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Category Archives: Search Engines

Google has a secret new project that is teaching artificial intelligence to write and fix code

The Insider – “It could reduce the need for human engineers in the future. Google is working on a secretive project that uses machine learning to train code to write, fix, and update itself. This project is part of a broader push by Google into so-called generative artificial intelligence, which uses algorithms to create images, videos, code, and more. It could have profound implications for the company’s future and developers who write code. The project, which began life inside Alphabet’s X research unit and was codenamed Pitchfork, moved into Google’s Labs group this summer, according to people familiar with the matter. By moving into Google, it signaled its increased importance to leaders. Google Labs pursues long-term bets, including projects in virtual and augmented reality. Pitchfork is now part of a new group at Labs named the AI Developer Assistance team run by Olivia Hatalsky, a long-term X employee who worked on Google Glass and several other moonshot projects. Hatalsky, who ran Pitchfork at X, moved to Labs when it migrated this past summer. Pitchfork was built for “teaching code to write and rewrite itself,” according to internal materials seen by Insider. The tool is designed to learn programming styles and write new code based on those learnings, according to people familiar with it and patents reviewed by Insider…”

See also The New York Times: “Lawsuit Takes Aim at the Way A.I. Is Built. A programmer is suing Microsoft, GitHub and OpenAI over artificial intelligence technology that generates its own computer code.”

It’s not your imagination: Shopping on Amazon has gotten worse

Washington Post: “Amazon is the first app many of us think about to buy things online. But is it actually a good place to go shopping? When you search for a product on Amazon, you may not realize that most of what you see at first is advertising. Amazon is betraying your trust in its… Continue Reading

Tax filing websites have been sending users’ financial information to Facebook

The Verge co-published with The Markup: “Major tax filing services such as H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer have been quietly transmitting sensitive financial information to Facebook when Americans file their taxes online, The Markup has learned. The data, sent through widely used code called the Meta Pixel, includes not only information like names and email… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, November 19, 2022

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, November 19, 2022 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

App Tracking Protection Beta is Now Available to All Android Users

Via DuckDuckGo: App Tracking Protection is now open for all Android users. It’s a beta feature in DuckDuckGo for Android that helps block 3rd-party trackers in your apps, even when you’re not using them. New since the waitlist beta launch: you can see what personal data trackers are typically trying to collect before we block… Continue Reading

The Best Firefox Extensions Everyone Should Use

Lifehacker: “If you use Firefox, you can make it a better browser by installing add-ons. Yes, that’s what Mozilla calls them—they’re talking about what everyone else knows as “extensions.” Whatever you call them, there are good ones out there that can help you do everything from improving your privacy to getting around restrictions you’ll encounter… Continue Reading

AP Exclusive: Google tracks your movements, like it or not

“Google agreed to pay $391.5M to settle a lawsuit with 40 U.S. states over allegations that the tech giant was tracking user location data even when users had opted out. A 2018 Associated Press (AP) investigation found that the tracking issue affected as many as two billion people using Google Android devices and hundreds of millions… Continue Reading

The Myth of Online Privacy: Risks, Dangers, and Solutions

MakeUseOf: “Privacy these days means something completely different than it did even a decade ago. And the only things we have to blame for this are the internet and ourselves. In the age of the internet, we’re only as “private” as the tools we use allow us to be, which isn’t much. While you rejoice… Continue Reading

The Man Behind Mastodon Built It for This Moment

Wired: “Eugen Rochko looks exhausted. The 29-year-old German programmer is the founder of Mastodon, a distributed alternative to Twitter that has exploded in popularity in recent weeks as Elon Musk’s ownership of the platform has rained chaos on its users. Rochko began developing Mastodon shortly after leaving university in 2016. He was a fan of… Continue Reading

Mysterious company with government ties plays key internet role

Washington Post: “An offshore company that is trusted by the major web browsers and other tech companies to vouch for the legitimacy of websites has connections to contractors for U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement, according to security researchers, documents and interviews. Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, nonprofit Firefox and others allow the company, TrustCor Systems,… Continue Reading

Mastadon – Democratizing Social Media

“Mastodon’s popularity is soaring, and it’s all due to the chaotic actions of one man. As people explore what else is on offer for social media, Mastodon has emerged as a viable open-source alternative, with no ads. Reuters has an explainer, as does CNN, New York Times, and the Guardian.” [via Metafilter] NOTE: Follow beSpacific… Continue Reading