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Websites designed to automatically install hidden monitoring tools on iPhones, revealed by Google Project Zero last week, may also have targeted Android and Microsoft Windows devices, according to Forbes sources (Gizmodo).
The sites were reportedly created by the Chinese government as part of its monitoring and oppression of the country’s Uighur ethnic minority. However, Microsoft and Google representatives say they have no information to share about security exploits beyond those already reported.
For the first time, the European Space Agency has had to move a satellite – the Aeolus wind monitor – to prevent it from colliding with a satellite ‘mega constellation’ – SpaceX’s Starlink – just half an orbit before impact (The Register).
Manoeuvring a satellite isn’t a particularly unusual event – ESA says it carried out 28 such operations in 2018, but it’s usually done to avoid orbital debris, rather than other operational satellites. However, massively increased interest in deploying communications satellite constellations means it’ll happen more often, while the crowding of lower orbits is likely to make it harder to safely move larger satellites to avoid impacts.
The developer of King’s Cross Central in London has released a statement claiming that its two facial recognition cameras have not been in use since March 2018, that they were used to help police and that data they gathered was regularly deleted (BBC News). However, the company has not addressed the data protection implications of footage and biometric analysis produced between May 2016 and March 2018 and the police say they’re unaware of any involvement on their part.
It looks like the future: the ability to seamlessly transplant yourself into the title roles of some of the biggest films of the last few decades, all from your smartphone (WIRED). Little wonder that Zao, a Chinese faceswapping app, has become a runaway success. In less than a week, it’s become the most downloaded free app on China’s iOS App Store, with accompanying privacy concerns and reports of bans on social networks such as WeChat, but it’s the quiet mainstreaming of deepfake tech itself may be the real issue to watch here.
Neuroscientists working with MRI scans of dogs have found that humans’ creation of highly specialised dog breeds has resulted in radical changes to the physical structure of those breeds’ brains (Science). Looking at 62 dogs from 33 breeds, the researchers found major variations in the layout of their brains, correlating with the jobs they were bred for, with examples such as tracking dogs – boxers and Dobermans – having major differences in networks linked to sight and smell.
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