Amazon Fresh kills “Just Walk Out” shopping tech—it never really worked

image via arstechnica.com
image via arstechnica.com

A May 2023 report from The Information revealed the myriad tech problems Amazon was still having with the idea six years after the initial announcement. The report said that "Amazon had more than 1,000 people in India working on Just Walk Out as of mid-2022 whose jobs included manually reviewing transactions and labeling images from videos to train Just Walk Out’s machine learning model."

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/04/amazon-ends-ai-powered-store-checkout-which-needed-1000-video-reviewers/

Windows Notepad’s midlife renaissance continues with spellcheck and autocorrect

image via arstechnica.com
image via arstechnica.com

An updated version of Notepad currently rolling out to Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev channels is adding two more modern features to the old app: spellcheck and autocorrect. Per usual, spellcheck in Notepad highlights misspellings with red squiggly underlines, and right-clicking the word or pressing Shift + F10 will pop up a short menu of suggested fixes.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/03/windows-notepads-midlife-renaissance-continues-with-spellcheck-and-autocorrect/

Nikon buys Red Digital Cinema, will jump into the pro video space

image via arstechnica.com
image via arstechnica.com

Nikon is buying the ultra-high-end video camera company Red Digital Cinema. Nikon has a press release saying that "RED will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Nikon" for an undisclosed sum. Nikon is typically more of a still-image camera company and wants to use Red to "expand the fast-growing professional digital cinema camera market."

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/03/nikon-buys-red-digital-cinema-will-jump-into-the-pro-video-space/

Vending machine error reveals secret face image database of college students

image via arstechnica.com
image via arstechnica.com

Canada-based University of Waterloo is racing to remove M&M-branded smart vending machines from campus after outraged students discovered the machines were covertly collecting facial-recognition data without their consent. The scandal started when a student using the alias SquidKid47 posted an image on Reddit showing a campus vending machine error message, "Invenda.Vending.FacialRecognitionApp.exe," displayed after the machine failed to launch a facial recognition application that nobody expected to be part of the process of using a vending machine.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/02/vending-machine-error-reveals-secret-face-image-database-of-college-students/

Google gets its way, bakes a user-tracking ad platform directly into Chrome

image via arstechnica.com
image via arstechnica.com

Don't let Chrome's big redesign distract you from the fact that Chrome's invasive new ad platform, ridiculously branded the "Privacy Sandbox," is also getting a widespread rollout in Chrome today. If you haven't been following this, this feature will track the web pages you visit and generate a list of advertising topics that it will share with web pages whenever they ask, and it's built directly into the Chrome browser.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/09/googles-widely-opposed-ad-platform-the-privacy-sandbox-launches-in-chrome/

Viral news story of botnet with 3 million toothbrushes was too good to be true

image via arstechnica.com
image via arstechnica.com

Alas, fiction is sometimes stranger than truth. There weren't really 3 million Internet-connected toothbrushes accessing the website of a Swiss company in a DDoS attack that did millions of dollars of damage. The toothbrush botnet was just a hypothetical example that some journalists wrongly interpreted as having actually happened.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/02/viral-news-story-of-botnet-with-3-million-toothbrushes-was-too-good-to-be-true/

Meta’s new AI image generator was trained on 1.1 billion Instagram and Facebook photos

image via arstechnica.com
image via arstechnica.com

If you're on Facebook or Instagram, it's quite possible a picture of you (or that you took) helped train Emu. In a way, the old saying, "If you're not paying for it, you are the product" has taken on a whole new meaning.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/12/metas-new-ai-image-generator-was-trained-on-1-1-billion-instagram-and-facebook-photos/