Google managers managed to upset a Canadian government committee, GitHub unveiled plans to improve security and a robot lawyer is being sued by a real-life lawyer. Which one wins?
Welcome to trending hashtags for Monday, March 13th
I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and TechNewsday in the US – here’s today’s top tech news.
A Canadian federal government committee pushed back against Google’s claims that “Google was only conducting an experiment” when it blocked access to the search engine to four percent of Canadians, which the company said was “one of many thousands being tested”. referred to as This goes on.
Google is unhappy with the Canadian government’s proposed legislation Bill C-18, which Meta and Alphabet Inc. K threatens to force platforms like Google to negotiate commercial deals and force news publishers to pay for their content. But it denied that its recent experiments to block access to Canada’s four per cent were a direct threat – claiming they were part of a routine test.
Signaling their disbelief, legislators on the committee moved to force the Google representatives to testify under oath for the remainder of their testimony.
As reported in IT World Canada, the trivialization of the so-called tests seemed to further trouble committee members – one of whom pointed out that a sample of four per cent meant that 1.2 million Canadians could have been affected by these tests .
“Today, we learn that four percent of the population had their democratic rights pushed aside. You might have tested me on Google, I might be one of the 1.2 million who suddenly has to do a Google search. I can’t get it. Is it fair to me? Or other Canadians? I don’t think it’s fair. You’re a $1.3 trillion company. And I think you’ve overstepped your bounds,” opposition Conservative MP Kevin Waugh said.
A Google representative also denied the claims made by the Bloc Québécois member, who claimed that The Canadian Association of Journalists and the UNIFOR Media Council say media workers have been disproportionately affected by the trialsMartin Champoux of Bloc Québécois reported.
In a follow-up, a Saturday story in Reuters indicated that Google had announced it would end the availability of news content. for Canadians on its platform if the country’s Online News Act is passed in its current form.
The Canadian government is facing its own internal issues with the proposed legislation, with smaller publishers arguing that it does not do enough to protect them. And with the government being in a minority position, the views of other parties in the parliament have to be carefully considered.
So amid threats from Google to cut us off if any action is taken and pressure from others for perhaps even greater action – expect the conflict and drama on this issue to continue.
Source: IT World Canada
Elon Musk promised on February 21scheduled tribe that the algorithm for Twitter “will be made open source in the next week.” This has not happened yet.
The algorithm is the code that controls how content is ranked on the platform. The ranking effect that content gets can make a huge difference in the number of views a post receives.
Musk himself has been accused of manipulating the algorithm to ensure that his own tweets get as many views as possible. This story was featured in an article in the Silicon Valley Blog »Platformer “ We covered that story earlier and a link to it is in the notes for this episode as well at itworldcanada.com/podcasts
So what’s stopping Musk from outsourcing the Twitter code? According to a recent article in The Register, after cutting more than two-thirds of Twitter employees, Musk doesn’t have the knowledge of software developers and engineers to do the same.
The same article quotes Twitter’s former open source lead, Will Norris:
When I joined, there were already several major modernization efforts underway that had large open source components. pants manufacturing system was being replaced by buzzel, was finally working to prepare for change Apache Aurora And mesos Together kubernetes, And, we were already some of the biggest users of apache kafka, hadoopAnd Scala, We also had a custom fork of the JVM [Java Virtual Machine], what we expected Finally open source. So many wonderful things were happening, and he successfully recruited good people from those communities to work on those projects.
And then 2022 happened :-\
Norris continued: “Most of the key people who were working on open source at Twitter have left. All the engineers I worked with on open source are gone.”
In short, Musk can’t open-source Twitter’s code because he literally doesn’t have people who know how.
Will making the algorithm open source be positive for Twitter? Will this dispel rumors that Musk has his “thumb on the scale” and manipulated algorithms? Will it improve? Will it help Twitter hold its audience against open source competitor Mastedon or some other new rivals like former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey or Meta’s rumored new Twitter replacement? We may never know.
Meanwhile, GitHub, the world’s largest developer hosting site, is saying so I am planning to introduce two factor authentication in the next nine months.
GitHub is used by the vast majority of technology development companies to store, work on, and eventually promote their code to production systems. Microsoft, which bought GitHub last year, is pushing for two-factor authentication ahead of the US government’s new national security strategy for the move, which aims to put more responsibility on software development companies to protect their code.
