August 20, 2019

US: As FTC cracks down, data ethics is now a strategic business weapon

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By Daniel Wu From TechCrunch Five billion dollars. That’s the apparent size of Facebook’s latest fine for violating data privacy.  While many believe the sum is simply a slap on the wrist for a behemoth like Facebook, it’s still the largest amount the Federal Trade Commission has ever levied on a technology company.  Facebook is clearly […]

SpaceX contracted by NASA to launch black hole and neutron star research craft

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By Derrell Etherington From TechCrunch SpaceX  has been awarded a new contract by NASA to launch the agency’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, or IXPE. This research spacecraft will study polarized light from sources including neutron stars, pulsar wind nebulae and supermassive black holes, and provide much more imaging than existing space-based observation resources. The mission will help scientists […]

Gadget of the week

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These ‘microbe-grown’ headphones could be the future of sustainable electronics By Devin Coldewey From TechCrunch The culture of planned obsolescence in electronics produces a huge amount of toxic waste unlikely to go anywhere but a landfill for the next millennium or so. Nature produces some of the strongest and most versatile substances we’ve ever encountered, […]

Yes, Americans can opt-out of airport facial recognition — here’s how

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By Zack Whittaker From TechCrunch Whether you like it or not, facial recognition tech to check in for your flight will soon be coming to an airport near you. More than a dozen U.S. airports are already rolling out the technology, with many more to go before the U.S. government hits its target of enrolling […]

The FBI searched the offices of microbiome startup uBiome

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By Jonathan Shieber From TechCrunch Last Friday (26), agents from the FBI searched the offices of uBiome, the medical testing company that sells analyses of an individual’s microbiome — the bacteria that live in the gut,according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The FBI is reportedly investigating uBiome’s billing practices, the WSJ reported. “I […]

A fight is brewing between two machine intelligence startups, and neither side looks all that smart

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By Connie Loizos From TechCrunch Sometimes, reading a lawsuit, it’s tempting to pick sides, to judge who is more right than wrong based on its contents. But a new lawsuit involving two venture-backed companies — both of which are rooted in machine intelligence — makes both sides sound surprisingly careless given their line of work. […]

Cyber-agriculture

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MIT’s ‘cyber-agriculture’ optimizes basil flavors By Devin Coldewey From TechCrunch The days when you could simply grow a basil plant from a seed by placing it on your windowsill and watering it regularly are gone — there’s no point now that machine learning-optimized hydroponic “cyber-agriculture” has produced a superior plant with more robust flavors. The […]

The World Health Organization is setting up rules and oversight for human gene editing

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By Jonathan Shieber From TechCrunch On March 19, the World Health Organization wrapped up its first meeting of a new advisory committee set up to create global governance and oversight standards for human gene editing. The committee was hastily pulled together in December after the revelation last year that a Chinese scientist had genetically modified two embryos using […]

Gadget of the week

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Erectile pharmacy app Ro launches telehealth service for women By Kate Clark From techcruch Six months ago, Roman, the cloud pharmacy for erectile dysfunction, dropped the “man” to become “Ro.” At the same time, the company raised a monstrous Series A funding round of $88 million and unveiled Zero, a product meant to help people quit smoking, a […]

The responsibility for a sustainable digital future

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By Mounir Mahjoubi From TechCrunch On March 12, 2019, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the “World Wide Web,” Tim Berners-Lee’s ground-breaking invention. In just 30 years, this flagship application of the internet has forever changed our lives, our habits, our way of thinking and seeing the world. Yet, this anniversary leaves a bittersweet taste […]