Deforestation: Tropical tree losses persist at high levels

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 25 April 2019
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Around 12 million hectares of forest in the world's tropical regions were lost in 2018, equivalent to 30 football fields per minute.

Millions of hectares of these forests have been lost in recent decades, having been cleared by commercial or agricultural interests.

There's an easy way to reduce deforestation: 9mm Para.

Federal Agent: Using A Taped Box To Send Stuff Overnight Via FedEx Is Suspicious Behavior

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 25 April 2019
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The filing lets us know what the government finds suspicious in terms of packaging and sending stuff around the country: everything. If you like using FedEx and their new boxes, but apply a bit too much tape, you might be a drug dealer.

Somehow, seizing cash is supposed to cripple drug cartels. Seeing as civil forfeiture has experienced no serious income dips over the past 30 years, it's safe to say this process is doing nothing but enriching government agencies who prefer cash to preventing crime.

Everything is suspicious for the government. Especially if the voters are involved.

Windows 10 May 2019 update blocked for anyone using USB or SD storage

Found on Ars Technica on Wednesday, 24 April 2019
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Because of an issue that's frankly remarkable, Microsoft is blocking the update for anyone using USB storage or SD storage. That is to say: if you have a USB hard disk or thumb drive, or an SD card in an SD card reader, the update won't install.

As with so many Windows 10 bugs, the real question here is how on Earth this was only detected at this late stage in development. USB storage is not esoteric or unusual, and a problem like this is going to affect a large proportion of Windows 10 users.

It's getting more and more ridiculous. It's as if Microsoft tries to look incompetent.

Which? survey reveals customers' least favourite mobile network

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 23 April 2019
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Vodafone has been rated as the UK's worst mobile network provider for the eighth year in a row, in consumer lobby group Which?'s eighth annual survey.

In a statement, the company added: "We are working hard to understand the issue and what more we can do."

Vodafone will easily turn the eight into ten years.

Millimeter-wave 5G will never scale beyond dense urban areas, T-Mobile says

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 22 April 2019
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While all four major nationwide carriers in the United States have overhyped 5G to varying degrees, T-Mobile today made a notable admission about 5G's key limitation. T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray wrote in a blog post that millimeter-wave spectrum used for 5G "will never materially scale beyond small pockets of 5G hotspots in dense urban environments."

Despite Ray's realism about the limitations of millimeter-wave signals, T-Mobile hasn't shied away from exaggerating the benefits of 5G.

No, 5G will not be the next saviour, despite what marketing guys preach. It is just a wireless network with shortcomings that should be treated as such. Don't fall for the propaganda.

Facebook fights to “shield Zuckerberg” from punishment in US privacy probe

Found on Ars Technica on Sunday, 21 April 2019
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Federal Trade Commission officials are discussing whether to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally accountable for Facebook's privacy failures, according to reports by The Washington Post and NBC News. Facebook has been trying to protect Zuckerberg from that possibility in negotiations with the FTC, the Post wrote.

The FTC reached a settlement with Facebook in 2011 over charges that it deceived users by failing to keep privacy promises. During the lead-up to that settlement, the FTC "considered, then backed down, from putting Zuckerberg directly under order," the Post wrote. "Had it done so, Zuckerberg could have faced fines for future privacy violations."

Just lock him up already; everybody knows that Zuckerberg never ever really wanted to protect the privacy of anybody as long as it brings in money. Well, except for his own.

Amazon will no longer sell Chinese goods in China

Found on CNN on Saturday, 20 April 2019
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Amazon first entered the Chinese market 15 years ago, when it acquired an online book retailer, but it has struggled amid fierce competition. Research suggests that the company's market share in China was miniscule compared to local rivals.

"There is too much domestic competition and Amazon lacks the kind of brand awareness that Tmall or JD.com have," said Ben Cavender, an analyst at China Market Research Group. "That leaves Amazon in a position where it has to spend a lot of money to acquire customers while also competing aggressively with multiple strong players on price."

Amazon is not even a good shop and can only exist because with its current market position it's hard for competition to grow. It's shop itself is rather awful: a ridiculous lack of fine-grained search options meets an inconsistent UI layout; and let's not forget that a product is sometimes cheaper if you order it directly from the seller's own shop.

Facebook copied email contacts of 1.5 million users

Found on BBC News on Friday, 19 April 2019
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Facebook "unintentionally" uploaded the email contacts of more than 1.5 million users without asking permission to do so, the social network has admitted.

Facebook asked new users to supply the password for their email account, and took a copy of their contacts.

That's not "unintentionally", that is their business model. It also does not sound very legal to grab the data of people who were not asked, just by getting it from someone else.

Bendgate 2.0: Samsung’s $2,000 foldable phone is already breaking

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 18 April 2019
Browse Technology

During the run-up to the device's launch, there were concerns about the durability of the folding display, and now after just a few days with the public, the device is already experiencing problems.

It looks like Steve Kovach of CNBC has experienced everyone's worst fear: his Galaxy Fold display broke right along the fold crease—all the pixels in the folding area went black and the screen started flickering like crazy.

The early hype for the Galaxy Fold seems to have struck a chord with consumers, with Samsung.com citing "overwhelming demand" and selling out of Galaxy Fold pre-orders in just a day.

Samsung will have fun times after the device hits the masses. The display might work fine in the laboratory, but the life is different outside.

Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data to fight rivals and help friends

Found on NBC News on Wednesday, 17 April 2019
Browse Internet

The documents, which include emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with.

However, among the documents leaked, there’s very little evidence that privacy was a major concern of Facebook’s, and the issue was rarely discussed in the thousands of pages of emails and meeting summaries.

Unbelievable that politicians and governments don't do anything about it; or perhaps they would if Facebook would not have data on them?