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UK lawmakers: Facebook 'intentionally and knowingly' violated data privacy laws - UK lawmakers have accused Facebook of violating data privacy and competition laws in a report on social media disinformation that also says CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed "contempt" toward parliament by not appearing before them.
Man discovers 30 year old Apple computer still in working order - A New York professor has Gen Xers reminiscing about their childhood after he posted images of his decades old Apple lle computer on Twitter Saturday night.
New York mayor says Amazon headquarters debacle was 'an abuse of corporate power' - New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is still upset that Amazon isn't coming to New York.
Apple and Google urged to remove Saudi app that tracks women - Human rights defenders are calling on Apple and Google to remove the Saudi government app Absher from its platforms, saying that it allows Saudi men to track women under their sponsorship.
Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials - Three online video channels designed to appeal to millennials have collected tens of millions of views on Facebook since September. But the pages pushing the videos do not disclose that they are backed by the Russian government.
Uber sues NYC over limit on ridehailing vehicles - Uber is suing New York City over its temporary cap on new vehicle licenses for ridehailing companies to address traffic congestion. It claims the city plans on making the cap permanent.
Stockton starts giving some residents $500 a month to fight poverty - Residents of Stockton, California have been through a lot: from widespread foreclosures to the city going bankrupt. But for a handful of residents, some help is here.
Uber says it lost $1.8 billion in 2018 - Uber, the most highly- valued US based startup, is heading into its much-anticipated IPO after more than one billion dollars in losses last year.
Despite record profits, Amazon didn't pay any federal income tax in 2017 or 2018. Here's why - Amazon hasn't paid any taxes to the US government in the past two years. Actually, Amazon received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax credits in 2017 and 2018.
Shell is taking on Tesla with batteries for homes - Royal Dutch Shell has purchased German home battery startup Sonnen for an undisclosed amount.
How Amazon blew its chance in New York - The deal was supposed to be foolproof. But by trying so hard to bypass opposition and extract many incentives as possible, Amazon generated more opposition than it bargained for.
Didi is axing jobs and could retreat from food delivery and bike sharing - China's biggest ride-hailing firm is axing 15% of its staff and scaling back non-core businesses as it tries to get back on track following the murders of two passengers last year.
Amazon cancels plans to build New York headquarters - Amazon is ditching its plans to build a new headquarters in New York after facing backlash from members of the community.
America's fight with Huawei is messing with the world's 5G plans - The US-led offensive against Chinese tech firm Huawei is creating problems for mobile operators, particularly in Europe, as they start building the next generation of wireless networks.
Amazon has money, power and influence. But it flamed out in NYC. Here's why that matters - Amazon doesn't fail very often. Before it ditched its New York HQ2 plans Thursday, Amazon had only ever fallen on its face this way once before, when it launched the Fire Phone, a smartphone no one wanted.
Real estate brokers were banking on the 'Amazon Effect.' Their bubble just burst - Amazon's sudden decision to cancel its HQ2 plans for Long Island City has dealt a big blow to the area's real estate agents, who were seeing an influx of eager buyers to the area.
GM's new e-bike is called Arīv - General Motors newest product is an e-bike called Arīv, and it is now available for ordering, at least in some parts of the world.
Facebook in talks with FTC as possible record fine looms - Federal regulators may be close to hitting Facebook with a large fine after a year full of data privacy scandals.
Dating app reveals data breach on Valentine's Day - Some users of the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel woke up to a not-so-sweet Valentine's Day surprise on Thursday.
Read Amazon's full statement on why it scrapped its New York City HQ2 - Amazon announced Thursday that it is scrapping its plan to open to a second headquarters in New York's Long Island City. The project was supposed to bring 25,000 jobs to the city. Read Amazon's full statement:








