Alice, the making of: Behind the scenes with the new AI assistant from Yandex


Today, another AI assistant is joining the party with Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Viv, and the gang. Her name is Alice, and she comes from Russia. Yandex, the Russian internet giant, has big plans for the future and Alice is a key part of those. Read also: Russia sentences hackers from Humpty Dumpty ring Facebook, Google, Twitter execs to testify at Russia hearings Did Russia's election hacking break international law? Recently, Yandex celebrated its 20 years in Moscow, and the celebration was an opportunity to visit Yandex HQ, converse with some of its top minds, and get the lowdown of what's cooking and how things work behind the scenes.

Silensec Newsletter


Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering says there are two things you can do to stop nefarious actors from forcing you into FaceID. According to Federighi, "If you don't stare at the phone, it won't unlock," & "If you grip the buttons on both sides of the phone when you hand it over, it will temporarily disable Face ID." Clearly, iPhone X owners will have to practice their squeezing techniques. It would be painful and costly to be held up and discover that you were squeezing it all wrong. The ACLU & the EFF recently sued the DHS for searching the phones and laptops of 11 plaintiffs at the US border without a warrant. The group of plaintiffs includes 10 US citizens and one lawful permanent resident, several of whom are Muslims or people of color.

Hezbollah-Run TV Says to Broadcast Footage of Iranian Drone Tracking U.S. Plane Over Syria

U.S. News

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese Hezbollah's Al Manar TV channel said it would broadcast footage on Wednesday of an Iranian drone tracking a U.S. plane over southeastern Syria. It said it would air the footage during its news broadcast at 5:30 p.m. local time (1430 GMT). The announcement came as tensions grow between Washington and the military alliance that backs the Syrian government, including Iranian-backed forces. Not all U.S. presidents are missed once they leave the White House. President Donald Trump announced Wray's nomination for FBI director on Twitter.

Trump's Confusing Strike on Syria

The New Yorker

On August 7, 1998, Al Qaeda suicide bombers struck two U.S. embassies in East Africa, killing two hundred and twenty-four people, most of them Africans. Two weeks later, President Bill Clinton launched Operation Infinite Reach, a fusillade of cruise missiles aimed at a reported Al Qaeda meeting in Afghanistan, and at a factory in Sudan, which was suspected of involvement with chemical weapons. "There will be no sanctuary for terrorists," Clinton declared. The retaliation produced few tangible benefits. And yet, since then, from Kosovo to Waziristan to Libya, the United States has repeatedly threatened or carried out missile and drone attacks and air strikes for limited and sometimes imprecise purposes.

Hijackers' time in Southern California at center of allegations of Saudi government involvement in 9/11 attacks

Los Angeles Times

With Congress opening the way for Sept. 11 families to sue Saudi Arabia, victims' families are focusing on an unproven theory that a Saudi consular official in Los Angeles and a Saudi intelligence operative in San Diego directly assisted two of the 19 hijackers. The alleged Southern California connection is the key to showing that Saudi Arabia financed Muslim extremists who played a direct role in supporting some of the hijackers, according to lawyers for the families of those killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks. The families contend that lower-level Saudi operatives in Southern California helped find housing for the two hijackers, both Saudi citizens, months before they muscled their way into the cockpit of an American Airlines passenger jet that smashed into the north side of the Pentagon. If a pending lawsuit is allowed to proceed, the families hope to find the evidence in thousands of classified FBI, CIA and Treasury Department documents that could be made public as part of discovery in federal court. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any direct or indirect support for Al Qaeda, the terrorist group that carried out the attacks, or any foreknowledge or involvement in the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

A fragile time for democracy The Japan Times


NEW YORK – Here in the United States, the horrific shooting at a night club in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people has intensified the debate once again over the extent leaders must go to fight terrorism and gun violence. In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the contrasting responses of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and their attacks on one another suggest that a mud-slinging showdown between the two would-be national leaders is on track. And a world away, in the Philippines, the rhetoric surrounding the battle against terrorists and criminals is equally sensational. The one-time student of U.S. democracy has recently elected a leader of its own in political incorrectness. Who would have thought a man who vowed to kill criminals and grant himself a presidential pardon, who boasts of being a womanizer, has joked about wanting to rape a missionary and talked of the killing of journalists, would win a popular election and become head of state.