Big news for central Texas - Chinese Bitcoin mining to start at shutdown Alcoa Aluminum factory!

The reported that in a small Texas town of Rockdale that  “Chinese firm Bitmain Technologies is opening cryptocurrency mining operations at the site of a former aluminum smelter.”  The July 20, 2018 report entitled “With coal gone, this Texas town is going all in on Bitcoin mining!” included these comments about Bitmain Technologies, based in Beijing:

The site of the bitcoin mining operation is next door to Dallas-based Luminant’s Sandow power plant, which closed in January. The new bitcoin operation is expected to create 300 to 500 jobs and offset the 325 jobs lost at the power plant and mine.

Great news for Milam County, Texas!

Do you like the idea that Facebook is increasing the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

The Washington Post reported that Yann LeCun (Facebook’s chief AI scientist and an early machine-learning architect) said that “Facebook will dramatically accelerate its research into artificial intelligence, …in hopes of ensuring the social network doesn’t fall behind with the technology it will need to contend with Internet rivals and police its gargantuan audience.”  The July 17, 2018 report entitled “Facebook, boosting artificial-intelligence research, says it’s ‘not going fast enough’” included these comments:

A typical user can often miss the subtle ways Facebook’s AI influences their actions, including suggested photo tags, algorithmically decided News Feeds, friend recommendations, spam blocking and ad targeting.

AI is a critical battlefield for Facebook, with [Mark] Zuckerberg pledging to Congress and investors that automated tools would help solve some of the company’s thorniest problems, including extremist propaganda, misinformation and hate speech.

The company says AI has boosted its ability to monitor the social network’s 2 billion users, but it still relies heavily on human moderators and,…

So is this good or bad? Or do we have any control over the use of AI?

Do you know the difference between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning? reported that “Heinz Marketing surveyed about 300 business-to-business (B2B) marketers from North America and found that less than one-fifth of them had a strong understanding of the differences between AI, machine learning and predictive modeling. About four in 10 admitted they were not clear what the differences are.” The July 12, 2018 article entitled “Why Marketers Struggle to Define Artificial Intelligence, Imprecise buzzwords create confusion” included the following:

The confusion over these terms is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Part of this confusion likely comes from how marketing tech vendors and advertisers use these terms in all sorts of ways to pitch products they’re peddling.

Sometimes AI and machine learning are used interchangeably.

Sometimes they’re not.

Do you know the difference?

Are you ready for Walmart Blockchain patents? reported that among other patents Walmart “has procured a patent for medical records being kept on a blockchain—or “public ledger,” as they refer to it. Patient’s data will be stored in a wearable device, combined with an RFID scanner, for medics to access using the patient’s fingerprint or retina in an emergency.”  The July 10, 2018 article entitled “Walmart Files Patent to Use Blockchain in Securing Package Deliveries” included the following comments since both “Walmart and Amazon have had issues with package theft”:

Walmart’s latest patent involves lockers located at customers’ homes or alternate locations. Delivery people will theoretically be able to leave packages in a customer’s lockers and blockchain technology will record when an item is delivered and retrieved.

This great news for the Blockchain world!

Net Neutrality Laws in California (and 3 other states) present a challenge to the FCC!

The Washington Post reported that it “is a great day for California Internet users as their state is now one step closer to enacting the strongest net neutrality law in the country.”  The July 5, 2018 article entitled “California’s net neutrality bill is back, and as tough as ever” reported that 3 states already have new Net Neutrality laws – Oregon, Vermont, and Washington and:

As many as 29 states have introduced bills aimed at restoring the federal level regulations on Internet providers, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

These new Net Neutrality laws will be interesting to follow given the FCC’s banning of Net Neutrality earlier this year.