• Technology

    France approves a tax on tech giants

    On Thursday France introduced a punitive tax on technological giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook despite threats from the United States. The allies must resolve their differences “without using threats,” said French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, just before the vote to approve the measure. The French Senate estimated that the levy will mean 400 million euros (450 million dollars) for the state coffers this year and 650 million dollars next year. Donald Trump’s government announced an investigation into the tax Wednesday night, under the same premise used last year to investigate Chinese technology policy. That investigation led to the imposition of tariffs on Chinese imports worth 250,000 million dollars.…

  • Technology

    Canadians need to worry about their privacy and do you trust the government with your data?

    Do you think your private data is safe? A recent story posted on Global News[via] about a disturbing break of privacy has left many Canadians worried. The story titled “Appalling’ privacy breach as Canadian officials share sensitive info of Brazil woman with man in Ontario” is just one example how government agencies can’t be trusted with our data. When it comes to “data gathering” there are two types of information gatherers, commercial/private and government, and they must be treated separately. Much of the press condemns private information and then accepts government information when they should be doing the opposite. The crucial difference is that private information is gathered from voluntary…

  • Technology

    Microsoft racist, genocidal tweets from AI chatbot Tay

    The tech company introduced “Tay” this week — a bot that responds to users’ queries and emulates the casual, jokey speech patterns of a stereotypical millennial. The aim was to “experiment with and conduct research on conversational understanding,” with Tay able to learn from “her” conversations and get progressively “smarter.” But Tay proved a smash hit with racists, trolls, and online troublemakers, who persuaded Tay to blithely use racial slurs, defend white-supremacist propaganda, and even outright call for genocide. Microsoft has now taken Tay offline for “upgrades,” and it is deleting some of the worst tweets — though many still remain. It’s important to note that Tay’s racism is not a product…

  • Technology

    FBI says it found a method to unlock the iPhone of terrorist Syed Farook

    Federal authorities could now access the device Syed Farook without help from Apple. The US Department of Justice has ensures that Apple’s help is no longer needed to access the iPhone belonging to Syed Farook, one of the Islamic terrorists of the shooting incident last December in San Bernardino (California). As revealed by The New York Times, the FBI found a method (provided by a third party) to enter the device belonging to the terrorist. For this reason, the judge Sheri N. Pym decided to postpone the hearing that would have taken place today in federal court in Riverside (California), on the case facing the FBI and Apple. It is…

  • Technology

    Canadian telecom giant Rogers proposes an encryption backdoor for police

    As telecom companies prepare for the day when phone calls are counted in megabytes and not minutes, yet another contentious encryption debate is looming: how to secure subscribers’ voice conversations, while balancing law enforcement’s need to eavesdrop when needed. For Canadian telecom company Rogers and equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (now Nokia), one option was a so-called backdoor, a secret key of sorts that could decrypt otherwise secure communications, and that theoretically only law enforcement could use. “In the US, this has been the debate. Are we going to backdoor communications? We simply haven’t had that debate here,” said Christopher Parsons, a post-doctoral researcher at the Citizen Lab, which belongs to the…

  • Technology

    Rogers downplays security breach, caused by hacker group TeamHans

    There may be more to the recent Rogers email hack, as sources are saying that TeamHans may have been responsible for the attack. Canadian Internet service provider Rogers Communications has confirmed that information about the company and its customers was leaked after attackers successfully targeted one of its employees via a social engineering attack. News of the purported attack first surfaced March 1, when a group calling itself TeamHans tweeted that Rogers had been “0wned by TeamHans.” The tweet linked to a dump of allegedly stolen data – in a 456 MB Tar, a.k.a. “tarball,” archive file – hosted on the “teamhans.tv” website. A whois search on that domain name…

  • Technology

    Dutch Semiconductor giant ASML target of a Chinese hack attack

    Chinese state hackers have broken into the Dutch semiconductor producer ASML. As has been reported by anonymous sources to tech site, Tweakers. The hackers in the attack possible stole information about high end chip technology. ASML is currently the largest supplier in the world of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry. According to technology site Tweakers hackers linked to the Chinese government are said to be responsible. It is obvious that China is interested in the high technology of ASML. There have been in recent times other European technology companies have also been attacked by a group which is associated with the Chinese government. ASML did not respond to messages.…

  • Technology

    India successfully tests new nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile

    India continues to make technological strides as they now have a new Prithvi-II missile system that can carry 1,000 kg of nuclear warheads. With a strike range of 350 km, Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twine engines. India on Thursday successfully test-fired nuclear weapons capable, surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile for a shortened range of 250 km as against its full range of 350 km from Chandipur in Balasore district, Odisha. The indigenously-developed missile was launched by personnel of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) from a road mobile launcher at around 9.15 am. The missile after a flight duration of…

