Google’s Bias Towards Clinton

Today in Technology

Alphabet, Inc.’s subsidiary, Google, is currently under scrutiny for  positively biasing search results for Hillary Clinton. When searching ‘Hillary Clinton ind’ on another search engine such as Yahoo!, the search engine suggests an auto-completion of ‘Hillary Clinton indictment’ while Google suggest the auto-completion of something more favorable – ‘Hillary Clinton Indiana’. The auto-complete feature is designed to auto-complete a users search by looking at the most popular searches of that day. A Google spokesperson released a statement saying that Google’s results are not biased and that they display the most common search – but do they actually?

Looking deeper into the situation it should be noted that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt financially supports the go-to data analytics company of Hillary Clinton. Is Schmidt biasing results for Hillary and against the other political candidates?

The bottom line here is that search engines should never provide biased search results, especially for politicians.  The entire point of using a search engine is to gather the best possible results for a search – putting a bias on the results simply makes it impossible to find the information that users need. Search engines should auto-complete to the most popular searches and display the best possible web pages for each search.

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Twitter Security Breach

Today in Technology

On Tuesday Russian hacker Tessa88  claimed to have obtained a cache which contained 379 million Twitter usernames and passwords; the number of compromised accounts is actually a still-staggering 33 million – that is 10% of Twitter’s active monthly users. Tessa88 is selling the information for a mere $5,800 in Bitcoin.

Many sources are stating that Tessa88 did not hack Twitter itself, but infected the computers of Twitter users with malware which allowed them to access their Twitter login information – and other more sensitive information.

It is recommended that users run an antivirus scan in order to remove any malware. After that they should change the password to their Twitter account and enable Twitter’s two-step authentication which increases account security. Two-step authentication is extremely helpful because it requires a phone number and password to log in.

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Tesla – The Self Crashing Car?

Today in Technology

In Irvine, California the driver of an all new Tesla Model X reportedly crashed the vehicle into a building. The driver claimed that while parking, the vehicle accelerated by itself and he was unable to stop it before it crashing into the building. According to Tesla, the opposite happened: the man pressed the accelerator and was unable to stop before he hit the building. After the accident occurred, Tesla’s roadside assistance program collected the car which allowed for Tesla to read the cars data which stated that Tesla’s assumptions were true – the car did not auto accelerate. After reading the data, a Tesla representative released this statement:

“We analyzed the vehicle logs which confirm that this Model X was operating correctly under manual control and was never in Autopilot or cruise control at the time of the incident or in the minutes before. Data shows that the vehicle was traveling at 6 mph when the accelerator pedal was abruptly increased to 100%. Consistent with the driver’s actions, the vehicle applied torque and accelerated as instructed. Safety is the top priority at Tesla and we engineer and build our cars with this foremost in mind. We are pleased that the driver is ok and ask our customers to exercise safe behavior when using our vehicles.”

Tesla is not at fault for this incident; the driver is. There is an underlying issue with Tesla vehicles though: the cars are simply too fast for the inexperienced drivers that are purchasing them. Due to Tesla’s all electric propulsion system there is not torque curve in the vehicle. This means that as soon as the accelerator is pressed, the car instantly reaches max torque and propels the vehicle forward from 0-60mph in a blistering 2.8 seconds for the 2016 Tesla Model S P90D and 4.8 seconds for the 2016 Tesla Model X 90D (the vehicle in this article).

With that being said, the driver is clearly at fault in this incident but people should still look to Tesla. When purchasing a car with supercar acceleration stats, Tesla should make it very clear how fast the car is – they should  offer a drivers education class which familiarizes users with the features and power of the car.

 

 

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Microsoft – Windows 10 and Why its Wrong

Today in Technology

Upon logging into your computer today you were probably instantly greeted by a pop-up windows notification stating that your device is going to be updated to Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 is Microsoft’s latest and most ‘advanced’ operating system yet it is disliked by most users, especially in the corporate world. Microsoft publicly publishes user data gathered from Windows 10 users without their permission. In addition to this, Windows 10 is not very configurable, offers a hard to use graphic user interface (GUI), displays full screen ads when locked, and uses a large amount of data due to random background downloads.

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Desktop screen for Microsoft’s Windows 10

The issues stated above are not Microsoft’s biggest problem at the moment – users are furious over the auto-update feature Microsoft has in place. By practically forcing the Windows 10 update on Windows 7 and Windows 8 users Microsoft has lost the trust of the majority of the Windows community. Over the past decade Microsoft has invested a lot in making Windows the best, and most used, operating system in the world – The Windows 10 auto-update feature definitely made them take  few steps back.

