John Hancock adds fitness tracking to all policies

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 20 September 2018
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John Hancock will now sell only "interactive" policies that collect health data through wearable devices such as a smartwatch.

John Hancock said customers would not have to log their activities to quality for coverage - but they would not benefit from the discounts if they chose not to.

Welcome to the world of Orwell. In this case there will be new chances to make money: those who work out a lot because they want to do it can offer to just wear the client's tracker too and do the workout for several people at the same time. Or, if you want a technical solution, just buy a watch winder.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Found on The Register on Monday, 17 September 2018
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Torvalds, who created the Linux operating system kernel in 1991 and has overseen its development ever since, also promised to take a breather from the project – like the sabbatical he took to create Git – and do some self-reflection to, well, be nicer to everyone.

The Finnish-born American, perhaps feeling the pressure as the single kernel chieftain responsible for all that, is an absolute stickler for quality and reliability, making his feelings bluntly known if submitted patches are, in his view, substandard.

If even Linus is aiming for politicial correctness and non-offensive speeches, the world has truly ended. Let's hope Linus won't change; for something as important as the Kernel, you need someone who does not beat around the bush and tells so-called developers how to do things the right way.

You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 12 September 2018
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Biologist Anders Gonçalves da Silva was surprised this week to find three movies he had purchased through iTunes simply disappeared one day from his library.

And Apple told him it no longer had the license rights for those movies so they had been removed. To which he of course responded: Ah, but I didn't rent them, I actually bought them through your "buy" option.

At which point da Silva learnt a valuable lesson about the realities of digital purchases and modern licensing rules: While he had bought the movies, what he had actually paid for was the ability to download the movie to his hard drive.

Once again, pirates are in a better situation than those who use the legal options to get their share of entertainment. The industry really needs to rethink it's business plan if it wants to stay somewhat relevant.

make all relocate... Linux kernel dev summit shifts to Scotland – to fit Torvald's holiday plans

Found on The Register on Friday, 07 September 2018
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After a probably-frenzied weekend discussing the snafu with the invite-only conference committee, Ts'o wrote, “ultimately there were only two choices that were workable” – go ahead without Torvalds, or move the summit.

And so it happens that everybody would rather ask the 30 or so attendees due to attend the summit to change their plans and head for Edinburgh instead of Vancouver, even though Torvalds suggested they go ahead without him.

It's not much different from your average form of religion.

New J.R.R. Tolkien book may be Lord of the Rings author's last

Found on CNet News on Sunday, 02 September 2018
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The book tells of the founding of the Elven city of Gondolin, and is considered one of Tolkien's Lost Tales. A section in 1977's The Silmarillion was based on the Lost Tales.

At the time, many expected that book to be J.R.R. Tolkien's final published work. Christopher Tolkien even wrote in its preface that it was "(presumptively) my last book in the long series of my father's writings." But now, Entertainment Weekly reports, Christopher Tolkien has written that "The Fall of Gondolin is indubitably the last."

Hopefully it's not as lengthy and exhausting to read as the Silmarillion.

A fake billionaire is fooling people on Twitter

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 28 August 2018
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An account impersonating the 87-year-old American investor shot to social media fame on Saturday when it bagged almost 300,000 likes for its debut tweet.

Since then it has amassed close to two million likes for its personal, motivational, and inoffensive sound-bites.

Signs and warnings that the account is fake haven't stopped journalists and politicians from sharing the tweets.

If you're taking anything on Twitter as a fact, you should be fired.

Why Don't We Care About The Rotten Tomatoes Scores Of TV Shows?

Found on Slashdot on Monday, 27 August 2018
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Why do we never utter sentences like "'Cobra Kai' has been certified 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes?" or "'Stranger Things'" was rated 8.9 out of 10 on IMDb"? It's not because the reviews of TV shows aren't aggregated by these websites -- they are. Contrary to what you might think of IMDb, given that its name is Internet Movie Database, TV shows also occupy an essential, if relatively smaller, place than movies there. And the same thing goes for Rotten Tomatoes.

Such reviews don't work well because "de gustibus non est disputandum".

MoviePass kills off its annual plan -- even if you already paid for it

Found on CNet News on Sunday, 26 August 2018
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Even if you paid for an annual subscription and got to keep your grandfathered unlimited plan, MoviePass is now forcing you onto its monthly three-movie-a-month plan -- effective immediately.

To add insult to injury, MoviePass says you'll only have until Aug. 31 -- a week from today -- if you want to get some of your money back in the form of a prorated refund, which you can only get by canceling your plan. And just to make things more ridiculous, MoviePass is preying on your FOMO by saying that if you do take the refund, you won't be able to sign up for MoviePass again for nine months.

It should just die already. Making customers angry is never a solid base for a successful business.

Only 12% Of Music Revenue Goes To Actual Artists

Found on Techdirt on Tuesday, 21 August 2018
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Citibank recently released a massive and incredibly thorough report on the entire music industry showing how and where the money is made. There's lots of interesting and useful information in the report, but the headline grabbing fact is that musicians end up with just about 12% of global music revenue.

And, as the Citibank report nicely summarizes, thanks to the internet, artists could connect much more directly with fans and take home a lot more money.

The middlemen are not needed anymore, but they have the deepest pockets and can support an entire PR industry to tell everybody how important they are. In the long run, this industry will vanish though.

Uber CEO Embraces Losing Money With Revenue Growth Slowing

Found on Bloomberg on Sunday, 19 August 2018
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Like his predecessor, Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi is putting growth above profit.

Nearly a year into Khosrowshahi’s tenure, Uber reported on Wednesday a second-quarter loss of $891 million.

The company is targeting an initial public offering in the second half of next year, but it still doesn’t have a chief financial officer after years of searching.

Wasting money is not how you start a successful and lasting company. If you only want to steal by doing an IPO however,...