Tag Archives | Google

Google Backs Calico, A Company Focused On Stopping Aging

google.cover.inddFirst Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Ray Kurzweil, who famously wants to live forever. Now they’ve started a new company, Calico, to be run by a top bioscience executive Arthur Levinson (formerly head of Genentech) and focused on anti-aging. It’s enough to make you think that the guys in the Googleplex want to live forever. The news is all over the media, but apparently only TIME had exclusive access to Larry Page which it proclaims in its cover story “Can Google Solve Death” (at right):

“In some industries,” says Page, who spoke exclusively with TIME about the new venture, “it takes 10 or 20 years to go from an idea to something being real. Health care is certainly one of those areas. We should shoot for the things that are really, really important, so 10 or 20 years from now we have those things done.”…

Unfortunately TIME is hiding the rest of the interview behind its paywall, so here’s another report via USA Today:

Google is not happy just organizing the world’s information.

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Google Plans Wearable Computer For Dogs

Hund der in den Computer schautCan you imagine your favorite mutt using its wearable computer to tell you to take it for a walk… NOW!?

You might not have to imagine it for much longer as Google moves beyond its Glass project, reports MIT Technology Review:

…[W]earable tech needn’t be just for people. At the Georgia Institute of Technology, visiting associate professor Melody Jackson, professor and Google Glass technical lead Thad Starner, and research scientist Clint Zeagler are working on a system called FIDO, which stands for “facilitating interactions for dogs with occupations.”

Jackson, who has been training assistance dogs for about 18 years, says FIDO is meant to make it easy for the animals to communicate clearly with their handlers (whether a disabled person or a police officer) by activating a sensor on their vest or collar to transmit a verbal command the handler can hear through an earpiece or see on a head-mounted display.

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Three-Quarters Of All Smartphones Contain NSA Code In Operating System

androidGoogle confirms that Android phones come with “Security Enhancements” added by the NSA, Bloomberg reports:

Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano confirms that the company has already inserted some of the NSA’s programming in Android OS. “All Android code and contributors are publicly available for review at source.android.com,” Scigliano says, declining to comment further.

Through its open-source Android project, Google has agreed to incorporate code, first developed by the agency in 2011, into future versions of its mobile operating system, which runs on three-quarters of smartphones [globally].

NSA officials say their code, known as Security Enhancements for Android, isolates apps to prevent hackers and marketers from gaining access to personal or corporate data stored on a device. Eventually all new phones, tablets, televisions, cars, and other devices that rely on Android will include NSA code, agency spokeswoman Vanee’ Vines said in an e-mailed statement.

In a 2011 presentation obtained by Bloomberg Businessweek, the NSA listed among the benefits of the program that it’s “normally invisible to users.” Vines wouldn’t say whether the agency’s work on Android and other software is part of or helps with Prism.

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NSA, CIA, And FBI Swap Classified Data With Media And Tech Corporations

classifiedCould Microsoft, Google, et al. be considered bureaus of the national security apparatus? Bloomberg reports that the providing of sensitive information is a two-way street:

Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said.

These programs, whose participants are known as trusted partners, extend far beyond what was revealed by Edward Snowden, a computer technician who did work for the National Security Agency.

Michael Hayden, who formerly directed the National Security Agency and the CIA, described the attention paid to important company partners: “If I were the director and had a relationship with a company who was doing things that were not just directed by law but were also valuable to the defense of the Republic, I would go out of my way to thank them and give them a sense as to why this is necessary and useful.”

Intel Corp’s McAfee unit, which makes Internet security software, regularly cooperates with the NSA, FBI and the CIA, for example, and is a valuable partner because of its broad view of malicious Internet traffic, including espionage operations by foreign powers, according to one of the four people, who is familiar with the arrangement.

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Skynet rising: Google acquires 512-Qubit Quantum Computer; NSA Surveillance to be Turned Over to AI Machines

TRANSHUMANVia NaturalNews.com

Most people don’t know about the existence of quantum computers. Almost no one understands how they work, but theories include bizarre-sounding explanations like, “they reach into alternate universes to derive the correct answers to highly complex computational problems.”

Quantum computers are not made of simple transistors and logic gates like the CPU on your PC. They don’t even function in ways that seem rational to a typical computing engineer. Almost magically, quantum computers take logarithmic problems and transform them into “flat” computations whose answers seem to appear from an alternate dimension.

