Beneath Irwin Reyes’s desk are ten smartphones hooked up to a computer, running a dizzying number of apps to find out what user information those apps send back to their creators.
1. The Turing Award is often called the Nobel Prize of Computing. Counting faculty and alumni, Berkeley claims more Turing laureates than almost any other university in the world. That surprises a lot of people. Should it?
Let’s just say our competitors aren’t burdened with an overdeveloped case of humility.
We may never know the true number of Facebook users who suffered data breaches as a result of Cambridge Analytica’s antics, or what it all means in terms of personal security. And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg certainly didn’t provide a great deal of insight when he testified before Congress today.
Underlying the brouhaha are a couple of overriding questions: Who’s to blame, and how to fix it? Also, perhaps, is Facebook’s time done? Is the breach one of trust as much as data, and is it so damaging that the social media giant will founder?
Posted on April 10, 2018 - 3:06pm
Representatives from three of Silicon Valley’s most powerful tech firms—Facebook, Google, and Twitter—trooped up to Capitol Hill last week and told senators they were really, really sorry the Russians hacked their platforms and may even have influenced the recent presidential election. But their contrition wasn’t followed by substantive plans to remedy the situation.
Posted on November 9, 2017 - 3:11pm
1 How did you become the university librarian?
Nairobi is a tough town, and there’s no place in Nairobi that’s tougher than Kibera, Africa’s largest slum. Maybe a half-million people live there, maybe a million. No one’s really counting. But virtually everyone is desperately poor, with per capita earnings averaging about a dollar a day. Rape, assault, and murder are simple facts of daily life. The streets are paved with rotting garbage, sewage flows in the gutters, disease is rampant, and city services are largely nonexistent.
Clifford Stoll is currently the sole proprietor and sole employee of Acme Klein Bottles, a business he runs out of his home on Colby Street in North Oakland. One of the quirky company’s many mottoes is, “Where yesterday’s future is here today.”
So what do you do when you’re a co-producer of one of the best-selling video games of all time—more than that, a video game that has become a pop culture icon, so ubiquitous that it earned the ultimate gaming accolade?
Posted on June 8, 2015 - 3:18pm
For everyone who cares about saving the University of California’s cash-strapped Lick Observatory, news that Google is donating $1 million is a boon in more ways than one. Not only will the contribution—a full third of Lick’s current barebones operating budget—support the observatory’s day-to-day activities, but it’s already inspiring other donors to chip in.
Posted on February 26, 2015 - 5:20pm
Who hasn’t had a parent or a grandparent—or yourself—lost or confused on a new trail through a dense park? Or, after a certain age, unsure if you really took that anti-cholesterol pill last night, or was it the blood pressure regulator? They kind of look the same.
Posted on November 10, 2014 - 2:55pm
Silicon Valley companies have long been under fire for lacking diversity in their workforce—the stereotype being the nerdy white or Asian programmer. But there was little data to back up that contention, until recently.
This summer, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter released the ethnic and gender breakdowns of their U.S. workforce. All five companies revealed around 90 percent of employees to be white or Asian. The overall female employment rate averaged at about one-third, dropping significantly for women in leadership and tech-specific roles.
At Wells Fargo headquarters in San Francisco, four recent Cal grads—Angus Hsu ’07, who works in portable housing finance; Fred Fannon ’08, an analytics consultant; Richard Zhu ’09 in the Securities division; and Dana Zhang ’13 from the Global Financial Institutions group—are hard at work creating an alumni network of Golden Bears at the bank.
“We know of at least 700 Cal grads working here, and that’s only the people we found on LinkedIn,” says Zhu. “There have to be a lot more.”
Steven Shladover thinks that you, my human friend, are an excellent driver—and that fact makes his job exceptionally difficult. That is because Shladover, program manager at UC Berkeley’s Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH), has spent 40 years researching automated vehicle systems. The Holy Grail of this field is the self-driving car: the artificially intelligent chauffeur that promises to one day relieve us of our driving duties. If recent media accounts are to be believed, this sci-fi dream may be right around the corner, but the veteran Shladover is not so sure.