Threat

Paul Krugman Has Been Writing A Lot About The Ominous Threat Posed By Robots

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-krugman-articles-about-robots-2012-12

Paul Krugman

The focus of a few of Paul Krugman’s recent blog posts and his most recent New York Times column is robots and how they are fundamentally changing the U.S. labor market.

The upshot of Krugman’s argument is this: income inequality has been increasing for years in the United States, but one of the major drivers that no one talks about is the increasing use of robotics in manufacturing and other industries to do jobs traditionally done by human laborers.

One conclusion Krugman reaches is that even the highly-paid, highly-skilled workers who have dominated the share of income growth in the U.S. over the past several years will be increasingly affected going forward by the rise of the machines:

About the robots: there’s no question that in some high-profile industries, technology is displacing workers of all, or almost all, kinds. For example, one of the reasons some high-technology manufacturing has lately been moving back to the United States is that these days the most valuable piece of a computer, the motherboard, is basically made by robots, so cheap Asian labor is no longer a reason to produce them abroad.

In a recent book, “Race Against the Machine,” M.I.T.’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee argue that similar stories are playing out in many fields, including services like translation and legal research. What’s striking about their examples is that many of the jobs being displaced are high-skill and high-wage; the downside of technology isn’t limited to menial workers.

Indeed, we’ve seen this taking shape even on Wall Street, where investment banks like UBS are laying off credit derivatives traders and replacing them with computers that trade off signals generated by internal algorithms.

That example reflects another of Krugman’s assertions: the robotics revolution may be a major driver of increasing income inequality.

Krugman writes in another post:

If this is the wave of the future, it makes nonsense of just about all the conventional wisdom on reducing inequality. Better education won’t do much to reduce inequality if the big rewards simply go to those with the most assets. Creating an “opportunity society”, or whatever it is the likes of Paul Ryan etc. are selling this week, won’t do much if the most important asset you can have in life is, well, lots of assets inherited from your parents. And so on.

I think our eyes have been averted from the capital/labor dimension of inequality, for several reasons. It didn’t seem crucial back in the 1990s, and not enough people (me included!) have looked up to notice that things have changed. It has echoes of old-fashioned Marxism — which shouldn’t be a reason to ignore facts, but too often is. And it has really uncomfortable implications.!

Finally, Krugman offers a few alternative explanations for the increasing shift of income distribution toward capital and away from labor that don’t feature robots so prominently. One is the idea that monopoly power – made more ubiquitous by growing business concentration in the United States which allows big producers to control prices more effectively – may be a bigger culprit.

Krugman thus concludes by writing that “the starting point is to realize that there’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear, but it’s potentially really important.”

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Monday, December 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Samsung printer hack could let the wrong ones in

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/29/samsung-printer-hack-could-let-the-wrong-ones-in/

Samsung printer hack could let the wrong ones in

Typically, when we think of hacks, our minds conjure images of compromised security systems, personal computers or server farms, but printers? According to Neil Smith, a researcher from the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team, unauthorized access to those devices could be a very real threat — if you happen to own a Samsung model. Discovered and submitted to the agency this past Monday, the exploit unearthed by Smith takes advantage of an “SNMP backdoor” : an internet protocol that allows for remote network administrative control without authentication. The vulnerability — which would give hackers access to data sent to the printer, as well as control over it (think: ceaseless printing!) — affects most units released before November of this year. For its part, Samsung’s promised a patch will be forthcoming. But, in the meantime, if you want to avoid exposing any personal data or the possibility of a seemingly possessed printer, it’s best you steer clear of rogue WiFi connections.

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Source: ZDNet

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Thursday, November 29th, 2012 news No Comments

Online Video Piracy Is Fading Away, Thanks To Netflix (NFLX, AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/netflix-bittorrent-sandvine-report-2012-11

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Remember the threat of digital video piracy, the scourge of Hollywood?

A new report suggests that it’s dropping fast, thanks to licensed streaming services, chiefly Netflix.

Netflix utterly dominates online-video traffic, according to a new study by Sandvine, accounting for 33 percent of peak traffic in North America. Amazon, its closest rival, has only 1.8 percent, and Hulu has 1.4 percent.

The real alternative to Netflix is BitTorrent, a popular file-sharing protocol through which users upload and download copies of movies and TV shows. Because it’s a technology for file sharing rather than a centralized service or piece of software, BitTorrent has proven very hard for movie studios to shut down.

But BitTorrent is down to 12 percent of all traffic in North America. It’s easy to see why: With Netflix’s wide selection, relatively low monthly price compared to cable-TV subscriptions, and speed of delivery, few people opt to wrestle with the complexity and delay of file downloads.

In Europe, BitTorrent is at 16 percent of traffic, and in Asia, where video services are less available, it’s 36 percent.

By 2015, Sandvine CEO Dave Caputo forecasts that peer-to-peer file-sharing traffic will drop below 10 percent of network use.

