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Apple Will Keep Clarifying This CSAM Mess Until Morale Improves – Gizmodo

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Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP (Getty Images)

Last week, Apple announced new tools to detect and report child pornography and sexually explicit materials. It’s a noble mission and no one’s going to argue against catching child predators. That said, the rollout has turned into a debacle of epic proportions.

The controversy centers around two features Apple says it will deploy later this year in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. The first involves scanning photos that have been shared to iCloud for child sex abuse materials (CSAM). The second involves scanning messages sent to and from children’s accounts to stop them from sharing explicit images. (If you want a more detailed dive into how these features work, you can read more here.)

As soon as these two features were announced, privacy and security experts sounded the alarm that, however well-intentioned, Apple was building a “backdoor” that could be misused by police or governments and create new risks. Apple replied with a lengthy FAQ. Thousands have since signed an open letter asking Apple to halt its work on the features and reaffirm its commitment to end-to-end encryption and user privacy. Yesterday, a Reuters report claimed that internally, Apple employees are also raising concerns. In a bid to calm fears, the company also promised that it wouldn’t allow governments to abuse its CSAM tools as a surveillance weapon. Today, Apple has yet again released another PDF titled “Security Threat Model Review of Apple’s Child Safety Features” in the hopes that further clarification may clear up “misunderstandings” about how this all works. (Spoiler: It won’t.)

This has been a public relations nightmare that is uncharacteristic for Apple. The company has gadget launches down to a science, and its events are always slick, well-produced affairs. After the backlash, Apple has quietly admitted that perhaps it hadn’t fully thought out its communication strategy for two complex tools and that perhaps everyone’s confused because it announced these two features simultaneously, despite the fact that they don’t work in the same way. It’s since launched an aggressive campaign to explain why its tools don’t pose a privacy and security threat. And yet journalists, experts, and advocacy groups remain befuddled. Hell, even Apple software chief Craig Federighi looked flustered while trying to break it all down for the Wall Street Journal. (And Federighi is normally a cool cucumber when it comes to telling us how it all “just works.”)

Some of the confusion swirls around whether Apple is scanning your actual iPhone for CSAM. According to Federighi, the answer is both yes and no. The scanning occurs during the iCloud upload process. Some of it happens on your phone, some of it happens in the cloud. There have also been questions as to how Apple figured out that the tools have an error rate of “one in 1 trillion.” It appears that answer boils down to advanced math. In all seriousness, Apple says it made its calculations using the most conservative parameters possible but it doesn’t answer the original question: Why should we trust that number? Apple also set its reporting threshold to 30 CSAM-matched images, which feels like an arbitrary number, and the company didn’t have an answer as to why that is beyond the fact that child predators purportedly have a much higher number of CSAM images.

In a briefing today with reporters, Apple tried to give further assurances its tools have simply been mischaracterized. For instance, it said its CSAM hash database would be created from an intersection of hashes given by two or more child safety organizations operating in separate sovereign jurisdictions. Or basically, the hashes won’t be provided by any one government. It also said there would be no automated reporting, and that it was aware it would have to expand the number of employees on its human review team. Apple also said it would maintain a public list of root hashes of every encrypted CSAM database shipping in every OS that supports the feature. Third-party auditors for each version of the database are more than welcome. Apple also repeatedly stated that these tools aren’t set in stone. Things are still very much in the works, though Apple demurred on whether changes have been made since the brouhaha started.

This is the epitome of getting lost in the weeds. If you take a step back, all this conflict isn’t necessarily about the nuts and bolts of these tools (though, they should certainly be vigorously examined for weaknesses). The conflict is whether these tools should exist at all, and if Apple should be taken at its word when so many experts seem alarmed. What’s surprising is how Apple’s seemed to stumble at reassuring everyone that they can be trusted with this.

It’s too early to say which side will prevail, but this is how it’s all going to go down: Critics won’t stop pointing out how Apple is creating an infrastructure that can be abused, and Apple won’t stop trying to convince us all that these tools are safe, private, and accurate. One side will hammer the other into submission, or at least until they’re too tired to protest any further. The rest of us will remain utterly confused.

