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Submission + - Rupert Murdoch Pushes Facebook To Pay For News To Guarantee Quality (bloomberg.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Rupert Murdoch, the media billionaire who controls the Wall Street Journal, called on Facebook to begin paying publishers fees to carry the news that its users post and share online in a sign of the print industry’s growing frustration with social media. “If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies,” Murdoch, the executive chairman of News Corp. said Monday in a statement. “The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services.” “Facebook and Google have popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently unreliable,” Murdoch said. “Recognition of a problem is one step on the pathway to cure, but the remedial measures that both companies have so far proposed are inadequate, commercially, socially and journalistically.” Murdoch, who also leads 21st Century Fox, called for a system similar to that in cable television, where large distributors like Comcast and AT&T pay fees to the TV network owners that attract their viewers.

Submission + - Montana Becomes First State To Implement Net Neutrality After FCC Repeal (thehill.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) signed an executive order on Monday requiring internet service providers with state contracts to abide by net neutrality principles. The order makes his state the first to push back on the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal the open internet rules last month. The order says that in order to receive a contract with the state government, internet service providers must not engage in blocking or throttling web content or create internet fast lanes. Those practices were all banned under the Obama-era 2015 net neutrality order. Bullock’s office said the executive order goes into effect immediately, but there will be a six-month grace period for companies to ensure that they’re in compliance. The governor said on Monday that he is encouraging his counterparts and legislators in other states to follow suit, promising to personally email a copy of his order to any who ask for it.

Submission + - RocketLab successfully launches Electron rocket to orbit

necro81 writes: RocketLab, a US-based startup, has successfully launched is Electron rocket to orbit, carrying three small payloads. With a low-Earth orbit payload capacity of only about 150 kg, Electron is aimed squarely at the cubesat market, which generally has had to piggyback their payloads aboard much larger (and more expensive, and less-frequently flown) rockets. The Electron was also slated to deliver lunar payloads as part of the Google Lunar X-prize. Although a US-based company, most of the activity is in New Zealand, where the rockets are assembled and launched. The rocket is powered by RocketLab's Rutherford engine which, rather than using combustion to run the turbopumps, uses electric motors powered by batteries. The Rutherford engine is substantially made using 3D-printed metal.

Submission + - Car Manufacturers are Tracking Millions of Cars (boingboing.net)

Luthair writes: Cory Doctorow points out that car manufacturers have inserted vague clauses in sales agreements which allow them to track your movements. OnStar infamously has done this for some time, even if the vehicle's owner was not a subscriber of their services; though at least on some models one could disable the modem by disconnecting it or removing a fuse.

One also wonders about the legality of the tracking once the car hits the used car market as those individuals would not have agreed to the manufacturers sales agreement.

Submission + - China, Unhampered by Rules, Races Ahead in Gene-Editing Trials (wsj.com)

schwit1 writes: In a hospital west of Shanghai, Wu Shixiu since March has been trying to treat cancer patients using a promising new gene-editing tool.

U.S. scientists helped devise the tool, known as Crispr-Cas9, which has captured global attention since a 2012 report said it can be used to edit DNA. Doctors haven’t been allowed to use it in human trials in America. That isn’t the case for Dr. Wu and others in China.

In a quirk of the globalized technology arena, Dr. Wu can forge ahead with the tool because he faces few regulatory hurdles to testing it on humans. His hospital’s review board took just an afternoon to sign off on his trial. He didn’t need national regulators’ approval and has few reporting requirements.

Dr. Wu’s team at Hangzhou Cancer Hospital has been drawing blood from esophageal-cancer patients, shipping it by high-speed rail to a lab that modifies disease-fighting cells using Crispr-Cas9 by deleting a gene that interferes with the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. His team then infuses the cells back into the patients, hoping the reprogrammed DNA will destroy the disease.

In contrast, what’s expected to be the first human Crispr trial outside China has yet to begin.

Submission + - European Central Banks Start to Replace U.S. Dollar Reserves with Chinese Yuan (qz.com) 1

hackingbear writes: The Chinese yuan hit a two-year high against the US dollar this week, after the German Bundesbank (central bank) said that it would include the yuan in its reserves for the first time. “The notable development from the European point of view over the past few years has been the growing international role of the renminbi in global financial markets,” Andreas Dombret, a member of the central bank’s executive board. As most central banks’ reserves are held in dollars, any shift into other currencies, such as the yuan, will come at the expense of the greenback. In June, the European Central Bank announced that it had exchanged €500 million ($611 million) worth of US dollar reserves into yuan securities. This was a small shift—the ECB has €44 billion in foreign exchange reserves—but nonetheless it reflects China’s growing prominence in the global financial system. Chinese Yuan still faces several hurdles in competing the U.S. Dollar, including lack of regulatory transparency and capital control which the Chinese government has imposed over the years to prevent Yuan from falling down in value, but it has steadily making progress to become an international currency.

Submission + - SPAM: Is Go Daddy becoming a high pressure sales outfit

lagunastarman writes: Our email has been down for over 24 hours. Go Daddy has an expired certificate on their incoming email server(s?). They have no commitment on when they will be up. Their support person I spoke with told me (1) their current product is unreliable (even though I have used it for years) and (2) I really need to switch to their Microsoft products ASAP. I told them we had been considering the move but will not do it under extortion or bait and switch. Fix your service, then let's talk, I suggested.
Is anyone else having problems with Go Daddy doing high pressure sales?

