Category: Global News

Amazon team that monitors Alexa can access user locations: report

– A A + Listen Amazon listens in on a small number of requests to Alexa — and some employees can access the location associated with those conversations, according to a new report.
Story continues below Bloomberg reported that a group of Amazon staff who monitor a fraction of the recordings captured by the voice-activated assistant have the ability to view location data in some cases.
Such information could allow them to pinpoint the address of the smart speaker — and bring them closer to identifying the user.
READ MORE: Alexa, are you alone? Amazon staff may be listening to your recordings
The Bloomberg report cited five Amazon employees who were granted anonymity. Two expressed concerns over the potential for Alexa users to be identified.
Location data, which is gathered by many tech companies and services, allows Alexa to give better answers to questions that hinge on the u..

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Huawei’s Q1 revenue grows 39% despite company controversy

– A A + Listen Chinese tech giant Huawei said Monday its revenue rose 39 per cent over a year earlier in the latest quarter despite U.S. pressure on allies to shun its telecom technology as a security risk.
Huawei, the biggest global maker of network equipment for phone and internet companies, on Monday reported revenue of USD $26.8 billion for the first three months of the year.
READ MORE: With security concerns and criminal charges – should Canada allow Huawei to operate in Canada?
Washington’s pressure on allies to avoid Huawei, China’s first global tech brand, threatens to block access to Europe and other markets as carriers prepare to invest billions of dollars in next-generation technology.
The company denies U.S. accusations it facilitates Chinese spying.
Huawei, founded by a former Chinese military engineer in 1987, is privately held but reports financial results to try to defuse Western..

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Facebook to join Google, Amazon in developing voice-activated assistant technology

– A A + Listen Facebook Inc is working to develop a voice assistant to rival the likes of Amazon.com Inc’s Alexa, Apple Inc’s Siri and Alphabet Inc’s Google Assistant.
“We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products,” a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters in an e-mailed response on Wednesday.
READ MORE: Alexa, are you alone? Amazon staff may be listening to your recordings
Earlier in the day, CNBC reported about the development, saying that the team behind the technology has been contacting vendors in the smart speaker supply chain. However, it remains unclear how exactly Facebook envisions people using the assistant, but it could potentially be used on the company’s Portal video chat smart speakers, the Oculus headsets or other future projects, CNBC reported.
WATCH: Facebook bans change ..

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AI blind spots exposed after YouTube’s Notre Dame-9/11 flub

– A A + Listen YouTube might need a few more humans, because the machines whose job is to tamp down conspiracy theories aren’t cutting it just yet.
As people around the world turned to YouTube to watch Notre Dame Cathedral burn in Paris on Monday, an automated system attached background information about the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York to livestream videos of the fire.
The cause of the blaze has not been determined, but authorities said it appeared to be accidental, not arson or terrorism.
READ MORE: Here’s what the Notre Dame looks like after the fire
The background note was posted by a system YouTube recently put in place to combat well-known conspiracies about such events as the moon landing or 9/11. In this case, the algorithm might have had the opposite effect, fuelling speculation about the cause of the fire and who might be behind it.
WATCH: Notre Dame Cathedral joins other icons ..

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Britain proposes banning kids from liking social media posts

– A A + Listen LONDON — Britain’s privacy regulator wants to stop kids from being able to “like” posts on Facebook and other social media sites as part of tough new rules it’s proposing to protect children’s online privacy.
Under the draft rules, which were released for consultation on Monday, tech companies would not be allowed to use “nudge techniques” that encourage children to keep using a site.
Story continues below READ MORE: U.K. proposes penalties on social media companies if harmful content spreads
The Information Commissioner’s Office said examples of “reward loops” that keep people using a site so that more of their personal data can be harvested include “likes” on Facebook and Instagram or “streaks” on Snapchat. A Snapchat streak involves two friends sending each other direct “snaps” on consecutive days.
The code of practice includes 16 standards that must be met by apps, connected toys, soci..

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Apple co-founder sold his shares for $800. Today they’d be worth $94 billion. He regrets nothing

– A A + Listen How would you feel if you missed out on a business opportunity that could have made you millions or even billions of dollars?
Ronald Wayne was in on the ground floor of what is now the world’s richest company but cashed out early, missing out on a massive financial windfall.
He doesn’t regret it a bit.
WATCH: Tech giant Apple hits $1 trillion in total value

Wayne worked in Nevada’s gaming industry before landing in Silicon Valley in the mid-1970s. There he met two 20-somethings who wanted to launch a new computer company with him.
Their names were Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and the company was Apple Computer.
“They were taking business computers and converting them into personal computers,” the now 84-year-old Wayne recalled in his modest home in the high desert town of Pahrump, Nev.
READ MORE: Apple launches news app in Canada, premium news subscription service
Their original ..

