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Facebook Is a 'Living, Breathing Crime Scene,' Says Former Tech Insider

Slashdot - 9 min 36 sec ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: With more than 2 billion users, Facebook's reach now rivals that of Christianity and exceeds that of Islam. However, the network's laser focus on profits and user growth has come at the expense of its users, according to one former Facebook manager who is now speaking out against the social platform. "One of the things that I saw consistently as part of my job was the company just continuously prioritized user growth and making money over protecting users," the ex-manager, Sandy Parakilas, who worked at Facebook for 16 months, starting in 2011, told NBC News. During his tenure at Facebook, Parakilas led third-party advertising, privacy and policy compliance on Facebook's app platform. "Facebook is a living, breathing crime scene for what happened in the 2016 election -- and only they have full access to what happened," said Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google. His work centers on how technology can ethically steer the thoughts and actions of the masses on social media and he's been called "the closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience" by The Atlantic magazine. In response to the comments, Facebook issued a statement saying it is a "vastly different company" from when it was founded. "We are taking many steps to protect and improve people's experience on the platform," the statement said. "In the past year, we've worked to destroy the business model for false news and reduce its spread, stop bad actors from meddling in elections, and bring a new level of transparency to advertising. Last week, we started prioritizing meaningful posts from friends and family in News Feed to help bring people closer together. We have more work to do and we're heads down on getting it done."

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Categories: Misc

Here’s the full email Tim Cook sent to Apple employees announcing bonuses & new charity donation matching

9to5Mac - 34 min 59 sec ago

It’s been a big day for both Apple and its employees. Apple plans to repatriate almost $250 billion of its overseas cash, while it will also give employees $2,500 worth of restricted stock units. Now, Axios has obtained the full text of the email Tim Cook sent to Apple employees regarding today’s announcements…

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Categories: Misc

Entertaining Read: “How Michael Wolff Got Into the White House for His Tell-All Book”

Balloon Juice - 44 min 46 sec ago

The Great Transition — much like the Great Hunger or the Great Depression. Jennifer Jacobs, at Bloomberg:

Author Michael Wolff’s pitch to the White House to win cooperation for his book included a working title that signaled a sympathetic view, a counter-narrative to a slew of negative news stories early in Donald Trump’s presidency.

He called it “The Great Transition: The First 100 Days of the Trump Administration.” And in part due to that title, Wolff was able to exploit an inexperienced White House staff who mistakenly believed they could shape the book to the president’s liking.

Nearly everyone who spoke with Wolff thought someone else in the White House had approved their participation. And it appears that not a single person in a position of authority to halt cooperation with the book — including Trump himself — raised any red flags, despite Wolff’s well documented history. His previous work included a critical book on Trump confidant Rupert Murdoch, the Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. co-chairman…

Wolff’s entree began with Trump himself, who phoned the author in early February to compliment him on a CNN appearance in which Wolff criticized media coverage of the new president.

Wolff told Trump during the call that he wanted to write a book on the president’s first 100 days in office. Many people want to write books about me, Trump replied — talk to my staff. Aides Kellyanne Conway and Hope Hicks listened to Wolff’s pitch in a West Wing meeting the next day, but were noncommittal.

Several aides said Hicks later informally endorsed talking with Wolff as long as they made “positive” comments for the book, which they said Wolff told them would counter the media’s unfair narrative.

It wasn’t until late August that alarm bells were raised in the White House — when Hicks, Jared Kushner and their allies realized that fellow aides who had spoken with Wolff, especially Bannon, may have provided damaging anecdotes about them…

Trump allies said they sought Hicks’s guidance on whether to speak with Wolff because they consider her to be the aide most familiar with Trump’s media preferences, having served as the White House director for strategic communications before moving into her current role as communications director. She previously was a top communications staffer for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and before that worked for the Trump Organization.

Hicks advised at least one Trump ally contacted by Wolff to cooperate with the author if he chose — and if he thought he could shape a positive narrative about the president.

