Cambridge Analytica, the disgraced and now closed political-consulting firm that got caught staging a heist of tens of millions of Facebook users’ data, now looks to be suffering a final indignity: being seen as not that special of a villain after all.
Two days after the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office released a lengthy report that found Cambridge Analytica’s work did not influence the Brexit referendum, one of that British firm’s foremost American critics argued that Cambridge’s death was meaningless because the underlying privacy problem remains very much alive.
David Carroll, an associate professor of media design at The New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York, made this case by walking an online audience through his own Cambridge Analytica file—for which he pursued a legal case in the U.K. with only partial success before investigators for Britain’s Channel 4 News found his details in a massive stash of leaked Cambridge data.
As viewers of Carroll’s talk Wednesday at the TEDxMidAtlantic online conference saw, most of this was other people’s work—bits harvested by third-party data brokers and then bought by Cambridge to feed into personality scores for such metrics as neuroticism and conscientiousness.
Carroll, semi-famous for his role in the Netflix documentary The Great Hack, emphasized three key points about the work Cambridge did for such Republican customers as President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
First, his file wasn’t that comprehensive because of the obvious unlikelihood of a Brooklyn academic voting for Trump—“I was not a targeted voter”—and his own efforts to be “a very privacy-defensive consumer.” Nor was the material collected by such data brokers as Data Trust and Infogroup (now Data Axle) all that accurate.
Google Photos is a great place to keep a backup of all your smartphone pictures, but some Samsung users have recently discovered that the service can no-longer be trusted to keep their images safe.
According to a report by Android Police, images created in Samsung’s Motion Photos format are no-longer saving correctly on Google Photos, causing data to be lost.
Motion Photos enhance regular still shots by adding a short video clip, and sometimes audio, each time the shutter is clicked. Unfortunately, these audio and video elements are apparently being stripped out by Google Photos, leaving only the still image.
It’s not clear at this point whether Google Photos is simply failing to display the video content or whether it hasn’t been saved at all. This means Samsung users can’t currently trust Google Photos to back up their motion photos. In the light of this information, I would advise them not to delete any original motion photo files from their devices until the problem has been resolved.
Google Photos has supported Samsung’s implementation of Motion Photos for quite some time, allowing users to tap on the playback icon to display the embedded video. So this change in behaviour is quite unexpected and is likely to catch people out.
A similar motion photo feature is available on the iPhone as well as several other Android handsets, but the exact implementation varies between smartphone manufacturers. This means apps and services such as Google Photos need to write custom code to handle various different formats. In this case, it seems something has gone wrong with the way Samsung’s files are handled. Motion photos created by other devices remain unaffected.
Incidentally, it’s quite easy to leave
If you’re one of the lucky few who scored an Nvidia RTX 3080 before stock was decimated and snatched up by bots, congratulations! Hopefully that purchase didn’t leave you with buyer’s remorse, because an increasing number of early adopters are reporting that their shiny new RTX 3080 graphics cards are crashing to the desktop in the middle of various gaming sessions.
VideoCardz was the first English language site to report that several 3rd-party, factory-overclocked RTX 3080 models from ZOTAC, MSI, Gigabyte and others are exhibiting unexplained crashes or severe graphical artifacts while gaming. Since then the problem has become more widespread, with complaints mounting on sites like Reddit, LinusTechTips and Nvidia’s own forums.
What’s The Problem, Exactly?
In a nutshell: when the affected models reach a boost GPU clock speed of 2.0GHz or higher, the card crashes to the desktop.
Igor’s LAB published a fascinating investigative report that found a pattern among the the models that users are reporting problems with: an array of cheaper capacitors.
Each RTX 3080 has six capacitors on the back of the GPU which are used for filtering voltages and delivering “clean” power. The Igor’s LAB report explains how various combinations of cheaper (POPSCAPs) and more expensive (MLCCs) capacitors are used on some models.
The “problem cards” tend to use more of the cheaper POSCAPs (highlighted in red below) instead of the more expensive MLCCs (highlighted in green below).
Two worthwhile notes here before we move on: First, Nvidia’s own Founders Edition cards are not exhibiting these issues (possibly because Nvidia uses a combination of capacitors).
Second, the teardown shows that the ASUS TUF RTX 3080 uses