afternoonbuzz

GE Google Assistant, UPEI, Baidu, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 3, 2019

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

TechCrunch: GE adds a bunch of Google Assistant-friendly smart home products . “At the Pixel 3 event back in October, the company announced that its C by GE bulbs were the first to carry Made by Google certification with Home functionality built-in right out of the box. At CES this year, the company will show a bunch more products, effectively tripling the size of the C by GE line. In addition to the standard bulbs announced in the fall, the company’s also releasing full color lights with millions of color options, available in a handful of configurations, including a lighting strip.”

CBC: P.E.I. digital archive funded for major upgrade. “A digital management system for important archival material at the University of Prince Edward Island has received funding for a major upgrade. Islandora is a repository for every thesis written at UPEI, open source papers by the faculty, as well as Islandnewspapers.ca, which holds more than a century of P.E.I. newspapers.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

CNET: ‘Winter is coming’ for Chinese economy, warns search giant Baidu’s CEO . “The new year’s pep talk delivered by Baidu’s chief executive for 2019 was a bit chilly. Robin Yanhong Li, CEO of China’s largest search engine, warned that ‘winter is coming’ in a letter to employees regarding China’s economic growth slowing down, according to South China Morning Post. Baidu is the equivalent of Google in China.”

CNN: New members of Congress are sharing on social media like never before. “Newly elected members have been sharing their experiences on social media in a way we’ve never seen before. There was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez using her Instagram stories to take people behind the scenes of the traditionally closed-door new-member orientation process, from office selection to learning the byzantine House tunnel complex, and using Instagram Lives to talk politics and take questions while making Instant Pot macaroni and cheese.”

Yahoo News: Google shifted 19.9 billion euros to tax haven Bermuda in 2017 – filing. “Google moved 19.9 billion euros (£17.9 billion) through a Dutch shell company to Bermuda in 2017, as part of an arrangement that allows it to reduce its foreign tax bill, according to documents filed at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. The amount channelled through Google Netherlands Holdings BV was around 4 billion euros more than in 2016, the documents, filed on Dec. 21, showed.”

Tubefilter: Iranian Government To Ban Instagram, Citing National Security Concerns. “Iran’s National Cyberspace Council has approved the initial steps to bar the app, Bloomberg reports, noting that the photo and video-sharing platform will soon join the likes of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Telegram. Javad Javidnia, deputy for cyberspace affairs at the public prosecutor’s office, confirmed the move to a local newspaper, reportedly citing national security concerns as the reason for the restriction.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Times of India: Thousands of Chromecast devices hijacked, hackers have a ‘warning’ for Google. “Two hackers named Hacker Giraffe and J3ws3r unveiled a new security bug in Chromecast. Both the hackers managed to hijack thousands of exposed Chromecast streaming devices and also warned users about the latest security issue. Security researchers have said that if the bug is not fixed then it could be used for various other types of attacks.”

Washington Post: These are the 2019 court fights that will decide the future of net neutrality. “The battle over net neutrality is far from over. Although the Federal Communications Commission last year officially nixed the Obama-era rules governing the conduct of Internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T, the move kicked off a backlash by states, Internet activists and other supporters of the original regulations. Now their legal challenges will play out in 2019. Here’s what to expect as the fight over the future of the Internet enters its next act.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

VentureBeat: Forbes writers will use AI to pen their rough drafts. “Contrary to popular belief, the steadfast march toward automation is affecting all sorts of fields — not just blue-collar industries like manufacturing and transportation. Already, artificially intelligent systems (AI) are reviewing contracts and mining documents in discovery, determining which job candidates get callbacks, and selecting the inventory retailers choose to highlight for particular customers. Now, at least one publication is using it to pen first drafts of stories.”

The Register: Google-whisperers beat reCaptcha voice challenge with 90% success rate. “University of Maryland researchers have given Google a ‘welcome to 2019’ gift by breaking its latest reCaptcha audio challenge. The work is a follow-up to an attack published in April 2017 by the university’s Kevin Bock, Daven Patel, George Hughey and Dave Levin, again attacking the audio challenges. Since then, Google has updated the code, and the boffins have updated their attack.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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