Lauren Weinstein writes: It has long seemed clear to me that appropriately dealing with the rising tide of trolls and other social media posting abuses would inevitably require an intensifying partnership between automated detection systems and human insights, each bringing different strengths and limitations to the table.
This is why I wholeheartedly support the ongoing efforts of Google (or more precisely, the "Jigsaw" division of Google's parent Alphabet, Inc.) to leverage Google's sophisticated and powerful artificial intelligence assets to help deal with the growing trolling and hate speech scourge.
Lauren Weinstein writes: While the push to encrypt Internet connections by default is a laudable one, it is also essential that fundamental aspects of practicality and user reactions also be carefully considered.
I touched on some of this over a year ago in “Falling Into the Encryption Trap” — but now that Google has made more explicit their plans for browser address bar warnings to users regarding http: connections, I’m again concerned.
Lauren Weinstein writes: I’ve long had a policy of avoiding involving myself in Hollywood politics — not always easy having resided here in L.A. for my entire life to date.
But something’s going on with Oscar — or more precisely the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) — that is disturbing both in and of itself, and for what it says about our society at large (including here in the tech world).
Lauren Weinstein writes: I still have a couple of my oldest Internet domains — including one that turned thirty years old this year and was among the first 40 dot-com domains ever issued — with Network Solutions (NSI) for historical reasons, and I continue to be impressed with the firm’s ability to closely emulate the practices of the worst kind of Internet crooks.
Lauren Weinstein writes: Toyota is running a new TV spot (internally titled “Camping”). It’s already triggering letters and petitions to Toyota to remove it from the air immediately. It’s breathtakingly stupid and could easily trigger dangerous copycats.
Lauren Weinstein writes: We all understand what’s been happening in the news biz. Clicks and eyeballs increasingly come before facts and truth. But to see AP sink to this low level is painful and distressing.
To make matters worse, AP appears to now be channeling Trump himself, refusing to admit that their story was misleading and that their tweet was an outright travesty. They’re refusing to apologize or correct the record, and are displaying much the same sort of intransigence that Trump himself famously displays when caught in misrepresentations, half-truths, or outright lies.
Lauren Weinstein writes: Except in crucial enterprise environments or especially elevated security situations, it should be common practice for user interfaces to provide a method for the user to see their passwords or other data as they enter it if they choose to do so — a simple enabling checkbox with an appropriate warning would suffice. And this would be the display of the entire password or other input, not just a flash of each letter as it’s being typed.
Lauren Weinstein writes: Google Questions & Unofficial Answers: “Does Google Make Junk Solicitation Phone Calls?”
It seems like almost every day I get junk solicitation phone calls “from Google.” They call about my Google business local listings, about my not being on the first page of Google search results, and so on — and they want me to pay them to “fix” this stuff. When I look up the Caller ID numbers they use, I often finds pages of people claiming they’re Google phone numbers. Sometimes the Caller ID display actually says Google! Is Google really doing this?
Negative. NONE of these calls are from Google. Zero. Zilch. Nada...
Lauren Weinstein writes: But when a publication with the stature of Scientific American raises the red flag about a major presidential candidate, it’s time for everyone in the tech and science fields to take notice and do some serious soul searching.
Because the dangerous, ignorant, fascist, racist, misogynist, continually lying monster that is Donald Trump is significantly of own creation.
We must now come to terms with this truth while we still can, much as ultimately did J. Robert Oppenheimer relating to his key role in the creation of nuclear weapons.
Lauren Weinstein writes: I'm told that SSA has now *removed* the mandatory cell phone access requirement that was strongly criticized in the original posting below. I appreciate that SSA has done the right thing in this case. Perhaps in the future they'll think these things through better *ahead* of time!
Lauren Weinstein writes: Right-wing sites are spinning this as “the government is going to turn all our smartphones into bugs!” That clearly is not the goal here.
First, we know that there are already a large number apps available for these phones that provide many of the capabilities asked for in this solicitation. We can be sure that governments are already using these off-the-shelf apps for surveillance purposes.
But the solicitation technical requirements reveal the government’s main “problems” in this regard: authentication and chain of custody.
Lauren Weinstein writes: The main reason I haven’t commented on this case publicly to date is that, frankly, I’ve been thinking about it and didn’t come to any immediate conclusions.
One way I try to analyze complicated Internet-related issues is to see if I can think of parallels in the “non-Internet” world that might shed some light on the matter.
Such parallels do exist in this case, and suggest that the most problematic aspect of the technology-related portion of this tragedy wasn’t the videos being posted per se, but rather the feedback Gaines was receiving from her followers in real time.
Lauren Weinstein writes: UNACCEPTABLE: If you don't have a cell phone, or some other means to receive SMS text messages (and have them enabled, and know how to deal with them), you won't be able to access your Social Security Administration "My Social Security" online account starting next month. Link to Original Source
Lauren Weinstein writes: You can see the problem. If your local net has typically lax security, and you don’t have your own firewall downstream of that ISP modem, the modem Wi-Fi security could be disabled remotely, your local network sucked dry late one night, and security restored by the morning. You might not even have a clue that any of this occurred.
Lauren Weinstein writes: As I noted above, PoGo is but the beginning of what will certainly be a long line of innovative and important augmented reality mobile apps. And that makes getting the real world implications of this tech in line with real world requirements and impacts as quickly as possible — without stifling innovation.
The most important requirement is to give more control to municipalities and persons who are impacted by these applications and their users.