|Stories subject to change up until showtime|
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|This is the Daily Tech News for Monday July 30th 2018. In LA I'm Tom Merritt|
|From studio Feline I'm Sarah Lane|
|And I'm Lamarr Wilson|
|Producer Roger Chang|
|:31||TM||Let's start with a few tech things you should know...|
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|SL||YouTube announced support for vertical videos on the desktop, something the mobile version of YouTube already has. This plays a vertical video in its natural aspect ratio without putting it in a landscape box with black bars along the sides. Some users have complained that the videos lose quality or get cut off by the new feature.||https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/30/17629504/youtube-website-vertical-videos-without-black-bars|
|lw||A joint venture of Softbank and Yahoo Japan called PayPay is partnering with India's Paytm to launch a payment system in Japan by November. The QR-code based platform will be called Paypay and integrated with Yahoo Japan's smartphone apps.||https://www.livemint.com/Companies/kMXfL45HO5ZtNdf62NR90I/SoftBank-taps-Paytm-to-launch-mobile-payments-in-Japan.html|
|tm||The new DJI Mavic 2 quadcopters are shown in the latest Argos catalog in the UK, though DJI itself has not officially announced them. The catalog lists Zoom and Pro variations of the foldable UAV. Both editions have 360-degree collission detection, Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems and Active Track 2.0 with battery life of 31 minutes according to the listing. The Pro lists a 1-inch CMOS Hasselblad camera and the Zoom shows a 2x zoom lens.||https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/30/this-is-the-leaked-dji-mavic-2-drone/|
|Let's talk a little more about...|
|:33||lw||The Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced it has successfully tracked a batch of 17,000 kilograms of almonds from Australia to Germany using a private blockchain built on the Ethereum network. The bank's partners could check in on the location, temperature, humidity, and other metrics of the shipment, whenever they wanted, in real-time.||https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2018/07/30/blockchain-cryptocurrency-banks-tracking/|
|:35||sl||Spanish taxi drivers held protests in the country against ride-hailing services like Uber Monday. Cabs blocked access to major streets including the Gran Via in Barcelona and Madrid's Catellana, as well as airports and train stations. The union is meeting with the government to attempt to resolve issues. A Spanish law limits ride-hailing licenses to one for every 30 taxi licenses but cab drivers say this law is not being respected.||https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-spain-strike/taxi-strike-targeting-uber-brings-chaos-to-spanish-cities-idUSKBN1KK1HK?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews|
|:37||tm||Tech in Asia has a profile of a coffee shop in Shanghai called Ratio. Customers scan a barcode at the entrance, place an order, and pay by mobile. Ordering allows customers to customize the ratios of coffee, water, milk etc. A robotic arm makes the coffee, placing it on a counter where a waiter picks it up and delivers it to the customer. The robot also makes cocktails. The chain was founded by Gavin Pathross who led the digital transformation of Yum China which operates KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and other brands. There's also the food court at Alibaba's Hema supermarket which uses robots as waiters and chefs for many dishes.||https://www.techinasia.com/china-robot-coffee-shop-startup-ratio|
|:40||lw||EA’s Origin Access Premier is now live. The new PC game subscription service, announced in a investor call last week, will cost $14.99 a month or $99.99 a year. Subscribers will get access to EA’s first run titles five days before their release date as well as extra content, in-game currency, plus all the benefits of basic Origin Access membership which includes EA’s 100-plus game library and 10% off Origin digital purchases. Upcoming games that will debut on Premier include Madden NFL 19 Hall of Fame Edition, FIFA 19 Ulimate Edition, Battlefield V Deluxe Edition and Anthem Legion of Dawn Edition.||https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/30/ea-launches-origin-access-premier-subscriptions-for-hot-pc-games/|
|:44||sl||Someone is sending CDs full of malware to US state officials. The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center has issued a warning about the scam. The packages have a Chinese postmark with a rambling letter and a CD with a set of Word docs containing malicious visual basic scripts. State Archives, State Historical Societies, and a State Department of Cultural Affairs have all received letters.||https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/30/chinese-hackers-are-sending-malware-via-snail-mail/|
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|:46||Twitter announced it will work with professors from Leiden University to study how echo chambers form on the platform and what effect they have on conversations. Among the things they will study will include the difference between incivility and intolerance. Past research shows being uncvil can serve an important function while intolerance is counterproductive. Twitter also announced it will work with professors from Oxford and Amsterdam to study intergroup conflict showing that conversations with positive sentiments, cooperative emotions, and more complex thinking reduces prejudice and improves relationships.||https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/30/twitter-turns-to-academics-to-improve-conversational-health-on-the-platform/|
|A UK parliamentary committee studying online disinformation called for urgent action to “build resilience against misinformation and disinformation into our democratic system”. The report recommends a levy on social media and tech companies to fund analysis of the effects of technology as well as changes to election and advertising law. Another report covering the inquiry’s “wider terms of reference” with a closer look at advertising, will follow. In the US, Senator Mark Warner published a white paper on Axios with proposals for fighting political misinformation, protecting user privacy and promoting competition.||https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/30/fake-news-inquiry-calls-for-social-media-levy-to-defend-democracy/|
|Twitter called for proposals in March to evaluate the types and manner of conversations |
- Proposals reviewed across departments with an effort to include diverse opinions both based on personal background and department.
