Posts Tagged: Tools

NYC bill bans AI recruiting tools that fail bias checks

New York City could soon reduce the chances of AI bias in the job market. The Associated Pressnotes the city's council has passed a bill barring AI hiring systems that don't pass yearly audits checking for race- or gender-based discrimination. Developers would also need greater transparency (including disclosures of automated systems), and provide alternatives like human reviews. Fines would reach up to $ 1,500 per incident.

The bill was passed November 10th. Departing Mayor Bill de Blasio has a month to sign it into law, but hasn't said whether or not he will. If the measure goes forward, it would take effect in 2023.

A signed law could reduce the chances that AI hiring technology skews candidate pools and the demographics of the resulting employees. Pro-business organizations like the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce are already in favor, suggesting the disclosures are vital for both employers and their talent.

However, there are already concerns an enacted law wouldn't help as much as promised. The Center for Democracy & Technology's Alexandra Givens told the AP the bill doesn't account for other biases, such as ableism or ageism. This also assumes the audits are effective — New York University's Julia Stoyanovich argued the requirements were "very easy to meet." There's a concern the legislation might inadvertently shield employers whose AI platforms have different or harder-to-detect biases.

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Google Maps is adding new shopping tools for the holiday season

Google has several new features in Google Maps to help you avoid crowds, find your way around malls, and get your holiday dinner shopping done.
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Commerce Department limits sale of hacking tools to Russia and China

The US Commerce Department has announced new rules related to the export and resale of cyber intrusion software. Once the limits come into effect in 90 days, companies that want to sell their hacking tools to countries “of national security or weapons of mass destruction concern” will need to obtain a license from the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The policy also covers nations that are under a US arms embargo.

Per The Washington Post, the rule is complicated. There are already many limitations on the export of intrusion software. Similarly, there are opportunities for companies to obtain exceptions. The main point is that the policy would cover the sale of software to countries like China and Russia. It would also limit the sale of programs like NSO’s Pegasus spyware, which some governments have used to target dissidents and journalists.

“The United States Government opposes the misuse of technology to abuse human rights or conduct other malicious cyber activities, and these new rules will help ensure that US companies are not fueling authoritarian practices,” the Commerce Department said.

Among the 42 countries involved in the Wassenaar Arrangement, a pact that sets voluntary export controls on military and dual-use technologies, the US is one of the last to impose limits on the sale of hacking software. Part of the reason for that is that the country has spent years working on the rules to ensure they don’t prevent cybersecurity researchers across the globe from working together to discover new flaws.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Nintendo denies it supplied developers with tools for a 4K Switch

A Bloomberg report claims that Nintendo provided at least 11 developers with a toolkit to create games for the Switch that support 4K graphics. Shortly after it was published, though, the gaming giant has issued a statement firmly denying that it's supplying tools to drive the development of titles for a 4K console. "[T]his report is not true," the company tweeted. Further, it reiterated that it has no plans for a new Switch model other than the OLED variant that's coming out on October 8th. 

Bloomberg said Nintendo had already handed out 4K toolkits and had already asked developers to create games with 4K resolution by the time it announced the OLED model. The publication also said that the 11 companies it talked to are made up of large publishers and small studios, including Zynga.

Nintendo's upcoming OLED Switch doesn't support 4K graphics, though its screen does offer better colors and contrast than its predecessors. In the past, Bloomberg reported that the company was working on a Switch with OLED screen and an NVIDIA chip that would enable it to generate 4K graphics when connected to a TV. A source told the publication, however, that Nintendo struggled with component shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had to drop its 4K plans. 

Releasing a 4K Switch seems like the logical next step for Nintendo to take, seeing as its competitors already have consoles that support the resolution. Based on the company's statement, though, that won't be happening anytime soon. 

