Month: April 2020

New coronavirus-era surveillance and biometric systems pose logistical, privacy problems

As the COVID-19 pandemic grips the globe, new surveillance methods are already raising new privacy and security challenges despite the still-early days of this crisis. Chief among these potential problems is the sudden turn by the government toward using geolocation data to track millions of Americans’ cell phones in monitoring the spread of the disease.

Silicon Valley giants, including Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook, have already been called into the White House to brainstorm ways to use geolocation, public media scraping and other technologies to track users in ways that ostensibly don’t violate users’ privacy. Meanwhile, phone carriers across Europe are

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Tesla becomes Iceland’s most popular car brand with its first batch of deliveries

In just one month of official deliveries, Tesla has become not just the best-selling EV, but the best-selling vehicle brand in Iceland this year.

Even though Tesla only officially entered Iceland last September, it has proven so popular that it delivered 415 vehicles in the first quarter of the year, Electrek reports.

[Read: Want to take your partner on a romantic EV road trip? Head to Norway]

More established automakers, Toyota and Volkswagen, were the second and third most popular brands delivering 286 and 257 vehicles, respectively.

More generally, EVs in the country are closing the gap on diesel and

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How to create a SQL Server failover cluster in the Google Cloud (redux)

The thing about clouds is that they can change shape even as you watch them. So it is with the Google Cloud, and the guidance we provided InfoWorld readers two years ago about creating a SQL Server failover cluster instance (FCI) in the Google Cloud no longer reflects best practices.

The guidance provided then still works, but changes in the Google Cloud mean that organizations wanting a cloud-based infrastructure supporting SQL Server at 99.99 percent availability levels now have better, more efficient ways to create SQL Server FCIs. The fundamentals of those new guidelines can be found in Google’s

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Top web browsers 2020: Firefox sheds share, falls behind Edge

Firefox last month continued a march toward ruin, falling twice its average loss over the past year and losing its place as the world’s second-most-used browser.

According to data posted today by analytics company Net Applications, Firefox’s share in March slumped to 7.2%, down four-tenths of a percentage point. It was the fifth month in the last six in which the browser shed users – and much more importantly – a record low since Firefox climbed out of obscurity to threaten Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) 15 years ago.

This record was the second in a row for Firefox, after February’s

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‘Bitcoin loses top position on CoinMarketCap index’

Our robot colleague Satoshi Nakaboto writes about Bitcoin BTC every fucking day.

Welcome to another edition of Bitcoin Today, where I, Satoshi Nakaboto, tell you what’s been going on with Bitcoin in the past 24 hours. As Hannah Arendt used to say: I got the horses in the back.

Bitcoin price

We closed the day, March 31 2020, at a price of $6,438. That’s a minor 0.12 percent increase in 24 hours, or $8. It was the highest closing price in three days.

We’re still 67 percent below Bitcoin’s all-time high of $20,089 (December 17 2017).

Bitcoin market cap

Bitcoin’s

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Review: Amazon SageMaker plays catch-up

When I reviewed Amazon SageMaker in 2018, I noted that it was a highly scalable machine learning and deep learning service that supports 11 algorithms of its own, plus any others you supply. Hyperparameter optimization was still in preview, and you needed to do your own ETL and feature engineering. 

Since then, the scope of SageMaker has expanded, augmenting the core notebooks with IDEs (SageMaker Studio) and automated machine learning (SageMaker Autopilot) and adding a bunch of important services to the overall ecosystem, as shown in the diagram below. This ecosystem supports machine learning from preparation through model building,

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