Two new ways to assault computers using Spectre-style attacks have been discovered. These can be used against any operating system running on AMD, ARM, and Intel processors. http://www.zdnet.com/article/the-return-of-spectre/
A bug in iOS 11.3 --- fixed in iOS 11.4.1 --- revealed that Apple censors the Taiwanese flag on iPhones whose region is set to China The bug came to light when security researcher Patrick Wardle received a message from a Taiwanese friend, reporting that iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger all crashed when she typed the word `Taiwan' or received a message containing the emoji for the Taiwanese flag. He was initially skeptical, but was able to verify the claim and --- by a somewhat tortuous process --- work out what was causing it. On an iOS device with CN (China) set as the language/locale, iOS is looking for the Taiwanese flag emoji and then removing it. That code was buggy, which was what caused the crash. http://9to5mac.com/2018/07/11/apple-china-taiwan-flag/
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/faa-pushes-back-on-boeing-exemption-for-787-safety-f-449263/ Exec summary: In order to meet a delivery schedule, Boeing would like the FAA to trust that some software which may contain bugs will provide a safety net in the event that other software containing a known defect causes an engine shutdown.
Microsoft is calling for government regulation on facial-recognition software, one of its key technologies, saying such artificial intelligence is too important and potentially dangerous for tech giants to police themselves. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/07/13/microsoft-calls-regulation-facial-recognition-saying-its-too-risky-leave-tech-industry-alone/
FACEPTION IS A FACIAL PERSONALITY ANALYTICS TECHNOLOGY COMPANY We reveal personality from facial images at scale to revolutionize how companies, organizations and even robots understand people and dramatically improve public safety, communications, decision-making, and experiences. http://www.faception.com/
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/07/05/business/media/tv-viewer-tracking.html The growing concern over online data and user privacy has been focused on tech giants like Facebook and devices like smartphones. But people's data is also increasingly being vacuumed right out of their living rooms via their televisions, sometimes without their knowledge. [...] Once enabled, Samba TV can track nearly everything that appears on the TV on a second-by-second basis, essentially reading pixels to identify network shows and ads, as well as programs on Netflix and HBO and even video games played on the TV. Samba TV has even offered advertisers the ability to base their targeting on whether people watch conservative or liberal media outlets and which party's presidential debate they watched.
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/meet-scrub-50-the-robot-cleaner Visitors to Singapore, a city-state of ~5.6m citizens and expatriates, often note the gumblob-free sidewalks, garbage-free streets, and spotless trains. In truth, Singapore is cleaned daily by an army of mop and broom-wielding custodians estimated to top ~70K in 2016 http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/liak-teng-lit-5-million-people-70000-cleanersthats-ridiculous). Many are senior citizens earning minimum wages to supplement their retirement. Demographically, custodians are diminishing, and few young people wish to pursue this career path. Enter Scrub 50, which aspires to replace these workers and fill the human deficit. “For example, daily scrubbing of 5,000 sq m over a one-month period would require a cleaner to put in 300 hours of work, but the robot takes 130 hours, its developers claim.'' Advocates of universal income guarantees should take note of any trial deployment and outcome, including robo-mopping incidents.
We've all had it happen before, Siri going off when your iPhone thinks it heard the *Hey Siri* command when nothing remotely close was mentioned. Well, today this happened in a public environment and it was absolutely hilarious. As tweeted by BBC Parliament, Siri made a brief interruption while Gavin Williamson was making a statement. http://twitter.com/BBCParliament/status/1014136145989513218 From what we can hear, it sounds like surrounding areas triggered the Hey Siri command on the phone, which prompted Siri to respond on the iPhone. False positives with voice assistants are always fun, especially when it falsely catches the trigger phrase, but gets every word after that verbatim. We can only hope for Apple to keep improving its machine learning so things like this won't happen in the future. Check out the full clip below. http://9to5mac.com/2018/07/03/siri-hijacks-bbc-parliament-statement/ Only today, I commanded my iPad—which ignored me, but my wife's nearby iPhone responded.
http://www.eweek.com/security/five-ways-digital-assistants-pose-security-threats-in-home-office What a surprise, hmmm?
