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Topics - Mackin USA

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"Speaking with MIT Technology Review, Rohit Prasad, Alexa’s head scientist, has now revealed further details about where Alexa is headed next. The crux of the plan is for the voice assistant to move from passive to proactive interactions. Rather than wait for and respond to requests, Alexa will anticipate what the user might want."

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614676/amazon-alexa-will-run-your-life-data-privacy/

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Researchers had feared that the model, known as "GPT-2", was so powerful that it could be maliciously misused by everyone from politicians to scammers.

GPT-2 was created for a simple purpose: it can be fed a piece of text, and is able to predict the words that will come next. By doing so, it is able to create long strings of writing that are largely indistinguishable from those written by a human being.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/ai-artificial-intelligence-dangerous-text-gpt2-elon-musk-a9192121.html

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Critics have increasingly complained about algorithms enabling online-search and social-media companies to determine the content users see, with some on the right claiming the result is a form of censorship because certain views may be excluded. The big internet firms generally have denied such claims and contend that using profile information gives users better-tailored results.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/legislation-would-require-search-engines-to-disclose-algorithms-11572540266

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Economics & Investing / Negative Interest Rate Skepticism Grows
« on: October 31, 2019, 09:28:58 AM »
https://beta.finance.yahoo.com/news/negative-interest-rate-skepticism-grows-000100441.html

Commercial banks have long squealed about negative rates, which directly curtail profits by imposing a charge on their cash reserves, and the cries are getting louder. But it’s the shifting mood among monetary officials and the fact that inflation has stayed stubbornly low that suggests the strategy may be running out of steam.

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Green Bank is also where serious search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) research was born. In 1960, Frank Drake started Project Ozma here, the first U.S. government-funded attempt to listen for extraterrestrial intelligence. It’s also where he wrote his famed equation about the possibility of worlds other than ours. And SETI work is still ongoing at Green Bank. Earlier this year, one million gigabytes of SETI data collected over the last three years was released to the public, making it the largest trove ever of its kind.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/telescopes/a29589714/town-wifi-illegal/


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Samuel Bendett, an adviser at the CNA Corporation and a fellow in Russia studies at the American Foreign Policy Council, said the announcement shows that the Russian government is eager to address what it sees as a strategic vulnerability: reliance on Western IT.

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2019/10/russia-will-test-its-ability-disconnect-internet/160861/

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Water Cooler / Good Read
« on: October 22, 2019, 12:02:36 PM »
"It’s easy to feel frustrated and resigned about the state of the technology industry of today, whether you work in technology or not."

https://blog.mozilla.org/internetcitizen/2019/09/24/tech-reflects-values

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CBRE said the vacancy rate for commercial office space in 17 major cities rose to 21.5% in 3Q19, a level not seen since the global economy was melting down in 2008.

Catherine Chen, Cushman & Wakefield's head of research for Greater China, told Financial Times that soaring commercial office vacancies in China was mainly due to dwindling demand, but not oversupplied conditions.

https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/office-vacancies-china-hit-decade-high-amid-economic-turmoil


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SEE BELOW

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The worry now is that products arranged by independent wealth managers will face mounting losses as China’s economic slowdown deepens and corporate defaults surge.

https://beta.finance.yahoo.com/news/trouble-brewing-darkest-corner-china-210000882.html

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Web Development / The State of Online Tracking in 2019
« on: October 09, 2019, 11:24:21 AM »
TUNE building a solution that can solve for Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.2 (ITP) for Safari, Mozilla’s Enhanced Tracking Prevention for Firefox, and others.

https://www.tune.com/blog/intelligent-tracking-prevention-2-2-itp-future-tracking-browsers

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Economics & Investing / "It May Already Be Too Late For Europe's Economy..."
« on: September 25, 2019, 11:15:58 AM »
"No Longer Hanging In, Europe May Have (Been) Broken Down"

https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/it-may-already-be-too-late-europes-economy


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