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Google

Google Abandons Their Google Hangouts API (techcrunch.com) 150

"Once again we're seeing the hazards of developing using a third party service API," writes Slashdot reader BarbaraHudson, reporting that Google "will be discontinuing support for the Google Hangouts API going forward... Google Hangouts is now so insignificant that the cancellation didn't even rate an official blog post. As reported by TechCrunch, "just an updated FAQ and email notification to developers active on the API, forwarded to us by one of these devs." TechCrunch writes: As Google pushes Duo as its consumer video chat app and relegates Hangouts to the enterprise, it's dropping the flexibility to build these kinds of experiences. The email explains... "We understand this will impact developers who have invested in our platform. We have carefully considered this change and believe that it allows us to give our users a more targeted Hangouts desktop video experience going forward."
TechCrunch calls the move "a casualty of Google's fragmented messaging app strategy and the neglect of Hangouts itself." While some apps will continue working -- for example, integration with Slack -- their API's FAQ now ends with a reminder that "Users of apps will see a notice in the call letting them know that the app they're using will no longer work after April 25th."

Comment Who decides? (Score 1, Interesting) 154

Who gets to decide what qualifies as "fake news" vs "real news"? Thus far the bulk of the stories surrounding the subject are largely just the left-leaning mainstream media outlets being butthurt over Trump's win and Bannon giving Breitbart a huge heaping of credibility. This move by the left to censor various news outlets is largely just a response to them getting their comeuppance for their hubris.

In the end let's call this #fakenews trend what it is: an attack on conservative and right-leaning media outlets not already in the fold of what constitutes the "mainstream media". Even if you don't take a news/media company seriously, that doesn't for a second think they should be excluded from the marketplace of ideas. That includes those on the fringe like Infowars, Hell, even The Inquirer has broken some very real and legitimately big stories over the years.

Comment Re:Show me the guilty verdict (Score 2) 404

I have plenty of things I could complain about with Trump too, but with all the media bullshit there is no way my complaint would ever be viewed as valid. Telling a crowd that maybe they can protect their 2nd amendment rights was turned into "Trump claimed Kill Hillary", and Trump satirically saying "maybe Russia can release those emails she deleted" became "Trump claimed he wanted Russia to hack America", and the Russian influence in the DNC and Clinton foundation are ignored, but "Trump loves Putin".

Don't forget the new instance of the media shilling for Hillary with the Trump PTSD/Veteran thing where Trump said troops see bad shit in war and sometimes can't handle the stress and trauma of it, which he implied can be a factor in the far too high suicide rates our veterans have, and thus he suggested they need our help and support. The media immediately turned around and had the gall to frame that as "Trump calls veterans weak". :smh: What a bunch of assholes. Can you say "Yellow Journalism"?

Comment Re:It's about time... (Score 1) 193

Exactly. If anything this might encourage content producers to embed 3rd party advertisements into their videos thereby doing an end-run around Google's policy. Granted this probably violates their Terms of Service, or maybe it doesn't. I don't know. But if it happens it'd just go to show that advertisers are willing to make it happen and Google would lose out two ways: costs from hosting and lost ad revenue they could have been getting by said advertiser.

Google going full-retard with this SJW nonsense means a 3rd party free-speech solution is ripe for the making.

Facebook

Police Asked Facebook To Deactivate Woman's Account During Deadly Standoff (abc7.com) 447

An anonymous reader quotes a report from KABC-TV: In the midst of a five-hour standoff that turned deadly, Facebook granted an emergency request from the Baltimore County Police Department to take offline the social media accounts belonging to a woman who wielded a shotgun at officers. Baltimore County Police officers shot and killed Korryn Gaines, 23, after she barricaded herself inside her Randallstown apartment with her 5-year-old son and pointed a shotgun at officers attempting to serve an arrest warrant. Police Chief Jim Johnson said Tuesday that the department made the emergency request to have Gaines' social media accounts suspended after she posted videos online showing the standoff. People who saw the postings, Johnson said, responded by encouraging her to not comply with police. Videos posted on Facebook and Instagram appeared to show Gaines, who was black, talking with police in the doorway to her apartment and to her son during the standoff. The standoff Monday began after three officers went to Gaines' apartment to serve arrest warrants on her and her boyfriend, Kareem K. Courtney, 39, according to police. Gaines' bench warrant stemmed from charges during a March 10 stop, including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Authorities said she was armed with a 12-gauge pistol grip shotgun that was legally purchased last year and toward the end of the negotiations pointed it directly at an officer and said, "If you don't leave, I'm going to kill you." An officer shot at her and Gaines fired two shots, but missed the officers, who returned fire and killed her, police said. Facebook's policy says that it may grant law enforcement permission to suspend accounts in cases where there is a substantial risk of harm. Facebook has received roughly 855 requests for emergency disclosures of information to government agencies due to the threat of harm or violence between July and December 2015, according to their Government Request Report. About 73 percent of those requests were granted.

Comment Allegiant anyone? (Score 1) 101

Someone must have watched the movie Allegiant and thought to themselves "Hey, that's a good idea! Let's make that." Drones that can be tied to an operator and feed visual information back to them from around corners or watch their back INSIDE the same structure would be a huge improvement in situational awareness.

Comment Margin of Error? (Score 1) 455

Once we statistically control for every difference we’re able to observe between men and women—including job title and specific employer names—we still find an “adjusted” gender pay gap internationally, ranging between 3.9 percent in Australia and 6.3 percent in France. This amounts to women earning on average between 94 cents and 96 cents per dollar earned by men.

3.9 to 6.3% is pretty damn small and may very well fall within the researcher's margin of error. And even if it doesn't, is that small of a different really because of discrimination? I highly doubt it. More than likely it traces right back to women's valuing different things from men, like benefits, time off, etc rather than raw pay.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 385

> So far, medical science has done essentially nothing whatsoever to stop ageing from killing us.

That's just not true. There's a lot of longevity research ongoing and has been for years. It's only recently we're starting to see it pay dividends is all. Case in point, a pharmaceutical approach will see the light of day to slow aging with clinical _human trials_ starting next year! They hope a 120 year lifespans will become commonplace with some outliers living as long as 150-160 years old.

Stopping aging outright as the article claims is probably pretty far off, but to say nothing whatsoever is being done to extend human longevity is factually incorrect.

NASA

MIT Helping NASA Build Valkyrie Robots For Space Missions (roboticstrends.com) 35

An anonymous reader writes: NASA announced that MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is one of just two institutions that will receive "R5," a six-foot, 290-pound humanoid robot also known as "Valkyrie" that will serve on future space missions to Mars and beyond. A group led by CSAIL principal investigator Russ Tedrake will develop algorithms for the robot as part of NASA's upcoming Space Robotics Challenge, which aims to create more dexterous autonomous robots that can help or even take the place of humans "extreme space" missions. While R5 was initially designed to complete disaster-relief maneuvers, its main goal is now to prove itself worthy of even trickier terrain — deep space exploration.

Comment Re:Not another one (Score 1) 696

I suspect the reason for wanting more women in programming is simple: it'll drive down pay rates. The larger one's pool of available labor, the less you can pay people to do said job. It's supply & demand 101.

The #1 reason wages has stagnated, and in many respected regressed, since the 60s (adjusted for inflation) is because women entered the workforce in droves. That drove down rates on a society-wide basis and is largely responsible for why it now takes 2 incomes to provide the lifestyle a single income could have afforded a family of four 40+ years ago.

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