The Linkielist

Linking ideas with the world

The USPTO wants to know if artificial intelligence can own the content it creates

The US office responsible for patents and trademarks is trying to figure out how AI might call for changes to copyright law, and it’s asking the public for opinions on the topic. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register last month saying it’s seeking comments, as spotted Read more about The USPTO wants to know if artificial intelligence can own the content it creates[…]

Boffins harnessed the brain power of mice to build AI models that can’t be fooled

researchers recorded the brain activity of mice staring at images and used the data to help make computer vision models more robust against adversarial attacks. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) used for object recognition in images are all susceptible to adversarial examples. These inputs have been tweaked in some way, whether its adding random noise or Read more about Boffins harnessed the brain power of mice to build AI models that can’t be fooled[…]

White Screen of Death: Admins up in arms after experimental Google emission borks Chrome – yay auto updates

An experimental feature silently rolled out to the stable Chrome release on Tuesday caused chaos for IT admins this week after users complained of facing white, featureless tabs on Google’s massively popular browser. The issue affected thousands of businesses’ terminal servers, with multiple users on the same server experiencing “white screen of death” at the Read more about White Screen of Death: Admins up in arms after experimental Google emission borks Chrome – yay auto updates[…]

Germany forces Apple to allow use of iPhone’s NFC chip to other payment providers, breaks some little part of the monopoly

A new German law passed yesterday requires Apple to allow other mobile payments services access to the iPhone’s NFC chip for payments to allow them to fully compete with Apple Pay. Apple initially completely locked down the NFC chip so that it could be used only by Apple Pay. It later allowed some third-party apps Read more about Germany forces Apple to allow use of iPhone’s NFC chip to other payment providers, breaks some little part of the monopoly[…]

Americans and Privacy: Concerned, Confused and Feeling Lack of Control Over Their Personal Information

A majority of Americans believe their online and offline activities are being tracked and monitored by companies and the government with some regularity. It is such a common condition of modern life that roughly six-in-ten U.S. adults say they do not think it is possible to go through daily life without having data collected about Read more about Americans and Privacy: Concerned, Confused and Feeling Lack of Control Over Their Personal Information[…]

Lessons from the cyberattack on India’s largest nuclear power plant – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Indian officials acknowledged on October 30th that a cyberattack occurred at the country’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant. An Indian private cybersecurity researcher had tweeted about the breach three days earlier, prompting Indian authorities to initially deny that it had occurred before admitting that the intrusion had been discovered in early September and that efforts were Read more about Lessons from the cyberattack on India’s largest nuclear power plant – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists[…]

Ancestry Taps AI To Sift Through Millions of Obituaries

Algorithms identified death notices in old newspaper pages, then another set of algorithms pulled names and other key details into a searchable database. From a report: Ancestry used artificial intelligence to extract obituary details hidden in a half-billion digitized newspaper pages dating back to 1690, data invaluable for customers building their family trees. The family Read more about Ancestry Taps AI To Sift Through Millions of Obituaries[…]

Thousands of hacked Disney+ accounts are already for sale on hacking forums, technical problems, people driven to bittorrenting again.

Hackers didn’t waste any time and have started hijacking Disney+ user accounts hours after the service launched. Many of these accounts are now being offered for free on hacking forums, or available for sale for prices varying from $3 to $11, a ZDNet investigation has discovered. A stream of user complaints The Disney+ video streaming Read more about Thousands of hacked Disney+ accounts are already for sale on hacking forums, technical problems, people driven to bittorrenting again.[…]

Intels’ Trusted Platform Module can’t be trusted. TPM-FAIL

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) serves as a root of trust for the operating system. TPM is supposed to protect our security keys from malicious adversaries like malware and rootkits. Most laptop and desktop computers nowadays come with a dedicated TPM chip, or they use the Intel firmware-based TPM (fTPM) which runs on a separate microprocessor Read more about Intels’ Trusted Platform Module can’t be trusted. TPM-FAIL[…]

PayPal Pulls Out of Pornhub, Hurting ‘Hundreds of Thousands’ of Performers, because American companies are prudish? What happened to the US of Woodstock, hippies and free love?

Late Wednesday night, Pornhub announced that PayPal is no longer supporting payments for Pornhub—a decision that will impact thousands of performers using the site as a source of income. Most visitors to Pornhub likely think of it as a website that simply provides access to an endless supply of free porn, but Pornhub also allows Read more about PayPal Pulls Out of Pornhub, Hurting ‘Hundreds of Thousands’ of Performers, because American companies are prudish? What happened to the US of Woodstock, hippies and free love?[…]

3D volumetric display creates hologram-like tactile animated objects with sound using a polystyrene bead thrown around at high pace

Researchers in Sussex have built a device that displays 3D animated objects that can talk and interact with onlookers. A demonstration of the display showed a butterfly flapping its wings, a countdown spelled out by numbers hanging in the air, and a rotating, multicoloured planet Earth. Beyond interactive digital signs and animations, scientists want to Read more about 3D volumetric display creates hologram-like tactile animated objects with sound using a polystyrene bead thrown around at high pace[…]

Climate Change Is Already Making Us Sick

The fossil fuels driving climate change make people sick, and so do impacts like extreme heat, wildfires, and more extreme storms, according to research published on Wednesday. In short, the climate crisis is a public health crisis. A new report from premiere medical journal the Lancet tallies the medical toll of climate change and finds Read more about Climate Change Is Already Making Us Sick[…]

All the tech companies are into finance now – so Google is going into banking. They want to know what you spend your money on.

