Posted by & filed under Software, System development.

Image result for tiny speck game

 

Let’s rewind a decade. It’s 2009. Vancouver, Canada.

Stewart Butterfield,  known already for his part in building Flickr,  a photo-sharing service acquired by Yahoo in 2005, decided to try his hand — again — at building a game. Flickr had been a failed attempt at a game called Game Neverending followed by a big pivot. This time, Butterfield would make it work.

To make his dreams a reality, he joined forces with Flickr’s original chief software architect Cal Henderson, as well as former Flickr employees Eric Costello and Serguei Mourachov, who like himself, had served some time at Yahoo  after the acquisition. Together, they would build Tiny Speck, the company behind an artful, non-combat massively multiplayer online game.

 

Source:   Tech Crunch

Date:  May 29th, 2019

Link: https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/30/the-slack-origin-story/

Discussion

1) This article is about the development of Slack.  What is Slack, and why would it be useful?  https://slack.com/

2) Why do you think a gaming company pivoted to build a workplace productivity tool?

Posted by & filed under Advertisement, Analytics, Artificial intelligence.

Hearts on keyboard

Scammers who use dating sites to trick people into handing over cash can be spotted using artificial intelligence, research suggests.

A neural network has analysed profiles, messages and images from real dating data to get better at spotting fakes.

It sampled age, gender and ethnicity as well as the language people use to describe themselves.

The system proved accurate at spotting scammers and fakes in 93% of cases, the researchers said.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 29th, 2019

Link:
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48472811

Discussion

  1. The article says that AI was used, but the article also seems to suggest that this was just a textual analysis (finding which words get used most). What is AI?
  2. Why do news reports, and companies selling technology, use terms like AI in their press releases?

Posted by & filed under blockchain, Careers.

Big Four Firm KPMG Identifies Top Four Skills Required for Blockchain Career

Big Four auditing firm KPMG has identified the top four skills needed for a blockchain-related career, in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on May 16.

KPMG suggests that an increasing number of companies will investigate blockchain technology this year. “Blockchain projects will not succeed or scale without a multifaceted team that goes beyond technologists,” the firm states, thus identifying the four major skills needed for a career in the industry.

KPMG argues that the successful deployment of blockchain tech depends on professionals with both technology literacy and business acumen.

Source: KPMG

Date: May 29th, 2019

Link:
https://cointelegraph.com/news/big-four-firm-kpmg-identifies-top-four-skills-required-for-blockchain-career

Discussion

  1. What are you doing to develop your “technology literacy”?
  2. Are the four skillsets (business acumen, technology literacy, data analytics, and a hacker mentality) confined to being needed for blockchain?

Posted by & filed under Huawei, IT and Politics.

  1. This is an incredibly useful article in that it lays out all the components of a smartphone, with photos, and explains in simple terms what they do and where they come from. Why is so important that a good deal of the components for a Chinese smartphone come from the U.S?
  2. ” Analysts predict the decision [by the U.S. to ban U.S. components in Chinese Huawei products] could encourage China’s desire to build more technology within its own borders. That would be a difficult, costly, and in some areas sub-par, move to take. But long-term it would give China a chance to set its own standards on future technologies.” What issues arise when countries have different technology standards?

Posted by & filed under Autonomous Vehicles, self driving cars, Self driving vehicles.

Journey in Waymo car

It was on the motorway near Phoenix, Arizona, that I realised fully driverless cars might be quite a distant dream. And that was because our Google Waymo robo-taxi seemed incapable of leaving that motorway.

We were in Arizona to record a radio documentary for the BBC World Serviceabout the progress towards creating autonomous vehicles that would make our roads safer and replace human drivers with robots.

Google leads this race at the moment and for the past six months has been offering a robo-taxi service, Waymo One, to a select few early adopters in and around the Phoenix suburb of Chandler.

Our first ride with Waymo took us through the quiet suburban streets, where traffic is sparse and drivers well mannered.

Here, the minivan, fitted out with a battery of sensors and high-definition cameras, performed very impressively, handling slightly tricky left turns, spotting other road users and slowing down as it passed a school.

