When he discovered this new drink, Soderbergh wasn’t looking for a project. He was already on a project–a challenging one. The director first tried Singani as he commenced shooting his two-part 2008 feature Che in Spain and the film’s Bolivian casting director, Rodrigo Bellot, handed him a bottle. Soderbergh, whose, sharp, direct style of speaking extends to his assessment of what he likes in a drink (“Wherever I am going to go, I like to get there”) was immediately taken with the unusual spirit. It had a unique story, certainly. Singani is the national drink of Bolivia. It’s made exclusively from white Muscat of Alexandria grapes grown at 5,250 feet in the Andes– which means it comes from the highest vineyards in the world, or as the promotional literature now describes it, “a terrain so high, most gringos would either pass out or feel as though they had barbed wire wrapped around their heads.” The drink’s history goes back … [Read more...] about Steven Soderbergh’s Latest, Years-In-The Making Creative Project Will F#*& You Up
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UC-Berkeley is also resisting machine-driven admissions. Janet Gilmore, UC-Berkeley’s senior director of communications & public affairs, says the university has no automated processes, and that the applicant’s complete file is evaluated by trained readers. Its admissions process website states that “race, ethnicity, gender, and religion are excluded from the criteria,” and that the school uses a holistic review process that looks at both academic (course difficulty, standardized test scores) and nonacademic factors. In the latter case, it could be personal qualities such as character and intellectual independence, or activities like volunteer service and leadership in community organizations. … [Read more...] about Schools are using software to help pick who gets in. What could go wrong?
As he demonstrated, a malicious hacker can execute a search for an Elasticsearch database with these tools by defining a port, an index, and a keyword. In less than a minute, Wethington found 33,000 open Elasticsearch databases, a small percentage of which would be related to facial recognition or artificial intelligence. “The point is that the data is easy to find if it’s even remotely insecure,” he says. In short order, Wethington found a database in China that is using facial recognition technology. He says the tools to access these systems are freely available and often require zero authentication. “Technically, they aren’t being hacked—they are simply not being secured,” says Wethington. … [Read more...] about Due to weak oversight, we don’t really know how tech companies are using facial recognition data
Last month, Facebook said that WhatsApp users were vulnerable to a sophisticated exploit capable of hacking into phones with little more than a few unanswered calls. The new exploit was likely part of Pegasus, a spyware suite created by the Tel Aviv-based NSO Group, which boasts of its ability to take over phones and computers on behalf of high-paying government clients, according to WhatsApp and Citizen Lab, a research center at the University of Toronto. While the U.S. Justice Department recently told Fast Company that it is aware of the exploit, a rep for the agency would not comment on whether it is actively investigating it. … [Read more...] about Inside the shadowy world of spyware makers that target activists and dissidents
The German engineering and technology company Bosch also invested in AnyVision in 2018. Its 9 percent stake in the company includes a sales and technology partnership. Nvidia, which designs graphics processing units for the gaming and professional markets, as well as chip units for mobile devices, is an official partner on Nvidia’s Metropolis intelligent video analytics platform. This techno-jargon may at first seem innocuous, but Nvidia Metropolis is being marketed as the AI-enabled “lifeblood” for future smart cities. Nvidia, which selected AnyVision as the facial recognition engine for its AI smart-city platform, refused to comment on AnyVision’s use in the West Bank, as well as its ties to Hong Kong, Macau, and Russia. … [Read more...] about Microsoft-backed facial recognition firm rethinks its role in Hong Kong