Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology, Emerging Technologies, Ethical Issues.

WHAT WOULD IT take for you to give up your car? An all-access pass to a bicycle, maybe, plus some safe lanes to ride in? A smartphone, stocked with apps for cheap ride-hail services? A competent public transit system? A chauffeur, willing to drive you around instead? Lyft, the transportation service provider that has always said its goal is to get more Americans out of their personal cars, would like to find out.

On Wednesday, Lyft announced that it would expand its “Ditch Your Car Challenge,” an attempt to both promote its services—the company makes the whole idea of not owning a car a little easier, goes the argument—and to continue to cast itself as a traffic-busting, city-friendly transportation option.

Source: Wired Magazine

Date: October 1st, 2018

Link (3 free articles per month) : https://www.wired.com/story/lyft-will-pay-ditch-your-car-will-it-work/?CNDID=54197592&mbid=nl_092918_daily_list1_p1

Discussion

1) “A report published by former New York City transportation official Bruce Schaller this summer suggests that Uber and Lyft have added 5.7 billion miles driven across nine US cities in the past six years. ”  Whoops!  Should companies like this consider the so-called “triple bottom line” which includes sustainability and issues to do with the climate and earth?

2) What would it take for you to give up your car?

Posted by & filed under addiction, Biometrics, Ethical Issues, Facial Recognition.

Honour of Kings

One of China’s most popular video games is testing the use of facial recognition to check users’ ages.

Honour of Kings’ publisher Tencent announced the move at the weekend.

It said the trial would initially be limited to “thousands” of new players based in Beijing and Shenzhen.

The title has been criticised in local media over claims children have become addicted to it. But one expert questioned whether the test could be scaled up.

The mobile app resembles League of Legends and pits players against each other in multiplayer online battles set in a fantasy world.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: October 1st, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45707469

Discussion

1) This is a Chinese game, so different rules apply.  Would and should this be allowed in the U.S., Canada or Europe?

2) What other applications are there of this technology?

Posted by & filed under Cybersecurity.

All it took was a white van, a team of three hackers and a phishing email to remotely unlock Johanna Kenwood and Peter Yarema’s front door.

The couple’s home in Oakville, Ont., is automated with a number of smart devices, including their lights, thermostat, security cameras and the deadbolt on their door.

“I like the security and knowing what’s going on in my house when I’m away,” said Kenwood.

Source: CBC News

Date: September 28th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/smart-home-hack-marketplace-1.4837963

Discussion

1) What causes the disconnect between “I like the security…” and the fact that this is pretty much not secure at all?

2) Who’s fault is it that this home is insecure – the homeowner or the person who sold the smart device?  Does it matter?

Posted by & filed under Cybersecurity.

Canada’s privacy watchdog is sounding the alarm about the threat of hackers intercepting mobile phone communications from a single phone number.

In his annual report, Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien responded to an investigative report by Radio-Canada-CBC.

“Thanks to a report broadcast last November by the CBC and the Radio Canada, we became aware of a security vulnerability related to the SS7”, the commissioner wrote in his report tabled Thursday.

SS7 — Signaling System # 7 — is the global system for mobile telephone traffic. Any network that does not adopt adequate security measures is vulnerable to hacking through SS7.

Source: CBC News

Date: September 28th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/therrien-cellphone-hacking-ss7-1.4843097

Discussion

1) “With the help of a hacker in Germany, Radio-Canada-CBC was able to intercept calls from a federal MP and geotag his every move”.  Well this seems like it is a real problem.  How might you make a company around this sort of “service”.

2) Imagine you are the CIO (Chief Information Officer) of a large 1,000 person company.  How do you get everyone to know about this issue and make changes to their services or phones?

Posted by & filed under Careers, Privacy, Security.

Nuance Communications' Nina

The folks behind some of the technology in Siri, the iPhone’s virtual personal assistant, are bringing their voice recognotion technology to customer service applications, including bank, cable and credit card smartphone apps.