For example, a mathematical problem that might have 2 to the power of n possible solutions — where n is a large number like 1024 — might take a traditional computer longer than the age of the universe to solve. A quantum computer, on the other hand, might solve the same problem in mere minutes because it quite literally operates across multiple dimensions simultaneously.

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U.S. Government: Reports About PRISM Contain “Numerous Inaccuracies”

via Tech Crunch8-cell

After the flurry of reports about the NSA’s alleged PRISM surveillance program earlier today, the U.S.’s Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper just released an official statement. According to Clapper, “The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer tocollection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.”

Clapper argues that Section 702 is meant to ” facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States.” It is not meant to be used to “intentionally” target any U.S. citizens (though the statement leaves a door open for an admittance of “unintentional” spying).

Given the outright denials of all the tech firms accused of participating in this program, including Google, Facebook and Apple, it remains unclear if the accusation that these companies knew about the program is one of the “inaccuracies.”

Here is the full statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence:

DNI Statement on Activities Authorized Under Section 702 of FISA

The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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Court Rules Google’s Relationship With The NSA Can Remain Secret

relationship with NSA

Be careful what you search? Via Forbes one week ago:

In the ruling Friday, the DC Circuit court decided that the National Security Agency doesn’t need to confirm or deny its relationship with Google in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, ruling that a FOIA exemption covers any documents whose exposure might hinder the NSA’s national security mission.

After Google revealed in early 2010 that it had been hacked by cyberspies seemingly based in China, the Washington Post reported that Google and the NSA had partnered to help bolster the company’s defenses against future attacks. NSA director Mike McConnell [stated] that a partnership with Google was “inevitable.”

The ruling comes as controversy has been growing around CISPA, a bill that passed the House last month that would allow private firms like Google to share a wide range of information with government agencies like the NSA for cybersecurity reasons.

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The Dark Side of the Digital Revolution

Google’s Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, fresh from a visit to North Korea in January, on why the Internet is far from an unalloyed good to the citizens of dictatorships around the world, in the Wall Street Journal:

How do you explain to people that they are a YouTube sensation, when they have never heard of YouTube or the Internet? That’s a question we faced during our January visit to North Korea, when we attempted to engage with the Pyongyang traffic police. You may have seen videos on the Web of the capital city’s “traffic cops,” whose ballerina-like street rituals, featured in government propaganda videos, have made them famous online. The men and women themselves, however—like most North Koreans—have never seen a Web page, used a desktop computer, or held a tablet or smartphone. They have never even heard of Google (or Bing, for that matter).

Even the idea of the Internet has not yet permeated the public’s consciousness in North Korea.

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So Ray Kurzweil Wants To Live Forever…

Ray Kurzweil blue backgroundOk, so Ray Kurzweil is a man of above average intelligence and achievement, even if he only just got his first job (Google, of course), but is a desire to live forever a wise choice or foolish hubris? The Wall Street Journal reports on his quest for immortality:

Ray Kurzweil must encounter his share of interviewers whose first question is: What do you hope your obituary will say?

This is a trick question. Mr. Kurzweil famously hopes an obituary won’t be necessary. And in the event of his unexpected demise, he is widely reported to have signed a deal to have himself frozen so his intelligence can be revived when technology is equipped for the job.

Mr. Kurzweil is the closest thing to a Thomas Edison of our time, an inventor known for inventing. He first came to public attention in 1965, at age 17, appearing on Steve Allen’s TV show “I’ve Got a Secret” to demonstrate a homemade computer he built to compose original music in the style of the great masters.

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Google Pursues Business Plans with Burma Despite Massacre of the Rohingya People

Picture: Philip Absolon (CC)

First, I would like to thank Matt Staggs for offering me the chance to bring this story to your attention. I have just been made aware of two massacres of the Rohingya in Burma, and this was first bought to my attention with a brutal photo of a small child hacked to death. I will spare you the image, because my intention is not to shock you, but to ask for your help in raising awareness of a potential genocide in Burma. For the prior two massacres, the US has sanctioned Burma and condemned these attacks, which were spurned on by government propaganda.

However, despite these sanctions Google is still planning to meet with the Burmese government to talk over business plans. Worse, this story is not going anywhere in the social media networks or with mainstream news outlets. Even though we’re told, “if it bleeds, it leads,” the massacres of thousands of Rohingya men, women, and children is not sexy enough to make the nightly news.… Read the rest

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