Friday, December 29, 2017
Thursday, December 28, 2017
"The world was kind of a crappy place in 2017, especially online. Google, as a company, needs to do a better job dealing with that.
Google is doing so much that it can be a little difficult for any one thing to break through as the primary narrative for the company, something to move it beyond just search. Apple and Samsung make mostly hardware, but Google seems to be trying to do everything. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has decided what he'd like that primary to be — the expansion of AI and Machine Learning into every corner of the world — but damned reality keeps upending that narrative.
These realities sometimes undercut Google's self-image as an AI powerhouse. The biggest example was the rash of fake news stories that appeared at the top of Google's "Top Stories" carousel, which effectively gave those false stories a patina of Google approval. You'd like to think a company that prides itself on algorithms wouldn't allow them to fail so badly and so dangerously. The company also failed to adequately protect children from both watching or being made to participate in some supremely sketchy YouTube videos..."
The Verge 2017 tech report card: Google - The Verge
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Sunday, December 24, 2017
"Earlier this year, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden met with Jacqueline Moudeina, the first female lawyer in Chad and a legendary human rights advocate who has worked tirelessly to bring former dictator Hissène Habré to justice. Habré was convicted of human rights abuses — ordering the killing of 40,000 people, sexual slavery, and rape — by a Senegalese jury in 2016.
Snowden told Moudeina that he was working on an app that could turn a mobile device into a kind of motion sensor in order to notify you when your devices are being tampered with. The app could also tell you when someone had entered a room without you knowing, if someone had moved your things, or if someone had stormed into your friend’s house in the middle of the night. Snowden recounted that pivotal conversation in an interview with the Verge. “She got very serious and told me, ‘I need this. I need this now. There’s so many people around us who need this.’”
Haven, announced today, is an app that does just that. Installed on a cheap burner Android device, Haven sends notifications to your personal, main phone in the event that your laptop has been tampered with. If you leave your laptop at home or at an office or in a hotel room, you can place your Haven phone on top of the laptop, and when Haven detects motion, light, or movement — essentially, anything that might be someone messing with your stuff — it logs what happened. It takes photos, records sound, even takes down changes in light or acceleration, and then sends notifications to your main phone. None of this logging is stored in the cloud, and the notifications you receive on your main phone are end-to-end encrypted over Signal."
Edward Snowden made an app to protect your laptop - The Verge