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Porsche Is Going Public At €82.50 A Share, Valuing Company At €75 Billion – CarScoops

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Porsche is going public this week and shares will each be available for €82.50 ($79.89), priced at the top of the company’s targeted price range.

The initial public offering (IPO) will see the Volkswagen Group sell 12.5 per cent of the company’s non-voting shares in a move that will raise approximately €9.4 billion ($9.1 billion) and value the automaker at €75.2 billion ($72.8 billion). This will make it Germany’s second-largest listing ever.

No less than 911 million shares will be sold in Porsche and approximately half of the proceeds generated by the listing on Frankfurt’s stock exchange will be distributed to shareholders. The rest of the funds will be used to help fund VW’s transition to all-electric vehicles.

Read More: VW Banking On Porsche IPO To Fund Future Electrification Plans

“In the event of a successful IPO, Volkswagen AG will convene an extraordinary general meeting in December 2022, at which it will propose to its shareholders to distribute in the beginning of 2023 a special dividend of 49 % of the total gross proceeds from the placement of the preferred shares and the sale of the ordinary shares,” the Volkswagen Group described in a statement.

The IPO is going ahead despite the current volatile state of the stock market and widespread economic concerns.

“This [IPO] is a key element for the group, especially because the possible proceeds would give us more flexibility to further accelerate the transformation,” Porsche CFO Arno Antlitz added in a statement earlier this month.

Speaking with the media last week, the head of VW’s works council, Daniela Cavallo, noted that the carmaker could sell more Porsche shares in the future in order to raise additional funds.

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Canada's economy grew by 0.1% in July, bucking expectations it would shrink – CBC News

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Canada’s gross domestic product expanded by 0.1 per cent in July, besting expectations of an imminent decline, as growth in mining, agriculture and the oil and gas sector offset shrinkage in manufacturing.

Statistics Canada reported Thursday that economic output from the oilsands sector increased sharply, by 5.1 per cent during the month. That was a change in direction after two straight months of decline, which brought second-quarter growth to 4.2 per cent thus far. 

The agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector led growth with 3.2 per cent. Unlike the United States and Europe, both of which are facing drought conditions, Canada has had a good year for crop production said Scotiabank economist Derek Holt. 

On the downside, the manufacturing sector shrank by 0.5 per cent, its third decline in four months. Canada’s export market with the United States has softened and global supply chain issues linger, said Holt. The latter are gradually easing, which could create a better picture for the sector in the second half of the quarter. 

Wholesale trade shrank by 0.7 per cent, and the retail sector declined by 1.9 per cent. That’s the smallest output for retail since December. 

“What happened this summer was a big rotation away from goods spending towards services spending,” Holt said. Activities like haircuts, travel or outings to the theatre, made popular with the lifting of pandemic restrictions, leave out retail.

While the economy eked out slight growth in July, the data agency’s early look at August’s numbers shows no growth.

“The economy fared better than anticipated this summer, but the showing still wasn’t much to write home about,” said economist Royce Mendes with Desjardins. “While the data did beat expectations today, the numbers didn’t move the needle enough to see a material market reaction.”

The performance of Canada’s economy throughout the fiscal year — 3.6 per cent growth in Q1 and 4.2 per cent thus far in Q2 — remains one of the best in the world, Holt said. 

Mendes said he expects growth will stay under one per cent this year: half of the Bank of Canada’s two per cent prediction and a third of the growth seen in the first two quarters. 

“We’re definitely slowing, and more of that is coming in a lagged response to higher interest rates and all the challenges of the world economy,” Holt said. “But relative to the rest of the world, for the year as a whole, Canada has been in a sweet spot.”

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Employers and Your Ego Are Constantly at Odds Over Your Value

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When considering the value of an item from a holistic perspective and through the philosophical lenses of existentialism, you realize an item has no value until someone is willing to pay for it, whether it’s a Porsche 911 GT3, a 26th-floor condo in Vancouver, a cup of Starbucks coffee or pair of Levi’s jeans.