While a Google engineer sat behind the wheel, she never intervened and soon we relaxed and forgot that we were effectively being driven by a robot.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 20th, 2019

Link:
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48334449

Discussion

  1. The report here notes that the autonomous-driving vehicle was not “assertive enough” to push over in to heavy traffic. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?
  2. How might you design “assertiveness” in to autonomous-driving software?

Posted by & filed under Internet, satellites, space.

Image result for spacex 60 satellites

SpaceX wants to beam cheap broadband internet all over the planet. It’s gearing up for the first crucial step toward making that a reality.Elon Musk’s rocket company will try to deliver a batch of 60 satellites into low-Earth orbit, the first for a megaconstellation of satellites that SpaceX is calling Starlink. The launch could happen sometime next week.It was scheduled to take off Wednesday night, but rough winds in the upper atmosphere caused a one-day delay. And SpaceX said in a Thursday tweet that it would wait another week so the company can “update satellite software and triple-check everything again.”The upcoming mission is a small part of what SpaceX ultimately wants to be a much grander project: a group of potentially thousands of satellites swirling over Earth that the company says could eventually make available low-cost internet for a significant portion of the world’s population that isn’t yet online.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: May 17th, 2019

Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/15/tech/spacex-starlink-internet-satellites-first-launch/index.html

Discussion

  1. When space-based internet is discussed, the discussion usually focuses on ” a significant portion of the world’s population that isn’t yet online “. However, space-based internet could fundamentally change how countries like China and Iran are online. In what ways?
  2. What sort of companies could you build if internet were available everywhere?

Posted by & filed under robotics.

Why are walls always straight? Why does it cost so much to build them? And why do big construction projects so often run late? Construction has always been a conservative industry, used to doing things how they have always been done.

But a new wave of innovation is coming, which will change what buildings look like, how they are made, and who wins in the new era of the construction industry.

Architects have always been limited by what their builders can actually make. But if robots were doing the building, all sorts of new possibilities open up.

Source: BBC Future

Date: May 17th, 2019

Link:
http://www.bbc.com/future/bespoke/the-disruptors/the-house-the-robots-built/

Discussion

  1. Why is it taking so long to deploy robotic construction techniques?
  2. What are some issues with using robots to build houses?

Posted by & filed under Cybersecurity.

Group of people on computers around a table at work

Real life is rarely as exciting or fraught with complications as the movies, except when it comes to businesses under attack. Cybercriminals around the world take hacking to the next level — stealing passwords, scraping credit card numbers and attacking the Internet of Things. That’s where “ethical hackers” like Sherri Davidoff come in, finding weaknesses and helping businesses protect themselves and their communities.

Davidoff is a cybersecurity and digital forensics expert and CEO of LMG Security and BrightWise Inc. She has worked with businesses and organizations for several years, evaluating security systems and data breach responses. A

Source: National Retail Federation

Date: May 16th, 2019

Link:
https://nrf.com/blog/behind-business-hacking

Discussion

  1. The hackers “kept to normal U.S. business schedules. ” Why is this an important part of criminal hacking?
  2. Then they sent me a fake invoice that said, “Hey, can you send our payment to this other place?”  How could you train users to not be conned by this?

Posted by & filed under Cybersecurity, System development.

FREEDOM MOBILE 20180729

A security lapse at Canada’s fourth largest cell network, Freedom Mobile, exposed customer data.

Security researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar found an Elasticsearch server leaking five million logs containing customer data. The server wasn’t protected with a password, allowing anyone to access the data.

Source: Tech Crunch

Date: May 11th, 2019

Link: https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/07/freedom-mobile-data-leak/

Discussion

  1. What sorts of failures in systems design and systems implementation lead to customer data being on a server that is not protected?
  2. How could a company avoid this glaringly obvious mistake?

Posted by & filed under Uber.

It’s one of the fastest growing technology companies in the world.

Customers took more than five billion rides on the service last year, spending almost $50 billion US in the process.

And each and every time someone ordered up one of the company’s services — the company lost about 58 cents.

Source: CBC News

Date: May 11th, 2019

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/uber-technology-ipo-1.5084575

Discussion

  1. Why is Uber considered a tech company?
  2. What is it about tech companies that makes people want to invest in them?