YouTube recruiter sues Google for allegedly refusing to hire white and Asian men

Found on The Verge on Sunday, 04 March 2018
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Wilberg claims that Google implemented “clear and irrefutable policies” meant to exclude white and Asian men in an attempt to increase the company’s overall diversity. He also claims that Google retaliated against him for opposing these policies, eventually firing him in November 2017.

In one hiring round, the team was allegedly instructed to cancel all software engineering interviews with non-diverse applicants below a certain experience level, and to “purge entirely any applications by non-diverse employees from the hiring pipeline.”

So Google tries not to look racist by being racist?

Cloudflare Terminates Service to Sci-Hub Domain Names

Found on Torrentfreak on Monday, 05 February 2018
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While Sci-Hub is praised by thousands of researchers and academics around the world, copyright holders are doing everything in their power to wipe the site from the web.

According to Sci-Hub’s operator, losing access to Cloudflare is not “critical,” but it may “cause a short pause in website operation.”

Knowledge needs to be free.

Linking Is Not Copyright Infringement, Boing Boing Tells Court

Found on Torrentfreak on Friday, 19 January 2018
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With help from the EFF, Boing Boing argues that its article linking to an archive of hundreds of centerfold playmates is clearly fair use. Or else it will be "the end of the web as we know it," the blog warns.

“We’re asking the court to dismiss this deeply flawed lawsuit. Journalists, scientists, researchers, and everyday people on the web have the right to link to material, even copyrighted material, without having to worry about getting sued.”

Links are the basis of the Internet; if you are not happy with what they are pointing at, talk to the one hosting the target, not to whoever is just linking to it.

2018 Is the Last Year of America's Public Domain Drought

Found on Motherboard on Tuesday, 02 January 2018
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American copyrights now stretch for 95 years. Since 1998, we've been frozen with a public domain that only applies to works from before 1923 (and government works).

“Until 1978, the maximum copyright term was 56 years from the date of publication—an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years,” she wrote. “In 1998, Congress added 20 years to the copyright term, extending it to the author’s lifetime plus 70 years, or 95 years after publication for corporate 'works made for hire.'”

Expect heavy lobbying work to make sure that copyright will be extended once again to "protect the creators" who are long dead so those who never created anything can profit from the rights they are holding onto.

That was fast... unlike old iPhones: Apple sued for slowing down mobes

Found on The Register on Friday, 22 December 2017
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The court filing contends that Apple deliberately kept quiet about its CPU limitation scheme to fraudulently maintain or drive up sales.

And while that slowdown avoids previous-generation iPhones unexpectedly shutting off, due to exhausting their weary batteries, it also means apps run sluggishly. There is no on-screen warning this is happening, so iPhone owners were left wondering why their handhelds were performing so poorly.

The complaint recounted how the various plaintiffs, frustrated by iPhone slowdowns, bought the latest models, unaware they could have just paid Apple US$79 for a $4.45 replacement battery to resuscitate their hobbled handset.

Hopefully Apple gets slapped for this. Important or not, you don't secretly slow down the products of comsumers without at least giving a good explanation and an opt-out option (while explaining the consequences). Claiming that it's for a "better exerience" is such an obvious lie it's ridiculous; if you want to forcefully drive up sales, admit it.

Facebook's collection and use of data from third-party sources is abusive

Found on Bundeskartellamt on Thursday, 21 December 2017
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The authority holds the view that Facebook is abusing this dominant position by making the use of its social network conditional on its being allowed to limitlessly amass every kind of data generated by using third-party websites and merge it with the user's Facebook account. These third-party sites include firstly services owned by Facebook such as WhatsApp or Instagram, and secondly websites and apps of other operators with embedded Facebook APIs.

Users cannot expect data which is generated when they use services other than Facebook to be added to their Facebook account to this extent. Data are already transmitted from websites and apps to Facebook when a user calls them up or installs them, provided they have an embedded API.

It's sadly very rare to see that the government takes steps to show companies that they cannot collect everything about users for marketing and sales to increase their profits.

FBI appears to have investigated - and considered prosecuting - FOIA requesters

Found on Muckrock on Friday, 15 December 2017
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A new FOIA release shows the FBI Director’s Office responded to FOIA requests for known files on deceased FBI officials by presenting options that seemingly included a law enforcement investigation/proceeding against the requesters, with one email calling the requests “SUSPICIOUS.”

According to the Bureau, fulfilling the FOIA requests would have prevented the FBI from fulfilling FOIA requests. Their letter stated that the “manner of submission interfered with the FBI’s ability to perform its FOIA and PA statutory responsibilities as an agency.

Agencies don't like the people. No big news.

Maker of sneaky Mac adware sends security researcher cease-and-desist letters

Found on ZDNet on Wednesday, 13 December 2017
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The short version is that the adware, built by Israeli ad-tech firm TargetingEdge, poses as a legitimate installer, like a video player or document reader. Like other software, the installer asks for the user's password to install, tricking the user into turning over root privileges to the installer. Once it's hooked into the system, the installer uses a script to download further components from the adware's command and control server.

TargetingEdge sent cease-and-desist letters to try to prevent Serper from publishing his research.

That would make an interesting lawsuit.

Judge Hands Back $92,000 Taken From Musician By Cops For Failing To Buckle His Seatbelt

Found on Techdirt on Monday, 04 December 2017
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Musician Phil Parhamovich made the mistake of driving in Wyoming without his seatbelt buckled. A click-it ticket in Wyoming usually runs about $25. In Parhamovich's case, it cost him nearly $92,000.

Most Americans aren't aware law enforcement officers regularly engage in pretextual traffic stops for the sole purpose of warrantless searches and seizures. According to the musician, the cops made

Good to see not all cases of highway robbery are successful.

Sheriff's Office To Pay $3 Million For Invasive Searches Of 850 High School Students

Found on Techdirt on Monday, 20 November 2017
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Over 800 students were searched without a warrant, subjected to invasive pat downs that included breasts and genitals by Sheriff Jeff Hobby and his deputies.

In October, Sheriff Hobby and two of his deputies were indicted for sexual battery and false imprisonment.

That number has nothing to do with the severity of the violations, but rather is the limit of the sheriff department's insurance policy.

Fair enough for an abuse of law at that scale.