It’s not a given that BitTorrent use indicates illegal downloading of a video file—some game developers use it to distribute legal copies of their software, for example—but it is heavily used for video downloads.

!

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Google Is Now Doing Same-Day Shopping Delivery (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-is-now-doing-same-day-shopping-delivery-2012-10

Larry Page Google

Google has started testing a same-day delivery shopping service in San Francisco, according to the New York Times.

This could be huge for Google’s mobile consumer intent targeting strategy (dominated by search, currently).

The move puts Google in direct competition with Amazon, which has a more prominent reputation among consumers for online shopping.

It also strengthens its Google Offers product, by implication (which, in turn, is a threat to Facebook Offers).

Put same day delivery in context with Google Maps, which increasingly feature Google’s Zagat shopping results … and you can see how mobile same-day shopping might suddenly become a thing for Google — and the advertisers who want to promote products in that space.

Disclosure: The author owns Google stock.

 

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/m4BrOmW6wmI/sopas-back-from-the-dead-and-this-time-its-a-virus

SOPA's Back From the Dead and This Time It's a Virus If you thought SOPA was dead, well, you’d be mostly right. Its bloated corpse, however, has been resurrected by hacker puppeteers for the valiant purpose of scamming people out of their cash.

The new virus is a pretty standard piece of ransomware that claims to have locked down your computer and offers to unlock it for the nominal fee of $200, but this one waves around the SOPA name for a little extra scare. Anyone who remembers the name, but not that the bill never went through, might be a little concerned at the accusations of piracy. That said, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the U.S. government probably wouldn’t be collecting fines in the form of euros via Western Union, like ever.

Fortunately this SOPA doesn’t threaten to destroy the Internet as we know it but rather just your private stash of files, illegal and otherwise and it’s an empty threat at that. If you know how to Google things the solution won’t cost you a cent. It’s just a shame all legislation can’t be manually removed. [TorrentFreak via Geekosystem]

SOPA's Back From the Dead and This Time It's a Virus

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Saturday, October 13th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/vip/~3/m4BrOmW6wmI/sopas-back-from-the-dead-and-this-time-its-a-virus

SOPA's Back From the Dead and This Time It's a Virus If you thought SOPA was dead, well, you’d be mostly right. Its bloated corpse, however, has been resurrected by hacker puppeteers for the valiant purpose of scamming people out of their cash.

The new virus is a pretty standard piece of ransomware that claims to have locked down your computer and offers to unlock it for the nominal fee of $200, but this one waves around the SOPA name for a little extra scare. Anyone who remembers the name, but not that the bill never went through, might be a little concerned at the accusations of piracy. That said, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the U.S. government probably wouldn’t be collecting fines in the form of euros via Western Union, like ever.

Fortunately this SOPA doesn’t threaten to destroy the Internet as we know it but rather just your private stash of files, illegal and otherwise and it’s an empty threat at that. If you know how to Google things the solution won’t cost you a cent. It’s just a shame all legislation can’t be manually removed. [TorrentFreak via Geekosystem]

SOPA's Back From the Dead and This Time It's a Virus

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Saturday, October 13th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Facebook’s "Like" Buttons Are Under Threat (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebooks-like-buttons-are-under-threat-2012-10

Mark Zuckerberg

Web sites are not allowed to collect infomration on users under 13 without their parents permission.

it’s part of a child-privacy law called COPPA.

This is trouble for Facebook because of “like” buttons, which are on about 9 million Websites. 

You can image how hard it would be for Facebook to make sure that everyone who clicks a like button is over 13.

Really hard. Even a little added friction, such as a “are you 13 and over?” dialogue box would tremendously slow down volume.

So that’s why Facebook sent a 20-page letter to the FTC (.PDF), last week, arguing (begging?) for a change in this  rule. Facebook argued that Like buttons are free speech.

The rule should change.

How is the fact that a kid clicked “like” any kind of threat to their saftey or privacy?

But sometimes the government does stupid things, so maybe the law won’t change.

That’d be pretty bad news for Facebook, which is dependent on all those “likes” for a lot of traffic and engagement.

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Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Samsung aims to become key player in digital content distribution through company buyouts

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/27/samsung-aims-to-become-key-player-in-content-distribution/

Samsung aims to become key player in digital content distribution through company buyouts

The writing has been on the wall ever since Samsung’s acquisition of mSpot, but the Korean firm today confirmed to Reuters that it plans to join the ranks of Apple, Google and Amazon in the world of digital content distribution. Most importantly, it plans to do so through buyouts. Samsung executive Kang Tae-jin offered a rather frank overview of the company’s ambitions, saying that it will grow Music Hub into one of the top four services in terms of revenue and subscribers within the next three years. According to Kang, the push isn’t so much to tap a new source of revenue, but rather to drive hardware sales — perhaps it sees Apple’s rumored move into music streaming as a bit of a threat. That said, the announcement also dovetails with rumblings of Samsung’s efforts to build a more self-sufficient software ecosystem. Whatever the true reason, we’d imagine that the folks at Pandora, Spotify and the like are now watching the phone a bit more intently. Wouldn’t you?

