reifman writes: Lisa Rein, is raising funds on KickStarter for a an important documentary about supporting whistleblowers with technology: From DeadDrop to SecureDrop tells the story of how 'SecureDrop' was created to help protect sources — individuals who might not come forward otherwise due the prospect of relentless government persecution and being penalized for telling the truth. Through the film's simplified format, the intent of this film is both to educate and to inspire potential whistleblowers to take action the next time they encounter corruption they don't wish to condone and be a part of. The film suggests that SecureDrop could potentially usher in a new generation of whistleblower: One that won't necessarily have to put their whole life at risk, in order to 'do the right thing.' This is such a no brainer for the tech community to fund.
HughPickens.com writes: Jesse Eisinger writes in the NYT that if you heard that Mark Zuckerberg donated $45 billion to charity, you are wrong. Here’s what really happened: Zuckerberg did not set up a charitable foundation, which has nonprofit status. Instead Zuckerberg created an investment vehicle called a limited liability company (LLC) that can invest in for-profit companies, make political donations, and lobby for changes in the law. What's more an LLC can donate appreciated shares to charity, which will generate a deduction at fair market value of the stock without triggering any tax. "He remains completely free to do as he wishes with his money," writes Eisinger. "That’s what America is all about. But as a society, we don’t generally call these types of activities “charity.”"
A charitable foundation is subject to rules and oversight. It has to allocate a certain percentage of its assets every year. The new Zuckerberg LLC won’t be subject to those rules and won’t have any transparency requirements. According to Eisinger what this means is that Zuckerberg has amassed one of the greatest fortunes in the world — and is likely never to pay any taxes on it. "Instead of lavishing praise on Mr. Zuckerberg for having issued a news release with a promise, this should be an occasion to mull what kind of society we want to live in," concludes Eisinger. "The point is that we are turning into a society of oligarchs. And I am not as excited as some to welcome the new Silicon Valley overlords."
reifman writes: On June 3rd, I had brain surgery to treat a benign tumor called a meningioma. I knew ahead of time that the surgeon wouldn’t be able to remove the entire tumor – its geography extended from my cavernous sinus to the pituitary gland to the left hemisphere of the brain and to my brain stem. I also needed CyberKnife radiation therapy to attempt to mutate the remaining tumor’s DNA to stop its growth. Come meet Lenore, my robotic radiosurgeon.
jcr writes: From Apple's press release:
"We are excited by this new chapter in the story of Swift. After Apple unveiled the Swift programming language, it quickly became one of the fastest growing languages in history. Swift makes it easy to write software that is incredibly fast and safe by design. Now that Swift is open source, you can help make the best general purpose programming language available everywhere."
reifman writes: Amazon released new video of its futuristic drones (honestly the though of them buzzing around is the only thing that makes me want to join the NRA) but there's some hopefulness here. Prime Air vehicles will take advantage of sophisticated 'sense and avoid' technology, as well as a high degree of automation, to safely operate beyond the line of sight to distances of 10 miles or more. 'It looks like science fiction, but it's real: One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road. ' Amazon said its drones fly under 400 feet and weigh less than 55 pounds.
reifman writes: Amazon is warning employeesnot to wear clothing with company logos, and telling them to keep their badges out of sight as hundreds of people loyal to the hacktivist group Anonymous plan to march on the tech giant’s Seattle headquarters this afternoon. A Facebook message from the Seattle-based group reads, “On November 5th, we will be rallying at Westlake Park in Seattle at 2pm, and then marching to the Federal Courthouse at 3pm, and from there, we shall march to Amazon for some serious lulz!. Teach-ins and rallies will continue throughout the remainder of the day.”
reifman writes: On Sunday, Capital One declined a $280 travel reservation I charged at India-based ClearTrip.com and immediately shut off my card for all transactions until I contacted them by phone. It wasn’t the first time that CapitalOne had shut off my card after a single suspect transaction. But, I’d actually purchased from ClearTrip.com using my CapitalOne card on two prior occasions. It was an example of very poor fraud detection and led me on a tour of their pathetic customer service. The banks want to cut their losses regardless of how it impacts their customers.
reifman writes: T-Mobile said today that the data of about 15 million credit applicants was stolen from credit reporting agency Experian. Applicants who had their credit checked for T-Mobile phone plans and financing between Sept. 1, 2013 through Sept. 16, 2015 may have had their sensitive personal data revealed in the hack. While data like Social Security numbers and ID numbers were encrypted, Experian said that the encryption may have been broken. T-Mobile is offering customers two years of identity theft protection through... Experian... If you're willing to give your e-mail, social security number and security questions to the company yet again in your identity theft protection application.
reifman writes: I've been trying to explain to Seattle residents how Amazon's rapid growth is driving out artists and homogenizing the culture but have not been able to anywhere near as well as Adrian Weckler describes the death of San Francisco by tech firms: 'Gone are many artists, artisans and tradespeople. Instead, the lofts, townhouses and studios are being populated with content curators, engineers and infrastructure architects. They're young, they're rich and they're dull as dishwater. The city that once identified with The Grateful Dead now hums along to Hootie and the Blowfish.'
reifman writes: Washington State's investigating ongoing complaints by Amazon men about overcrowded restrooms: 'if you were a female worker on the 9th floor of Amazon's Varzea building in 2013, you would have been surrounded by 60 men, and just two other women. That meant there was one female worker for every women's bathroom stall, compared to about 15 men to every fixture up one floor, 100 men and 13 women. Up one more 77 men and nine women. ' One female employee complained on Twitter of always having to turn the light on in the bathroom. Amazon continues to refuse to release gender, race and income statistics for its Seattle workforce.