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Monthly Archives: March 2017

27
Mar
2017

Your Browsing History May Now Be Up For Sale

by Bill

Recently, the US senate voted to get rid of some regulations that would have made it illegal for internet service providers to sell your browsing history without your permission. So, that means that now the consumer browsing habits of millions of Americans may now be up for grabs to the highest bidders.

The original rules were put in place in 2016, under the previous democratic administration, but ever since they took office, the new republican administration has been looking to change things up. The rules aren’t officially eliminated just yet, as it still needs to pass in the House of Representatives, which is also controlled by republican congressmen who many predict will vote the same way.

FCC Chairman Ajit Patel said that the reasoning for this change in rules is because he feels that people might get confused if ISPs have different rules than online companies like Facebook who sell and use your browsing data from within their site.

The current rules don’t bar the ISPs from collecting this data entirely, they simply make it so that they would have to get the user’s permission, and then also clearly notify them about what types of information they were going to collect. With net neutrality also in the minds of consumers these days, some worry that ISPs are going to be making a mint from them on all angles – sites will pay ISPs for speedy access, consumers will pay for service as they do now and now the providers will make some extra dough from their intimate data. Industry experts explain that the data at stake is quite personal. An ISP could learn what time a person wakes up, how they are feeling that day, where they go around their town and their favorite places to shop.

It’s certain that things are going to change in the coming months. Whether you want to find ways to secure your data or to market the data you collect, this is a story worth following and we have  got our finger on the pulse of what is happening so that we can help to keep you informed, much the same way we are on the job with award winning  24/7/365 support to monitor your hosted accounts and keep your digital business moving forward.

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16
Mar
2017

Intel Invests 15B In AI Chips – That Will Still Require Human Support

by Bill

This week Intel announced it will be paying $15.3 Billion to acquire an Israeli company named Mobileye that develops chips and cameras for self-driving cars and trucks. This follows their $16.7 Billion acquisition of Altera in 2015. The Altera buy was aimed at AI technology that allows machines to learn from their own past experiences.

Once dominant in the chip making market back when everything was done on servers or desktops, Intel is rapidly looking to evolve as computing takes on new forms via mobile devices, VR and AI offshoots that will impact the way virtually every electronic item works in the coming months or years. New neural networks analyze data using specialized chips for machine learning. Intel is determined not to miss the next chip wave the way it missed the switch to mobile.

In tech nobody ever seems to act alone, and others are also pushing into the driverless car and tech sector in big ways. Uber of course, and Microsoft recently revealed the use of ARM chips in its data centers, signaling far less reliance on old server technologies and a real tipping point toward the transition that will eventually lead to servers that learn data patterns and perform better as a result.

Companies need new AI chips in their data center to train powerful neural networks, and chips in devices to help execute the models developed on those networks. In the near future we will all see a rapid deployment of chips capable of evolving based on the data they collect and data throughput patterns will be automatically optimized based on real word conditions from moment to moment. However, even the best AI still lacks the ability to provide human support or to engage in the kind of overarching design work necessary to put the chips to work in the best configuration as newer technologies become available.

While we applaud Intel’s move to bring technology forward and make the advantages of AI readily available across a wide range of computing services, we also understand that our new AI colleagues will still require assistance from NationalNet’s most important asset – qualified professional people capable of interfacing with both the AI tech in our servers and the demands of real world clients seeking comprehensive support from our staff.

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10
Mar
2017

DeepStack Algorithm Cracks Poker As Milestone for Computing Unknowns

by Bill

Carnegie Mellon computer scientists achieved a major new computational milestone with their algorithm DeepStack recently. Now the full analysis in the peer-reviewed journal Science is available to the public.

Artificial intelligence has made previous breakthroughs in other games like Chess where each player has a full understanding of all the game specifics at every moment of the content. However, in a game like poker where key information is missing, bluffing is possible and players can make illogical moves computers have continued to struggle… until now.

