Oh my word. Wired: Google Offers to Help Others With the Tricky Ethics of AI. “The company plans to launch new AI ethics services before the end of the year. Initially, Google will offer others advice on tasks such as spotting racial bias in computer vision systems, or developing ethical guidelines that govern AI projects. Longer term, the company may offer to audit customers’ AI systems for ethical integrity, and charge for ethics advice.”
Business Insider: Kiddie pools are the new Instagram status symbol and are being resold on eBay for over 300% their original value. “Unfortunately, it may be slim pickings for those just starting to look for an inflatable pool for the summer. Amazon’s selection is limited. Many of Walmart’s options are sold out or nearly sold out. Home Depot is completely out of stock of all its aboveground pools. eBay, however, has become home to a flourishing resale market for aboveground pools.”
Ubergizmo: This 3D Printer Lets Preschoolers 3D Print Their Own Toys. “If 3D printing has always come across as being more of an “adult” hobby, think again because the folks at 3Doodler have recently announced the launch of a new 3D printer that is being aimed at preschoolers. This will allow kids to 3D print their own little toys in a fun and safer way, while encouraging the development of motor skills.”
Boing Boing: Teespring removes Techdirt’s “Copying is Not Theft” tees for copyright infringement, and won’t discuss the matter any further. “As pranksters target skeezy t-shirt sellers that mine Twitter for replies containing ‘I want that on a t-shirt’ and then put the original Tweet on a t-shirt and shame online t-shirt sellers for underpolicing copyright, let’s not lose sight of what happens when they overpolice copyright.”
Open Privacy: Press Release: Open Privacy discovers unencrypted patient medical information broadcast across Vancouver. “The Open Privacy Research Society has discovered that the sensitive medical information of patients being admitted to certain hospitals across the Greater Vancouver Area is being broadcast, unencrypted, by hospital paging systems, and that these broadcasts are trivially interceptable by anyone in the Greater Vancouver Area.”
Digital Trends: Instagram’s Threads app would allow your friends to monitor your every move. “Facebook is working on a new Instagram messaging app called Threads that will give your friends automatic status updates on essentially your every move, including information about your location, speed, and even phone battery life.” WHY?
CNET: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey meets with President Trump. “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday. The meeting happened on the same day Trump criticized Twitter, accusing the social media company of being ‘very discriminatory,’ playing ‘political games’ and not treating him ‘well as a Republican.’ Twitter has denied suppressing conservative speech in the past.”
CNN: FEMA shared 2.3 million disaster survivors’ personal information with contractor . “Millions of hurricane and wildfire survivors are learning that they’re at ‘increased risk of identity theft and fraud’ because the Federal Emergency Management Agency shared their banking and other private information. The Department of Homeland Security inspector general said Friday that FEMA had unlawfully disclosed the private data of 2.3 million survivors with a federal contractor that was helping them find temporary housing.”
BetaNews: Facebook has been paying people to install a VPN that harvests data about them. “An investigation has revealed that Facebook has been paying people aged between 13 and 35 to install a data harvesting VPN tool. The ‘Facebook Research’ VPN was offered to iOS and Android users who were paid up to $20 per month — plus referral commissions — to provide the social network with near-unfettered access to phone, app and web usage data (a Root Certificate is installed to give a terrifying level of access).”
The Daily Dot: Facebook is helping husbands ‘brainwash’ their wives with targeted ads. “Imagine you’re married. Maybe you’ve been going through a stressful couple of months. Perhaps you’ve lost your job, or your current job is a nightmare, and maybe you’ve suffered from poor health and fallen out with long-term friends, so that you hardly ever see anyone but your husband and kids. Now imagine that, understandably, your libido has fallen through the floor during this difficult period, so you don’t even think about sex anymore. And finally, imagine that your husband has begun targeting you with online ads intended to ‘brainwash’ you into having sex with him, since he can’t think of any other way of restoring your interest in lovemaking.”
Tip o’ the nib to Jonathan B for this one from Gizmodo: How Cartographers for the U.S. Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa. “The visitors started coming in 2013. The first one who came and refused to leave until he was let inside was a private investigator named Roderick. He was looking for an abducted girl, and he was convinced she was in the house.”
Gulf News Asia: Philippine passport maker ‘runs away’ with data of applicants. “If you’re a Filipino applying to renew your Philippine passport, authorities may require you to bring your original birth certificate. The reason: the previous outsourced ‘passport maker’ contracted by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila ‘took away’ all the applicants’ data, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said.”
New York Times, and I’m so mad about this I could spit: As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants. “For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews.” If you want to try another social media platform, check out MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/taracalishain . I have no connection to them except I’m on the platform, they don’t know me from Adam’s house cat, do not taunt Happy Fun Ball, etc.
Stuff New Zealand: What happened when Google Maps said my family home was a public park. “Google Maps is one of the greatest innovations of our time. Maps of the entire world, on demand, for free, in your pocket any time you want it. Can you even imagine how jealous Burke and Wills would be of that? Unfortunately, maintaining an accurate map of the entire world is complicated, especially during a housing boom. The world steadfastly refuses to stay the same, and some areas are just wrong.”
The Intercept: Google Suppresses Memo Revealing Plans To Closely Track Search Users In China. “ON AUGUST 16, two weeks after The Intercept revealed the Dragonfly plan, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its ‘early stages’ and ‘exploratory.’ However, employees working on the censored search engine were instructed in late July, days before the project was publicly exposed, that they should prepare to get it into a ‘launch-ready state’ to roll out within weeks, pending approval from officials in Beijing.”