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Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp down across U.S. and Europe

– A A + Listen All three social media platforms, including Facebook Messenger, were not loading as of early Sunday morning.
Downdetector.com, a site that monitors site outages, shows Facebook has been down since 6:30 a.m. in much of the world, with thousands of reported outages concentrated in northeastern U.S., Europe and the Philippines.
Facebook bans change the way police investigate hate-related crimes 08:29 Facebook bans change the way police investigate hate-related crimes 03:38 Facebook, Google defend efforts to remove hate speech and white nationalism before Congress ..

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Facebook spent over $22 million on Mark Zuckerberg’s security last year — up from $9 million

– A A + Listen Facebook Inc more than doubled the money it spent on Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg‘s security in 2018 to $22.6 million, a regulatory filing showed on Friday.
Zuckerberg has drawn a base salary of $1 for the past three years, and his “other” compensation was listed at $22.6 million, most of which was for his personal security.
WATCH: Nov. 27, 2018 — Facebook executive grilled in London on fake news, privacy worries; Zuckerberg a no-show
Nearly $20 million went toward security for Zuckerberg and his family, up from about $9 million the year prior. Zuckerberg also received $2.6 million for personal use of private jets, which the company said was part of his overall security program.
Facebook has in the past few years faced public outcry over its role in Russia’s alleged influence on the 2016 U.S. presidential election and has come under fire following revelations that Cam..

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Alexa, are you alone? Amazon staff may be listening to your recordings

– A A + Listen Amazon staff can listen to commands and questions users pose to the Alexa voice assistant — and they sometimes do.
The company acknowledged that the conversations aren’t totally private in a statement to Global News after the news was first reported by Bloomberg.
Story continues below “We only annotate an extremely small number of interactions from a random set of customers in order to improve the customer experience,” Amazon said in the statement.
Amazon explained that the company uses samples collected to better train “speech recognition and natural language understanding systems.”
READ MORE: Alexa recorded one family’s conversations and sent them to a friend, without them knowing
Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Amazon has “thousands” of employees who are trying to improve Alexa’s speech recognition technology. They do this by listening to and transcribing recordings, often sharing the..

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Creative options for oil transport considered as pipeline delays continue

– A A + Listen News that permitting issues in the U.S. would delay Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement pipeline project until the middle of 2020 instead of late this year means that yet another boost in oil export capacity has been kicked down the road.
READ MORE: Enbridge Line 3 replacement likely won’t be in service until second half of 2020
Story continues below Related Minnesota regulators stand by approval of Enbridge Line 3 pipeline Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will help bring Canadian oil to market Proposal ..

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Rogers spends $1.72B in hard-fought auction for wireless spectrum licenses

– A A + Listen Rogers Communications will spend $1.72 billion to acquire spectrum licences from the federal government, making it by far the biggest spender in a hard-fought auction that pitted Canada’s wireless companies against each other.
The Canadian treasury will get a total of nearly $3.47 billion from auctioning 104 licences to Canada’s wireless networks, which are racing to get ready for fifth-generation technology that will roll out over a decade or so.
Story continues below This year’s auction was for the 600 megahertz band of frequencies, which can cover large areas and easily penetrating buildings.
Next year’s auction will be for 3,500 MHz licences, which are even more valuable because they’re more widely used in fifth-generation networks around the world.
READ MORE: With 5G, data could reach you in as little as a millisecond, 50 times faster than 4G
Canada’s three national carriers were only..

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Facebook banned white nationalist accounts, but it’s hard to actually keep them offline

– A A + Listen Facebook has banned Canadian accounts that were propagating white nationalist sentiments — but it seems that hasn’t kept the people behind the accounts off the social media platform.
Story continues below A joint report from Buzzfeed and the Toronto Star found Tuesday that some people and groups behind the banned accounts have reappeared on Facebook in different forms.
READ MORE: Faith Goldy banned from Facebook after site enforces extremism, hate policy — now what?
Former Toronto mayoral candidate Faith Goldy, who regularly posts white nationalist content online, was among those who reappeared in a Facebook ad.
The ad was flagged on Twitter by user Lee Hunter, who said they reported it to Facebook. Hunter received a reply from Facebook soon after saying the ad did not violate the website’s policy.
Apparently Facebook's “ban” of Faith Goldy announced yesterday doesn't extend to h..

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