Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, Internet of Things.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: March 8th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-42456995/sim-card-shoes-send-alert-if-wearer-falls

Discussion

1) Technology that alerts someone when someone falls.  What other applications of this technology can you think of?

2) The integration of sensors with telecoms is a booming field, often called Internet of Things.  What issues can you think of for these sim-card enabled shoes?

Posted by & filed under Blockchain.

Verifying authenticity or provenance is one of the art industry’s biggest challenges. Blockchain can help.

Blockchain is a potentially revolutionary technology for all sorts of industries, from finance to food safety, social media and retail. A startup plans to use it in the notoriously opaque world of fine art to verify authenticity.  Codex has developed a decentralized database for the market for art and collectibles like antique cars and jewelry. This protocol would help bring transparency to one of the most valuable aspects of any item in that category: its provenance. Provenance is the history of ownership of a work. Proving that pedigree is currently a painstaking and long process often done by hand, sifting through paper documents and receipts, and is often inconclusive.

Source: Bloomberg

Date: March 8th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-02-28/startup-codex-brings-blockchain-to-art-with-backing-from-pantera

Discussion

1) Providing a decentralized repository of information that you can trust is accurate could be very useful indeed.  What other things can you think of that would benefit from this technology?

2) Not addressed here is how you can trust what is put on the blockchain is authentic.  This is called “validation”.  How might this work?

Posted by & filed under Ethical issues, Privacy.

Geek Squad cars

Best Buy’s computer repair workers have been aiding the FBI for at least 10 years, new documents suggest.

They indicate that several of the US company’s Geek Squad staff were paid for reporting child abuse imagery.

The rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation said that the relationship “circumvents computer owners’ Fourth Amendment rights” to privacy.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: March 8th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43315176

Discussion

1) Do you have the right to privacy if you drop your computer off for repairs?

2) What steps could you take to make sure your private stuff on your technology remains private?

Posted by & filed under Civil Liberties, Facebook, IT and Politics.

A Facebook executive disclosed that the company wasn’t yet sure how to enact CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest major directive: shifting the company’s metrics so that so-called meaningful interactions are valued over cheap likes and clicks.

A Facebook executive disclosed that the company wasn’t yet sure how to put in place Zuckerberg’s latest major directive: shifting the company’s metrics so that “meaningful interactions” are valued over likes and clicks, a response to the misinformation and reports about the harms of social media that drew attention last year.

Source: Washington Post

Date: March 1st, 2018

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/02/21/mark-zuckerberg-says-he-wants-to-fix-facebook-his-employees-keep-getting-in-the-way/?utm_term=.c9441ce850fe

Discussion

1) “Facebook vice president, Rob Goldman, who runs the company’s massively lucrative ad business, seemed more defensive about Facebook’s role. “I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal,” he tweeted, adding that the majority of Russian ads ran after the election. “We shared that fact,” he wrote, “but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Trump and the election.””  How do you actually get to the truth in situations like these?

2) Why do you think Russia used Facebook to place ads?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Amazon, Augmented Reality.

Amazon has challenged 15 teams of some of the world’s best computer science graduate students to build “a socialbot that can converse coherently and engagingly with humans on popular topics for 20 minutes.” If any team succeeds, its members will snare academic glory and the promise of brilliant future careers. (Consider that some of the most impressive alums of the Darpa Grand Challenges, an early set of autonomous vehicle competitions, went on to run the self-driving car divisions of Google, Ford, Uber, and General Motors.) They will also walk away with a $1 million purse—which Amazon has called the Alexa Prize.

Source: Wired Magazine

Date: March 1st, 2018

Link: https://www.wired.com/story/inside-amazon-alexa-prize/

Discussion

1) Do humans really want to “socialize” with bots?

2) What are some of the main issues facing these socialbot designers?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Competitive Advantage.

SeaCages by night

Fish farming is big business – the industry now produces about 100 million tonnes a year – and with salmon prices soaring, producers are turning to lasers, automation and artificial intelligence to boost production and cut costs.

How do you know if farmed salmon have had enough to eat?

Well, according to Lingalaks fish farms in Norway, which produce nearly three million salmon each year, the fish make less noise once the feeding frenzy is over.

The firm knows this thanks to a new hydro-acoustic system it has installed at one of its farms. The system listens to the salmon sloshing loudly about as they feed in a cluster. When the fish have had enough, they swim off and the noise lessens.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: March 1st, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-43032542

Discussion

1) The article talks about “robo-feeders”, but really all the feeders are doing is providing food at a certain time and then stopping when the noise decreases.  What other applications could there be for something like this?

2) How are lasers used to help salmon farmers?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Ethical issues.

The concerns tied to devices like Amazon's wristbands range from the potential for discrimination to data security risks for the company's employees.Amazon recently won patents for wristbands that could be used as part of an inventory system, communicating with equipment in warehouses and nudging employees via vibrations if, for example, they were about to place items in the wrong bins. But in a world where the legal limits on gathering and using people’s data remain largely undefined, use of such devices could quickly turn nefarious, some experts say.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Date: February 28th, 2018

Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-amazon-wristbands-privacy-20180215-story.html

Discussion

1) What sorts of other uses could this technology be put to other than tracking the people who work in the warehouses at Amazon?

2) Is this really an invasion of privacy or more an attempt by Amazon to improve workplace safety and efficiency?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security, Internet of Things.

In a May study of 553 IT decision makers, 78% said they thought it was at least somewhat likely that their businesses would suffer data loss or theft enabled by IoT devices. Some 72% said the speed at which IoT is advancing makes it harder to keep up with evolving security requirements.

Source: Wired Magazine

Date: February 23rd, 2018

Link: https://www.wired.com/brandlab/2017/06/iot-is-coming-even-if-the-security-isnt-ready-heres-what-to-do/?intcid=polar

Discussion

1) What sorts of things are included in IoT (Internet of Things)?

2) Why are IoT devices so useful to hackers and problematic for the rest of us?

Posted by & filed under Automation, Career, Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues, Google.

While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we’ve increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive. As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

Source: Chromium Blog

Date: February 23rd, 2018

Link: https://blog.chromium.org/2018/02/how-chromes-ad-filtering-works.html

Discussion

1) Why should all marketing majors need to understand this?

2) Why do companies like Google rely on industry standard like Better Ads Standards when designing how their software works?