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Tom Simonite

A View from Tom Simonite

Recommended Computing Reads This Week

A roundup of the best stories on computing from other sites, collected by Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review’s San Francisco bureau chief.

  • October 28, 2015

Facebook’s Internet for All Is a Tough Sell in India
Facebook’s attempt to get more people in India online is struggling because the free Internet service the company offers is perceived as low-quality and is unknown to many people. The social network’s effort to help more people online serves a mix of philanthropic and corporate objectives and has met resistance in other places around the world (see “Facebook’s Internet.org Hits Global Flak”).

CISA Security Bill Passes Senate with Privacy Flaws Unfixed
Legislation known as CISA is intended to curtail breaches of corporate data by requiring companies to share data from their networks with the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies. Civil liberties groups are concerned this will create a loophole that exposes user data to government access without proper safeguards.

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The U.S. government has handed out $28 billion to encourage doctors and hospitals to switch to electronic health records, hoping it will make health care cheaper and more effective. Returns have been slight because the funds have helped prop up companies building closed-off systems that don’t interoperate.

Google Turning Its Lucrative Web Search Over to AI Machines
Google has enhanced its search engine with an artificial neural network that has learned to relate different words based on their meaning. The same technology is being used by Facebook to try to make software capable of basic conversation (see “Teaching Machines to Understand Us”).

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