Tag Archives: Gadget News

Google reportedly put fake news ads on fact-checking sites


Google’s AdSense program put fake news on a fact-checking website.

Claudia Cruz/CNET

The fake news plague has reportedly spread to fact-checking websites.

On fact-checking pages like Snopes and Politifact, fake news ads popped up, with one claiming the First Lady Melania Trump was leaving the White House, according to a report from the New York Times.

The article redirected to a website made to look exactly like Vogue, as part of the fake news campaign. After a few paragraphs, it would drift off into a skin care cream advertising. The fake news popped up on the fact-checking websites thanks to Google’s AdWords system, which automatically places ads based on a target audience.

It’s unclear how the fake news ended up on Snopes and Politifacts. Google did not comment on how the fake news was approved for ads. 

“As always, when we find deceptive ad practices on our platforms we move swiftly to take action, including suspending the advertiser account if appropriate,” Suzanne Blackburn, a Google spokeswoman, said.

The spread of fake news has caused public scorn for companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter, as tech giants fail to keep up with viral propaganda. Google has pledged to help stop the spread of fake news, but hoaxes have still found a way to slip by the search engine.

An internal Google investigation found that Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads across Google’s properties, including in search results, YouTube and Gmail. For fake news peddlers, ads are a useful resource to grow their audience, gathering more eyes to pull the wool over.

Fake news on ads for Google continue to be a problem, with the company saying in January that it had removed 1.7 billion offenders in 2016. In this scenario, the fake news had been to sell products, instead of influencing any elections. 

Aaron Sharockman, PolitiFact’s executive director, said they had been aware of the fake news ads on the website for days, and believed Google Adsense was the cause.

“The revenue those advertisements provide is critical to funding a website like ours, but it’s equally important that we do everything we can to make sure the advertisements appearing on our site are not deceptive or intentionally misleading,” Sharockman said in a statement.

He said they’re working with Google to remove the advertisements. Snopes did not respond to a request for comment. 

Google started giving publishers control over ads on their sites in February, and added a feature last week specifically to filter out fake news

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/google-reportedly-put-fake-news-ads-on-fact-checking-sites/#ftag=CAD590a51e

WhatsApp lets users share their real-time locations

To use Live Location, start a chat with the person or group you’d like to share your location with. You’ll find the new option “Share Live Location” under “Location” when you hit the “Attach” button. You can predetermine how long you want to share your location, and then hit “Send.” If you want to stop sharing your location before the timer expires, you can choose to do so at any time. And if multiple people in your group share their locations with one another, it will all be visible on the same map.

WhatsApp has been steadily increasing in importance — its recently become a top news source in some countries and has a billion daily users. It’s nice to see that the company is focusing on that impressive user base and continuing to add new features.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/18/whatsapp-live-location-sharing/

Mobileye wants self-driving cars to prove they’re safe

As self-driving cars begin sharing the roads with human drivers, there will inevitably be collisions. Last year, Google’s experimental cars suffered a couple of notable accidents, one due to the car’s programming, and one caused by a human red-light runner.

Mobileye, a camera sensor company owned by Intel, published a white paper authored by professors Amnon Shashua and Shai Shalev-Shwartz, showing how it can evaluate collisions involving self-driving cars to determine who, or what, is at fault. Mobileye calls the proposed system Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS), and it’s designed to build societal trust in this new technology.

Self-driving cars are being developed by a wide range of companies, from automakers to tier one equipment suppliers to big technology players, such as Google and Apple. The technology could reduce or eliminate the over 1 million deaths caused by cars around the world each year. Many self-driving cars, manned by a human safety driver, are currently being tested on public roads, and they are expected to enter regular service as robo-taxis or private cars in 2020.

There is no current standardized system for reporting accidents involving self-driving vehicles. “Previous collisions have created a lot of confusion about AVs,” said Dan Galves, chief communications officer for Mobileye. He points out that companies test self-driving cars by running them for as many miles as they can, then look back at logs to determine what happened in any incidents.

Mobileye’s RSS would be a standardized system used by private companies, municipalities and government regulators. It includes mathematical models for different driving scenarios to determine if the self-driving car was at fault in a collision. For example, it defines safe following distances. If a self-driving car were to rear-end another car, the RSS system would show if it wasn’t maintaining a safe distance. RSS also takes into account when another car cuts into a lane in front of a self-driving car.

The system relies on the fact that self-driving cars contain a multitude of sensors, recording video from cameras and imagery from radar and lidar. Self-driving cars also can report their exact telemetry, including speed, steering angle and braking reaction time.