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

GitHub takes down YouTube video download tools after an RIAA notice

You won’t find the source code for YouTube-DL, a popular tool that can be used to download videos from YouTube, and for some of its forks and copies on GitHub anymore. When you visit their pages, you’ll find a notice that says the “[r]epository [is]…
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Twitch’s Mod View puts all of its moderation tools in one place

Behind every successful Twitch channel, there's at least one person who's there to moderate chat. The best mods create a safe space where everyone in a community can express themselves. It's not an easy job, but in an attempt to make it a…
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Jamm Pro combines powerful synth and sampler tools in one iPad app

If you're an electronic music DJ and you want to produce a truly unique live performance, you might have found your tool. DJ duo Coldcut and its Ninja Tune label have released an iPad-only app, Jamm Pro, that promises both much more power than its N…
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Instagram’s Boomerang adds much-needed editing and effects tools

The rumors of Instagram spicing up Boomerang turned out to be true. It just introduced a host of creative tools, including an (arguably overdue) trimming feature. Much like the trim tool in your phone's video editor, you can decide just where the a…
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Tools to help quantify your baby’s progress

The most straightforward way to keep track of your baby's data is the trusty spreadsheet. We recommend Google Sheets, since you can easily share it with your partner, and it has most of the features you'd want from a proper spreadsheet application. W…
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Google’s AR tools make it easier for apps to apply face filters

Augmented reality experiences are still in their relative infancy, but because Android runs on so many devices, it can't always assume they'll have dedicated hardware to create extra effects. While Apple is already pushing ahead with AR and packed an…
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EU offers bounties to help find security flaws in open source tools

The European Union believes it has a simple way to bolster its digital security: offer lots of cold, hard cash. The European Commission is launching bug bounties in January that will offer prizes in return for spotting security flaws in 14 free, open…
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YouTube Learning: Investing in educational creators, resources, and tools for EduTubers

Iraq war veteran Joshua Carroll used to spend nights at his security post watching YouTube to learn trigonometry so he could pursue his passion for space. In just three weeks, YouTube helped him improve his math skills from a 10th grade level to the level required to take physics classes at New River Community College in Virginia. Today, he makes a living as a physicist, using Bernoulli differential equations in fluid flow systems. Joshua is not alone–people all over the world use YouTube to learn and follow their passions.


Whether it’s learning prerequisites for a college course or how to compete in Olympic javelin throwing, everyone seems to have turned to YouTube to learn something. Many of these learning stories are powered by an incredible community of EduTubers like PhysicsGirl and Manual do Mundo, whose videos have demonstrated the appeal of content that enriches as well as entertains.

In July, Susan, our CEO, announced YouTube Learning, an initiative to support all those who use YouTube to share their knowledge with the world and the millions of users who come to our platform to learn. And today she shared that we’ll be investing $ 20m to expand this initiative as we strive to make YouTube even better for educators and learners. Here’s more on the steps we’ll be taking:

Funding for Great Educational Creators on YouTube

High quality learning content is time-consuming to research, produce, and edit. That’s why we’re announcing a new Learning Fund to support creators who make some of the best learning content on YouTube. This includes videos covering a wide range of topics from career skills, like interviewing and resume building, to computer science, like coding for game development and JavaScript basics.

We’ve already completed our first round of investment in some of the most respected names in online education like TED-Ed or Hank and John Green’s Crash Course. We’re also supporting many of our emerging EduTubers like Socratica and Linda Raynier. Creators who are interested in applying to the Learning Fund can sign up for more information here.

In addition to investing in EduTubers through the Learning Fund, we’re also developing new YouTube Originals focused on learning like Mind Field: Season 3 from Vsauce creator Michael Stevens, and a new series with Vox Entertainment which was announced earlier this month.

Partnering with Trusted Institutions

We know it’s important to make quality learning content easier to find on YouTube, so we’re launching a new channel called Learning, where major partners like Goodwill and Year Up are contributing curated playlists highlighting videos that teach career skills. The channel will make it easy for users to find tutorials, DIY videos, explainers, and skill-based playlists.

We’re also excited to announce partnerships with leading online learning platforms, like edX, a non-profit offering courses from the world’s best universities and institutions, and OpenClassrooms, an education platform based in France. Together they will bring over some of their most popular video courses to YouTube.

