In many ways, social-media platforms are simply giant algorithms.
At their heart, they work out what you’re interested in and then give you more of it – using as many data points as they can get their hands on.
Every “like”, watch, click is stored. Most apps also glean more data from your web-browsing habits or geographical data. The idea is to predict the content you want and keep you scrolling – and it works.
And those same algorithms that know you enjoy a cute-cat video are also deployed to sell you stuff.
All the data social-media companies collect about you can also tailor ads to you in an incredibly accurate way.
This is big news because Huawei is the world’s leading vendor of 5G equipment. Huawei is a Chinese company, and as such is thought to be under control or influence of the Chinese government. Nokia and Ericsson are Scandinavian companies. Why are countries okay to use Scandinavian telecom equipment but not Chinese telecom equipment for critical infrastructure?
Does it matter that almost every smartphone in Canada was assembled in China?
Canada’s cyber spy agency says authorities are investigating possible security breaches at Canadian organizations doing COVID-19-related research — less than a week after it warned that Canadian intellectual property linked to the pandemic is a “valuable target” for state-sponsored actors.
“We’ve seen some compromises in research organizations that we’ve been helping to mitigate and we’re still continuing to look through what’s the root cause of those,” said Scott Jones, head of the Communications Security Establishment’s Cyber Centre, during an appearance in front of the Commons industry, science and technology committee this evening.
“I’m a bit nervous,” confessed Li Qiang, the deputy mayor of Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus was first reported late last year, as he awaited the start of his first-ever live-streaming event.
It is not the kind of tone one often hears from a senior Communist party official. But in an effort to revive China’s economy after the devastating epidemic, Mr Li was determined. He spoke fondly of his long appreciation of Wuhan’s local delicacy, hot and dry noodles, and urged locals to frequent his favourite shop.
And the result? Chinese media reports say that on the first day of the campaign – 8 April – these live-streaming sales across the province garnered 17.9m yuan ($2.5m; £2m). They sold nearly 300,000 items in nine hours – including 44,000 portions of Mr Li’s favourite hot and dry noodles.
A distributed denial of service attack (DDoS attack) is where lots of distributed computers all try and access a website at once, thereby overwhelming the webserver. How is this different, if at all, from thousands of people trying to book a campsite at the same time on the Parks Canada online reservation website?
What’s a good way to deal with being overwhelmed with web traffic?