Boston Herald


Academic says he's being scapegoated in Facebook data case

Boston Herald

An academic who developed the app used by Cambridge Analytica to harvest data from millions of Facebook users said Wednesday that he had no idea his work would be used in Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and that he's being scapegoated in the fallout from the affair. Alexandr Kogan, a psychology researcher at Cambridge University, told the BBC that both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have tried to place the blame on him for violating the social media platform's terms of service, even though Cambridge Analytica ensured him that everything he did was legal. "My view is that I'm being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica," he said. "Honestly, we thought we were acting perfectly appropriately, we thought we were doing something that was really normal." Authorities in Britain and the United States are investigating the alleged improper use of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica, a U.K.-based political research firm.


Self-driving cars parked

Boston Herald

NuTonomy and Optimus Ride have agreed to suspend their self-driving car tests in Boston in the wake of Sunday's tragedy in Arizona, where an autonomous Uber vehicle killed a pedestrian. "We are working with City of Boston officials to ensure that our automated vehicle pilots continue to adhere to high standards of safety," a nuTonomy spokeswoman said in a statement. "We have complied with the City of Boston's request to temporarily halt autonomous vehicle testing on public roads." Karl Iagnemma, chief executive of nuTonomy, said the response to the crash will be vital for the future of driverless cars and whether passengers are willing to ride in them. "The reality is we may work very hard as technology developers and end up with a technology that members of the public are uncomfortable with," Iagnemma said, speaking at an event in Cambridge last night.


Some driverless car damage appears to be from angry people

Boston Herald

One problem with self-driving cars is people. The Los Angeles Times reports that of six crash reports filed in California so far this year, two involved a person attacking a robot car. Both incidents happened in San Francisco, according to Department of Motor Vehicles records. On Jan. 2, a vehicle operated by General Motors' Cruise driverless car division was waiting at a green light for pedestrians to cross when a shouting man ran across the street against the do-not-walk signal and struck its bumper and hatch, damaging a taillight. The car was in autonomous mode but a driver was behind the wheel.



Google's digital assistant branches out to Nest camera

Boston Herald

Google's voice-activated assistant is branching out to Nest's deluxe security camera in an expansion that may amplify the privacy concerns surrounding internet-connected microphones.


Boston Dynamics' latest scary robot opens doors for its friends

Boston Herald

When the robots decide to become your overlords, what defensive measures are you hoping to deploy? If your answer is "doors," then you're unfortunately fresh out of luck.


Uber to pay $245 million to settle Waymo's theft allegations

Boston Herald

Uber is paying $245 million to Google's self-driving car spinoff to end a legal brawl that aired out allegations of a sinister scheme that tore apart the once-friendly companies.


What reviewers are saying about Apple HomePod

Boston Herald

The tech giant announced the HomePod speaker last summer, and originally planned to release it in December. However, Apple aapl then delayed the HomePod's debut, reportedly to modify its software. Now that the HomePod is nearing arrival, it faces stiff competition from competing web-connected speakers like the Amazon amzn Echo, Google goog Home, and Sonos One. The HomePod is the priciest of the speakers at $350. So far, reviewers seem pleased with the HomePod's sound quality, but are underwhelmed by the version of Apple's voice activated Siri digital assistant used in the speaker.



A raucous Google-Uber fight is finally heading to trial

Boston Herald

A Google-bred pioneer in self-driving cars and Uber's beleaguered ride-hailing service are colliding in a courtroom showdown revolving around allegations of deceit, betrayal, espionage and a high-tech heist that tore apart one-time allies.