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Techlife News #393

Read the most relevant news of the week about the world of technology and its influence on our lives. New products, Apps, acquisitions in the industry, highlights about the digital world and everything about your favorite iGadgets and upgrades. Everything you need to keep well informed. A new concept of light, intelligent, innovative reading at your fingertips. A global view of Tech LifeStyle and its influence on our lives.

United States
Ivan Castilho de Almeida
52 期号


us regulators get sympathy from congress on powers, fines

Federal privacy regulators got a sympathetic hearing from Congress on Wednesday for their request for greater powers and funding to police privacy, as lawmakers warned that fines against big companies may be inadequate to change their conduct. The Federal Trade Commission is negotiating a record fine to punish Facebook for alleged violations of users’ privacy. But “a large fine in a single case does not solve the problems that consumers face,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., chairwoman of the House consumer protection subcommittee. At a hearing with the five members of the FTC, Schakowsky said the agency needs more funding and authority “at a minimum to restore consumers’ confidence.” Rohit Chopra, one of the FTC commissioners, said that for some big companies, fines are a mere “parking ticket.” “We cannot change behavior without finding out…

parents can’t delete what kids tell amazon voice assistant

Amazon met with skepticism from some privacy advocates and members of Congress last year when it introduced its first kid-oriented voice assistant , along with brightly colored models of its Echo Dot speaker designed for children. Now those advocates say the kids’ version of Amazon’s Alexa won’t forget what children tell it, even after parents try to delete the conversations. For that and other alleged privacy flaws they found while testing the service, they’re now asking the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday to investigate whether it violates children’s privacy laws. “These are children talking in their own homes about anything and everything,” said Josh Golin, who directs the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood. “Why is Amazon keeping these voice recordings?” A coalition of groups led by Golin’s organization and Georgetown University’s…

grants announced for expanding nc rural broadband access

About 10,000 North Carolina households and several hundred businesses and government buildings are expected to gain high-speed internet access through the first grants issued by a new state broadband initiative. State leaders announced this week that nearly $10 million will be distributed to winning applicants in 19 counties through the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology program. These competitive matching grants are designed to lower financial obstacles to expand high-speed services in economically disadvantaged counties. Grant recipients include several North Carolina-based small businesses and utility cooperatives. The program was included in the 2018 state budget written by Republican lawmakers. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed that budget, but his veto was overridden. Cooper’s administration now manages the program through the Department of Information Technology.…

genealogy site, dna used to help solve decades-old murder

Forensic genealogists followed a trail built on decades-old DNA evidence to help identify a woman whose body was found near a Lake Tahoe hiking trail in 1982 and her killer who confessed to three other murders, investigators said Tuesday. Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam announced he has closed the investigation into the shooting death of the victim identified for the first time publicly on Tuesday as Mary Silvani. She was born in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1948 and attended high school in Detroit before moving to California. Balaam said her killer was James Richard Curry, who was born in Texas in 1946 and served prison time for robbery there before he was arrested in California in January 1983. He says Curry confessed to a 1982 murder in Santa Clara and two killings…

china vows retaliation if trump raises tariffs

Ratcheting up tension ahead of talks in Washington, China vowed Thursday to defend its own interests and retaliate if President Donald Trump goes ahead with more tariff hikes in a dispute over trade and technology. Beijing will impose “necessary countermeasures” if the increases take effect Friday as planned, the Commerce Ministry said. It gave no details but a ministry spokesman said Beijing has made “all necessary preparations,” suggesting it might be bracing for worsening conflict. Trump threw global financial markets into turmoil with Sunday’s threat to raise import duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. Trump complained Beijing was trying to backtrack on earlier agreements. “If the U.S. tariff measures are carried out, China will have to take necessary countermeasures,” said a Commerce Ministry statement. The spokesman, Gao Feng,…

singapore outlaws fake news, allows govt to block, remove it

Singapore has passed a law criminalizing publication of fake news and allowing the government to block and order the removal of such content. The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill passed Wednesday night by a vote of 72-9, a lawmaker with the opposition Worker’s Party, Daniel Goh, said on Facebook. The law bans falsehoods that are prejudicial to Singapore or likely to influence elections and requires service providers to remove such content or allows the government to block it. Offenders could face a jail term of up to 10 years and hefty fines. Opponents in Parliament said it gave government ministers too much power to determine what was false and broadly defined public interest. The Strait Times newspaper reported Law Minister K. Shanmugam said the orders to correct or remove false content…