Tech Friday

  • Some of the best VPNs with a no-logging policy:
    • Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology uses encryption to allow you to use the internet as if you were on a private network
    • The encrypted connection is often referred to as a "tunnel"
    •  A VPN helps protect privacy and security, especially on public Wi-Fi networks
    •  Most folks think about VPN services for their PC. But mobile devices need protection too, and there are many VPN services for phones, tablets, and other devices. Many are cross platform and will work on a PC as well as a mobile device  
    • Many corporations require remote users to use a VPN to work remotely because data sent from a client to a server is encrypted during transmission
    • There are VPN services for personal use. They send your encrypted network traffic to a server operated by the VPN provider
    •  In addition to keeping your data secure, your real IP address and location is protected, anyone snooping will merely see the IP address and location of the VPN server
    • If you're sending sensitive information, consider using encryption software to secure the data before it's put on the Internet. This will provide an additional level of security
    • While you can pay for premium VPN services, there are many free VPN services 
    • Running a VPN service can be expensive, you need equipment, people and bandwidth
    • If you're not paying for it, how do they stay in business?
    • Some generate revenue by: 
      • Collecting and selling you data
      • Imposing a bandwidth cap
      • Restricting performance
      • Subject you to ads
    • A recent study found that an alarmingly high number of VPN services offered for Android are little more than malware
    • You should thoroughly vet any VPN service you use and it's in your best interests to pay for a quality service
    • Be sure to read and understand the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy
    • The best VPNs that don't log your activity include:
      • Nord
      • Express
      • TunnelBear
      • ProtonVPN
    • Learn more about the study here: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190122/10263541441/study-again-finds-that-most-vpns-are-shady-as-hell.shtml
  • AI used in interviews to identify the best applicants:
    • Some job interviews in the UK are using Artificial intelligence (AI) and facial expression technology to identify the best candidates 
    • Hirevue claims their technology enables hiring firms to interview more candidates and provides a bias free indicator of future performance
    • A candidate interview is conducted using the video capability of a computer or smartphone  
    • A candidate's performance is analyzed against roughly 25,000 pieces of facial and linguistic information captured from previous interviewees who have proven to be good at a given job
    • Candidates are ranked on a scale of one to 100 and the process takes days rather than weeks or months
    • Consumer goods giant Unilever has used the software
    • Loren Larsen, Hirevue chief technology officer, said "There are 350-ish features that we look at in language: do you use passive or active words? Do you talk about ‘I’ or ‘We.’ What is the word choice or sentence length? In doctors, you might expect a good one to use more technical language"
    • Nathan Mondragon, Hirevue chief psychologist, said "Facial expressions indicate certain emotions, behaviours and personality traits"  
    • Experts have warned that algorithmic bias could discriminate against some candidates and exclude some talented candidates
    • Anna Cox, professor of human-computer interaction at UCL, said "It is going to favour people who are good at doing interviews on video and any data set will have biases in it which will rule out people who actually would have been great at the job"
    • Griff Ferris, Legal and Policy Officer for Big Brother Watch, said "Using a faceless artificial intelligence system to conduct tens of thousands of interviews has really chilling implications for jobseekers"
    • Ferris also said "This algorithm will be attempting to recognise and measure the extreme complexities of human speech, body language and expression, which will inevitably have a detrimental effect on unconventional applicants" 
  • A claim that voice-based AI will make smartphones unnecessary in a decade:
    • Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk recently told the World Congress on Information Technology that we will soon live in a world without phones or the need to type thanks to AI
    • Vaynerchuk said humans will be able to speak to an AI that is "everywhere" around us, like Star Trek
    • This AI based system will connect us to the internet from anywhere and will be available at all times
    • Vaynerchuk said "I believe over the next decade, when you look at how much of what we do today through a phone, will be done through audio and voice"
    • He pointed to the growth of voice based systems and evidence this potential future
    • Vaynerchuk said "There’s not going to be a need to go to Google search to find a lawyer or the best restaurant when your voice device can answer that for you much faster"
    • The privacy implications are substantial

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