ReHacked vol. 235: AI is fundamentally ‘a surveillance technology’, A new era for Arecibo, Norway wants Europe-wide ban on Facebook behavioral ads and more

It requires the surveillance business model<...> --M.Whittaker about AI

ReHacked vol. 235: AI is fundamentally ‘a surveillance technology’, A new era for Arecibo, Norway wants Europe-wide ban on Facebook behavioral ads and more
The Arecibo Observatory's 305-metre-wide telescope dish, once revered by astronomers, now sits in pieces. Credit: Ángel Enrique Valentín for Nature

Signal’s Meredith Whittaker: AI is fundamentally ‘a surveillance technology’ | TechCrunch #privacy #ai

Onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, Whittaker explained her perspective that AI is largely inseparable from the big data and targeting industry perpetuated by the likes of Google and Meta, as well as less consumer-focused but equally prominent enterprise and defense companies. (Her remarks lightly edited for clarity.)

“It requires the surveillance business model; it’s an exacerbation of what we’ve seen since the late ’90s and the development of surveillance advertising. AI is a way, I think, to entrench and expand the surveillance business model,” she said. “The Venn diagram is a circle.”

“And the use of AI is also surveillant, right?” she continued. “You know, you walk past a facial recognition camera that’s instrumented with pseudo-scientific emotion recognition, and it produces data about you, right or wrong, that says ‘you are happy, you are sad, you have a bad character, you’re a liar, whatever.’ These are ultimately surveillance systems that are being marketed to those who have power over us generally: our employers, governments, border control, etc., to make determinations and predictions that will shape our access to resources and opportunities.”

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Never say “no,” but rarely say “yes.” #career

“Focus” requires saying “no” to most things, but there’s a way to do it that allows you to say “yes” exactly when it matters most.

Could the EU force hardware manufacturers to make fully working drivers for Linux? : linux #copyrights #software

Why are these companies like intel, Razer, nvidia or AMD that have annual revenues in the billions not being forced to make drivers that work equally in linux, windows and even macOS? lawmakers in Europe are regulating for the benefit of the people, we've seen it with the 'recent' USB-C laws.

Tire Dust Makes Up the Majority of Ocean Microplastics: Study #environment #health

Scientists have a good understanding of engine emissions, which typically consist of unburnt fuel, oxides of carbon and nitrogen, and particulate matter related to combustion. However, new research shared by Yale Environment 360 indicates that there may be a whole host of toxic chemicals being shed from tires and brakes that have been largely ignored until now. Even worse, these emissions may be so significant that they actually exceed those from a typical car's exhaust output.

A research paper published in 2020 highlighted the impact of tire pollution by examining the plight of coho salmon in West Coast streams. Scientists eventually identified a chemical called 6PPD, typically used in tire manufacturing to slow cracking and degradation. When exposed to ozone in the atmosphere, the chemical transforms into multiple other species, including 6PPD-quinone—which was found to be highly toxic to multiple fish, including coho salmon. The same chemical has since been detected in human urine, though any potential health impacts remain unknown.

Every single Onewheel is being recalled after four deaths - The Verge #safety

Future Motion, the maker of the Onewheel electric skateboard, is recalling every one of them, including 300,000 Onewheel self-balancing vehicles in the US. Alongside the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the company now seeks to remedy the products after four known death cases — three without a helmet — between 2019 and 2021.

A new era for Arecibo: legendary observatory begins next phase #nature #engineering #space

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that four institutions will take over stewardship of the site of the former Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, as it transitions from a research hub to an education centre.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) at Río Piedras in San Juan; and the University of the Sacred Heart, also in San Juan; will oversee the new centre, in which the NSF will invest US$5.5 million over five years.

$5,000 Google Jamboard dies in 2024—cloud-based apps will stop working, too | Ars Technica #hardware #sustainability

> Even more Google products are getting the ax this week. Next up is Google Jamboard, a $5,000 digital whiteboard (and its $600-a-year fee) and software ecosystem marketed to schools and corporations. Google has a new post detailing the "Next phase of digital whiteboarding for Google Workspace," and the future for Jamboard is that there is no future. In "late 2024," the whole project will shut down, and we don't just mean the hardware will stop being for sale; the cloud-based apps will stop working, too.

Norway wants Europe-wide ban on Facebook behavioral ads • The Register #privacy #internet

Norway has told the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) it believes a countrywide ban on Meta harvesting user data to serve up advertising on Facebook and Instagram should be made permanent and extended across Europe.

The Scandinavian country's Data Protection Authority, Datatilsynet, had been holding back Facebook parent Meta from scooping up data on its citizens with the threat of fines of one million Kroner (about $94,000) per day if it didn't comply.

Report: majority of carbon offset projects globally are “likely junk” #nature #politics

The investigation analysed the top 50 emission offset projects, selected because they have sold the most carbon credits within the global VCM, and found that most of them exaggerate climate benefits and underestimate the potential harm caused by the project’s activity.

The most popular projects traded globally include forestry schemes, hydroelectric dams, solar and wind farms, waste disposal and greener household appliance schemes across 20 countries, most of which have developing economies. The data comes from Allied Offsets, the world’s biggest and most comprehensive emissions trading database, which aggregates information about projects traded within the VCM from their inception.

The analysis found that 39, or 78%, of the 50 projects were categorised as “likely junk or worthless” due to one or more “fundamental failing” that undermines its alleged emissions offsetting power.

Spain closes Pegasus investigation over ‘lack of cooperation’ from Israel | Spain | The Guardian #privacy #politics

A Spanish judge investigating the alleged hacking of ministers’ phones with Pegasus spyware has shelved his investigation over a “complete” lack of cooperation from Israel, a court statement said on Monday.

In June 2022, José Luis Calama said he had sent a formal request for international judicial assistance, known as a letter rogatory, to the Israeli government asking for information about the software made by the Israeli firm NSO Group.

He also said he wanted to go there in person to take a witness statement from NSO’s chief executive.

But on Monday, the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s top criminal court, said Calama had decided to provisionally close the case “due to the complete lack of legal cooperation from Israel, which has not responded to the rogatory commission … and has prevented the investigation from going ahead”.

FTC Sues Amazon for Illegally Maintaining Monopoly Power | Federal Trade Commission #copyrights #economy

Amazon’s ongoing pattern of illegal conduct blocks competition, allowing it to wield monopoly power to inflate prices, degrade quality, and stifle innovation for consumers and businesses

The SR-71 Blackbird Astro-Nav System (aka R2-D2) worked by tracking the stars and was so powerful that it could see the stars even in daylight - The Aviation Geek Club #engineering #aviation #history

The SR-71, unofficially known as the “Blackbird,” was a long-range, Mach 3+, strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12A aircraft.

The first flight of an SR-71 took place on Dec. 22, 1964, and the first SR-71 to enter service was delivered to the 4200th (later 9th) Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., in January 1966.

The Blackbird was in a different category from anything that had come before. “Everything had to be invented. Everything,” Skunk Works legendary aircraft designer Kelly Johnson recalled in an interesting article appeared on Lockheed Martin website.

Ian's Shoelace Site – Introduction #fun

Fun, fashion & science in the Internet's #1 website about shoelaces – and home of the Ian Knot, the world's fastest shoelace knot. If you want to lace shoes, tie shoes or learn about shoelaces, “Ian's Shoelace Site” is the place!

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