Articles by date
16 July 2018
Here's how many followers Trump, Obama and others lost in Twitter's purge of locked accounts (Washington Post)
Several of the most popular Twitter accounts, including Barack Obama and Katy Perry, lost millions of followers starting Thursday as the company began culling suspicious accounts, the latest effort to clean up the social media platform.
In 1979, Douglas Hofstadter, an American cognitive scientist, formulated a useful general rule that applies to all complex tasks. Hofstadter’s law says that “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s law”. It may not have the epistemological status of Newton’s first law, but it is “good enough for government work”, as the celebrated computer scientist Roger Needham used to say.
The inconvenient truth about cancer and mobile phones (The Observer)
On 28 March this year, the scientific peer review of a landmark United States government study concluded that there is “clear evidence” that radiation from mobile phones causes cancer, specifically, a heart tissue cancer in rats that is too rare to be explained as random occurrence.
14 July 2018
Microsoft calls for regulation of facial recognition, saying it's too risky to leave to tech industry alone (Washington Post)
Microsoft is calling for government regulation on facial-recognition software, one of its key technologies, saying such artificial intelligence is too important and potentially dangerous for tech giants to police themselves.
11 July 2018
Report: Most American consumers think companies aren't doing enough to protect their data (Marketing Land)
Consumers are still confused about how their privacy is being handled and want companies to do more to protect them, according to new research released Tuesday by digital advertising platform Choozle.Consumers are still confused about how their privacy is being handled and want companies to do more to protect them, according to new research released Tuesday by digital advertising platform Choozle.
Google may have to make major changes to Android in response to a forthcoming fine in Europe (Washington Post)
Google could face a record penalty this month from European regulators for forcing its search and Web-browsing tools on the makers of Android-equipped smartphones and other devices, potentially resulting in major changes to the world’s most widely deployed mobile operating system.
08 July 2018
Twitter is sweeping out fake accounts like never before, putting user growth at risk (Washington Post)
Twitter has sharply escalated its battle against fake and suspicious accounts, suspending more than 1 million a day in recent months, a major shift to lessen the flow of disinformation on the platform, according to data obtained by The Washington Post.
Google, YouTube and Facebook could escape having to make billions in payouts to press publishers, record labels and artists after EU lawmakers voted to reject proposed changes to copyright rules that aimed to make the tech companies share more of their revenues.
NBN frustration prompts Australian community to take high-speed internet into their own hands (ABC News)
Residents from the New South Wales community of Wamboin are planning to dig their own trenches to secure faster internet, claiming the National Broadband Network is failing them.
07 July 2018
Tech Giants Win a Battle Over Copyright Rules in Europe (New York Times)
It’s a fight nearly as old as the internet. On one side are news organizations, broadcasters and music companies that want to control how their content spreads across the web, and to be paid more for it. On the other are tech companies such as Facebook and Google, which argue that they funnel viewers and advertising revenue to media outlets, and free-speech advocates, who say that regulating the internet would set a dangerous precedent and limit access to information.
05 July 2018
Privacy policies of tech giants 'still not GDPR-compliant' (The Guardian)
Privacy policies from companies including Facebook, Google and Amazon don’t fully meet the requirements of GDPR, according to the pan-European consumer group BEUC.
The growing concern over online data and user privacy has been focused on tech giants like Facebook and devices like smartphones. But people’s data is also increasingly being vacuumed right out of their living rooms via their televisions, sometimes without their knowledge.
Russia is fully capable of launching its own “parallel internet” if its relationship with the West continues to deteriorate, a top diplomat in Moscow has said.
Social media companies are deliberately addicting users to their products for financial gain, Silicon Valley insiders have told the BBC's Panorama programme.
Another day, another data breach - what to do when it happens to you (The Conversation)
Reports of data breaches are an increasingly common occurrence. In recent weeks, Ticketmaster, HealthEngine, PageUp and the Tasmanian Electoral Commission have all reported breaches.
The retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy from the Supreme Court might change the game for environmental protections, abortion rights and civil rights. But what will it mean for the internet, and issues that matter to techies, like online privacy, immigration and warrantless surveillance?
04 July 2018
Commonwealth countries have unanimously committed to take action on cybersecurity between now and 2020, following a landmark declaration.
Big Tech Is a Big Problem (Project Syndicate)
The prosperity of the US has always depended on its ability to harness economic growth to technology-driven innovation. But right now Big Tech is as much a part of the problem as it is a part of the solution.
02 July 2018
Standing on a tube platform the other day, I found myself looking at a huge ad for the Nest Hello, “the doorbell you’ve been waiting for”. Apparently, “it makes other doorbells seem like dumbbells”. That’s because it “lets you know who’s there, so you never miss a thing. It replaces your existing wired doorbell and delivers HD video and bright, crisp images, even at night. It’s designed to show you everything on your doorstep – people head to toe or packages on the ground. And with 24/7 streaming, you can check in any time. Or go back and look at a three-hour snapshot history to see what happened.”
29 June 2018
A US Senate Committee Votes for Peace in the Music Industry (New York Times)
For a decade, the music industry has promoted a motley series of copyright bills to Congress, only to watch them fail.
California legislators just adopted tough new privacy rules targeting Facebook, Google and other tech giants (Washington Post)
California legislators on Thursday adopted sweeping new rules that restrict the data-harvesting practices of Amazon.com, Facebook, Google and Uber, a move that soon could spur other states and Congress to take aim at the tech industry.
The Long View: Surveillance, the Internet, and Government Research (LA Review of Books)
We face a crisis of computing. The very devices that were supposed to augment our minds now harvest them for profit. How did we get here?
How Europe Can Promote a Free and Open Internet (Council on Foreign Relations)
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker waits for guests at the start of an emergency European Union leaders summit in Brussels on June 24, 2018.
28 June 2018
California is on the verge of passing a sweeping new online privacy law targeting Facebook, Google and other tech giants (Washington Post)
California is hurtling toward the adoption of a new online privacy law that would govern how tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Uber collect and monetize consumers' personal data – a set of changes that could ripple throughout the country.
Residents of a tiny Welsh village were so exasperated with their feeble internet connection that they decided to get together and dig 15 miles of trenches to lay their own super-fast cables.