The problem is not that Microsoft’s Windows 10 is a bad operating system. In fact, after working out a few problems upon launch, Windows 10 is Microsoft’s best operating system yet. The problem lies in the fact that Microsoft implemented the new operating system incorrectly; they should also look into the publishing of user data to 3rd party groups. Microsoft should have launched better ad campaigns in order to raise awareness about Windows 10. Instead they secretly, and forcefully, updated a large percentage of user’s operating systems without their permission.

How do you feel about the implementation of Windows 10? What would you have done differently as a company when introducing a new product? How can Microsoft regain the trust of their users? Discuss below.

 

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Facebook Introduces DeepText

Today in Technology

Earlier this week, Facebook introduced DeepText. DeepText is Facebook’s new text understanding engine which was developed in order to surface new user created content, such as status updates, and filter spam. It is an approach that processes natural language using the deep learning framework. The new engine is a learning-based text engine which understands, with human level accuracy, the textual content of thousands of posts per second. DeepText was developed using several deep neural network architectures which can perform word-level and character-level based learning.

By utilizing the deep learning architecture DeepText is able to understand variations within each language such as different spelling or use of slang to communicate an idea. The use of Facebook’s deep learning architecture allows DeepText to learn from text with little pre-processing effort. DeepText is able to understand the meaning of “I want a blackberry” by using context clues – it can tell if the user is posting about the fruit or the phone.

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DeepText recognizes that the user would like a ride and creates “Request a Ride” link

 

In a traditional NLP approach, words are converted to numbers which are read by a computer algorithm. There is a huge downside to this approach: the spelling of words – slang words are not associated with the ‘original’ word because it is spelled differently. Facebook’s DeepText uses a mathematical concept which associates slang words with their original meaning. This allows DeepText to understand semantics across multiple languages. Eventually, the deep learning architecture refines these word groupings into smaller labeled data sets.

DeepText is useful for users because it helps users express their thoughts and classify their posts in an orderly manner. This feature shows users posts relevant to their needs which indirectly increases post engagement – you are likely to share, like, or comment on a post that is relevant to your interests. DeepText is also advantageous to Facebook’s ad-targeting. With the use of DeepText, Facebook can tailor ads directly to the users wants and needs.

Is DeepText valuable to Facebook users or is it another way for Facebook to archive information about users? Comment below voicing your opinion on Facebook’s DeepText.

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The Top 4 Reasons to Migrate Your Company to the Cloud

The thought of migrating your company to the cloud can be a daunting one – is the cloud secure? How expensive is this technology? Will I be paying for services that I am not using? How will I know that moving to the cloud has helped my company? By being a partner with Amazon Web Services (AWS), we are able to provide a cost efficient and secure cloud migration and development service.  At Tricolor, we do not believe in the “lift and shift” method of migrating your business to the cloud. We map out a custom plan tailored specific to your wants and needs. Tricolor has specific expertise that helps you achieve the benefits of the cloud, including cost reduction, security, flexibility, and scalability. 

Cost Reduction

One of the most important thoughts when thinking about migrating to cloud computing is, ‘How expensive is this process going to be and how can it help me cut costs in the long run?’ One of the largest savings from migrating to the cloud comes from the change in infrastructure. Moving to the cloud means that your company no longer has to purchase, create, and maintain bulky physical servers – Tricolor uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to manage the cloud server aspect of your business. Cloud migration cost is completely flexible and scales to your business needs – you only pay for how much you use. As cloud computing continues to grow, prices will continue to drop as a result of an increased customer base.

Security

Security is of the utmost importance for every company that migrates to the cloud. When migrating to the cloud, it is not uncommon to wonder about the security of applications and data being ran on the cloud. Due to our partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), 1/3 of all cloud updates are security updates. Tricolor will help your company build a secure infrastructure in the Cloud by pinpointing network threats with continuous detection and security monitoring. We will store, correlate, and monitor real-time log data, including sources like AWS CloudTrail and protect web applications from attacks like the OWASP Top Ten with technology that auto scales with your AWS workload.

Flexibility

Once your company migrates to the cloud, Tricolor can assist you in assessing your company’s needs and creating different applications to solve the main problems, while reducing cost and increasing efficiency. Cloud computing is much more than simply storing data – web, mobile, social, and business applications are created and maintained on cloud servers, as well. When developing a cloud application, Tricolor uses the operating system languages and libraries that work best for you. Thanks to the cloud’s virtual environment, you select exactly what and how we migrate and manage your data.  

Scalability

Tricolor uses a completely elastic cloud infrastructure, which allows us to quickly create, test, and deploy new applications. Once the application is created, we use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to scale the application depending on different loads during different time periods – we analyze website or application data to scale when you need it the most. Thanks to the use of Amazon Web Services, you only pay for what you use – your company no longer needs to estimate data usage months in advance.

Migrating to the cloud can be a challenging process, but Tricolor is here to streamline the migration process to allow your company to transition quickly while increasing and maintaining efficiency. For more information on our cloud migration and cloud application development process, please visit our website at www.tricolor.com.

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