Twitter is Purging Accounts

By | Blogs

Twitter is purging millions of fake accounts — and investors are spooked

Twitter is getting better at finding and purging fake accounts, but the company has suspended so many bots in the past two months that it’s spooking investors.

A disclosure from Twitter last week said the company’s technology was able to identify more than 9.9 million potential spam accounts per week. That echoes a recent Washington Post report, which said Twitter suspended 70 million accounts in May and June.

Taken at face value, Twitter’s efforts means more than 20 percent of the platform’s 336 million strong active users could have been purged from the site. But as Twitter shares dipped as much as 9 percent on Monday, Ned Segal, its chief financial officer, explained the numbers aren’t quite what they seem.

“If we removed 70M accounts from our reported metrics, you would hear directly from us,” Segal said in a tweet. “This article reflects us getting better at improving the health of the service.”

The clarification seemed to induce a sort of sigh of relief on Wall Street, as shares of Twitter began to slowly rebound from the day’s steep losses.

Twitter had been enjoying one its best runs as a public company, with its stock recently touching a three-year high. Twitter has said its success is due to improvements in the automated systems that identify and eliminate bots, which are automated accounts that can be used to artificially boost news topics and hashtags. Twitter said it is now removing 214 percent more spam accounts than this time last year.

Alex Taub, CEO of the social media analytics company SocialRank, said he had seen evidence of Twitter’s efforts in going after fake accounts. His company has been working on building out an algorithm to tell fake Twitter accounts from real ones. To do this, the company had been buying fake followers in order to get an idea of what these accounts looked and acted like.

But before SocialRank could build its model, Twitter banned the bulk of the accounts.

“We’ve been trying to build a fake follower formula for Twitter for a long time, and we keep running into the same problem,” Taub said. “We keep buying fake followers, and then we go to make the formula and basically two-thirds are gone.”

Source: NBC News
Author: Alyssa Newcomb
Date: July 11, 2018

Blockchain Startup Raises $3 Million

By | Blogs

Blockchain Startup Raises $3 Million To Become The Wikipedia Of Data

A new San Francisco startup wants to use the blockchain to create more trustworthy and collaborative databases for consumers and businesses. Dirt Protocol raised $3 million in new investment from 26 investors, including venture capital heavyweights like Greylock and General Catalyst and crypto investors Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital and Linda Xie.

Dirt cofounder and CEO Yin Wu, 29, is a serial entrepreneur who dropped out of Stanford in 2011 to start her first software company. Her second venture, Double Labs, was a mobile notifications startup that Microsoft bought in 2015.

The concept for Wu’s platform centers on information registries, also known as token-curated registries, that allow people to vote to verify their accuracy. For example, in the wacky world of cryptocurrency initial coin offerings (ICOs), some teams make false claims about who their advisors are to make their project look more prestigious. In response, the advisor can tweet about the lie and contact the ICO team to request her name be removed, but she has little other recourse.

In Wu’s vision, there will be a registry on the Dirt platform for cryptocurrency information, where different stakeholders (token-holders) can vote to verify accuracy. For an ICO team to add itself to that registry and list its advisors, it would need to “stake” tokens, thus making a bet that the information is correct. To dispute a claim, people must wager their own tokens, and whoever wins the challenge, decided by number of votes, wins the opposing party’s staked tokens.

The goal is to create a widely used, reputable list of verified ICO projects, in the same way the Better Business Bureau badge has served as a stamp of approval for small businesses. And like Wikipedia, the list can be edited by anyone, but it will be moderated by stakeholders. For Wu’s project to work, many people need to use and trust the list, to the point where ICO projects who aren’t on it would have less credibility.

Author: Jeff Kauflin
Date: July 11, 2018

AI Is Transforming Healthcare

By | Blogs

AI Is Transforming Healthcare as We Know It. Here’s a Look at the Future — and the Opportunities for Entrepreneurs.

Try to conceptualize all the medical knowledge in the world. How many books would it fill? How many topics would it cover? How many years would it take to learn in its entirety?

Now, imagine it doubling.

In 1950, researchers predicted it would take about 50 years for all available medical knowledge to double. But in 2020, estimates peg it at just 73 days.

Enter artificial intelligence (AI). It’s not humanly possible for medical professionals to keep up with the influx of constant new information about health conditions, treatments and medical technology. That’s why the healthcare industry is a real growth opportunity for AI and machine learning – – and the companies creating smart tools. Healthcare’s artificial intelligence market should increase elevenfold between 2014 and 2021, according to research from Accenture — that’s $600 million to $6.6 billion.

The difference between AI and machine learning
First, a quick detour to define AI and machine learning. Remember your elementary school teacher telling you that all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares? AI and machine learning have a similar relationship: Machine learning is one application of AI, and it operates on the premise that machines can use extensive amounts of data to learn for themselves and eventually recognize more of the unknown. AI — the advancement of computer systems to perform tasks usually limited to humans — is a broader concept that can be used for other applications besides machine learning. This has constantly developing implications for both consumer health and the healthcare industry as a whole.

