What is QUANTech? An easy-to-digest selection of what’s hot in tech and the impact on society to help you keep ahead in this rapidly changing digital world. Brought to you by Denys Malengreau (@D_MLG).
QUANTech only refers to consulted sources.
This past week, Facebook released its first quarter results and as mentioned in QUANTech #11, Facebook has not seen significant changes in user behaviour in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. On the contrary, the social network’s user base kept growing worldwide over the first quarter of 2018. And the US is no exception.
On the business side, the social network has never been as profitable as it is today with a net income of near $5 billion for Q1.
If we do compare year over year, Facebook’s margins are significant and show how ingrained the social network has become in the daily life of at least 1.4 billion people, the number of people visiting the website daily worldwide.
Twitter also published its quarterly results. The microblogging site is profitable for a second quarter in a row which, for the reminder, never happened before Q4 of 2017. LinkedIn results are expected soon.
Telegram on its part has been receiving a lot of attention since mid-April as Russia is trying to block the popular messaging app (200 million users) due to the latter refusing to provide encryption keys to Russian security agencies. « We promised our users 100% privacy and would rather cease to exist than violate this promise » Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov stated in response. After a 18-minute hearing last Friday, a Moscow court cleared the way for the government to ban Telegram over « its failure to give Russian security services the ability to read users’ encrypted messages. » All in all, the privacy vs national security question is a tricky one.
Security-wise, two pieces of information about cybersecurity were worth noticing. Hotel door locks used to work with physical keys for decades but as smart networks deploy with IoT set to connect it all, we now have smart locks, too (although not new). We’ve learned that « millions of electronic door locks fitted to hotel rooms worldwide have been found to be vulnerable to a hack. » And this is just another example of how important cybersecurity is and will be in a world where everything that can be connected will be connected.
Amazon Echo was also demonstrated to be potentially hacked as hackers from Checkmarx did succeed in eavesdropping with Alexa. Light on was an easy way to spot the hack though.
• FACEBOOK SPECIAL – Is Facebook replaceable?
• FACEBOOK SPECIAL (VIDEO) – Facebook Here Together
• FACEBOOK SPECIAL – Mark Zuckerberg sharing Facebook’s Community Standards
• FACEBOOK SPECIAL – How advertising works on Facebook
• VIDEO – AI reconstructs photos with realistic results
• How to get the new Gmail right now
• Pig brains can be kept alive outside the body
• Shenzhen police can now identify drivers using facial recognition
• Huawei could beat Samsung to ‘world’s first’ foldable phone
• WhatsApp Business has over 3 million users
If the potential for saving millions of human lives doesn’t convince the world to hand over their keys to self-driving cars, will a financial appeal do the trick? This is the question suggested by The Next Web which reported an interesting study conducted by Quote Wizards about the ownership-vs-access debate around cars and the expected rise of self-driving vehicles.
The study focused on two US cities, namely Seattle and Denver, which already embrace ride-sharing. It states that « owning a car will be more expensive than relying exclusively on ride-share apps for transportation by 2027, » assuming that « driverless car technology will quickly mature and become status quo. » If this study is what it’s worth, it —at least— can get us thinking about the relevance of car ownership as technology advances.