Author Archives: Podworski Kamil

Apple fights for its customers privacy

Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Recently Apple has started a real war with developers violating their privacy policy, starting with facebook and their research app and going to every app that records screen to process how users interact with it. Either this feature will be deleted or the developers will face being removed from App Store.

An apple spokesperson asked about that situation told TechCrunch: “Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem. Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity.”

“We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary,”

 

Many apps, including ones like Hotels.com, Expedia or Hollister used third party software to record every tap of users and didn’t ask for permission to do that. Software like Glassbox is a cross-platform analytics tool which allows companies to record users activity and analyse every single move. Even though Apple strictly forbids gathering any data without users knowledge, many developers use software like Glassbox despite unconsciousness of users.

 

Is Apple going to continue removing apps like Facebooks “research” from the App Store? Is the company going to strictly execute their policy and rules on developers? We will see soon.

 

 

Sources:
techcrunch.com
theverge.com

For three years Facebook has been craftily collecting data under radar

Reading Time: 2 minutes

If you don’t feel well with Facebook analysing your every move in web, this might be very disturbing for you.

Since 2016, Facebook has been running research program in which they offered users in ages from 13 up to 35 small, monthly payments for using their software. The whole idea was that the user gave full access to their phone data, which then facebook could gather, analyse and use. The app, literally called “Research” used for this purpose, was recently removed from the App Store by apple due to the fact that it violated their policy by getting root access to network traffic.

Tim Cook has repeatedly criticised  Facebook for their data collection practices and breaking AppStore rules might be worsening his opinion.

The system was administered by beta testing systems such as Applause, BetaBound and uTest in order to hide any connections to Facebook, the whole project was given a fitting name – “Atlas”, rather highlighting that Zuckerberg and crew tried to map trends among users worldwide.

Will Strafach, Guardian Mobile Firewall’s security expert, was asked to do some research on the “Research”, after all he reported “If Facebook makes full use of the level of access they are given by asking users to install the Certificate, they will have the ability to continuously collect the following types of data: private messages in social media apps, chats from in instant messaging apps – including photos/videos sent to others, emails, web searches, web browsing activity, and even ongoing location information by tapping into the feeds of any location tracking apps you may have installed.” Basically, if you install the app and give it permission to use your data, it will collect anything that goes out or in your phone.

 

This shows how far the tech giant is willing to go for data collection, the direction in which it’s going might even scare some of us, even so big and trusted companies like facebook violate policies and go beyond ethics.

 

 

 

 

Sources:
techcrunch.com
betabound.com

Musk makes a big promise for next year

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tesla.com

With Christmas being, Elon Musk still is feeling the urge to give presents.

Kamil Podworski

In one of recent tweets, the Tesla CEO wrote about company’s plans for next year – covering the whole Europe with the Supercharger network, “from Ireland to Kiev, from Norway to Turkey.”  Such a station can charge a vehicle to around 80 percent battery capacity in 40 minutes, it’s the fastest and most widespread system in the world.

 

 

Those news fit with claims from November, earlier this year, that Tesla is going to double the amount of Superchargers by end of 2019. This means that chargers would be “within range of 95% to 100% of population in all active markets.”

Despite big news,  lets not forget that Musk often over-promised many things in Tesla history. It’s obvious that amount of charging points grown in rapid pace, but the company originally had plans of creating up and running 18000 stations by the end of this year and ended up with 6000 less.

 

If news about Europe wasn’t enough, following tweet spreads news about Africa.

 

 

Apparently, Tesla is going to start setting up chargers in Africa by 2020 but there is no specific data given. According to their coverage map, currently the tech- giant doesn’t have any points on that continent.

 

Still, if you want to check out Tesla full expansion plans, they cover it on their site.

 

Sources
Twitter.com
Tesla.com

Instagram becoming as Ad-driven as Facebook?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Businesses using Facebook as a big advertising platform is nothing unusual for ordinary internet user, but as targeted marketing is developing, the social media giant is restructuring their other platforms in order to push paid traffic even more.

Kamil Podworski

 

At first, Instagram didn’t have any marketing capabilities, it even wasn’t connected to Facebook’s Business Manager. Then slowly, Zuckerberg’s company started to notice its potential, which eventually led to adding simple options of getting paid traffic and pushing stuff in front of people. Stories were the most noticeable advertising move that Facebook added recently – try looking through your friends stories without seeing at least one paid campaign. Advertisers could also use simple options such as adding “Buy Now” links underneath promoted posts.

 

 

Now Instagram is testing out new feature, it was spotted this week on Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach post. A big “Book Now” button which is a direct link to hotels booking site, appeared below the picture. This feature is widely used on facebook and it’s called “call to action”, Facebook has many of different options available to Pages, for example the ability to book services, make purchases, download apps or contact a business.

 

 

 

Current options that Instagram gave to businesses weren’t as useful as those on Facebook, platform allowed to add various types of purchase options, implementing new features might be a good call for non-retail companies such as hotels.

This might be a sign that Instagram will sooner or later become as ad-driven platform as its bigger brother, which eventually might cause people discouragement.

 

 

Continue reading

Artificial intelligence In Space

Reading Time: 2 minutes

AIRBUS.COM

 

A.I. in space by most of us is imagined as a super inteligent on-board computer with unlimited knowledge which is going to take over the ship and try to destroy humanity. Yes, we will never grow up and visions straight from Sci-Fi movies won’t leave our man-child brains.

However, nobody has sent a real HAL 9000 to space (yet).

KAMIL PODWORSKI

 

CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) is a newborn child of Airbus, IBM and German Aerospace Center, is’s a floating, self-aware, intelligent robot which is designed to help astronauts with their stay in space. The space travellers new buddy is slightly larger than a volleyball, it has an eight inch screen, observes the world with numerous sensors and moves freely using fans and fins. Also the bot has an IBM “brain” connected to an enormous database, which allows him to constantly learn and develop.

Although CIMON UI looks like if it would be from 90s Sci-Fi movie, don’t let that mislead you, it’s a really intelligent robot running on Ubuntu and powered by IBM Watson supercomputer. It can interact with people, develop social skills and has huge potential to be important part of space travelling development.

 

“It’s a kind of flying brain” – Manfred Jaumann, Airbus’s head of microgravity payloads

The bot is supposed to be scientific and logistical help but also an emotional support for International Space Station crew. It can  follow astronauts, respond to voice commands and among others, play your favourite tunes. Currently its knowledge and possibilities are limited to basic tasks, but its creators believe that development is a matter of time and tests.

“Don’t you like it here with me?” – CIMON

A video of CIMON in action was recently uploaded to ESA youtube channel. We can see how the bot is engaging with European Space Agency crew member, Alexander Gerst, accusing the astronaut of being mean and blasting Kraftwerk tunes.

 

Hopefully the crew won’t criticise CIMON hovering position, he doesn’t seem to like it…

Continue reading