This Week In Technology 4-30

Facebook In Hot Water, The Fight For Net Neutrality,  and The Cyborg Police Force of the Future

net neutrality

Welcome to our weekly look at the goings on in  at the intersection of technology and the news for the week of April 30, 2017:

  • The fight for net neutrality begins now, writes for Klint Finley for Wired Magazine, touching on the increasingly partisan nature of the debate surrounding the topic:

    Net neutrality has become a deeply partisan issue, with Democrats arguing that the rules protect both consumers and internet-based companies from mistreatment by broadband providers and Republicans arguing the rules are burdensome, restricting both the expansion of broadband and the types of services that internet providers can offer.

    Republicans in Congress are poised to roll back the Title II status under which Internet Service Providers were classified by the Open Internet Order of 2015, labeling them “information services” rather than telecommunications services. Without this status, the stage is set for the powerful ISP’s to have total control of what content flows through their lines.

  • Amazon’s worldwide number of total employees increased 43 percent over last year, from 245,200 to 351,000, according to GeekWire. AWS continues to be the crown jewel of the business, as the chart below indicates:

    AWS Cloud

    Chart courtesey of GeekWire

  • Taser International, the world’s largest police body camera vendor, has announced that they are willing to provide free body cameras, complete with training, support, and a year of free data storage. Their aim is to increase the flow of video to its severs, and ultimately corner the market of police video analytics. From The Intercept:

    In 2010, Taser’s longtime vice president Steve Tuttle “proudly predicted” to GQ that once police can search a crowd for outstanding warrants using real-time face recognition, “every cop will be RoboCop.”
    As video analytics and machine vision have made rapid gains in recent years, the future long dreaded by privacy experts and celebrated by technology companies is quickly approaching. No longer is the question whether artificial intelligence will transform the legal and lethal limits of policing, but how and for whose profits.“Everyone refers to ‘Minority Report’ … about how they use facial recognition and iris recognition,” said Ron Kirk, director of the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center, which uses both technologies, in an interview with Vocativ. “I actually think that that is the way of the future.”

  • Both Google and Facebook were conned out of 100 million dollars each in a phishing scam, in which individuals impersonate vendors and trick companies into fraudulently paying invoices for massive sums directly to them. This shows that hackers are becoming ever more sophisticated, and even the big boys are not immune from their mischief.
  • Translation platforms cannot replace humans, but they can be quite useful in learning a new language, says The Economist.
  • And finally, if you haven’t checked out my report on Facebook’s white paper in which they admit to being exploited by purveyors of fake news working for both foriegn and domestic enemies, check it out here:

Fakebook

Facebook Admits Its Platform Was Used to Spread Propaganda In the 2016 Election Much has been made of the role that “fake news” played in the election of president Trump, and continues to play in elections across Europe. Facebook, for their part, has publicly acknowledged that their platform has indeed been exploited in attempts to sway public opinion, both here and abroad.

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