Monthly Archives: December 2018

Congress Blew Its Hearing With Google CEO Sundar Pichai | WIRED

ON TUESDAY, THE House Judiciary Committee had the opportunity to question one of the most powerful people on the planet—Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, the company that filters all the world’s information. And they blew it.

Over the course of three and a half hours, the members of the committee staked out opposite sides of a partisan battle over whether Google search and other products are biased against conservatives. Republican members largely criticized the company for burying conservative websites in search results and amplifying criticism of conservative policies—accusations that Google has repeatedly denied. Democrats only poured fuel on the fire by spending their allotted five minutes helping Pichai shoot down those trumped-up claims, which are hard to prove either way thanks to the company’s black box algorithms. The rhetorical tennis match left precious little time for committee members to explore in any detail the urgent questions around Google’s interest in building a censored search engine for China, the company’s bulk data collection practices, its recent security breaches, or issues related to competition and antitrust regulation.

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Here’s how Lyft envisions self-driving cars communicating with pedestrians | TechCrunch

The question of how self-driving cars will interact and communicate with humans is one that has come up before, but the answer is still up in the air. Google has been looking into this at least since 2012, and earlier this year, Uber filed a patent for using flashing lights and sounds to talk to pedestrians. Now, the United States Patent Office has granted Lyft with a patent for what it describes as an autonomous vehicle notification system.

Lyft’s solution entails developing a predetermined message to display on the most visible car window. In one example, each window includes a projector, a see-through screen or another display device to communicate the message.

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Google to kill Google+ early after exposing personal data of more than 50 million | Mashable

Google will end the consumer version of its ill-fated social network Google+ in April, four months earlier than expected, after finding another security issue impacting more than 50 million people.

In a blog post Monday, Google said that a November software update caused the Google+ API to inadvertently make users’ personal information viewable to developers, even if they had opted to keep their details private. The bug was addressed after six days, and users’ passwords and financial data were not impacted, according to the company.

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10,400 Verizon workers quit their jobs. That’s a good sign for the economy | CNN

A lot of people want to quit their jobs at Verizon, and that’s a really good sign for the economy.

In a drive to cut costs and shift investments as it rolls out 5G service, the company announced on Monday that 10,400 management employees had accepted voluntary buyout deals, out of 44,000 who were eligible.

That might have been partially due to the fact that the terms of severance were generous, at three weeks of pay for each year of service, capped at 60 weeks.

But it’s likely there’s a larger factor at play: The unemployment rate is now 3.7%, compared to 5.8% when Verizon last offered buyouts, meaning those workers figure they have a good chance of taking the money and finding another job.

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How Building Relationships Helped Build My Business | Entrepreneur

When Anne Marie Berger started ForeFront Corp. two decades ago, it was a one-woman business and she thought she’d keep it that way. But Berger soon learned that building relationships with customers and colleagues was key to running a prospering company.

Today, ForeFront Corp.—which provides data management, integration, and mapping solutions to businesses—has more than 50 employees in Fair Haven, N.J. and Berger has worked hard to make relationship building a key tenet of her company’s culture.

Here are three lessons she’s learned while building her business from a one-woman startup to a thriving global technology consultancy.

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Are You Financially Ready to Start a Business? | Getentrepreneurial.com

Starting a business could be your next step toward financial and personal freedom. But obviously there’s a lot to think about before in dive in.

First of all, is this the lifestyle you want to pursue? Second, do you have enough money to get started? Use the financial essentials below to help you determine whether launching a business makes financial sense for your future.

Look at Your Personal Financial State

If you’re trying to open a company, you’ve probably been setting money aside. Even if they’ve been doing this, most business owners still have to take out a loan, but your savings should substantially reduce the personal financial burden.

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M.C. Escher meets Japanese design studio nendo in trippy new exhibition | New Atlas

A new exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria is blending art and design in an incredibly novel way, presenting the mind-bending work of legendary 20th century artist M.C. Escher within an immersive, custom-designed space created by innovative Japanese design studio nendo.

The exhibition, entitled Escher X nendo: Between Two Worlds, was inspired by the influence Escher’s work has had on architecture and design over the past 50 years. In an attempt to transcend the conventional idea of an exhibition space, the NGV tasked nendo with creating a series of spaces that function as novel three-dimensional evocations of Escher’s work, while also pragmatically functioning as environments to display a large series of classic prints and drawings from the Dutch artist.

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Why Are Toronto Residents Suspicious About City’s Smart Project | Digital Trends

It is touted as a unique opportunity to build a smart city within a major city, literally from the ground up. Environmental remediation, new infrastructure, digital electrification plans, new-age mobility options — the whole shebang.

If only people would stop complaining about privacy issues.

Up in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, there’s been much ado about what will happen to all the data that the future Sidewalk Toronto project will generate. The focus of the debate has been, predictably, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) whose Sidewalk Labs is the primary partner in the project. And yet, for all the sturm und drang about personal information, not a single spade-full of dirt has been spilled yet.

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Facebook Portal review: Good video chat, but better for business | Mashable

Are you ready for Facebook to have a physical, semi-permanent presence in your home? That’s the central question you’ll need to consider before you invest in the company’s new Portal or Portal+ speaker.

The pair of speakers, Facebook’s first non-VR hardware product, come at a time when trust in the social network is at an all-time low. The company is reeling from scandal after scandal, and is still facing tough questions about users’ privacy.

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Why it’s difficult for Netflix and ‘Friends’ to go on a break | CNN

New York (CNN Business)”Friends” will be there for you on Netflix through 2019, but the minor internet meltdown over a rumor that the show was leaving goes to the heart of the biggest question about Netflix’s short-term future: What happens if and when its competitors pull their most popular content from Netflix to make it exclusive to their own streaming services?

One show might not make a difference, but Disney and WarnerMedia, both of which are launching streaming services next year, hold the key to a huge trove of content that lives on Netflix. WarnerMedia’s “Gilmore Girls” and “The West Wing” and Disney’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” for instance, all had big fanbases when they lived on their respective networks and are now big draws for Netflix.

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