Source: Entrepreneur
Author: Hayden Field
Date: July 11, 2018

Failed Crypto Currencies

By | Blogs

The crypto-currencies that die before they have bloomed

It has been the biggest craze in investment of the last two years – the idea that creating your own crypto-currency through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is the route to riches.

But now an academic study has revealed just how many of these ICOs end up disappearing without trace after a short while.

A Boston College research paper entitled Digital Tulips finds that fewer than half of these projects survive more than 120 days after the completion of their sales of tokens to the public.

The researchers arrived at this conclusion by examining the official Twitter accounts of the crypto-currencies. They found only 44.2% of them were still tweeting after that four-month period and concluded that the rest of the ICOs had died.

Mind you, the study also finds that the ICO gold rush is continuing, with $12bn raised from more than 4,000 ICOs since January 2017 – and those investors who got in and out quickly made big profits.

Maybe it is not surprising then that the excitement about crypto-currencies and the blockchain technology which underpins them continues to reach new heights.

One example is an advert which has probably bemused millions of viewers of ITV’s World Cup coverage. The ad, played during half-time, features a cosy home scene where all the domestic appliances appear to be trading energy with each other.

A caption says: “Hdac Technology is building the future with the blockchain solution.” Hdac, a South Korean blockchain business, must be paying a fortune to place the adverts in the most expensive slots of the year.

But even if anyone understands what on earth they are about, it seems unlikely they are going to rush out and buy a blockchain to get their microwave to talk to the kettle.

Source: BBC
Author: Rory Cellan-Jones
Date: July 10, 2018

What Kavanaugh Means for Tech

By | Blogs

What Trump’s pick of Kavanaugh for Supreme Court means for tech.

President Trump has made his Supreme Court justice pick: Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The commander-in-chief announced on Twitter last week that he would name a nominee to serve on the highest federal court in the United States at 6 p.m. PT Monday night. The choice comes about two weeks after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he would retire by July 31. (Check out out the full coverage at our sister site

Trump’s choice, if confirmed by the Senate, will have a say on landmark cases for years to come. Supreme Court justices make rulings that affect everything from education to marriage equality to free speech. Tech has increasingly appeared on the court’s docket. In 2018, the justices ruled on cases that affected online shopping and phone location data history privacy.

In its next session, which starts in October, the Supreme Court is expected to hear cases on tech issues again, including an antitrust argument over Apple’s App Store.

Kavanaugh, 53, has served as a US Court of Appeals judge for the DC Circuit for 12 years, providing opinions on key tech issues like net neutrality and government surveillance.

The potential Supreme Court justice sided against net neutrality in a 2017 dissent, arguing that it was “one of the most consequential regulations ever issued by any executive or independent agency in the history of the United States.”

Kavanaugh wrote that net neutrality was unlawful because it prevented internet service providers from controlling what type of content they provide to people, violating a company’s First Amendment rights. He compared it to cable providers being able to control what customers could watch.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, called Kavanaugh out for his stance on net neutrality in a tweet on July 3.

“Kavanaugh frequently sides with powerful interests rather than defending the rights of all Americans like when he argued that the FCC’s #NetNeutrality rule benefiting millions of consumers was unconstitutional,” the senator tweeted.

Source: C|Net
Author: Alfred NG
Date: July 10, 2018

Facebook’s Australian Class Action

By | Blogs

Facebook staring at Australian class action

Facebook is facing a class action in Australia for allegedly breaching privacy laws over the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal.

ASX listed global litigation funder IMF Bentham on Tuesday told investors and potential victims it is seeking to work up a compensation claim for the more than 300,000 Australians believed to have had their data improperly shared by the social network.

In a statement the company said it had lodged a representative complaint with the Office of the Australia Information Commissioner (OAIC) that seeks compensation for “alleged breaches of the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1998”.

“The alleged breaches surround the circumstances in which a third party, Cambridge Analytica, gained unauthorised access to users’ profiles and information,” the company said.

“The complaint seeks financial recompense for the unauthorised access to, and use of, their personal data.”

OAIC is conducting its own investigation into whether Facebook breached the Privacy Act, which obligates organisations to ensure customers are notified about the collection and handling of their personal information.

Acting Australian Information Commissioner and Acting Privacy Commissioner, Angelene Falk has previously said that the probe could take longer than the six-to-eight months it usually takes to finalize Commissioner-initiated investigations.

IMF wants Australians caught up in the scandal to join the class action by 27th July on a “no win – no pay basis”.

This means that people signing up to the action don’t have to pay any legal fees up-front, with a lawyer’s cut being taken from compensation if the case is won and are not stung with costs if the case is lost because the action is underwritten.

