Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, FaceBook, Instagram, IT Trends.

Facebook wants its users to send them their naked photos.

The social network is rolling out the measure to crack down on revenge porn, the non-consensual sharing of explicit images.

The catch is you need to share those photos with the company first.

Source: CBC News

Date: June 6th, 2018



1) Here’s how this works: “Using a form obtained through a partnering organization — in Canada, Facebook has partnered with YWCA — users can request a secure, one-time link with which to upload the image.

The image is then reviewed and a unique hash is generated for it. Like encryption, hashing turns data into a string of numbers so that the original content is unidentifiable. That blocks all future uploads of the same image on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.”

Do you completely understand how this works?

2) “if uploading your intimate photos to a giant corporation makes you nervous, the fact that the process involves having those images screened by an employee of the company might also make you squeamish.”  Why is Facebook having a human as well as an algorithm review these photos?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Biometrics, Civil Liberties, Consumer Technology, Ethical Issues, FaceBook, Instagram.

While your selfie might get lots of “likes” on social media, companies and perhaps even fraudsters may like your face even more — because they can profit from it.

But a University of Toronto researcher has found a way for internet users to opt out by very slightly distorting images, and he’s working on an app that will help them do just that.

“When you publicly make available photos of your face, you want the power to control who can actually use that,” said Joey Bose, the masters student who developed the algorithm.

Source: Toronto Star

Date: June 6th, 2018



1) “Instagram and Facebook… are known to use multiple facial recognition algorithms to extract all they can from your selfie.”  Were you aware that these companies were doing this?  Should you be made clearly aware and be able to opt out?

2) What sorts of things do you think Instagram and Facebook can pull from your selfie?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, FaceBook.

Facebook Inc. said it had data-sharing partnerships with four Chinese consumer-device makers, including Huawei Technologies Co., escalating concerns that the social network has consistently failed to tell users how their personal information flows beyond Facebook.

The disclosure came after Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said earlier Tuesday that he saw “a serious danger” that Facebook shared user information with Chinese device makers. Facebook said it was careful about the partnerships, which were designed to help smartphone makers build custom versions of Facebook’s app. Still, the confirmation is likely to heighten scrutiny of the company’s privacy practices if the deals weren’t explicitly disclosed to users.

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: June 6th, 2018



1) What does Facebook mean, do you think, when they say “Facebook’s integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO and TCL were controlled from the get go — and we approved the Facebook experiences these companies built”?

2) Does the fact that Facebook approved sharing your information with Chinese technology companies mean that they did not or should not disclose this to you, the Facebook user?

Posted by & filed under Data center, IT Infrastructure, microsoft.

Microsoft has sunk a data centre in the sea off Orkney to investigate whether it can boost energy efficiency.

The data centre, a white cylinder containing computers, could sit on the sea floor for up to five years.

An undersea cable brings the data centre power and takes its data to the shore and the wider internet – but if the computers onboard break, they cannot be repaired.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: June 6th, 2018



1) Why does it make sense for Microsoft to essentially bury a datacenter in the ocean?

2) Should Google, Facebook, Amazon and others be considering this too?

Posted by & filed under Careers.

ATG  Missoula, a technology consulting firm, recently announced in the Missoula Current that it is moving to the Old Sawmill District.

ATG Missoula started a little over seven years ago with just two employees in a conference room near Red’s Bar. Today, it has over 135 employees who need their own building.

A recent search of LinkedIn showed that more than 100 University of Montana students have worked or are working in some capacity at ATG Missoula over those years. A study by UM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research found that ATG provides $18.4 million in economic impact to Missoula each year, and pays average salaries in the $85,000 range.

But what is “technology consulting”?

Source: MIssoula Current

Date: June 6th, 2018



1) Technology consulting is a major career outlet for my MIS students.  What technology consulting opportunities are available to you?

2) Many of my MIS majors go to national technology consulting firms, not local ones like ATG Missoula covered in this article.  They go to FAST Enterprises, KPMG IT Advisory and PwC Risk Assurance.  Look up these specific opportunities and see what others are available to you outside the area where you live.

Posted by & filed under Automation, Autonomous Vehicles, robotics, Uncategorized.


Some $26 billion is spent on herbicides each year. These chemicals are often indiscriminately sprayed over entire fields of crops that have been genetically modified to resist the chemical onslaught. And it’s agrochemical giants like Bayer, DowDuPont, and Syngenta that usually create both the genetically modified seeds and the chemicals that are sprayed on them.  The ecoRobotix weeder could undercut the agrochemical complex by spraying herbicides more precisely.

Source: Digital Trends

Date: May 30th, 2018

Link to article:


1) What other sorts of applications could a machine like this have?

2) How might a machine like this be used to improve potholes in city roads?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, App Economy.

It was Alexa’s equivalent of a pocket dial.

A woman in Portland, Oregon, claimed her Amazon Echo smart-speaker secretly recorded a private conversation, then sent the audio file to an acquaintance. She told her story to a local news outlet and it spread, stoking fears about always listening devices invading privacy.

Amazon confirmed the incident and claimed it was caused by an extremely rare series of events. The Echo misheard four different commands causing it to turn on, record a voice message, and send it to a contact.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: May 29th, 2018



1) “When you first set up an Alexa device on a smartphone, you give the app permission to access the contacts saved on your phone.”   This is exactly the issue with the app developed by a Cambridge professor on Facebook, who sold that contact list to Cambridge Analytica, who then supposedly used that to create adverts to influence the U.S. election.  Why is this not such a big issue for Amazon as it was (is) for Facebook?

2) Why do people ever click the “yes, it is okay for this app to have access to all my contacts” button?

Posted by & filed under Google.

Robots underground

Sidewalk Labs promises to transform the disused waterfront area into a bustling mini metropolis, one built “from the internet up”, although there is no timetable for when the city will actually be built.

Dan Doctoroff, the company’s head and former deputy mayor of New York, told the BBC the project was “about creating healthier, safer, more convenient and more fun lives”.

“We want this to be a model for what urban life can be in the 21st Century,” he said.

The area will have plenty of sensors collecting data – from traffic, noise and air quality – and monitoring the performance of the electric grid and waste collection.

Source: BBC Future

Date: May 29th, 2018



1) Should companies be responsible for building cities “from the internet up”?

2) What are some issues with starting a city “from the internet”?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, ethics, YouTube.


Some of YouTube’s most popular stars have criticised the website for “experimenting” with how their videos are delivered to their fans.

Unannounced, YouTube started testing an algorithm that changed the order videos appeared in users’ subscription feeds.

The experiment came to light when some users complained on social media.

One YouTube star said it was the worst decision the website had made for years. But YouTube defended its experiment.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 29th, 2018



1) YouTube provides its services for free and allows people to monetize that free service for their own personal profit and enrichment.  Is it appropriate for someone who does this to complain about how YouTube operates?

2) Should platforms like YouTube have to inform users of the platform when they are experimenting with algorithms?

Posted by & filed under Blackberry.

According to online measurement firm comScore, BlackBerry only accounts for 3 per cent of Canadian smartphones.

According to online measurement firm comScore, there aren’t many holdouts left in Canada still using a BlackBerry.

BlackBerrys accounted for only 3 per cent of the smartphones used in Canada at the end of last year, comScore says.

Source: Toronto Star

Date: May 22nd, 2018



1) Does it matter that Blackberry is no longer a dominant global phone maker?

2) What went wrong for Blackberry?