Monday, October 31, 2016

Imagine what Ben Franklin would have done with his iPhone…
Nicholas Iovino reports:
A federal judge proclaimed Thursday that the nation’s Founding Fathers have little insight to offer on whether the Constitution allows people to sue Facebook for collecting their biometric facial data without consent.
“A couple of justices are focused on what happened 200 years ago,” U.S. District Judge James Donato said during a hearing on a motion to dismiss a privacy class action against Facebook.
“What opinion does George Washington have on this?  There are historical realties that simply don’t overlap.”
Read more on Courthouse News.
[Why not ask the man himself?

I’ve been trying to explain this to my students; Apps are dead, long live the Bot!
How Microsoft plans to find you the best bots
Microsoft’s Satya Nadella may be the tech giant CEO who’s most publicly vocal about his belief that conversation will be as impactful to computing as the graphic user interface.
So it makes sense that his company has made conversation-computing breakthroughs.
Last week, Microsoft researchers announced that they made neural networks with speech recognition on par with humans.  This week, Microsoft is widely expected to launch its Slack competitor, Skype Teams.
   The research group created the Microsoft Bot Framework — a toolkit to make bots for half a dozen chat apps released in April, and which, as of last month, is being used by 45,000 developers.  Microsoft Research also made Xiaoice, Rinna, and Tay, bots that have attracted the attention of tens of millions of people.
Cheng and Forstrom talked about the idea of creating a common bot search engine with some of the biggest platforms in the world.

Keep up or perish!
Butterball Turkey help line is getting a big update this year
   This is the first year you'll be able to contact the help line by sending a text message to 1-800-BUTTERBALL.  The text line will be open 24/7 from November 17 through November 24.
   While this is the first year Butterball is communicating via text, the company has started using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube videos to help panicked cooks.  The company has Spanish-speaking turkey experts on the line.  As the company noticed an influx of men calling in with turkey questions, it hired more male talk line experts.

I should probably make a comment on this latest kerfuffle, just so 100 years from now historians can say, “Bob got it all wrong!”  This recent episode is very fishy.  Apparently, the FBI had the emails for a couple of weeks before Comey was “briefed on their discovery.”  Apparently, the FBI asked Abedin about emails she received from Secretary Clinton (all aides were asked about emails) but did not find these at that time.  Apparently, Abedin/Weiner have their own mail server, just like Hillary, otherwise the emails would be stored on the g-mail server or whatever service they used.  Emails “not previously reviewed” would be Hillary’s personal stuff, which was mixed in with State department business but then pulled before turning over her official emails.  Would discussions about her campaign not fall under personal? 
Abedin told FBI she didn't know emails were on laptop
   There are a number of scenarios that would explain how the emails got onto the laptop without Abedin's knowledge, including that they were somehow automatically backed up from the cloud.  [Backups would go to the cloud.  Restores would come back from the cloud.  Bob]  But investigators will want to know how this happened and if there is any indication that Abedin misled them about the existence of emails.
It is a large project.  Agents determined there were as many as 650,000 emails on the laptop, dating back years. [How old is this computer?  Bob]  The number of emails related to the Clinton investigation is likely to be much smaller.

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