An IoT ensemble must actually be in a kind of continuous configuration mode, anticipating the arrival and departure of all manner of Internet-enabled devices. Among the implications is the notion that the local IoT management system needs to expect that new devices will need to be configured into the system and others to depart - it needs to sense their arrivals and departures and to react accordingly. Here's a scary thought: what if a device is adopted that's corrupted, and it has a backdoor allowing remote access to a residential network of devices? http://www.computer.org/csdl/mags/ic/2017/05/mic2017050072.pdf
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/plan-to-use-ai-to-help-emergency-call-operators “With Singapore's emergency dispatch phone operators receiving almost 200,000 calls for assistance a year, every minute is vital. In an effort to ease their workload, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and four other government agencies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI), using a speech recognition system developed to transcribe and log each call received in real time - even if it is in Singlish.'' The Straits Times article states the platform possesses a 90% speech-to-text recognition accuracy rate based on a 80Kword Mandarin & English dictionary. The dictionary was constructed manually from YouTube, SoundCloud and Singapore radio programs where mixed language (Malay, Hokkien, Mandarin, and English) conversations are routine among Singaporeans. A high incidence of emergency operator post-traumatic stress disorder and critical incident stress syndrome is reported from the field (see https://www.factretriever.com/911-emergency-call-facts, retrieved on 12 Jul 2018). http://www.nena.org/page/911Statistics estimates ~240M emergency (911) calls per year in the US, with ~15-20% identified as non-emergencies. ~80% estimated from mobile devices. In Singapore, mobile devices dominate; this figure is probably much higher. Landline v. mobile emergency call statistics are not readily available in Singapore. Given a 15-20% non-emergency usage of 911 (999 in Singapore), ~30-40K calls/year of a non-emergency basis in Singapore might accidentally arise. The risk is that automatic speech-to-text transcription does not suppress false emergency dispatch incident density based on the logged content. Unclear from the article if there's a human involved to inspect the transcription and arbitrate dispatch.  Jesse Jarnow, Why Our Crazy-Smart AI Still Sucks at Transcribing Speech, claims ~12% speech-to-text error rate http://www.wired.com/2016/04/long-form-voice-transcription/  Laim Tung, Microsoft's newest milestone? World's lowest error rate in speech recognition http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-newest-milestone-worlds-lowest-error-rate-in-speech-recognition/
Military intelligence officers say no damage to security after soldiers fall for terror group cyberplot, sign up for fake World Cup and dating apps http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-warns-soldiers-hamas-trying-to-spy-on-them-with-fake-dating-world-cup-apps/
Australian National University is one of Australia's top research universities http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-06/chinese-hackers-infilitrate-anu-it-systems/9951210%3FWT.ac%3Dstatenews_act Hackers based in China have infiltrated one of Australia's most prestigious universities, and the threat is yet to be shut down. The ABC has been told the Australian National University (ANU) system was first compromised last year. In a statement, the ANU said it had been working with intelligence agencies for several months to minimise the impact of the threat.
Sloppy practice by data security personnel can, and often does, allow clever hackers to gain access to the data without actually defeating the encryption algorithms. Learn what measures to take to prevent such security breaches. http://www.hpe.com/us/en/insights/articles/data-encryption-how-to-avoid-common-workarounds-1807.html
The companies involved did not send spam themselves, they provided ISP services for malware spreaders and “accepted unverified and anonymous customers''. “Our enforcement actions send a clear message to companies whose business models may enable these types of activities,'' said Steven Harroun, the CRTC's chief compliance and enforcement officer. Through their actions and omissions, Datablocks and Sunlight Media aided in the commission of acts contrary to section 8 of the Act. http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2018/vt180711.htmh http://www.timescolonist.com/crtc-levies-fines-against-two-companies-under-canada-s-anti-spam-law-1.23365348
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/cameras-to-be-deployed-to-detect-illegal-smoking “As smoking curbs are extended, the number of offenders has increased. The NEA [National Environment Agency] issued about 22,000 tickets last year to people smoking at prohibited areas, compared with 19,000 in 2016.'' High-resolution IR cameras positioned to detect smokers in prohibited areas supplemented with visual facial recognition matching to ID offenders. Another example of surveillance sensor fusion to find and fine scofflaws. Singapore's governance model, an example of *benign* authoritarianism, emphasizes civil order. Suppressing second-hand smoke exposure is a hot enforcement priority for public health initiatives. The CDC estimates that ~41K US citizens die annually from secondhand smoke- related diseases (principally heart and lung diseases). Assuming US population of 340m, and Singapore's is ~5.6m, the arithmetic gives: 5.6m/340m * 41Kcitizens ~= 675 annual deaths per year in Singapore attributed to secondhand smoke-related diseases. <https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/general_facts/index.htm>
http://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/11/business/paypal-dead-wife-husband-letter-nyt.html “We have received notice that you are deceased,'' said the letter, which threatened legal action over outstanding debt and left the British woman's husband `incredulous'.