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India, the World's Second Largest Internet Market, Is Turning Its Back on Silicon Valley - An anonymous reader shares a report: For years, India has wanted foreign companies to thrive in the country. When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in 2014, one of its early major pushes was to formulate plans and structure incentives to attract foreign investment. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled plans to liberalize the foreign investment rules. He also visited the U.S. and met with top Silicon Valley executives, nearly all of whom subsequently expanded their commitments in India. It further introduced lofty incentives to encourage companies to participate in Make in India and Digital India, a set of state-run initiatives to drive job growth in the nation. [...] But over the past year, in the run-up to the general elections in May, the Indian government has unveiled -- and in many cases, enforced -- a wave of sweeping changes. It now dictates how foreign companies handle and make use of Indian user data and other aspects of how ecommerce platforms operate, and it is working on introducing greater oversight for technology platforms. [...] Lobby groups that represent U.S. companies and industry watchers say they see an extreme shift from the "warm, welcoming, collaborative" approach the government exhibited in 2014. "In the past year or so, the engagement has been combative, with abrupt, disruptive policy changes that are being held without consultation, and, unusually, with absolutely no room for negotiation or even deadline extensions -- as we saw with data localisation and FDI in ecommerce," Prasanto K Roy, a technology and policy analyst, told VentureBeat. The story also looks at how much revenue Silicon Valley companies that count India as one of their biggest markets is generating there. Spoiler alert: it's very little.

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'No, You Can't Ignore Email. It's Rude.' - Yes, we're all overwhelmed with email. One recent survey suggested that the average American's inbox has 199 unread messages. But volume isn't an excuse for not replying. Ignoring email is an act of incivility, reads an opinion piece. From the story: "I'm too busy to answer your email" really means "Your email is not a priority for me right now." That's a popular justification for neglecting your inbox: It's full of other people's priorities. But there's a growing body of evidence that if you care about being good at your job, your inbox should be a priority. When researchers compiled a huge database of the digital habits of teams at Microsoft, they found that the clearest warning sign of an ineffective manager was being slow to answer emails. Responding in a timely manner shows that you are conscientious -- organized, dependable and hardworking. And that matters. In a comprehensive analysis of people in hundreds of occupations, conscientiousness was the single best personality predictor of job performance. (It turns out that people who are rude online tend to be rude offline, too.) I'm not saying you have to answer every email. Your brain is not just sitting there waiting to be picked. If senders aren't considerate enough to do their homework and ask a question you're qualified to answer, you don't owe them anything back. How do you know if an email you've received -- or even more important, one you're considering writing -- doesn't deserve a response? After all, sending an inappropriate email can be as rude as ignoring a polite one. [...] Whatever boundaries you choose, don't abandon your inbox altogether. Not answering emails today is like refusing to take phone calls in the 1990s or ignoring letters in the 1950s. Email is not household clutter and you're not Marie Kondo. Ping!

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'Digital Gangster' Facebook Intentionally and Knowingly Violated UK Privacy and Competition Rules, British Lawmakers Say - British lawmakers on Sunday accused Facebook of having "intentionally and knowingly violated both data privacy and anti-competition laws" in the country, and they called for investigations into the social media giant's business practices. From a report: The sharp rebuke came in a 108-page report written by members of Parliament, who in 2017 began a wide-ranging study of Facebook and the spread of malicious content online. They concluded that the United Kingdom should adopt new regulations so lawmakers can hold Facebook and its tech peers in Silicon Valley accountable for digital misdeeds. "Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like 'digital gangsters' in the online world," U.K. lawmakers said in their report, "considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law."

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Researcher Scans All IP Addresses of Austria, Finds a Ton of Things That Shouldn't Be Online - Christian Haschek scanned the entire Austrian IP space and found IP cameras, printers, and industrial control systems and a range of other devices that should not be online.

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Google Fixing Chrome API To Prevent Incognito Mode Detection - AmiMoJo writes: When browsing the web with Google Chrome, some sites are using a method to determine if a visitor is in a regular browsing session or in incognito mode. As this can be considered a breach of privacy, Google will be changing how a particular API works so that web sites can no longer utilize this technique. Chrome supports the FileSystem API, which allows sites to create a virtual file system that lives within the sandbox of the browser. This allows sites that utilize large assets, such as online games, to download these assets to a virtual file system so that they do not have to download them each time they are needed. Currently the FileSystem API is not available in incognito sessions, because it leaves files behind and could be considered a privacy risk. Currently the API doesn't work in incognito mode, offering sites a way to check for it. In a Chrome Gerrit post started this week and updated earlier this morning, Google has stated that they are changing the FileSystem API so that it can be used in incognito mode, without the risks to privacy.

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House Bill Requires Pornography Filter on All Phones, Computers Purchased in Kansas - Two bills introduced in the Kansas House on Wednesday generate funding for human trafficking programs by requiring all new internet-capable telephones or computers sold in the state to feature anti-pornography software and by mandating adult entertainment businesses charge a special admissions tax. From a report: Sabetha Rep. Randy Garber sponsored legislation requiring the software installations and dictating purchasers would have to pay a $20 fee to the state, and whatever cost was assessed by retail stores, to remove filters for "obscene" material. No one under 18 would be allowed to have filter software deleted. "It's to protect children," Garber, a Republican, said in an interview. "What it would do is any X-rated pornography stuff would be filtered. It would be on all purchases going forward. Why wouldn't anybody like this?" He said it wouldn't be surprising if the bill, if adopted as law, generated legal challenges.

