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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Alexa gets smarter about calendar appointments

As digital assistants improve, we’re learning new things to expect from them, but the tasks that a real-life assistant may have handled before can still be a bit of a challenge to home assistants.

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is gaining functionality to help it get smarter about working with your calendar. The new abilities will let users move appointments around and schedule meetings based on other people’s availability.

If you’ve been shared on someone’s calendar availability, Alexa will be able to suggest times that work for both of you. Just say, “Alexa schedule a meeting with [name]” and Amazon’s assistant will search through your schedule for a good time, suggesting up to two time slots that could work.

On a more basic feature level, Alexa won’t make you cancel appointments and reschedule them if a meeting time changes. You’ll be able to just ask Alexa to move an existing meeting, something that should have probably been supported from the beginning, but hey, better late than never.

Both of these features are available to U.S. users today.


Source: TechCrunch

HP Spectre x360 15 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

In the battle for the best convertible laptop sporting Intel’s new G-series CPU with AMD Vega graphics, we pit the HP Spectre x360 15 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 to see which comes out on top.

The post HP Spectre x360 15 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Here’s what we learned from Mark Zuckerberg’s EU hearing on privacy

After being grilled by Congress last month, Mark Zuckerberg found himself testifying before another governmental body — the European Parliament. He addressed issues related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the GDPR.

The post Here’s what we learned from Mark Zuckerberg’s EU hearing on privacy appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Zuckerberg avoided tough questions thanks to short EU testimony format

Mark Zuckerberg got to cherry-pick the questions he wanted to answer from EU Parliament after it spent an hour taking turns rattling off queries in bulk before leaving just a half-hour for his batched responses. Zuckerberg immediately trotted out his dorm room story of not expecting Facebook’s current duty to safety and democracy, and repeated his pledge to broaden the company’s responsibility. While he’s vowed to have his team follow-up with point-by-point replies, he managed to escape the televised testimony without any newsworthy gaffes.

The public will have to wait for canned, written responses to the toughest questions about why Facebook didn’t disclose the Cambridge Analytica issue immediately, how it uses shadow profiles and what he thinks about Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp being broken up. If Zuckerberg played it safe during his U.S. congressional testimony by being boring, he dodged scandal here by using the abbreviated format to bend the testimony toward his most defensible positions.

Future testimonies by technology industry executives will be much more productive for the public if officials keep questions succinct and only ask the hard ones, executives are given ample time to answer them all and they use a question-answer format. No more of this question-question-question-question-answer-answer-goodbye.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before EU Parliament

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg is testifying before European Parliament, and he is expected to face questions about privacy and the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Posted by CNNMoney on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Zuckerberg initially resisted the Brussels meeting with Parliament (technically not a “testimony”). Then it was slated to be private before public outcry led to the livestreaming of the session. While the questions were more pointed than those asked by U.S. congress, the overall feel with Zuckerberg seated next to Parliament members rather than in the hotseat before them gave the meeting a less consequential tone.

The Facebook CEO used his short answer period to explain that he feels like there’s plenty of new competition for Facebook, and that it actually aids competition by offering tools to enable small businesses to challenge big brands online. He cited that “dozens of percents” of European users have gone through Facebook’s GDPR settings, rolling them early so they’re dismissible until the May 25th deadline because, “The last thing we want is for people to go through the flows quicker than they need to and just hit OK.” That ignores the dark pattern designs built into that GDPR privacy flow, that while temporarily dismissible, does coerce users to consent by visually downplaying the buttons to opt out of giving Facebook data.

Zuckerberg laid out his thoughts about the future of regulation for social networks, noting that “Some sort of regulation is important and inevitable, and the important thing is to get this right.” He said that regulations would need to “allow for innovation, don’t inadvertently prevent new technologies like AI from being able to develop, and of course to make sure that new startups — the next student sitting in a college dorm room like I was — doesn’t have an undue burden in being able to build the next great product.” That’s positive, since blunt regulation could create a moat for Facebook.