That data is a lot more precise than what a human driver can say about a collision.

Mobileye Responsibility-Sensitive Safety

Mobileye’s RSS system defines a variety of driving scenarios to determine if a self-driving car is operating within safe parameters.


Mobileye’s RSS is merely a proposal at this point, and will require acceptance from government entities and private sector companies to be put into effect. Last week, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles announced its rules for self-driving car development, including how incidents should be reported. Last month, the US Department of Transportation published its own guidelines about the cars themselves, leaving rules of the road to states.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/mobileye-wants-self-driving-cars-to-prove-theyre-safe/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Billy Corgan says he saw human turn into something non-human

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.

The Smashing Pumpkins In Concert - New York, New York

He must think about it all the time.

Adela Loconte

Every day, I feel us getting closer to another life, another galaxy, another something.

Earlier Tuesday, I wrote about Florida Republican congressional candidate Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, who says she was abducted by aliens at a very early age.

And now along comes Billy Corgan, he of the Smashing Pumpkins, with the tale of how a human he was talking to transformed himself into, well, something else.

Appearing on the Howard Stern Show on Monday, Corgan — who now prefers to be called William Patrick Corgan — insisted that humans can be bent out of shape. Physically, that is.

“Let’s just say I was with somebody once and I saw a transformation I can’t explain,” he revealed, somewhat gingerly.

“The person transformed into something other than human,” prompted a naturally curious Stern.

“Yes,” Corgan said. “I saw it.” 

He claims to have been sober. How odd, though, that he didn’t do what many a modern human would have done and whipped out his cellphone to record the event.

Perhaps it was the shock of it all.

“Imagine you’re doing something and suddenly you turn around and there’s somebody else standing there,” he said.

When pressed whether this person had turned into another human, Corgan demurred and explained that it was “hard to explain without going into detail.”

He insisted, though, that the other person “acknowledged” what had happened. Oddly, though, that person apparently wouldn’t explain.

Corgan must have lived a very interesting life, as he described it as “up there with one of the most intense things I’ve ever been through.”

Only up there? If I’d seen, say, Kurshina my Starbucks barista turn into, say, an orchid, that would certainly be the most extraordinary thing I’ve ever seen.

And I’ve seen things you would neither believe nor even want to know about.

We’re left, then, to speculate what this human turned himself into. A cloud? A speck of dust? A gorgon reciting the works of Emile Zola? 

Please, Mr. Corgan. Give us more of a clue. Perhaps write a song about it or give us an artist’s impression. 

Or at least go talk to some scientists and tell them what you saw. These might be the aliens that Stephen Hawking is always warning us about.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/billy-corgan-says-he-saw-human-turn-into-something-non-human-smashing-pumpkins/#ftag=CAD590a51e

AI-powered app finds and locks away your racy photos

Fully named Nude: The Sexiest App Ever, the app uses either a PIN or Touch ID to secure your photos, as well as an integrated camera to take them in the app itself. You can view your naughty photos and video in Nude, too, and the app keeps track of any attempts to get into your photo vault. The iTunes description says you can protect copies of your driver’s licence, ID, and credit cards, though it doesn’t mention if the built-in AI will detect these in the same way as, say, those naked photos.

Private, on-device analysis is only available with iOS 11, though; users of iOS 10 and under will have their photos categorized by Amazon’s cloud-based Rekognition tech, so be wary. Nude is free to download but will run you $1 for a monthly subscription and $10 for an annual one. The app is only on iOS for now, though an Android version is in the works, according to The Verge.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/17/ai-powered-app-finds-and-locks-away-your-racy-photos/

Trudeau welcomes Google with Toronto tech paradise


Alphabet, Google’s parent company, will be developing 3.3 million acres along the waterfront of Lake Ontario for its Sidewalk Labs initiative.

Sidewalk Labs

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday in Toronto that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, will develop a portion of the waterfront along Lake Ontario. The development will house Sidewalk Labs, a unit of Alphabet focused on innovation in urban environments.

“This project offers unprecedented opportunities for Canadian innovators and will create thousands of good, middle class jobs,” Trudeau said during the announcement alongside Toronto Mayor John Tory and Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

According to The Globe and Mail, Google’s Canadian headquarters will be relocating to the 12-acre site.

Schmidt said that “we are making a bold bet that innovation technology and forward-thinking urban design can make fundamental improvements in city life.”

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/trudeau-welcomes-google-with-toronto-tech-paradise/#ftag=CAD590a51e