Have you ever bought an item, a leather jacket, for example, for $400 and then a month later, it was on sale for $250? The retailer reduced the price of the leather jacket because the number of customers willing to pay $400 had dwindled to the point where it wasn’t selling. Taking this analogy further, the jackets that ended up not selling had no value.

Value doesn’t simply exist. Value is assigned by supply and demand—demand being the keyword. The value of your skills and experience on the job market is determined by how much employers are willing to pay for them, which constantly fluctuates.

It’s no secret most employees feel underpaid. The perception is mostly personal, based on:

  • Your assessment of your worth, which is highly subjective, and
  • The amount of money you need for the lifestyle you created.

 

Neither is relevant.

In general, compensation isn’t arbitrary. A job’s value is determined by:

  • Job-specific educational requirements
  • Skillset required
  • Experience level
  • Responsibilities
  • Location

 

Additionally, those who criticize what employers are offering them never think about the scenario that the employer may have ten employees currently earning $65,000, whereas you want $75,000. It would cause turmoil to hire you at your asking salary.

“Getting paid what you’re worth!” has become a popular sentiment. In reality, though, the value you place on yourself and the value employers in your region are willing to pay you are two entirely different perspectives.

Recently, someone asked me if I felt underpaid. “Nope,” I replied, “I’m getting paid the amount I agreed to when I joined my employer.” I have never understood nor empathized with people who accept jobs and then complain about the pay.

Your ego and sense of entitlement may have convinced you that you deserve $75,000, but you may find that employers disagree with your value assessment. Anyone with a slight sense of business acumen understands an employee’s compensation needs to correlate with the value they bring to their employer.

Hiring involves taking a candidate’s words at face value, especially regarding their work ethic, past results, and ability to work well with others. Gut feel plays a significant role during interviews. Skills and aptitude can be tested, but only to a certain extent.

A hiring manager can only do so much due diligence (multiple interviews, testing, reference checks). Work ethic, ability to achieve results, having the skills they claimed, and being a team player are only proven or disproven after a new hire starts. Most of the tension between job seekers and employers results from job seekers expecting employers to pay them “their value” for abilities that they haven’t actually proven. In contrast, an employer’s best interest is to mitigate hiring risks by starting new hires at the low end of their budgeted salary range.

There’re 2 types of candidates:

  1. Unemployed
  2. Employed

 

Those employed should not accept a starting salary less than 20% higher than their current salary. Unless your motivation is other than money, it’s not worth the stress of starting a new job and reproving yourself for your current salary.

On the other hand, if you’re jobless, your income is $0. Unless the compensation offered is insultingly low, I don’t suggest you try and negotiate for the starting salary (WARNING: Brutal truth ahead.) you made up based on what you think of yourself. Financially and emotionally, having no job and, therefore, no income is a worst-case scenario for many.

I know you’re now asking, “But Nick, how will I get the compensation I feel I deserve if I accept what I’m offered?” Whether employed or not, you need to prove your worth, which requires the following:

 

  1. Getting the job (Proving your worth is impossible without a job.), and
  2. Negotiate and get in writing that upon achieving specific metrics, milestones, revenue targets, or whatever else you can think of, within your first six months, you’ll get a 15% salary increase or whatever percentage you feel appropriate.

 

IMPORTANT: I can’t stress enough to be sure your employment offer letter includes everything you and the hiring manager discussed and agreed to.

 

Number two makes it much easier for an employer to say “Yes” to you since they aren’t taking all the risks of hiring you at a salary you want and then finding out you can’t deliver. Offering this option demonstrates you’re confident in your skills and abilities and aren’t afraid to prove them.

 

Who would you choose if you had two more-or-less equally qualified candidates to choose from and one of the candidates offered you the option of proving their worth before getting the salary they feel they deserve?

______________________________________________________________

 

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send Nick your questions at artoffindingwork@gmail.com.

 

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