Articles about technology

US Senate stamps the gas pedal on law to flood America's streets with self-driving cars

America-wide rules for self-driving cars inched a bit closer on Wednesday when a US Senate transportation committee agreed to bring the AV START Act before the full Senate for consideration. The American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act, due before the Senate, is …

Facebook performs successful license surgery on React, GraphQL

Facebook on Tuesday freed its React JavaScript library and its GraphQL query language from its unloved license scheme. As promised last week, React 16 underwent licensing replacement surgery to remove Facebook's controversial BSD + Patents license and replace it with the more welcome MIT license. The operation was deemed …
Thomas Claburn, 26 Sep 2017

Firemen fund sues Uber for dousing shares with gas, tossing in a match

Uber's wild ride-sharing past has returned to haunt the biz in the form of yet another lawsuit in the US. On Tuesday, the Texas-based Irving Firemen's Relief & Retirement Fund filed a complaint [PDF] against the app maker and its former CEO Travis Kalanick for making false statements about the transport platform's success to …
Thomas Claburn, 26 Sep 2017

For Facebook, ignorance is the business model: Social net is shocked – SHOCKED – that people behave badly

Analysis No one at Facebook had any idea anyone might use its ad tools to target "Jew haters," said COO Sheryl Sandberg earlier this week. Of course not. Facebook, like its rival Google, thrives on the income of ignorance and contrition. To prevent money laundering, financial institutions must comply with know-your-customer laws. …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Sep 2017

Crap cracked fat-attack Pact app chaps slapped in pact backtrack infract

Defunct mobile app company Pact broke its pact with customers to pay them promised cash incentives, US trade watchdog the FTC said on Thursday. Pact, which shut down in July, described itself as a 15-person San Francisco startup on its website. Few if any people remain. According to the FTC, the Khosla Ventures-funded startup …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Sep 2017
Protestor barricade image via Shutterstock

Has science gone too far, part 97: Boffins craft code to find protesters on social networks, rate them on their violence

Mining social networks for every scrap of information about our online lives is now common practice for marketers, academics, government agencies, and so on. Text in tweets, blogs and other posts is valuable because it's searchable, analyzable, and not terribly costly to crawl, fetch or store. But ongoing computer vision …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Sep 2017
Knightscope K7

Behold, says robo-mall-cop maker: Our crime-busting dune buggy packed with spy gear

Pics In a modest industrial building in Mountain View, California, on Tuesday, security startup Knightscope unveiled the latest additions to its line of "crime-fighting robots" – the K1, a stationary weapon detector, and the K7, a sensor-laden dune buggy for challenging terrain. The upstart's earlier models, the K3 and the K5, can …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Sep 2017

Stack Overflow + Salary Calculator = your worth

Developers may be no more curious about salaries than any other set of workers, but their high degree of variation in terms of education, skillset and experience – not to mention the often ill-defined nature of their work – gives them ample reason to be curious about pay among their peers. Stack Overflow, a community site …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Sep 2017
Bodega AI image

Bespoke vending machine biz Bodega AI trips cultural landmine

A startup called Bodega AI, facing an unanticipated Twitter tempest, has rushed to reassure people that it isn't out to kick mom-and-pop stores to the curb. The venture-funded firm, which makes software and hardware to create "delightful automated stores" – what normals might call vending machines, but for their Ikea affect – …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Sep 2017
Scientist says nope. Photo by SHutterstock

Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

Innovation, fetishized by Silicon Valley companies and celebrated by business boosters, no longer provides the economic jolt it once did. In order to maintain Moore's Law – by which transistor density doubles every two years or so – it now takes 18 times as many scientists as it did in the 1970s. That means each researcher's …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Sep 2017
Tesla Supercharger station

Achievement unlocked: Tesla boosts batteries for Irma refugees

Over the weekend Tesla began pushing a software update to certain Model S and Model X vehicles to increase battery capacity, in the hope that extended vehicle range might help customers fleeing Hurricane Irma and successive storms in Florida. "Due to these exceptional circumstances, and to help you better prepare to evacuate …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Sep 2017
Donald trump reading fake news

Facebook will deny ads to repeat promoters of fake news

After last year's disabling of users' ability to block ads, Facebook plans to reject ads from those who promote fake news. In November 2016, CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially downplayed his company's role in distributing misinformation during the 2016 US presidential election. "Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Aug 2017

Ad blocking basically doesn't exist on mobile

Ad blocking may prompt fearful publishers to seek help from consultancies, but it isn't actually interfering with the delivery of ads on mobile devices. According to Augustine Fou – a cybersecurity and ad fraud researcher who runs Marketing Science, an ad consultancy – the actual rate of ad blocking on mobile devices in the US …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Aug 2017
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Sonos will deny updates to those who snub rewritten privacy terms

Sonos, the maker of networked speakers, plans to revise its privacy policy next week, and customers who decline to accept the changes will no longer be able to download future software updates. Craig Shelburne, chief legal officer for the company, shared Sonos' plan in a blog post on Tuesday, characterizing the change as an …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Aug 2017

No, the cops can't get a search warrant to just seize all devices in sight – US appeals court

It's a ruling sending shockwaves through the worlds of privacy, device security, and law enforcement in America. The US Circuit Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia on Friday overturned the conviction of a gang member because investigators obtained a search warrant for his devices without probable cause. In other …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Aug 2017
brain

Smyte might brighten fraud plight: How machine-learning can be used to thwart crooks

Analysis Carousell, a mobile-friendly classified ads market, has to deal with fraud. Like other e-commerce sites, it has to deal with miscreants who use software scripts to register masses of new accounts. It also has to handle attempts to trick sellers into refunding overpayments on bad checks. Fraudsters will buy an item for $1,000 …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Aug 2017
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Slurping people's info without a warrant? That's OUR JOB, Google, Facebook et al tell US Supreme Court

A group of technology companies with a fondness for data collection have banded together to ask the US Supreme Court to stop the American government from snooping on cellphones without a warrant. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed on Monday, Airbnb, Apple, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nest …
Thomas Claburn, 15 Aug 2017

US prosecutors demand data to unmask every visitor to anti-Trump protest website

Web hosting biz DreamHost is resisting a US government search warrant to turn over data about everyone who visited a website used to coordinate anti-Trump protests. The website, disruptj20.org, is hosted by DreamHost, and was used to organize inauguration protests on January 20, 2017, in Washington DC, according to court …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Aug 2017

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