Science, Technology and Innovation

The people owned the web, tech giants stole it. This is how we take it back

Dak 7g

Social media gave the powerless a weapon but it was wrenched away by firms such as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica I blame the T-shirts. Jonathan Freedland The Guardian The casual wear favoured by those founding wunderkinds of tech – Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and the rest – lulled us into a false sense of security. Even after they’d begun making serious money, too many of us took the aversion to a collar and tie to mean the likes ... Read More »

EU plans tougher consumer laws for Facebook, Gmail

Facebook Mobil 1a LLLL

The European Union is planning to apply tougher consumer laws to social media networks and email providers like Facebook and Google’s Gmail as scrutiny of data protection grows in the wake of an outcry over Facebook’s handling of data. BRUSSELS – Reuters Hurriyet Under the draft proposal first considered last year, authorities could levy fines of at least 4 percent of turnover. Currently, EU consumer authorities can only levy small fines and some lack power to sanction companies at all ... Read More »

Machine Learning, Big Data and the Future of Higher Ed

Emen 4d

These new technologies have much to offer colleges and their students, but if we are not careful how we incorporate them, the risks may outweigh the gains, Vincent Del Casino Jr. writes. Inside Higher Ed If you ask, many people will say we are in a new era of higher education, one where machine learning and big data analytics­­ are driving rapid change. From the influx of adaptive learning technologies to the automated student support services and predictive analytics models driving ... Read More »

Facebook, Uber and the end of the Great American Tech Delusion

Watt 2b

Tech Bubble Part II has arrived in America but China will probably navigate around it thanks to a culture of innovation By SPENGLER Asia Times We’ve been there before, in the crash of the dot-com bubble of 2000, when we believed that downloading pop music and porn would drive the economy of the future. We’ve done it again: We made another tech bubble on the premise that Americans would write the apps and Asians would make the hardware, and the miracle ... Read More »

The Challenge of Defending Subsea Cables

Cems 1a

For centuries, the sea has enabled trade between nations. Shipping continues to underpin international commerce today. Pete Barker CIMSEC The Maritime Executive But there is another unseen contribution that the oceans make to the current global order. Deep below the waters, travelling at millions of miles per hour, flickers of light relay incredible quantities of information across the world, powering the exchange of data that forms the internet. From urgent stock market transactions to endless videos of cats, undersea cables support ... Read More »

Cambridge Analytica: Warrant sought to inspect company

Nix 1a

The UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham says she will seek a warrant to look at the databases and servers used by British data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. BBC The firm is accused of using the personal data of 50 million Facebook members, amassed via a personality quiz app created by an academic. Former employee Christopher Wylie claims the company used the data to influence the US presidential election. The firm denies the allegations. Ms Denham had demanded access to Cambridge ... Read More »

Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Sclerosis May Revolutionize Care for One Million Americans

Nec 3c

Updated | People with multiple sclerosis may be able to “reset” their immune system and potentially reverse their symptoms with an infusion of blood-based stem cells. Kate Sheridan Newsweek The finding is based on a randomized clinical trial with 110 patients who’d been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. According to the data, stem cell transplant may be an effective treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). The study built on work by Dr. Richard Burt, a stem cell specialist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, ... Read More »

Renowned author and archaeologist Jacqueline Karageorghis dies aged 85

Jacqueline Karageorhis 1a LLLL

Internationally renowned French archaeologist Jacqueline Girard Karageorghis has died, it was announced on Saturday. She was 85. CyprusMail Karageorghis moved to Cyprus in the 1950s after completing her studies at the University of Lyon. She married to the former director of the department of antiquities, Vassos Karageorghis in 1953 and together they had two children, Cleo and Andreas. During her long and multifaceted professional career, she taught French, between 1963 and 1986, and was deputy education attaché at the French ... Read More »

Servant or partner? The role of expertise and knowledge in democracy

Zak 6f

Should expert knowledge be limited to providing a servant role in democracies, or elevated to that of a partner? Darrin Durant The Conversation Most of us respond with ambivalence to this question. We desire expert input into democratic deliberation and decision-making, but not so much as to dominate the discussion. As a result, most of us are tempted by the quest for a Goldilocks principle that establishes “just enough” expertise. But it can be unclear whether the servant or the ... Read More »

Sensory aspects of speech linked to language issues in autism

Spek 4d

Children with autism pay just as much attention to speech that doesn’t match lip movements as to speech in which sight and sound are coordinated, according to a new study1. Hannah Furfaro Spectrum Typical children prefer speech in which the sensory cues are in sync. Some people with autism have trouble learning to speak and understand words. Some people with the condition have minimal verbal skills or don’t speak at all. The new work suggests that these problems may be partially rooted ... Read More »

Close up: the government’s facial recognition plan could reveal more than just your identity

Zup 4d

A Bill to set up the federal government’s biometric identity system is currently going through Parliament. Jake Goldenfein The Conversation But there are concerns over just how much information the system would be allowed to gather, and how that might be used to establish more than just the identity of a person. Strongly based on the FBI model in the United States, the Identity Matching Services Bill and its Explanatory Memoranda prescribe what data can be collected, shared and processed, ... Read More »

How landline phones made us happy and connected

Ext 5e

Smartphones and the internet have revolutionised society, commerce, and politics, reshaping how we work and play, and how our brains are wired. Barbara Keys The Conversation They have even revolutionised how revolutions are made. For enthusiasts, these technologies enhance freedom and democratise the flow of information, putting more power in the hands of people to generate political change. In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, high school students have used social media to provoke a public debate about guns in the ... Read More »

Russia ready to be cut off from internet with its own web

Kop 4d

If Western sanctions go as far as excluding Russia from the world wide web, the country’s own internet is ready, according to the Russian presidential aide on the internet, German Klimenko. RT “Technically, we are ready for anything now,” he told NTV news channel. However, the shutdown will not be painless, Klimenko added. “Failures always occur when moving from one technology to another. Someone will face connection troubles. Probably, it will be found out that someone kept data abroad, although there ... Read More »

Should you send a text or email? Here’s some advice from Aristotle

Kene 5e

Suppose you want to get in touch with a friend. Once, your options for doing so might have been sparse: pick up the phone or write a letter. Alexis Elder The Conversation But these days, you have to decide: Should you call or text, use Snapchat, or reach out on Twitter, Messenger or Skype? Other considerations, whether it’s an old friend or new acquaintance, or whether you’re asking a favor or checking in, as well as your own conversational tendencies ... Read More »

Microsoft president Smith: World must ‘wake up’ to benefits and perils of artificial intelligence

Sob 1a

Citing the enormous power of artificial intelligence to benefit but also disrupt society, Microsoft President Brad Smith on Thursday, March 1, called for standards of accountability and a “Hippocratic oath” among technologists to do no harm with the emerging tools. Steven Schultz Princeton University “Will we ensure that machines remain accountable to people? Will we ensure that the people who design these machines remain accountable to other people?” asked Smith, a Princeton University alumnus and trustee, speaking to a packed audience ... Read More »

Fall of Troy: the legend and the facts

Rena 5e

The legendary ancient city of Troy is very much in the limelight this year: a big budget co-production between the BBC and Netflix: Troy, Fall of a City, recently launched, while Turkey designated 2018 the “Year of Troy” and plans a year of celebration, including the opening of a new museum on the presumed site. Mariacarmela Montesanto The Conversation So what do we know about the city, ruins of which have been painstakingly excavated over the past 150 years? The ... Read More »