Companies can track your phone’s movements to target ads

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 22 September 2020
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In a climate of increasing regulation and public scrutiny, Sen thinks behavioral context will become more important as marketers can no longer assemble profiles built on a user’s online activity. Rather than knowing a user’s demographics or personal preferences, services will combine what they know about a user’s activity on their own apps with information on what they’re doing physically at the time.

Marketers don't need to know anything at all. Companies just need to create reliable and good products, and the word will go around.

Fortnite: Save the World for Mac is shutting down because of Epic’s battle with Apple

Found on The Verge on Monday, 21 September 2020
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Epic Games says Fortnite: Save the World will no longer be playable on macOS beginning on September 23rd because Apple is preventing the game from receiving new updates.

In late August, Apple terminated Epic’s developer account, meaning users cannot download or reinstall games developed by Epic, including Fortnite, and Epic can no longer validate updates for distribution.

Apple and Epic are currently in an ongoing legal battle over App Store policies after Apple removed Fortnite, saying the game violated its digital storefront’s guidelines by adding an in-app payment mechanism.

The little spoiled kid just can't stop stomping its foot.

Pringles tube tries to wake from 'recycling nightmare'

Found on BBC News on Friday, 18 September 2020
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It's a complex construction with a metal base, plastic cap, metal tear-off lid, and foil-lined cardboard sleeve.

The Recycling Association dubbed it the number one recycling villain – along with the Lucozade Sports bottle.

If Pringles would only taste good... Junk outside, junk inside.

Dozens of Amazon's own products have been reported as dangerous

Found on CNN on Thursday, 17 September 2020
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Dignoti ultimately concluded that the fire originated with the cord Parra was using to charge his cellphone. His report stated the cord experienced a short circuit, and while it was unclear why this happened, "the heat produced by the cord ignited the upholstery for the office chair."

It was sold by one of Amazon's popular private label lines, AmazonBasics, which offers budget-friendly products including consumer electronics, household appliances, home goods and office accessories.

Since 2016, at least 1,500 reviews, covering more than 70 items, have described products exploding, catching on fire, smoking, melting, causing electrical malfunctions or otherwise posing risks, according to an analysis of AmazonBasics electronics and appliances listed on its website.

Amazon has lost any credibility long ago. It's practically a warning label now.

Germany's nationwide emergency warning day sees bumpy rollout

Found on DW on Tuesday, 15 September 2020
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At 11 a.m. sharp (0900 GMT) Germany carried out a nationwide test of its civil alarm systems — with everything from sirens to push notifications on smartphones being tested. The test was slated to run for exactly 20 minutes.

"The nationwide MoWaS [Modular warning system] could only be received after a delay. The reason for this was an unscheduled simultaneous triggering of a large number of warning messages via MoWaS," the BBK wrote on Twitter.

Air raid sirens sounded for one straight minute starting at 11 a.m., testing their tones full blast before varying the pitch of the tone.

So you operate an alerting system for the entire population, but you did not plan for a large number of messages in a short timeframe. Maybe you should look for another job. What does work are old-fashioned, mechanical air sirens; but those are oh so uncool and not digital, so they get decommissioned. Smart Dumb move.

Auto Industry Pushes Bullshit Claim That 'Right To Repair' Laws Aid Sexual Predators

Found on Techdirt on Saturday, 12 September 2020
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Of course the problem isn't just restricted to John Deere. Apple, Microsoft, Sony, and countless other tech giants eager to monopolize repair have made a habit of suing and bullying independent repair shops and demonizing consumers who simply want to reduce waste and repair devices they own.

In a bid to kill these efforts, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents most major automakers, has taken to running ads in the state falsely claiming that the legislation would aid sexual predators.

The primary message of the ads is that if we allow people to more easily repair their vehicles, data from said vehicles will somehow find itself in the hands of rapists, stalkers, and other menaces.

If you take your car to a registered repair shop, the data might end up "in the hands of rapists, stalkers, and other menaces" too. Or are those people by default "normal"?

Over 250 Messages About Code of Conduct Complaints Against Linus Torvalds

Found on Linux Reviews on Tuesday, 08 September 2020
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He has every right to express that opinion, even if someone felt ‘hurt’ or ‘uncomfortable’ with that opinion. This is what free speech is about, but not everyone shares that view; to some people, only ‘comfortable’ or 100% politically-correct messages are tolerable, acceptable and permissible. So it’s basically a trap, or a sort of ‘set-up’ for canceling or banishing people.

There are too many offended snowflakes.

Amazon’s top UK reviewers appear to profit from fake 5-star posts

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 07 September 2020
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Amazon is investigating the most prolific reviewers on its UK website after a Financial Times investigation found evidence that they were profiting from posting thousands of five-star ratings.

The FT’s analysis suggested nine of Amazon’s current UK top 10 providers of ratings were engaged in suspicious behavior, with huge numbers of five-star reviews of exclusively Chinese products from unknown brands and manufacturers.

Amazon is overloaded with fakes and junk. You simply cannot trust reviews; they are completely useless.

These students figured out their tests were graded by AI — and the easy way to cheat

Found on The Verge on Sunday, 06 September 2020
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Lazare clarified that he’d received his grade less than a second after submitting his answers. A teacher couldn’t have read his response in that time, Simmons knew — her son was being graded by an algorithm.

"Algorithm update. He cracked it: Two full sentences, followed by a word salad of all possibly applicable keywords. 100% on every assignment. Students on @EdgenuityInc, there's your ticket. He went from an F to an A+ without learning a thing."

They often copy the text of their questions and paste it into the answer field, assuming it’s likely to contain the relevant keywords. One told me they used the trick all throughout last semester and received full credit “pretty much every time.”

Expect more stupid people in the future, thanks to AI education and cheating.

Amazon Drivers Are Hanging Smartphones in Trees to Get More Work

Found on Blomberg on Friday, 04 September 2020
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The reason for the odd placement, according to experts and people with direct knowledge of Amazon’s operations, is to take advantage of the handsets’ proximity to the station, combined with software that constantly monitors Amazon’s dispatch network, to get a split-second jump on competing drivers.

Much the way milliseconds can mean millions to hedge funds using robotraders, a smartphone perched in a tree can be the key to getting a $15 delivery route before someone else.

There's something very wrong at Amazon when workers have to use such methods to get some work.