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Jackson Lears · What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking: #Russiagate · LRB 4 January 2018
"The chatter surrounding the hack would never have acquired such urgency were it not for the accompanying assumption: Russia is a uniquely dangerous adversary, with which we should avoid all contact. Without that belief, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s meetings with Russians in September 2016 would become routine discussions between a senator and foreign officials. Flynn’s post-election conversations with the Russian ambassador would appear unremarkable. Trump’s cronies’ attempts to do business in Russia would become merely sleazy. Donald Trump Jr’s meeting at Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya would be transformed from a melodrama of shady intrigue to a comedy of errors – with the candidate’s son expecting to receive information to use against Clinton but discovering Veselnitskaya only wanted to talk about repealing sanctions and restarting the flow of Russian orphans to the United States. And Putin himself would become just another autocrat, with whom democracies could engage without endorsing."
russia  america  politics  trump  hacking  hype  rumour  democrats  republicans 
january 2018 by Nachimir
Apple supplier eyes smart speakers with facial recognition • Nikkei Asian Review
Cheng Ting-Fang:
<p>Apple HomePod maker Inventec Appliances said on Friday that it expects future voice assistant products to offer 3-D sensing features, including facial and image recognition.

"We see trends that engineers are designing smart speakers that will not only come with voice recognition but also incorporate features such as facial and image recognition," President David Ho told reporters after the company's earnings conference. "Such AI-related features are set to make people's lives more convenient and to make the product easier to use." He added, however, that he was unsure at the moment whether smart speakers with more AI features in the future would become a hit in the market.

Ho did not specify which product he was talking about, but analysts said he is likely referring to the next generation of Apple's HomePod, the $349 voice-activated speaker that will compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Inventec Appliances, a subsidiary of Taiwanese electronic contract manufacturer Inventec, currently monopolizes orders for the HomePod as well as AirPods, Apple's wireless earbuds, according to analysts. It also makes smartphones for China-based Xiaomi, wearable products for America's Fitbit and smart speakers for US-based Sonos and others.

Jeff Pu, an analyst at Yuanta Investment Consulting, said Apple could roll out HomePods with 3D-sensing cameras in 2019.</p>

It's nice to see the conception of bullshit rumours set out in so few paragraphs. Man speculates about the possibility of face and image recognition in "smart home assistants". (Amazon already does this, by the way, in the Amazon Show.) Analyst suggests Apple could do it. Rumours take wing that next HomePod will do FaceID.

Nonsense on stilts which never asks quite how FaceID on a HomePod would (a) work (b) be useful.
homepod  apple  faceid  rumour 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
Everything u/Foxconninsider Reported Today : apple
An interesting list of things that it's claimed Apple will/will not do and what its devices will/won't have in the near future. Hard to tell whether they were correct ahead of WWDC due to editing, but as long as the TouchID sensor is under the front glass in the super-whizzy top end device, and not on the back, I think everyone's going to be happy.

The "cancelled projects" allegedly includes a VR headset and a "smart ring". If so, both sound decisions, I'd say. But this is all super-rumour.
apple  project  rumour 
june 2017 by charlesarthur
The Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy - The Atlantic
Probably hype, but the star's name is KIC 8462852. More to be found out in 2016…
KIC8462852  stars  exoplanets  megastructures  conjecture  rumour  exaggeration  astronomy  space  science 
october 2015 by Nachimir
Growing conspiracy theory: is spy equipment really included in Samsung smartphone batteries? » BusinessKorea
Cho Jin-young:
A video circulating on Facebook and YouTube that was posted at the beginning of the last week of June shows that after tearing off a sticker that wraps around the battery of the Galaxy S4, the man in the video points to a small coil inside, saying, “This is the spy equipment.”

He remarked, “Samsung can record pictures on your smartphone and overhear your calls through the coil shaped like this antenna,” adding, “So, you'd better tear off the sticker that wraps the battery first and use the phone.”

In fact, this video attracted 12 million views on Facebook only four days after it was initially posted, and around 300,000 people reportedly shared the video.

However, local media outlets pointed out that this conspiratorial video originated from a misunderstanding about the Near Field Communication (NFC) antenna, a communication technology that makes it possible to transmit different kinds of wireless data to a distance of 10 cm.

Would be fun to know how weird ideas like this get started.
samsung  rumour  nfc  spy 
july 2015 by charlesarthur

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