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AM Prep-Cyber Corner

May 23, 2019

IN THE NEWS: DIGITAL ASSISTANTS AND SEXISM

NEW YORK (AP) — Imagine summoning a woman every time you wanted something done, looked up _ or turned on or off. Some might think that was sexist. And yet, that is what many people do when they put their electronic trust in the female voices supplied by Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, as well as those operated by Google and Microsoft. A new report by the United Nations is raising questions about whether having female voices at the beck and call of users serves to amplify gender bias around the world. The U.N. says there’s a danger millions of people are getting used to interacting with female-voiced assistants the report describes as “servile, obedient and unfailingly polite.” The agency recommends that tech companies stop making digital assistants female by default _ and program them to discourage gender-based insults and abusive language.

IN THE NEWS: FAKE iPHONE SCAM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — You’d think a scam involving fake Apple iPhones wouldn’t end up victimizing the company that actually makes the device. But that’s exactly what happened, according to federal authorities in Oregon. The say over a two-year period, a Chinese national in Oregon sent devices that looked like iPhones to Apple, complaining that they were bricked _ and should be replaced under warranty. But the devices were fake. Authorities say Quan Jiang either delivered or shipped to Apple almost 3,000 “defective” phones _ and got about half that number back as replacement devices. The ruse worked in part because Apple couldn’t fire up the devices, leading to the company being unable to spot the fakes. Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the case.

ON THE WEB: QUALCOMM RULING

CYBERSPACE (AP) — A federal judge has issued a key ruling against Qualcomm. The decision rules that the chip-making giant unlawfully squeezed out rival cellphone chip makers _ and charged excessive royalties to companies like Apple to use their technology. The decision vindicates the U.S. Federal Trade Commission two years after it filed its antitrust lawsuit against the San Diego chipmaker. Qualcomm says it will appeal the decision.

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Online:

Qualcomm site: http://www.qualcomm.com

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2

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