Nextdoor App Sends Letters on Users' Behalf Without Consent

Nextdoor is a social network that lets you see things that are going on in your local neighborhood. Dutch police have issued warnings about the app recently, saying that the company sent letters on users’ behalf.

We talked to a woman whom we’ll refer to as W.H., as she wishes to remain anonymous. Letters in her neighborhood were delivered with her as the sender. The letters were asking the receivers to install the app and join the community. W.H. did not send those letters, but she was a user of the Nextdoor app. And she remembered receiving an email from Nextdoor asking whether she would like to invite the people in her neighborhood.

Ugh. Possible lawsuit?

Google's 'Ask a Techspert' Explains Machine Learning

In Google’s Ask a Techspert series, senior software engineer Rosie Buchanan explains machine learning for non-experts.

Today, when we hear about “machine learning,” we’re actually talking about how Google teaches computers to use existing information to answer questions like: Where is the ice cream? Or, can you tell me if my package has arrived on my doorstep? For this edition of Ask a Techspert, I spoke with Rosie Buchanan, who is a senior software engineer working on Machine Perception within Google Nest.

This is a cool blog post explaining it, and I hope to see more explanations like this.

Apple Rolls Out Smarter Web Answers for Spotlight Search

Some Apple users are seeing smarter web answers when they use iOS Spotlight Search and Siri.

The new web answers appear to be a further expansion of this technology. If the statistics are not readily available from the knowledge database, it seems Apple is now using algorithms to crawl websites and find possible responses to questions.

I think this is great, and it might be the first front-facing results we’re seeing from Apple’s hiring of John Giannandrea.