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Conference app for the UK’s Conservative Party leaked attendee data

September 30, 2018 Alex 0

This weekend, members of the UK’s Conservative Party kicked off their annual conference in Birmingham, using the event to highlight their plans and priorities for the coming year. This year’s event had a rocky start: its official app allowed users to access personal contact information of other attendees, without a password.

According to the BBC, the app had a button that allowed users to press a button and enter an attendee’s e-mail address, which gave them access without prompting them for a password. Several attendees reported that they were not only able to access non-public information in the accounts of various party members such as phone numbers and e-mail addresses, but they could also change said information. Various…

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The war over music copyrights

September 30, 2018 Alex 0

VC firms haven’t been the only ones raising hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in a booming market. After 15+ years of being the last industry anyone wanted to invest in, the music industry is coming back, and money is flooding in to buy up the rights to popular songs.

As paid streaming subscriptions get mainstream adoption, the big music streaming services – namely Spotify, Apple Music, and Tencent Music, but also Pandora, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, and others – have entered their prime. There are now over 51 million paid subscription accounts among music streaming services in the US. The music industry grew 8% last year globally to $17.3 billion, driven by a 41% increase in streaming revenue and 45% increase in paid streaming revenue.

The surge in music streaming means a surge in income for those who own the copyrights to songs, and the growth of entertainment in emerging markets, growing use in digital videos, and potential use of music in new content formats lik..

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Unbiased algorithms can still be problematic

September 30, 2018 Alex 0

Creating unbiased, accurate algorithms isn’t impossible — it’s just time consuming.

“It actually is mathematically possible,” facial recognition startup Kairos CEO Brian Brackeen told me on a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt SF.

Algorithms are sets of rules that computers follow in order to solve problems and make decisions about a particular course of action. Whether it’s the type of information we receive, the information people see about us, the jobs we get hired to do, the credit cards we get approved for, and, down the road, the driverless cars that either see us or don’t, algorithms are increasingly becoming a big part of our lives. But there is an inherent problem with algorithms that begins at the most base level and persists throughout its adaption: human bias that is baked into these machine-based decision-makers.

Creating unbiased algorithms is a matter of having enough accurate data. It’s not about just having enough “pale males” in the model, but about having enough images o..

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The FBI used a suspect’s face to unlock his iPhone in Ohio case

September 30, 2018 Alex 0

When Apple debuted Face ID with the iPhone X last year, it raised an interesting legal question: can you be compelled to unlock your phone by looking at it? In an apparent first, Forbes reports that the FBI got a suspect to unlock his phone during a raid in August.

In August, the FBI raided the home of Grant Michalski, looking for evidence that he had sent or received child pornography. They were armed with a search warrant [warning: this documentation contains explicit descriptions of sexual abuse] which allowed them to search Michalski’s computer for evidence, and during the raid, agents recovered his iPhone X.

The agents who found the iPhone asked Michalski to unlock the device via Face ID, which he did. They “placed the [phone] into…

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Dad Adam Driver learns how to play Fortnite on SNL

September 30, 2018 Alex 0

Saturday Night Live returned for its 44th season this weekend, with The Last Jedi’s Adam Driver returning as host. While he didn’t reprise his role of Matt the Radar Technician from his 2016 appearance, he did jump on another cultural bandwagon: Fortnite.

The sketch opens with Dad Driver joining a squad, explaining that his ex-wife’s new husband has been playing the game with his son, and that he wants to find a way to keep up.

It doesn’t go well. Driver’s naïve character is truly out of his element, which makes for a fun skit in and of itself — running into walls and messing up the entire mission, but what really makes the sketch is the fact that SNL decided to forgo using game footage for the sketch. Instead, they reenacts the…

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