James Vincent
James Vincent
I mostly cover machines with brains for The Verge, despite being a human without one.Source
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Inventive grandson builds Telegram messaging machine for 96-year-old grandmother

Inventive grandson builds Telegram messaging machine for 96-year-old grandmother

Filed under:Made for the creator’s grandmother to help keep in touchMaking sure elders can keep in contact with children and grandchildren has never been more important in a time of global lockdown. That’s why Twitter user @, Manuel Lucio Dallo, built the Yayagram — a DIY project that makes sending and receiving voice and text messages over Telegram a physical process just like using an old-fashioned phone switchboard.It’s important, of course, not to generalize about the ability of older generations to get to grips with new technology. But speaking from personal experience, I know my own...

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James Vincent
Apr 26
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Apple lawsuit over ‘buy’ and ‘rent’ labels for digital content can continue, rules federal judge

Apple lawsuit over ‘buy’ and ‘rent’ labels for digital content can continue, rules federal judge

Filed under:If Apple can revoke access to a film or album, did you really buy anything?A federal judge has rejected a motion by Apple to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit over the company’s use of the labels “buy” and “rent” when selling digital content. As first covered by , the suit can now continue, though could yet be settled before ever reaching trial.The lead plaintiff in the case, David Andino, argues that Apple is misleading consumers when it tells them it can “buy” digital versions of albums, TV shows, and films from its stores. Why? Because the iPhone-maker retains the power...

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James Vincent
Apr 23
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Brompton electric bikes recalled by US government over unexpected acceleration bug

Brompton electric bikes recalled by US government over unexpected acceleration bug

Filed under:The fault can be remedied with a free software upgrade at a Brompton dealerHundreds of foldable electric bikes made by UK firm Brompton have been by the US government. A software fault is causing the bikes’ electric motors to deliver “forward momentum” when the rider is not pedaling. It’s an issue that poses “fall and injury hazards,” according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), but can be remedied by a free software upgrade performed at certain Brompton dealers.The problem affects roughly 600 bikes sold by Brompton’s US dealers between June 2020 and March...

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James Vincent
Apr 22
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EU outlines wide-ranging AI regulation, but leaves the door open for police surveillance

EU outlines wide-ranging AI regulation, but leaves the door open for police surveillance

Filed under:Law enforcement will still have a wide scope to use AI for surveillanceThe European Union has to regulate the use of artificial intelligence across the bloc’s 27 member states. The proposal, which will take years to implement into law and will be subject to many tweaks and amendments during this time, nevertheless constitutes the most ambitious AI regulations seen globally to date.The regulations cover a wide range of applications, from software in self-driving cars to algorithms used to vet job candidates, and arrive at a time when countries around the world are struggling with...

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James Vincent
Apr 21
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Amazon is opening a hair salon in London to trial new technology

Amazon is opening a hair salon in London to trial new technology

Filed under:Including augmented reality haircuts and, uh, QR codes?Amazon’s latest bricks-and-mortar experiment is, unexpectedly, a hair salon. The company is opening its in London’s East End Spitalfields area, where it says it will trial “the latest industry technology.” This includes an augmented reality app that lets customers see what different hair styles and colors look like on them before they decide on a change.Unlike the company’s cashierless Go grocery stores (which expanded to London ), Amazon Salon does not seem to be a beachhead for an industry invasion. “This will be an...

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James Vincent
Apr 20
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The EU is considering a ban on AI for mass surveillance and social credit scores

The EU is considering a ban on AI for mass surveillance and social credit scores

Filed under:Leaked regulation suggests strong new laws on AI usesThe European Union is considering banning the use of artificial intelligence for a number of purposes, including mass surveillance and social credit scores. This is according to a leaked proposal that is circulating online, first reported by , ahead of an official announcement expected next week.If the draft proposal is adopted, it would see the EU take a strong stance on certain applications of AI, setting it apart from the US and China. Some use cases would be policed in a manner similar to the EU’s regulation of digital...

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James Vincent
Apr 14
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The French army is testing Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot in combat scenarios

The French army is testing Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot in combat scenarios

Filed under:Spot appeared in research exercises alongside military studentsSpot, the quadruped robot built by US firm Boston Dynamics, has appeared alongside soldiers during military exercises carried out by the French army. The robot was apparently being used for reconnaissance during a two-day training exercise, but the deployment raises questions about how and where Boston Dynamics’ machines will be used in future.Pictures of the exercises were by France’s foremost military school, the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr. It described the tests as “raising students’ awareness of the...

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James Vincent
Apr 7
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Facebook hopes tiny labels on posts will stop users confusing satire with reality

Facebook hopes tiny labels on posts will stop users confusing satire with reality

Filed under:Facebook is adding labels to satire pages in the News FeedFacebook is additional labels to posts from Pages that appear in users’ News Feeds in a bid to reduce confusion about their origin. These labels will include “public official,” “fan page,” and “satire page.” The company says it’s already started testing the deployment of these labels in the US, and will gradually add them to more posts.Facebook hasn’t offered any explanation as to why it’s adding these labels, but identifying satire seems particularly important. Take a look at the social shares for any news articles...

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James Vincent
Apr 8
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Google’s AI reservation service Duplex is now available in 49 states

Google’s AI reservation service Duplex is now available in 49 states

Filed under:Google says it has no timeline to cover the last hold-out, LouisianaMore than two years after it initially , Google’s AI-powered reservation service Duplex is now available in 49 US states. This looks like it’ll be the limit of Duplex’s coverage in the US for the time being, as Google tells The Verge it has no timeline to launch the service in the last hold-out state — Louisiana — due to unspecified local laws.Adapting to local legislation is one of the reasons Duplex has taken so long to roll out across the US. Google tells The Verge it’s had to add certain features to the...

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James Vincent
Apr 1
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Deepfake satellite imagery poses a not-so-distant threat, warn geographers

Deepfake satellite imagery poses a not-so-distant threat, warn geographers

Filed under:Geographic deepfakes could be used for misinformation and much moreWhen we think of deepfakes, we tend to imagine AI-generated people. This might be lighthearted, like a , or malicious, like . What we don’t imagine is deepfake geography: AI-generated images of cityscapes and countryside. But that’s exactly what some researchers are worried about.Specifically, geographers are concerned about the spread of fake, AI-generated satellite imagery. Such pictures could mislead in a variety of ways. They could be used to create hoaxes about wildfires or floods, or to discredit stories...

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James Vincent
Apr 27
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