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Submission + - YouTube Loses Major Advertisers Over Offensive Videos (rollingstone.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Verizon, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson and other major companies have pulled advertisements from YouTube after learning they were paired with videos promoting extremism, terrorism and other offensive topics, The New York Times reports. Among the other companies involved are pharmaceutical giant GSK, HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland and L'Oreal, amounting to a potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Google-owned company. The boycott began last week after a Times of London investigation spurred many major European companies to pull their ads from YouTube. American companies swiftly followed, even after Google promised Tuesday to work harder to block ads on "hateful, offensive and derogatory" videos. Like AT&T, most companies are only pulling their ads from YouTube and will continue to place ads on Google's search platforms, which remain the biggest source of revenue for Google's parent company, Alphabet. Still, the tech giant offered up a slew of promises to assuage marketers and ensure them that they were fixing the problems on YouTube. Due to the massive number of videos on YouTube – about 400 hours of video is posted each minute – the site primarily uses an automated system to place ads. While there are some failsafes in place to keep advertisements from appearing alongside offensive content, Google's Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler wrote in a blog post that the company would hire "significant numbers" of employees to review YouTube videos and mark them as inappropriate for ads. He also said Google's latest advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning will help the company review and flag large swaths of videos.

Submission + - Read your Senators Browser History Comming Soon

windwalker13th writes: The US Senate just voted to roll back privacy protections for consumers of ISPs. https://www.congress.gov/bill/... Thus making it one step closer to allowing ISPs to sell your internet activity.
Last year researches at MIT were able to identify 90% of people in a data set from 3 months of anonymized credit card transactions http://news.mit.edu/2015/ident... If we are already able to identify who people are from anonymous credit card meta data how hard will it be to identify our senators from their internet browsing history? Certainly it would be fairly easy to determine who they are, after all they probably check their e-mail every night before going to sleep.

Submission + - Microsoft Patent Would Count Number Of People Viewing Content On A Device (kotaku.com)

dryriver writes: A slightly older story from Kotaku (Nov 2016) examines how a Microsoft Corporation Patent filed in 2011 proposes electronically monitoring the number of people viewing digital content on a device (possibly with a Kinect-like camera), and taking action if the number of viewers is larger than the content was "licensed for". So if you were to stream a Movie or TV Show licensed for 2 viewers to your living room TV and the system determines that 4 rather than 2 people are watching, you would be in violation of the viewing license for the content, and content playback would cease, or you would possibly be charged for the extra eyeballs present. Here's how the patent's abstract (US 2012/0278904 A1) puts it: "A content presentation system and method allowing content providers to regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis. Content is distributed an associated license option on the number of individual consumers or viewers allowed to consume the content. Consumers are presented with a content selection and a choice of licenses allowing consumption of the content. The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken. "

Submission + - World Largest IPv6 Tunnel Broker SixXS shutting down... (sixxs.net)

fuzzel writes: In 2003 I posted a story called "Slashdot over IPv6": https://news.slashdot.org/stor...

That story was about being able to reach Slashdot over IPv6 by using SixXS's IPv6Gate, https://www.sixxs.net/tools/ga... one of the many ways that SixXS (https://www.sixxs.net) enables

Today, 14 years after that story, I have to note that SixXS is shutting down on 2017-06-06.

Full details about this are are available on: https://www.sixxs.net/sunset/

That will thus also mean that "news for nerds" won't be available over IPv6 anymore:

$ host -t aaaa slashdot.org
slashdot.org has no AAAA record

Submission + - Drupal Project Banishes Long-Time Contributor Over BDSM Claims (reddit.com)

techsoldaten writes: Larry Garfield, a long time contributor to the Drupal project, was banished from the community over his alleged involvement in BDSM communities. Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal, asked Garfield to leave the project based on his beliefs about equality. The Drupal community has an established Code of Conduct Buytaert feels Garfield violated based on holding beliefs related to gender roles. Thought crime?

Submission + - Can Tech Companies Automate Data Science? (xconomy.com)

gthuang88 writes: As machine learning software continues to advance, even data scientists’ jobs might not be safe. Boston startup DataRobot is led by data scientists who see an opportunity to automate many of the tasks performed by their peers. The company lets business users upload data sets and tell the software what they want to glean from the data. The software tests hundreds of open-source algorithms to find the best predictive models. Full automation of data science may be a long way off, but DataRobot has now raised $111 million in venture capital, putting it in competition with IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and other startups like Dataiku and RapidMiner, all of whom are developing data science platforms.

Submission + - What Google Needs to Do About YouTube Hate Speech (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Google has announced some changes and apparently more are in the pipeline, so far relating mostly to making it easier for advertisers to avoid having their ads appear with those sorts of content.

But let’s be very clear about this. Most of that content, much of which is on long-established YouTube channels sometimes with vast numbers of views, shouldn’t be permitted to monetize at all. And in many cases, shouldn’t be permitted on YouTube at all ...