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Razer Game Store Closing Feb 28, Less Than Year After Launch - The Razer Game Store will close on February 28 at 1am PST, the company announced in a blog post. This comes less than a year after its launch last April. From a report: The shutdown is part of "the company's realignment plans," according to Razer. "It has been a privilege for us to recommend and deliver great digital game deals to you. We have been extremely fortunate to have you as part of our awesome community," the post reads. "Thank you for the support and making all this possible. We will be investing in other ways to deliver great content and introduce game promotions through Razer Gold, our virtual credits system."

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New York Mayor Says Amazon Headquarters Debacle Was 'an Abuse of Corporate Power' - New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is still upset that Amazon isn't coming to New York. De Blasio attacked the company Sunday for canceling plans to build a second headquarters in Queens last week. From a report: "This is an example of an abuse of corporate power," de Blasio told NBC's Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press." "Amazon just took their ball and went home. And what they did was confirm people's worst fears about corporate America." He made similar comments in a New York Times op-ed Saturday. Amazon canceled the deal just months after announcing plans to split its new, second headquarters between New York and Virginia. The Seattle-based company, which is trying to grow its footprint at home and abroad, spent a year reviewing hundreds of "HQ2" proposals from all over North America before settling on the two regions. [...] On Sunday, de Blasio, a Democrat, said New York offered Amazon a "fair deal," and blamed the company for making what he called an "arbitrary" decision to leave after some people objected. "They said they wanted a partnership, but the minute there were criticisms, they walked away," he added. "What does that say to working people that a company would leave them high and dry simply because some people raised criticisms?"

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How TV Pirates Accidentally Pushed a 25-Year-Old Indie Song to the Top of the Charts in Japan - Last week, an alt-rock mystery puzzled the music press. Almost 25 years after its release, the Dinosaur Jr. song "Over Your Shoulder" appeared at number 18 on Japan's Hot 100 chart, beating out major new releases like Ariana Grande's "7 Rings." Here's what drove the popularity of the old song: More than 15 years ago, it was used on a Japanese reality show about boxing bad boys. Six years ago, Billboard started counting YouTube plays. And just days ago, YouTube apparently began recommending pirated episodes of that reality show to Japanese users, who seemingly binged it in the thousands, playing "Over Your Shoulder" over and over again in the process.

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Germany Sees Big Rise in Security Problems Affecting Infrastructure - Germany has experienced a big increase in the number of security incidents hitting critical infrastructure such as power grids and water suppliers, the BSI cybersecurity agency said on Sunday, adding however that they were not all due to hacking. From a report: The Welt am Sonntag weekly had reported on Sunday that Germany had learned of 157 hacker attacks on critical infrastructure companies in the second half of 2018 compared to 145 attacks in the whole of the previous year. "The number of reports of IT security incidents has increased but it is not to be equated with the number of cyber attacks," tweeted the BSI in response to the newspaper report.

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The Complicated Economy of Open Source Software - An excerpt from a report, which looks at the complicated business of funding open source software development: On the surface, the open source software community has never been better. Companies and governments are adopting open source software at rates that would've been unfathomable 20 years ago, and a whole new generation of programmers are cutting their teeth on developing software in plain sight and making it freely available for anyone to use. Go a little deeper, however, and the cracks start to show. The ascendancy of open source has placed a mounting burden on the maintainers of popular software, who now handle more bug reports, feature requests, code reviews, and code commits than ever before. At the same time, open source developers must also deal with an influx of corporate users who are unfamiliar with community norms when it comes to producing and consuming open source software. This leads to developer burnout and a growing feeling of resentment toward the companies that rely on free labor to produce software that is folded into products and sold back to consumers for huge profits. From this perspective, Heartbleed wasn't an isolated example of developer burnout and lack of funding, but an outgrowth of a systemic disease that had been festering in the open source software community for years. Identifying the symptoms and causes of this disease was the easy part; finding a cure is more difficult. Further reading: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

