This Week In Tech And Telco: AI Improvements, Equinix Expansion

Welcome to our weekly round up. Here's some of what's been going on in the tech and telco space this week.

We're one day early as the Radial Path team are preparing for a long Easter weekend, so we've made this weeks a little longer than normal so you can kick back and catch up over the weekend too. See you on the flip side!

YouTube algorithm adds 9/11 explainer to Notre Dame fire video

Can we really trust algorithms? As thousands of Parisians lined the streets watching the historic Notre Dame cathedral burn on Monday evening, others around the world tuned in for updates on YouTube, and were provided with false context about 9/11.

YouTube users in the United States and South Korea who watched the cathedral in flames were greeted with “knowledge panels”, a banner with a synopsis of related information, pushing Encyclopedia Britannica articles about the September 11 attacks.

The platform introduced the knowledge panel feature in 2018 to cut down on misinformation, but in this case the tool created false associations between fire reportedly caused by accident and the 2001 US-based terrorist attack.

The Notre Dame cathedral before the blaze. Photographer: bennett tobias | Source: Unsplash

OpenAI Five crushes Dota2 world champs

Dota2 is one of the most popular, and complex, online games in the world, but an AI has once again shown itself to supersede human skill. In matches over the weekend, OpenAI’s “Five” system defeated two pro teams soundly, and soon you’ll be able to test your own mettle against — or alongside — the ruthless agent.

In a blog post, OpenAI detailed how its game-playing agent has progressed on from a previous version of itself, after undergoing extensive neural network as many months ago, but with much more training.

The version that played at Dota2’s premier tournament, The International, gets schooled by the new version 99 percent of the time.

Photographer: Franck V. | Source: Unsplash

Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data to fight rivals and help friends, leaked documents show

Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate Facebook’s power and control competitors by granting and restricting company access to users’ data when it served the social network’s interests.

Thus essentially treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip while publicly proclaiming to be protecting that dat according to about 4,000 pages of leaked company documents largely spanning 2011 to 2015 and obtained by NBC News.

The documents, which include emails, web chats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with.

In some cases, Facebook would reward favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users. In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps

Intel and 5G , Apple and Qualcomm settlement

Following a shocking settlement between Apple and Qualcomm, Intel has announced it won’t try building 5G modems for smartphones. Apple attempted to replace Qualcomm as a supplier for its modem chips with Intel, but reported issues with implementing 5G tech were a reason it's not expected to appear in an iPhone this year.

Intel previously said it was speeding up development of 5G modem tech but it's now going to "assess" the opportunities for 4G and 5G in PC, IoT, and other devices while continuing to invest in developing 5G infrastructure tech.

The news also saw Qualcomm surge, with the company expecting a $2 increase in earnings per share and its stock rose over 20%.

Photographer: bert sz | Source: Unsplash

Web infrastructure under attack from global hacking spree

There has been a large scale hack on government and intelligence agencies’ websites around the world. The attacks are being backed by an unnamed government, according to security experts, whose actions threaten to undermine systems that keep the World Wide Web functional.

Cisco's Talos security group says that a core part of the internet's infrastructure has been targeted as the hackers attempt to steal confidential information in an indecent that's been dubbed 'Sea Turtle'.

Photographer: Franck V. | Source: Unsplash

Egypt ‘to be Africa’s data gateway’

Egypt is poised to become the African hub and the gateway to Africa, says the CEO of Telecom Egypt, opening a Capacity conference.

Adel Hamed, who took over the leadership of Telecom Egypt earlier this year, opened the Capacity North Africa conference in Cairo with a declaration that the company and Egypt itself could be the key hub for Africa.

Other speakers at the inaugural conference testified to the importance of Egypt’s potential. Nagui Anis Khalil, vice president of strategy and planning at Fiber Misr, pointed the delegates southwards from the vital Red Sea-Mediterranean connection that is vital to the world’s networks.

He said that Egypt “is the second country in the world in terms of submarine cable connections”, but “we need to transform from just transit and build upon these cables. North Africa needs more internet exchanges and data centers to keep content in Africa.”

Egypt ‘to be Africa’s data gateway’ for tech and telco
Photographer: sophia valkova | Source: Unsplash

Telco Equinix expands its ECX Fabric

Equinix has completed the enhancement of Platform Equinix with expanded connectivity options that help enterprises, cloud providers and network providers interconnect their global business at the digital edge.

The effort, Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) now has expanded its connectivity service to now support connection between all of its 37 global markets.

With the expansion any two ECX Fabric markets can privately connect clouds, networks, and data centers to their edge computing. Equinix has carved out a market by integrating public cloud providers - ranging from AWS to Google Cloud Platform to Microsoft Azure as well as Oracle and IBM.

Equinix's ECX Fabric offers a software-defined interconnection service that can connect company-owned infrastructure with public cloud providers and networks. These connections are used to handle spikes, backups, and bandwidth intensive workloads.

Sometimes you just have to look up.
Photographer: Joshua Sortino | Source: Unsplash

Still got some time?

  • Ever thought what would have happened if Turing lived? Ian McEwan’s new book Machines Like Me explores an alternate reality where the mathematician thrived. Set in an alternative 1980s, where a weakened Conservative PM (Margaret Thatcher) battles a socialist leader (Tony Benn) over the UK’s future in the European Union, McEwan tackles Turing’s big question: can machines think? The machine in question is an Adam, one of the first humanoid robots and fruit of a world in which Alan Turing stayed alive. (New Scientist)
  • U.S. security concerns about 5G mobile networks built by Chinese telecoms giant Huawei appear to be driven by politics and trade rather than any evidence, the head of the U.N. internet and telecoms agency has said. (Reuters)
  • AMS-IX is turning to Epsilon to expand its service portfolio in North America. Epsilon will be providing infrastructure outsourcing at AMS-IX's Bay Area and Chicago IXs, specifically housing and external connectivity environments. It's an expansion of an existing relationship between the two companies, which have already been working together in Europe and Asia. (Telecom Ramblings)
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