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Tech News Today For November 11, 2016

Tech News for Friday November 11, 2016

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered how easy it can be to trick facial recognition systems into misidentifying what it percieves as correct matches. The researchers used a special pair of glasses with a glossy printed design that effectively would trick the systems into recognizing someone with special clearance. The glasses were even put to use against commercial facial recognition systems like Face++ in order to simulate a scenario where someone might wish to gain access to a secret building guarded by the technology and were found to be 100 percent effective at tricking the system.  Read more at qz.com.

Facebook says it will no longer allow advertisers to limit the reach of their housing, employment or credit-related ads to what Facebook calls a user's "ethnic affinity."  The decision comes after users, law enforcement, and the Congressional Black caucus said Facebook's actions violated the Fair Housing Act. Facebook is notoriously secret about how the inner workings of its advertising and profiling algorithms work, but a few weeks ago this policy came to light after Julia Angwin, a reporter at Pro Publica, took out a real estate ad and was able to exclude those that Facebook has labeled as having African American and Asian ethnic affinities. Facebook approved the ad in less than 15 minutes. Initially defensive of its actions, the company published a blog post today explaining that going forward it will build tools to detect and automatically disable the use of ethnic affinity marketing for certain types of ads and offer more clarification and education around the issue.  Read more at techcrunch.com.

A big criticism of top of the line virtual reality systems like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift is the tethered nature of the headsets, requiring a user to be tied by wires to the computer that’s doing all the work. HTC announced the TPCAST peripheral for the Vive that allows users to cast those cables aside with no noticeable latency, along with an onboard battery that can last up to around one and a half hours on a single charge. The upgrade kit costs around $220 and will begin shipping to those who pre-order by early 2017.  Read more at uploadvr.com.

If your PC is slow, you might consider blaming Spotify. Users report that the music streaming app writes huge amounts of junk data to your drive. It's not uncommon for users to see 10 Gigabytes added every hour.  Engadget says there is a fix and it will be coming soon to a computer near you.  Read more at engadget.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Sam Machkovech from Ars Technica to talk about his hands-on with the retro NES Classic. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. Subscribe to the show and watch on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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