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Hey everyone, Happy Monday!

There seemed to be a lot of news in the last couple weeks surround various security concerns, so I focused some thoughts on that below, followed by more links involving manufacturing, batteries, and a cancer-detecting pen.  Enjoy!


🔐💻 Consumer Cyber Security: 

Equifax Breach Response Turns Dumpster Fire: On the shams surrounding one of the largest breaches in consumer security, following aggressive lobbying to removing victims’ protection.

Wading Through AccuWeather’s Bullshit Response: A breakdown of a similarly mishandled situation from AccuWeather, who attempted to use nuanced technical jargon to skirt public apologies, such as focusing on how GPS info wasn’t violated when their violations centered around Wi-Fi triangulation.  “Claiming this is about GPS coordinates is like if they were caught stealing debit cards and they issued a denial that they never stole anyone’s cash.” 

As personal consumer data is increasingly distributed through data companies, often without our direct awareness, more and more companies are only able to offer free products as they monetize user data, from weather apps to the biggest example being Facebook (lengthy essay on how You Are the Product where “Your eyes are directed towards the place where they are most valuable for Facebook”).  All of these data exchanges add additional breach points, and overall it’s most disappointing to see how much effort is being directed to milk every cent out of ads that only ever make the consumer experience worse for any given product.

🙈💉 Genetics / Facial Recognition:

In terms of data, it’s hard to get more personal that your actual DNA.  Researchers have claimed to produce images of people’s faces from their genomes, through these are strongly disputed by geneticists.  

Related, SmarterEveryDay visits 23andMe to learn about DNA testing and their privacy policies.

In addition, AI’s abilities to recognize people through masks and even guess sexual orientation, definitely raise further questions about ethics / privacy, especially when you don’t know who has access to that data and as ads are increasingly personalized.

But on a more optimistic camera vision / AI note, a demo of Standard Cognition’s camera vision for line-less automatic checkout shopping experience shows a sneak peek of the future Amazon / Whole Foods stores.




🔧🔋 Manufacturing / Auto

Cool videos showing the process of making a Formula Car in rhythmic fashion, which contains many gears that each have their own tales (similar to previously shared Life of a Bolt).

Interesting data/video explaining the Tesla Model S battery’s robustness to degradation over time.

NYTimes: As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles



💫🖋 Random Cool: 

3D Coke Sign in Times Square

Handheld mass-spectrometer pen for rapidly detecting cancer cells in the operating room.

Finally, in amazing pictures of the week: Golfers who think everything is fine despite the surrounding raging fire ….

Until next time,

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