Google will soon offer checking accounts to consumers, becoming the latest Silicon Valley heavyweight to push into finance. The Wall Street Journal: The project, code-named Cache, is expected to launch next year with accounts run by Citigroup and a credit union at Stanford University, a tiny lender in Google’s backyard. Big tech companies see financial Read more about All the tech companies are into finance now – so Google is going into banking. They want to know what you spend your money on.[…]

Health websites are sharing sensitive medical data with Google, Facebook, and Amazon

Popular health websites are sharing private, personal medical data with big tech companies, according to an investigation by the Financial Times. The data, including medical diagnoses, symptoms, prescriptions, and menstrual and fertility information, are being sold to companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Oracle and smaller data brokers and advertising technology firms, like Scorecard and Read more about Health websites are sharing sensitive medical data with Google, Facebook, and Amazon[…]

Facebook says government demands for user data are at a record high, most by US govt

The social media giant said the number of government demands for user data increased by 16% to 128,617 demands during the first half of this year compared to the second half of last year. That’s the highest number of government demands it has received in any reporting period since it published its first transparency report Read more about Facebook says government demands for user data are at a record high, most by US govt[…]

The effects of speed on traffic flow – also with a quick look at emissions and fuel consumption

Right now, in the Netherlands there is talk about reducing the speed limit from 130kph to 100kph in order to comply to emissions goals set by the EU (and supported by NL) years ago. Because NL didn’t put into effect any necessary legislation years ago, this is now coming to bite NL in the arse Read more about The effects of speed on traffic flow – also with a quick look at emissions and fuel consumption[…]

Motorola Is Bringing Back the Flip Phone With a Folding All-Display Razr Device

According to a Verizon press release, the new Motorola Razr will clock in at the eye-popping price of $1,500 retail (still less than foldable competitors Samsung Galaxy Fold at $1,980 or more and Huawei Mate X at $2,420). Its 6.2-inch screen is ultrawide and the device packs a 16-megapixel main camera; Verizon added that when Read more about Motorola Is Bringing Back the Flip Phone With a Folding All-Display Razr Device[…]

AFRL tests in-house, rapidly developed small engine

The Air Force Research Laboratory demonstrated a new and ultra-responsive approach to turbine engine development with the initial testing of the Responsive Open Source Engine (ROSE) on Nov. 6, 2019, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Aerospace Systems Directorate’s ROSE is the first turbine engine designed, assembled, and tested exclusively in-house. The entire effort, from Read more about AFRL tests in-house, rapidly developed small engine[…]

Fighting Disinformation Online: A Database of Web Tools

The rise of the internet and the advent of social media have fundamentally changed the information ecosystem, giving the public direct access to more information than ever before. But it’s often nearly impossible to distinguish between accurate information and low-quality or false content. This means that disinformation — false or intentionally misleading information that aims Read more about Fighting Disinformation Online: A Database of Web Tools[…]

Facebook bug shows camera activated in background during app use – the bug being that you could see the camera being activated

When you’re scrolling through Facebook’s app, the social network could be watching you back, concerned users have found. Multiple people have found and reported that their iPhone cameras were turned on in the background while they were looking at their feed. The issue came to light through several posts on Twitter. Users noted that their Read more about Facebook bug shows camera activated in background during app use – the bug being that you could see the camera being activated[…]

Facebook has to stop fake ads of celebrity endorsement of Cryptocurrencies in NL

John de Mol has successfully sued FB and forced them to remove fake ads in which it seems he endorses bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies (he doesn’t).  They will not be allowed in the future either and FB  must give him the details of the parties who placed the adverts on FB. FB is liable for Read more about Facebook has to stop fake ads of celebrity endorsement of Cryptocurrencies in NL[…]

The EU Has Approved an Ebola Vaccine

The first human vaccine against the often-fatal viral disease Ebola is now an official reality. On Monday, the European Union approved a vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck, called Ervebo. The stage for Ervebo’s approval was set this October, when a committee assembled by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended a conditional marketing authorization Read more about The EU Has Approved an Ebola Vaccine[…]

Your Apple Mac Makes Plain-Text Copies of Your Encrypted Emails. Here’s how to stop it.

IT guru Bob Gendler took to Medium last week to share a startling discovery about Apple Mail. If you have the application configured to send and receive encrypted email—messages that should be unreadable for anyone without the right decryption keys—Apple’s digital assistant goes ahead and stores your emails in plain text on your Mac’s drive. Read more about Your Apple Mac Makes Plain-Text Copies of Your Encrypted Emails. Here’s how to stop it.[…]

Study of over 11,000 online stores finds ‘dark patterns’ on 1,254 sites

A large-scale academic study that analyzed more than 53,000 product pages on more than 11,000 online stores found widespread use of user interface “dark patterns”– practices meant to mislead customers into making purchases based on false or misleading information. The study — presented last week at the ACM CSCW 2019 conference — found 1,818 instances Read more about Study of over 11,000 online stores finds ‘dark patterns’ on 1,254 sites[…]

Lithium Sulfur Battery Project Aims To Double The Range Of Electric Airplanes – good to see another new type of battery apparently maturing, but is it as green as alu-air?

Today’s Tesla Model 3’s lithium-ion battery pack has an estimated 168 Wh/kg. And important as this energy-per-weight ratio is for electric cars, it’s more important still for electric aircraft. Now comes Oxis Energy, of Abingdon, UK, with a battery based on lithium-sulfur chemistry that it says can greatly increase the ratio, and do so in a Read more about Lithium Sulfur Battery Project Aims To Double The Range Of Electric Airplanes – good to see another new type of battery apparently maturing, but is it as green as alu-air?[…]