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Comment They'll be altering the bargain... (Score 1) 83

After the massive privacy bait-and-switch Facebook pulled with the WhatsApp acquisition, who on earth would trust them with private information? The terms and conditions of just about every consumer software, hardware, and SaaS offerings contain language along the lines of "we'll change this agreement pretty much any time we want with as much or as little notice (posted on the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.') as we want." Facebook will be just as awful with their business offering.

Submission + - SPAM: Court rules EPA violated privacy of farmers and ranchers

schwit1 writes: A federal appeals court has ruled that the EPA violated the privacy rights of farmers and ranchers when it provided environmental groups their personal information.

I find it interesting that the federal bureaucracy is often very quick to redact vast amounts of information demanded of them due to investigations of their corruption and abuse of power, but here they hand over the private confidential information of farmer and ranchers to their political enemies, without a second thought. You’d almost think they were working in league with these environmental groups.

Link to Original Source

Comment Who wants this? (Score 5, Insightful) 153

Adobe Flash is pretty much just an ongoing security vulnerability that lets people watch videos on obsolete web sites, occasionally used by companies that have such complete and utter contempt for the security of their customers that they use it as a shoddy shortcut in web development (looking at you, VMWare, ADP, and others).


Ford Plans a Fleet of Fully Autonomous Cars Operating in a Ride-Hail Service By 2021 (recode.net) 101

Ford will mass-produce autonomous vehicles without steering wheels by 2021, Ford chief executive Mark Fields said today at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California. Recode reports:Fields announced that the company is working toward launching a fleet of commercial, level 4 (one level below a completely autonomous system, in which drivers don't have to be engaged) vehicles in a ride-hail service by 2021. The details of that ride-hail service -- such as which company Ford will partner with to operate it -- still haven't been determined. As part of that effort, Ford is investing in Velodyne, a self-driving tech company, and is working with three other startups. Ford has acquired Israel-based computer vision and machine learning company SAIPS, struck up an exclusive licensing agreement with machine vision company Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC and, as previously announced, invested in 3-D mapping startup Civil Maps.

Comment Nokia was going downhill well before that (Score 3, Insightful) 88

I've friends that worked for Nokia and from what I've heard they were in a death spiral well before Microsoft bought them out. Nasty internal politics, software development drama, no real plan for the smartphone revolution, etc.

I loved Nokia phones back in the day, but I'm not sure what they would bring to the table now. They can compete with all of the "Me-too!" Android vendors in East Asia, try to push out a new OS (good luck), or keep beating the Windows Mobile dead horse. Personally, I would *like* to see another mobile OS have some success, but that's a mind-blowingly difficult and expensive pursuit right now.


Nicholas Carr Says Tech 'Utopia Is Creepy' (cio.com) 213

itwbennett writes: It probably won't come as a big surprise that Mr. 'IT Doesn't Matter' isn't a big fan of Silicon Valley's vision for the future, a future defined by autonomous cars and the inevitable rise of robots. In his new book, 'Utopia is Creepy: And Other Provocations,' Carr takes aim at the irrational exuberance of Silicon Valley, where tech is the answer to every problem. One of the exuberances that Carr takes particular exception to is the notion that social media is a better, freer form of media than 'old' media, which maybe makes sense coming from a former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, but he does have a point. "The old gatekeepers, to the extent they were gatekeepers, have been replaced by companies like Facebook and Google and companies that really now have become the new media companies and are very much controlling the flow of information," Carr told CIO.com's Clint Boulton.

Comment Re:Overkill for the vast majority of viewers (Score 4, Interesting) 154

We got a lot of this when 4K came out, but we were ready to upgrade our television (something we don't do very often), so I said screw it and went with 4K (65" at about 3 meters / 10'). It looks great with upscaling, but when I switched our streaming to true 4K with a Roku4 my wife said "Wow - this looks awesome! Did you change anything?" To me, that's the real test - when somebody with average visual acuity who doesn't give a crap about pixel count and whatnot notices that it looks a lot better.

I don't think 8K will be worthwhile until 120" screens are the norm, and even then cinematography will have to change to accommodate the changed field of vision. Even at 4K I notice that I'm annoyed when my eyes can't wander to the corner of the screen because the depth of focus blurs everything out there.

Comment Hillary's cat's paw comes home to mommy (Score -1, Troll) 644

There were two points to Sander's campaign:

1) He gets to keep the left-over money, and since he'll likely be retiring soon he won't even have to hide it in his wife's name like he does the rest of his assets.

2) He energized the progressive base, and then flipped them into supporting a warmongering, corporatist, Wall Street shill.

In other words, he joined the Democratic Party.

Comment Mislead in the headline much? (Score 4, Insightful) 150

There is *speculation* that takedowns are coming from Apple, but no actual evidence and generally speaking DMCA notices have names (at least of a law firm) attached. As news sources go, Reddit forums rank right up there with the National Enquirer. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to bash Apple: political censorship, slumping software quality, etc. No need to invent fake ones.

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