Daily Dish 010719

Daily Dish Monday 7th January, MMXIX
Dispute The Text, Sapere Aude 


Inside Shenzhen’s race to outdo Silicon Valley [techreview] A product that took 12 to 18 months for a Western company to bring to market might take only four to six weeks within the shanzhai ecosystem. It was common for Western companies that announced a new gadget to find shanzhai versions of it on the shelves before they could put it on sale themselves. Many early shanzhai successes were copies of popular phones by brands including Nokia, Samsung, and Apple.

Five big questions about Apple putting iTunes on Samsung TVs [theverge ] Apple tells me that Samsung will not be able to track usage inside the iTunes Movies & TV Shows app. But the press release says iTunes will work with Samsung’s Bixby assistant, search, and guide features, so we’ll have to see how what data powers those things when it ships in the spring

Minimizing algorithmic bias and discrimination in the digital economy [aanoip.org]  The African Academic Network on Internet Policy (AANOIP) is a network for interdisciplinary scholarly engagement and discussion on the State of the Internet, related policies and regulatory regime in Africa.

Can a set of equations keep U.S. census data private? [science| The agency announced in September 2018 that it will apply a mathematical concept called differential privacy to its release of 2020 census data after conducting experiments that suggest current approaches can’t assure confidentiality. But critics of the new policy believe the Census Bureau is moving too quickly to fix a system that isn’t broken. They also fear the changes will degrade the quality of the information used by thousands of researchers, businesses, and government agencies.

Tensor Considered Harmful [harvard nlp]  TL;DR: Despite its ubiquity in deep learning, Tensor is broken. It forces bad habits such as exposing private dimensions, broadcasting based on absolute position, and keeping type information in documentation. This post presents a proof-of-concept of an alternative approach, named tensors, with named dimensions. This change eliminates the need for indexing, dim arguments, einsum- style unpacking, and documentation-based coding. The prototype PyTorch library accompanying this blog post is available as namedtensor.

The High Line Has Become a Tunnel Through Glass Towers [nymag] What makes those duds look even worse is their proximity to Zaha Hadid’s 520 West 28th Street, the lissome star that reduces all other attention-seekers on the High Line stage to the status of clumsy dilettantes. The L-shaped structure is banded in steel components that swerve, stretch, and glide like a goshawk in flight, all movement and muscle

Marriott Says Hackers Swiped Millions of Passport Numbers [wsj] The company said early Friday in a release that the number of guests involved in the data breach is lower than the original 500 million, but it didn’t specify a number. Marriott said a total of about 383 million records was “the upper limit” for the number potentially compromised in the incident. That figure includes passport numbers, email addresses and payment-card data of some guests, the company said.

Privacy is Power