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+ - This Is How Uber Takes Over a City->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: To conquer America's quirkiest city, the company unleashed its biggest weapon.

Charlie Hales, the mayor of Portland, Ore., was running a zoning hearing last December when he missed a call on his cell from David Plouffe, the campaign mastermind behind Barack Obama's ascent. Although Hales had never met him, Plouffe left a voice mail that had an air of charming familiarity, reminiscing about the 2008 rally when 75,000 Obama supporters thronged Portland's waterfront. "Sure love your city," Plouffe gushed. "I'm now working for Uber and would love to talk."

Over the past year, Uber built one of the largest and most successful lobbying forces in the country, with a presence in almost every statehouse. It has 250 lobbyists and 29 lobbying firms registered in capitols around the nation, at least a third more than Wal-Mart Stores. That doesn't count municipal lobbyists. In Portland, the 28th-largest city in the U.S., 10 people would ultimately register to lobby on Uber's behalf.

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Comment: Re:so it's not just Russia eh? (Score 3, Insightful) 292 292

by elrous0 (#50006571) Attached to: A Failure For SpaceX: Falcon 9 Explodes During Ascension

Just a few months ago, Musk cultists here on Slashdot were virtually cheering when an Orbital Sciences launch failed. Everyone was piling on them for using Russian engines and singing the praises of the infallible SpaceX. I guess payback's a bitch.

+ - Privacy Advocates Walk Out in Protest Over U.S. Facial Recognition Code of Condu->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: Nine privacy advocates involved in the Commerce Department process for developing a voluntary code of conduct for the use of facial recognition technology withdrew in protest over technology industry lobbyists' overwhelming influence on the process

“At a base minimum, people should be able to walk down a public street without fear that companies they’ve never heard of are tracking their every movement — and identifying them by name — using facial recognition technology,” the privacy advocates wrote in a joint statement. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain agreement even with that basic, specific premise”

The Commerce Department, through its National Telecommunications and Information Administration, brought together “representatives from technology companies, trade groups, consumer groups, academic institutions and other organizations” early last year “to kick off an effort to craft privacy safeguards for the commercial use of facial recognition technology”

The goal was “to develop a voluntary, enforceable code of conduct that specifies how the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights applies to facial recognition technology in the commercial context”

But after a dozen meetings, the most recent of which was last week, all nine privacy advocates who have participated in the entire process concluded that they were thoroughly outgunned

“This should be a wake-up call to Americans: Industry lobbyists are choking off Washington’s ability to protect consumer privacy,” Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, said in a statement

“People simply do not expect companies they’ve never heard of to secretly track them using this powerful technology. Despite all of this, industry associations have pushed for a world where companies can use facial recognition on you whenever they want — no matter what you say. This position is well outside the mainstream”

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+ - Disney backs off plan to have its IT staff train their H1B replacements->

Submitted by helixcode123
helixcode123 writes: Apparently in response to backlash, Disney has reversed their plan to replace U.S. workers with foreign replacements. According to one employee “We were told our jobs were continuing and we should consider it as if nothing had happened until further notice.”
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+ - Will editorial bias blight a curated Apple News?->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: There was a lot of Apple news to digest from WWDC last week. As well as the latest versions of OS X and iOS 9, we witnessed the appearance of women on stage as Apple tried to do its part for diversity. Apple would probably like us to focus on the likes of the Apple Music and Beats One launches, but really it's another announcement that should be foremost in our minds: Apple News.

On the face of it, this is a simple replacement — perhaps even just a renaming — for Newsstand, but it's really much more than that. The key difference here is that content will not only come from media partners, but will also be curated. Apple is now a news editor, and that's extremely dangerous.

There are a number of reasons to be concerned about the fact that Apple will employing a team of people to control which news stories appear in the News app. Perhaps the most worrying feature of Apple News is that the stories will be handpicked and curated.

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+ - Sunday Times issues DMCA takedown notice to the Intercept over Snowden article->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: On Sunday the newspaper the Sunday Times published an article citing anonymous UK government sources that Edward Snowden was in the hands of the Russians and Chinese. Shortly thereafter, Glenn Greenwald at the Intercept published a scathing criticism of the article. In this article, Glenn published a photograph of the paper's front page on which the story occurred. Yesterday, the Intercept received a DMCA take down notice from News Corp on account of the photograph.
The Intercept is refusing to comply with the take down notice.

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+ - Julian Assange To Be Interviewed in London After All->

Submitted by mpawlo
mpawlo writes: The Swedish Director of Public Prosecution Ms Marianne Ny has submitted a request for legal assistance to the English authorities and a request to Ecuadorian authorities regarding permission to interview Julian Assange at Ecuador’s embassy in London during June-July 2015. Back in 2010, a warrant was issued in Stockholm, Sweden for WikiLeaks founder and spokesman Julian Assange. Ever since, Assange has found refugee at the embassy of Ecuador in London.
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+ - USCRN shows U.S. temperatures have declined for 10 years->

Submitted by davidph
davidph writes: Recent research published by NOAA's National Climate Data Center purports to show that world temperatures have continued to rise over the last two decades, at least if you accept their data data manipulation. But not all climate scientists approve of the adjustments to the raw data. For instance, Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry says the National Climate Data Center paper is "politically useful for the Obama administration" but not a "useful contribution to our scientific understanding."

Now we have ten years of data from the U.S. Surface Climate Observing Reference Network, state-of-the-art weather stations "designed with climate science in mind." The high quality data from the USCRN show rather that instead of rising temperatures have actually declined slightly in the last ten years.

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"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers