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Bitcoin

Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin 358 358

An anonymous reader writes: Greece's economy has been in trouble for several years, now, and a major vote next weekend will shake it up even further. The country can't pay its debts, and the upcoming referendum will decide whether they face increased austerity measures or start the process of exiting the Euro. One side effect of the crisis is that alternative currencies like Bitcoin suddenly look much more attractive as the "normal" currencies become unstable. "Tony Gallippi, the co-founder of bitcoin payment processor Bitpay, tweeted on Sunday night that he expected the price of bitcoin to rise to between $610 and $1,250 if Greece exits the Euro. The currency is currently worth $250. Part of the reason why the crisis is so tempting for proponents of the cryptocurrency is the echoes of a previous crisis in the Eurozone: the banking collapse in Cyprus in 2013, which saw that nation also impose capital controls to prevent massive outflows of currency from the panicking country. That collapse came at the same time as the first major boom in the price of bitcoin, which began the year at less than $20 and peaked at ten times that by early April – before it all came crashing down."
United States

Google, Apple, and Others Remove Content Related To the Confederate Flag 815 815

davek writes with news that Google is removing results related to the Confederate Flag from Google Shopping, the company's online marketplace. They're also blocking advertisements involving the flag. They say, "We have determined that the Confederate flag violates our Ads policies, which don't allow content that's generally perceived as expressing hate toward a particular group." At the same time, Apple is removing from the App Store any games or other software featuring the Confederate Flag. This, of course, follows the recent shooting in South Carolina, which triggered a nationwide debate over whether the flag should be flown at government buildings (or anywhere). Major online merchant websites like eBay and Amazon have already taken the step of banning merchandise relating to the flag.

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 272 272

I understand if there were some trademark issue, that they _removed_ yt.com/lush, and replaced it with 301 to yt.com/matthewlush . Replacing the page with something else completely will only harm those who try to access the old link. If the company wants anything, they can get yt.com/lushcosmetics or whatever, but they shouldn't misrepresent their content. Users who have the old link expect the old content, that's what URIs are for.

Breaking links is a bad thing (TM), and google has the knowledge to know that you shouldn't break the web. Not for something this lame, at least.

Education

Are Girl-Focused Engineering Toys Reinforcing Gender Stereotypes? 490 490

theodp writes: VentureBeat's Ruth Read casts a skeptical eye at the current rage of toy segregation meant to inspire tomorrow's leaders in STEM: "Toys geared at girls serve to get them interested in coding and building when they're young, hopefully inspiring their educational interests down the road. But these gendered toys may be hurting women by perpetuating a divide between men and women." Read concludes, "Ultimately, girls (who will become women) are going to have to learn and work in a world where genders are not segregated; as will men. That means they need to learn how to interact with one another as much as they need to be introduced to the same educational opportunities. If STEM education is as much for girls as it is for boys, perhaps we should be equally concerned with getting boys and girls to play together with the same toys and tools, as we are with creating learning opportunities for girls."
Transportation

(Your Job) Is a Video Game 36 36

arctother writes: UberDRIVE—Uber's simulation/video game/recruiting tool—is, at best, just a poor copy of a much more interesting video game – driving for Uber. The main innovation of Uber, and other smartphone-enabled "e-hailing" car services, is the insertion of a new interface into the human-to-human, on-the-street interactions between drivers and passengers. Uber attempts to transform the cab-driving and -riding experience through the deployment of an allegorithm: the productive joining of a framing narrative (or "allegory") and software-mediated control (or "algorithm"). Understanding how allegorithms shape experience will become more and more important as they are increasingly deployed with mobile interfaces to reshape and "augment" social interactions. "Ingress," you are already thinking; but you should really think of "Uber."

Comment: Re:They are hiding the truth... (Score 1) 81 81

Heck, we aren't talking about some banana republic here. Or are we?

I see you're not up to date with current german politics. We are.

Merkel doesn't give a flying fuck because she really doesn't give a fuck about anything. She was trained very well how to get into and stay in power, and that's the only thing she's doing. Every move of her makes sense if you analyze it from that perspective. This is no different - big trouble with the USA is not a career-improving path, but the people of Germany are too forgiving and will let her and her party get away with all this shit.

