News for nerds, stuff that matters

Proton Seeks To Secure Its Privacy-Focused Future With a Nonprofit Model

Proton, the secure-minded email and productivity suite, is becoming a nonprofit foundation, but it doesn't want you to think about it in the way you think about other notable privacy and web foundations. From a report: "We believe that if we want to bring about large-scale change, Proton can't be billionaire-subsidized (like Signal), Google-subsidized (like Mozilla), government-subsidized (like Tor), donation-subsidized (like Wikipedia), or even speculation-subsidized (like the plethora of crypto "foundations")," Proton CEO Andy Yen wrote in a blog post announcing the transition. "Instead, Proton must have a profitable and healthy business at its core."

The announcement comes exactly 10 years to the day after a crowdfunding campaign saw 10,000 people give more than $500,000 to launch Proton Mail. To make it happen, Yen, along with co-founder Jason Stockman and first employee Dingchao Lu, endowed the Proton Foundation with some of their shares. The Proton Foundation is now the primary shareholder of the business Proton, which Yen states will "make irrevocable our wish that Proton remains in perpetuity an organization that places people ahead of profits." Among other members of the Foundation's board is Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of HTML, HTTP, and almost everything else about the web.

Of particular importance is where Proton and the Proton Foundation are located: Switzerland. As Yen noted, Swiss foundations do not have shareholders and are instead obligated to act "in accordance with the purpose for which they were established." While the for-profit entity Proton AG can still do things like offer stock options to recruits and even raise its own capital on private markets, the Foundation serves as a backstop against moving too far from Proton's founding mission, Yen wrote.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple Discontinues 'Buy Now, Pay Later' Service

Apple said on Monday it will no longer offer its "buy now, pay later" service, Apple Pay Later, in the United States, and will instead focus on bringing installment loan offerings to Apple Pay users globally later this year. The company told 9to5Mac that the new feature will allow users to access installment loans from eligible credit and debit cards, as well as lenders, when checking out with Apple Pay.

Existing Apple Pay Later users in the U.S. will still be able to manage their loans through the Wallet app. Apple Pay Later, which launched in the U.S. in March last year, allowed users to split purchases of $50 to $1,000 into four equal payments over six weeks without fees or interest. The company said the shift to a global installment loan offering will enable it to provide flexible payments to more users worldwide in collaboration with Apple Pay enabled banks and lenders.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

AI in Finance is Like 'Moving From Typewriters To Word Processors'

The accounting and finance professions have long adapted to technology -- from calculators and spreadsheets to cloud computing. However, the emergence of generative AI presents both new challenges and opportunities for students looking to get ahead in the world of finance. From a report: Research last year by investment bank Evercore and Visionary Future, which incubates new ventures, highlights the workforce disruption being wreaked by generative AI. Analysing 160mn US jobs, the study reveals that service sectors such as legal and financial are highly susceptible to disruption by AI, although full job replacement is unlikely.

Instead, generative AI is expected to enhance productivity, the research concludes, particularly for those in high-value roles paying above $100,000 annually. But, for current students and graduates earning below this threshold, the challenge will be navigating these changes and identifying the skills that will be in demand in future. Generative AI is being swiftly integrated into finance and accounting, by automating specific tasks. Stuart Tait, chief technology officer for tax and legal at KPMG UK, describes it as a "game changer for tax," because it is capable of handling complex tasks beyond routine automation. "Gen AI for tax research and technical analysis will give an efficiency gain akin to moving from typewriters to word processors," he says. The tools can answer tax queries within minutes, with more than 95 per cent accuracy, Tait says.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon-Powered AI Cameras Used To Detect Emotions of Unwitting UK Train Passengers

Thousands of people catching trains in the United Kingdom likely had their faces scanned by Amazon software as part of widespread artificial intelligence trials, new documents reveal. Wired: The image recognition system was used to predict travelers' age, gender, and potential emotions -- with the suggestion that the data could be used in advertising systems in the future. During the past two years, eight train stations around the UK -- including large stations such as London's Euston and Waterloo, Manchester Piccadilly, and other smaller stations -- have tested AI surveillance technology with CCTV cameras with the aim of alerting staff to safety incidents and potentially reducing certain types of crime.

