Yes, my headlines are getting ever more desperate for this weekly news feature. Still, I know you clicked.
This week there was plenty of interesting news, including Don Draper, The National Grid, CAPTCHA, vibrators and The Matrix.
Samsung to launch facial-recognition for mobile payments
The new Galaxy S8 will reportedly employ facial-recognition technology for mobile payments within months of release. In order to recover from the Note 7 fire fiasco and to compete against a new iPhone due for launch later this year, Samsung is targeting novel functionality.
The S8 will be unveiled in March and use fingerprint, iris and facial detection to verify users accessing a range of services including Samsung Pay.
Bloomberg has the story from an unnamed insider, with Samsung yet to comment.
Google finally rids us of clunky CAPTCHA
US brings criminal charges against Russian Yahoo-hackers
U.S. prosecutors have issued criminal charges against two Russian FSB spies and two hackers for their part in the 2014 Yahoo hack that affected 500m accounts.
47 charges are being brought including conspiracy, computer fraud, and access device fraud. The hack saw names, email addresses, passwords and other details stolen.
Ghost in the Shell marketing hijacked
Paramount Pictures has a neat little campaign for the new Ghost in the Shell movie starring Scarlett Johansson. A trailer directs viewers to IAmMajor.me, which allows them to customise Major’s declaration and produce a personalized poster.
As ever, mischief makers on social media have caught the eye by using the tool to highlight the recasting of Japanese characters in the reboot of the anime series.
— Ray Low (@ray_w_low) March 14, 2017
Google’s DeepMind to help the UK’s National Grid
DeepMind, the British AI company owned by Google is discussing a potential partnership with the National Grid to improve energy supply efficiency.
The company is already working with the NHS on a number of interesting projects (including a blockchain-esque method of controlling patient data). DeepMind’s technology has already been used to reduce the energy needed for cooling its data centres by 40% in 2016.
Smart vibrators tracked illegally
We-Vibe is facing a $3m class action lawsuit after gathering data on its users’ sexual activity.
Parent firm Standard Innovation tracked data from smartphone apps used to control a partner’s smart vibrator. The data included usage times and vibration intensity.
Horrifyingly, hackers at the 2016 Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas revealed that the Bluetooth device was vulnerable to remote hijacking.
More from Wired. Image via We-Vibe.
Intel makes biggest autonomous car acquisition
Intel plans to acquire the autonomous car hardware firm Mobileye for $15bn, the biggest autonomous car acquisiton yet, and Intel’s second biggest acquisition.
Mobileye’s hardware is already used by many car manufacturers, notably by Tesla until last year, after fallout following a fatal Tesla crash. Intel hopes to be big in the market, with its acquired hardware and its own chip expertise likely to see it compete with Nvidia and Qualcomm.
The Matrix to be rebooted
Yes, that most glorious vision of a virtual reality created within an alien dystopia is to be reborn, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It is early days for the project, which the Wachowskis are apparently not involved in.
A week of Twitter hacks
The McDonald’s Corp Twitter account was compromised yesterday (March 16), with quite funny consequences, even if it is a bit childish to say so.
Ok this is funny pic.twitter.com/lWk1ArGcHv
— Margarita Noriega (@margarita) March 16, 2017
More seriously, thousands of Twitter accounts were hacked this week and used to post Nazi hashtags in the wake of a diplomatic conflict between Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.
The hashtags #Nazialmanya (NaziGermany) and #Nazihollanda (NaziHolland), along with swastikas, appeared in posts from many notable accounts, including BBC North America and the UK Department for Health.
This comes after the Turkish President had accused German and Dutch governments of Nazi-style tactics, after they stopped after Turkish government ministers from addressing political rallies in the countries.
Don Draper’s Heinz campaign comes to life
It’s not digital news, but it’s still cool for Mad Men fans.
Heinz says it has ”tapped” Sterling Cooper Draper Price to deliver the ‘Pass the Heinz’ creative seen in one episode of the hit show. The print and billboard ads will run in New York, with a helping hand from Heinz’s agency DAVID Miami.