Los Angeles Times



Gay dating app Grindr changes its policy of sharing users' HIV status with outside vendors

Los Angeles Times

Grindr was confronted with questions about security flaws as recently as last week after NBC reported private information about users, including unread messages, deleted photos and location data, were being collected by a property management startup through a website that Grindr built. Grindr says it has since fixed the flaw and shut down the website, which allowed users to see who blocked them on the app.


Walmart tests new robot at Burbank store

Los Angeles Times

The robot, which looks like a trash bin on wheels with a periscope jutting out of its top, gathers its data by using dozens of lights, cameras, both 2D and 3D, as well as lasers to recognize the products and bar codes it is scanning. As it goes down each aisle, it creates images of the shelves and relays that information to store employees, said Martin Hitch, chief business officer for Bossa Nova.


Author Steven Pinker on how science, reason and progress will allow humanity to triumph despite itself

Los Angeles Times

Because each of us lives only for decades, not for centuries, we don't necessarily have the perspective -- the yardstick -- to appreciate the striking ascent of the human condition that's been our fortune since the Enlightenment. In his new book full of argument and the data to back it up, Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker makes the case against doom and gloom-ism, especially in academia, and tribal know-nothingism in politics. "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress," makes it clear that Pinker thinks those human accomplishments are our shield and buckler against the forces of the right and the left that would diminish or derail this triumph of humanity over, in some cases, the worst of humanity itself.


Robot drivers may be safer than humans, but tech companies are way behind in proving it

Los Angeles Times

Carmakers and technology companies need to be far more transparent as they push forward, experts said. "It's important that we all learn from this accident and we make these technologies even better, said Alain Kornhauser, a professor at Princeton University and a leading authority on driverless cars. "To that end Uber must release all of the data leading up to this crash. If this releases some of Uber's intellectual property, so be it."


California Inc.: Oh, like you're not jazzed about another movie featuring giant robots

Los Angeles Times

Monday's Business section looks at Broadcom's scuttled deal to take over San Diego-based Qualcomm. It turns out Broadcom wildly miscalculated when it came to President Trump, who shot down what would have been the largest technology deal in history. The reverberations have only just begun. Trump dinged the deal on national security grounds -- but not because Broadcom, which is based in Singapore until it moves to the U.S. later this month, posed an immediate threat. The big worry was China, Trump's nemesis in trade.


Exploiting Facebook data to influence voters? That's a feature, not a bug, of the social network

Los Angeles Times

"Facebook's business model is actually focused on not giving third parties data about its users," said Aviv Ovadya, chief technologist at the Center for Social Media Responsibility. "If it owns the data, and you can only target people through its platform, then you must spend money on its platform. Facebook also wants people to be as comfortable as possible giving them data, so they want to ensure that the data is protected from being used in problematic ways."


2 cars, 3 bodies removed from debris of collapsed Miami bridge

Los Angeles Times

In a news release late Friday, FIGG Bridge Engineers said it "continues to work diligently" to determine the cause of the collapse and was examining the steps its team took. It added, "The evaluation was based on the best available information at that time and indicated that there were no safety issues." It also asked for time to accurately determine what led to the accident.


Russia calls poisoning accusations by Britain 'nonsense'

Los Angeles Times

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Russia's involvement is "highly likely," and she gave the country a deadline of midnight Tuesday to explain its actions in the case. She is reviewing a range of economic and diplomatic measures in retaliation for the assault with what she identified as the military-grade nerve agent Novichok.


Liquor industry is pushing to get self-driving cars on the road

Los Angeles Times

On top of that, autonomous delivery trucks could significantly reduce labor costs for distributors. Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch partnered with car technology company Otto in 2016 to transport a shipment of beer across Colorado -- the world's first commercial shipment by self-driving truck. It has placed preorders for 40 Tesla semi-trucks with "autonomous driving capabilities," the brewing company said in a December statement. Most experts believe self-driving technology will come to trucks and other commercial vehicles before it is widely available to consumers.