Facebook Might Battle Government Breakup; Apple use Recycler; Tesla Driver-Facing Cam-Watching YOU?; Nvidia Bows Cloud. AI Videoconferencing Service

Up to now, it hasn’t been clear how vigorously Facebook would oppose a government breakup. According to engadget.com, that would be pretty vigorously! The Wall Street Journal got hold of a document from a law firm indicating that Facebook would argue that the FTC blessed the acquisitions, and that it has poured massive amounts into Instagram and WhatsApp since acquiring them…and that a breakup would cost them billions more, and require running separate systems that they claim will mean reduced security and a poorer user experience. Facebook has yet to comment on the leak. Legal experts say the FTC approval defense is pretty shaky…but the difficulty and expense of the breakup might be a decent argument. The House antitrust investigation may come out yet this month, and word is, that the FTC may drop an antitrust suit on Facebook by the end of 2020 as well. 

Apple has sued a recycler they had used called GEEP Canada, for not really recycling…but SELLING over 100,000 iPhones, iPads, and watches that were supposed to be torn down and recycled. Engadget.com reports that GEEP has now confirmed that it didn’t exactly recycle the devices. Apple had audited over a half million iPhones, iPads, and Watches between 2015 and 2017 and found out that almost 104,000 were still accessing the internet over cellular networks. Apple is demanding $22.7 million US dollars. GEEP doesn’t deny the theft, but says 3 employees did the deed, and the company didn’t benefit. Apparently, however, the 3 were the company’s senior execs! Apple does refurbish and resell a number of its devices. 

As we get more and more cams and biometric sensors, the creepy factor continues to multiply. Now, zdnet.com says that Tesla Model 3’s driver-facing cam does more than just monitor passengers (for use in future robotaxis.) In June, Tesla pushed out a software update activating the cam. Previously, users could turn it on to activate with a short video clip prior to a crash or ‘safety event.’ Apparently, a hacker that goes by ‘green’ has found out that the cam’s software ‘is designed to detect, and these focus on the driver’s gaze, such as ‘eyes up’ and ‘eyes down’, ‘phone use’, and ‘eyes closed’. Are you creeped out yet? The so-called Full Self-Driving package (which doesn’t actually do that) is still a wallet-crushing $8,000!

Nvidia has dropped Maxine, it’s platform that gives developers a suite of GPU accelerated AI conferencing software that enhances video quality. According to venturebeat.com, Nvidia calls Maxine a ‘cloud native’ solution that can apply gaze correction, super resolution, noise cancellation, face relighting, and other enhancements for end users. Developers and partners can get early access to the platform this week. 


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