歐盟更新了對於 Cookie 同意方式的準則

TechCrunch 上面看到的,歐盟更新了對於 Cookie 同意方式的準則:「No cookie consent walls — and no, scrolling isn’t consent, says EU data protection body」,英文版的 PDF 文件可以在「Guidelines 05/2020 on consent under Regulation 2016/679」這邊看到。

這篇準則主要是在說明,什麼情境下取得的「同意」才是有效的。主要在在說明使用者與開發者權力不對等的情況下,GDPR 會擋下哪些對使用者不利的情況。

準則文件裡開頭的地方先解釋了什麼是 free/freely given,然後給了不少範例,另外翻例子的時候還看到在雇傭關係下因為員工有無法拒絕的壓力,這時候的同意也未必是有效的,藉以保護員工...

而 TechCrunch 的文章則是拉出了兩個目前在 internet 上很常用的情況來報導 (cookie wall 與 scrolling),解釋現在 internet 上面常用的這些方法在 GDPR 下並沒有取得授權。

這樣的話 Medium 的 login wall 應該也會踩到 (強迫你要註冊 Medium 才能看,這邊會需要同意 Medium 的使用條款),這次歐盟文件算是蠻清楚的,多幾次訴訟,再讓 GDPR 跑個幾年,應該有會有不同的方法了...

AWS 義大利區開張

這是這幾天 AWS 新開的區域:「Now Open – AWS Europe (Milan) Region」,這樣就成為歐洲的第六個 region,與美洲的數量也一樣了 (美國四個,加拿大一個,南美一個)。

不過用 aws ec2 describe-regions | jq '.Regions[].RegionName' | xargs -n1 aws ec2 describe-availability-zones --region 掃了一輪,只有 us-east-1 (美東一區)、us-west-2 (美西二區) 與 ap-northeast-1 (日本) 有超過三個 AZ,這樣難怪 AWS 會考慮在日本多開一個大阪區了...

Backblaze 開了歐洲區機房

Backblaze 開了歐洲機房,所以包括了一般性的 Computer BackupB2 Cloud Storage 都可以選擇要放哪邊了...

歐洲的點是放在荷蘭:

Big news: Our first European data center, in Amsterdam, is open and accepting customer data!

價錢也都跟美國的相同:

Whether you choose EU Central or US West, your pricing for our products will be unchanged:

對於在意資料放美國機房的問題應該有緩解一些...

AI 版的星海爭霸二將直接透過歐洲區的 Battle.net 匿名與人類對戰

前幾天 Blizzard 公佈的消息,DeepMind 的星海爭霸二 AI (AlphaStar) 將會透過 Blizzard 的 Battle.net 歐洲區伺服器跟人類對戰:「DeepMind Research on Ladder」。

Experimental versions of DeepMind’s StarCraft II agent, AlphaStar, will soon play a small number of games on the competitive ladder in Europe as part of ongoing research into AI.

預設是不會對到的,需要選擇參與:

If you would like the chance to help DeepMind with its research by matching against AlphaStar, you can opt in by clicking the “opt-in” button on the in-game popup window. You can alter your opt-in selection at any time by using the “DeepMind opt-in” button on the 1v1 Versus menu.

但你仍然不會知道對手是人還是 AI,而且如同一般對戰情況,這會影響到你的戰績:

For scientific test purposes, DeepMind will be benchmarking AlphaStar’s performance by playing anonymously during a series of blind trial matches. This means the StarCraft community will not know which matches AlphaStar is playing, to help ensure that all games are played under the same conditions. AlphaStar plays with built-in restrictions that the DeepMind team has defined in consultation with pro players. A win or a loss against AlphaStar will affect your MMR as normal.

okay,這樣大概知道為什麼只開放歐洲區了...

加州從今年七月開始,禁止 AI 偽裝成人類 (前幾天也有一些新聞在報導):「A California law now means chatbots have to disclose they’re not human」,對應的法條在「Bill Text - SB-1001 Bots: disclosure」這邊可以看到:

17941. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to use a bot to communicate or interact with another person in California online, with the intent to mislead the other person about its artificial identity for the purpose of knowingly deceiving the person about the content of the communication in order to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election. A person using a bot shall not be liable under this section if the person discloses that it is a bot.

(b) The disclosure required by this section shall be clear, conspicuous, and reasonably designed to inform persons with whom the bot communicates or interacts that it is a bot.

而加州是 Blizzard Entertainment 的總部...

法條上面對「online platform」有設計排除條款,不過如果只算星海二的人數,有可能不到這個豁免限制... 所以得避開而改用歐洲區來測試?

(c) “Online platform” means any public-facing Internet Web site, Web application, or digital application, including a social network or publication, that has 10,000,000 or more unique monthly United States visitors or users for a majority of months during the preceding 12 months.

(c) This chapter does not impose a duty on service providers of online platforms, including, but not limited to, Web hosting and Internet service providers.

