Oggi e' 21.08.2018
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  • Gig Economy Pressures Make Drivers 'More Likely To Crash'
    Drivers and couriers who get their work from apps face a "heightened risk" of crashes, a study suggests. From a report: Research from University College London (UCL) indicated 42% of "gig-economy" couriers and taxi drivers reported vehicle damage because of a collision. Close to half admitted time pressure could make them break the speed limit. Distraction by smartphones and tiredness from overwork were also flagged as risks for those delivering food and parcels. The report draws on 200 responses to an online survey from drivers and couriers, as well as 48 in-depth interviews. The study does not focus on any one particular company, although Uber and Deliveroo are both named as examples of companies that enable gig-economy work -- where employees are not paid a salary but instead get money for each job completed. Of those surveyed, 63% said they had not been provided with safety training on managing risks on the road, while one in 10 reported someone had been injured in a crash while they had been working.

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  • How AI Can Spot Exam Cheats and Raise Standards
    AI is being deployed by those who set and mark exams to reduce fraud -- which remains overall a small problem -- and to create far greater efficiencies in preparation and marking, and to help improve teaching and studying. From a report, which may be paywalled: From traditional paper-based exam and textbook producers such as Pearson, to digital-native companies such as Coursera, online tools and artificial intelligence are being developed to reduce costs and enhance learning. For years, multiple-choice tests have allowed scanners to score results without human intervention. Now technology is coming directly into the exam hall. Coursera has patented a system to take images of students and verify their identity against scanned documents. There are plagiarism detectors that can scan essay answers and search the web -- or the work of other students -- to identify copying. Webcams can monitor exam locations to spot malpractice. Even when students are working, they provide clues that can be used to clamp down on cheats. They leave electronic "fingerprints" such as keyboard pressure, speed and even writing style. Emily Glassberg Sands, Cousera's head of data science, says: "We can validate their keystroke signatures. It's difficult to prepare for someone hell-bent on cheating, but we are trying every way possible."

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  • Facebook is Rating Users Based On Their 'Trustworthiness'
    Facebook has begun to assign its users a reputation score, predicting their trustworthiness on a scale from zero to 1. From a report: Facebook hasn't been shy about rating the trustworthiness of news outlets, but it's now applying that thinking to users as well. The company's Tessa Lyons has revealed to the Washington Post that it's starting to assign users reputation scores on a zero-to-one scale. The system is meant to help Facebook's fight against fake news by flagging people who routinely make false claims against news outlets, whether it's due to an ideological disagreement or a personal grudge. This isn't the only way Facebook gauges credibility, according to Lyons -- it's just one of thousands of behavior markers Facebook is using. The problem: much of how this works is a mystery. Facebook wouldn't say exactly how it calculates scores, who gets these scores and how other factors contributed to a person's trustworthiness.

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  • Engineering Experts Knew Italian Bridge Had Corrosion Problems Before It Collapsed, Report Says
    McGruber shares a report: Engineering experts determined in February that corrosion of the metal cables supporting the Genoa highway bridge had reduced the bridge's strength by 20 percent -- a finding that came months before it collapsed last week, Italian media reported Monday. Despite the findings, newsmagazine Espresso wrote that "neither the ministry, nor the highway company, ever considered it necessary to limit traffic, divert heavy trucks, reduce the roadway from two to one lanes or reduce the speed" of vehicles on the key artery for the northern port city. A large section of the Morandi Bridge collapsed Aug. 14 during a heavy downpour, killing 43 people and forcing the evacuation of more than 600 people living in apartment buildings beneath another section of the bridge.

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  • Chinese Internet Users Cross 800 Million Mark
    There are now as many internet users in China as there are people in the United States, Indonesia and Brazil combined. From a report: While two in five Chinese are still offline, the country's internet population has grown big enough to open huge market opportunities for hi-tech companies, and provide the government with better access to keep watch over its citizens, according to an analyst. China surpassed the 800-million mark for the number of internet users for the first time, further cementing its position as home to the world's biggest online community, as the country kept up its investment in infrastructure and pushed to lower access fees. The number of internet users in China rose by 30 million in the first half of this year to 802 million, representing a penetration rate of 57.7 per cent, according to a report by state agency China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) released this week. All but 1.7 per cent of the users access the internet through mobile devices, according to the report.

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  • People Keep Trying To Scam Their Way Into Free Video Games
    An anonymous reader shares a report: It's an epidemic that has been affecting indie game developers for years. When a game launches, strange emails start coming in. Sometimes they claim to be reviewers for websites that don't exist. Other times, they pretend to work for major outlets, using misleading email addresses to con developers out of their games. The scams have grown increasingly elaborate over the years, and for small-time developers who don't have a ton of experience dealing with press, it can be tough to sort out which requests are legitimate. (The problem appears to be more common in the indie scene -- one PR rep working in big-budget games told me they don't receive any scam requests like this.) Emily Morganti, who handles PR for adventure games like Thimbleweed Park and West of Loathing, said in an email that these key scammers have become a regular feature of her job, like yanking weeds out of a garden. "I have the benefit of working for a lot of different indie devs, so I notice patterns that a developer who's only putting out their one game wouldn't see," she said. [...] Last fall, someone who went by the name Dmitry Tseptsov sent several emails to Morganti to ask for codes, explaining that he operated a coffee shop in Ukraine where he'd give out video games as prizes for trivia. "Even 1 key will help me a lot, for which I will be grateful," he wrote. "The cafe opened quite recently, but has a demand, and many people go to us. I mean, for my part, I promise to advertise your game." The coffee shop did exist, but Tseptsov had nothing to do with it, and as one developer discovered, the story was full of holes.

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  • Russian Hackers Targeted US Conservative Think-Tanks, Says Microsoft
    retroworks shares a report: Hackers linked to Russia's government tried to target the websites of two right-wing U.S. think-tanks, suggesting they were broadening their attacks in the build-up to November elections, Microsoft said. The software giant said it thwarted the attempts last week by taking control of sites that hackers had designed to mimic the pages of The International Republican Institute and The Hudson Institute. Users were redirected to fake addresses where they were asked to enter usernames and passwords. There was no immediate comment from Russian authorities, but the Kremlin was expected to address the report later on Tuesday. It has regularly dismissed accusations that it has used hackers to influence U.S. elections and political opinion. Casting such allegations as part of an anti-Russian campaign designed to justify new sanctions on Russia, it says it wants to improve not worsen ties with Washington. Further reading: Microsoft Reveals First Known Midterm Campaign Hacking Attempts, and Microsoft Launches Pilot Program To Provide Cybersecurity Protection To Political Campaigns and Election Authorities.

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