1. You Get a Scooter, We All Get Scooters!
If you live in one of the populated cities that has become overrun with electric scooters, you know what it’s like to see people greedily hide a scooter in a secluded spot to take to work the next morning or have played the game of hot potato, trying to weave in and out of the piles of scooters on sidewalks. It’s no surprise that a safety hazard has arisen because of it. Swiftmile, a California-based startup, unveiled charging stations for e-scooters designed to serve as a docking ground. These solar-powered charging stations are ideal for congested areas. “We bring order to the chaos,” said Founder Colin Roche. “We are the peacemaker between cities and scooter operators.” Some say that it’s important to reduce traffic and encourage environmentally-friendly modes of transportation, whereas others see e-scooters as a source of congested sidewalks and are hazardous, known for causing severe injuries. Either way, this startup could solve concerns on both sides of the debate, as well as reduce operating costs for scooter companies given “spend 50% of their operating costs on charging these things.” Unfortunately, for Scooter Juicers, you may find yourself out of a job.
(Source: The Washington Post)
2. IBM Uses Photos without Full Consent
IBM has taken Flickr photos and has used these faces in an analysis to learn how to differentiate between different faces and how to recognize individuals in different images — similar to Facebook’s face recognition tool. By using these large datasets, IBM hopes to make facial-recognition technology more accurate. According to IBM, “Every face is different. Every face reflects something unique about us. Aspects of our heritage – including race, ethnicity, culture, geography – and our individual identity – age, gender and visible forms of self-expression – are reflected in our faces. Faces are personal.” Nonetheless, out of nearly 1M photos extracted from Flickr, many people were unaware of how this data was being used. Even a photographer taking the pictures told NBC News that “none of the people I photographed had any idea their images were being used in this way.” “We take the privacy of individuals very seriously and have taken great care to comply with privacy principles,” said IBM. “Individuals can opt out of this dataset.” Unfortunately, IBM needed direct consent to use the data in this way, a huge violation against user privacy. When will companies learn?
3. Prestigious College Bribery Scheme
Olivia Jade Giannulli, a 19-year-old student from the University of Southern California (USC), better known for being the daughter of “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli, is surrounded with cheating and lying accusations that earned her way into college. Court documents say the parents were among 50 that were charged Tuesday by the Justice Department for participating in a bribery scheme to get their children admitted to prestigious colleges and universities. Loughlin and Giannulli “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500K in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC’s crew team,” despite neither daughter having previous rowing experience. Whether Olivia knew her parents were behind the scenes playing ‘privilege’ to get their daughter into a prestigious college is unknown. Olivia to date has 1.3M Instagram followers, 1.9M YouTube followers, and has a makeup collection with Sephora, Olivia Jade x Sephora. The Washington Post says she “made her life at USC a YouTube brand” and describes her niche as “#relatable college content with a splash of aspirationalism.” Even Amazon paid for her dorm room decorations and supplies. Her college admittance and brand partnerships have yet to release a statement on what will happen.