A Swiss weedkiller robot could curb our dependence on herbicides

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… Read more »

How to make sure your Amazon Echo doesn’t send secret recordings

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… Read more »

YouTube stars’ fury over algorithm tests

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… Read more »

BlackBerry only accounted for 3% of Canadian smartphones last year, firm says

Posted by & filed under Blackberry.

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 Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/tech_news/2018/05/16/blackberry-only-accounted-for-3-of-canadian-smartphones-last-year-firm-says.html Discussion 1) Does it matter that Blackberry is no longer a… Read more »

Civil Rights Group Criticizes Amazon Over Facial Recognition

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Civil Liberties.

Amazon.com Inc. drew the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday over a facial-recognition system offered to law-enforcement agencies that the advocacy group says can be used to violate civil rights. In marketing materials obtained by the group, Amazon Web Services said its Rekognition system uses artificial intelligence to quickly identify people in photos and videos,… Read more »