Sunday, May 07, 2017
“You can fool all of the people some of the time.”
As long as humans have access to email, phishing will work
… Last week, countless Gmail users across the internet received the same phishing email at the same time, inviting them to click a link to a Google Doc. All of the emails seemed to come from someone the recipients knew. When they clicked the link, then clicked again on a dialogue box asking them to allow access to “Google Docs,” their full contacts list was used to send the same phishing email to even more people. It’s not yet clear whether the attack also installed malware once the link was clicked.
… one study shows that, even when warned about the perils of phishing multiple times, people will keep clicking those links.
The study was conducted in 2012 at Columbia University. Researchers sent 2,000 phishing emails to students, faculty, and staff at the school. Some contained offers for free Apple iPads, others came with PDF attachments, and some asked the recipients to provide their login credentials. The iPad promotion was the most successful, and in the first round of emails, 176 recipients opened the emails and clicked the links within.
Those 176 people were then warned that they’d fallen for a phishing attack, and told to not let it happen again. A few weeks later, the researchers sent another round of phishing emails to those same people, and 10 of them let it happen again. After another warning, and a third batch of phishing emails was sent out, three people fell for it again. It wasn’t until the fourth round that no one opened the emails.
Can Facebook close accounts as fast as my computer can add them?
Gannett seeks FBI probe into fake Facebook followers
Gannett Co., the company that owns USA Today and more than 100 other local media organizations, has asked the FBI to investigate a slew of fake Facebook accounts that followed the newspaper on the social media site.
The presence of fake accounts was so large that it accounted for half of USA Today's Facebook followers, amounting to millions of accounts, according to the newspaper.
The request is the latest chapter in Facebook's ongoing battle against phony users, accused of spreading spam and fake news articles.
… While fake accounts appear all over Facebook, it is not clear why USA Today was the target of particularly large numbers of phony users. [More gullible or Trump voters? Bob]
A new term for me, but one that seems easier to understand.
Credit Karma: Believe the hype for ‘artificial narrow intelligence’
By giving away free credit scores to more than 60 million people, Credit Karma upended the paid credit report market. And by offering free tax returns this year — at the same time H&R Block and IBM Watson were bragging about AI-powered tax filings — the company stormed the $8.9 billion tax preparation industry. Bold disruptions like this matter, but Credit Karma’s effort to quietly assemble the massive trove of information underpinning each of these moves may be even bolder.
Credit Karma works like this: Members supply personal information (name, address, phone, social security number) to receive credit scores and, if desired, to be matched with the best credit card, personal loan, and auto loan offers, and to file their federal income taxes — all for free. The company gets paid a commission by the credit card and loan issuers, and it vows it will never charge consumers.
… According to Graciano, the company is able to serve consumers up-to-the-minute recommendations for their financial decisions within 20 milliseconds. And to do this, the service relies not on general artificial intelligence (AI) but on artificial narrow intelligence (ANI).
… “AI is definitely over-hyped. The promise of AI is generalizable intelligence, the ability to not only learn but to reason, to pattern match, to interact, and I think what we have today is best described as artificial narrow intelligence. ANI is actually amazing and deserving of the hype,” Graciano said, adding that ANI is “very good at one very specific thing in a probabilistic fashion.” This means things like identifying a cat, but also instances where there is a big set of data coming in and one specific output coming out. “ANI is transformational to do your business if you use it correctly,” Graciano said.
(Related). Clearly, Dilbert needs better AI.
(Related). The traditional definition of AI.
Google’s AI Plan Could Make The Co World’s Most Powerful Entity
London-based brain-tech company DeepMind was founded in 2010 and acquired by Google in 2014 for more than $500 million. Right now, DeepMind has over 400 research engineers and scientists, more than 250 of them with PhDs, making this pool of human resources arguably the most formidable collection of scientific brain power focused on a single subject: artificial intelligence.
The company’s mission involves a two-step process. First, they intend to solve intelligence by understanding natural intelligence, then recreating it artificially. Second, they intend to use AI to solve everything else.
Can my students explain how to do this profitably? You can bet I’ll ask them.
Google and Uber are learning money can’t buy them victory in India’s brutal food-delivery wars
… Many of the nascent companies that set up shop during food tech’s heyday in 2014 could not deal with growing pains and started falling like dominoes in 2015
… In 2016, the bloodbath continued. Food tech investments plummeted from $500 million in 2015 to $80 million. Consolidation became the flavor of the season
… This year, as food tech strives to get back on its feet, two Silicon Valley behemoths—Google and Uber—have chosen to dance in the rain in India: Google launched Aero, a restaurant delivery and home services platform, in early April. Uber followed suit on May 2, announcing that its on-demand food-delivery arm UberEATS was going live.
The question is, will they ride the waves or will they go under?
See students? Warren Buffett agrees with me.
Warren Buffett Identifies What Went Wrong at Wells Fargo
How does a company that's had a sterling reputation since the California Gold Rush in the 1850s sully its image after more than a century and a half of prudent and profitable operations?
The answer in the case of Wells Fargo, says Warren Buffett, is a combination of hubris and procrastination.
"At Wells Fargo, there were three very significant mistakes, but there was one that dwarfs all the others," said Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting. "At some point if there's a major problem, the CEO gets wind of it, and the CEO has to act. They didn't act when they learned about it."
No political aspirations? Learning from the failure of others?
Facebook’s Zuckerberg has spoken with Trump numerous times on the phone: report
… He criticized the president's executive orders on immigration, saying in January he is "concerned" about the impact of recent executive orders signed by the president. The president's travel ban was unpopular with many firms in Silicon Valley.
“We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat," he said in a post.