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Web Pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee: “We Must Resist These Technologies”

Hot on the heels of Facebook’s Sean Parker’s concerns about his creation, now the man who came up with the concept of the Web Browser expresses his own concerns about the intrusiveness of emerging Internet technologies (what I refer to as “Data Storage and Patterning” technology):

 

The web is 28 years old but these days it often appears to have the growing pains of a teenager.
There’s the scourge of fake news, growing pockets of censorship around the world, the fiery debate over net neutrality and more.

When teens get into trouble, you typically talk to the parents. For the web, that is Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist who proposed the idea of using a tool called a web browser to visit distinct pages on the internet.

He was recently interviewed at at World Wide Web consortium meeting, and things got interesting, fast.

Reuters
Sir Tim Berners-Lee: “We must resist these technologies.”

When asked if he occasionally felt like Dr. Frankenstein, wondering, “What have I wrought?” while watching the unfolding saga of fake news on the web and its implications for democracies. “Yeah, I have,” he replied.

His concerns during the web’s first 25 years focused on expanding access to more people. But now he thinks the web has become as complex and intricate as a human brain-so the tech industry requires a multi-disciplinary approach to “look out for unintended consequences” and study the impact of services as they are introduced to the world.
But too often web companies just plow ahead without understanding the consequences.
He criticised the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter for creating advertising systems that, for example, incentivised fake-news purveyors.
“They didn’t do that out of malice,” Berners-Lee said. “They did it completely commercially, not even caring about who won the election. But Google gave them money [to do it], and that trained them to think of headlines like, ‘Hillary really wants Trump to win.'”
Berners-Lee was also asked if he was worried that big tech companies have too much power.
He said the giants of the past, like AT&T, AOL and Microsoft, were once considered unassailable, only to be upended by unexpected competitors: “It’s amazing how quickly people can pick stuff up on the internet; it’s also amazing how quickly they can drop it,” he said. That said, he worries that “you can’t imagine having such a strong dominance in these markets without losing out on innovation.”
Turning abroad, we discussed efforts to censor internet content.
Early in the web’s history, there was a belief that “information wants to be free”-that internet users would find ways to route around attempts at censorship. Berners-Lee conceded that thinking was a “a bit simplistic.”
He says there’s “no magic recipe that the internet will be able to solve censorship, so censorship is something we have to protest against.”
Obliquely referencing countries that restrict internet content he said: “Openness is a sign of a strong government. You can be strong in lots of different ways. The ability to be strong enough to allow people to see the alternative views of the opposition is a particular strength which I hope various countries will find.”
Berners-Lee also said it was important for people to be able to own and control their own data and that companies should think twice before assuming it’s a business asset.
“It used to be said that data is the new oil,” he said. “Personally, I think it’s like nuclear fuel. It’s becoming toxic. Two years ago, the question from the board was, ‘How are we monetising the data?’ Now the question is, “How are we protecting ourselves from the damage of this getting out?'”
I asked Berners-Lee if he owned a connected assistant like the Amazon Echo or Google Home.
The answer, he said, is no; he believes that when conversations and queries are recorded in our home and transferred to the cloud, they inevitably become vulnerable to intruders and accessible to prying governments.
Sounding very unlike the web pioneer who created the web nearly three decades ago, he vowed, “We must resist these technologies.”
– Bloomberg

https://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/98850665/the-father-of-the-web-confronts-his-creation

See Also:

Sean Parker: Facebook was designed to exploit human “vulnerability”

Did Easter Islanders Have Early Contact with South Americans?

