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A Bloomberg investigation has found that Facebook – like Amazon, Google and Apple – has been paying hundreds of external contractors to transcribe voice recordings from its Messenger communications platform.
The company says that it paused this programme last week the wake of controversy surrounding the use of contractors in training other voice recognition systems. Facebook provided no indication to users of Messenger’s AI transcription service that their personal messages might be recorded and listened to by strangers.
It’s time to make sure that your Windows 7, 8, 10 and Server systems are fully up-to-date with their patches (Ars Technica). Microsoft has discovered four new vulnerabilities affecting the Remote Desktop Services protocol which require no user intervention or credentials to exploit. Unpatched systems could be taken over and spread malicious payloads across their networks in a similar manner to 2017’s WannaCry ransomware outbreak.
US Tier 1 telco GTT’s fibre optic cable network underpins a large chunk of UK and European internet communications and all of it appears to connect to equipment at the US National Security Agency spy station at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, best known for its alleged role in the ECHELON electronic surveillance programme (The Register). An investigation by Alan Turnbull of secret-bases.co.uk includes cable routing maps that raise fascinating questions about access to and handling of data across Europe’s internet backbone.
Google has taken a step towards actually eliminating some password reliance through Android and Chrome (WIRED). Starting from this week people using Android phones will be able to log in to web services in Chrome (via Google’s password manager) by using a fingerprint stored on their device. It’s a small step closer to a password-free world. Phone owners running at least Android Nougat, which was released in 2016, can use their fingerprint to get into web services.
A Nintendo FCC filing in the US shows SNES wireless controllers for the Switch (The Verge). The most interesting thing about this, though, is that they’ll probably be released alongside a selection of long-awaited Super Nintendo Virtual Console games, if last year’s wireless NES controller release is anything to go by.
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