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Samsung aims to become key player in digital content distribution through company buyouts originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Sep 2012 04:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, September 27th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882888/new-man-in-the-browser-attack-bypasses-banks-two+factor-authentication-systems

New "Man in the Browser" Attack Bypasses Banks' Two-Factor Authentication SystemsThe banking industry often employs two-step security measures—similar to Google Authenticator—as an added layer of protection against password theft and fraud. Unfortunately, those systems have just been rendered moot by a highly-advanced hack.

The attack, know as the Man in the Browser method, works like this. Malicious code is first introduced onto the victim’s computer where it resides in the web browser. It will lay dormant until the victim visits a specific website—in this case, his bank’s secure website. Once the user attempts to log in, the malware activates and runs between the victim and the actual website. Often the malware will request that the victim enter his password or other security pass into an unauthorized field, in order to “train a new security system.” Once that happens, the attacker has full access to the account.

Luckily, the method is only a single-shot attack. That is, the attacker is only able to infiltrate the site once with the user-supplied pass code. But, once in, the attacker can hide records of money transfers, spoof balances and change payment details. “The man in the browser attack is a very focused, very specific, advanced threat, specifically focused against banking,” Daniel Brett, of malware testing lab S21sec, told the BBC.

Since this attack has shown that the two-factor system is no longer a viable defense, the banking industry may have to adopt more advanced fraud-detection methods similar to what secure credit cards. When compared to having your account silently drained, standing in line for the teller suddenly doesn’t seem like that much of a hassle. [BBC News via Technology Review]

Image: jamdesign / Shutterstock

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Why Google Is The Grinch Who Stole Your Business

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-grinch-who-stole-your-business-2011-12


Google Sign

It’s that time of year when we all reflect on the past, search our souls and determine what we want for the next year. I’ve been reflecting on what it means to work with a company that controls so much of the market, provides such a broad set of capabilities and delivers such a large percentage of monthly revenues to publishers. Of course, I’m thinking of Google and what their dominance in the ad market means for a publisher’s future and its ability to remain relevant to marketers.

What do we know about Google? They are this great company that gives consumers some of the best digital products available on the Web: search, email, maps, Android, apps and more. This has catapulted Google to the rank of second most valuable brand, behind only Apple, according to Millward Brown. This seems to be great for consumers, but what about the businesses who are now reliant on Google for search and display revenue, advertising technology and various business applications like Google docs, Android OS, Chrome, etc.?

Many of the businesses I meet with hold Google in high regard because of the products they represent and the amount of revenue they provide. However, these businesses are equally concerned about Google’s consumer stranglehold, their influence over the ad ecosystem and their focus on automation, all of which lessens the publishers’ worth in the value chain as a whole. Google’s market dominance stretches well beyond search, which in itself is obviously enormous. This expansive dominance should be alarming for every marketing-related business, including publishers, advertisers and agency and marketing services technologies.  Here are a few stats on Google by category that will likely frighten even the largest of these businesses:

  • 65.38% Share of Search, Oct-11 Hitwise
  • 44.1% Share of Ad revenue, Oct-11 PCMag
  • 43.8% Share for Video, Oct-11 Comsccore
  • 30.03% Share for Travel, Oct-11 Comscore
  • 22.38% Share for Automotive, Oct-11 Comscore
  • 18.69% Share for Shopping, Oct-11 Comscore
  • 16.29% Share for Health, Oct-11 Comscore

If these stats weren’t enough to dampen your holiday spirit, Google now is even prioritizing their own products above the paid search listings on their search engine. This creates a major conflict for the advertisers that have made Google what it is today and may force those clients to pay even more if their advertising is to remain competitive in this new bidding landscape. Google clearly is leveraging its position of power with consumers to launch new products and ensure their own success. The latest example of this is the promotion of their Chrome browser on the Google homepage. As you can see from the chart below, Chrome is rocketing to the position of #1 browser, a rank it is projected to achieve by June 2012.

Google is now a major threat to every business in the publishing and advertising marketplace. In the short term, while they may appear to be a superior partner that provides revenue and marketing innovation, I believe that over the long term they are eroding the value of each and every business in the media sales and publishing value chain. And, worst of all, they are charging heavily for the privilege. I’d estimate that for every dollar spent by an advertiser in the media buying process, Google captures upwards of 25% in tolls (via their various ad services, DFA, Invite, DFP, AdX, Motif, Admeld, etc.), thereby minimizing revenue and profits for publishers and other vendors along the way

So as you reflect on 2011 and consider whom you want to partner with in 2012, give some thought to the short versus the long term. What is your value proposition to clients? And who do you ultimately want to run your business … the Grinch or You?

Have a great holiday and Happy New Year!

The views expressed here reflect the views of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of 24/7 Real Media, its affiliates, subsidiaries or its parent company, WPP plc

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Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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