The US Government Will Be Scanning Your Face At 20 Top Airports, Documents Show [buzzfeed / 14 ] According to 346 pages of as-yet-unpublished documents obtained by the nonprofit research organization Electronic Privacy Information Center — shared exclusively with BuzzFeed News and made public on Monday as part of Sunshine Week — US Customs and Border Protection is scrambling to implement this “biometric entry-exit system,” with the goal of using facial recognition technology on travelers aboard 16,300 flights per week — or more than 100 million passengers traveling on international flights out of the United States — in as little as two years, to meet Trump’s accelerated timeline for a biometric system that had initially been signed into law by the Obama administration. This, despite questionable biometric confirmation rates and few, if any, legal guardrails.
Stores See a Future Without ‘May I Help You?’ (They’ll Already Have Your Data) [nyt] facial-recognition technology to engage with customers after they walked into stores. The company’s chief executive, Peter Trepp, showed how stores could send automatic text messages to shoppers and receive their profiles to assist them better. He showed an example of a profile, which contained a shopper’s visit history, the minutes she spent in the store on her last trip, what she bought during that visit and the sum of her online purchases with the store’s chain
23andMe thinks polygenic risk scores are ready for the masses, but experts aren’t so sure [technologyreview /22] A new genetic test that estimates your risk for diabetes is probably less useful than standing on a scale. (DO NOT SHARE YOUR DNA – EVER -ED)
Inside The High-Stakes Race To Make Quantum Computers Work
[wired /39] Beyond pure science, banks, pharmaceutical companies, and governments are also waiting to get their hands on computing power that could be tens or even hundreds of times greater than that of any traditional computer. And they’ve been waiting for decades. Google is in the race, as are IBM, Microsoft, Intel and a clutch of startups, academic groups, and the Chinese government. The stakes are incredibly high. Last October, the European Union pledged to give $1 billion to over 5,000 European quantum technology researchers over the next decade, while venture capitalists invested some $250 million in various companies researching quantum computing in 2018 alone. “This is a marathon,” says David Reilly, who leads Microsoft’s quantum lab at the University of Sydney, Australia. “And it’s only 10 minutes into the marathon.”
Philosopher Nick Bostrom on Whether We Live in a Simulation [vulture/21] Do you ever hear about scientific breakthroughs — say, a quantum-physics experiment purporting to prove that our reality is not a simulation — and consider them in relation to your hypothesis?
No, nothing with quantum physics. But the advances toward ever-faster computers have slightly reduced the probability that civilizations at our stage will go extinct before reaching technological maturity. The closer we get to technological maturity without having gone extinct, the less probable that one seems. But that’s more an incremental change. I mean, we’re not that much more advanced than we were in the early 2000s, but a little bit more. At the meta level, I haven’t really seen any convincing objections or attempts at refutation [of the simulation hypothesis]. So the absence of that also, I guess, strengthens my confidence that the reasoning is sound.
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John Oliver Rips HBO Parent AT&T Amid Lengthy Rant About FCC and Robocalls [hr] be if someone had, I don’t know, say, the office numbers of all five FCC commissioners. Because then you could, hypothetically, have a program to robocall all of those numbers every 90 minutes with a message, say, oh, I don’t know. Like, this.”