Affect the 2016 Election? It’s Now Undeniable

For some time, there has been a conflation of issues—the hacking and leaking of illegally obtained information versus propaganda and disinformation; …

Russia

For Russia, Unraveling US Democracy Was Just Another Day Job

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment against Russia’s Internet Research Agency contains a number of striking moments, from the inflammatory …

Robert Mueller

Apple topped the Swiss in holiday watch shipments

Apple Watch had its naysayers when Apple launched it. And it may never achieve the kind of mainstream success of the iPhone and iPad. But in the watch industry, it's a breakout hit.<p>As this chart by Statista shows, Apple shipped more watches during the holiday quarter last year than the entire Swiss …

Smartwatches