Submission + - Web ads suck, but can be fixed (medium.com) 1

nachomama writes: Web advertising is necessary for much of the content we consume online, but more and more of us are turning to ad blockers because of how annoying (and often malicious) ads can be. Most site owners have less control than they'd like over the ads that are served on their site. They would prefer to have only reasonable ads that don't annoy their users, and end up fighting the ad networks to get the misbehaving ads removed. Steve Meyers has proposed a solution that gives site owners more power over the ads that appear on their sites.

Submission + - Massive Ukraine Munition Depot Blast May Have Been Caused By A Drone (bbc.com)

dryriver writes: The BBC reports that 20,000 people are being evacuated from the immediate area around a munition dump in Ukraine that has gone up in flames. The 350 hectare munition dump near Kharkiv is around 100km (60 miles) from fighting against Russian-backed separatists and was used to supply military units in the conflict zone in nearby Luhansk and Donetsk. A drone was reported to have been used in an earlier attempt to set the facility on fire in December 2015. Authorities are now investigating whether someone possibly flew a drone over the facility that dropped an explosive device that caused the stored munitions to catch fire and explode. Ukrainian authorities believe that the conflagration at the facility is the result of sabotage.

Submission + - In search for unseen dark matter, physicists turn to shadow realm (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Scientists hunting unseen dark matter are looking deeper into the shadows. With searches for a favored dark matter candidate—weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs)—coming up empty, physicists are now turning to the hypothetical “dark sector”: an entire shadow realm of hidden particles. This week, physicists will meet at the University of Maryland in College Park for a workshop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), to mull ideas for a possible $10 million short-term experiment that would complement the agency’s current WIMP search and other dark-matter efforts. And many researchers believe DOE should focus on the dark sector. Whereas WIMPs would be a single massive particle tacked onto the standard model of known particles, the dark sector would consist of a slew of lighter particles and forces—such as a dark version of electromagnetism—with tenuous connections to known particles. To spot dark-sector particles, physicists will have to rethink their detection techniques, but the new experiment could be small and cheap, physicists say. Still, DOE officials warn that the $10 million isn’t a sure thing.

Submission + - SixXS IPv6 Tunnel Provider Shutting Down (sixxs.net)

yakatz writes: SixXS started providing IPv6 tunnels in 1999 to try to break the "chicken-and-egg" problem of IPv6 adoption. After 18 years, the service is shutting down. The cited reasons are: 1. that growth has been stagnant, 2. many ISPs offer IPv6, and 3. some ISPs have told customers that they don't need to provide IPv6 connectivity because the customer can just use a tunnel from SixXS. This last reason in particular made the SixXS team think they are doing more harm than good in the fight for native IPv6, so they will be shutting down on June 6.

Submission + - Google's Plan to Engineer the Next Silicon Valleys (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Google thinks that the next billion lies in the developing world—but promising global startups often lack the mentorship and resources they need to really break out. That's where the tech giant comes in: it's quietly grooming companies overseas by offering them mentorship and steeping them in the Google gospel. It's not taking any equity, but it's getting a whole lot in return: as Sandra Upson writes at Backchannel, "Eventually, these companies will play an enormous role in getting millions more people to conduct their lives online—and Google will be there as well, ready to scoop up new users."

Submission + - Zuckerberg, Google Double-Down on Pet K-12 Personalized Learning Projects

theodp writes: Tech billionaires love the idea of K-12 personalized learning. Last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the Facebook-Summit Public Schools personal learning partnership would henceforth be the Zuckerberg/Chan-Summit Public Schools partnership, as Zuck and wife Priscilla let it be known that their nonprofit is "building a world-class engineering team" to build out the Summit Learning Platform and make it "available for free to any educator who wants to use it." Not to be outdone, Google this week added another $5 million to its Khan Academy investment. Both Summit and Khan Academy are supported and advised by a Who's Who of tech's richest individuals and their companies (and both organizations eat their benefactors' dog food). Later this year, Brian Dear's The Friendly Orange Glow will explain that Google's and Zuckerberg's New New Personalized Learning Thing actually has roots in the '60s and '70s.

Submission + - Mars rover spots clouds shaped by gravity waves (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: NASA’s Curiosity rover has shot more than 500 movies of the clouds above Mars, including the first ground-based view of martian clouds shaped by gravity waves, researchers report. The shots are the best record made so far of a mysterious recurring belt of equatorial clouds known to influence the martian climate. Understanding these clouds will help inform estimates of ground ice depth and perhaps recurring slope lineae, potential flows of salty water on the surface, says John Moores, a planetary scientist at York University in Toronto, Canada, who led the study. “If we wish to understand the water story of Mars’s past,” Moores says, “we first need to [separate out] contributions from the present-day water cycle.”

Submission + - Researchers develop app that accurately determines sperm quality (sciencemag.org)

omaha393 writes: A team of researchers at Harvard Medical School have developed a point-of-care microfluidic detector capable of determining sperm quality using the simple device and a standard smartphone. Typical male fertility screens require a team of trained laboratory professionals and a screening process taking days to weeks and incurring high costs. The alternative home sperm measuring kits rely on chemical probes and only give measurements of quantity, not quality.The new method offers an easier, cheaper approach, with processing time taking about 5 seconds with no sample processing or wash steps required.