On a map, Easter Island is a remote dot more than 2,000 miles (3,219 kilometers) from the western coast of Chile. It has long fascinated archaeologists —not only for its hundreds of enormous statues, called moai, but also because it could hold clues about epic Pacific sea voyages and subsequent cultural mash-ups that occurred before the arrival of Europeans.Easter island South America
Most scholars think that Easter Island, also known by its native name Rapa Nui, was first populated by Polynesians who arrived around AD 1200. But there’s also some evidence that the island’s early settlers interacted with people native to South America before Europeans showed up in 1722.
A new study, published  (Oct. 12) in the journal Current Biology, adds to the debate. Scientists looked at five skeletons from the Rapanui culture and found no genetic traces of Native American ancestry, contradicting earlier assertions of contact with South American peoples.
“We were really surprised we didn’t find anything,” study leader Lars Fehren-Schmitz, an associate professor of anthropology at UC Santa Cruz, said in a statement. “There’s a lot of evidence that seems plausible, so we were convinced we would find direct evidence of pre-European contact with South America, but it wasn’t there.”
Fehren-Schmitzand his colleagues took samples from the ribs of skeletons that were found in the 1980s during an archaeological digat the beachside moai site of Ahu Nau Nau. Some bones date back to as early as 1445, while others were buried as late as 1925, well after European contact. In all cases, no DNA traces of Native Americans were found.
The idea that South Americans first populated Easter Island was proposed in the 1950s by Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian anthropologist famous for his Kon-Tiki raft expedition. He saw sweet potatoes native to the Andes growing on Rapa Nui, and noticed similarities between fishing gear, language quirks and pre-Inca stone statueson the island and the mainland.
Today, the archaeological consensus is that Polynesians —who were skilled at long-distance ocean voyages and settled scattered Pacific islands—got to Rapa Nui first. But scholars haven’t totally tossed out Heyerdahl’s idea about early contact with South America.
Erik Thorsby of the University of Oslo, who was not involved in the new study, previously found some genetic markers typical of Native Americans in Rapanui skeletons.
Based on a recent review of the evidence, Thorsby suggested that Native Americans may have arrivedat Rapa Nuias early as AD 1280 to 1495, perhaps by hitching a ride with Polynesians who were returning from visits to the shores of South America.
Thorsby said he thinks the new findings are interesting, but added that “great caution must be exercised in drawing general conclusions since ancient DNA from only five different individuals was studied.” He noted that past studies have revealed small percentages of early Native American ancestry in just a few individuals from the island. Therefore, it’s possible that only a few Native Americans reached Rapa Nui early and their ancestral genes “may be easily missed when ancient DNA from only five individuals are investigated,” he told Live Science in an email.
Original article on Live Science.

https://www.livescience.com/60673-easter-island-dna-evidence.html

No batteries Required: Now Even Your Clothes can be Part Of The ‘Net!

A new technology may make your clothes part of the internet of things (IoT) network. However, unlike other IoT devices, these smart fabrics aren’t dependent on electricity.
Instead, these fabrics use a special kind of conductive thread, which can function without any added electronics. Simply put, while these clothes can serve as data storage, they can also be washed, dried and ironed like regular clothes.
A team from the University of Washington has created a smart fabric, which can use the magnetic properties of conductive thread. Such smart fabrics can store a lot of information including 2D images. The data stored in such fabrics can be read by regular smartphones, using the device’s inbuilt magnetometer.
It works by putting in a binary code on the conductive thread using magnets. This code can then be easily decoded using a standard magnetometer, which is there in most smartphones. This lets the cloth store different kinds of data, which can be read by a smartphone using an app.

net clothes no batteries

The clothes can even communicate with a smartphone despite aberrations such as non-magnetized clothing — if a smartphone is inside a pocket and comes in contact with gloves containing conductive thread even from inside the pocket.
In the tests run by the researchers, the fabric survived in tests including running the cloth through the washing machine. In their tests, the researchers found that even though the fabric get demagnetized by 28-36 percent, but it soon gets remagnetized from the surrounding environment.
Furthermore, these fabrics can be stitched into different clothing items, like gloves and used for gesture-based commands. According to the researchers, the conductive thread can also be used in necklaces, ties, wristbands, and belts.
The fact that this thread can also store 2D images and such data also entails that it can be used for authentication. While authentication technology in smartphones has moved from fingerprint authentication to face recognition, the next technology in line might be authentication using wearable fabrics.

More:

https://a.msn.com/r/2/AAujUt5?m=en-nz

Microchip Brain Implant To Unlock “Mankind’s True Potential” ? No Thanks!

SUPER HUMANS could exist in just 15 years thanks to a computer chip inserted into the brain to unlock the mankind’s full potential.
By SEAN MARTIN
PUBLISHED: 12:19, Thu, Nov 9, 2017 | UPDATED: 11:24, Fri, Nov 10, 2017

Bryan Johnson outlines plan to put a CHIP in your brain
People will be able to buy new memories and delete unwanted ones in the near future as experts believe they are close to biohacking the body’s most powerful tool, according to a leading technology entrepreneur.

