What 7 Creepy Patents Reveal About Facebook

Reading your relationships

One patent application discusses predicting whether you’re in a romantic relationship using information such as how many times you visit another user’s page, the number of people in your profile picture and the percentage of your friends of a different gender.

Classifying your personality

Another proposes using your posts and messages to infer personality traits. It describes judging your degree of extroversion, openness or emotional stability, then using those characteristics to select which news stories or ads to display.

Another proposes using your posts and messages to infer personality traits. It describes judging your degree of extroversion, openness or emotional stability, then using those characteristics to select which news stories or ads to display.

Predicting your future

This patent application describes using your posts and messages, in addition to your credit card transactions and location, to predict when a major life event, such as a birth, death or graduation, is likely to occur.

Identifying your camera

Another considers analyzing pictures to create a unique camera “signature” using faulty pixels or lens scratches. That signature could be used to figure out that you know someone who uploads pictures taken on your device, even if you weren’t previously connected. Or it might be used to guess the “affinity” between you and a friend based on how frequently you use the same camera.

Listening to your environment

This patent application explores using your phone microphone to identify the television shows you watched and whether ads were muted. It also proposes using the electrical interference pattern created by your television power cable to guess which show is playing.

This patent application explores using your phone microphone to identify the television shows you watched and whether ads were muted. It also proposes using the electrical interference pattern created by your television power cable to guess which show is playing.

Tracking your routine

Another patent application discusses tracking your weekly routine and sending notifications to other users of deviations from the routine. In addition, it describes using your phone’s location in the middle of the night to establish where you live.

Inferring your habits

This patent proposes correlating the location of your phone to locations of your friends’ phones to deduce whom you socialize with most often. It also proposes monitoring when your phone is stationary to track how many hours you sleep.

Trump is so obsessed with winning that he might make America lose

In his zero-sum universe, you’re either victorious or you’re defeated.

 “I win against China. You can win against China if you’re smart,” he said at a campaign event in July 2015.
.. “Vast numbers of manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania have moved to Mexico and other countries. That will end when I win!”
.. “China, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, these countries are all taking our jobs, like we’re a bunch of babies. That will stop,”
.. In Trump’s view of the world, there is a finite amount of everything — money, security, jobs, victories — and nothing can be shared.
.. It’s a universe where the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must, as Thucydides said.
.. The problem is that the triumphs that Trump craves — strength, safety, prosperity — cannot be achieved alone.
.. They require friends and allies, and they require the president to see those people as partners, not competitors.
.. other governments don’t like to be punching bags, the only role he appears to envision for them.
.. In real estate, relationships often take the form of one-off transactions: You can cheat people you’ll never do business with again.
.. Winners have trade surpluses, and losers have trade deficits.
.. The United States is the biggest economy with the biggest military, and therefore the United States has leverage to get the best deals. If we don’t emerge from negotiation with a clear advantage, that’s because our negotiator was a soft-headed, do-gooder globalist who didn’t put America first.
.. Washington has the most leverage when it deals with countries one on one, which is why, he says, “we need bilateral trade deals,” not “another international agreement that ties us up and binds us down.”
To abide by the same rules as less-powerful countries would be to sublimate American interests to those of lesser nations.
..  Trump seeks to begin negotiations with a threat that forces the other side to defend its smaller piece. He pledges to tear up NAFTA, rip up the Iran nuclear deal and revisit America’s relationship with NATO — unless he gets concessions.
.. he gains advantage not by telling the truth but by saying things he believes will boost his bargaining power and sell his vision: China has been allowed to “rape our country.”
.. He’s just an alliance-hating unilateralist.
..  he sees three kinds of immigrants:
  1. smart guys from smart countries, like Norway,
  2. undeserving charity cases from “shithole” countries and
  3. terrorists/gang members who threaten ordinary Americans.

.. The zero-sum cosmology touches everything. Obamacare supposedly sticks us with the bill for people who should pay for their own insurance — or a find a job that provides it.

..  he doesn’t exercise, because “the human body was like a battery, with a finite amount of energy, which exercise only depleted.”

..  China is more a strategic competitor than a real partner linked by shared values.

.. “after more than four decades of serving as the nation’s economic majority, the American middle class is now matched in number by those in the economic tiers above and below it.” That’s a real problem, and Trump is right to point it out.

