Collaborating Authors

How will future cars stay up-to-date? Make them open like a PC


The future seems bright for the automobile. A whole host of technologies--including self-driving systems – is set to reinvent the auto industry, making cars more computerized than ever. "I know what is going to happen in the future and I don't like it," said Bruce Perens, a leading open source advocate. "And I would like to guide it in a somewhat different direction." His fear is that consumers who buy next-generation cars will face obstacles to modifying or repairing them--like purchasing a smartphone, only far more expensive, with manufacturers in sole control over the tech upgrades.

Digital Civil Right to Transparency? - Lone Star Analysis


California's passage of their "GDPR-lite" caught people off guard. We think this is part of a trend we've studied for a long time. Much of the current analysis misses key points, so it seems worth explaining. About two years ago, we asked several thought leaders in the U.S. about the odds we'd see legislation like the E.U. GDPR provides clear rights to E.U citizens, controlling data captured on-line.

Smart teddy bear maker faces scrutiny over data breach response


Did a toymaker ignore warnings about a data breach? That's a key question swirling around Spiral Toys, a company behind a line of smart stuffed animals that security researchers worry can be easily hacked. On Tuesday, Spiral Toys said the breach, which affects 800,000 user accounts, only came to its attention last week on Feb. 22. The statement is raising eyebrows. One researcher named Victor Gevers began contacting the toymaker about the problem in late December, when he noticed that a company MongoDB database storing customer information was publicly exposed.

U.S. Websites Go Dark in Europe as GDPR Data Rules Kick In WSJD - Technology

Tronc Inc., TRNC 1.55% publisher of the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News and other U.S. newspapers, was among those that blocked readers in the European Union from accessing sites, as they scrambled to comply with the sweeping regulation. "We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market," Tronc said in notices it displayed when users attempted to access its news sites from the EU on Friday morning. A spokeswoman didn't elaborate when asked for details. Some U.S. regional newspapers owned by Lee Enterprises Inc. LEE 2.04% were also blocking access in the EU on Friday. Inc., said it was "temporarily unavailable" while the services makes changes "in light of" GDPR.

Patent Office Seeks Help From AI


"The time is ripe," said Andrei Iancu, the agency's director. "Our need is high and technology has advanced, so this is a good time to take advantage of these new tools to help our examiners," Mr. Iancu said. The agency's AI expert will advise the CIO on state-of-the-art implementations of smart tools in its internal business units, while creating a road map for using AI, including machine learning, to drive efficiencies in both the patent and trademark examination process, Mr. Iancu said. The goal is to speed up the overall process, he said, in part by automating aspects of the research performed by staff examiners and supervisors, reducing mundane administrative tasks and cutting costs by eking out efficiencies. The agency received about 643,000 patent applications last year, inching down from 2017, but up from about 619,000 in 2014, according to the agency.