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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Walmart 4th of July sale: 4K TV, Nintendo Switch, and Dell laptop deals

Amidst the run-up to Prime Day, retail merchants are featuring Fourth of July sales, which means the first half of July will be a great time for deals. Walmart is already rolling out bargains.
Source: Digital trends

Ransomware Hits Georgia Courts As Municipal Attacks Spread

Almost every month in 2019 so far has seen reports of a local government falling prey to ransomware, but this series of attacks belies an even broader threat.
Source: Wired

Tim Cook hits ‘send’

Tim Cook doesn’t seem to be particularly happy with The Wall Street Journal.

A day after an in-depth report describing Jony Ive’s cooling departure from Apple and the degrading nature of the design team at Apple, Cook made the rare move of responding directly to the report in an email sent to a reporter at NBC.

“The report is absurd,” Cook writes. “A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions, don’t match with reality.”

It is — of course — worth noting that Cook is responding negatively to a report that said negative things about his company and him specifically. His email also alluded to errors in reporting but didn’t call anything out specifically despite plenty of specific claims.

The report had detailed that Ive had grown “frustrated inside a more operations-focused company led by Chief Executive Tim Cook,” also reporting that “people in the design studio rarely saw Mr. Cook, who they say showed little interest in the product development process—a fact that dispirited Mr. Ive.’

For Cook, sending this email is definitely a bit more of a Steve Job-type play, directly attacking the publication and defending the company’s reputation. This is a pretty unusual move for Cook, who has generally seemed to let the Apple PR machine handle unpleasant stories through a web of off-the-record and background comments for journalists on the beat.

The more direct refutation is something that Cook also did in responding to Bloomberg’s story on Supermicro, a move that was noteworthy at the time as well. While the Bloomberg story struck chords relating to the company’s information security and threatened consumer trust, the report from the WSJ threatens the lore of Apple and how the company has positioned itself to move forward as an operations-focused giant.

We’ve reached out to The Wall Street Journal for comment.


Source: TechCrunch

‘Deepfake’ revenge porn is now illegal in Virginia

Virginia has expanded a revenge porn law to include “deepfakes,” the fabricated or manipulated videos and images of people made using machine learning that have begun popping up with increasing regularity.

The law, which went into effect Monday, now makes it illegal to share nude photos of videos of someone without their permission— whether they’re real or fake ones. The law also covers photoshopped images or any other kind of fake footage, not just the more advanced, and harder to spot, deepfake imagery and videos.

Virginia has had a revenge porn law on the books since 2014. But it didn’t properly cover fabricated images and videos, an act that has become more common thanks to advances in software.

The pace of this technology, which is improving at an astonishing rate, has left state and federal lawmakers flat-footed. Victims of deepfaked revenge porn often don’t have recourse because it’s not covered by current law. And yes, deepfake porn exists. The app DeepNude, which existed until a warranted backlash prompted the creator to take it down, used neural network to turn an image of any clothed woman into a rendering of her nude.

Lawmakers are beginning to react with mixed results. For instance, the DEEPFAKES Accountability Act was introduced last month Congress by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY). That bill would criminalize synthetic media that is broadcast or shared as an authentic video or image.

The proposed federal legislation is a much broader regulation aimed at fake videos and images that imitate a person. The bill would require anyone creating synthetic media content that imitates a person to disclose that it’s altered or generated, using “irremovable digital watermarks, as well as textual descriptions.â€� The bill would give victims the right to sue creators and/or otherwise “vindicate their reputationsâ€� in court.

The UK government is reviewing a law that specifically deals with the making and sharing of non-consensual intimate images in response to a rise of abusive and offensive digital communications.

The commission reviewing the law will focus on revenge porn as well as deepfaked porn and cyber flashing, which involves sending unsolicited sexual images to a person’s phone by taking advantage of technologies like Bluetooth that allow for proximity-based file sharing.


Source: TechCrunch

Venture-backed telemedicine startup Call9 is shutting down

More than three years ago, we told you about Call9, a young, Palo Alto, Ca.-based telemedicine startup that wanted to reduce unnecessary visits to emergency rooms by those who call 911 most frequently, which is people in nursing homes.

The company’s cofounders — Celina Tenev, a radiology postdoctoral fellow from Stanford, and Timothy Peck, who worked previously as an emergency medicine physician and faculty at Harvard Medical School — met while working part-time for a now-defunct startup and shared a disbelief that the patient experience still typically includes spending several hours in an emergency room.

Unfortunately, for Tenev and Peck and investors who wound up plugging $34 million into the startup —  including Index Ventures, YC, the YC Continuity Fund, Index Ventures, 8VC, and 23andMe cofounder Anne Wojcicki — Call9 is shutting down after failing to raise further funding. About 100 people are losing their jobs as a result.

The company, which provided medical equipment and a video platform (via iPad) that enabled doctors to talk with nursing home residents, says its struggle owed to the country’s very slow adoption of “value-based careâ€� — in which doctors are paid based on patient outcomes — rather than the current “fee-for-serviceâ€� model on which the health care industry still relies largely. As CNBC reported last week, Call9’s business plan involved landing deals with insurance plans to split the savings from avoiding an outcome like an unnecessary emergency room visit.

Still, the outlet noted that other startups are selling outcomes-based services to insurers with more success. Among them: Cityblock, a company that spun out of Alphabet and provides health-care services to low-income people on Medicaid. Cityblock has raised roughly $85 million, including 8VC.


Source: TechCrunch

Microsoft’s Ebook Apocalypse, Facebook Drug Ads, and More News

Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.
Source: Wired

Facebook office evacuated after suspicious package identified – CNET

A machine at the social networking giant’s mail sorting facility warned of a toxic substance. The FBI is involved.
Source: CNET

Tim Cook slams report about Jony Ive distancing himself from Apple – CNET

A report alleged Apple’s chief design officer didn’t see eye to eye with the CEO about the future of the company.
Source: CNET

We tested 5G speeds in 13 cities. Here's what we found – CNET

Faster speed versus more coverage. That’s the most important issue for 5G networks today.
Source: CNET

Sharing deepfake revenge porn is now a misdemeanor in Virginia – CNET

State law that went into effect Monday makes distributing “falsely created” images and videos a crime.
Source: CNET

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