WhatsApp security leak: WhatsApp group chats can be found through Google and may not be as private as the people in them might think, it has emerged. Chats could be found on the search engine and then joined, without people necessarily knowing they were part of a chat that was publicly accessible. Private WhatsApp conversations are usually only accessible via an invite code handed out to group members by the chat moderator. But this code is simply a string of text and a URL, and it seems that at least some of these are being indexed so they are findable by anyone via Google.
Amazon debuts its first supermarket with no checkout lines: Amazon opened its first cashier-free convenience store to the public in 2018. Since then, Amazon Go stores have expanded far beyond the first location at the company’s Seattle headquarters. The company now operates 25 Go stores across the country, with locations in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Unlike their larger Go Grocery counterpart, the stores are much more limited in what products they offer. Shoppers can purchase things like grab-and-go sandwiches, salads and coffee. Amazon is also in talks to bring the technology to other retailers, like airport shops and movie theaters.
Unauthorized Paypal charges via Google Play: Several reports from German PayPal users about fraudulent transactions that they never authorized indicate that actors have found a way to abuse the platform’s Google Pay integration. PayPal has acknowledged the user reports and announced that the company is investigating the matter to figure out what exactly is going on. In almost all cases, the fraudulent transactions are made through Google Pay, buying stuff from the US-based Target online store. The fraudulent transactions started popping up as alerts on users’ email inbox during the weekend, so as to minimize the risk of PayPal intervening immediately.
New company pools the Bosch Group’s IoT and digital expertise: Bosch has consolidated its activities centered on the Internet of things in a new subsidiary. With some 900 associates, Bosch.IO GmbH is now one of the driving forces for IoT solutions, covering everything from consulting to implementation and operation. The core element of the Bosch subsidiary’s product portfolio is the Bosch IoT Suite. It is the central technical platform for IoT solutions.
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NUMBER OF THE WEEK
Japanese auto giant Toyota plans to invest $400 million in Pony.ai, valuing the Chinese startup at $3 billion. The two companies announced a pilot program to test self-driving cars on public roads.
Munich starts Smart City competition 2020: For a third time, the German city of Munich has launched the innovation competition for Smart Cities. Founders, startups and students can submit their proposals until April 30th. The topics for 2020 are blockchain, preclinical patient control, gamification and a climate-neutral Munich. In addition to prize money, the winners can access the real test field in the city.
Google to invest over $10 billion in the US: Google announced Wednesday it would invest more than $10 billion in offices and data centers across the United States this year. The company added that the new investments will focus on eleven US states including Massachusetts, New York and Ohio. The company expects these investments to create thousands of jobs – including roles within Google, construction jobs in data centers and renewable energy facilities.
“Now we have a small, compact solution that supports the city’s line system and transports people to the main bus lines. The buses are not an end to themselves; innovation should benefit the people.”
Daniel Zimmermann, the mayor of the small German town of Monheim, is proud of the autonomous buses that have been driving through his town this week.
NOT SO SMART…
Model hacking confuses artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence, which learns and works with the help of image recognition, can be misled into mistakes by the slightest manipulations. McAfee experts used stickers on road signs that are barely visible to the human eye to trick the “eye” of a Tesla vehicle in such a way that it accelerated significantly beyond the speed limit. So-called “model hacking” is a risk source in AI that should not be underestimated.