美國軍方應該是超級關注這個議題,相較於 AlphaGo 或是 AlphaZero 是資訊完全透明的遊戲,這次要踏入非對稱資訊的遊戲。

如果在這個領域上有成果的話,可以預期未來的戰爭 (yeah 實體戰爭) 會開始大量採用 AI 了...

CloudFront 在北美增加了一堆節點...

CloudFront 在北美增加了一堆節點:「Amazon CloudFront announces ten new Edge locations in North America, Europe, and Asia」。

北美一口氣增開了八個,提升了 40% 的 capacity:

Amazon CloudFront announces ten new Edge locations, adding to our global presence. Eight of the new Edge locations are in North America: Houston, Texas (our first location in this city), Chicago, Illinois, Newark, New Jersey, Los Angeles, California, and Ashburn, Virginia. We also added an Edge location in Berlin, Germany, as well as one in Tokyo, Japan.

With this launch, CloudFront will increase its request processing capacity by up to 40%, on average, in the North American cities.

另外不怎麼意外的又增加了東京...

歐洲研究機構的資助者推動研究論文的開放存取

在「Radical open-access plan could spell end to journal subscriptions」這邊看到歐洲 11 個研究機構資助者成立了「cOAlition S」,推動研究論文的開放存取。

目標是在 2020 年開始,由這些機構所資助的研究都必須投在符合完全開放條件的平台上:

cOAlition S signals the commitment to implement, by 1 January 2020, the necessary measures to fulfil its main principle: “By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.

而現在大約只有 15%:

According to a December 2017 analysis, only around 15% of journals publish work immediately as open access (see ‘Publishing models’) — financed by charging per-article fees to authors or their funders, negotiating general open-publishing contracts with funders, or through other means.

用這種方式降低那些收錢才能下載的平台的影響力...

AWS 巴黎區開放

AWS 在巴黎的 region 開放了:「Now Open AWS EU (Paris) Region」。

Today we are launching our 18th AWS Region, our fourth in Europe. Located in the Paris area, AWS customers can use this Region to better serve customers in and around France.

這樣歐洲有四區了:

  • Ireland (愛爾蘭)
  • Frankfurt (德國)
  • London (英國)
  • Paris (法國)

香港區什麼時候要開呢... o_o (參考「In the Works – AWS Region in Hong Kong」)

歐盟對於盜版是否帶來傷害的研究

歐盟在 2014 年做了關於盜版與銷量的研究,結果一直被壓到最近才發表出來 (於是就大概可以猜到結論了...):「EU Piracy Report Suppression Raises Questions Over Transparency」。

“In general, the results do not show robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online copyright infringements,” the study notes.

甚至:

The study found that piracy had a slightly positive effect on the videogames industry, suggesting that those who play pirate games eventually become buyers of official content.

另外也描述了現有電影與 TV-series 定價策略偏高:

“Overall, the analysis indicates that for films and TV-series current prices are higher than 80 per cent of the illegal downloaders and streamers are willing to pay,” the study notes.

難怪被壓著...

AWS EU (Stockholm) Region

由老大 Werner Vogels 出來講一些細節...

AWS EU (Stockholm) Region 預定在 2018 年開張營業:「Välkommen till Stockholm – An AWS Region is coming to the Nordics」。

The new AWS EU (Stockholm) Region will have three Availability Zones and will be ready for customers to use in 2018.

這會是歐洲第五個 Region (還有一個法國預定在今年開):

The new AWS EU (Stockholm) Region, coupled with the existing AWS Regions in Dublin, Frankfurt, and London, and a future one in France, will provide customers with quick, low-latency access to websites, mobile applications, games, SaaS applications, big data analysis, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and more.

Google 的 Guetzli,對 JPEG 的壓縮演算法

Google Research Europe 推出的演算法,在不動 decoder 的情況下,要怎麼樣壓出又小又清晰的 JPEG 圖片:「Announcing Guetzli: A New Open Source JPEG Encoder」,論文可以在「Guetzli: Perceptually Guided JPEG Encoder」這邊下載,程式碼則可以在 GitHub 上的 google/guetzli 取得。

othree 也寫了一篇「Guetzli: A New Open Source JPEG Encoder」介紹 Guetzli。

Guetzli 在同樣的品質下,比現有的壓縮法可以再壓榨出 29%~45% 的空間,這算是非常驚人的數字:

We reach a 29-45% reduction in data size for a given perceptual distance, according to Butteraugli, in comparison to other compressors we tried.

但代價是需要極為大量的 CPU resource 計算,這使得他沒辦法用在太動態的環境裡:

Guetzli's computation is currently extremely slow, which limits its applicability to compressing static content and serving as a proof- of-concept that we can achieve significant reductions in size by combining advanced psychovisual models with lossy compression techniques.

但只要是在批次處理產生的過程 (不需要太在意要等很久),都可以考慮用這個工具...