We all want to avoid a Terminator-style future where the machines have conquered humanity, but how do you do that? This is just one of the problems Google's Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) was supposed to help answer. It won't, though. Following some very public drama, Google has decided to dissolve the board and look for a different approach.
Google, Amazon, and Facebook are some of the biggest tech companies on the planet, well know by just about anyone who uses the internet. While their gargantuan status has taken years to grow, Elizabeth Warren thinks they've gotten too big. In a release on her Medium page, she outlines her plan to trust bust these tech giants, for the good of emerging companies and the public at large.
According to a recent report by The Guardian based on internal documents leaked from a court case in California, Facebook has been lobbying and pressuring representatives and politicians from over 35 countries in its attempts to fight privacy laws. That much would seem pretty obvious, but the details revealed by these documents imply a greater degree of collaboration than you may expect, and potential quid pro quo actions by politicians.
It's been nothing but bad news for ZTE over the last couple months, but there's finally a positive development for the Chinese technology firm. The US Commerce Department has temporarily lifted part of the trade ban that effectively shut down ZTE back in April. This will help ZTE keep the lights on as it works toward full compliance.
Chinese technology firm ZTE says it has forked over $1 billion to the US government. This is the first step toward ZTE returning to operation after a ban on purchasing US technology in April forced it to partially shut down. However, it's not out of the woods yet as the entire incident has become a political firestorm for the US administration.
Facebook announced in a blog post last month that it would reward users who report abuses of user data by developers of Facebook apps. That rewards program, which Facebook is calling Data Abuse Bounty, launched today. Facebook says the monetary rewards will be valued on a case-by-case basis "based on the impact of each report."
International spying! Demagogic leaders! Jingoistic nationalism! Everything old is new again as the United States and Russia seem to be squaring up for another decades-long pissing contest. So while you wait for the next big hack or diplomatic faux pas, why not relive those happy memories of the original Cold War? Twilight Struggle, a two-player strategy title based on the 20th century's biggest game of chicken, has landed in the Play Store. It's five dollars, only a third of the price of the PC version.
Two bills recently passed in the states of New York and California that aim to weaken smartphone security in order to combat crime. The laws would prevent the sale of smartphones with full-disk encryption that could not be unlocked by the manufacturer (at the request of law enforcement). In response, Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a Democrat, and Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas, a Republican, have proposed a bill, the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act of 2016, that would block state-level attempts to ban encryption on smartphones sold in the US.
Google famously pulled out of China in 2010 following a data breach that it traced back to the Chinese government. It was the final straw as Google had already been irked by China's strict censorship laws. The explosion of cheap Android handsets in China changes the equation, though. Now The Information reports that Google is set to come back to China with a special version of the Play Store and other Google services that will play nice with the Chinese government.
Over the last couple of years, both Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin have attracted worldwide criticism for the actions of their respective administrations - Obama for unwavering support of sweeping and unconstitutional surveillance of US citizens and allies, and Putin for "secretly" invading a neighboring country and killing a whole bunch of people. But you can say at least one thing in favor of them both: they haven't tapped into dimensions of eldritch power to raise a monstrous army of undead Soviet soldiers.
Not yet, anyway. I honestly wouldn't put it past Putin.
In Wrath of Obama, the latest magnum opus from developer Ankaar (of Fuhrer in LA fame), the leaders of the United States and Russia join forces to oppose Vladimir Lenin.