“Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh Moron” Found In Devotion; Game Is Being Review Bombed By Chinese Players

Found on Spieltimes on Wednesday, 27 February 2019
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Any discussions related to Devotion are currently banned in Chinese gaming forums, which includes NGA.Cn, China’s leading video games forum. Recent reviews of the game have taken a drastic negative turn, the majority of them being from Chinese players.

If the concerned authority of the People’s Republic of China finds out about the discussed controversy, not just will they ban the game, but there’s a possibility they’ll ban Steam entirely.

Devotion has been completely pulled out of Steam following the controversy.

Someone is very very thin-skinned there. It would be fun to see what happens when they block Steam though.

GCHQ: Chinese tech 'threats' must be understood

Found on BBC News on Monday, 25 February 2019
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GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming will give a rare speech on Monday emphasising the need for better cyber-security practices in the telecoms industry.

In December, MI6 chief Alex Younger raised questions over China's role in the UK tech sector, and a recent report from the Royal United Services Institute said it would be "naive" and "irresponsible" to allow Huawei access.

Until a few years ago, China was called the workbench of the US and Europe. It looks like nobody back then even considered the idea that the Chinese will simply learn what they were taught.

PepsiCo is laying off corporate employees

Found on Business Insider on Sunday, 24 February 2019
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PepsiCo has kicked off a round of layoffs impacting employees in multiple offices, two people who were laid off by the company told Business Insider.

PepsiCo also recently announced plans to restructure the organization and "relentlessly" invest in automation.

"Our second set of priorities ... involves becoming more capable, leaner, more agile and less bureaucratic," CEO Ramon Laguarta said.

Remember that whenever media or politicians say that automation won't cost any jobs.

Amazon triples profit to $11.2bn, pays ZERO DOLLARS in corp tax – instead we pay it $129m

Found on The Register on Sunday, 17 February 2019
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According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), the tech titan was actually paid $129m by US taxpayers thanks to an income tax rebate.

With the average American paying an income tax rate of between 10 and 15 per cent, and the corporate tax rate reduced recently from 35 to 21 per cent, Amazon as one of the largest corporations in the world paid a tax rate of minus one per cent.

According to ITEP, the entire company has been specifically constructed to avoid paying tax.

That's so digusting that it speaks for itself and does not need any comment.

83% Of Consumers Believe Personalized Ads Are Morally Wrong, Survey Says

Found on Forbes on Sunday, 10 February 2019
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A massive majority of consumers believe that using their data to personalize ads is unethical. And a further 76% believe that personalization to create tailored newsfeeds -- precisely what Facebook, Twitter, and other social applications do every day -- is unethical.

"Companies must acknowledge and protect consumers’ right to privacy while considering the impact of emerging technology," the report reads.

Yet Facebool, Twitter and other resellers of personal data continue to grow because people keep signing up.

Drug companies are sitting on generics—43% of recently approved aren’t for sale

Found on Ars Technica on Friday, 08 February 2019
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The finding means that many pricy, brand-name drugs are not facing the competition that could help drive down soaring prices. Among the drugs missing in action are generic versions of the expensive blood thinner Brilinta and the HIV medication Truvada. Moreover, of the approved drugs that would offer a brand-name drug its first competition, 36 percent are being held off the market, the analysis found.

Whatever the reason, keeping approved generics from the market is “a real problem because we’re not getting all the expected competition,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an interview with KHN.

Clearly the free and unregulated market does not work as promised, so it is time for the government to step in.

Is It Time To Ditch Google Analytics?

Found on Slashdot on Sunday, 03 February 2019
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Aubry says that 99% of Matomo users use the analytics code, which is open for anyone to use, and host their analytics on their own servers -- which means that the company has no access to it whatsoever. For Aubry, that's his way of ensuring privacy by design. United Nations, Amnesty International, NASA, and the European Commission and about 1.5 million other websites use Matomo. But Matomo also offers significantly more robust tracking than Fathom or Simple Analytics -- Aubry says it can do about 95% of what Google Analytics does. Still, there are a few key differences. Like Simple Analytics, Matomo honors Do Not Track....

The rise of these analytics startups speaks to a growing desire for alternatives to the corporate ecosystems controlled by giants like Google, Amazon, and Apple, a swell that has helped privacy-focused search engine Duck Duck Go reach 36 million searches in a day.

Looks like not all hope is lost.

Millions of bank loan and mortgage documents have leaked online

Found on Techcrunch on Saturday, 26 January 2019
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A trove of more than 24 million financial and banking documents, representing tens of thousands of loans and mortgages from some of the biggest banks in the U.S., has been found online after a server security lapse.

The server, running an Elasticsearch database, had more than a decade’s worth of data, containing loan and mortgage agreements, repayment schedules and other highly sensitive financial and tax documents that reveal an intimate insight into a person’s financial life.

With help from TechCrunch, the leak was traced back to Ascension, a data and analytics company for the financial industry, based in Fort Worth, Texas. The company provides data analysis and portfolio valuations. Among its services, the Ascension converts paper documents and handwritten notes into computer-readable files — known as OCR.

Why was the database accessible from the Internet anyway? Oh right, because we're living in the age of 2.0 where nobody is responsible anymore and security or privacy does not matter. Just imagine there would be a compensation of, let's say, only $100 per affected customer which a company has to pay who messed up.

Zuckerberg Plans to Integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger

Found on The New York Times on Friday, 25 January 2019
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The services will continue to operate as stand-alone apps, but their underlying technical infrastructure will be unified, said four people involved in the effort. That will bring together three of the world’s largest messaging networks, which between them have more than 2.6 billion users, allowing people to communicate across the platforms for the first time.

It also underscores how Mr. Zuckerberg is imposing his authority over units he once vowed to leave alone.

At the time of the acquisitions, Mr. Zuckerberg promised WhatsApp and Instagram plenty of autonomy from their new parent company.

It was obvious right from the beginning that Zucky would migrate everything together. After all, it is so easy to see when he is lying: his lips move.

Teachers tired of pointless emails

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 24 January 2019
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Speaking at the annual Bett Show for educational technology, he warned that feedback to parents had gone from a quick chat at parents' evenings to being expected to be available every hour of the waking day.

"Parents think they know everything," and they are not shy of sending in their suggestions and expecting replies, she says.

Just bounce the mails. Parents need to learn that teachers are there for a reason, and if they have a problem they need to solve it face to face. If a parent cannot afford it to show up personally, the "problem" is not important anyway.