Bring Back the Replaceable Laptop Battery

Found on Slashdot on Monday, 11 November 2019
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Whether mainstream or obscure manufacturer, the fact that pretty much all of them are made in the same area denote a similar approach to soldering batteries in.

This leads to one conclusion, planned obsolescence.If you want your laptop to still be mobile when the battery fizzles out, forget about it. Buy new instead. Pick your manufacturer, even those famed for building 'tank' laptops that last forever, all you need is a fresh battery, upgrade the RAM, and a new HD or SSD and away you go.

Economy experts widely agree that the global markets are not growing anymore as they should in their opinion, so one could assume that steps like these are a way to enforce consumerism so this business model stays somewhat alive.

Massive Facebook document leak gives ammunition to investigators

Found on Ars Technica on Sunday, 10 November 2019
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The piles of leaked documents, which directly reference the company's questionable position on competition, are likely to be extremely helpful to the dozens of entities currently investigating Facebook on antitrust grounds.

The documents seem to confirm two long-held, popular suspicious about Facebook. First, it treats user privacy as an afterthought at best. And second, it works hard to prevent competitors from getting too powerful.

Ignoring privacy and attacking competition: just what everybody already knew.

This may shock you but Adobe is shipping insecure software

Found on The Register on Saturday, 09 November 2019
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It has been revealed that Adobe's Experience Platform mobile SDKs, used to create apps that interact with the company's cloud services, until recently contained sample configuration files that created insecure default settings.

Developers creating apps that utilize those files as templates or examples could find that their apps have been sending data over the network without SSL protection, making it vulnerable to interception and alteration.

Now that Flash is pretty much dead, the bugs move on inside Adobe.

TikTok: Should we trust the Chinese social-media video app?

Found on BBC News on Friday, 08 November 2019
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Some politicians are worried the app's Chinese owner, Bytedance, poses a risk to national security.

Others worry about the fact China requires its social-media apps to provide the state access to users' information.

People should be worried about TikTok just like about any "social" media. China is just more open about the fact that they make heavy use of all data they collect. Just like eg. Facebook does.

Recycling cars’ lithium batteries is more complicated than you might think

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 07 November 2019
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The primary issue with lithium batteries is a loss of capacity over time. Eventually, this will lead to reduced range for any vehicles that rely on them.

Even now—long before there should be many at the end-of-life stage—the authors note that some lithium batteries have found their way into metal recycling facilities, where handling them inappropriately has set off fires.

The individual cells in the batteries are also different sizes and shapes, and the chemistries of the cathodes are distinct. All of this rules out a single process or automated system for handling electric vehicle batteries.

New car models are pushed onto the streets without thinking about the different problems they may cause. I would be really helpful to have some unbiased research about the environmental footprints of combustion based cars compared to electric cars which also takes into account various variables, like production costs, lifetime, maintenance costs, recycling costs and of course energy costs.

German government expands subsidies for electric cars

Found on DW on Wednesday, 06 November 2019
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The German government and car industry have agreed to increase joint subsidies for the purchase of electric cars on the same day automobile giant Volkswagen began production of a new all-electric vehicle.

Under the agreement, consumer subsidies for electric cars costing less than €40,000 ($44,500) will increase to €6,000 (about $6,700) from €4,000. Purchasers of plug-in hybrids in this price range would be given a subsidy of €4,500, up from €3,000.

You only need to throw money onto products which would not sell otherwise; and if they sell really bad, you throw even more money onto them.

Bloodhound goes faster still at 491mph

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 05 November 2019
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At the moment, Bloodhound is operating on just the thrust of its Eurofighter EJ200 jet engine. But as Tuesday's outing showed, this vehicle has tremendous potential.

Bloodhound is festooned with sensors. It's their information which must verify all the computer modelling that went into the design of the car. The team has a good idea of how Bloodhound should behave as it approaches the sound barrier, but it's only by running the car that they'll find out for sure.

Really impressive, but nothing you will see soon on the roads.

ISPs lied to Congress to spread confusion about encrypted DNS, Mozilla says

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 04 November 2019
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Mozilla is urging Congress to reject the broadband industry's lobbying campaign against encrypted DNS in Firefox and Chrome.

"Unsurprisingly, our work on DoH [DNS over HTTPS] has prompted a campaign to forestall these privacy and security protections, as demonstrated by the recent letter to Congress from major telecommunications associations. That letter contained a number of factual inaccuracies," Mozilla Senior Director of Trust and Security Marshall Erwin wrote.

Mozilla is not exactly very honest about secure DNS either. They keep pushing and pushing for DoH, instead of focusing on DoT that would fit easily and reliably into the current systems. For Mozilla, their enemies are the ISPs because they want to "log and sell all the data" about their users. So for Mozilla, it boils down to trust. However, by rolling out DoH with the resolver defaulting to Cloudflare, there is nothing gained because in the end you still have to trust Cloudflare. Just in the same way you have to trust your ISP. Of course all the companies behind DoH promise never to abuse this data, but since it all is about trust, why trust them? So, don't mess with one of core components of the Internet and just upgrade to DoT and bury that DoH idea.

Jane Fonda: 'I worry about climate activist Greta Thunberg'

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 03 November 2019
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"They handcuff you with plastic things, not the old good metal ones. They hurt more," Fonda says of her most recent arrest.

But she says: "I don't want to go to prison.

"The police are figuring out what to do. I was told if I keep getting arrested every week I may be put in the slammer. I may not get arrested every week because I have to start filming Grace and Frankie (her series for Netflix)."

People are beginning to realize that when you get arrested, then going to jail is inconvenient? One would assume that being "inconvenient" is the main idea behind jailtime.

Blizzard president gives vague apology for Hong Kong protest response

Found on Ars Technica on Saturday, 02 November 2019
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In the wake of the Blitzchung decision, Blizzard was forced to cancel a public promotional event and belatedly punish a college Hearthstone team for a similar on-stream protest. The company faced both a brief employee walkout and admonishment from a bipartisan group of US legislators.

How that accountability will manifest, and what if any changes were in store for the company, was less clear from Brack's statement. The executive only offered a vague promise to "do better going forward."

Typical management talk, meaning nothing. It's just an attempt to reduce damage after they kowtowed to China.