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IBM Pledges to Return to Growth in 2021

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

In the latest quarter, revenue fell 6.5% to $20.37 billion, missing analysts' projections, according to FactSet. Shares fell 6.8% in after-hours trading. IBM's stock closed at $131.65 on Thursday, down 5.4% over the past year. IBM, which had suspended financial projections last year over uncertainty about the pandemic's business impact, said Thursday that it expects revenue to grow this year and anticipates $11 billion to $12 billion in adjusted free cash flow for the year and $12 billion to $13 billion in 2022. "The actions we are taking to focus on hybrid cloud and [artificial intelligence] will take hold, giving us confidence we can achieve revenue growth in 2021," Mr. Krishna.


IBM's Q4 revenue down 6%, eyes growth in 2021

ZDNet

Here's a look at how the cloud leaders stack up, the hybrid market, and the SaaS players that run your company as well as their latest strategic moves. IBM's fourth quarter revenue fell 6% from a year ago, but the company said it expects to return to growth in 2021. The company's earnings report was a mixed bag. IBM reported non-GAAP earnings of $2.07 a share and $1.41 a share under generally accepted accounting practices. However, IBM's fourth quarter revenue was down 6% to $20.4 billion.


Trump made a mess of tech policy. Here's what Biden is inheriting.

Mashable

It's hard to focus on the nitty gritty of tech policy when the world is on fire. Take, for example, his fight against Big Tech in the name of "anti-conservative bias" (no, it doesn't exist), which resulted in an assault on Section 230. Experts say the true aim of those efforts was to undermine content moderation, and normalize the white supremacist attitudes that helped put people like Trump in power. Unfortunately, those allegations will have life for years to come as a form of "zombie Trumpism," as Berin Szoka, a senior fellow at the technology policy organization TechFreedom, put it. Trump may be gone from office and Twitter.


New study finds tech elites view the world with more meritocracy

ZDNet

A new study has revealed that while the top 100 richest people in tech share similar views to other wealthy people, they are also more focused on meritocracy. The research, published in PLOS One, used data sets based on tweets by these individuals who were named by Forbes as the top 100 richest people in the tech world, plus their statements on websites about their philanthropic endeavours. As part of the study, the researchers analysed 49,790 tweets from 30 verified Twitter account holders within the tech elite subject group and 60 mission statements from tech elite-run philanthropic websites, plus 17 statements from tech elites and other wealthy individuals not associated with the tech world for comparison purposes. The Twitter text analyses, according to the research, revealed tech elites used Twitter to tweet about subjects that placed emphasis on disruption, positivity, and temporality compared with the average user. Their most frequently used words were'new' and'great', and referred mostly to their peers and other tech firms. At the same time, the authors found that while tweets showed the tech elites did not see a significant difference between power and money or power and democracy, they did note the tech elites denied a connection between democracy and money, a view that was not shared by ordinary Twitter users.


Google is investigating an AI researcher over the handling of sensitive data

Engadget

Google is investigating an artificial intelligence researcher after it detected that "an account had exfiltrated thousands of files" and shared them externally. Margaret Mitchell, a co-lead of the Ethical AI unit, has been locked out of Google's corporate systems over the matter. But apparently they've told her she will be locked out for at least a few days. The investigation follows the acrimonious exit last month of another prominent AI researcher, Timnit Gebru, who said Mitchell has been told that she'll be locked out for a few days. According to an Axios source, Mitchell used automated scripts to search her messages for examples of discriminatory treatment toward Gebru.


Trump pardoned Church of AI founder, so I went there to worship

ZDNet

Where have you gone, Godhead? Forgiveness is a spiritual, religious concept. As a child, I used to go to Catholic confession and tell the priest I'd sworn and stepped on a spider. I'd wait for the priest to absolve me and then ask whether I'd been taking sneak peeks at Playboy. So when I heard that former President Donald Trump had pardoned former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski, my thoughts were only religious.


August's WiFi smart lock hits all-time low of $183 at Amazon

Engadget

August's 4th-generation WiFi smart lock is one of its best yet, and now you can get it at a more affordable price. Amazon has discounted the silver model to $183.49, down from its usual $250 price. The black version is also on sale, but is only $14.67 off. We've seen the August lock drop as low as $199 in the past, but more frequently it's been discounted to $210, making this one of the best opportunities to buy it to date. Buy August smart lock at Amazon - $183.49


Facebook improves AI photo descriptions for the visually impaired

Engadget

Facebook has long been using AI to describe photos for the visually impaired, but it's stepping up its efforts in 2021. The social media giant has detailed a new version of automatic alternative text (AAT) that promises much more information. Instead of relying on heavily supervised AI learning, Facebook is now using weak supervision based on "billions" of Instagram photos and hashtags. The method lets Facebook expand beyond just 100 concept descriptions to include over 1,200, such as different kinds of food and national monuments. It's also more culturally inclusive -- it can recognize weddings that don't involve white wedding dresses, for example. A new object detection system can also recognize where people are in the frame as well as the number of people in the scene.


The Morning After: LG might get out of the smartphone business

Engadget

In the US, today is Inauguration Day, and as Joe Biden prepares to take the oath as our 46th president, it's worth taking a look back at the discussions four years ago. Back then, the "most tech-savvy" president exited as all eyes turned to Donald Trump trading in his Android Twitter machine for a secure device. We know how things went after that. Donald Trump isn't tweeting anymore (at least not from his main accounts), and the country is struggling through a pandemic. The outgoing president just saw his temporary YouTube ban extended and, in one of his last official acts, pardoned Anthony Levandowski for stealing self-driving car secrets from Google's subsidiary Waymo.


Interpol warns of romance scam artists using dating apps to promote fake investments

ZDNet

Interpol has warned of a new investment scam targeting users of mobile dating apps. As COVID-19 continues to severely restrict our daily lives and in many places, makes social interaction and meeting new people in person impossible, dating apps have experienced a surge in users. As the only possible method of anything akin to dating at the current time, scam artists have decided to capitalize on this trend in order to push an investment-based scam that deprives victims of their cash. According to Arkose Labs research, four million online dating fraud & abuse-related attacks were recorded in 2020, with many taking place through fake account registrations. On Tuesday, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) said the agency had issued a "purple notice" -- the provision of data on criminal groups' methods, objects, devices, and concealment methods -- to 194 member countries.