In that regard, Hicks’s handling of Wolff’s book didn’t differ much from previous administrations. One official from former President Barack Obama’s White House said that his administration generally believed in engaging with authors, as long as they were serious journalists and not gadflies or partisan writers…

The concensus seems to be that Hicks is now being targeted by Trump defenders, possibly because she’s the only close Trump associate who hasn’t yet been implicated collaborating with Russia. But complaining that a twenty-something former fashion marketing assistant wasn’t up to the job of running media interference for the White House is like complaining about a diagnosis of Kaposi’s sarcoma — political ‘opportunist infections’ like Wolff indicate an administration with a seriously compromised immune system.

Categories: Politics

Project Fi Creates Its Own Version of An Unlimited Plan

Slashdot - 49 min 36 sec ago
Google's Project Fi mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) has launched a new feature called Bill Protection that will cap your $10 per GB data bill at $60 a month, while still allowing you to use as much data as you want, essentially creating its own version of an unlimited data plan. The Verge reports: Prior to today, Project Fi users were charged $10 per GB no matter how much data they used, which could become quite costly for heavy users. Bill Protection should help alleviate those worries for most users. Google says those who use up to 15GB of data in a month won't experience any throttling, but if they cross that threshold -- Google says less than 1 percent of its users pass that mark -- they will "experience slower data" with speeds going down to 256kbps. If you don't want to be throttled when you pass 15GB in a month, Google says you can pay the usual $10 per GB to opt out of the slower speeds. It also noted that Bill Protection for Project Fi users on group plans will kick in at different usage levels, depending on the size of your group.

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Categories: Misc

gmod.org is DOWN, 1516226881

gmod.org status - 1 hour 6 min ago
Categories: Misc

20180116

Baker-Watts - 1 hour 6 min ago
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20180112

Baker-Watts - 1 hour 6 min ago
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20180111

Baker-Watts - 1 hour 6 min ago
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20180110

Baker-Watts - 1 hour 6 min ago
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20180109

Baker-Watts - 1 hour 6 min ago
Categories: Misc

AGR Manet is DOWN, 1516227786

AGR Manet - 1 hour 6 min ago
Categories: Misc

Daily Deals presented by RAVPower: $80 Wacom tablet, $172 Kwikset smart lock, and more

iDownloadBlog - 1 hour 7 min ago

iDB’s Daily Deals post is a roundup of our favorite deals on tech and tech-related products from around the web. This includes everything from smartphones, tablets and accessories, to connected devices and even video games.

Every deal you see below has been hand-picked based on a variety of factors including personal experience, online reviews from customers and experts, and discount percentage. So what are you waiting for? Get shopping!... Read the rest of this post here

"Daily Deals presented by RAVPower: $80 Wacom tablet, $172 Kwikset smart lock, and more" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Categories: Misc

008: Apple’s first comedy, HomePods shipping, BMW’s CarPlay mistake | 9to5Mac Daily

9to5Mac - 1 hour 12 min ago

Today we’ve got Apple’s big investment in the US economy, Kristen Wiig starring in Apple’s first comedy series, Siri learning a new trick, the first 1 million HomePods shipping ahead of launch, and BMW’s consumer hostile CarPlay decision.

9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneInGoogle Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

https://9to5mac.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/9to5mac-daily2.mp3

