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Topic: Australia battles Big Tech over news revenue-sharing law

Facebook Inc has blocked Australian users from sharing and viewing news content on its popular social media platform, escalating a dispute with the government over paying media publishers for content.


While Big Tech and media outlets have battled over the right to news content in other jurisdictions, Australia’s looming law represents the most expansive reform and is being closely watched around the world.


The so-called Media Bargaining Code has been designed by the government and competition regulator to address a power imbalance between the social media giants and publishers when negotiating payment for news content used on the tech firms’ sites. The proposed legislation has reached a crunch point, with widespread support in parliament, where it is expected to be voted into law within days.


In recent years, traditional media companies operating in Australia have suffered huge hits to income streams, due to dwindling subscriptions and advertising. For every A$100 spent on online advertising in Australia, excluding classifieds, nearly one-third goes to Google and Facebook, the competition regulator has said.


Facebook said that the law “fundamentally misunderstands” the relationship between itself and publishers and it faced a stark choice of attempting to comply with it or ban news content. It said its platform generates billions of free referrals to Australian publishers worth significant sums to the media companies.


Alphabet Inc-owned Google, however, has backed down from a threat to withdraw its main search engine from Australia if the laws go ahead, and has instead struck deals with some of the country’s major commercial publishers. They include a global deal with News Corp for an unnamed sum in one of the most extensive deals of its kind with Big Tech.

然而,Alphabet旗下的谷歌已不再威脅說,若該法案通過,便要撤出它在澳洲的主要搜尋引擎,而是與澳洲一些主要商業出版商談好了條件。其中包括與跨國新聞集團News Corp達成的一項全球性的交易,金額不詳,這是此類與科技巨頭所達成規模最大的交易之一。

Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2021/02/22/2003752624

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Topic: A Wearable Technology That Fits Just Like Skin

It is almost certain that the next era of computing will be wearables. But it is commensurately uncertain what these wearables will be and where on your body they will be worn.


Apple and Samsung, for example, are betting on the wrist; Google, the face. Some tech companies believe clothing will simply become electronic. Yet there’s a whole new segment of start-ups that believes we humans will become the actual computers, or at least the place where the technology will reside.


These start-ups are working on a class of wearable computers that adhere to the skin like temporary tattoos, or attach to the body like an adhesive bandage.


Many of these technologies are stretchable, bendable and incredibly thin. They can also be given unique designs, to stand out like a bold tattoo, or to blend in to the color of your skin.


Attachable computers will be less expensive to make and provide greater accuracy because sensors will be closer to a person’s body (or even inside us) .


MC10, a company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is testing attachable computers about the size of a piece of gum that can include wireless antennas, temperature and heartrate sensors and a tiny battery.


Scott Pomerantz, head of MC10, said: “Ours are always on you. We have the smallest, most flexible, stretchable, wearable computer, and you can collect all sorts of biometric data tied to your motion.”


MC10 recently teamed up with John A. Rogers, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has been working for nearly a decade to perfect flexible devices that can be worn on the skin or implanted .


How would these gadgets work? Maybe you want to figure out which deodorant would be best for you. A sticker that tracks your sweat level would email you a few recommendations. Or if you want to monitor your baby’s breathing, a little sensor on the baby’s chest would alert you to any problems.


“We’ll eventually see a more intimate integration of electronics and biological systems,” Mr. Rogers said . “Without that kind of intimate physical contact, it’s going to be difficult, or maybe even impossible, to extract meaningful data.”


The health applications are enormous. Over the past year, Mr. Rogers and his team of scientists have been working with patients with Parkinson’s disease to monitor their motions, with dermatologists to treat skin diseases, and with beauty companies like L’Oreal to develop digital stickers that track skin hydration.


Anke Loh of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has been experimenting with making the attachable computers look like body art. “You see these patches and you really want to put them on your skin, even without knowing what the function is,” Ms. Loh said . “There’s a lot of potential to combine fashion and technology.”


Scientists at the University of Tokyo have been working on an “e-skin,” which is an electronic skin that sits on top of real skin. It looks like a stretchable sheet of plastic wrap, yet contains lots of health-related sensors.


In another iteration of e-skin, scientists are working to add a layer of LEDs, turning it into a screen that sits on the body.


Digital skins offer numerous applications, not only in monitoring a user’s health, but also as a visual user interface. They may even replace smartphones one day.


But don’t throw aside your smartwatch or Google Glass just yet. It will be a while before our wearable future becomes known.


Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/268839/web/

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Topic: Facebook is making its own AI deepfakes to head off a disinformation disaster 防制假訊息災難,臉書積極產製人工智慧「深度偽造」影片

Facebook fears that AI-generated “deepfake” videos could be the next big source of viral misinformation—spreading among its users with potentially catastrophic consequences for the next US presidential election.


Its solution? Making lots of deepfakes of its own, to help researchers build and refine detection tools.


The rise of deepfakes has been driven by recent advances in machine learning. Algorithms capable of capturing and re-creating a person’s likeness have already been used to make point-and-click tools for pasting a person’s face onto someone else.


Facebook will dedicate $10 million. Together with Microsoft and academics from institutions including MIT, UC Berkeley, and Oxford University, the company is launching the Deepfake Detection Challenge, which will offer unspecified cash rewards for the best detection methods.


Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1327942 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1329588