US Feds only have themselves to blame for Apple and Google's smartphone encryption efforts | ZDNet

“The US government and police officials are in the midst of a misleading PR offensive to try to scare Americans into believing encrypted cellphones are somehow a bad thing.”
— Trevor Timm”

Yes... That just about says it all! This is why I like to use apple phones, btw - you pay for privacy.

Feds only have themselves to blame for Apple and Google's smartphone encryption efforts | ZDNet
http://www.zdnet.com/article/feds-only-have-themselves-to-blame-for-apple-and-googles-smartphone-encryption-efforts/
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what the world will be like in 2045, according to DARPA’s top scientists

I tend to agree on these predictions - but I really worry about all these changes being driving by the military on the one side, and investors / money on the other. 

"I  think in 2045 we’re going to find that we have a very different relationship with the machines around us,” says Pam Melroy, aerospace engineer, former astronaut, and deputy director of DARPA’s Tactical Technologies Office. “I think that we will begin to see a time when we’re able to simply just talk or even press a button” to interact with a machine to get things done more intelligently, instead of using keyboards or rudimentary voice-recognition systems.”

Here’s what the world will be like in 2045, according to DARPA’s top scientists
http://www.businessinsider.com/darpa-world-predictions-2015-12
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Europe Approves Tough New Data Protection Rules - NYTimes.com

I think this is a very important step in the right direction - yet it will most certainly deepen the gulf between Europe and the US. Inevitable.

“Europe’s national governments and the European Parliament are widely expected to back the proposals later this week, support that is necessary for the rules to go in effect.

Among the new policies approved on Tuesday:

■ Allowing national watchdogs to issue fines, potentially totaling the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars, if companies misuse people’s online data, including obtaining information without people’s consent.

■ Enshrining the so-called right to be forgotten into European law, giving people in the region the right to ask that companies remove data about them that is either no longer relevant or out of date.

■ Requiring companies to inform national regulators within three days of any reported data breach, a proposal that goes significantly further than what is demanded by American authorities.

■ Obliging anyone under 16 to obtain parental consent before using popular services like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, unless any national government lowers the age limit to 13.

■ Extending the new rules to any company that has customers in the region, even if the company is based outside the European Union.”

Europe Approves Tough New Data Protection Rules - NYTimes.com
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/12/16/technology/eu-data-privacy.html?nytmobile=0
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Open AI: An effort to democratize artificial intelligence research? Some key points

““If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow,” the researchers wrote.”

Open AI: An effort to democratize artificial intelligence research? (+video)
http://m.csmonitor.com/Technology/2015/1214/Open-AI-An-effort-to-democratize-artificial-intelligence-research-video
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You’re Only Human, But Your Kids Could Be So Much More (ouch)

“I mean a designer baby. You would be literally designing and producing a new type of baby via the same sort of technology that is used to make a GM tomato, mouse, or monkey. The baby would be a genetically modified human or, to phrase it in an edgier manner, a GM human.”

You’re Only Human, But Your Kids Could Be So Much More
http://www.wired.com/2015/12/youre-only-human-but-your-kids-could-be-so-much-more/
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The Singularity, Virtual Immortality and the Trouble with Consciousness: simulation is not duplication !

Totally spot-on !!

“The one mistake we must avoid,” Searle cautioned, “is supposing that if you simulate it, you duplicate it. A deep mistake embedded in our popular culture is that simulation is equivalent to duplication. But of course it isn’t. A perfect simulation of the brain — say, on a computer — would be no more conscious than a perfect simulation of a rainstorm would make us all wet”

The Singularity, Virtual Immortality and the Trouble with Consciousness (Op-Ed)
http://www.livescience.com/52503-is-it-possible-to-transfer-your-mind-into-a-computer.html
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Good read on the addictive power of apps and the Net in general

Michael Schulson via the great Aeon site 

"In the 2000s, users nicknamed the first mainstream smartphone the crackberry. In conversation, we describe basic tools and apps – Facebook, email, Netflix, Twitter – using terms otherwise reserved for methamphetamine and slot machines"

"So should individuals be blamed for having poor self-control? To a point, yes. Personal responsibility matters. But it’s important to realise that many websites and other digital tools have been engineered specifically to elicit compulsive behaviour"

"Major tech companies, Harris told me, ‘have 100 of the smartest statisticians and computer scientists, who went to top schools, whose job it is to break your willpower"

"As with the pigeons, uncertain reward can lead to obsessive behaviour. The gambling industry has been using these techniques for years, too: as Skinner himself recognised, the classic high-rep, variable-reward device is the slot machine"



The Future of Finance Is Simplicity (some helpful comments)

“In a modern economy, how big does the financial sector need to be? Not nearly this big, he argues. How did it come to be so big, if it's failing to justify its expense of resources? Essentially, by collecting various explicit and implicit subsidies -- notably, the subsidy implied by the government's promise to stand behind a failing institution.”

The Future of Finance Is Simplicity
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-11-22/the-future-of-finance
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#fintech #banking 

Is Hello Barbie every parent’s worst nightmare? Great debate.

“Hello Barbie isn’t a therapy doll—especially because it talks rather than providing a blank slate for the kind of role-play Smirnova describes—but it is uniquely poised to provide evidence in cases of child abuse. Jacob told the Kernel that ToyTalk, as a company, is not liable for the actions of parents. The company might stumble across some conversational data, though, during the course of tweaking program features.

“It is possible that in the act of debugging the service or responding to a support issue, we may on occasion hear or review transcripts of conversations that we can associate with a particular account,” Jacob said. “In the very unlikely situation that we did become aware of suspected abuse, we would of course comply with applicable laws and cooperate with law enforcement agencies as we deem appropriate on a case-by-case basis.””

Is Hello Barbie every parent’s worst nightmare?
http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/features-issue-sections/15018/hello-barbie-security-concerns/
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#manmachine #futurisgerd

Has technology set us free, or shackled us to our screens? by Tom Chatfield — Aeon

“It’s a point that has been emphasised by much recent research into thought and behaviour. To quote from Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011) by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, ‘cognition is embodied; you think with your body, not only with your brain’. Yet when it comes to culture’s cutting edge, there remains an overwhelming tendency to treat embodiment not as a central condition of being human that our tools ought to serve, but rather as an inconvenience to be eliminated.”

Has technology set us free, or shackled us to our screens? by Tom Chatfield — Aeon
https://aeon.co/essays/has-technology-set-us-free-or-shackled-us-to-our-screens
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Gerd Leonhard 
Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author 
Wired top 100 influencer http://gerd.fm/wired88
Basel / Switzerland