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Category Archives: E-Commerce

Amazon Echo device recorded private conversation – relayed it to person on contact list

Washington Post – An Amazon Echo recorded a family’s conversation, then sent it to a random person in their contacts, report says… Bloomberg – This Is How Alexa Can Record Private Conversations – “…Amazon explained the series of events that triggered the episode in an emailed statement. The Echo woke after hearing a word in… Continue Reading

Virtual digital assistants to overtake world population by 2021

Ovum: “Globally, the native digital assistant installed base is set to exceed 7.5 billion active devices by 2021, which is more than the world population according to the US Census Bureau on May 1, 2017. But fear not – Skynet, from the popular Terminator movies, does not feature among the leading digital assistants. Instead, Google Assistant… Continue Reading

Facebook loses fight with IRS over 7B tax bill from overseas income

The Register: “Facebook has lost its bid to throw out a tax bill on $7bn worth of income it had stashed overseas. A Northern District of California judge ruled in favor of the IRS this week, finding the Social Network did not have standing to challenge the tax bod’s finding that Facebook underreported its revenues… Continue Reading

NBC – Google sells the future, powered by your personal data

NBC News: Personal data collection practices are in the hot seat. So why isn’t Google, which collects more data than Facebook, feeling the heat? The more Google products you use, the more Google can gather about you. Whether it’s Gmail, the Android smartphone operating system, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Maps, and, of course, Google Search… Continue Reading

And for His Next Act Blogger and Twitter Co-Founder Will Fix the Internet

The New York Times: “As a co-founder of Blogger and Twitter and, more recently, as the chief executive of the digital publishing platform Medium, Mr. Williams transformed the way millions of people publish and consume information online. But as his empire grew, he started to get a gnawing feeling that something wasn’t right. High-quality publishers… Continue Reading

Google Duplex: An AI System for Accomplishing Real-World Tasks Over the Phone

Google AI Blog: “A long-standing goal of human-computer interaction has been to enable people to have a natural conversation with computers, as they would with each other. In recent years, we have witnessed a revolution in the ability of computers to understand and to generate natural speech, especially with the application of deep neural networks… Continue Reading

Amazon: The Road to $1 Trillion

Martin Armstrong – Statista graphic: “Amazon is, and has been for some time, an e-commerce behemoth. No company, not even Asian counterpart Alibaba, can come anywhere near the power, presence and sheer money making ability of Jeff Bezos’ retail monster. In 2017, it posted net revenue of $177 billion (Alibaba made approximately $23 billion), and… Continue Reading

UK Parliament hears testimony that Facebook’s dark ads problem is systemic

TechCrunch: “Facebook’s admission to the UK parliament this week that it had unearthed unquantified thousands of dark fake ads after investigating fakes bearing the face and name of well-known consumer advice personality, Martin Lewis, underscores the massive challenge for its platform on this front. Lewis is suing the company for defamation over its failure to stop… Continue Reading

declutter – Sell CDs, DVDs, Games and Books

“Decluttr is the easy way to sell CDs, DVDs, Games, Blu-Rays and Books. Just enter the barcodes on your items (or scan them using our FREE app) for an instant value, pack them into a box, and ship them for FREE. Millions of CDs, DVDs, Games, Blu-Rays and Books are sold in America each year.… Continue Reading

How merchants use Facebook to flood Amazon with fake reviews

Washington Post: “On Amazon, customer comments can help a product surge in popularity. The online retail giant says that more than 99 percent of its reviews are legitimate because they are written by real shoppers who aren’t paid for them. But a Washington Post examination found that for some popular product categories, such as Bluetooth headphones… Continue Reading

Five myths about internet privacy where nothing is what is seems to be

You have precious little privacy on the web – whether you are browsing, using Facebook or Gmail, public WiFi, disk cleaning applications, or using the same “strong” passwords on multiple sites. USAToday reports – Many of us think we’re taking the right precautions, when in fact we’re putting our info at risk. The following are… Continue Reading

Facebook in the Spotlight: Dataism vs. Privacy

JURIST Guest Columnist Chris Hoofnagle of Berkeley Law, discusses the policing of Facebook’s privacy policies and FTC enforcement: “Are our institutions up to the challenge of protecting users from information-age problems? This is the high-level question emerging from the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica debate. While on one hand Facebook and similarly-situated companies will pay some regulatory price,… Continue Reading