Technology

YouTube Flops In Moves Meant To Thwart Hate Speech

The Verge reports: Google says it has blocked several terms associated with hate speech from being used as ad keywords on YouTube videos. The move follows a report by The Markup, which found that advertisers could search for terms like “white lives matter” and “white power” when deciding where to place ads on YouTube. Google says it does not publicly …

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French Army Tests Robot Dog In “Combat Scenarios”

The Verge reports: Spot, the quadruped robot built by US firm Boston Dynamics, has appeared alongside soldiers during military exercises carried out by the French army. The robot was apparently being used for reconnaissance during a two-day training exercise, but the deployment raises questions about how and where Boston Dynamics’ machines will be used in future. Pictures of the exercises …

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Hacker Leaks Personal Info On 533M Facebook Users

The Insider reports: A user in a low level hacking forum on Saturday published the phone numbers and personal data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users for free online. The exposed data includes personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in …

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Robotics Firm Unveils Warehouse Worker [VIDEO]

The Verge reports: The robot is called Stretch and looks relatively dull for a Boston Dynamics creation. It’s not modeled after humans or animals, and instead aims to be as practical as possible. It has a square mobile base containing a set of wheels, a “perception mast” with cameras and other sensors, and a huge robotic arm with seven degrees …

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Security Researchers: No Threat To US From TikTok

The Daily Beast reports: A team of cybersecurity researchers who analyzed TikTok’s code found no evidence of “overtly malicious behavior”—and determined the app collects about as much user data as Facebook.  Citizen Lab cautioned that there may still be security issues that didn’t crop up during the analysis, but they remain unaware of any “immediate security issues with TikTok.”  The …

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Facebook To Launch Instagram For Kids Under Age 13

Buzzfeed News reports: Executives at Instagram are planning to build a version of the popular photo-sharing app that can be used by children under the age of 13, according to an internal company post obtained by BuzzFeed News. Current Instagram policy forbids children under the age of 13 from using the service. According to the post, the work would be …

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Police: Extremists Increasingly Targeting Cell Towers

The Intercept reports: As the Biden administration turns its attention to an infrastructure system beset with problems, a strange new issue has emerged: conspiracy theorists. That’s according to a detailed intelligence report, produced by the New York Police Department and obtained by The Intercept, which finds that cellphone towers and other critical infrastructure have become an attractive target for conspiracy …

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Amazon Passes Walmart As Top US Apparel Retailer

The Hill reports: Amazon has surpassed Walmart as the top apparel retailer in the U.S, according to an analysis released by Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo estimated that Amazon’s apparel and footwear sales in the U.S. jumped by 15 percent in 2020, raking in $41 billion in sales, according to a report by CNBC. This placed the tech giant 20 to …

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Tinder To Offer Background Checks On Its Users

The Verge reports: Tinder and other Match Group-owned apps are going to let their users run background checks on possible dates. The company announced an investment in Garbo, a nonprofit that looks to allow people to run background checks with only their first name and phone number or full name. The investment, of which Match didn’t disclose the amount, will …

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Elon Musk’s New Formal Title Is “Technoking Of Tesla”

Reuters reports: Tesla Inc added “Technoking of Tesla” to billionaire Chief Executive Elon Musk’s list of official titles on Monday in a formal regulatory filing that also named finance chief Zachary Kirkhorn “Master of Coin”. The electric-car maker did not elaborate on the reasons for the cryptic new titles in a pair of statements that also said President of Automotive …

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Nine Tech Moguls Made $360 Billion During Pandemic

The Washington Post reports: The wealth of nine of the country’s top titans has increased by more than $360 billion in the past year. And they are all tech barons, underscoring the power of the industry in the U.S. economy. Tesla’s Elon Musk more than quadrupled his fortune and jockeyed with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for the title of world’s wealthiest …

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NASA’s Mars Rover Leaves Tracks In First Test Drive

Reuters reports: NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance has taken its first, short drive on the surface of the red planet, two weeks after the robot science lab’s picture-perfect touchdown on the floor of a massive crater, mission managers said on Friday. The six-wheeled, car-sized astrobiology probe put a total of 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) on its odometer on Thursday during a …

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MS Email Hack Hits 30,000 US Orgs, Cities, Businesses

Krebs On Security reports: At least 30,000 organizations across the United States — including a significant number of small businesses, towns, cities and local governments — have over the past few days been hacked by an unusually aggressive Chinese cyber espionage unit that’s focused on stealing email from victim organizations, multiple sources tell KrebsOnSecurity. The espionage group is exploiting four …

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Twitter Tests “Undo Send” Feature For Paying Users

Reuters reports: Twitter Inc is testing an “undo send” function that would give users a short time to withdraw a tweet before it is posted, the company confirmed on Friday. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who discovers unannounced social media features by looking at the sites’ code, tweeted an animation showing a tweet with a spelling error where an ‘undo’ …

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SpaceX Rocket Has “Rapid Unplanned Disassembly”

Changing America reports: A prototype of SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft that the private rocket company is hoping to one day send to the moon and Mars successfully landed for the first time following a high-altitude flight test on Wednesday. Several minutes later, the stainless steel rocket ship was destroyed in a fiery explosion on the landing pad. Despite the explosion, the …

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Google: We Will Stop Tracking Users For Targeted Ads

From Google’s corporate blog: Last year Chrome announced its intent to remove support for third-party cookies, and why we’ve been working with the broader industry on the Privacy Sandbox to build innovations that protect anonymity while still delivering results for advertisers and publishers. Even so, we continue to get questions about whether Google will join others in the ad tech …

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Instagram Aims At Zoom With “Live Rooms” Feature

Mashable reports: Instagram is introducing a new feature today that will allow users to run joint live streams with three other people, letting you broadcast the group video chat for the world to see. Called Live Rooms, the feature ups the number of accounts that can join an IG Live from two to four. So it’s kind of like Zoom, …

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Court Approves $650M Facebook Privacy Settlement

The Associated Press reports: A federal judge on Friday approved a $650 million settlement of a privacy lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly using photo face-tagging and other biometric data without the permission of its users. U.S. District Judge James Donato approved the deal in a class-action lawsuit that was filed in Illlinois in 2015. Nearly 1.6 million Facebook users in …

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Art Project Lets Web Users Control Armed Robot Dog

NBC News reports: An internet-enabled art installation that launched Wednesday offers a strange proposition: the chance to pilot a $75,000 four-legged robot named Spot that is armed with a paintball gun. The robot may be familiar to people who have seen various viral videos of similar robots from Boston Dynamics that have offered a sometimes startling glimpse at leaps in …

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NASA: Mars Helicopter Is “Operating As Expected”

CNN reports: The Ingenuity helicopter, sidekick and traveling companion of NASA’s Perseverance rover, has checked in with a good report and is “operating as expected,” according to the agency. If successful, Ingenuity will be the first helicopter to fly on another planet, leading to an “extraterrestrial Wright Brothers moment,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The …

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