Poker is the quintessential game of imperfect information, and with DeepStack, combining recursive reasoning in innovative ways, the algorithm was able to handle “information asymmetry, decomposition to focus computation on the relevant decision, and a form of intuition that is automatically learned from self-play using deep learning” according to its creators.

In a study involving 44,000 hands of poker, DeepStack defeated professional poker players in heads-up no-limit Texas hold’em card tournament play. Obviously poker is just the first of many applications for this kind of computational advancement. As we all live in a world that provides us only a limited viewpoint with an imperfect amount of information available prior to virtually any decision we make in business or personal life, the ability of artificial intelligence to assist humans in navigating difficult choices may soon be a reality.

Here at NationalNet, utilizing new AI to protect client data security, predict data throughput patterns and anticipate bottlenecks that can be further optimized before they occur are potential ways to deploy DeepStack styled technologies, and we are keeping a close eye on their continued development as part of our own vigilant approach to making sure our clients are always holding a winning hand.

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03
Mar
2017

Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better Than A More Focused Approach

by Bill

If you were on the internet on February 28th 2017, you may have noticed that some of your favorite websites had some major problems. This is because Amazon’s S3 hosting service had a major outage that revealed just how many people use their convenient services. Websites and apps that people use every day and depend on for news or help with organization like Medium and Trello were down, as were other services like the group communications app Slack. S3 is a cloud storage service that many people use to host their website files, including Amazon itself.

According to a report about the incident in Wired Magazine, Amazon was reporting high error rates, mainly on the East Coast, with their S3 service, which prevented the service from functioning as it should. While this isn’t worrying in general because Amazon was able to fix the issues in a relatively short time frame, it does show how the internet can be easily affected when so many people use the same services. Some sources estimate that Amazon hosts at least 1% of the internet, though they won’t say exactly how large they are. However big their stores of data are, you can bet they are huge. Wired reports they have data centers all over the world, but when one goes down, especially one like the East Coast center which is apparently the largest, many popular web technologies are affected. This illustrates why it is so important for businesses to have a hosting company that is really tuned in to your specific needs, to stay competitive.

Personalized hosting from us here at National Net does put you ahead of the pack. When you sign up with us you won’t just be a little dot on the biggest server farms out there, you’ll be a valued client with access to 24/7 customer service and around the clock vigilance and support!

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01
Mar
2017

The Status of Net Neutrality Changing Under New FCC Chairman?

by Bill

Net Neutrality has been a hot button issue over the past few years, as advocates for neutrality have fought to ensure that internet service providers allow equal access to websites big and small, without allowing them to favor one that can pay more, or blocking others. However, Wired Magazine is reporting that the new FCC Chairman who was recently appointed by Donald Trump, Mr. Ajit Patel, doesn’t agree with current net neutrality laws, because he feels they will hold back progress to a faster internet overall. They further report that Mr. Patel seems to think that Net Neutrality also hurts the communications industry as a whole, because with net neutrality, providers aren’t encouraged to invest in infrastructure to improve internet speeds as much, which would ultimately lead to a 5G network as the next step from LTE, where we are now.

 However, the drop in investment was reportedly only 1.3 percent, and according to an analyst at Jackdaw Research, that small amount probably wouldn’t be enough to sway a court against or in favor of net neutrality laws passed under the Obama Administration. Even the telecom companies themselves are split on the issue. Some, like AT&T believe that the Open Internet Order – the main net neutrality law passed in 2015 – has hampered their business and investing power, while others like Verizon have said that it hasn’t had any effect. Even so, companies like AT&T have invested a lot in the past few years to improve and grow fiber optic networks, while Verizon has actually not done much according to the report in Wired.

It’s clear that the internet may change under the oversight of Ajit Patel and you can stay abreast of important internet news through the NationalNet blog, because we are always paying attention to issues that affect our clients and net neutrality is one with very far reaching impact.

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