Leiden University team - echo chambers and incivility v intolerance
- echo chambers can cause hostility and promote resentment towards those not having the same conversation.
- incivility can serve important functions in political dialogue (and cause new problems)
- intolerant speech (hate speech, racism, xenophobia) threatens democracy.
- Plan to develop algorithms to distinguish incivility from intolerance
Intergroup Conflict study continuing Professor Miles Hewstone work
- when conversation contains more positive sentiments, cooperative emotions, and complex thinking and reasoning from multiple perspectives, prejudice goes down and relationship quality goes up. Basically adapting the ongoing study to look at Twitter.
|US Senator Mark Warner - 20 options for regulating web platforms|
- Congress could pass laws requiring companies to determine the origins of posts and accounts
- publish reports on the prevalence of “inauthentic” accounts
- clearly identify bot accounts
- Modify Section 230 of CDA to require platforms to take down content if a court determines that it constitutes defamation, invasion of privacy or similar
- Designate services (google Maps) as essential facilities so companies can't use market dominance
- Fund media literacy
- Regulations for deepfakes
- Designate Web platforms as information fiduciaries - follow a code of conduct modeled after rules for law firms or financial institutions.
- Require users opt in to data collection
|UK report ecommending urgent actions for the government and regulators|
- Levy on tech companies to allow UK ICO to hire engineers to analyze and predict tech. Compared to how banking pays for Financial Conduct Authority
- Educational levy on social media to finance digital literacy both in schools and to the public
- Amend Electoral law to require "digital imprint" info on who's spending on campaigning. Easily identifiable source of ads.
- establish a code for advertising through social media during election periods
- increase in the maximum fine that can be levied by the Electoral Commission (£20,000 currently)
- a public register for political advertising
- ban on micro-targeted political advertising to lookalikes online, possibly user opt-out
- a new regulatory category for tech companies beyond platform or publisher
- Establish clear legal liability for tech companies distributing content that obviously should have been taken down
- A "digital Atlantic Charter" governing user data between US and UK.
- a professional “global Code of Ethics” should be developed by tech companies, Possible liabilities for individuals.
- Use "misinformation" or "Disinformation" not fake news. Support research into its spread and support fact checking.
- security and algorithmic auditing just like finance companies.
- full disclosure of targeting used as part of advert transparency.
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|tm||Let's check the mailbag Sarah|
|sl||Hutch wrote in with some clarification about how law enforcement uses facial recognition vs. what the public thiniks:|
As a law enforcement analyst, I have relied multiple times on facial recognition matches as investigative leads. And herein lies the kicker—they’re only LEADS. Not evidence. Not proof. And NEVER 100%.
Facial recognition is simply facial math. The technology we use can’t take into account skin color/tones, gender, and even hiccups when it encounters glasses. The subject images used don’t have to be completely front facing, but there are limits to the angles off-center that the technology can handle.
While the operator can manually adjust points of interest on the nose, ears, forehead, etc. found in the subject image, it still won’t guarantee a perfect match.
As a matter of fact, I’ve had an image of a white female produce a match to an African-American male simply because the math was “close”.
We do have an in-house expert (trained by the FBI) who can do matching of a subject to booking photos, but the computer is not going to testify and can’t be used as evidence. Use of facial recognition is really no different than getting an anonymous tip. It can point you in a certain direction and help you eliminate some false leads, but still requires evidence gathering prior to arrest and prosecution.
|amazon responded to the ACLU test that showed its Rekognition software wrongly identified 28 members of Congress and wasn't reliable. |
In a blog post, Amazon's general manager for deep learning and artificial intelligence Matt Wood wrote the ACLU used the default setting of an 80-percent confidence level, but amazon recommends 99 percent confidence levels for law enforcement matches
Amazon says it tried to duplicate the ACLU’s test involving portraits of the 535 members of Congress. However, Amazon used a far larger dataset of faces for comparison: 850,000 over the ACLU’s 25,000 mugshots.
"When we set the confidence threshold at 99 percent (as we recommend in our documentation), our misidentification rate dropped to zero despite the fact that we are comparing against a larger corpus of faces"
|:58||sl||Thanks to Lamarr Wilson||twitter.com/LamarrWilson|
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|tm||Plug tomorrow's guest: Brian Brushwood|
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