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News, Tech Roundup

Tech Beat by Namecheap – 14 July 2023

According to a recent study by Siteefy, there are over a billion websites on the Internet, but only around 18% of them are active, equating to about 201 million websites currently being updated and maintained. The remaining 82% are inactive. This raises the question of why so many websites remain inactive. In this week’s lead story, see why building and maintaining a website requires continuous effort and attention to detail, which many website owners struggle with due to other commitments or limited resources. 

In other news

  • French bill allows police to remotely activate cameras on citizens’ phones. France has passed a new bill that grants police remote access to suspects’ cameras, microphones, and GPS on their devices. This “snoopers” charter has sparked criticism from the French people, who view it as an invasion of privacy. Police will be able to activate cameras and microphones to record video and audio of suspects. Gizmodo points out that the bill will only apply to suspects in crimes punishable by a minimum of five years in jail and will require judge approval, but some say this will open the door to more unauthorized spying.
  • Two authors file a lawsuit against OpenAI for unlawfully ‘ingesting’ their writing. OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, is facing a lawsuit filed by authors Mona Awad and Paul Tremblay. The authors claim that OpenAI violated copyright law by training ChatGPT on their novels without their permission. The Guardian reports that the lawsuit argues that ChatGPT generated highly accurate summaries of the novels, indicating that their copyrighted works were used without consent. The complaint seeks monetary damages on behalf of all US-based authors whose works were allegedly used to train ChatGPT.
  • No Google, you don’t own everything on the Internet, lawsuit claims. Google is also facing a lawsuit after recently amending its privacy policy. As Gizmodo explains, the company stated that it intends to use publicly available information to train its AI models. Even more troubling, a former Google engineer has alleged that the company used Gmail data to train its large language models, although Google has refuted this claim. In response to these actions, PC Mag reports that a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Google. As stated in the lawsuit, “Google must understand, once and for all: it does not own the internet, it does not own our creative works, it does not own our expressions of our personhood, pictures of our families and children, or anything else simply because we share it online.” The lawsuit seeks damages and the deletion of collected data, while also demanding that Google halt the development of its AI program, Bard, until independent oversight measures are established.
  • People can use AI to make music and still win a Grammy. Sort of. The Recording Academy, responsible for the Grammy Awards, has updated its rules regarding the eligibility of artists who use AI to create music. While human musicians can still be nominated and win, the specific parts of music generated by machines will not be recognized in certain categories, and the software cannot claim credit. The Register pointed out CEO Harvey Mason Jr’s example that if AI is used to create an artificial voice for the lead vocals, the song may be eligible for the songwriting category but not the performance category. However, if a human sings the song and AI is used to write the lyrics or backing track, it would not be eligible for composition or songwriting categories. The Recording Academy wants to ensure that technology enhances and adds to human creativity rather than replacing it completely. 
  • AI detectors fail to recognize writing by non-native English speakers. A study reveals that computer programs designed to detect AI-generated content can discriminate against non-native English speakers. Researchers at Stanford University tested seven popular AI text detectors and found that essays written by non-native English speakers were frequently identified as being AI-generated. As described by The Guardian, the detectors assess text perplexity, and since non-native speakers may use simpler word choices, their work is more likely to be mistaken for AI-generated text. The study warns about the potential discrimination faced by non-native English speakers and the risks of false accusations of cheating in education, discrimination on job applications, and marginalization on the Internet. 

Previously in Tech Beat: how doxxing is becoming a rising threat against personal safety

Doxxing, the act of publicly exposing someone’s personal information without consent, has become a major concern in the digital era. Whether driven by revenge, activism, or wanting to expose wrongdoing, the consequences of doxxing can be severe, including harassment, stalking, identity theft, and physical harm. Legalities surrounding doxxing remain uncertain, making it challenging to prosecute offenders. High-profile cases highlight the dangers of doxxing, from financial and reputational damage to mental health issues. 

To protect yourself, avoid sharing personal information online, utilize privacy tools like VPNs, and stay vigilant against phishing scams. Take control of your online presence and reduce the risk of falling victim to doxxing. Read our article for more insights and safeguarding tips.

Tip of the week: how to determine when a website was last updated 

Whether you’re researching for an assignment, verifying the freshness of the information you’re reading, or tracking changes on a competitor’s website, knowing when a web page was last updated can be extremely valuable. But how can you find this information? Here’s a quick tip that can help you easily identify when a website was updated.

Simply right-click the page and ‘View page source.’ Press Ctrl + F using your keyboard and type ‘update,’ ‘modify,’ or ‘date’ to locate the ‘Last-Modified’ line. Discover more ways you can find out when a web page was most recently updated in this guide from Technoscript. 

Interested in more of these news updates? Subscribe to Namecheap’s blog today!

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Rodney Brazil avatar

Rodney Brazil

Rodney is the Content Marketing Editor for EasyWP, and a writer at Namecheap. As an SEO specialist, he strives to create entertaining and valuable publications for all internet creators. Offline, he enjoys running, acting, and pizza. More articles written by Rodney.

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