Energy giant ExxonMobil recently sent snail mail letters to its Plenti rewards card members stating that the points program was being replaced with a new one called Exxon Mobil Rewards+. Unfortunately, the letter includes a confusing toll-free number and directs customers to a parked page that tries to foist Web browser extensions on visitors. The mailer (the first page of which is screenshotted below) urges customers to visit exxonmobilrewardsplus[dot]com, to download its mobile app, and to call 1-888-REWARD with any questions. It may not be immediately obvious, but that + sign is actually the same thing as a zero on the telephone keypad (although I'm ashamed to say I had to look that up online to be sure). http://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/07/exxonmobil-bungles-rewards-card-debut/
Charlie Osborne for Zero Day, 5 Jul 2018 Thermanator harvests thermal energy to steal passwords directly from your fingertips. A new attack has been presented by researchers which is able to record thermal residue from keyboards in order to steal credentials. http://www.zdnet.com/article/this-attack-steals-your-passwords-by-reading-keyboard-heat/
http://www.zdnet.com/article/ios-11-4-seems-to-have-a-battery-drain-problem/ Every iOS upgrade? I've deferred this one, in spite of advice given to always upgrade quickly for security patches.
Here is the thing. In order to install one of these keyboard apps, you have to grant it access to your phone. This seems like common sense, but sadly, this also grants the app access to pretty much everything you type, every piece of data on your phone, and every contact of yours too. Apple calls this full access, and they require these keyboards to ask explicitly for this permission after they are installed and before you use them for the first time. Many of us don't read the fine print and just click yes and go about our merry way. http://blog.strom.com/wp/%3Fp%3D6603
“NGA is kind of a unique combat-support agency,'' Saffel says. “With the GEOINT App Store we chose to go into a very risky new frontier for DOD and the government in general, but I think we've demonstrated that we can do things differently and still be secure and still control access. We're supporting a lot of different mission sets, and I expect that the app store will keep growing.'' http://www.wired.com/story/dod-app-store-does-this-one-crucial-thing-to-stay-secure
http://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/business/china-surveillance-technology.html In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, a police officer wearing facial recognition glasses spotted a heroin smuggler at a train station. In Qingdao, a city famous for its German colonial heritage, cameras powered by artificial intelligence helped the police snatch two dozen criminal suspects in the midst of a big annual beer festival. In Wuhu, a fugitive murder suspect was identified by a camera as he bought food from a street vendor. With millions of cameras and billions of lines of code, China is building a high-tech authoritarian future. Beijing is embracing technologies like facial recognition and artificial intelligence to identify and track 1.4 billion people. It wants to assemble a vast and unprecedented national surveillance system, with crucial help from its thriving technology industry. http://rinzewind.org/blog-es [Also noted by Richard M Stein. PGN]
An Egyptian court sentenced a Lebanese tourist to eight years in prison on Saturday after she posted a video tirade on her Facebook page that Egyptian authorities claimed had insulted the country and its leader. The news website Ahram reported that Mona el-Mazbouh was initially handed an 11-year sentence and a fine after she was convicted of “deliberately broadcasting false rumors which aim to undermine society and attack religions.
