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dr tech

Will 'connected cars' persuade drivers to pay for a high-spec ride? | Automotive indust... - 0 views

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    "Nor are car owners the only consumers learning that software can be tricksy in a way hardware cannot. In 2017, Apple admitted that its software was slowing down the performance of older iPhones. It said that the design was aimed at saving battery life, but critics said it was an example of "planned obsolescence" - artificially shortening the life of a device to make buyers upgrade sooner. In 2009, Amazon provided a perfect metaphor for the potentially dystopian implications of the subscription economy when, without warning, it revoked copies of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four from all its Kindle e-readers."
dr tech

Why is everyone saying Instagram is rubbish now - and what's TikTok got to do with it? ... - 0 views

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    "The upshot is that people are getting way more videos in their Instagram feeds, and it's going full screen for those videos, so it scrolls like TikTok. But that's not all: people are now also seeing "suggested posts", which works in a TikTok-style algorithm that brings in random posts from people you don't follow into your feed."
dr tech

Shut Down the Parent Portals: The Dangers of Real-Time Data | Just Visiting - 0 views

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    "Parent "Portals," as utilized in K12 education, are doing significant harm to student development.[1] For those not familiar, Parent Portals are learning management systems that provide "real time" information to parents of school-aged children: "grades, attendance, assignments, and more." On a daily basis parents can monitor their child's performance in school and intervene at home. In theory, this seems like a good thing. But what is the difference between "real time" data and constant surveillance? In my view, not much. What if surveillance is not conducive to education? I'm working this one out. Let's see where it goes."
dr tech

TechScape: Can the UK create a safer internet? | Technology | The Guardian - 0 views

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    "The government is introducing some amendments in time for the report stage on 12 July, with another batch to be announced shortly after. Under one confirmed change, tech firms will be required to shield internet users from state-sponsored disinformation that poses a threat to UK society and democracy. This is a tightening of existing proposals on disinformation in the bill, which already require tech firms to take action on state-sponsored disinformation that harms individuals - such as threats to kill. Another confirmed amendment is equally incremental. A clause in the bill aimed at end-to-end encrypted services already gives Ofcom the power to require those platforms to adopt "accredited technology" to detect child sexual abuse and exploitation [CSEA] content. If that doesn't work, then they must use their "best endeavours" to develop or deploy new technology to spot and remove CSEA. This move appears to be aimed at Mark Zuckerberg's plans to introduce end-to-end encryption on Facebook Messenger and Instagram."
dr tech

Is your smartphone ruining your memory? A special report on the rise of 'digital amnesi... - 0 views

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    "So what happens when we outsource part of our memory to an external device? Does it enable us to squeeze more and more out of life, because we aren't as reliant on our fallible brains to cue things up for us? Are we so reliant on smartphones that they will ultimately change how our memories work (sometimes called digital amnesia)? Or do we just occasionally miss stuff when we don't remember the reminders?"
dr tech

I saw first-hand how the tech giants seduced the EU - and undermined democracy | Georg ... - 0 views

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    "The Digital Services Act marks the end of the platforms' vast liability exemptions and their seeming impunity. It will impose more transparency on the platforms' content moderation and set rules on so-called dark patterns, design features that can trick users into doing things they didn't mean to."
dr tech

Google, Meta, and others will have to explain their algorithms under new EU legislation... - 0 views

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    "Early Saturday morning after hours of negotiations, the bloc agreed on the broad terms of the Digital Services Act, or DSA, which will force tech companies to take greater responsibility for content that appears on their platforms. New obligations include removing illegal content and goods more quickly, explaining to users and researchers how their algorithms work, and taking stricter action on the spread of misinformation. Companies face fines of up to six percent of their annual turnover for non-compliance. "
dr tech

Facebook struggles as Russia steps up presence in unstable west Africa | World news | T... - 0 views

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    "A report by investigators from the Digital Forensic Lab, a global network of digital forensic researchers run by US-based thinktank the Atlantic Council, reveals how pro-Russian Facebook pages in Mali coordinated support for anti-democracy protests and the Wagner group, a controversial Russian private military contractor that was invited into the unstable country last year after the overthrow of President Bah N'daw by the military."
dr tech

Will blockchain fulfil its democratic promise or will it become a tool of big tech? | J... - 0 views

