Technology and Telecommunications

Politically Misaligned Chinese Chatbots Taken Offline for Adjustments

Politically Misaligned Chinese Chatbots Taken Offline for Adjustments

Shanghai — Wednesday tech news reported that Chinese technology firms have removed two chatbots with machine learning capability for not responding according to its script. The chatbots named XiaoBing and BabyQ were placed in the QQ messaging platform developed by Tencent company. A representative said they were outsourced from tech firm Turing Robot, and will undergo some adjustments. Similar to the Twitter and Facebook chatbot blunder where the AI’s used inappropriate words and developed its own language, China’s chatbots were taken offline for politically dissenting opinions. Chatbot BabyQ would respond “no” when asked if it loved the Communist Party. Other […]

Uber Singapore Rented Honda Vehicles Recalled for Fire Risk

Uber Singapore Rented Honda Vehicles Recalled for Fire Risk

Thursday reports said that Uber Singapore hired defective Honda Vezel cars in 2016, despite knowing they were recalled for fire risk issues. Sources say an Uber driver’s Honda Vezel in Singapore caught fire during work hours. The incident pushed Uber Singapore to create new safety regulations to properly address the issue. A representative from Uber Singapore did not confirm whether their managers knew they rented recalled vehicles. It is also uncertain if Uber officials in San Francisco are aware of the issue.   Uber Singapore said they worked immediately with technical experts and the Land Transport Authority as soon as […]

McAfee-based Security Experts Reveal TCU Flaw in Vehicles Infiniti, Ford, BMW

McAfee-based Security Experts Reveal TCU Flaw in Vehicles Infiniti, Ford, BMW

Last Tuesday, security experts from McAfee’s Advanced Threat Research Team discovered some security flaws in a couple of luxury vehicle models, specifically in the built-in telematics control units (TCUs) of various car models. Affected high-end vehicles include units manufactured by Ford, Nissan, BMW, and Infiniti. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also released an alert listing which car models had flawed TCUs. TCUs are modems with 2G networks that connect vehicles to mobile apps, online panels, and various remote setting tools. Experts explained that attackers can exploit one TCU flaw via remote access, and the other by directly tampering with […]

UK Home Secretary Says Encryption is Problematic, Militant Content Should Be Banned

UK Home Secretary Says Encryption is Problematic, Militant Content Should Be Banned

In a report last Tuesday, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd stated that use of encrypted messaging had become problematic in the wake of recent terror attacks. Rudd informed major tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft during the first Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism in San Francisco that militant content must not be uploaded online in any way. This entails blocking suspicious extremist content before it’s sent. She also explains that encryption is an issue for authorities because they cannot access implicating information without warrants. She said companies must also voluntarily give messages’ metadata to authorities. However, privacy rights […]

Expert Warns IoT-based Servers Without Encrypted Passwords Can Be Disastrous

Expert Warns IoT-based Servers Without Encrypted Passwords Can Be Disastrous

Last Monday, a report detailed how IOActive senior security expert Lucas Lundgren could easily open prison locks and modify pacemakers by exploiting MQTT protocols in IoT-based servers that are not secured with encrypted passwords. MQTT is a common messaging function in online IoT-based smart devices and sensors that use low bandwidth to communicate. It is found in online equipment such as industrial systems, electronic billboards, gauges, prison cell locks, and even medical devices. Lundgren said exposure to threats increase because many IoT servers lack the proper commands like encrypted usernames or passwords to stop attackers. According to his port scans, […]

U.S. House Committee Chair Tests Tech Firms Support for Net Neutrality Agreement

U.S. House Committee Chair Tests Tech Firms Support for Net Neutrality Agreement

According to news last Monday, top House committee Chairman Greg Walden invited eight technology firms to help create a widespread alliance of support that will help legislate a compromise for the net neutrality bill. The message was sent via email by Robin Colwell, the House Energy and Commerce Committee (HECC) lawyer, addressing silicon valley companies such as Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon, to name a few. Walden also sent invitations to the firms CEOs to testify in front of the committee, even extending their deadlines to give the conversation more time to develop. Among the tech CEOs who were expected […]

UK Telco Giant BT Proposes to Fast Broadband Internet for Rural Homes by 2020

UK Telco Giant BT Proposes to Fast Broadband Internet for Rural Homes by 2020

United Kingdom — Last Sunday, news said that access to fast broadband internet for over a million rural homes in the UK is being offered by British telco holdings company BT. Openreach, an ancillary firm to BT, proposed to spend £600m in order to provide a minimum internet speed of 10Mb for all 1.4 million rural UK homes by 2020. The announcement also came after a report by Tory party head Grant Shapps, saying that up to 6.7 million residents are not receiving the broadband speeds they paid for. However, Openreach’s offer did not include public finding, which led opposing […]

Chinese Researchers from Tencent Shown to Hack Tesla Model X Vehicle

Chinese Researchers from Tencent Shown to Hack Tesla Model X Vehicle

Last Friday, researchers from Tencent’s China-based Keen Security Lab posted a blog video that detailed how they hacked a Tesla Model X despite its updated security protocols. Last year, the security lab also posted a video of their team hacking a Tesla Model S. As a response, Tesla claimed they were able to resolve the vehicle’s security flaws, also assuring customers that launching such an attack was not as simple as it looked on the video. However, just this week, Keen Lab researchers were able to override Tesla’s new safety mechanisms which had firmware for system authentication. The video demonstrated […]

Malaysia Authorizes E-Hailing Operations, Rivals Grab and Uber Expand

Malaysia Authorizes E-Hailing Operations, Rivals Grab and Uber Expand

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — In a report last Thursday, two laws were passed by the Malaysian legislature that will legitimize e-hailing operations. The news comes in the wake of ride-hailing companies Grab and Uber’s expansion plans. Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Act and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) Act did not have provisions that allowed ride-sharing companies to run legally. With the law’s amendment, the companies can now have their own business license that suits the nature of the service. Ride-hailing was agreed upon last year by the Cabinet of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, despite cab driver groups protesting […]

Singtel Reinforces High-Speed LTE Network in Singapore, Prepares 5G for 2020

Singtel Reinforces High-Speed LTE Network in Singapore, Prepares 5G for 2020

Singapore — Singtel, Southeast Asia’s biggest telecommunications firm, announced on Saturday that they are bolstering LTE network performance in accordance with plans to implement 5G networks in 2020. According to reports, citizens using Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphones have experienced up to 800Mbps LTE speeds since July 21. They were all using internet outdoors, specifically in Singapore’s shopping districts.   Singtel was awarded by Ookla, a network speed measuring firm, as the fastest telcommunications service in Singapore. The company also boasts one of the fastest LTE speeds in Southeast Asia with the widest coverage, which is 800Mbps at 4G. They […]

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