Facebook Finally Shuts Down Its Snooping, Bullshit 'VPN' After A Full Year Of Complaints

Found on Techdirt on Saturday, 02 March 2019
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Just about a year ago we noted how Facebook was taking some heat on the security and privacy fronts for pitching a "privacy protecting" VPN to consumers that actually violated consumer privacy.

A wide variety of different news outlets were quick to point out that Facebook was actually using the "privacy" app to track users around the internet when they wandered away from Facebook, then using that data to its own competitive advantage.

Facebook continued to market and push the VPN as a privacy tool while undermining the whole point of said privacy tool.

Facebook and privacy are mutually exclusive. It will use every method, no matter how immoral and unethical, to collect data about everybody; because that is its core business.

YouTube Will Disable Comments on Nearly All Videos With Kids

Found on Variety on Friday, 01 March 2019
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YouTube said in a blog post Thursday that over the past week it had already shut off comments for “tens of millions of videos” that could be subject to predatory behavior. Now, it will expand that to suspend comments on virtually all videos featuring young minors, as well as videos featuring older kids that “could be at risk of attracting predatory behavior.”

That's a quite nuclear reaction for what appears to be a rather small issue.

How NOT To Remove Reviews − a Story about Fake Notarized Letters

Found on Pissed Consumer on Thursday, 28 February 2019
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Everything was going well. Every once in a while, people would post a review or a comment here and there about Luxsport Motor Group. From time to time we received notarized letters from the posters who wanted to remove their reviews posted by mistake. Nothing suspicious. Until fraud was discovered.

There is fraud and falsification going on somewhere in here. Maybe notary’s signature is a fake? Maybe the company, Luxsport Motor Group, is hiding something? Maybe these notarized letters are fabricated altogether?

Looks like this has turned into a huge PR disaster.

“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.

Windstream, ISP with 1 million customers, files for bankruptcy

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 26 February 2019
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Windstream's losing court battle was against hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management, "which had argued a two-year-old spinoff of the company's fiber-optic cable network violated the covenants on one of its bonds," which prohibited "sale-leaseback transactions," The Wall Street Journal wrote today.

Despite choosing not to appeal, CEO Thomas said that "Windstream strongly disagrees" with the court decision, and accused Aurelius of "engag[ing] in predatory market manipulation to advance its own financial position."

Have there ever been positive news that involve hedge funds?

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.

Pinstagram? Instagram code reveals Public Collections feature

Found on Techcrunch on Saturday, 23 February 2019
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Code buried in Instagram for Android shows the company has prototyped an option to create public “Collections” to which multiple users can contribute.

People could use the feature to bundle together their favorite memes, travel destinations, fashion items or art.

Pinterest is one of the worst and most useless websites.

YouTube removes ads from anti-vaccination video channels

Found on CNet News on Friday, 22 February 2019
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The move comes after some marketers pulled ads from the platform because they didn't know they were appearing with videos that discourage vaccinations.

"We have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies," a YouTube spokeswoman said in a statement. "We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads."

It's their platform, sure, but moves like this should raise the question where to draw the line between "good and bad" content. While in the vast majority of cases vaccination is perfectly fine, there are a few borderline cases where it can be risky and as long as the information is presented in a well-researched manner there shouldn't be a problem with it.

Samsung announces the Galaxy Fold, a phone that opens into a tablet

Found on Venturebeat on Thursday, 21 February 2019
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Called the Galaxy Fold, the smartphone/tablet hybrid sports dual screens: one that folds in half like a notebook, and another that works just like any other.

Thanks to a highly durable adhesive and a “sophisticated” hinge system with interlocking gears, the Fold’s 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED (4.2:3) primary screen can undergo “hundreds of thousands” of flexes without sustaining any sort of damage, Samsung says.

"hundreds of thousands" is a pretty big number; time will tell if there is a Foldgate coming.