“A civil court in Spain handed down last Thursday a ruling dismissing plaintiff’s claims against Google Spain over the so called “right to be forgotten”. The case is Alfacs Vacances SL v. Google Spain SL (ruling of February 23, 2012, issued by the Court of First Instance of Amposta). While the right to be forgotten is being the subject of heavy litigation in Spain, this is one of few judicial rulings on the matter. Indeed, most claims have been brought before the Spanish Data Protection Authority, its orders being subsequently challenged before the Audiencia Nacional (the court with the power to reverse the orders issued by the DP Authority). About 130 cases are thus pending before the AN, which might be about to refer the issue to the EUJC.”—Google Spain wins lawsuit over the “right to be forgotten” « ISP Liability
“we do not want to pay for our memories. The films that remind us of our childhood, the music that accompanied us ten years ago: in the external memory network these are simply memories. Remembering them, exchanging them, and developing them is to us something as natural as the memory of ‘Casablanca’ is to you. We find online the films that we watched as children and we show them to our children, just as you told us the story about the Little Red Riding Hood or Goldilocks. Can you imagine that someone could accuse you of breaking the law in this way? We cannot, either.”—
“An extended campaign in Nevada by Google has led to a new host of provisions which will allow automated cars to legally drive in the state. Starting March 1st, 2012 innovators like Google can officially apply for a new kind of robot driver’s license that will give them permission to openly test their cars on the road. Automated vehicles will be able to travel the same streets and highways as human drivers, with only a red license plate marking them as robots. Once research on those automated cars is complete (which may take years), the Nevada Department of Motorized Vehicles will issue them a neon green license plate – an indication that the robot drivers are good to go.”—Starting March 1st, A Red License Plate in Nevada Means the Driver is a Robot! | Singularity Hub
GPS “spoofers” — devices that create false GPS signals to fool receivers into thinking that they are at a different location or different time — could be used to defraud financial institutions, according to Todd Humphreys from the University of Texas.
On an innocuous level, GPS spoofing can lead to the confusing of in-car GPS systems so that users think they are in a different location to their actual location. However, a more sinister use could be to interfere with the time-stamping systems used in high frequency trading.
Financial institutions depend on timing that is accurate to the microsecond on a global scale so that stock exchanges in, say, London and New York are perfectly synchronised. One of the main ways of doing this is through GPS, and major financial institutions will have a GPS antenna on their main buildings. “They are always visible because they need a clear view of the sky,” Humphreys told Wired.co.uk.
He explains that someone who directed a spoofer towards the antenna could cause two different problems which could have a major impact on the largely automated high-frequency trading systems. The first is simply causing confusion by manipulating the times — a process called “time sabotage” — on one of the global stock exchanges. This sort of confusion can be very damaging. If the automated trading systems notice something anomalous they will back out of the market; this happened in 2010 during the Flash Crash of 2.45. Secondly, it could used by an unscrupulous individual or an organisation to change the timestamp of a particular market to give them, for example, a 20 millisecond trading advantage. They could exploit that knowledge for financial gain through inter-market arbitrage.
Before I talk about my own troubles, let me tell you about another book, “Computer Game Bot Turing Test”. It’s one of over 100,000 “books” “written” by a Markov chain running over random Wikipedia articles, bundled up and sold online for a ridiculous price. The publisher, Betascript, is notorious for this kind of thing.
It gets better. There are whole species of other bots that infest the Amazon Marketplace, pretending to have used copies of books, fighting epic price wars no one ever sees. So with “Turing Test” we have a delightful futuristic absurdity: a computer program, pretending to be human, hawking a book about computers pretending to be human, while other computer programs pretend to have used copies of it. A book that was never actually written, much less printed and read.
In other news, this development naturally, this adds a layer of variability in market dynamics which make some completely unpredictable feedback loop imminent: because if a robot is reacting to a headline written by itself (and it is only a matter of time before Narrative Science is acquired by GETCO or some other HFT behemoth in the latest market manipulation scheme) the epic collapse possibilities are simply stupefying.
“Forbes has joined a group of 30 clients using Narrative Science software to write computer-generated stories. Here’s more about the program, used in one corner of Forbes‘ website: “Narrative Science has developed a technology solution that creates rich narrative content from data. Narratives are seamlessly created from structured data sources and can be fully customized to fit a customer’s voice, style and tone. Stories are created in multiple formats, including long form stories, headlines, Tweets and industry reports with graphical visualizations.”—Forbes Among 30 Clients Using Computer-Generated Stories Instead of Writers - GalleyCat
“Moral of the story: the internet makes dumb people dumber and smart people smarter. If you don’t know how to use it, or don’t have the background to ask the right questions, you’ll end up with a head full of nonsense. But if you do know how to use it, it’s an endless wealth of information. Just as globalization and de-unionization have been major drivers of the growth of income inequality over the past few decades, the internet is now a major driver of the growth of cognitive inequality. Caveat emptor.”—