Japan plans tighter regulation of tech giants

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan is planning to tighten regulation of tech giants like Google and Facebook after an expert panel called for better oversight on competition and privacy, an official said Thursday. Japan has followed in the footsteps of other countries in scrutinizing the dominant role played by the world’s largest information technology companies, including Big Four tech firms Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. The government has now issued a report based on expert […]

CEO says Google has ‘checks and balances’ against bias

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said Monday that the internet giant steers clear of “political bias,” arguing that this is a core principle of its business to maintain trust of users. Pichai also said privacy and security are essential parts of Google’s mission, and that the company is committed to working with the US government “to keep our country safe and secure.” The prepared remarks released Monday, a day ahead […]

Ice is a lifeline for the world’s coldest region

by Maria ANTONOVA Agence France-Presse OY, Russia (AFP) — Innokenty Tobonov sinks his harpoon into a long block of ice while his helpers expertly push it out of freezing lake waters onto the snow-dusted surface before sliding it towards an idling tractor. After an hour of cutting ice blocks out of the lake in temperatures of minus 41 degrees Celsius (minus 42 Fahrenheit), cold vapor has frosted his eyelashes. But this is no excuse for […]

Microsoft unveils facial recognition principles, urges new laws

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Microsoft said Thursday it was adopting a set of principles for deployment of facial recognition technology, calling on industry rivals to follow suit and for new laws to avert a dystopian future. Microsoft president Brad Smith made the announcement at a Brookings Institution speech and an accompanying blog post, saying it was urgent to begin placing limits on facial recognition to avoid the surveillance state described in George Orwell’s “1984.” […]

Facebook mulled charging for access to user data

by Glenn Chapman Agence France Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook on Wednesday said it considered charging application makers to access data at the social network. Such a move would have been a major shift away from the policy of not selling Facebook members’ information, which the social network has stressed in the face of criticism alleging it is more interested in making money than protecting privacy. “To be clear, Facebook has never […]

Google accused of manipulation to track users

  OSLO, Norway (AFP) — Seven European consumer groups filed complaints against Google with national regulators Tuesday, accusing the internet giant of covertly tracking users’ movements in violation of an EU regulation on data protection. The complaints cited a study by the Norwegian Consumer Council that concluded the Internet giant used “deceptive design and misleading information, which results in users accepting to be constantly tracked.” Council official Gro Mette Moen charged that “Google uses extremely […]

Amazon says some customer email addresses exposed

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Amazon on Wednesday said that a website glitch accidentally exposed names and email addresses of some of the e-commerce giant’s customers. Amazon declined to disclose the extent of the software slip-up. “We have fixed the issue and informed customers who may have been impacted,” an Amazon spokesman said in response to an AFP inquiry. There was no breach of Amazon systems or its website, and passwords were kept safe, according […]

Virtual reality resurrects ancient Rome bit by bit

by Ella IDE Agence France Presse ROME, Italy (AFP) — Gazing upon the splendours of ancient Rome is no longer a luxury reserved for visitors to the Italian capital, as temples opened their doors internationally with a digital project launched Wednesday after decades of planning. The Rome Reborn tour is the first to show users over 7,000 buildings and monuments from the year AD 320, allowing both those with Virtual Reality goggles or just a computer […]

In photos: Elderly people join EBC Fun Run

  (Eagle News) —  People of all ages joined the Eagle Broadcasting Corporation’s Fun Run marking its 50th year held on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Ciudad de Victoria in Bulacan, the site of the world-famous Philippine Arena. Elderly people joined the run not only to express support for EBC’s 50th anniversary this year, but also to stay fit and healthy even in their old age. There were four categories to choose from:  the 1.062 […]

Instagram ousting fake followers from accounts

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Instagram on Monday said it is booting fake followers, likes, and comments generated by applications tailored to make accounts appear more popular than they actually are. The crackdown comes as Instagram parent Facebook strives to assure people that the leading social network and its services can be trusted. “Recently, we’ve seen accounts use third-party apps to artificially grow their audience,” Instagram said in a blog post. “Starting today, we […]