Robocalls Swamp Hospitals As The Trump FCC Pretends To Fix The Problem

Found on Techdirt on Monday, 24 June 2019
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Despite endless government initiatives and countless promises from the telecom sector, our national robocall hell continues. Robocalls from telemarketers continue to be the subject the FCC receives the most complaints about (200,000 complaints annually, making up 60% of all FCC complaints), and recent data from the Robocall Index indicates that the problem is only getting worse.

The problem will only get worse until somebody in government grows a spine and mandates that all carriers must implement anti-spoofing tech and provide completely free robocall-blocking tools to consumers by default, giving consumers full control over who can call them and when.

Spam works via more than one medium it seems. If it didn't, it would not exist.

Slack: Why is this loss-making tech firm worth $20bn?

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 23 June 2019
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That values the Silicon Valley-based business at $20bn, not bad for a messaging app that was only publicly released in 2014 and has never turned a profit.

The biggest corporate customers pay at least $100,000 (£78,570) a year for the service. But Slack has never made a profit. Although revenue rose 80% to $400m in 2018, losses were $144m.

Slack may not be an email killer. It may, however, offer an answer to the stress of email overload.

It's not. It's just another tool for another niche; and there are competitors like Mattermost which you can self-host to keep the data of your company in your company. It has absolutely no potential at all to even remotely replace email, because you need an account with the repicient's channel. So instead of using a single emailaccount to contact others, you'd have to manage dozens, or even hundreds of accounts.

Gmail confidential mode is not secure or private

Found on ProtonMail on Saturday, 22 June 2019
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Even though Google launched confidential mode over a year ago, people are still confused about what it does. Is it actually secure or private? Is it encrypted? When you turn it on, does it prevent Google from reading your messages? The answer to these questions is ‘no.’

Without end-to-end encryption, Gmail’s confidential mode is little more than a marketing trick designed to pacify users concerned about privacy.

Google sure has no interest to make conversations really private; after all, they profit from having full access to all the data.

Facebook content moderators break NDAs to expose shocking working conditions

Found on CNBC on Friday, 21 June 2019
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Workers reported a dirty office environment where they often find pubic hair and bodily waste around their desks.

One worker kept a trash can by her desk to throw up while she was sick since she had already used all her allotted bathroom breaks.

“There will inevitably be employee challenges or dissatisfaction that call our commitment to this work and our partners’ employees into question. When the circumstances warrant action on the part of management, we make sure it happens.”

FB does not really have interest in better working conditions. They already abuse all their users, so why not employees too?

Site-Blocking In Australia Expanded Again To Include 105 More Sites, Including A Search Engine

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 20 June 2019
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The Australian government approved an amended copyright law late last year that made subtle changes to what types of sites ISPs can be ordered to be blocked by the courts, and the process by which that order is obtained. Essentially, the changes amounted to allowing blocking of sites with the primary "effect" being copyright infringement, rather than the primary "purpose", along with an expedited process for getting additional site-blocking orders for sites that set up mirror sites to route around the blocks.

That was to be expected. Once a censorship architecture is in place, it will get abused more and more.

Woman knocked down while on phone wins payout from cyclist

Found on The Guardian on Wednesday, 19 June 2019
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Judge Shanti Mauger, at Central London county court, said the cyclist was “a calm and reasonable road user” and that Brushett was looking at her phone when she walked into the road in front of him.

The judge’s ruling found that the parties shared responsibility, so while Brushett is guaranteed a payout, she will get only half of the full value of her claim.

People have to learn to look ahead. Yes, the cyclist might have done better, but walking around like a blind zombie and staring at your phone should be reason enough to dismiss any claims. People dumb down more and more and expect others to be responsible.

Samsung asks users to please virus-scan their TVs

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 18 June 2019
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Does Samsung believe there's a real danger of malware infection on its smart TVs? Obviously, any computing device with random-access storage can run malicious code.

The best way to keep your big, expensive smart TV safe is never to allow it access to your network in the first place.

Everyhing that is network-connected can be exploited; and the security history in the IoT world shows well enough that it will happen.

Porn trolling lawyer jailed for 14 years

Found on BBC News on Monday, 17 June 2019
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Paul Hansmeier shared copies of pornographic films online and then sued people who downloaded them, for copyright infringement.

The scheme was unmasked because some victims refused to settle, and decided to fight the copyright claim in court.

The judge has also ordered Hansmeier to repay $1.5m to 704 victims of the scam.

Took long enough, but at least this troll got what he deserved.

Meet the new Dropbox: It's like the old Dropbox, but more expensive, and not everyone's thrilled

Found on The Register on Sunday, 16 June 2019
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The cloudy storage outfit is keen to move beyond mere cloud storage to become "a single workspace designed to bring files, fragmented work tools, and teams together".

It is the usual cloud story: prices can change at any time, which means something that is great value when you sign up may not look so good a year or two later.

More of your data in the cloud? No thanks. If you rely on the cloud, you'll be left to die at some point.

No Telegram today, protestors: Chinese boxes DDoS chat app amid Hong Kong protest

Found on The Register on Saturday, 15 June 2019
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The traffic crapflood resulted in the app, which is advertised as being "privacy-focused", going offline to users "in the Americas", according to the firm, as well as unspecified "other countries". Telegram claims to have around 200 million users and said the outage lasted for around an hour.

The timing of the attack, last night, came as Hong Kong residents staged large-scale protests against a Chinese extradition law being pushed through the territory's legislature.

So much for open-end discussions on the extradiction law.