Repositories are an important weak point in the development process. If any threat actors can succeed in accessing the code repository, they can potentially introduce malware, which can be propagated to any company that has access to the new code – be that one company or what is called a “supply chain attack”. – It can be many companies or organizations including governments.
According to Justin Cappos, professor of computer science at NYU quOted in an article in Tech Republic ,Dropping code into an organization is one of the worst types of attacks someone can do. So protecting the way people are working on the code, which today often means working on code via GitHub, is really important. To the extent that they’re making it difficult for attackers to do so, that’s a huge positive.”
GitHub is also offering new forms of two factor authentication, including time-based passwords, SMS verification, but all the way up to security keys including physical security keys such as the Yubikey and others. But GitHub is urging its users to adopt security keys as a higher standard of authentication.
This coincides with the recommendations of the National Institute for Science and Technology, or NIST, which many regard as the reference point for security standards. NIST no longer recommends simple two-factor authentication such as SMS messaging, stating that it is too easy to compromise.
In its announcement, GitHub said, “The most robust methods widely available are those that support the WebAuthn secure authentication standard.” “These methods include physical Security Key as well as individual devices that support technologies such as Windows Hello or Face ID / Touch ID.
This is a major rollout and will be done in phases prioritizing customers where the impact of the breach will be greatest. Customers will first receive warnings and then face increasing restrictions over time before being blocked from use unless they achieve two-factor authentication. The slow rollout will make it easier for GitHub to adjust before scaling to larger and larger clusters over the course of the year.
HP is taking some criticism when a recent update was found to force users to use only “genuine” HP cartridges. In fairness, other companies like EPSON have adopted a similar strategy.
The updates, which were first introduced in 2016, are known as “Dynamic Security” and are part of a certification process that the company says will “protect the quality of our customer experience, the integrity of our printing systems.” Will maintain and maintain the integrity of our intellectual property.”
HP has been criticized a lot and has even been the subject of some class action lawsuits. In 2020, there was a settlement in HP a class-action lawsuit that Plaintiffs claim “serves no legitimate business purpose” and “blindsided customers who were never warned that the update would take away their ability to purchase less expensive supplies for their printers.”
While HP offered some respite, it appears that, perhaps in the form of printing revenue, HP is again trying, as The Verge put it, “to lock users into its ecosystem.”
Will it protect revenue? Or it will alienate and anger current customers.
One Reddit user complained, “Instead of displaying a bypassable message indicating that HP cannot guarantee the quality of their prints,” Now printers won’t accept third party cartridges at all.” The condition was causing at least one user Reconsider your choice of printer. announced a technical writer. “If I don’t have the option of using third-party inks in the future, I’m seriously considering switching to another printer brand.”
And finally – a “real” lawyer threatening to take an “AI lawyer” to court.
Service “Do Not Pay” that advertises itself as an advocate for people who feel they shouldn’t be required to pay bills or even fines for using an AI advisor There is a risk of a possible lawsuit for.
The company has been quite advanced in the adoption and use of AI. It has reportedly successfully used AI to negotiate cost reductions for users. It made headlines when it offered payment to anyone who would use its AI service in a court case – and was later forced to withdraw it when it was threatened with legal action when it hired its AI lawyer Tried to use it in defense. traffic violation.
Despite the threats, the publicity has undoubtedly been great for the company, which is said to be presenting itself as a robot lawyer and the company has been able to back down before any permanent legal consequences.
i.e. till March 3third when it found itself facing a class action trial Filed by the Chicago-based law firm Adelson. The complaint argues, “Unfortunately for its customers, DoNotPay is not actually a robot, attorney, or law firm. DoNotPay does not hold a law degree, is not barred in any jurisdiction, and is not supervised by an attorney.” Is performed.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a customer who said he used DoNotPay to draft various legal documents, including demand letters, a small claims court filing, and a job discrimination complaint. The customer claims they thought they were getting the services of a real lawyer and got “substandard results”.
DoNotPay told online blog The Insider, which broke the story: “DoNotPay respectfully denies the false allegations.” It said: “We will vigorously defend ourselves.”
Do you think they will… No, they won’t. They will not use their AI lawyer to defend this claim. or will they?
That’s the top tech news for today
Links to these stories can be found in articles posted at itworldcanada.com/podcasts. You can find even more great stories in more depth Coverage on itworldcanada.com or Technewsday.com in the US
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