News

Tech News Today for September 6, 2017

Tech News for Wednesday September 6, 2017

Two days after the 2016 US election, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg stated publicly that the idea the “fake news” on its network influenced the election in any way was a “crazy idea.” However, starting in the summer of 2015, a Russian company began buying Facebook ads to the tune of 100 thousand dollars to stir political uncertainty. As part of an investigation that started earlier this Spring, Facebook found 3,300 ads on its network that did this, all pointing back to the same Russian company. Not only that, Facebook discovered 470 likely fraudulent Facebook accounts and pages linked to the same company that it says likely helped to promote and spread those ads across the network. Read more at washingtonpost.com.

In other bad Facebook news, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group says Facebook is claiming to reach people who don't exist. Facebook's ad manager says the company reaches 41 million young adults between the ages of 18 to 24 in U.S. However, recent census data says there are only 31 million 18 to 24 year olds living in the U.S. in that age range. Facebook has responded to the report, saying it stands by its data, which also occurs in other age groups. They acknowledge recent errors in their advertising system, but this isn't one of them. Read more at bloomberg.com.

One thing we might take for granted with our voice assistants is that Voice part. We expect that our voice assistants will respond to an actual voice, our voice if we’ve set it up properly, securing the device to keep other people out of our digital bits. But a new technique called DolphinAttack developed by a team from Zhejiang University utilizes ultrasonic frequencies to take control of the most popular voice assistants and the human ear can’t even detect it. Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon’s voice assistant can all be tricked to fire off commands in seeming silence as a result. Read more at fastcodesign.com.

Of all the possible Apple scandal names, I've chosen to call this one Dugout Gate. The New York times reports that those sneaky Red Sox used an Apple Watch to steal signals during baseball games against the New York Yankees. And yes, many have seen this headline and responded, with "At least somebody found a use for the Apple Watch.” Here's how it worked: The Yankees have video showing the Red Sox’s staff stealing signs from the Yankee pitchers and then sending them to someone in the dugout to pass along to the Red Sox batters. According to Mike Murphy at Quartz, Major Legue baseball has banned sign stealing with a mechanical device since 1961. Read more at nytimes.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Paul Thurrott to talk about Microsoft’s annual fall event to be held in London. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. Subscribe to the show and watch it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

All News posts