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.
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.
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.
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.