As we increasingly rely on search and on social to answer questions that have a profound impact on both individuals and society, especially where health is concerned, this difficulty in discerning, and surfacing, sound science from pseudo-science has alarming consequences. Will we have to fight the battle of keyword voids at a grassroots level, wrangling with the asymmetry of passion by tapping people to find these voids and create counter-content? Do we need to organize counter-GoFundMe campaigns to pay for ad campaigns that promote real science? Or will the tech platforms where this is occurring begin to understand that giving legitimacy to health misinformation via high search and social rankings is profoundly harmful? Getting high-quality, fact-based health information shouldn't be dependent on the outcome of SEO games, or on who has more resources for pay-to-play content promotion. Ultimately, the question is, how do we incorporate factual accuracy into rankings when no one is willing to be the *arbiter of truth*. Unfortunately, the answer is not easily Googled. http://www.wired.com/story/the-complexity-of-simply-searching-for-medical-advice The risk? Energetic advocates of nonsense.
Comic book fans were in for a shock this week when they were told that Marvel comic book legend Stan Lee, had passed away on Monday (July 2). The `news' was broken by Apple's digital assistant Siri, as reported first by CinemaBlend. http://www.cinemablend.com/news/2444550/siri-is-telling-people-stan-lee-died-yesterday While Stan Lee is still alive and well at the sprightly age of 95, it did not stop Siri from telling users that he had *died* on July 2, 2018, when asked how old he was. Siri has since corrected the information, but it still raises questions as to how the software got it wrong. The problem can be traced back to Lee's Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Lee http://io9.gizmodo.com/siri-erroneously-told-people-stan-lee-was-dead-1827322243 In the recent profile history of Lee, user `&beer&love' changed Lee's Wiki data to include a `date of death', pronouncing him dead. http://www.businessinsider.sg/siri-stan-lee-died-on-monday/ Siri relying for information on Wikipedia which can be changed by anyone, even &beer&love. Sure beats those dusty encyclopedia volumes I grew up with.
I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We have an abundance of natural beauty. Therefore, we also have an abundance of tourists. I was born here. (So were my parents. And 75% of my grandparents.) Those of us who are long time residents know that the natural beauty comes with some natural dangers. A lot of the tourists don't seem to realize that. In our social media intense and almost virtual world, people don't seem to realize that you can't just press *undo* or *reload* when you do something stupid in the real world. http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/rugged-b-c-locales-are-a-magnet-for-selfie-seekers or http://is.gd/C1rOty And we also seem to have a society that idolizes risk-taking. You've got to live `on the edge'. You've got to get closer to the edge than anyone else. Well, sometimes when you get to close to the edge, you fall off. http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/underwater-camera-added-to-search-for-trio-missing-near-squamishs-shannon-falls or http://is.gd/qolaca We've got a big tourist industry in BC. (No, it's not just a business here, it's an industry.) We've got lots of companies that spend time and money taking people out into the wild. In a (reasonably) safe way. But, for some, that isn't enough. They've got to go beyond the bounds. And then they get into trouble. I live near Lynn Canyon. I live between the fire station and Lynn Canyon. We hear the sirens all the time, indicating that some tourist has decided that he's (it's usually he, or her, when some idiot convinces his girlfriend to accompany him) smarter then the locals who posted all the “don't jump off dangerous areas'' signs. We heard them again last night. It was late last night, so I assume that whoever killed himself last night hasn't made the news sites yet. http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/social-media-driving-risky-behaviour-in-lynn-canyon-north-shore-mountains or http://is.gd/ghM3w2 For the reasons stated above, we have some of the best search and rescue volunteers in the world in our neck of the woods. They are, unfortunately, extremely experienced. We have, also unfortunately, a bunch of helicopter pilots who have lots of experience in trying to put a helicopter into deep canyons, or very close to waterfalls, or rock faces. It's dangerous work. Forced upon us by tourists who want the ultimate selfie ...
