Woman angry she became face of Twitter bot fraud

Global News

Meet Cheryl Montgomery.

Her Twitter profile shows her as hailing from Marlton, N.J., and she tweets a great deal about U.S. politics.

Her profile picture looks a lot like Catherine Simpson, a Vancouver-based public relations professional.

That’s because Cheryl Montgomery is a Twitter bot created by someone who stole Simpson’s photo from an online news article and used it as a profile photo.

“I said, ‘No way,’” Simpson said. “I’m typing it in and there’s my picture.”

Carr told Global News he is investigating “the use of automated social media accounts in spreading political messages in the U.S.”

He said it’s remarkably easy to create a Twitter bot.

“You can go online and Google how to make a bot and have one online in two hours,” Carr said.

This particular bot seems to be in favour of former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton and opposed to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The tweets from Cheryl Montgomery were relatively tame, but social media expert Jesse Miller said bots with more radical messaging can cause problems for the real people used in Twitter profile photos.

“People have believed the individual was the one behind the keyboard and they’ve actively looked to find the person and unfortunately that internet vigilante justice piece kind of rears its ugly head,” he said.

Simpson noted that if the bot “was retweeting on Canadian politics or local politics I would’ve been much more concerned.”

She said she has contacted Twitter in the hopes of having the account suspended.

Twitter said it recently suspended 1,062 automated accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian “troll farm” that systematically disseminated content designed to influence public opinion during the U.S. presidential election.

A recent New York Times report exposed how some public figures have paid for bots to follow them on social media.

“I sent them my drivers licence,” Simpson said. “I’ve sent them all sorts of information but I’m not really having any luck with them.”

Experts say it’s important to flag such bots to Twitter, even if the process is frustrating. It’s also important to be selective about who can see your pictures online.

If not, your favourite shot might be the new face for a Twitter bot.

Anheuser Busch orders 40 Tesla Semi trucks

Your beer could soon be delivered in a Tesla.

Brewer Anheuser-Busch _ which owns Budweiser and other brands _ has placed an order for 40 all-electric Tesla Semis.

Anheuser-Busch says it’s one of the largest orders Tesla has received for the truck, but Tesla isn’t confirming.

Tesla Inc. unveiled the Semi last month. Production will begin in 2019. Customers can put down a $5,000 deposit to reserve one.

Anheuser-Busch says the Tesla Semis would be part of a 750-truck U.S. fleet that transports products from breweries to wholesalers. The trucks will help the Belgium-based company meet its goal of reducing global carbon emissions by 30 per cent in 2025.

Tesla won’t say how many companies have put down deposits. But Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and midwest retailer Meijer Inc. are among those that have placed orders.

 

Insurance-Canada.ca announces highlights of its 2018 Insurance Technology Conference

Source: Insurance-Canada.ca

For its 16thAnnual Technology Conference (ICTC 2018) Insurance-Canada.ca is focusing on the opportunities and challenges provided by new technology in use by Canadian insurers and brokers.

Artificial Intelligence is becoming a reality for Canadian insurance. Since the origin of electronic computing, “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) has been a goal for programmers and fodder for science fiction. These two groups are now coming together as reality emerges. AI and its counterparts – machine learning and advanced analytics – are coming into play in insurance companies and larger brokerages. Early implementations are demonstrating the use of AI in claims settlements, providing more accurate insurance product pricing and allowing customers ease of access to a variety of coverages.

From the buyers’ perspective, insurers and brokers are finding that Customer Experience is a critical success factor for attracting consumers while utilizing advanced technologies. Kanetix Ltd will discuss some of the challenges for customer-facing insurance providers as they optimize the customer experience, and techniques – including AI – to better address human behaviours.

Other sessions at ICTC 2018 will cover a larger landscape.  Experts from the analyst, insurer and technology supplier communities are preparing sessions focused on Blockchain, IoT (Internet of Things) and Digital insurance technologies. These include:

  • New risks and developing insurance products
  • De-risking strategies through climate adaptation
  • The impact of autonomous vehicles on the automotive insurance product
  • Customer experience technologies on the business of insurance.

