New order? China restaurant debuts robot waiters

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Consumer Technology, Emerging Technologies, Entertainment, Robotics.

WWhile on first glance the five new robots at “Taste and Aroma” seem super-futuristic, it turns out they can only move along fixed paths and are unable to respond to requests from customers.  Frankly, we expect more from our interns — who on their first day in the office can be programmed to fetch tea… Read more »

Help! My building has been hacked

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security, DoS/Denial of Service, Electronic Surveillance, Ethical issues, Fraud.

Two cybersecurity experts hacked into its Wharf 7 office in Sydney, Australia, through Google’s building management system (BMS).  “Once you understand how the systems work, it is very simple.”  The vulnerable systems were found on Shodan, a search engine that lists devices connected to the internet. Source: BBC Technology Date: April 28th, 2016 Link: Discussion 1) If… Read more »

Carl Icahn dumps Apple shares over China fears

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, Emerging Technologies.

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has sold all his shares in Apple over concerns about the technology firm’s prospects in China.  At one point last year, he owned 53 million shares worth $6.5bn. Source: BBC Date: April 28th. 2016 Link: Discussion 1) Clayton Christensen wrote a book called the Innovators Dilemma which describes how companies overshoot the… Read more »

US Supreme Court approves expanded hacking powers

Posted by & filed under Big Data, Cyber Security, Electronic Surveillance, IT Security.

The US Supreme Court has approved a rule change that could allow law enforcement to remotely search computers around the world.  Previously, magistrate judges could order searches only within the jurisdiction of their court, often limited to a few counties.  The US Department of Justice (DoJ) said the change was necessary to modernise the law… Read more »

Inside Facebook’s plan to be more human

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, App Economy, Consumer Technology, Entertainment, Ethical issues.

Source: CNN Tech Date: April 23rd, 2016 Link to video: Discussion 1) Is this really “more compassionate products”? 2) The video talks about using an algorithm to surface favourite posts from the pasts.  How might other organizations use this sort of algorithm to better serve their own customers?

UC Davis says sorry for search manipulation

Posted by & filed under Ethical issues.

The chancellor of UC Davis university has apologised over the hiring of a PR firm that promised to bury online search results about the pepper spraying of peaceful protesters.   Dr Linda Katehi admitted that UC Davis, California, brought in a company “specialising in what is known as search engine optimisation”.  But she denied that the… Read more »

Connected tech aims to protect rhinos from poaching

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, Electronic Surveillance, Ethical issues.

In a tie-up between South African technology firm Dimension Data and networking giant Cisco, the technology will track vehicles and people entering the reserve rather than animals. Source: BBC Technology Date: April 23, 2016 Link: Discussion 1) In what other areas could this technique be used to protect? 2) Why is Cisco doing this project?

How to make big bucks hunting cyber bugs

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security.

This month the US government is launching its first-ever bug bounty programme – a 20-day scheme for cybersecurity savvy citizens to have a go at finding flaws in the Department of Defense’s public websites before the illegal hackers do.  There is a $150,000 (£106,000) pot for rewarding the finders of significant bugs. Source: BBC Technology Date: April… Read more »

The new Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s radical e-reader redesign

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology.

The wedge-shaped Kindle Oasis is a petite and pocketable new e-reader from Amazon that sacrifices a bit of battery life to fit in the palm of your hand. Source: CNN Tech Date: April 15th, 2016 Link: Discussion 1) Amazon “is obsessed with studying how people read. It does field research, following readers around on their commute… Read more »

Google is helping this school build a ‘Waze’ for the blind

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Consumer Technology, Emerging Technologies.

Like many Bostonians, Joann Becker uses her smartphone to find the nearest bus stop. Unfortunately, GPS is only accurate give or take 30-feet, and unlike most people, Becker can’t look up to see exactly where the bus is going to stop. Becker is blind. Source: CNN Tech Date: April 15th, 2016 Link: Discussion 1) The goal here is… Read more »