Nuance Communications (NUAN) last week announced the creation of “Nina,” a natural human language input software that is designed to understand customers’ questions about their accounts. Think of Nina as Siri’s cousin who lives inside your credit card app instead of your iPhone.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: September 28th, 2018

Link: https://money.cnn.com/2012/08/16/technology/nuance-nina/index.html

Discussion

1) How might you be able to build a new business around just this software?

2) What might be some of the security and privacy concerns with this software?

Posted by & filed under Emerging Technologies, Entertainment.

LeBron James shoots against the Golden State Warriors

A last-minute Champions League-winning goal, or a Ryder Cup-winning putt – how much would you pay to watch those sporting climaxes?

If you’re an NBA fan, it will cost you very little.

Starting this season, fans will be able to watch just the last quarter of a game “in real-time” for $1.99

Source: BBC Sports

Date: September 28th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/sport/basketball/45676015

Discussion

1) “There are limitations in the technology right now, but we’re working as quickly as possible so that, at some point in the near future, fans can choose to buy any part of any game.”   What are some of the technology issues that might be being mentioned here?

2) What are ALL the information systems that are needed to make this happen?

Posted by & filed under Careers, Ethical Issues.

A woman's face being read

Facial recognition tech is becoming more sophisticated, with some firms claiming it can even read our emotions and detect suspicious behaviour. But what implications does this have for privacy and civil liberties?

Facial recognition tech has been around for decades, but it has been progressing in leaps and bounds in recent years due to advances in computing vision and artificial intelligence (AI), tech experts say.

It is now being used to identify people at borders, unlock smart phones, spot criminals, and authenticate banking transactions.

But some tech firms are claiming it can also assess our emotional state.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 28th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44799239

Discussion

1) “A supermarket might use it in the aisles, not to identify people, but to analyse who came in in terms of age and gender as well as their basic mood. It can help with targeted marketing and product placement.”  What are some of the privacy issues around this?

2) How might you build an interesting new business around this technology?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, health.

Insurance giant John Hancock, owned by Canadian company Manulife Financial Corp., announced Thursday a switch to “interactive” life-insurance policies only, which offer incentives for things like wearing a Fitbit or other fitness tracker.

Source: CBC News

Date: September 20th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/privacy-life-insurance-john-hancock-1.4833193

Discussion

1) When I read articles like this and people complain about “invasion of privacy”, I am always drawn to the fact that no one is making you buy life insurance policies from Manulife Financial.  Is this an appropriate way, or not, to think about technological invasion?

2) Why does it make sense for Manulife Financial to do this?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, health.

Russ Foxx strolls up to his home in Vancouver and lifts his arm to unlock his door — but instead of using keys, he simply waves the back of his hand near the knob until it clicks open.

Foxx, 36, is able to do so because of a small transponder implanted just beneath his skin on his left hand. A self-described transhumanist, Foxx uses science and technology to push his body beyond its physical limitations.

Source: CBC News

Date: September 20th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/meet-the-b-c-man-who-uses-body-modifying-technology-to-enhance-physical-capabilities-1.4825085

Discussion

1) Does it even matter that someone is embedding technology in their body to do things that just a keycard or a set of keys can do?

2) What might you usefully embed in your body to get something done better or quicker?

Posted by & filed under Apple, health, healthcare.

When Apple said its new Apple Watch heart monitoring capabilities were FDA cleared, they meant only FDA cleared, it seems.

The new Apple Watch touts a fancy new ECG, or electrocardiogram, monitor. It’s the type of device that is medically advanced enough to need clearance before public consumer use. Apple actually only got FDA clearance a day before its big event announcing the new Apple Watch, along with three new iPhones, Bloomberg reported. Now, it’s working on getting equivalent clearances internationally.

Source: Fortune

Date: September 20th, 2018

Link: http://fortune.com/2018/09/22/apple-watch-heart-ecg-tracker-us/

Discussion

1) Why does the Apple Watch need FDA approval?

2) What sort of business could you build around the Apple Watch and its ECG monitor?