.. He could have demanded that NATO members pay more without signaling that he might abandon the mutual-defense agreement that undergirds a treaty to contain Russia.

.. Relations among nations are not like real estate deals. The president has to negotiate with the same people again the next month, and they’ll remember how they’ve been treated.

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu never forgave President Barack Obama for openly criticizing his approach to settlement-building;

imagine how every other leader feels about being constantly humiliated by Trump.

.. Other countries form judgments about whether American promises are credible and whether they can trust the president. Trump says he’s willing to talk with North Korea about its nuclear program, but surely Kim Jong Un is watching as Trump threatens to shred the Iran nuclear agreement.

..  The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s plan to blaze new commercial trails and cement new political ties via infrastructure investment in dozens of countries, is seven times larger than the Marshall Plan when adjusted for inflation.

.. More than 120 nations already trade more with China than with the United States.

.. China is investing in smaller European Union members like Hungary and Greece to alter official E.U. attitudes toward Beijing. That’s why the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump quashed, was more than just a trade deal. By joining, Trump could have expanded U.S. ties with many of China’s neighbors, governments that fear overreliance on China’s goodwill for future growth.

.. Trump’s win-or-lose philosophy is most confused when it comes to immigration. Foreigners who want to become Americans are not charity cases. They participate in the labor force at higher rates (73.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) than native-born Americans.

.. Trump’s tendency to hire foreign guest workers over Americans at his own properties suggests that he understands something about how hard they work.

.. The undocumented contribute $13 billion to the nation’s retirement fund each year and get just $1 billion in return.

.. “More than three out of every four patents at the top 10 patent-producing US universities (76%) had at least one foreign-born inventor,”

..  tourism has fallen 4 percent, with a resulting loss of 40,000 jobs. Foreign applications to U.S. universities are down, too.

.. he doesn’t seem to know that some of our country’s greatest success stories began in failure.

  1. Thomas Edison famously erred 1,000 times on the way to inventing the light bulb — it “was an invention with 1,000 steps,” he said.
  2. Henry Ford went broke repeatedly before he succeeded.
  3. Steve Jobs, a college dropout, was fired from the company he founded. Even
  4. Trump’s own businesses have gone bankrupt.

.. If he wants to track terrorists before they try to enter the United States, he needs support from foreign intelligence services.

.. Today, the United States doesn’t have that kind of leverage, and Trump’s aggressive criticism of other countries, including allies, poisons public attitudes toward the United States and makes it harder for foreign leaders to cooperate with Washington publicly.

.. Trump and his leadership at some of the lowest levels since Pew began tracking the U.S. image abroad in 2002. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed said they have little to no confidence in Trump.

.. if Trump wants to make the best deals, he’ll need to learn a few words:

  1. respect,
  2. cooperation and
  3. compromise.

These ideas won’t fire up a campaign rally. But they might help build an American strategy that works.

 

 

Canadian Tech Sector Thrives, but Struggles to Keep Its Talent

Government seek to attract investment from big foreign players while stopping the brain drain

Mr. Trudeau has lamented a “brain drain” of Canada’s best tech minds, saying at a recent Google event in Toronto, “Quite frankly, we’re tired of Google poaching our best graduates from the University of Waterloo and sucking them down to California.”

.. Trudeau wrote to Mr. Bezos, asking him to consider Canada because of its inclusiveness, single-payer health-care system, and an immigration system designed to attract high-skilled talent.

.. Canada is widely considered to be at the nucleus of some world-leading research in areas such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.

.. Seminal work published by University of Toronto’s Geoffrey Hinton, University of Montreal’s Yoshua Bengio and others has spawned advancements in voice recognition and automated driving. Mr. Hinton published breakthrough research on “deep learning” in 2007 and 2012 that ushered in a new wave of AI and the potential it could have for smartphones, self-driving cars and other devices.

.. Canada’s AI talent pool is also the third biggest in the world behind the U.S. and the U.K., with about 1,100 researchers in the country

.. An Amazon move to Toronto might also end up being a “Trojan horse” that would draw Canadian workers to the company’s Seattle base rather than improve Canada’s economy

.. “The best and brightest Canadian engineers or marketers that operate under Amazon Canada will see their career path head down to Seattle, not in Canada,”

.. He says companies like Facebook have different needs than startups, noting that staff at Facebook’s AI lab in Montreal are focused on more advanced research.

