The Internet of Things is already here—just not the way you expected (#futuristgerd quoted)

“Gerd Leonhard, CEO of the Futures Agency, believes companies chasing user information “will never want less data from us, and they will find it impossible to resist the mantra of ‘yes we can and so we will,’” describing it as a “huge issue looming right in front of us.” In his estimation, it’s an issue that will need to be addressed both on individual and regulatory levels.

Currently, protections for IoT consumers are too often absent. A 2014 study of connected devices and services found that 52 percent didn’t even provide a privacy policy to inform users what can be collected and how it can be used. It’s already difficult for companies to avoid the temptation of overreaching when it comes to data; it’s even harder to prevent them from crossing the line when there is no line drawn in the first place.

“The problem is similar to why oil companies were and are heavily regulated,” Leonhard says. “Data is the new oil but we have very few regulations as to who, where, when and why.””

The Internet of Things is already here—just not the way you expected
http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/headline-story/15404/state-of-internet-of-things-2016/
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Techno-social engineering: humans becoming pervasively programmable (Scott Allan Morrison)

“Scott Allan Morrison:  There would be nothing inherently wrong with this if we could be absolutely certain the companies that control this technology will act only in our best interests. But if not, we could all be susceptible to manipulation by powerful systems we couldn’t possibly understand. Some academics have even raised the specter of techno-social engineering and questioned whether we are moving into an age in which “humans become machine-like and pervasively programmable.”

Techno-social engineering is freaking insiders out
http://boingboing.net/2015/12/11/techno-social-engineering-is-f.html
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This is one of my key concerns in regards to exponential technological progress 

Marc Andreessen: 'In 20 years, every physical item will have a chip implanted in it'

I tend to agree but don't know if this world will be heaven or hell - what to you think ?



“Andreessen is a fierce believer in the impact of this wave of software-driven sensor startups. His core thesis is that over the next 20 years every physical item will have a chip implanted in it. “The end state is fairly obvious - every light, every doorknob will be connected to the internet. Just like with the web itself, there will be thousands of of use cases - energy efficiency, food safety, major problems that aren’t as obvious as smartwatches and wearables,” he says.”

Marc Andreessen: 'In 20 years, every physical item will have a chip implanted in it'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/12050185/Marc-Andreessen-In-20-years-every-physical-item-will-have-a-chip-implanted-in-it.html
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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"