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: The Effect Of A Government Shutdown On The IRS: Not What You Think

schwit1 writes: ... that what truly abuses taxpayers is unsupervised machine processing, because that’s often where errors creep in and it takes human employees to manually sort through the discrepancies. The short of it is that most adverse actions taken against taxpayers result from automated processing of taxpayer accounts: computers shoot first, and it is up to the taxpayer to ask questions later. When the computers get it wrong, adversely affected taxpayers must find a real, actual, live human to fix the problem. But who ya gonna call when there is no one there? When the already staggeringly understaffed IRS offices are completely emptied because of a government shutdown, there is no-one to stop the machines. And yet the computers keep on keeping on.

We saw this back in 2013, when the government shut down from October 1 to October 16. There were very, very few IRS employees working. Yet the machines kept whirring away. The National Taxpayer Advocate reported that during the shutdown – even with only a few employees – computers took a total of 301,807 adverse actions against taxpayers, including grabbing bank accounts, wages, Social Security benefits, filing Notices of Tax Liens, setting up deficiency assessments and more.

All of those actions were computer-generated. No human gave input or oversight. Let’s assume the computers got it 99% right. That still means more than 3,000 of the actions were in error, errors that could have devastating effects on taxpayers. Yet there were no humans to fix the mistakes.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Google Has An Actual Secret Speech Police (dailycaller.com) 1

schwit1 writes: More than 100 nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and government agencies around the world help police YouTube for extremist content, ranging from so-called hate speech to terrorist recruiting videos.

All of them have confidentiality agreements barring Google, YouTube’s parent company, from revealing their participation to the public, a Google representative told The Daily Caller on Thursday.

A handful of groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and No Hate Speech, a European organization focused on combatting intolerance, have chosen to go public with their participation in the program, but the vast majority have stayed hidden behind the confidentiality agreements. Most groups in the program don’t want to be publicly associated with it, according to the Google spokesperson, who spoke only on background.

Submission + - RocketLab achieves first successful orbital mission. (youtube.com)

Hairy1 writes: RocketLab launched it's second test Electron rocket today, successfully inserting an Earth-imaging Dove satellite for Planet and two Lemur-2 satellites for Spire for weather and ship tracking into orbit. The aim of RocketLab is to substantially reduce the cost of launches through using new technologies such as lithium ion batteries to run turbo pumps, 3D printing of engine parts and new construction materials. It also represents New Zealand becoming the eleventh country to achieve spaceflight.

Peter Beck, Founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, says the test is an important next step in democratizing access to space to empower humanity. “Increased access to space will vastly improve humanity’s ability to build out orbital infrastructure, such as constellations of weather and Earth-imaging satellites. These will provide better data about our planet and enable us as a species to make informed decisions about how we better manage our impact. This test launch is a crucial next step in gathering more data about the Electron launch vehicle so we can deliver on this future,” he says.

Submission + - Apple, Microsoft: Give Us Tax, Immigration Reform and We'll Teach Kids to Code

theodp writes: In the press release explaining how it's going to spend some of the billions in offshore profits it's repatriating, Apple indicated that one way it'll be thanking Americans for its tax break windfall is by teaching less-than-tech-savvy U.S. kids how to code Swift programs (Apple CEO Tim Cook believes "coding should be a requirement in every public school" for children aged 9-and-up). Claiming "that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million more software development jobs than applicants qualified to fill them" and citing tech-bankrolled Code.org's estimate that "there are currently 503,338 open computing jobs nationwide" (interestingly, a Code.org infographic suggests Apple's 1.4M job applicant shortfall forecast is overstated), Apple announced it will be taking on the task of 'Preparing Students for the App Economy': "To address the coding skills gap and help prepare more people for jobs in software development, Apple created a powerful yet easy-to-learn coding language called Swift, the free Swift Playgrounds app and a free curriculum, App Development with Swift, which are available to anyone and are already being used by millions of students at K-12 schools, summer camps and leading community colleges across the country. Over 100,000 students and teachers have also attended coding classes at Apple retail stores. Apple will expand these initiatives and add new programs to support teachers and teacher training." You're welcome. Also eager to teach America's youngsters to code — but in exchange for immigration reform — is Microsoft. "While there are many issues to solve, we believe the country can and should take effective steps that will accelerate much-needed changes," explained Microsoft President Brad Smith in a recent Microsoft on the Issues blog post. "One such step would be implementing new fees on green cards to fund more STEM education programs for Americans — an idea we have been supporting and first proposed in 2012 with our call for A National Talent Strategy. We believe steps like this are in the nation’s interest, and we’ve engaged with the administration, leaders on Capitol Hill and regulators to share our ideas. We will continue pressing for these types of reforms and the introduction of new legislative fixes." For students of history, Mother Jones reported in 2013 on a similar immigration-reform-for-K12-STEM-education Microsoft deal that over-promised and under-delivered.

Submission + - Microsoft: Still engaging in patent extortion, just hiding behind patent trolls (techrights.org)

JustNiz writes: Well who woulda guessed. The ‘new’ Microsoft under Nadella is actually no different from the old company, they just spend more on marketing/PR and payoff third parties to do their dirty work for them. At least Ballmer was honest about Microsoft’s views about GNU/Linux. Nadella just shamelessly lies about those things.

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