The Emperor of Japan Is Abdicating His Throne Next Year, and Computer Experts Fear It Could Wreak Havoc With Japanese Computer Systems
Japan is facing a potential Y2K meltdown in 2019.
Software can’t be written with every contingency in mind. The culprit isn’t a malicious bug or poorly written code. The problem is that Emperor Akihito will be relinquishing the Chrysanthemum Throne in 2019, and Japanese computers aren’t ready.
Now Even Microsoft Is Calling for Facial Recognition Software to Be Regulated, and We're Officially Creeped Out
In early July, a New York Times story about how Chinese officials are using facial recognition technology to track down lawbreakers went viral.
The story opened with a short anecdote about a police officer in Zhengzhou who used his special glasses to catch a heroin smuggler. His glasses were powered by artificial intelligence that allowed him to match the faces around him — each of which had been recorded by numerous security cameras around the city — with the face of the perpetrator. People around the world tweeted about the dystopian nature of this use of technology, making the usual jokes about the movie Minority Report. In the U.S., many worried about whether we might be next. As with most viral news stories, this was knocked off the top of the trending list by the next story.
During Thursday's Aspen Security Forum, Tom Burt, Microsoft's VP of Customer Security & Trust, warned the crowd that hacks, like those during the 2016 elections by Russian government operatives, continue to happen. Three midterm candidates already suffered cyber attacks from Russian hackers.
In 2016, Burt said his team discovered fake Microsoft domain names used by the Russian hacking groups —given code names like Scrontium, APT28, Fancy Bear and Pawn Storm— used to "phish" information from unsuspecting campaign staffers.
Heads up, sea life. There’s something new in the ocean. Humanity’s deep need for fast-streaming video has inspired Facebook to team up with Microsoft to unspool a 4,000-mile-long fiber optic cable across the ocean, linking Virginia Beach, Virginia, with Bilbao, Spain. The cable is called Marea, Spanish for “tide,” and can transmit 160 terabits of data per second, the equivalent of streaming 71 million HD videos at the same time. It’s 16 million times faster than an average home Internet connection and will be operational in early 2018.
“Marea comes at a critical time,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55 percent more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40 percent more data than between the US and Latin America. There is no question that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue to increase.”
Microsoft and Apple have pledged to fight back against President Donald Trump's decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which places more than 800,000 undocumented people who were brought to the United States as children at risk of deportation.
"If Congress fails to act, our company will exercise its legal rights properly to help protect our employees," Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith wrote in a blog post yesterday, shortly after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Trump administration would dismantle the program.