Expanded Resources and Support for EduTubers

In 2018 we’ve held YouTube EduCon conferences in California, Mexico, and Brazil to connect EduTubers with new resources and each other. These creators are a testament that powerful educational content can come from anyone, anywhere. Here are a few more ways we plan to support them in 2019:

  • Expanding YouTube EduCon to Europe and Asia, starting with India in December and the UK in February.
  • Providing more resources to aspiring EduTubers like our Creator Academy course for educational channels, and our new Learning Best Practices.
  • Hosting a NextUp creator camp specifically for emerging EduTubers.
  • Working to connect EduTubers with brand partners through FameBit. We have already secured investments for sponsored content specifically for the EduTuber community.

We may not all become scientists or professional chefs by learning through videos, but we can promise that anyone who wants to learn and teach will have ever greater opportunities to do so on YouTube. Expect more announcements in the months and years to come as we continue to meet with you and hear how we can best support learning on YouTube.

Malik Ducard, Global Head of Learning, Social Impact, Family, Film & TV, recently viewed “Where Does the #Hashtag Symbol Come From?


YouTube Blog

New tools for parents and content for older kids in the YouTube Kids app

We believe that no two families are the same — and that their needs are ever-changing as they grow up. That’s why we are committed to building YouTube Kids in a way that offers kids the content they love and grown-ups the tools to customize the app as they see fit. Today we’re excited to launch two updates we think families will really enjoy: parent-approved content and a new experience for older kids.

First, we’re following up on our April announcement and sharing that we’ve launched parent-approved content. This highly requested parental control allows parents to handpick every video and channel available to their child in the app. It is available today globally on Android and coming soon to iOS.

For parents who want to enable this feature, open settings, go to the child’s profile and select “approved content only.” Now they’re ready to start picking videos for their kids.

Parents can choose any video, channel or collection of channels they like by tapping the “+” button. Parents can also search for a specific creator or video. If parents choose to enable this mode, their kids will not be able to search for content on their own.

What’s more, YouTube Kids is growing up with our users. We have launched a new experience geared toward 8-12 year olds that includes additional new content, like popular music and gaming videos. If parents think their kids are ready, they can pick this “Older” version when setting up a new profile or updating an existing profile. The “Younger” version is the default content experience and will continue to have a wide selection of sing-alongs and age-appropriate learning videos. Parents can change between “Younger,” “Older” and parent-approved content at any time. We’ve started to roll out the new older experience in the U.S. with plans to expand globally.

We work hard to make videos in the app family friendly, but no system is perfect. It’s always possible that a parent may find something they don’t want their child to watch in the “Younger” or “Older” experiences. If this happens, we ask that parents block and flag the video for review by our team. This makes YouTube Kids better for everyone.

As we continue to receive feedback from parents and turn that feedback into improvements to the YouTube Kids app, we hope that all families and kids can create the experience they want!

Happy watching from our family to yours,

James Beser, Product Director for YouTube Kids, recently viewed “Water Bottle Flip 2” from Dude Perfect


YouTube Blog

British Airways hackers used same tools behind Ticketmaster breach

The British Airways web hack wasn't an isolated incident. Analysts at RiskIQ have reported that the breach was likely perpetrated by Magecart, the same criminal enterprise that infiltrated Ticketmaster UK. In both cases, the culprits used similar v…
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Tools to Take Charge of Your Digital Wellbeing

At Google I/O in May, we introduced new tools that help people better understand their tech usage, focus on what matters most and disconnect when needed. Starting today, you can find all of the YouTube tools in one place, alongside your personal time watched profile. Our goal is to provide a better understanding of time spent on YouTube, so you can make informed decisions about how you want YouTube to best fit into your life.

Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started toward building your own sense of digital wellbeing:

Know how much you actually watch (new!): To give you a better understanding of how much you watch, we’ve built a profile that’s available in your account menu rolling out starting today. This profile tells you how long you’ve watched YouTube videos today, yesterday and over the past 7 days.

Remind yourself to take a break: Once you know how much time you’re spending in the app, you may want to set a limit. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re having fun, which is why we’ll help you set up a reminder to take a break. Just head over to your settings and pick the amount of YouTube time that’s right for you. Once you’ve hit that limit, a friendly reminder will pop up on your screen.


