23 Mar

3 reasons to worry about the FBI's facial recognition program

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The FBI quietly developed a facial recognition network that allows law enforcement to identify people in the United States without their knowledge.

Now lawmakers want to know why the agency didn’t tell people about it. 

”Why did the FBI not fulfill the requirement of the law?” asked House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz at a hearing on Wednesday. 

The FBI didn’t let citizens know the agency was collecting photos from motor vehicle departments, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. And a lot of people can be found on law enforcement facial recognition networks — around half of American adults, according to a study from Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology. Read more…

More about Elijah Cummings, Data, Privacy, Surveillance, and Facial Recognition
Source: Mashable

23 Mar

Facebook struggles to prevent violence on Facebook Live

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Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly said that live video is the future of Facebook, but what if that future is terrifying and full of violence?

What happens when one of the largest proponents of live video struggles to manage its darker side?

Reports that the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl was broadcast on Facebook Live and watched by upwards of 40 people earlier this week have rightfully shocked many, and brought to mind a similarly disturbing incident from earlier in the year. 

Individuals posting about acts of violence on the social media platform is nothing new, but since the launch of Facebook Live, the company has faced a particularly difficult challenge: How to best respond to violence on the site when it’s happening in real time.  Read more…

More about Mark Zuckerberg, Violence Against Women, Violence, Streaming Video, and Facebook Live
Source: Mashable

23 Mar

This startup wants to send electric planes from London to Paris within 10 years

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One ambitious startup is aiming to put passenger planes powered by electricity in the air within the next decade. Or, perhaps more realistically, in the next 20 years — depending on battery technology advancements.

Wright Electric, an aircraft manufacturer startup based out of Massachusetts, debuted its idea for a no gas 150-seat plane at Tuesday’s Y Combinator Demo Day in Silicon Valley as part of the incubator’s bi-annual showcase of new startups.  

The barely one-year-old company hopes to corner the market in short-haul flights, like London to Paris or Boston to New York City, and announced a potential partnership with budget airline EasyJet out of the UK.  Read more…

More about Startups, Y Combinator, Aviation, Battery, and Electric Plane


Source: Mashable

23 Mar

Koalas don't like water but they're being 'driven to drink' by climate change

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Koalas have what some would consider the dream life: Eating and sleeping all day.

When they’re awake they eat leaves, which is their complete source of nourishment. But fun fact: Koalas don’t drink water. At least, they didn’t used to, except in extreme cases.

But thanks to climate change, our marsupial friends are being driven to drink more water than ever before. Their leaves are simply drying up.

That’s a phenomenon that’s led researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia to conduct a long-term study on the impact of water on koala populations, and its potential benefits. It’s even seen them set up special ”drinking stations” just for koalas. Read more…

More about Environment, Climate Change Effects, Climate Change, Animals, and Koala
Source: Mashable

23 Mar

What's Apple's tax bill in New Zealand? Why it's zero, niet, nada.

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Why is Silicon Valley so cruel to New Zealand? First we discover PayPal founder and Trump acolyte Peter Thiel is a secret citizen, now it’s emerged Apple pays the country absolutely nothing in taxes. 

Apparently the tech giant paid no income tax on local profits to Inland Revenue over the past 10 years, because its local operations are owned and run out of Australia.

According to financial documents examined by the New Zealand Herald, this was despite Apple Sales New Zealand making sales of NZ$4.2 billion ($2.96 billion) since 2007.

More about Tax, New Zealand, Australia, Apple, and Business


Source: Mashable

22 Mar

Facebook tests an enhanced local search and discovery feature offering business suggestions

 Facebook is testing an enhanced local search feature that could see the social network creeping in on Google Maps, Foursquare and Yelp territory, TechCrunch learned and Facebook confirmed. Facebook users are now able to surface recommendations of nearby places – like “dinner nearby” or “bars nearby,” for example  – by entering a query in… Read More
Source: Tech Crunch Mobile

22 Mar

Zendesk is also partnering with startup megacampus Station F

 Station F is going to be the world’s biggest startup campus. A thousand startups are going to work in this huge building. And Station F wants to partner with the biggest tech companies, such as Zendesk, so that young startups don’t even have to pay to be there. “By now, everybody knows where we are. We are at Station F, the world’s biggest startup campus. We will have… Read More
Source: Tech Crunch Startups