Tech Friday With Dave Hatter

posted by Brian Thomas - 

  • Your digital life provides clues to your health:
    • Digital Phenotyping (DP): "a multidisciplinary field of science, defined as the moment-by-moment quantification of the individual-level human phenotype in situ using data from personal digital devices, in particular smartphones" - Wikipedia
    • "A phenotype is the composite of an organism's observable characteristics or traits, such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, behavior, and products of behavior" - Wikipedia
    • DP attempts to assess your health based your interactions with digital devices
    • Data collection by smartphones provides detailed information relevant to psychiatric and other illness patterns
    • Researchers and technology companies are capturing and analyzing user activity for behavior changes that might signal the symptoms of disease
    • It's been previously reported that the average person touches their phone 2,617 times per day. This create and enormous amount of insightful data
    • Many companies are rushing into the field. Facebook announced it was using artificial intelligence to scan posts and live video streams for signs of suicidal thoughts. When certain language patterns are found, the Facebook review team can be notified
    • There are many questions about privacy and the effectiveness of the technique
    • Some of these services are opt-in, some are not 
    • Mindstrong Health, a start-up, has developed a platform to continuously monitor users’ phone usage, looking for changes in taps and clicks that contain patterns associated with depression
    • Their app tracks 1,000 smartphone related data points
    • "If a sociable person suddenly stopped texting friends, for instance, it might indicate that he or she had become depressed" said Dr. Steve Steinhubl, from the Scripps Translational Science Institute. Or "it could mean that somebody’s just going on a camping trip and has changed their normal behavior" he said.
    • Some experts have raised the privacy alarm when they learned that Facebook scans user posts in the US without giving users the choice to opt out
    • Frank Pasquale, a law professor at the University of Maryland said "Once you are characterized as suicidal, is that forever associated with your name?"
  • Coinbase informs customers their data will be sent to the IRS:
    • Coinbase is a the largest Bitcoin exchange in the US
    • They notified customers targeted in a tax-avoidance probe that their data will go to the IRS in 3 weeks
    • Roughly 13,000 customers were targeted by a court order that requires Coinbase to surrender the data
    • A Justice Department filing in 2017 said an IRS agent identified three cases where cryptocurrencies were used to avoid paying taxes. Two of those cases involved Coinbase customers with millions of dollars in annual revenues
    • Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ordered Coinbase to supply the IRS with the names, addresses and tax IDs of all users in the US who conducted one or more bitcoin transactions equivalent to at least $20,000 from 2012 and 2015
    • "That only 800 to 900 taxpayers reported gains related to bitcoin in each of the relevant years and that more than 14,000 Coinbase users have either bought, sold, sent or received at least $20,000 worth of bitcoin in a given year suggests that many Coinbase users may not be reporting their bitcoin gains," Corley wrote
    • On their website, Coinbase wrote: "Coinbase fought this summons in court in an effort to protect its customers, and the industry as a whole, from unwarranted intrusions from the government"
    • Coinbase has created a very helpful FAQ on cryptocurrencies and taxes here: https://support.coinbase.com/customer/portal/articles/1496488
  • Samsung launches the new Galaxy S9 phone:
    • The S9, Samsung's new flagship phone, was unveiled this past Sunday
    • It has a focus on augmented reality features including the new AR emoji to mirror your facial expressions. It turns you into a cartoon based on a selfie
    • The new phone is roughly the same size as the previous versions, but the screen is slightly brighter and bigger
    • It has a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, otherwise the specs are similar to the S8, which includes 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage for the S9, the S9 Plus has 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage
    • It will ship with Android 8.0 (Oreo)
    • It includes an advanced camera and stereo speakers as well as expandable storage through a MicroSD slot
    • The S9 is water resistant, has an infinity display, wireless charging, and a headphone jack
    • One of the biggest upgrades is the cameras, it has two, both 12 megapixels. Camera testing site DxOMark awarded the S9 Plus the highest score ever to a smartphone in the photo category
    • The S9 also features enhanced facial recognition to take on the iPhone X
    • The S9 is $719.99, the S9 Plus starts at $839.99
    • Pre-orders start today and the devices will go on sale on March 16 in the US
    • You can find a good breakdown of the features here: https://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s9-8966.php
Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view. Read more

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