Speaking at Lisbon’s Web Summit, Bryan Johnson, the founder of Kernel – a start-up researching the possibilities of microchips being inserted on the brain – says unlocking the true potential of the mind is the “single greatest thing” humanity can achieve.
Kernel’s first step is to design chips that can help fight disease, but then it hopes to evolve the brain to offer superhuman abilities.
The firm’s website reads: “To further explore our own human boundaries, a wave of new technologies needs to emerge that can access, read, and write from the most powerful tool we have — the human brain.

chips inserted brain

GETTY
Chips inserted in brains will give us MIND-BLOWING abilities within years

Read more

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/877457/brain-function-dementia-super-power-human-kernel

 

Yes, yet more evidence of the transhuman agenda rapidly progressing.

Computer chips will give us “mindblowing” lobotomies and turn us into robotised zombies living in an artificially generated, holographic reality-simulation. It’s already well under construction. 
“Welcome to the Matrix. Neo”.

And what’s more, our brains are perfect as they are. We have indeed only just begun to unlock it’s TRUE POTENTIAL and THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE AFRAID OF: Hence the desire to chip us and turn off our minds.

This music video sums up the situation better than my words ever could:

This Time It’s For Real: Hidden Chamber Found In Great Pyramid!

CAIRO — Scientists have found a hidden chamber in Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, the first such discovery in the structure since the 19th century and one likely to spark a new surge of interest in the pharaohs.
In an article published in the journal Nature on Thursday, an international team said the 30-meter (yard) void deep within the pyramid is situated above the structure’s Grand Gallery, and has a similar cross-section. The purpose of the chamber is unclear, and it’s not yet known whether it was built with a function in mind.
The scientists made the discovery using cosmic-ray imaging, recording the behavior of subatomic particles called muons that penetrate the rock similar to X-rays, only much deeper. Their paper was peer-reviewed before appearing in Nature, an international, interdisciplinary journal of science.discovery pyramid chamber

The pyramid is also known as Khufu’s Pyramid for its builder, a 4th Dynasty pharaoh who reigned from 2509 to 2483 B.C. Visitors to the pyramid, on the outskirts of Cairo, can walk, hunched over, up a long tunnel to reach the Grand Gallery. The newly discovered chamber does not appear to be connected to any known internal passages.
Scientists involved in the scanning called the find a “breakthrough” that highlighted the usefulness of modern particle physics in archaeology.

“This is a premier,” said Mehdi Tayoubi, a co-founder of the ScanPyramids project and president of the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute. “It could be composed of one or several structures… maybe it could be another Grand Gallery. It could be a chamber, it could be a lot of things.”
“It was hidden, I think, since the construction of the pyramid,” he added.

Ancient Egyptian pyramid mystery solved?

The Giza pyramids, the last surviving wonder of the ancient world, have captivated visitors since they were built as royal burial chambers some 4,500 years ago. Experts are still divided over how they were constructed, so even relatively minor discoveries generate great interest.

Late last year, for example, thermal scanning identified a major anomaly in the Great Pyramid — three adjacent stones at its base which registered higher temperatures than others, stoking imaginations worldwide.
Speculation that King Tutankhamun’s tomb contains additional antechambers stoked interest in recent years, before scans by ground-penetrating radar and other tools came up empty, raising doubts about the claim.

The muon scan is accomplished by planting special plates inside and around the pyramid to collect data on the particles, which rain down from the earth’s atmosphere. They pass through empty spaces but can be absorbed or deflected by harder surfaces, allowing scientists to study their trajectories and discern what is stone and what is not. Several plates were used to triangulate the void discovered in the Great Pyramid.
Tayoubi said the team plans to work with others to come up with hypotheses about the area.
“The good news is that the void is there, and it’s very big,” he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/scientists-discover-hidden-chamber-in-egypts-great-pyramid/ar-AAumMxz?li=AAaUOAg&ocid=spartandhp

Something that’s been claimed and discussed for decades. Now it seems there’s finally some real evidence. Yet I’m sure I recall similar scans having been done before and officialdom and red tape getting in the way of results. So is there a special significance in the timing of this revelation, and what more will we hear about this? Or will the usual pattern of a resounding silence follow?