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Categories: Misc

Data explained: gene descriptions

WormBase - 1 hour 22 min ago

WormBase writes and displays short summaries about genes, in the ‘Overview’ widget on the very top of gene pages.  When we realized we couldn’t keep up with both updating and writing new gene descriptions, we developed an automated gene descriptions data pipeline that looks at primary data from the most recent WormBase release, in order to write gene descriptions for the next WormBase release (eg., the gene descriptions for the WS262 release of WormBase are based on the WS261 WormBase data release). The data we currently include in a gene description are – orthology to human for C. elegans genes and orthology to C. elegans for non-elegans species genes (such as C. briggsae), biological process, molecular function and cellular localization (based on Gene Ontology (GO) annotations), and tissue expression data.  For poorly studied genes with no functional data, we include expression and regulation data summaries from large scale experiments such as microarray, tiling array and RNA sequencing. For every new release, scripts add new data that has been curated between the releases, in the above categories, to the gene descriptions.  We currently have over 140,000 gene descriptions for nine species. The descriptions for the non-elegans genes such as C. briggsae, C. japonica, etc. can be found in the ‘Overview’ widget on their respective gene pages.  In addition, we also make available a file with all the gene descriptions for a given species by release, on our FTP site for download, for eg., for C. elegans, the ‘c_elegans.PRJNA13758.WS262.functional_descriptions.txt’ file is available here.  Files for other species can be found by going down a similar directory structure in the WS262 release directory.

Categories: Bio

Jennifer Aniston & Reese Witherspoon netting huge payouts from Apple for upcoming TV drama

9to5Mac - 1 hour 28 min ago

While we’ve heard quite a bit about the different series Apple has planned for its original content efforts, details on those shows have been sparse. The Hollywood Reporter claims today, however, that Apple is shelling out upward of $1.25 million per episode to both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon for their upcoming show…

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Categories: Misc

Meteor Lights Up Southern Michigan

Slashdot - 1 hour 29 min ago
New submitter Foundryman writes: Amidst fake missile reports in Hawaii and Japan, Michigan gets hit by something real. From a report via Ars Technica: "Early last night local time, a meteor rocketed through the skies of southern Michigan, giving local residents a dramatic (if brief) light show. It also generated an imperceptible thump, as the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed that there was a coincident magnitude 2.0 earthquake. The American Meteor Society has collected more than 350 eyewitness accounts, which ranged from western Pennsylvania out to Illinois and Wisconsin. They were heavily concentrated over southern Michigan, notably around the Detroit area. A number of people have also posted videos of the fireball online. The American Meteor Society estimates that the rock was relatively slow-moving at a sedate 45,000km an hour. Combined with its production of a large fireball, the researchers conclude it was probably a big rock. NASA's meteorwatch Facebook page largely agrees and suggests that this probably means that pieces of the rock made it to Earth. If you were on the flight path, you might want to check your yard.

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Categories: Misc

Open Thread: Readership Capture

Balloon Juice - 1 hour 33 min ago

***********

Insert your own jokes about those Trump administration members who don’t expect to end up serving prison sentences:

***********
And finally, a well-considered opinion on Trump’s health issues:

Categories: Politics

How to record FaceTime calls

iDownloadBlog - 1 hour 39 min ago

FaceTime has made it incredibly easier to keep in touch with loved ones. The simplicity and the immediacy of the app have made it one of the most used applications in our household, especially because we live overseas and don’t get to see our family in person very often.... Read the rest of this post here

"How to record FaceTime calls" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Categories: Misc

A Photo Accidentally Revealed a Password For Hawaii's Emergency Agency

Slashdot - 2 hours 9 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: In the aftermath of an erroneous missile warning that terrified Hawaiians on Saturday (Jan. 13), the state's emergency management agency has come under increased scrutiny, from the poor design of the software that enables alerts to a particularly slapdash security measure by one of its employees. Old photos from the Associated Press inside the agency's office appear to show an unspecified password on a yellow Post-It note, stuck to a computer monitor. The image, which shows operations manger Jeffrey Wong standing in front of the computer, was taken in July and appeared in articles published at the time about the agency's preparedness in the face of a nuclear threat. The agency verified that the password is indeed real but wouldn't go into specifics on what program the password was supposed to be used for.

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Categories: Misc

Report: Apple shares $2500 bonuses with employees following US tax changes

9to5Mac - 2 hours 16 min ago

Bloomberg today reports that Apple will be giving most of its global employees an extra bonus as the company plans on repatriating almost $250B of its overseas cash after new US tax laws were passed.

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Categories: Misc