Jeff Bezos supports US tax rise after not paying it for two years

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 14 April 2021
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Biden has long been critical of Bezos's conglomerate on matters such as unions, which Amazon vehemently opposes, and taxes, which Amazon seemingly now accepts must rise.

In remarks delivered on March 31, Biden said an independent analysis found 91 of Fortune 500 companies used various loopholes to avoid paying any federal income tax.

Amazon paid exactly zero dollars in federal taxes in 2017 and 2018, thanks to use of legitimate deductions that allowed it to reduce its liabilities.

Just get rid of loopholes and make everybody pay their shares of taxes.

'Fake' Amazon workers defend company on Twitter

Found on BBC News on Monday, 12 April 2021
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Twitter has now suspended many of the accounts, and Amazon has confirmed at least one is fake.

Most of the accounts were made just a few days ago, often with only a few tweets, all related to Amazon.

Several of the high-profile accounts have been suspended by Twitter. It told the BBC that Amazon Ambassadors are subject to Twitter's rules on spam and platform manipulation.

Amazon is trying hard to stop any plans for unions as soon as possible, so it would not be surprising at all if there's a special PR-section that creates such fake support and praise.

'I’ll buy five items and only keep one of them'

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 11 April 2021
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During the UK's third lockdown, the leadership coach says that boredom has prompted her to relax that rule.

One problem with this for retailers is that customers are far more likely to return items when they buy them online. This is especially the case for items of clothing, which obviously cannot be tried on first.

He says that younger shoppers were already happy to "buy, try, return", but during the pandemic this has also become learned behaviour for older customers.

The same young shoppers who then go out on the streets to line up behind "Fridays for Future" posters.

Android sends 20x more data to Google than iOS sends to Apple, study says

Found on Ars Technica on Friday, 09 April 2021
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Whether you have an iPhone or an Android device, it’s continuously sending data including your location, phone number, and local network details to Apple or Google.

Pre-installed apps or services also made network connections, even when they hadn’t been opened or used. Whereas iOS automatically sent Apple data from Siri, Safari, and iCloud, Android collected data from Chrome, YouTube, Google Docs, Safetyhub, Google Messenger, the device clock, and the Google search bar.

Leith said the data collection by both OSes is concerning because it’s readily linked to a user’s name, email address, payment card data, and possibly to other devices the user has. What’s more, the constant connections to back-end servers necessarily reveals the IP address of the device and, by extension, the general geographic location of the user.

So what if others send out more? Someone else is worse, but that does not justify to spy on users on a slightly smaller scale.

Red Hat pulls Free Software Foundation funding over Richard Stallman's return

Found on The Register on Thursday, 08 April 2021
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CTO Chris Wright tweeted overnight: "I am really outraged by FSF's decision to reinstate RMS. At a moment in time where diversity and inclusion awareness is growing, this is a step backwards."

"We are immediately suspending all Red Hat funding of the FSF and any FSF-hosted events. In addition, many Red Hat contributors have told us they no longer plan to participate in FSF-led or backed events, and we stand behind them," said Red Hat.

Granted, RedHat is a big player, but it won't hurt the FSF much financially.

GeForce Now’s paid subscription is doubling in price

Found on Polygon on Tuesday, 06 April 2021
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Nvidia is effectively doubling the price of GeForce Now, its cloud streaming service. The company will add a new subscription tier on Thursday called Priority membership, which will cost $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year, Nvidia announced in a blog post.

Before Thursday’s membership changes, Nvidia offered two options for GeForce Now users. The free tier only required an Nvidia account, but limited playtime to one-hour sessions. The Founders tier, which cost $4.99 per month or $24.99 for six months, provided players with “priority access” to cloud servers, sessions of up to six hours, and ray-traced graphics.

Introduce it cheap to get users, then raise prices; and if too many cancel, drop the service completely and restart with the next.

Police warn students to avoid science website

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 04 April 2021
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The City of London police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit says using the Sci-Hub website could "pose a threat" to students' personal data.

But Max Bruce, the City of London police's cyber protection officer, has urged universities to block the website on their networks because of the "threat posed by Sci-Hub to both the university and its students".

"Ignorance is strength" comes to mind.

Banksy art burned, destroyed and sold as token in 'money-making stunt'

Found on BBC News on Saturday, 03 April 2021
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An original Banksy, which was burnt and destroyed in a livestreamed video, has been sold via a digital token representing the work for $380,000.

One art critic has dismissed the event as a "stunt" to make money.

Although "creative destruction of art is not new... it is always upsetting and shocking to see a piece being destroyed," said Gabrielle Du Plooy, founder of Zebra One Gallery.

The ecosystem around the "art" world has more than enough ridiculous sides. With some exceptions, it looks more and more like way to launder money.

Police say they found mafia fugitive on YouTube, posting cooking tutorials

Found on Ars Technica on Friday, 02 April 2021
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Biart, an alleged member of the 'Ndrangheta criminal organization based in southern Italy, reportedly hid his face in the cooking videos but failed to hide his tattoos, leading to his identification.

"He was betrayed by a YouTube channel in which he showed off his Italian cooking skills," the article continued. "The videos never showed his face, but the tattoos on his body gave him away, [police] said."

Now he can cook in jail.

Google Maps will soon let you draw on a map to fix it

Found on The Verge on Monday, 29 March 2021
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Google will be updating its map editing experience to allow users to add missing roads and realign, rename or delete incorrect ones. It calls the experience “drawing,” but it’s closer to using the line tool in Microsoft Paint.

Currently, if you try to add a missing road, you can only drop a pin where the road should be and type in the road’s name to submit that information to Google.

Wait until troll armies storm in.