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Bill and Melinda Gates: Textbooks Are Becoming Obsolete - Reader theodp writes: Thanks to software, Bill and Melinda Gates report in their 2019 Annual Letter, textbooks are becoming obsolete. Bill writes: "I read more than my share of textbooks. But it's a pretty limited way to learn something. Even the best text can't figure out which concepts you understand and which ones you need more help with. It certainly can't tell your teacher how well you grasped last night's assigned reading. But now, thanks to software, the standalone textbook is becoming a thing of the past" (if so, it'll be a 60-year overnight success!). The Gates are putting their money where their mouths are -- their education investments include look-Ma-no-textbooks Khan Academy and Code.org. Code.org, whose AP Computer Science Principles course for high schools "does not require or follow a textbook", boasted in its just-released Annual Report that 38% of all AP CS exam takers in 2018 came from "Code.org Computer Science Principles classrooms," adding that it had spent $24.2 million of its donors' money on curriculum and its Code Studio learning platform (30,300 hours of coursework), another $46.7 million to prepare 87,000 new K-12 CS teachers, $12.4 million on Marketing, and $6.9 million on Government Affairs. So, do we still need textbooks?

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Google Backtracks on Chrome Modifications That Would Have Crippled Ad Blockers - Google has changed its stance on upcoming Chrome Manifest V3 changes as benchmark shows they lied about performance hit. Catalin Cimpanu, writing for ZDNet: A study analyzing the performance of Chrome ad blocker extensions published on Friday has proven wrong claims made by Google developers last month, when a controversy broke out surrounding their decision to modify the Chrome browser in such a way that would have eventually killed off ad blockers and many other extensions. The study, carried out by the team behind the Ghostery ad blocker, found that ad blockers had sub-millisecond impact on Chrome's network requests that could hardly be called a performance hit. Hours after the Ghostery team published its study and benchmark results, the Chrome team backtracked on their planned modifications. At the root of Ghostery's benchmark into ad blocker performance stands Manifest V3, a new standard for developing Chrome extensions that Google announced last October.

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Why Some US Cities are Fighting 'Dollar Stores' - The Washington Post reports on why some U.S. cities are restricting the spread of discount "dollar stores":Residents fear the stores deter other business, especially in neighborhoods without grocers or options for healthy food. Dollar stores rarely sell fresh produce or meats, but they undercut grocery stores on prices of everyday items, often pushing them out of business...Grocery stores run on thin profit margins -- usually between 1 and 3 percent. And they employ more workers than dollar stores to keep perishable food stocked. "It's no longer the big-box grocery store" that threatens local businesses, said David Procter, a Kansas State University professor who studies rural grocery stores. "But it's the discount retailer that's coming to town and setting up shop right across the street." "As the stores cluster in low-income neighborhoods," the Post writes, "their critics worry they are not just a response to poverty -- but a cause."

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1,100 Schools Now Scan Social Media For Violent Students - and Alcohol Use - In the hunt for potential acts of student violence, "schools are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence-backed solutions," reports USA Today.Bark Technologies, Gaggle.Net, and Securly Inc. are three companies that employ AI and machine learning to scan student emails, texts, documents, and in some cases, social media activity. They look for warning signs of cyber bullying, sexting, drug and alcohol use, depression, and to flag students who may pose a violent risk not only to themselves, but classmates. When potential problems are found, and depending on the severity, school administrators, parents -- and under the most extreme cases -- law enforcement officials, are alerted. In the fall of 2017, Bark ran a test pilot with 25 schools. "We found some pretty alarming issues, including a bombing and school shooting threat," says Bark chief parent officer, Titania Jordan.... The Bark product [which monitors more than 25 social media platforms] is free to schools in the U.S. for perpetuity. The company says it can afford to give the service away to schools, because of the money it makes from a version aimed at parents... Bark is currently used in more than 1,100 school districts, covering 2.6 million children. If it detects something that is considered exceedingly severe such as a child abduction or school shooting threat, the issue is escalated to the FBI. According to Jordan, Bark sends out between 35,000 and 55,000 alerts each day, many just instances of profanity. But 16 plausible school shootings have been reported to the FBI since Bark launched its school product last February, she says. The article notes these solutions have three major limitations:"A school can't police a student's smartphone or other devices outside the ones it issued, unless the student signed into a social media, or other account, using the email or credentials the school provided.""None of the companies USA TODAY talked to for this story claim the ability to catch suspect behavior every time.""Students also are often more tech savvy than their parents and won't tell them about every account they have."

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