.. Cole Clifford, a 23-year-old machine-learning engineer at Toronto-based startup DeepLearni.ng , said he received about 50 recruiter emails in his LinkedIn account last month, most of them from Silicon Valley firms

.. the Canadian government spent C$125 million last March to set up new AI “superclusters” in Toronto

.. The goal is to keep researchers in Canada and create 1,000 AI graduates in the next five years

.. “We aren’t realizing that the intellectual property developed by these individuals and all of those economic benefits are rarely in Canada and not taxed in Canada,” Mr. Ruffalo said. “That’s the problem.”

.. One potential avenue for keeping foreign companies in check is for Canada to withhold R&D tax incentives

.. Another option is to create a government-backed sovereign patent fund, similar to what South Korea, Japan and France have launched in recent years, which would protect smaller startups from patent claims by foreign companies

Quantum Hanky-Panky: A Conversation With Seth Lloyd

it has become clear over the last decade that photosynthesis—where a particle of light comes in from the sun, is absorbed by a chlorophyll molecule, the energy rattles around inside a leaf and gets turned into more leaves—is operating in a very quantum mechanical fashion.

Exactly the same kinds of models that we use to look at quantum computation allow us to understand what’s happening in photosynthesis. It turns out that photosynthetic plants, bacteria, and algae are extremely sophisticated in the way they use quantum mechanics. They use quantum coherence and funky effects like entanglement to get very high efficiency of energy transport.

.. Indeed, what’s happening in quantum information and quantum computing is it’s become more and more clear that quantum information is a universal language for how nature behaves.

.. this centerfold showed which parts of physics were talking with other parts of physics, who in this field was talking with this other field. They had to put quantum information right in the middle because everybody was talking with the people in quantum information.

.. by using ideas from quantum information, we’ve constructed systems that are much better than even the most efficient, naturally occurring system.

.. Twenty years ago, I wrote the first algorithms for how you could program the quantum computers we have now to explore how their quantum systems behave.

.. If you want to find out what happens when you send a photon a few billionths of second backwards in time and have a try to kill its former self, well, we have experiment that tests to see what happens when you do that.

.. It also turns out that quantum computers can detect and identify patterns that are very hard for a classical computer to detect. For example, if you have a huge dataset like the tick-by-tick history of all the stocks in the Dow Jones over the last fifty years, it’s a big dataset.

If you say, “I’d like to process this to find out what a good portfolio would be for me if I can tolerate a certain amount of risk and I want to have a certain amount of return.” Well, with a pretty small quantum computer, the kind that we’re going to have in the next five years or so, you could find the answer to that question much more accurately then you could do on a classical computer.

.. I, myself, am a theorist, so the experimentalists don’t like me to use a screwdriver in their lab because I tend to break things

.. Quantum computers are still at the stage where we have a small number of bits—10 bits that we can use, soon 50 bits, 100 quantum bits that we can use. Even though this is piddling by comparison with the classical computer, because quantum computers for specific problems are so much more powerful than classic computers

.. Lockheed Martin has bought a D‑Wave computer, Google and NASA have bought them, the Army is buying some of them.

.. I’ve been working with the folks at D-Wave to try to figure out why they are successful when they shouldn’t be. Ever since then, I patent everything by the way, even if I don’t know whether it’s going to work or not.

.. The strategy I’ve learned is that there’re a huge number of technologies out there, and we don’t have to adopt them. You don’t have to adopt these technologies.

You can use the ones that you like. You can not use the ones that you don’t like. I don’t use Facebook or Twitter or other social media, because I feel that there’s presence and there’s absence, and then there’s cyberpresence, and cyberpresence is a heck of a lot closer to absence than it is to actual presence.

.. DARPA was the first funding agency to recognize that this role of quantum mechanics in photosynthesis was a very important thing. They created the first program to fund looking at funky effects like quantum coherence and entanglement in photosynthesis and in energy transport.

.. The largest group or concentration of people working on quantum computation are in Canada at the Institute for Quantum Computing, in Waterloo

.. He had this intuition, and he came up with a formal notion of a quantum computer. But for more than five years or so, he couldn’t come up with something where it could do better.

Then when he finally came up with something, he showed where a classical computer takes two or three steps on average to this problem, a quantum computer can do it in one.