Technology readings

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

The Galaxy S8 can double as a pretend desktop

The road to the perfect phone-desktop hybrid is littered with the carcasses of ambitious failures -- just look at Microsoft's Lumia 950 and Motorola's Atrix. Still, that isn't stopping Samsung from giving it a go with a new dock for the Galaxy S8 called Dex. Since the S8 packs a top-of-the-line …

Samsung

VPNs Won’t Save You from Congress’ Internet Privacy Giveaway

Get ready to say good-bye to your online privacy. Not that you ever really had it anyway.<p>The House of Representatives is set to vote as early as …

Net Neutrality

VPN uptake could surge as U.S. Congress repeals broadband privacy rules

(<i>Reuters</i>) — The vote by the U.S. Congress to repeal rules that limit how internet service providers can use customer data has generated renewed interest in an old internet technology: virtual private networks, or VPNs.<p>VPNs cloak a customer’s web-surfing history by making an encrypted connection to …

Net Neutrality

Trump trades the planet for a few coal jobs in a doomed industry

‘Trump to future generations: Drop dead’<p>President Donald Trump just signed an executive order to halt the federal government’s efforts to fight climate change. That means that, with the stroke of a pen, Trump is putting the health and well-being of the future generations in danger — in the US and …

Climate Change

Congress just voted to let internet providers sell your browsing history

Less than a week after the Senate voted to empower internet service providers to freely share private user data with advertisers, the House has weighed in, too.<p>Today in a 215-205 vote on Senate Joint Resolution 34 (H. Res. 230), the House voted to repeal broadband privacy regulations that the Obama …

Net Neutrality

Congress just voted to strip away FCC rules that protected your internet privacy

A victory for the telecom industry.<p>Congress took its final step today to scrap online privacy rules imposed by the FCC last year on the likes of AT&T, Comcast*, Charter and Verizon, delivering a victory for the nation’s telecommunications industry — and a blow to consumer-protection advocates.<p>In a …

Net Neutrality

Trump poised to sign away privacy protections for internet users

President to approve law killing rules meant to prevent internet service providers from selling consumers’ web browsing and app storage histories to advertisers<p>President Donald Trump was expected to sign legislation on Wednesday allowing internet service providers to sell the browsing habits of …

Net Neutrality

Evidence That Robots Are Winning the Race for American Jobs

Who is winning the race for jobs between robots and humans? Last year, two leading economists described a future in which humans come out ahead. But now they’ve declared a different winner: the robots.<p>The industry most affected by automation is manufacturing. For every robot per thousand workers, …

Robots

Facebook copied Snapchat a fourth time, and now all its apps look the same

Facebook doesn’t seem concerned with giving each of its core services a unique identity.<p>Facebook is copying Snapchat again: Today it launched Stories, the 24-hour photo and video montages that ultimately disappear, inside of its core Facebook app.<p>This is the fourth time Facebook has cloned the key …

Facebook

Elon Musk’s OpenAI Unveils a Simpler Way for Machines to Learn

The group says it has a more practical way to get software to learn tasks, such as steering robots, that require multiple actions.<p>Watch OpenAI’s …

Machine Learning

Otto cofounder: Driverless trucks will cruise U.S. freeways within 10 years

Expect artificial intelligence technologies to alter the truck driving industry within the next 10 years. That’s according to Lior Ron, the cofounder of self-driving truck company Otto, which ride-hailing company Uber bought in August for a reported $680 million.<p>Ron said Monday that he expects …

Transportation

It Only Took 5,000 Years, But The Flip-Flop Is Finally Getting Smarter | Fast Company

That hasn’t stopped the founders of fast-growing brand Hari Mari from trying to push things forward. Today, they’re launching a new line of high-tech flip flops that will allow the brand to continue its relationship with the wearer long after they’ve purchased the product. The footwear will be …

Shoes

New AI Algorithm Beats Even the World's Worst Traffic - Motherboard

The height of individual vs. collective irrationality has to be automobile traffic. We build roadways around the assumption that we as individual human actors will behave in ways that appear to reward those behaviors at the level of individuals but wind up harming the collective's goal of moving …

Machine Learning

Elon Musk's Latest Startup: Brains Linked to Computers

Building a mass-market electric vehicle and colonizing Mars aren’t ambitious enough for Elon Musk. The billionaire entrepreneur now wants to merge computers with human brains to help people keep up with machines.<p>The founder and chief executive of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. …