  • Technology

    Canada’s largest biobank project is a cause for privacy concerns

    According to Timothy Caulfield Professor at University of Alberta “Consent to research is not a binding contract. Research participants retain the right to change their minds without repercussion, regardless of what they agreed to at the start of the research project.” This brings up the McMaster University proposal to ask for additional funds to expand its Biobank location, that currently resides at Hamilton Health Sciences, which boasts to hosting the largest clinical research biobank in Canada and looking to expand further, this according to new documents found in infrastructure projects under the Ontario Research Fund. Besides the obvious privacy concerns Canadians should be weary of consent issues specially with the…

  • Technology,  Uncategorized

    These Earth-Sized Planets Are Over Twice as Old as Ours

    A new paper published in the Astrop​hysical Journal details a star named Kepler-444, which acts as the Sun for our galactic pals. The researchers, led by Tiago Campante at the University of Birmingham in the UK, put the star’s age at 11.2 billion years old, which means it was formed in the relatively early years of the universe (which is around 13.8 billion years old). Our Earth is a comparative baby at only 4.5 billion years old. “We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the Universe’s 13.8-billion-year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy,” the researchers write of their…

  • Technology

    BlackBerry CEO makes push for app neutrality

    John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry (pictured), said that the strategies of some big on mobile applications and content go against the spirit of net neutrality. “Unfortunately, not all content providers and application practice openness and neutrality,” Chen wrote in an article in Inside BlackBerry, the company‘s blog. Chen is concerns many application providers only offer services to Android and iOS devices. Chen points out that one of the key elements of the recovery of BlackBerry is centered in neutrality within applications and a content strategy. BlackBerry opened in 2013 its BB messaging service to phones with Android and iOS, and later also to Windows Phone. Moreover, its BES12 platform supports Android,…

  • Technology

    Big asteroid 2004 BL86 to fly by Earth Monday

    Asteroid 2004 BL86 that is about a third of a mile (a half-kilometer) in size is said to pass by earth on Monday. CNN is reporting that “While it poses no threat to Earth for the foreseeable future, it’s a relatively close approach by a relatively large asteroid, so it provides us a unique opportunity to observe and learn more,” Don Yeomans, the recently retired manager of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a NASA press release.

  • Technology

    An asteroid will pass close to Earth next January 26

    On the 26th of January, an asteroid measuring 650 meters in diameter will pass earth at a distance equal to three times the distance from Earth to the Moon, so it poses no risk to the population. This is the 2004 BL86 space rock that can be seen through telescopes at a distance of 1.2 million kilometers was announced by the Astronomical Society of the Caribbean (SAC) on its website. A delegation of students and people in the community who share an interest in astronomy organization stated that this phenomenon will not be repeated until in 200 years. He explained that the asteroid will be observed as a faint star…

  • Technology

    Privacy “experts” silent against foreign hackers stealing our secrets

    As we speak the media is exposing the fact that “Trojan” Chinese Hackers are breaking into our National Research Council computers, stealing our secrets and more. What then prevents them from breaking into our into our on-line banking accounts? But the same privacy advocates who complain vociferously that Harpers’s warrant-less domestic wiretapping meant to protect Canadians against potential terrorist attacks as an invasion of privacy have been utterly silent. Listen to them… New Democrat MP Charlie Angus is warning the government to expect a backlash from Canadians if the Conservatives force through new legislation critics say will hurt privacy rights. Angus, who is his party’s ethics critic, and NDP justice critic Françoise Boivin called…

  • Business,  Technology

    Canadian government investigating Apple over contract practices

    The Apple division in Canada is being investigated by the Competition Bureau due to supposed anti-competitive practices in negotiating agreements with Canadian mobile operators, as reported by CNET. However, there have been no official charges against Apple as of yet. The competition Office – antitrust Agency of Canada – said that Cupertino are being investigated for having supposedly clauses in their contracts with providers of local wireless services that could hamper competition. A court order has forced Apple to turn over records related to the ongoing investigation. The competition Office did not want to reveal who made the accusations and pointed out that so far evidence that could corroborate accusations…

  • Technology

    Russia clamps down on privacy, requires that all who use the internet in public places be identified

    Not only that but Putin has come to declare that the internet “is a project of the CIA” Russia has issued a bizarre decree that tightens control over the Internet and will now force people who use public WiFi access points to be identified. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on July 31, but it was not until today when it has become public. This battery of new laws governing access to the Internet has been regarded by critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as retaliation after blocking the websites of two of its most important enemies. For his part, Putin, which alarmed the population when he said last April…

  • Technology

    UK now cracking down on proxy site servers

    Proxy servers allow users to remain anonymous while surfing the web, but apparently in the UK that is a no no since recently the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) started an unusual crackdown on “proxy” services, and privacy.   Via Fudzilla The UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has arrested a 20-year-old man on suspicion of running an ‘umbrella’ proxy service that connected users with otherwise blocked sites. Ironically he was living in Nottingham which is famous for Robin Hood style activities like this one. The arrest is part of Operation Creative which is designed to cut down piracy in the UK. PIPCU, DCI Andy Fyfe said that the…