Taking a user’s angle on the insurance industry and its technologies, David Coletto, CEO at Abacus Data, will provide the keynote address. Based on more than seven years of research, Coletto’s presentation will describe the context around all the technologies, and will offer a Canadian perspective on generational change (Millennials and Gen Z) and the disruptive forces at work in both consumer and insurance markets.

The 2018 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference, entitled Insurance Vectors in Play, will be held on February 27-28, 2018 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto.  Details on the location, agenda, and registration can be found here. (www.insurance-canada.ca/ictc)

Main Attractions at L.A. Auto Show

The floor at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show will look a lot like America’s roads: full of SUVs.

Hyundai and Nissan will debut new small SUVs at the show, while Subaru will take the wraps off its new three-row SUV, the Ascent. Jeep will show a new version of its rough-and-tumble Wrangler, while Infiniti, Lexus, Lincoln and Porsche will debut more refined models.

A combination of low gas prices, growing millennial families and a host of new models is fueling the SUV boom. As of October, overall U.S. vehicle sales were down 2 per cent compared to the same period last year, but SUV sales were up 6 per cent, according to Autodata Corp.

The L.A. show will also have plenty of eco-friendly models in a nod to California buyers, who purchase a higher percentage of hybrids and electrics than the U.S. as a whole thanks to state tax credits and other incentives. Land Rover will debut its first-ever plug-in gas-electric hybrid, while Volkswagen will show its upcoming family of electric vehicles. Porsche will also have a plug-in hybrid.

Here are some of the vehicles being unveiled at the show, which opens to the public on Friday, December 1, 2017.

LINCOLN NAUTILUS

Lincoln’s midsize MKX SUV gets a new name, Nautilus, in an effort to separate itself from the alphanumeric luxury crowd. It also gets its first refresh since it went on sale in 2015. The 2019 Nautilus swaps its V6 engine for two turbocharged four-cylinder choices: a 2.0-litre that puts out 245 horsepower or a 2.7-litre with 335 horsepower. The Nautilus adopts Lincoln’s signature mesh grille. It also has a suite of new safety technologies, including a system that keeps the SUV centred in its lane and an evasive manoeuvring system that can automatically steer the vehicle around obstacles. The 2019 Nautilus goes on sale in the spring.

CHEVROLET CORVETTE ZR1 CONVERTIBLE

The fastest, most powerful version of General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Corvette gets its first drop-top in nearly a half-century. Chevrolet says the convertible won’t hurt the 755-horsepower car’s performance much. It’s only 60 pounds heavier than the standard coupe and still will have a top speed of over 200 miles per hour. The only changes for the convertible are the structure for the car’s folding top and repositioned seat belt mounts. The 2019 ZR1 made its debut earlier this month in Dubai. The ZR1 last had a convertible in its original model year in 1970. The coupe starts at $119,995 including shipping, while the convertible starts at $123,995. They’ll hit showrooms this spring.

INFINITI QX50

Infiniti’s midsize, five-seat SUV gets a complete overhaul, starting with a rigid but lightweight new underbody made from high-strength steel. The 2019 QX50 sits up higher than the outgoing model and has a beefier, more confident look. Under the hood is what Infiniti says is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine. The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder automatically adjusts the pistons’ performance to optimize power or fuel efficiency. Infiniti says the engine delivers 268 horsepower and 27 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, a 35 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency over the outgoing QX50. The new QX50 also boasts Infiniti’s ProPilot driver assistance system that can automatically control braking and speed and keep the SUV within its lane. The QX50 goes on sale in the first quarter of 2018.

SUBARU ASCENT

Known for its small all-wheel-drive cars and SUVs, Subaru enters the big people-hauler market with the new Ascent. It’s got three rows of seats and can carry as many as eight people. Built in Lafayette, Indiana, the Ascent will be sold only in North America to satisfy its thirst for bigger vehicles. The all-wheel-drive Ascent is powered by a new 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Second-row captain’s chairs are optional on some versions. The price wasn’t released, but the Ascent will go on sale next summer.

