Back in Blubrry Studio #1382



I am back in the Blubrry studio and excited to get started putting it together to be able to do video in the next couple of weeks. Lots of work to make that happen and make it look good but I am excited that I am getting close to that reality. Work on the Michigan studio will begin in earnest mid-next week. Hope you enjoy the show lot’s to cover.

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Pluribus AI Bot Beat Pros in Six-Player Poker



Pluribus is the first AI bot capable of beating human experts in six-player no-limit Hold’em, the most widely played poker format in the world. It makes me think of AlphaZero, an AI system that taught itself how to master chess, shogi, and Go. AlphaZero was created by DeepMind.

Pluribus is a new AI bot that was created in a collaboration between Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University. In recent years, new AI methods have been able to beat top humans in poker if there is only one opponent. But developing an AI system capable of defeating elite players in full-scale poker with multiple opponents at the table was widely recognized as the key remaining milestone.

Pluribus has defeated pro poker players in both a “five AIs + one human player” format and a “one AI + five human players” format.

If each chip was worth a dollar, Pluribus would have won an average of about $5 per hand and would have made about $1,000/hour playing against five human players. These results are considered a decisive margin of victory by poker professionals.

There is a lot of detail in the Facebook post about Pluribus, including the AI bot’s blueprint strategy and information about how it stacked up against humans in the poker games. The post also includes some comments from the human professional poker players who share their thoughts about playing against Pluribus.

It has been said that robots are coming to take our jobs. In some industries, they already have pushed out the human workers. Should we now start to worry that robots may someday replace humans players in games? I suppose it might be possible that, in the future, AI bots will have replaced all the humans on eSports teams. That might be fun to watch once, but I think it would get really boring after that.


Studio Design is 90% Complete #1381



The new GNC Studio Design is 90% complete and I have to get the colors locked in the pricing was also sent to me and its a bit more than I had planned on but I will see if I can fit it in the budget. I am quite excited to be in a position to reveal the design in the coming weeks. My travel schedule will get to a more even keel starting next week with not as extensive travel. I am honestly ready to be back in a standard studio setup the show is never the same when I am on the road.

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Google Discusses Safeguarding Speech Data After Leak



Tim Verheyden, a journalist with Belgian public broadcaster VRT, gained access to more than 1,000 audio files from a Google contractor. The contractor was part of a workforce paid to review some audio captured by Google Assistant, smart speakers, phones, and security cameras.

While most of those recording were intended (for example, people asking for weather data), others were not. In about 150 of the recordings, Google Assistant appeared to have activated incorrectly after mishearing its wake word.The audio captured includes private conversations.

Today, Google posted information on The Keyword blog about their processes to safeguard speech data. In it, Google acknowledges the leaked Dutch audio data.

We just learned that one of these language reviewers has violated our data security policies by leaking confidential Dutch audio data. Our Security and Privacy Response teams have been activated on this issue, are investigating, and we will take action. We are conducing a full review of our safeguards in this space to prevent misconduct like this from happening again.

Google admitted that language experts review and transcribe a small set of queries to help Google better understand those languages. Part of the blog post involves Google explaining how to activate Google Assistant and insisting that devices that have Google Assistant built in “rarely” experience a “false accept”.

To me, it feels like Google is trying to direct people’s attention to the language reviewer who leaked some of the “rarely” recorded speech after a “false accept”. Google is trying to blame the messenger (the language reviewer and/or the VRT broadcaster).

In doing so, Google is trying to deflect attention away from its lack of responsibility with the voice data Google Assistant records. The leak of the unintentionally recorded speech data makes it clear that Google is recording, and keeping, a whole lot of audio that people never intended Google Assistant to grab. That’s not ok.

That said, Google explains that it will provide users with tools to manage and control the data stored in their account. You can turn off storing audio data completely, or choose to auto-delete data every 3 months or 18 months. But, how will we know, for certain, that Google isn’t keeping a copy for itself?


Apple Removed the Zoom Vulnerability



Good news for Mac users who had Zoom installed on their computers! TechCrunch reported that Apple has released a silent update for Mac users that removes a vulnerable component in Zoom. The update does not require any user interaction and is deployed automatically.

Apple often pushes silent signature updates to Macs to thwart known malware – similar to an anti-malware service – but it’s rare for Apple to take action publicly against a known or popular app. The company said it pushed the update to protect users from the risks posed by the exposed web server.

TechCrunch quoted Zoom spokesperson Priscilla McCathy who said (in part): “We are happy to have worked with Apple on testing this update.”

Apple’s update comes after Zoom released a fix for the vulnerability that enabled nefarious people to put a link into a website that would automatically cause a Zoom user to connect to Zoom with their video running.

The patch does two things. It removes the local web server entirely, once the Zoom client has been updated. In other words, it completely removes the local web sever from a Mac. The patch also allows users to manually uninstall Zoom.

Mac users may see a pop-up in Zoom that tells them to update their Zoom client. There is a link on the Zoom blog where you can download the update. Or, you can check for updates by opening your Zoom app window.


Zoom Mac Client Vulnerability Enables Cameras Without Permission



Have you used Zoom for web conferencing, podcasting, or anything else? Be aware that there is a vulnerability in the Mac Zoom Client that can enable your camera without your permission. Uninstalling Zoom does not fix the problem.

Jonathan Leitschuh posted a very detailed article on Medium explaining the situation. In short, the vulnerability in the Mac Zoom Client allowed any malicious website to enable your camera without your permission. According to Jonathan Leitschuh, this issue potentially exposes up to 750,000 companies around the world that use Zoom to conduct day-to-day business.

Additionally, if you’ve ever installed the Zoom client and then uninstalled it, you have a localhost web server on your machine that will happily re-install the Zoom client for you, without requiring any user interaction on your behalf besides visiting a webpage. This re-install ‘feature’ continues to work to this day.

If I’m understanding this correctly, the vulnerability takes advantage of a Zoom feature that allows users to send anyone a link. When the person opens that link in their browser, the Zoom client opens on their machine. A mean-spirited person could embed a specific piece of code into a website. When a Zoom users visits that website, the user will be connected to Zoom with their video running.

Zoom posted a “Response to Video-On Concern” on the Zoom blog. In the blog, Zoom explains that “if the user has not configured their Zoom client to disable video upon joining meetings, the attacker may be able to view the user’s video feed.”

Zoom explains that the Zoom client runs in the foreground upon launch. It would be readily apparent to a user that they had unintentionally joined a meeting, and the user could change their video settings or leave the meeting immediately. According to Zoom, “we have no indication that this has ever happened.”

You can click on a link in the Zoom blog to connect with their support team. Zoom says it will go live with a public vulnerability disclosure program in the next several weeks. Until then, I recommend putting a sticker over your camera.


Instagram Bullying #1380



Instagram Bullying is on the decline according to the company as they have been stepping up moderation and using AI to detect activity that should be reviewed. It’s an upward battle as their numbers of users continue to grow and the innovative ways people find to beat their current systems. Lot’s of continued travel on my end and recording on the road is starting to feel like the new norm.

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