Richard M. Stein suggests that when AI-based diagnostic programs are tested in randomized clinical trials (RCTs), the affected patients should be the vendor's employees and their families. This is problematic. In evaluating diagnostic methods, several different sorts of RCTs can be contemplated. A trial might demonstrate that the new method (a) provided the same information as old methods, perhaps more quickly or at lower cost; or (b) provided new information that was of interest, but did not alter patient or physician behavior; or (c) provided new information that changed patient or physician behavior; or (d) changed patient-perceived outcome (feeling better or living longer). At the upper end of this scale (certainly (d), probably (c)), some of the patients in a given RCT will be winners, and some will be losers. Some people want to play this game, and some don't. Recruitment into RCTs is generally considered unethical.when the recruited patients are not fully at liberty to decline participation. This generally excludes prisoners and employees. Even when consent can be freely given (say, by an academic researcher experimenting on himself or herself*), trials in developed countries are subject to vetting by outside arbiters to be sure that the investigators are not, perhaps out of honest enthusiasm, inadvertently exposing subjects (even if the subjects are themselves) to unnecessary risks. Independent of the problem of obtaining freely-given consent from employees, there are potential problems of bias. As Stein notes, any such trial would need to be evaluated by non-conflicted reviewers. Similarly, patients with conflicts of interest** can lead to doubt about the soundness of a trial's results, depending on the credibility of the blinding, which is rarely perfect. * There is of course a long history of that, notably including the first cardiac catheterization. ** Wanting to be successfully treated is not a conflict of interest, but wanting one treatment or diagnostic process to work better than another might be.
I looked at the article you linked to, and I'm pretty sure that you sent the wrong link since there is nothing in the article even vaguely like *death panels*. It's about diagnosis based on a wider than usual range of patient data. The closest thing was a paragraph in which a hospital's system looked at very sick patient and estimated she had a 9% chance of dying during her stay, Google's AI thought it was 19% and she indeed died a few days later. That tells us she was sicker than she looked but nothing about whether her treatment was appropriate for her condition. On the other hand, we have a lot of work to do with or without machines to manage treatment of people who are terminally ill. Americans spend vast amounts on futile care in the last few weeks or days of life of people who will die no matter what we do. I expect that computers can be of some use figuring out what treatments might help and which are just painful and pointless.
John—Agreed about end of life healthcare expenditures; they are often onerous. My extrapolation of Medical Brain (MB) AI as a *death panel* proxy is premature, given state of readiness to deploy. I chose the label based on former Gov. Palin's campaign hyperbole to emphasize potential adoption and deployment of MB's predictive diagnostic capability. Clearly, connecting MB to a patient's IV infusion pump, respirator, or other life support device would be unwise and inhumane. When I read the LA Times piece, I imagined a hospital or hospice-bound patient with a `Do Not Resuscitate' (DNR) order tied to their health records under continuous MB monitoring near end of life (EOL). As a hypothetical, suppose MB EOL initiation was an opt-in choice? I asked myself, “What MB outcome would trigger the live/die threshold: 50.1% or 22% or 90%?'' In light of MB diagnostic prediction, should DNRs have an extra field to specify an MB live/die outcome threshold that automates end of life sequence initiation - perhaps a morphine drip. A dystopian expectation, based on pure economic and business prerogatives, suggests that delegation of automated live/die choices will emerge. The nefarious intrusion of technology into life and death decisions promotes choice acceleration over deliberation; MB deployment demotes human sympathy to insignificance by pure computation. Some people might prefer a Magic 8-ball to decide, not a stack of software toxicwaste.
> My extrapolation of Medical Brain (MB) AI as a *death panel* proxy is > premature, given state of readiness to deploy. It's not premature, it's just silly. There is a great deal of work around the world looking at what treatment is cost-effective under what conditions. This is not exactly a new frontier of inquiry. One of the best-known is NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK. It is a major reason that even though the NHS spends less than half per person what we do in the US, and has well known funding and management problems, people in the UK are nonetheless about as healthy as in the US. NICE really is a death panel, and sometimes turns down treatments that might hypothetically extend someone's life, because the cost is too far out of line with the potential benefit. I'd rather a death panel run transparently with a goal of improving the country's health to ones we have in the US, run in secret with a goal of maximizing my insurance company's dividends. http://www.nice.org.uk/ obRisks: shiny new technical things can be very distracting
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