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    "The problem with digital technology is that, for engineers, it is both intrinsically fascinating and seductively challenging, which means that they acquire a kind of tunnel vision: they are so focused on finding solutions to the technical problems that they are blinded to the wider context. At the moment, for example, the consensus-establishing processes for verifying blockchain transactions requires intensive computation, with a correspondingly heavy carbon footprint. Reducing that poses intriguing technical challenges, but focusing on them means that the engineering community isn't thinking about the governance issues raised by the technology. There may not be any central authority in a blockchain but, as Vili Lehdonvirta pointed out years ago, there are rules for what constitutes a consensus and, therefore, a question about who exactly sets those rules. The engineers? The owners of the biggest supercomputers on the chain? Goldman Sachs? These are ultimately political questions, not technical ones."
dr tech

As a new year dawns, expect a fresh assault on big tech | John Naughton | The Guardian - 0 views

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    "This tulip-mania de nos jours has been happening with cryptocurrencies for a while, but is about to become more frenzied as the notion that blockchain - the cryptographic technology that underpins bitcoin, Ethereum et al - can become the basis for something called Web3: a new, properly decentralised version of the world wide web (as compared with the current version in which control has become effectively centralised in a small number of giant corporations)."
dr tech

China plans control of tech that US can only dream of, Government & Economy - THE BUSIN... - 0 views

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    "The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) unveiled a 30-point draft proposal for "algorithm recommendation management regulations" that would directly affect companies including ByteDance, Tencent Holdings and Kuaishou Technology. The rules would forbid practices that "encourage addiction or high consumption", as well as any activities that endanger national security or disrupt social and economic order."
dr tech

Facebook Wants Us to Live in the Metaverse | The New Yorker - 0 views

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    "The metaverse is "a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces," he said. It's "an embodied Internet that you're inside of rather than just looking at. We believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile Internet.""
dr tech

Egypt sentences TikTok star to 10 years in prison for 'human trafficking' - 0 views

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    "Egyptian police on Tuesday arrested a Tiktok star who has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for her posts on social media. Haneen Hossam, a 20-year-old Cairo University student who became an influencer on video sharing app Tiktok, was sentenced in absentia on Sunday alongside four others."
dr tech

Amazon's Ring is the largest civilian surveillance network the US has ever seen | Laure... - 1 views

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    "Ring is effectively building the largest corporate-owned, civilian-installed surveillance network that the US has ever seen. An estimated 400,000 Ring devices were sold in December 2019 alone, and that was before the across-the-board boom in online retail sales during the pandemic. Amazon is cagey about how many Ring cameras are active at any one point in time, but estimates drawn from Amazon's sales data place yearly sales in the hundreds of millions. The always-on video surveillance network extends even further when you consider the millions of users on Ring's affiliated crime reporting app, Neighbors, which allows people to upload content from Ring and non-Ring devices."
dr tech

'Missing from desk': AI webcam raises remote surveillance concerns | Working from home ... - 0 views

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    "Explained by "Anna", a desk-sitting avatar complete with an artificial voice, the video introduces TP Observer as "a risk-mitigation tool that monitors and tracks real time employee behaviour, and detects any violations to pre-set business rules". Anna explains that this means home workers will have an AI-enabled webcam added to their computers that recognises their face, tags their location and scans for "breaches" of rules at random points during a shift."
dr tech

Trolls can be hunted down and rooted out. So why aren't social media giants doing it? |... - 0 views

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    "What might happen next? First the investigators would find out the culprits' names, telephone numbers, and where they lived. Then the authorities would be alerted. Shortly afterwards, accounts would be closed down. And, in the worst cases, the police would prosecute. Finally, as people began to realise that actions online had actual consequences, many would start modifying their behaviour. The tsunami of online hate might eventually become a sea swell."
dr tech

Facebook and fear in Manila: Maria Ressa's fight for facts | Maria Ressa | The Guardian - 0 views

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    "There, a Facebook-fuelled tsunami of lies had assisted an authoritarian into power. And she had seen where that had led: to opponents of the state being killed in their homes or turning up dead in ditches. As a Filipino American with a foot in both countries - she calls herself "the first of the CNN hybrids" - she was perfectly positioned to warn America about what happens when a populist president is allowed to spread out-of-control lies across a vast, unregulated tech platform. "A lie told a million times becomes a fact," she repeated again and again."
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