Keep it to one notification a day: If you want more control over when you receive notifications from YouTube, you can bundle all of your YouTube push notifications into a single notification each day and set a specific time to receive your digest. Just go to your settings to choose when you’d like to receive your digest, and from then on you’ll only receive one notification per day.


Disable notification sounds and vibrations: Resisting the urge to check your phone when it buzzes is really difficult, and this can make it hard to fall asleep. So we’ve recently made a change to send all notifications without sound and vibration between 10pm and 8am. You can enable sounds and vibrations, or customize the start and end time in your settings.


We’re dedicated to making sure that you have the information you need to better understand how you use YouTube and develop your own sense of digital wellbeing. We hope these tips are a good start.

Posted by: Brian Marquardt, Director of Product Management, who recently watched Take a Break: Backstreet Boys in Las Vegas


YouTube Blog

Google’s digital wellbeing tools for YouTube are finally rolling out

Back at Google I/O this year, Google announced some digital wellbeing tools for YouTube and Android. Now that Android 9 Pie is official we have access to some of those system-wide tools, but the YouTube update has been elusive all year. It’s finally starting to roll out, though, so you’ll soon be able to keep […]

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Valve may offer tools to play Windows games on Steam Machines

Valve's Steam Machine platform hasn't really taken off, and it's not just because of the hardware. When few developers are willing to release Linux-native versions of games to run on Steam OS, there just isn't a lot to play. Thankfully, the company…
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Facebook adds donation matching to its fundraising tools

In 2016, Facebook began allowing its users to raise money for 501c3 nonprofits and it expanded that tool last year, giving users the option to create fundraisers for personal needs. Today, the company has announced a few changes to its fundraising pl…
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New Twitch tools help you become a pro streamer

Many Twitch streamers dream of turning pro, but getting there is a fuzzy process. How do you know you've 'made it' and can apply to become an affiliate or partner? And how do you make a big deal out of staple events like channel raids and new viewe…
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G Suite gets more customization tools including new App Maker

As Google I/O 2017 starts to wind down and fans plot their new developments or their next big purchase based on Google tech, the enterprise market got some welcome news about some tools Google will roll out for G Suite. G Suite is Google’s platform mainly intended for the enterprise that gives companies access to […]

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Acer’s new CXV2 Chromebox offers video conference tools

Acer_Chromebox

Acer has announced the CXV2 Chromebox, a video conference solution that supports up to 15 conference members across various devices.

Unveiling the CXV2 this week, Acer has revealed that the product boots up in less than 10 seconds, also said to be ‘easy to set up and manage’. Discussing the Chromebox via a press release, the group has said this is the latest addition to Acer’s portfolio of Chrome OS products, which includes Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and Chromebases.

In a press release, Acer added:

“According to data from Gartner, Acer Group is currently the world’s leading Chromebook brand with over 34% market share for the first three quarters of 2015.”

The CXV2 Chromebox is powered by an i7 processor and Intel HD graphics, arriving with a high-quality camera, remote control, microphone and speaker.

Acer’s on-board Chromebox camera supports up to Full HD 1080p resolution, we’re told, which is good news for businesses looking for a crisp picture during video calls. It’s also equipped with autofocus and automatic low-light correction, working in harmony with the omni-directional microphone.

When it comes to security, Acer has promised a ‘simple and secure’ user experience, thanks to the fact that the CXV2 automatically updates itself every six weeks to ensure the latest security features are running as they should. On top of that, all the data on the Chromebox is encrypted, Acer has confirmed.

At the time of writing, there’s no word on when or where the Chromebox will become available. We’re also yet to hear of a price for the new gadget. We’ll keep you posted.

Source: Acer

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Apple Introduces ResearchKit, Giving Medical Researchers New Tools

Apple today announced ResearchKit, an open-source software framework designed for medical and health research that can help doctors and scientists gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone apps. World-class research institutions have already developed apps with ResearchKit for studies on asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. “iOS apps already help millions of customers track and improve their health. With hundreds of millions of iPhones in use around the world, we saw an opportunity for Apple to have an even greater impact by empowering people to participate in and contribute to medical research,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “ResearchKit gives the scientific community access to a diverse, global population and more ways to collect data than ever before.”
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