Comment: Re:So, it's credit card fraud (Score 2) 86 86

Fraud is not the main thing here.
Uber is paying cab riders bonuses that make riding without passengers profitable. So, they ride without passengers and collect bonuses. Their using fake ids or other illegal is just incidental. Uber itself is probably operating illegally, and nobody cares about that.

China

Uber's Rise In China May Be Counterfeit 86 86

retroworks writes: Josh Horwitz' story in Quartz reports both the apparent rapid success of Uber adaptation in China, and a queasy footnote for shareholders applauding the rapid growth. While China is a natural ride-sharing haven, it also has a tradition of gaming the western system. From the story: "Accomplices can sit in their apartments, disable location settings, and specify a pickup not far from the actual location of driver's vehicle, the report said. The driver then accepts the hail, and goes on a trip without a passenger. After the accomplice approves payment, the driver will – hopefully – pay back the fee and share a cut of the bonus. It's not the most clever get-rich scheme on the planet. But for drivers, it's better than waiting for a hail in a parking lot." Uber's spokeswoman told the Quartz writer that the company has an on-the-ground team who investigate into these various type of fraud, then uses "deep analytics, and new tools developed by our Chinese engineers in our dedicated fraud team to combat against such fraud." The Uber spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the nature of these tools.

Comment: Re:and... (Score 1) 88 88

Ironically, I large stay away from complex CSS. But "mobile-ready" largely is complex CSS and Javascript and three other things, for breakpoints and responsiveness.

I don't care if my site ranks last when you Google on your smartphone. If I didn't design it to be mobile-friendly, your mobile device is welcome to stay away.

But this sounds much like it would be punished in general, even when the visitory is searching using his desktop computer. And that's just wrong.

Comment: Re:non-human (Score 1) 235 235

You cut down the interesting part. That it's not just about rounding. It's a about domain knowledge that tells you what to round in which context and how (i.e. how many significant digits does a good answer have?).

That's not a very easy task, and it's not solved by simply rounding everything somehow.

Comment: Re:and... (Score 1) 88 88

Because the mobile device was the nearest available thing capable of browsing the web at the time I wanted to look at the content.

I understand that.

But I'm one guy running a website, not a company with budget for a web-designer. My content is now being punished not for its content, but for its presentation.

Comment: and... (Score 1) 88 88

And what if my website isn't intended for a mobile audience at all? I'll readily admit I'm stuck 10 years in the past with my web design, but a few of my sites are intentionally not built for mobile because the content they have is not intended for mobile and if you told me you're using your phone to access the site, I'd get a puzzled look and say "but why?".

Can I set a "X-intentionally-not-designed-for-mobile: true" header?

Comment: non-human (Score 1) 235 235

I watched this some days ago (/. isn't the place to read things first anymore) and came away half impressed and half underwhelmed.

The speech recognition part is nice, and that's understating it a lot given the complexity of the topic. That for a demo they'd use examples they made sure work nicely is a goven. That it can understand fairly complex, disorganized questions is really cute. No, seriously, on this I am impressed.

But it is clearly still very far from human. It lands smack middle in the uncanny valley. It becomes incredibly clear when it talks about population numbers and lists them down to the last digit. Not only is that typical computer-ish, it's also vastly less useful than a human who would tell you "about 80 million".

When I ask my personal assistant device how long it'll take to get to city X, I'm not interested in an answer that says "3 hours, 57 minutes, 48 seconds". I want to hear "4 hours", because we humans understand it's an estimate anyways and a few minutes more or less doesn't matter anyways.

Then again, when I'm building a bomb and ask my phone for the recipe, I'd like to have exact numbers. Again, a human would understand that in this situation, "about 200 grams" is not an ok answer.

This intelligence is still missing, and it's crucial.

Comment: Re:Why the need to detect if you know where stuff (Score 1) 108 108

Modularity.
This is their current situation. Stuff comes in different sized packages, and placement is not perfect.
Of course they could get improvements, even for human workers, if stuff came pre-checked, correctly classified and stuff. The thing is that's not their current status. The idea is to get rid of the picking human, without changing anything other than the human.
Self driving cars would be easy with the strategy you propose, just build intelligent roads, wired roads with wireless navigation, no people. Close to what a train is. It makes it a lot easier, but it just can't replace all driving, unless you change the whole infrastructure at once.

The UNIX philosophy basically involves giving you enough rope to hang yourself. And then a couple of feet more, just to be sure.

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