The extensive trials, overseen by rail infrastructure body Network Rail, have used object recognition -- a type of machine learning that can identify items in videofeeds -- to detect people trespassing on tracks, monitor and predict platform overcrowding, identify antisocial behavior ("running, shouting, skateboarding, smoking"), and spot potential bike thieves. Separate trials have used wireless sensors to detect slippery floors, full bins, and drains that may overflow. The scope of the AI trials, elements of which have previously been reported, was revealed in a cache of documents obtained in response to a freedom of information request by civil liberties group Big Brother Watch. "The rollout and normalization of AI surveillance in these public spaces, without much consultation and conversation, is quite a concerning step," says Jake Hurfurt, the head of research and investigations at the group.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

US Sues Adobe Over Subscription Plan Disclosures

The U.S. government on Monday sued Adobe, accusing the maker of Photoshop and Acrobat of harming consumers by enrolling them in its most lucrative subscription plans without clearly disclosing important terms. From a report: In a complaint filed in the San Jose, California, federal court, the government said Adobe failed to adequately disclose hefty early termination fees, sometimes reaching hundreds of dollars, when customers sign up for "annual, paid monthly" subscription plans.

The government said Adobe hides important terms in fine print and behind textboxes and hyperlinks, clearly discloses the fees only when subscribers try to cancel, and makes canceling an onerous and complicated process.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

And the Reasons Are Many and Not Too Far Apart

Thomas Hawk posted a photo:

And the Reasons Are Many and Not Too Far Apart

Found Kodachrome Slide

Thomas Hawk posted a photo:

Found Kodachrome Slide

Demonstranten UvA barricaderen weg, slopen camera's, mogelijk vanavond ontruiming


Hoe is het eigenlijk met: de UvA? Nou, niet zo goed dus. Op het bastion van de academische vrijheid heeft allemaal tuig academisch vrij een tentenkamp opgezet, vrij academisch de weg gebarricadeerd en de UvA heeft academische aangifte gedaan bij de politie. Kennelijk is de dialoog aangaan toch niet zo goed bevallen. De demonstranten zijn allemaal ontzettend begaan met een betere wereld, daarom lopen ze er allemaal bij als terroristen en hebben ze hun steun aan Hamas op de muren van een gebouw gekalkt. AT5 meldt: "Er is vooralsnog maar een politieauto aanwezig." Dat zullen er nog wel meer worden vanavond. 
IN ANDER NIEUWS: Samer Adnan Mohammad Abu Aldab’at, die werd veroordeeld voor het slopen van tv's op de UvA, wordt er nu ook van verdacht dat hij met twee mannen met planken heeft mishandeld
UPDATE 21:03 - 'Vreedzame demonstranten' stellen zich alvast in linie op


Abu Obeida = Hamas (Foto: UvA)

The Register

Biting the hand that feeds IT — Enterprise Technology News and Analysis

Wrongful termination lawsuit accuses Neuralink of Herpes B-infected monkey business

Forced to work through lunch, attacked by virus-carrying primates, and sacked for being pregnant – allegedly

Another week, another lawsuit for an Elon Musk-owned company, this one filed by a former Neuralink employee claiming she was twice scratched by lab monkeys carrying the Herpes B virus, which is potentially deadly to humans.…

Minder lezen, Meer weten.

'Competitieve' Vingegaard maakt kans op deelname aan Tour

MOORDRECHT (ANP) - Het is nog altijd onduidelijk met welke renners de door blessures geplaagde wielerploeg Visma - Lease a Bike op 29 juni aan de start staat van de Tour de France. Titelverdediger Jonas Vingegaard kan volgens sportief directeur Merijn Zeeman deelnemen als hij "competitief" is.

Dat gaf Zeeman aan in het Cycloo Wielercafé. Eerder liet hij nog weten dat Vingegaard alleen geselecteerd zou worden als hij kans zou maken op het winnen van de Tour de France. "Het zou kunnen dat we die uitspraak misschien nog gaan nuanceren", aldus Zeeman.

"Jonas is nu aan het trainen", vervolgde Zeeman. "En hij kan gewoon trainen natuurlijk, maar vandaag hebben we weer overleg met zijn directe begeleiding over waar hij nu eigenlijk staat. Want trainen is één, maar of je competitief kunt zijn in de Tour, dat is wel wat anders."


De Deense Vingegaard viel in april hard in de Ronde van het Baskenland. Hij brak daarbij een sleutelbeen, enkele ribben en liep ook een longkneuzing op.

Naast Vingegaard staat ook achter de naam van onder anderen Wout van Aert een vraagteken. De Belg is iets verder dan de Deen en maakte een maand geleden zijn comeback in de Ronde van Noorwegen, nadat hij na een crash in Dwars door Vlaanderen acht weken had moeten missen. Hij brak in België zijn sleutelbeen, borstbeen en enkele ribben.

Nederlandse afwezigen

Dylan van Baarle en Steven Kruijswijk missen in ieder geval de Tour de France. De twee Nederlandse wielrenners van Visma - Lease a Bike waren begin deze maand betrokken bij een zware valpartij in het Critérium du Dauphiné.