It’s true. I’m not a fan of the month of April. And it has nothing to do with showers, golden or otherwise. For the last decade, I have dueled with the Tax Man and writing these grip worthy checks. I can’t stand it. But, I’m coming to the end. Anyway, I had enough time to come up with some of the week’s top tech stories. Facebook can’t keep its nose clean and is asking the EU and Canada if it can use its facial recognition tech. Strange given the heat they’ve been taking these last several weeks. Well, here are the stories Mark Starling and I shared with the good listeners of First News 570. You can always listen LIVE on Thursday mornings. Oh yeah, Task Rabbit.
EU PUSHES HUMANITY ONE STEP CLOSER TO ROBOT APOCALYPSE BY INTENDING TO TREAT BOTS LIKE PEEPS
150 experts from 14 countries wrote and signed an open letter to the European Union as the body began deliberations to recognize robots as electronic persons. The parliament intended for the law to be used as a means of holding smart bots and other decision making systems accountable for their actions when they do something wrong. THIS JUST SEEMS BAD. I’d like to think there’s already recourse available through the company, but recognizing robots as people, electronic or organic opens up a huge can of worms when we really don’t understand how these systems work. If you want to have a debate on what it means to be alive, my personal question: “do you have to fog a mirror in order to be alive?”, sounds fine and we can do that all day.
JOURNALIST DOES SMART HOME EXPERIMENT, GETS CREEPED OUT, BUT KEEPS SOME TECH
Technology journalist Kashmir Hill conducted a smart home experiment for two months in a bid to track the details of information her smart gadgets were collecting on her and sending back to the manufacturers. Some notable quips are that her smart toothbrush betrayed her to the company when she didn’t brush her teeth. She installed an Amazon Echo and noted that Alexa reported back to Amazon every three minutes. She had a friend install a smart router which tracked where data from her smart devices went to as they were being transmitted for the experiment. The router probably phoned home too. What was most notable was the amount of traffic she couldn’t explain. A lot of things are just collecting data on us everyday. And if we aren’t paying for the product or service, then we are the product or service. In the end, like all technology, there are some conveniences that are just too damned good to give up. She’s keeping Echo and her smart TV, because, well. They work.
T-MOBILE GETS FINED $40 MILLION DOLLARS FOR SAYING, “SIKE,” TO RURAL USERS
The Uncarrier, T-Mobile was fined $40 million dollars for playing a false ringtone to its cellular service users who were in rural areas. When T-Mobile’s cell service couldn’t connect the call because of low service or for whatever reason, the company played a false ringtone on the phone instead of just dropping the call. I guess they wanted to make the appearance that, they tried to connect you, but it’s not their fault. A bulk of the complaints came from users in Wisconsin who complained that the phone rang while trying to ring the receiving party, even though the other person was out of range, or wherever. It’s a dastardly thing to do, but what do you expect from a company who rewards customer loyalty with $2 pizza Tuesdays?