Elon Musk

Netflix: The Monster That's Eating Hollywood

Tara Flynn, a rising star at a TV production unit of 21st Century Fox, walked into her boss’s office last August and told him she was quitting and joining streaming-video giant Netflix Inc.<p>The news was not well-received.<p>“Netflix is public enemy No. 1,” said Bert Salke, the head of Fox 21 Television …

Netflix

Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas

President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, …

Jared Kushner

Southwest Airlines’ Digital Transformation Takes Off | Fast Company

Software replacements or upgrades at airlines often resemble a game of Jenga.<p>Southwest is going through an exercise of upgrading their technology and applications that are 15, 20, and even 25 years old.

Southwest Airlines

Third of EU Citizens OK With Piracy When There Are No Legal Options

The European Union Intellectual Property Office has published the findings of a new study commissioned from Deloitte which aims to better understand …

Net Neutrality

Backdoor access to WhatsApp? Rudd's call suggests a hazy grasp of encryption

UK home secretary wants police to be able to access WhatsApp, but any backdoor also makes services vulnerable to criminals<p>Tech companies are facing demands from the home secretary, Amber Rudd, to build backdoors into their “completely unacceptable” end-to-end encryption messaging apps. Speaking on …

Encryption

Snapchat 'will be bigger than Twitter, Yahoo and AOL with advertisers'

Messaging app forecast to attract revenues of $3bn a year by 2019 by attracting hard-to-reach youth market<p>Snapchat could become more popular with advertisers than Twitter, Yahoo and AOL within three years, with the messaging app company forecast to bring in revenues of more than $3bn (£2.4bn) a …

Snapchat

ATM use hits 15-year-low as shift to cashless society gathers momentum

ATM withdrawals have slumped to their lowest levels in 15 years and the number of Australians taking cash out during debit card transactions is …

Reserve Bank of Australia

Could Australia be cash free as early as 2020?

The Reserve Bank is introducing new technology this year which will push Australia even further towards being a cashless society.<p>Later this year the …

Australian Universities

Amazon Wants to Crush Your Store With Its Technology Might

SEATTLE — Last Sunday in Palm Springs, Calif., Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, climbed into the cockpit of a 13-foot robot and began flailing his arms as though warming up for a workout, causing the robot’s enormous appendages to mimic his movements.<p>“Why do I feel so much like …

Amazon

The High-Speed Trading Behind Your Amazon Purchase

I wanted to buy some mini marshmallows recently, so I went on Amazon. Perhaps because of their resemblance to packing material—light, bulky, ubiquitous—I figured they’d be cheap. But when I found the most popular brand, not only did the marshmallows cost twice what I’d pay at my local store, the …

Amazon

How Chinese-led globalization will impact tech

The politics of protectionism are turning America inward at roughly the same moment high valuations have forced Chinese firms to seek profits abroad. From a macro perspective, globalization marches on, albeit with a different leader. But if Chinese firms will increasingly be at the center of a …

Innovation

Can Uber Survive Without Self-Driving Cars?

After a high-speed crash in Arizona, the ride-hailing giant grounds its autonomous fleet.<p>In the era of self-driving cars, a scary but otherwise uneventful car crash can be huge news. This was the case in Tempe, Arizona, on Friday, when an Uber self-driving car was hit so hard that it rolled onto …

Uber

Technology is killing jobs, and only technology can save them

In the recent presidential election, automation and robotics got a slight reprieve from the accusations that it has been the key driver in job losses in the United States. During the campaign, the conversation shifted, thanks largely to then-candidate Trump’s masterful scapegoating of Mexico and …

Automation

WhatsApp must be accessible to authorities, says Amber Rudd

Critics say home secretary’s demand for access to encrypted messaging to thwart attacks is unrealistic and disproportionate<p>Amber Rudd has called for the police and intelligence agencies to be given access to WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging services to thwart future terror attacks, prompting …

Encryption

U.S. workers face higher risk of being replaced by robots. Here's why

<b>London (CNN) —</b> Millions of workers around the world are at risk of losing their jobs to robots -- but Americans should be particularly worried.<p>Thirty-eight percent of jobs in the U.S. are at high risk of being replaced by robots and artificial intelligence over the next 15 years, according to a new …

Robots