Source: iTNews
Author: Justin Hendry
Date: July 10, 2018

RFID Security for Hospitals

By | Blogs

RFID security for hospitals: What are the use cases?

As providers of healthcare, our organizations want to reduce risk as much as possible. Several particular areas of risk are with infection control, physical security, asset management, real-time location services and authentication (tap and go access). We want to streamline our organizations as much as possible and provide the best experience to our patients, families and friends while enabling our care providers to do their jobs without security being in the way.

Many of the current security solutions, while they provide a degree of security, are considered intrusive and there has been a push for contactless security. We also want to reduce the risk of contamination of equipment and make it easier to clean and sterilize it so we can prevent infections. We also need to know where equipment is for better utilization, especially in a fast-paced environment such as a busy practice or hospital. Having a solution that is not line of sight can use radio signals to reduce the need to put sensors in controlled areas, and does not require touch is a net benefit to healthcare organizations.

Radio Frequency Identification, better known as RFID, has been providing these solutions for a number of years. Walmart and the US Department of Defense have been using this technology to track inventory. A number of RFID-based authentication badges and tokens are available already for PCs, and integrate with existing desktop solutions. The MIFARE technology is used for public transportation fare cards across the world. Encryption is supported on RFID and is an ISO standard, ISO 14443-4.

There are several great use cases for this product. The first is for asset management and inventory. Using RFID reduces the time needed to get a proper inventory of tagged devices. This can be expanded to Equipment Tracking, specifically surgical equipment management and tracking. A current use is also for login and authentication, specifically for physical security/door access or computer access. RFID is also used for real-time location services, along with Wi-Fi and other technologies.

Source: Healthcare IT News
Author: Mitchell Parker
Date: July 9, 2018

California Digital Privacy Bill

By | Blogs

California passes digital privacy bill that could have impact across U.S.

California enacted the nation’s strongest data privacy law on Thursday that could presage national changes to how big tech companies, including Facebook, Google and Amazon, collect and use personal data.

The law, passed by the state legislature on Tuesday and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, requires companies to disclose the types of data they collect about consumers and with whom they share that information. Companies will be forced to let consumers opt-out of having their data sold. The law will also prohibit companies from charging a consumer or treating them differently because they opted out of having their data sold.

Companies will also be required to secure customer data or risk being fined by California’s attorney general, according to the legislation.

The protections won’t take effect until 2020, meaning the fight between lawmakers, advocates and tech companies to further shape the regulations, or water them down, is still far from over.

Still, California’s new privacy protections have been heralded as the strongest consumer privacy measure in decades and are part of a growing movement to give people more control over their data. While the spirit of the law is similar to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which went into effect last month, it doesn’t go as far as GDPR, which is now considered the strongest data privacy law in the world.

In response to GDPR, which took effect last month, many large tech companies, even those based in the U.S., revamped their privacy policies and created tools to give users more control over the types of data that is collected. James Steyer, founder and CEO of nonprofit tech watchdog Common Sense, said the passage of the bill is a “huge victory” but isn’t perfect.

“I would like to see even more aspects of privacy opt-in versus opt-out, but this is a huge improvement,” Steyer said.

Source: NBC News
Author: Alyssa Newcomb
Date: June 28, 2018

Infostellar: Tokyo Startup

By | Blogs

Infostellar: This Tokyo Startup Aims To Be The Airbnb Of Satellite Communications

In 2017, seven countries put satellites into orbit for the first time, adding to more than 1,700 operational satellites currently circling our planet. As satellites become smaller and less expensive, launches are increasing. But there’s a critical bottleneck in the development of space communications: access to ground stations.

Every satellite needs to link up with antennas on the ground to send or receive data, but the development of infrastructure on the ground is not keeping pace with the 400 to 600 annual satellite launches. That’s where Tokyo startup Infostellar comes in. It’s pioneering a new way to share limited antenna facilities so that satellite operators and antenna owners can maximize their uplink time. It’s like an Airbnb for space communications.

Naomi Kurahara, co-founder and CEO of Infostellar, wants to build a worldwide ground station network with the aim of sharing antennas on a common platform. Inspired by the global growth of the sharing economy, Infostellar has developed a platform called StellarStation on which antenna owners can sell their idle time. Satellite operators would then pay for the use of the shared antenna for each pass of their satellite, and the revenue is then divided between the antenna owner and Infostellar. With more and more satellite launches, Kurahara estimates the market could be worth about $300 to $500 million by 2022.

Based on the Basic Plan on Space Policy, the Japanese government has been taking steps to support space startups in collaboration with the nation’s space agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and other entities. This assistance includes a demonstration of how to use space data, financial support from the Development Bank of Japan and the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, and a new matching system called S-Matching, that pairs venture capital firms and startups. S-matching was announced in February by Masaji Matsuyama, the Minister of State for Space Policy.

Author: Japan BRANDVOICE
Date: March 13, 2018

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