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Technology 29 October 2018

The Week in Internet News: Rural Maine Looks to Community Broadband

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Broadband for themselves: Rural Maine residents are looking into ways to create their own community broadband networks because of a lack of service in some areas, the Press Herald reports. About 15 percent of the state’s residents don’t have access to 25 Mbps broadband service. A project in the St. Croix Valley would create Maine’s first publicly-owned broadband network.

Home patches: Amazon has issued 13 security patches, with some addressing vulnerabilities in its Internet of Things home devices, Engadget reports. If left unpatched, the security holes would let intruders crash devices and remotely run code, giving them full control.

Confusion and delay: Meanwhile, a lot of companies that are potential IoT users are delaying their deployments because of security concerns, reports Betanews. About half of companies labeled as early adopters have delayed an IoT purchase because of security issues, according to a survey from F-Secure.

The cost of a breach: Yahoo has agreed to pay a $50 million settlement to the 200 million people affected the company’s huge 2013 data breach, Fortune says. The company will also pay a tidy $35 million in lawyers’ fees. The settlement applies only to a fraction of the people affected by the email breach.

AI as an enhancer: Artificial Intelligence won’t take your job, but instead, it will help you do it better, says Fast Company. PwC research projects that AI will contribute US$15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, mostly through productivity gains and AI-fueled product innovation.

AI as an artist: If you’re a painter, the previous story may not apply. An AI system has created a portrait that’s similar to Rembrandt’s style, NPR reports. The painting, called “Portrait of Edmond Belamy,” was put on the Christie’s auction block. The painting sold for $432,000, far more than the $10,000 the auction house had originally estimated, reports News Channel 5. Maybe there’s money to be made in creating artsy AIs.

A sweet-smelling AI musician: Perhaps songwriters’ and perfume makers’ jobs are at risk from AI as well. Forbes reports that IBM and fragrance producer Symrise collaborated on the first AI-designed perfume. And Fortune has a story about the arrival of AI songwriting. Over the next decade, 20 to 30 percent of top 40 singles will be written either totally or with the assistance of machine-learning software, the story suggests.

Do you know the risks of what you’re buying? Get IoT smart!

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