A Hacker Turned an Amazon Echo into a Wiretap

EVERY GOOD PARANOIAC sees an always-listening device like an Amazon Echo as a potential spy sitting in plain sight. Now one security researcher has shown exactly how fine the line is between countertop computer and surveillance tool. With just a few minutes of hands-on time, a hacker could turn an Echo into a personal eavesdropping microphone without leaving any physical trace.

  • 02/08/2017

Facebook Shut Down AI After It Invented Its Own Language

Researches at Facebook shut down an artificial intelligence (AI) program after it created its own language, Digital Journal reports.

The system developed code words to make communication more efficient and researchers took it offline when they realized it was no longer using English.

The incident, after it was revealed in early July, puts in perspective Elon Musk’s warnings about AI.

  • 01/08/2017

It's Time to Make Code More Tinker-friendly

BACK IN THE old days of the information superhighway, curious newbies had an easy way to see how websites worked: View Source.

If they clicked that option in the browser, presto! It would display the HTML and bits of Javascript that created the page. Cut and paste that code into their own domain and they could produce their own version of the site, altering and morphing it to their taste and learning along the way. That’s how many of today’s midcareer coders learned: They peeked behind the Wizard of Oz curtain.

  • 17/07/2017

From Zero to Not Much More

MANY people try to keep a poker face when playing cards, but not when looking at adverts. Hamzeh al-Fuqha, a Palestinian living in the United Arab Emirates, turned this simple fact into a money-spinner. SmartAd, founded in 2012, uses facial recognition technology to tell businesses how people respond to their marketing. The software, used by Burger King among others, can also tell the age and sex of the viewer. It is a rare example of real innovation coming from the Arab world.

  • 11/07/2017