Foursquare CEO Calls for Congress to Regulate Consumer Location Data Use

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Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck called on Congress to regulate the use of consumer location data in an op-ed published by The New York Times. He further said such regulation should include three principles: 1.) Location data requests in apps be tied to an actual service; 2.) Transparency for users, 3.) That companies getting location data agree to “do no harm.” It’s an interesting read, especially from one of the big players in location data use. Here’s a snippet:

There are no formal rules for what is ethical — or even legal — in the location data business. We could all take a Hippocratic oath for data science (as in medicine: “First do no harm”), and hope that living by such an oath would curb abuses. But even in the best of circumstances, that oath is voluntary. It’s time for Congress to regulate the industry.

A Technique to Help AI Understand Video Better

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Which AI is smarter, Siri or Alexa?

AI technology is improving at an amazing rate. However, video is still a significant challenge. Wired reported on a development that may improve things, whilst also using less processing power.

A group from MIT and IBM developed an algorithm capable of accurately recognizing actions in videos while consuming a small fraction of the processing power previously required, potentially changing the economics of applying AI to large amounts of video. The method adapts an AI approach used to process still images to give it a crude concept of passing time. The work is a step towards having AI recognize what’s happening in video, perhaps helping to tame the vast amounts now being generated. On YouTube alone, over 500 hours of video were uploaded every minute during May 2019. Companies would like to use AI to automatically generate detailed descriptions of videos, letting users discover clips that haven’t been annotated. And, of course, they would love to sell ads based on what’s happening in a video.

Elizabeth Warren is Not Going to Take Any More Big Donations From Tech

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Elizabeth Warren announced Tuesday that she is not going to accept any more big campaign donations from execs at big tech firms. The contender to be the Democratic-presidential nominee said all contributions over $200 will be rejected, Fast Company reported.

The senator from Massachusetts announced on her website today that she will turn away “contributions over $200 from executives at big tech companies, big banks, private equity firms, or hedge funds.” As CNBC notes, the pledge expands on an earlier promise from Warren, a leading contender in the Democratic presidential primaries, not to accept large contributions from execs at pharmaceutical and fossil fuel companies. Few Democrats in the 2020 presidential race have catered to workers at Apple, Google, Facebook, and the like. A Fast Company analysis in September found that more workers at large tech companies donated to the campaigns of President Donald Trump and businessman Andrew Yang than to Joe Biden’s campaign. (Despite this, Biden raised more money from Big Tech in total.) Warren has specifically campaigned to “Break Up Big Tech” and even put that slogan on a billboard in San Francisco.

Patent Suggests Radar System in Bodywork of Apple's Self-Driving Car

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Car with Apple logo

Apple’s much speculated upon self-driving car might have a radar system hidden within the bodywork. That’s according to a patent granted Tuesday and uncovered by AppleInsider.

In Apple’s design, it suggests the use of antennas to transmit a radar beam towards a portion of a field of view, along with a vertical antenna array to receive the bounced-back signal. The receive antenna array can consist of multiple antenna elements grouped into sub-arrays, with each sub-array used to receive scatter signals reflected back at it from a smaller subsection of the field of view. Circuitry is then used to combine the received scatter signals from the antenna array into a combined scatter signal, which is then digitized. A second horizontal receive array performs a similar job, again with sub-arrays and the same process. A signal processor is then used to process the scatter signals from both vertical and horizontal arrays, and to correlate the data from each to give effectively a 3D radar layout.

Apple's Beats Announces Solo Pro, Its First On-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones

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Apple’s Beats By Dre announced Solo Pro on Tuesday, the company’s first on-ear, noise-canceling headphones. They also include support for “Hey Siri,” Apple’s voice assistant. According to the company, Solo Pro offers an “exceptional frequency response with lower total harmonic distortion.” It also has two beam-forming microphones and and what Beats says is an “updated speech-detecting accelerometer” for voice calls. They’re $299.95, and will ship  onOctober 30th in Black, Ivory, Gray, Dark Blue, Light Blue and Red. You can preorder now.

Apple’s Beats Announces Solo Pro, Its First On-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones

Apple TV App Available for Roku Devices

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Apple has released an Apple TV app for Roku devices, bringing the company’s Apple TV+ subscription service to the Roku platform. Apple TV+ launches November 1st, but the app will also allow users to, “Buy or rent new release movies or explore the catalog of over 100,000 movies and shows—including the largest catalog of 4K HDR movies.” In other words, you can get content from the iTunes Store, or whatever Apple is calling that aspect of its business these days. You can download the Apple TV app for Roku devices from the Roku Channel Store.

Apple TV App Available for Roku Devices