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Top Stories for the Week of May 29, 2019

  • Episode 610
  • May 29, 2019

Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday May 29, 2019


Chinese-made drones from DJI have the US government expressing 'Strong concerns' that they pose a threat to national security.

Chinese-made drones from DJI have the US government expressing 'Strong concerns' that they pose a threat to national security.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, drones from China (therefore meaning DJI, the world's largest consumer drone manufacturer) "contain components that can compromise your data and share your information on a server accessed beyond the company itself".

The memo continued, "The United States government has strong concerns about any technology product that takes American data into the territory of an authoritarian state that permits its intelligence services to have unfettered access to that data or otherwise abuses that access."

This latest snippet is consistent with the nation's stance against Huawei – another Chinese tech giant which has just secured a 90-day reprieve from the latest ban efforts.

Source: www.theregister.co.uk

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


A 17-year-old Australian boy accused of hacking Apple twice in an effort to get a job has pleaded guilty to multiple computer hacking charges.

A 17-year-old Australian boy accused of hacking Apple twice in an effort to get a job has pleaded guilty to multiple computer hacking charges.

The teenager hacked into Apple's mainframe in December 2015 and then once more in early 2017 to download internal documents and data. The FBI eventually discovered the incident and reported it to the Australian Federal Police.

According to the Australian court, the teen said he committed the hack because he heard of a person in Europe that also hacked Apple but ended up getting a job out of it.

Given that the teen was only 13 when he first hacked Apple, the magistrate accepted the defense’s argument that he had “no idea about the seriousness of the offense.” The magistrate noted the teen has since been using his computer skills for good at school, as per his classmates and teachers.

Apple has confirmed that no customer information was accessed by the teenager and it didn’t incur any losses during the hacking.

The magistrate did not convict the boy, instead he's on a $500 AUD good behavior bond for nine months.

Source: mobilesyrup.com

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


Nintendo wants to transform sleep into entertainment.

Nintendo wants to transform sleep into entertainment.

With Nintendo holding a big Pokémon-based press conference last night, everyone was wondering exactly what huge news was coming. Perhaps a Pokémon Snap revival? A Pokémon GO story campaign? Nope, try at least 30 minutes of Nintendo attempting valiantly to convince us that sleeping is the next big forefront in Pokémon gameplay.

You heard me right: Nintendo is diving headfirst into an idea that's pretty wacky even by Nintendo standards. When I say sleep-based Pokémon gameplay, I don’t mean a game that features a lot of tired Pokémon, but instead the actual, real-life sleep of the player, and even though Nintendo spent a ton of time during this show talking about the idea, they did not address the specifics of how this is going to work.

What we do know is that Nintendo is tasking the Magikarp Jump team with making a new mobile game based entirely around this concept called Pokémon Sleep.

They seem to be throwing a lot into this too, fashioning an entirely new device called the Pokémon GO Plus+ which will serve as a regular, catching-based Plus during the day, but track your sleep at night.

Despite 70% of this press conference being focused on this concept, there were few examples given of how this would actually work in practice. Nintendo has general goals for the idea, incorporating yet another form of healthy living into their gameplay, the desire to get players to look forward to waking up in the morning to check their sleep-based game developments.

Presumably how this will work is that your Switch or phone or Pokémon Go Plus Plus will track your sleep cycle at night, and that in turn gives your Pokémon fresh experience so when you wake up they’re stronger or have evolved or are healed... or something along those lines.

The obvious question, of course, is how you do this without making it incredibly easy to fake.

The Pokémon GO Plus Plus was shown simply resting on a bed next to a player, and Nintendo didn’t share any details on how the new gameplay will actually track sleep.

Source: www.forbes.com

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


Samsung is taking deepfakes to a new level: their AI technology can create a video of anyone with a single photograph.

Samsung is taking deepfakes to a new level: their AI technology can create a video of anyone with a single photograph.

Researchers at the Samsung AI center in Moscow have achieved this by training a “deep convolutional network” through the process of showing it various videos of talking heads, to allow it to identify and retain the knowledge of certain facial features, then using that data to animate a still image.

The results were described in a paper titled "Few-Shot Adversarial Learning of Realistic Neural Talking Head Models." While not being as convincing as some of the deepfake videos available online, Samsung's approach is about turning a single image into a video, whereas other deepfake videos require a larger number of images of the person you are attempting to imitate.

Using a single still image of Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, the Mona Lisa and more, the AI was able to create videos of them talking which are momentarily convincing enough to be perceived as actual footage. While the videos will definitely not fool an expert or someone closely examining them, they have the potential to improve drastically in a matter of years like other AI-based generated imagery.

The implications of this research are frightening. This technology would allow anyone to fabricate a video of someone else talking using simply a picture of them. Along with a tool that can imitate voices through using snippets of sample audio material, you could get anyone to appear to say anything.

With the addition of tools like Nvidia's GAN which we've looked at previously, a convincing yet fake setting could also be created for such a video. As this technology becomes increasingly accurate and accessible, discerning which videos are real and which are fabricated will become increasingly difficult.

We can only hope the tools needed to differentiate between fakes and real videos will become more advanced as well.

Source: tribune.com.pk

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


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