Ethics in Computer Vision

Joeseph Redmon, who invented the YOLO Algorithm, quit his research over ethical concerns. These are some dark shadows this is throwing ahead.

New GCP Region in Seoul

Our new GCP region in Seoul is officially open for business.

Source: New GCP Region in Seoul | Google Cloud Blog

Apollo 11 Guidance Computer vs. USB-C

Apollo 11 Guidance Computer vs. USB-C: It could be that USB-C Cables nowadays have more compute capacity than Apollo 11 had on it’s way to the moon. Forrest Heller(?) made an effort to compare the technical specs and put them into perspective.

Tech’s strangest jobs of the future, recruited for today

Tech’s strangest job listings: Straight from the “daily workplace automation destruction” protocol.com reports the future of job descriptions, as indicated by job postings today.

Glimpsing the future in eye-opening tech job listings.

The article found quite a few interesting job profiles that companies apparently look for today already:

Source: Tech’s strangest job listings: Future Edition – Protocol

SoundCloud raises $75 million

SoundCloud Logo

SoundCloud raises $75 million: Berlin founded Soundcloud raises another financing round. The company has a press release on the investment. TechCrunch has more:

SiriusXM invests $75 million in SoundCloud to beef up product development and enhance services.

Source: SoundCloud Gets $75M Investment From SiriusXM To Bring Its Funding To Over $500M

‘We’ve created a privacy industry’

‘We’ve created a privacy industry’ was a statement you could often hear when Europe introduced General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the German implementation DatenSchutz GrundVerOrdnung (DSGVO). Already back in 2016 first predictions arrived, that GDPR will boost European software industry and give them a unique selling point. After the regulation became effective in Europe May 25th 2018(!), after a 2 years transition period, perceived only complaints happened. Affected data controllers and processors cited the difficulties implementing these regulations. A BitKom funded survey even indicates the regulation is hurting the European market.

'We've created a privacy industry'
Panel on Internet Security and Privacy

Now, around 1.5years later, the industry seems to have settled on the regulation and business continues as usual. Subjectively perceived, privacy is indeed still an obstacle to decision makers in the market. Even politicians keep on imploring data to be the new oil, demanding a data driven economy and to weakend the underlying ideas of european data protection acts. Meanwhile, the opportunity has moved along. Californian Start-Ups discovered this niche and turn privacy it into value:

Privacy-focused technology companies are offering a variety of services, from personal data scrubbing to business-focused software meant to help companies comply with the law.

Source: ‘We’ve created a privacy industry’: California law fuels wave of startups

Product Management Predictions

Product Management Predictions: With January already over, it’s a bit late for annual forecasts. But then again, looking into the future is a secret superpower every Product Manager should look to develop. Therefore, it’s never too late to have an understanding of what comes up next. Mason Adair of Digital Product People did so for the profession itself.

Product Management Predictions for 2020

Ten Wild Predictions, One True Story and some Solid Career Advice

From the article

Just like the industry is changing. And the article makes an effort to put into relation the different aspects Product Management has. Mason starts his thoughts by looking into public available metrics that indicate the importance and projected relevance related to management of products. In this analysis, related topics range from Agile, Minimum Viable Product, Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Product Market Fit, Rice Prioritisation and Net Promoter Score all the way to Jira, Trello and Asana. With an analysis of how relevance for these topics changed over time, the article goes into setting the scenes for professional trends that influenced the past years. These include economic environment, the introduction of new technology, a demographic shift, increasing societal fragmentation and climatic change.

Product Management Predictions shape the conclusion in his article: 10 wild predictions I believe are not that wild. The top most prediction, Product arriving at the C-Level, is almost no prediction anymore. Digital companies already have recognised the importance to actively influence direction towards customers.

Read more: The Future of Product Management in the 2020s – Mason Adair – Medium

Off Facebook Activity

Off Facebook Activity is a tool, that let’s Facebook users see which sites they used outside of Facebook. The tool is as creepy as you would think it would be. Facebook, through it’s like buttons and other embeds, has sheer unlimited insight into personal browsing behaviour.

Facebook Company Logo
Facebook Company Logo / Wordmark

In an attempt by the company to create more transparency, it discloses how much curiosity in a negative sense is driving the social network in trying to understand their audience. And actually sell this gained knowledge to their customers.

The release of Off Facebook Activity a reminder we are living in an increasingly connected world that is watching us. There is entirely no point for any company to collect this type of data outsire of making us a product.

The Washington Post writes about how creepy and scary this feature is, and even more important, how to work with privacy settings. While the article deals with Facebook internal settings alone, the amout of data transferred to Facebook won’t stop. At this point, you may want to consider personal privacy tools like uMatrix (for Firefox or Chrome). Or, to leverage protection for the entire network, e.g. for your family, Pi-Hole is worth taking a look, too.

via: Washington Post

Privacy in the Platform Economy

Privacy in the Platform Economy: In the tracking business, access to the customers desktop was in firm hands of Google and Facebook. Until recently!

SnakeOil promises people security to get them install software that’s capable of eavesdropping ssl and all other access to a computers interaction. Quite obvious to see this is a good source to profile a users behavior. A violation of users privacy for the sake of security. You sure all read the fineprint in the anti virus software, right?

Now apparently, somebody in the SnakeOil industry figured that out. A recent leak disclosed Avast Antivirus leverages their market access to almost hald a billion user profiles and devices to package up this insight. “every search” that promises ‘Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site.’. Of course the target audience is the same as for marketing- and tracking clients.

Source: vice.

See also:

Upcycle Windows 7

Upcycle Windows 7 : Microsoft announced support for Windows 7 would end Janury 14, 2020 with plenty of lead time. A regular procedure in the world of enterprise software. The idea behind such a process is fairly simple. The software won’t stop working, nor are users unable to use in any other way. Only the company will stop developing and supporting patches for the operating system.

Upcycling Windows 7
Upcycling Windows 7

While this is typically not a immediate issue for the private user, it has some security implications. The corporate user, that requires support, still has an opportunity to pursue a more recent version of the software, Windows 10. The entire procedure created some media echo recently, given the date is only past due by one week.

Instead of simply letting go, the Free Software Foundation started a campaign and petition to create an alternative for Windows 7 to just stop it. While this didn’t happen with software are recent as Windows 7, the approach has been precedented. MS DOS, Classic Word and even calc.exe are up on the internet nowadays. The Register mentions potential issues with content licensed from third parties, too.

The announcement and petition is here: Upcycle Windows 7 — Free Software Foundation — working together for free software