Google to 'shut down plans' for censored Chinese search engine

Daily Mail

Google has been forced to abandon its specialist Chinese search engine that censors results in line with the strict government, reports have claimed. The firm is believed to have shut down an internal data analysis system which was being used to develop the search engine, known as Dragonfly. According to a report from The Intercept, this has'effectively ended' the entire project. Members of Google's privacy team raised concerns about the project back in August and it is now extremely unlikely the search engine can be built without the system, according to sources close to the project. Google has been forced to abandon its plan to launch a specialist Chinese search engine that censors results in line with the strict government.

Why Nike thinks the future of its stores is an app

The Independent

For something that ends with something so pleasant, shoe shopping can sometimes seem like the worst kind of work: concern that a shop won't have your size, asking to find out if they do and try it on, only to discover that size doesn't fit and being forced to trudge back ashamed and ask for a different size, before being forced to wait all over again as you try and check out. Nike, it turns out, wants to put a stop to that kind of shopping just as much as you do. And with its latest additions to its app, it appears to have succeeded. The company is just one of a range of firms betting that the future of retail looks a little like its past, and that traditional shops aren't being killed by technology but enhanced by it. The company's new update – known as Nike App At Retail, and newly launched at its London Store right on Oxford Circus – allows you to shop right from the app, choosing your size and style and having it checked out seamlessly.

Inside Shenzhen's race to outdo Silicon Valley

MIT Technology Review

Every day at around 4 p.m., the creeeek criikkk of stretched packing tape echoes through Huaqiangbei, Shenzhen's sprawling neighborhood of hardware stores. Shopkeepers package up the day's sales--selfie sticks, fidget spinners, electric scooters, drones--and by 5, crowds of people are on the move at the rapid pace locals call Shenzhen sudu, or "Shenzhen speed," carting boxes out on motorcycles, trucks, and--if it's a light order--zippy balance boards. From Huaqiangbei the boxes are brought to the depots of global logistics companies and loaded onto airplanes and cargo ships. In the latter case they join 24 million metric tons of container cargo going out every month from Shekou harbor--literally "snake's mouth," the world's third-busiest shipping port after Shanghai and Singapore. A few days or weeks later, the boxes arrive in destinations as nearby as Manila and Phnom Penh and as far afield as Dubai, Buenos Aires, Lagos, and Berlin.

Google's China search engine project 'effectively ended': report

FOX News

Members of the House Judiciary Committee peppered the head of Google about potential bias against conservatives and Russian influence and misinformation; Gillian Turner reports. Google has been forced to shut down and "effectively end" its controversial China search engine project, code-named Project Dragonfly, after members of the company's privacy team raised complaints, according to a new report. The tech giant led by CEO Sundar Pichai was forced to close a data analysis system it was using for the controversial project, according to The Intercept, citing two sources familiar with the matter. The news outlet originally broke the news that Google had been considering launching the app-based search engine. Google has not yet responded to a request for comment from Fox News.

Bloodhound SSC: 1,000mph car secures funding for world record bid

The Independent

The Bloodhound SSC world record bid is back on after the 1,000mph land speed record car received the investment needed to push forward with its attempt. A shortage of funds had forced the Bristol-based project to go into administration in October, with the company saying it needed around £15 million to continue with the project and break the current record. Earlier this month, administrators of Bloodhound Programme, the company behind Project Bloodhound, announced that efforts to secure the funding had not been successful. Following the announcement, the company said Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst came forward and agreed to buy the business and its assets for an undisclosed amount. "We have been overwhelmed by the passion that clearly exists for Bloodhound and are thrilled that we have been able to secure a buyer who is able to give this inspiring project a future," Andrew Sheridan, a joint administrator of Bloodhound Programme, said in a statement on Monday.

Tumblr porn ban goes into effect as huge numbers of posts disappear from site

The Independent

Tumblr's ban on pornography is now in place, with a huge number of posts being wiped off the site entirely. Users will see their previously public posts disappear as the ban goes into effect. Many users have already indicated they are planning to leave the site because of the ban, and a movement known as the "log off" protest has tried to encourage even more. Tumblr announced the ban earlier this month. It was initially met with a vast backlash, by users who said it would penalise the substantial number of sex-positive, LGBT and sex worker communities that have unified around the site, which has traditionally been less conservative than other social networks.

NES and SNES Classic consoles to stop being sold, Nintendo confirms

The Independent

The NES and SNES classic are about to be killed off – and will not be coming back, Nintendo has confirmed. The tiny consoles had become beloved for their miniature recreations of Nintendo's classic systems, available at a relatively limited price. As soon as they came out they were hugely popular, and spurred a growth of classic consoles that also included the new PlayStation Classic. But that popularity led the consoles to quickly sell out, amid confusion about how many the company had produced and whether more would arrive. Now Nintendo of America's president Reggie Fils-Aime has confirmed that there is only a limited number of those consoles being made, and that when they are sold out no more will be made.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning momentum continues to build


A group of AI experts have published the the Artificial Intelligence 2018 annual report, detailing the growth in AI academic research, use by industry, mentions by government, patents and technical performance in computer vision and natural language processing. While the first report last year focused on North American AI activities, this year's report includes efforts in Europe, China, South Korea and Japan. One measure of AI activity across regions was by output of academic papers. On this count, Europe was leading, accounting for 28 percent of AI papers last year, followed by China, which accounted for 25 percent, and the US with 17 percent. The most widely covered topics were machine learning and probabilistic learning, neural networks, and computer vision.

How China Is Dominating Artificial Intelligence


China's AI dominance reaches across multiple industries compared to the majority of nations only concentrating on a few.Getty The Boston Consulting Group's study Mind the (AI) Gap: Leadership Makes the Difference published earlier this month provides insights into China's emerging global leadership of AI. A copy of the study can be downloaded here (PDF, 20 pp., no opt-in). BCG's study focuses on the key drivers of success in AI implementations and is based on a global survey of over 2,700 managers in seven countries. Please see page 4 of the study for additional details regarding the methodology. The study found that there is a strong connection between bold, disruption-friendly management styles including actively putting AI high on the agenda, encouraging rapid development and piloting, and fostering cross-functional, agile R&D, all leading to AI industry leadership.

Apple plans software update to get around Chinese iPhone ban

The Independent

Apple has found a way to circumvent a Chinese court ban preventing it from selling iPhones in the country, the firm said. US chip maker Qualcomm claims Apple violated two of its patents, which resulted in two preliminary injunctions in China earlier this week that force Apple to stop selling a wide range of iPhones there. The ban accounts for almost every smartphone Apple has made in the last three years, including the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. In order to get around the ban, Apple said in a statement it would carry out software updates next week that will "address any possible concern" about the company's compliance with the order. The alleged intellectual property infringement relates to features allowing iPhone users to adjust pictures and manage applications.