More technically oriented material can be found here:

https://www.archaeology.org/news

Tech meant to keep kids safe is actually making them more vulnerable

more vulnerable child gadgets

Kids toys aren’t what they used to be: Barbies now have mechanical brains, and gadgets like smartwatches are being made child-friendly. And anything connected to the internet comes with the risk of being hacked or misused to gather sensitive data about its owner—a liability now being passed on to children.
The latest example comes from developer Roy Solberg, who uncovered that the kid-friendly Gator 2 smartwatch he bought for his child could be easily hacked from a web browser. The watch, marketed as “children’s first cellphone,” and provides GPS-enabled location information so caregivers can know where their kids are at all times.
Solberg found by testing his own watch that an attacker could modify the location-tracking feature and download messages sent between parents and children. The attacker only needed the unique serial number given to every internet-connected device, an IMEI number. After confirming the hack himself, Solberg changed just one number of his watch’s IMEI and was able to download a private message from a similar Gator watch in Sweden.
“When you buy a product like this you expect to make them more safe,” Solberg writes in a blog post describing the vulnerability. “But what happens is that you put your child at risk. Any predator can track your kid, and even start see patterns in when a child usually goes to e.g. school or after-school activities.”

READ THE REST:

https://a.msn.com/r/2/AAtVh6d?m=en-nz

 

officially testing driverless cars on public streets

Canada is officially testing driverless cars on public streets
In Brief
The first test of a self-driving car has taken place in Canada last week. This is a historic step-forward for driverless cars in the country and it signals progress for autonomous car progress around the world.
Oh Canada
Canada is celebrating a technological milestone after its first official self-driving car test on public roads last week. The street test was conducted in Ottawa’s west end using technology developed by Blackberry.
The city of Ottawa announced a partnership with Blackberry’s QNX team, the operating system arm of the company which is developing self-driving vehicle software. “With support from BlackBerry QNX and its Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center and by working closely with all our partners, we are facilitating smart initiatives and research, and fuelling innovation and job creation in Ottawa,” said the city’s mayor, Jim Watson in a press release.
The test was not run in real-life conditions as the roads were closed during the demonstration. Still, this is an important first step toward seeing the widespread integration of self-driving vehicles. As we are seeing in other areas of the world where self-driving car experiments have been or are being held, there are plenty of hurdles that stand in the way of the technology becoming mainstream.

driverless cars Canada

Preliminary Testing
Other cities all around the world are also welcoming self-driving car testing. Baidu, the company described as the “Chinese Google,” started test driving its cars on California roads. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has given more than 40 companies, including Uber, Apple, and Waymo permission to test vehicles in the state. Much like with Ottawa, this is a great first step but it is a far cry from the kind of legal structure we will need to allow for self-driving cars to enter and be successful in the public sphere.
To that end, a United States Senate committee recently voted unanimously to allow a bill to move forward which secures the future of self-driving cars in the country by allowing testing to commence unhindered by state governments. The bill, dubbed the American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act, was passed by the House of Representatives and will soon be taken up by the Senate.
The timeline of when these autonomous vehicles will be available to the general public is not set in stone. However, as we continue to see legislation gaining support, there is the hope and likelihood that it will grow into the necessary framework which will provide the foundation this technology needs to thrive.

https://nexusnewsfeed.com/article/science-futures/canada-is-officially-testing-driverless-cars-on-public-streets/

Archaeology fossil teeth discovery in Germany could re-write human history

A 9.7-million-year-old discovery has left a team of German scientists scratching their heads. The teeth seem to belong to a species only known to have appeared in Africa several million years later.

teeth fossil

A team of German archaeologists discovered a puzzling set of teeth in the former riverbed of the Rhine, the Museum of Natural History in Mainz announced on Wednesday.
The teeth don’t appear to belong to any species discovered in Europe or Asia. They most closely resemble those belonging to the early hominin skeletons of Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) and Ardi (Ardipithecus ramidus), famously discovered in Ethiopia.
But these new teeth, found in the western German town of Eppelsheim near Mainz, are at least 4 million years older than the African skeletons, which has scientists so puzzled they held off publishing for a year.
A specialist team will be carrying out further tests on the teeth.

READ MORE:

https://www.dw.com/en/archaeology-fossil-teeth-discovery-in-germany-could-re-write-human-history/a-41028029

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