The team found their device meets WHO guidelines with 98% accuracy of sperm quality measurements and is comparable to clinical results. The new device uses 35 microliters of sample to accurately measure both concentration and motility at a manufacturing cost of less than $5 per device. The device must still undergo FDA evaluations before being available to consumers, and the technology has yet to be named. Full article may be paywalled.

Submission + - Japanese Company Develops a Solar Cell With Record-Breaking 26%+ Efficiency (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The silicon-based cells that make up a solar panel have a theoretical efficiency limit of 29 percent, but so far that number has proven elusive. Practical efficiency rates in the low-20-percent range have been considered very good for commercial solar panels. But researchers with Japanese chemical manufacturer Kaneka Corporation have built a solar cell with a photo conversion rate of 26.3 percent, breaking the previous record of 25.6 percent. Although it’s just a 2.7 percent increase in efficiency, improvements in commercially viable solar cell technology are increasingly hard-won. Not only that, but the researchers noted in their paper that after they submitted their article to Nature Energy, they were able to further optimize their solar cell to achieve 26.6 percent efficiency. That result has been recognized by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). In the Nature Energy paper, the researchers described building a 180.4 cm2 cell using high-quality thin-film heterojunction (HJ)—that is, layering silicon within the cell to minimize band gaps where electron states can’t exist. Controlling heterojunctions is a known technique among solar cell builders—Panasonic uses it and will likely incorporate it into cells built for Tesla at the Solar City plant in Buffalo, and Kaneka has its own proprietary heterojunction techniques. For this record-breaking solar cell, the Kaneka researchers also placed low-resistance electrodes toward the rear of the cell, which maximized the number of photons that collected inside the cell from the front. And, as is common on many solar cells, they coated the front of the cell with a layer of amorphous silicon and an anti-reflective layer to protect the cell’s components and collect photons more efficiently.

Submission + - LastPass Bugs Allow Malicious Websites to Steal Passwords (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: LastPass patched three bugs that affected the Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, which if exploited, would have allowed a third-party to extract passwords from users visiting a malicious website. All bugs were reported by Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, and all allowed the theft of user credentials, one bug affecting the LastPass Chrome extension, while two impacted the LastPass Firefox extension [1, 2].

The exploitation vector was malicious JavaScript code that could be very well hidden in any online website, owned by the attacker or via a compromised legitimate site.

Submission + - 17,000 AT&T Workers Go On Strike In California and Nevada (fortune.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Approximately 17,000 workers in AT&T's traditional wired telephone business in California and Nevada walked out on strike on Wednesday, marking the most serious labor action against the carrier in years. The walkout—formally known as a grievance strike—occurred after AT&T changed the work assignments of some of the technicians and call center employees in the group, the Communications Workers of America union said. The union would not say how long the strike might last. A contract covering the group expired last year and there has been little progress in negotiations over sticking points like the outsourcing of call center jobs overseas, stagnant pay, and rising health care costs. The union said it planned to file an unfair labor charge with the National Labor Relations Board over the work assignment changes. "A walkout is not in anybody’s best interest and it's unfortunate that the union chose to do that," an AT&T spokesman told Fortune. "We're engaged in discussion with the union to get these employees back to work as soon as possible."

Submission + - 'Dig Once' Bill Could Bring Fiber Internet To Much of the US (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: If the U.S. adopts a "dig once" policy, construction workers would install conduits just about any time they build new roads and sidewalks or upgrade existing ones. These conduits are plastic pipes that can house fiber cables. The conduits might be empty when installed, but their presence makes it a lot cheaper and easier to install fiber later, after the road construction is finished. The idea is an old one. U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) has been proposing dig once legislation since 2009, and it has widespread support from broadband-focused consumer advocacy groups. It has never made it all the way through Congress, but it has bipartisan backing from lawmakers who often disagree on the most controversial broadband policy questions, such as net neutrality and municipal broadband. It even got a boost from Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who has frequently clashed with Democrats and consumer advocacy groups over broadband—her "Internet Freedom Act" would wipe out the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, and she supports state laws that restrict growth of municipal broadband. Blackburn, chair of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, put Eshoo's dig once legislation on the agenda for a hearing she held yesterday on broadband deployment and infrastructure. Blackburn's opening statement (PDF) said that dig once is among the policies she's considering to "facilitate the deployment of communications infrastructure." But her statement did not specifically endorse Eshoo's dig once proposal, which was presented only as a discussion draft with no vote scheduled. The subcommittee also considered a discussion draft that would "creat[e] an inventory of federal assets that can be used to attach or install broadband infrastructure." Dig once legislation received specific support from Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who said that he is "glad to see Ms. Eshoo’s 'Dig Once' bill has made a return this Congress. I think that this is smart policy and will help spur broadband deployment across the country."

Submission + - Trump team communications intercepted w/o foreigners in conversation (cnn.com)

bongey writes: The intelligence community is coming clean. Telling congress there was "incidental collection" of the Trump transition team from Nov-2016-Jan-2017. The intercepts included reports of communications between Trump team members, with team members being unmasked that were wildly disseminated throughout the intelligence community. The intercepts had little to no foreign intelligence value, and the intercepts had nothing to do with Russian investigation.

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