But when Zuckerberg concluded his testimony, noting “I want to be sensitive to time because we are 15 minutes over” the scheduled 75-minute session length, several EU officials spoke up, angry that they felt their questions had been ignored. “Will you allow users to escape targeted advertising? I asked you six yes-or-no questions and got not a single answer, and of course, well, you asked for this format for a reason,” stated one member of Parliament. “I’ll make sure we follow up and get you answers to those,” Zuckerberg coldly responded. “We’re going to have someone come to do a full hearing soon to answer more of the technical questions as well.”

The combative atmosphere at the conclusion of the testimony means Facebook could encounter soured regulators in the future who might be emboldened by their disappointment in his appearance. Zuckerberg might have avoided losing the minds of the EU by dodging damning topics, but he sure didn’t win the hearts of Europe’s lawmakers.


Source: TechCrunch

Capturing Humor in a Sea of Red Tape

Ole Witt’s flash photographs make bureaucracy all too real—particularly India’s, dubbed one of the worst in Asia.
Source: Wired

We now know when Apple will show off its latest software innovations at WWDC

Apple has revealed the dates and location for WWDC 2018, which is where we’ll see the latest and greatest software that Apple has to offer. We may also see a new Mac Pro, new iPad, and more.

The post We now know when Apple will show off its latest software innovations at WWDC appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Baidu spins out its global ad business to sharpen its focus on artificial intelligence

Baidu, the Chinese search giant, is spinning out its business unit responsible for utility apps and its mobile ad business to sharpen its focus on artificial intelligence.

As part of the spin-out, Baidu is selling a large chunk of its equity in the ‘Global DU’ business to as-yet-undisclosed investors. The plan is to sell “a majority equity stake” in order to take Global DU independent. Once the deal is completed — it is targeted at a Q3 2018 timeframe — Baidu’s share of the business will drop to around 34 percent. Further, the business is likely to raise additional capital for growth.

Spinning out business units is commonplace among Chinese tech companies, Baidu itself recently did so with its financial services business.

Herman Yu, Baidu CFO, said this latest spin-out will give Global Du “autonomy and agility in its operation.”

It will also allow Baidu to focus more keenly on artificial intelligence. The firm said it will set up a new global business unit around its AI-powered services, including recommendation engine PopIn, keyboard app Simeji and other services in the U.S. and Southeast Asia. The plan is to allow these services to work more closely with Baidu’s AI labs, which include locations in Silicon Valley and Seattle.

Already, that push has helped Baidu’s earnings, which had been set back when the Chinese government invested internet advertising focused on medical services.

Despite the AI push, Baidu has suffered as key personnel departed over the past year.

Last week, Qi Lu, Baidu’s president and COO who is also its highest-ranking AI specialist, departed the company due to personal reasons. The exit was unexpected, particularly since the former Microsoft executive only took the role less than two years ago.

Prior to Lu’s departure, Baidu lost Andrew Ng — a globally recognized AI pioneer who set up its U.S.-based research labs — back in March 2017. Later in the year, the head of its Silicon Valley lab exited, too.


Source: TechCrunch

Look at the size of that thing! LG shows off its 77-inch rollable OLED TV

LG’s massive 77-inch transparent rollable OLED shows that the company is making fast progress and these futuristic display technologies might come to your living room sooner than you think.

The post Look at the size of that thing! LG shows off its 77-inch rollable OLED TV appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Data-stealing bug prompts Comcast to shut down Xfinity activation website

A Comcast bug may have leaked your home address, Wi-Fi name, and network password in plain text. Comcast has since shut down its Xfinity activation portal and claims that it doesn’t believe any data was compromised.

The post Data-stealing bug prompts Comcast to shut down Xfinity activation website appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Notes show Sony’s next PlayStation may have an AMD Ryzen processor

Sony principal programmer Simon Pilgrim is tweaking the company’s LLVM compiler stack to improve support for the “Zen” core architecture used in AMD’s Ryzen processors. That compiler is part of PlayStation console development.

The post Notes show Sony’s next PlayStation may have an AMD Ryzen processor appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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