 

Young adults ‘putting themselves at fraud risk’ by sharing details online

Young adults ‘putting themselves at fraud risk’ by sharing details online

Irish Examinar

Young adults’ willingness to share personal information with others online could be putting them at greater risk of fraud, a report warns.

While older people are often seen as less tech-savvy, potentially putting them at greater risk of fraud, UK bank NatWest found that less cautious behaviour among those aged 18 to 24 years old in particular could be making them vulnerable.

NatWest, which commissioned think tank Policy Network to look into financial fraud trends, found more than 80% of young adults in this age group are willing to share their email address online with their friends, and as many as 29% are willing to share their mother’s maiden name – a commonly used security question.

This contrasts with just 60% of over-55s willing to share their email address, and only 12% willing to share their mother’s maiden name.

The report was launched at a fraud summit being held by NatWest.

David Lowe, NatWest’s head of fraud prevention, said traditionally the view has been that older people are most at risk of financial fraud.

He said: “Whilst fraud is still prevalent in this age category, we are seeing an increasing trend in younger ’digital natives’ falling victim to online fraud.”

Matthew Laza, director at Policy Network, said: “We need to ensure that today’s school children don’t become another ’generation scammed’.

“As more and more of life moves online this is a real danger for the future.”

Research for this report involved a review of available data on fraud and scams, analysis of YouGov survey data, and interviews with fraud experts.

Source: www.irishexaminer.com

 

Government and business not keeping up with speed of technology

By David Hodges

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ A new report suggests the speed of technological advances has become so rapid that it’s outpacing the rate at which large Canadian businesses and government institutions can adapt, with the number of jobs threatened by automation ranging from 35 to 42 per cent.

The co-authored report, by Deloitte and the Human Resources Professionals Association, calls upon policy-makers and business leaders to prepare Canadian workers for the disruption that artificial intelligence, machine learning and other technologies are having on the economy.

“The changes we are seeing are nothing less than historic and governments and educators need to take a skills-first, not a job-first approach,” said Scott Allinson, vice-president of public affairs at the HRPA.

“Technology just seems to be outpacing the current business model,” added Allinson, pointing to last week’s announcement by Sears Canada that the retailer was shutting down its 130 remaining stores, leaving about 12,000 employees without a job.

“We’ve seen with the brick-and-mortar stores that they’re not keeping up with the change of what people are looking for, thanks to technology.”

Reforming education to ensure Canadians enter the workforce with the future-proofed skills they need to succeed in a digital world are among the key recommendations in the joint report.

It says this would require re-examining how schools are organized, with greater emphasis placed on interdisciplinary work, mental agility, critical thinking, teamwork, relationship management, and the capacity to learn itself “in other words, coaching the integrated capabilities needed for the future instead of teaching individual subjects.”

With workers today needing to upgrade their capabilities constantly, the report also calls upon businesses to take a leadership role in promoting “future-proofed capabilities” by replacing static learning and development programs with dynamic, continuous learning opportunities.

Among the ways this could be achieved would include making learning available on-demand, 24/7 to all employees on any digital platform: computer, tablet or smartphone. Employers that don’t offer these off-site, virtual learning opportunities will find it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain top talent, the report says.

Another key recommendation is modernizing provincial labour laws and the social safety net to reflect the realities of the “gig economy” _ which has turned the traditional one job/one employee/one employer model on its head, with pioneers like Uber and Airbnb doing away with large, hierarchical organizational structures altogether.

The report says that since 1997, Canada’s contingent workforce has grown from 4.8 million to 6.1 million and now accounts for about one-third of all jobs and is likely to keep growing.

While Ontario has been debating reforms to raise the minimum wage and improve the labour market, Allinson says that policy-makers across the country need to design solutions that reflect both the opportunities and the challenges facing gig-economy workers as well as free-agent employees in traditional companies. This includes significant reform to the way Canadian public policy approaches retirement planning, income taxes and unemployment insurance.

“We need to get down to the urgent work of assessing not just how work will change in Canada but how Canadian workers should prepare,” said Allinson.

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