Welcome to Trending Hashtags for Thursday, March 16
I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and TechNewsday in the US – here’s today’s top tech news.
Mozilla launches “Responsible AI Challenge”
Mozilla, the open source organization that gave us the Firefox browser, has announced that it will sponsor the “Responsible AI Challenge”. The competition is a response to the new “gold rush” where big players may be more concerned with driving speed to market with generative AI solutions than being on responsible innovation.
We reported yesterday that Microsoft had gotten rid of its entire staff dedicated to AI ethics.
The contest, which is actually a relaunch of Mozilla’s existing “Builder Program”, will encourage entrepreneurs to share their ideas with the world.
Winners are eligible for an award of $50,000, including a $25,000 top prize – as well as mentorship and resources for “responsible AI projects”.
said Imo Udom, senior vice president of innovation ecosystem at Mozilla, who announced the initiative on stage during a panel discussion with Axios. “If anything, the past few months have shown that AI is no longer our future. It is our present,Udom said. “While decades of effort have gone into reaching this Point being, with AI, it’s time to set up the future we want with AI.
Applications will be open till March 30th,
Dish customers are being kept in the dark as the effects of the recent ransomware attack continue.
It’s been two weeks since a satellite cable provider was hit by ransomware. According to a story in TechCrunch, Dish has confirmed in a public filing that ransomware was to blame for their outage. They also warned that the hackers may have stolen data that may have included personal customer information.
Since then, it has been crinkling from the dish. The same TechCrunch report says some customers still don’t have Dish or even access Services through subsidiaries such as Boost Mobile,
And customers still have no idea whether their personal data is at risk. TechCrunch has heard a litany of complaints from customers. Some have been unable to contact Dish customer service. Some claim that they have been victims of email and voice phishing attacks. Some have also reported that Dish services were disconnected when customers were unable to pay their bills due to issues at the company.
Dish spokesman Edward Veitcha acknowledged that “customers are having trouble accessing our service desk, accessing their accounts, and making payments.”
When asked to share details about what customer data was taken, a Dish spokesperson said, “This type of investigation takes time.”
A former Dish retailer was more forthcoming, telling TechCrunch that Dish has personal information on its servers, including customers’ names, dates of birth, email addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers and even credit card information. There is a wealth of information – and that this information was kept indefinitely, Even for potential customers who didn’t pass Dish’s credit check.
Dish has hosted its own infrastructure, but recently moved to Amazon’s cloud service around the same time as the attack.
A Dish spokesperson said that “it will take a while to fully restore things.”
So who is responsible for this attack? The security blog Bleeping Computers suggested that it could be Black Basta, which is believed to be a rebranding of the Conti ransomware gang. But Dish has not appeared on Basta’s leak site which may indicate that this gang is not responsible, or talks are on.
Source: tech crunch
Is Amazon about to launch its own web browser?
While all the attention has been on the competition between Google Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge, there are rumors that Amazon is about to launch its own web browser. According to an article in Gizmodo, Amazon sent out a survey to users asking detailed questions, one of which was What features would the “new desktop/laptop browser from Amazon” offer you to “download and try?”
,We want to understand what our customers value about current web browsers, and what they wish browsers could do better,” Amazon wrote in the survey, first spotted by Nicholas de Leon of Consumer Reports.
Users were reportedly asked to rate the importance of various features such as “text to speech, extensions, syncing data across desktop and mobile devices, and even whether they want to block third-party cookies”. were in favor of doing
For several years, Google has been talking about a shakeup in the browser market by killing off what are called “third party cookies” – silent markers that websites load into your browser. Which shows which sites and pages you have visited.
The only problem with deleting cookies is that Google and many others, Rely on these “cookies” as a primary way of tracking users and targeting them for advertisements.
But Amazon may be looking to grow its own advertising business to take advantage of this change. According to the same article from Gizmodo, Amazon will earn about $38 billion from advertising in 2022, more than Prime or any other subscription services.
The other key element may be that browsers and their cookies or whatever may change them. Says a lot about future shopping habits — a real leg up for a retailing giant.
Amazon has toyed with the idea of a browser in the past. It launched a browser called Silk in 2011 but that browser was tailored to its Echo products. Any new browser will take it to a whole new world of desktop/laptop the first time.
Fans of our sister podcast Cybersecurity will find out all about Patch Tuesday, the day Microsoft introduces new fixes. But this week it has some extra urgency. It includes fixes for 74 bugs, but two of which are being actively exploited and nine are critical, according to a report in The Register.
One of these, with the name CVE-2023-23397, received a rating of 9.8 out of 10 in terms of its threat level. It is already being exploited by threat actors “against the government, energy and military sectors in Russia and in Europe”.
Redmond has shown its concern by publishing a guide to malware and providing documentation and even a script to determine if a company has been targeted. As the Register’s article stated, “This is serious.”
The article states that “an attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a specially crafted email that is automatically triggered when retrieved and processed by an Outlook client,” Microsoft explained., “This can lead to an exploit before the email is viewed in the preview pane.”
Dustin Childs of the Zero Day Initiative gives advice: “Be sure to test and deploy this fix quickly.”
Could Facebook be the next AOL? In an article from CNN Business, Mark Zuckerberg described the company as passing as a “challenging period” for employees in the memo.
As Zuckerberg continues his business review of what he calls a “year of efficiency” He stuck to his strategy of flattening the company by “eliminating several levels of middle management”.
Layoff announcements have raised morale to new lows as the staff wonder if they are on the chopping block. Zuckerberg’s outlook on the future doesn’t offer much comfort.
He warned: “At this point, I think we must prepare ourselves for the possibility that this new economic reality will continue for many years and will require more than our previous workforce reductions to ensure success.” Must prepare to work efficiently.
One tech executive blamed the layoffs on the fact that “companies like Meta, Google, Amazon, and Twitter hired “stupid people” to work on what were supposed to be “science projects” over the years.
Another said that “It’s not surprisingly hard for these big tech Companies cut a large number of people without affecting the underlying revenue engine.
But anyone who has deep experience hacking employees knows that damage can be done. Or as one tech CEO put it so succinctly, “You can cut your way to profitability in the short term. But you can’t cut your way to growth. At some point, it seems, will this be the next AOL?” And I don’t know when it might be.
Source: cnn business
Finally, if you’ve ever wondered how a cave man would describe AI, wonder no more. ChatGPT answered the question a Reddit blogger had us all wondering about.
In a post titled “Let me explain what AI is, but like you’re a caveman talking to another caveman,” the blogger explained, “It’s all moving so fast I sometimes feel like a caveman.” Feels like. But someone asked GPT4 to explain what AI is, like you’re a caveman talking to another caveman, in caveman terms. And this is what it produces:
I GPT-4. I speak words you listen.
Long ago only human beings used to think and speak. Now think of the magic stone, also speak. The magic stone is called AI. This is the brain in the rock, like the human brain in the head. It learns, solves problems, answers questions.
AI is not alive, like a tree or a mammoth. This tool, such as a stick or fire. We create AI, use it for many things. It helps to find food, heal the sick, build huts. It makes life better, but can also be dangerous.
We are wary of the magic stone. We learn, grow together. AI helps humans, humans help AI. We make the world better for everyone.
Here are today’s top Cave Man and top tech stories.
Links to these stories can be found in articles posted at itworldcanada.com/podcasts. You can also find more great stories and more in-depth coverage at itworldcanada.com or Technewsday.com in the US.
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I’m your host Jim Love – have an exciting Thursday!