Friday, February 8, 2019

Care to try your hand at a $1 million Zillow prize to improve Zestimate? The competition will be one of the largest to be held on Kaggle (Anthony Goldbloom, San Francisco, Dec 2018 and Dec 2013).
Congrats to TTI/V member firm NTT Docomo, which recently announced the “world’s first 8K 3D virtual reality system” built to stream 60 frames per second under 5G.
Can digital certificates resolve the problem of spam phone calls by ending the spoofing of Caller ID? (J. Alex Halderman, Washington, D.C., Sep 2016; David Birch, Austin, Feb 2004; W. Scott Stornetta, Palm Springs, Feb 1995)
How to beat the house: bet with inexperienced sportsbooks. Sports gambling was legalized in New Jersey last year, and the state’s rookie bookies failed to balance the betting properly in their first Super Bowl last week, losing $4.5 million on $35 million wagered. Maybe we found a business model for Noam Brown’s poker bot (Brooklyn, Jun 2018).
Last week we noted that Facebook was integrating the back ends of Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. This week, German regulators have said “not so fast”: They want German users to explicitly consent the merging of their data. (Roger McNamee and Jonathan Taplin, Los Angeles, Mar 2018)

Blue Labs (Elan Kriegel, San Francisco, Feb 2017), which does big data for political campaigns, has a new CEO. There’s already no shortage of 2020 candidates for their next gig.
The discovery of a trove of court documents on a Russian server last week was scary in two ways. First—and not that we needed further proof of this—no digital documents are one-hundred-percent secure. (These apparently weren’t hacked, rather they seem to have been released, contrary to an explicit court order, by defense attorneys.) Second, the trove itself was only selectively posted in such a way that the defendant’s apparent guilt or innocence was different from what it would have been had the entire collection been visible. The possibility of altering data in an undetected way is often more frightening than theft. (Irmak Sirer, Los Angeles, Mar 2018; Serge Leef, Washington, D.C., Sep 2017; Mike O'Neill, San Francisco, Feb 2017)
What else is not secure? According to cyber-guru, Bruce Schneier (Washington, D.C., Sep 2018), public blockchains are undeserving of our trust.
A partnership between Apple and health care insurance provider Aetna signals the increasing joining of wearable data and medical data. (Marco Della Torre, San Francisco, Dec 2013; Lorna Ross, Toronto, Apr 2002; Thad Starner, Amsterdam, Jul 2000; Rosalind Picard, Marina del Rey, Jan 1997)
Robots, AI, games, and MIT—what’s not to love? (Scott Niekum, Austin, Feb 2016)
Quick Hits:

Spotify is aiming to become the Netflix of audio, purchasing Gimlet, which produces podcasts, for $200 million, and Anchor, which makes apps to help make your own podcasts, for $70 million. (Ron Bloom, Pasadena, Feb 2006). Sean Parker’s Feb 2010 (San Francisco) Facebook talk anticipated the music service’s eventual dominance long before it hopped the Pond to the United States.
We didn’t all get to bask in the polar vortex, but we can all enjoy, courtesy of NASA’s satellites, the imagery. (Jordi Puig-Suari, Boston, Apr 2017; Erik Andrejko, San Francisco, Dec 2016; Anne Miglarese, Vienna, Jul 2013)
If you’ve liked Michael Stonebraker’s quadrennial TTI/V talks (Boston, Apr 2017; Washington, D.C., Apr 2013; San Diego, Feb 2009), you might want to check out a new book from ACM Press by Stonebraker and 38 other contributors: Making Databases Work: The Pragmatic Wisdom of Michael Stonebraker.

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."
Victor Hugo

Author: Steven Cherry

Director of TTI/Vanguard, “a unique forum for senior-level executives that links strategic technology planning to business success. In private conferences that are part classroom, part think-tank, and part laboratory, its members—corporate and government leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, and academics—explore emerging and potentially disruptive technologies.”

Twenty years experience as a technology journalist and editor, at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Founded the award-winning podcast series, Techwise Conversations covering tech news, tech careers and education, and the engineering lifestyle. Teaches an intensive writing class as an adjunct instructor at NYU. Previously taught essay writing and creative writing at The College of New Rochelle.