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Linux Performs Poorly In Low RAM / Memory Pressure Situations On The Desktop

Tue, 2019-08-06 18:45
It's been a gripe for many running Linux on low RAM systems especially is that when the Linux desktop is under memory pressure the performance can be quite brutal with the system barely being responsive. The discussion over that behavior has been reignited this week. From a report: Developer Artem S Tashkinov took to the kernel mailing list over the weekend to express his frustration with the kernel's inability to handle low memory pressure in a graceful manner. If booting a system with just 4GB of RAM available, disabling SWAP to accelerate the impact/behavior, and launching a web browser and opening new web pages / tabs can in a matter of minutes bring the system down to its knees. Artem elaborated on the kernel mailing list, "Once you hit a situation when opening a new tab requires more RAM than is currently available, the system will stall hard. You will barely be able to move the mouse pointer. Your disk LED will be flashing incessantly (I'm not entirely sure why). You will not be able to run new applications or close currently running ones. This little crisis may continue for minutes or even longer. I think that's not how the system should behave in this situation. I believe something must be done about that to avoid this stall."

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Categories: Linux fréttir

One Search To (Almost) Rule Them All: Hundreds of Hidden Planets Found in Kepler Data

Tue, 2019-08-06 18:04
Jonathan O'Callaghan, writing for Scientific American: Most of the more than 4,000 exoplanets astronomers have found across the past few decades come from NASA's pioneering Kepler mission, which launched in 2009 and ended in late October 2018. But among Kepler's cavalcade of data, more planets are still waiting to be found -- and a new method just turned up the biggest haul yet from the mission's second, concluding phase, called K2. The K2 run from 2014 to 2018 was notable for its unique use of the functionality, or lack thereof, of the Kepler space telescope. Essentially a large tube with a single camera, Kepler relied on four reaction wheels (spinning wheels to orient the spacecraft) to point at specific patches of the sky for days or even weeks on end. Such long stares were beneficial for its primary planet-finding technique, known as the transit method, which detects worlds by watching for dips in a star's light caused by an orbiting planet's passage in front of it. But when two of Kepler's reaction wheels failed, one in 2012 and another in 2013, mission planners came up with an ingenious method of using the pressure of the solar wind to act as a makeshift third wheel, allowing observations to continue, albeit with some limitations. "We had this issue because the K2 mission was working off of two reaction wheels; it rolled a little bit every six hours," says Susan Mullally of the Space Telescope Science Institute. "And as a result, the light curves have these little arcs that run through them that you have to first remove." Various efforts were subsequently made to extract planets from the K2 data. But none have been more successful than one reported in a new paper by Ethan Kruse of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and his colleagues, which was posted on the preprint server arXiv.org last week and accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. Kruse employed an algorithm known as as QATS (for Quasiperiodic Automated Transit Search) and a light-curve-analysis program called EVEREST (for EPIC Variability Extraction and Removal for Exoplanet Science Targets) to better account for the spacecraft's rolling and other sources of instrumental and astrophysical "noise" in the K2 data. The result was a whopping total of 818 planet candidates -- 374 of which had never been spotted before -- from the first nine of K2's 20 observation campaigns.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Millions of Books Are Secretly in the Public Domain. You Can Download Them Free

Tue, 2019-08-06 17:25
One secret of the publishing industry is that most American books published before 1964 never extended their copyright, meaning they're in the public domain today. From a report: Prior to 1964, books had a 28-year copyright term. Extending it required authors or publishers to send in a separate form, and lots of people didn't end up doing that. Thanks to the efforts of the New York Public Library, many of those public domain books are now free online. Through the 1970s, the Library of Congress published the Catalog of Copyright Entries, all the registration and renewals of America's books. The Internet Archive has digital copies of these, but computers couldn't read all the information and figuring out which books were public domain, and thus could be uploaded legally, was tedious. The actual, extremely convoluted specifics of why these books are in the public domain are detailed in a post by the New York Public Library, which recently paid to parse the information in the Catalog of Copyright Entries. In a massive undertaking, the NYPL converted the registration and copyright information into an XML format. Now, the old copyrights are searchable and we know when, and if, they were renewed. Around 80 percent of all the books published from 1923 to 1964 are in the public domain, and lots of people had no idea until now. It amounts to an explosion of new books once lost to the mire of potential copyright claims. And they're all free. The Hathi Trust, a digital library similar to Project Gutenberg, has already uploaded some of the newly freed books.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Why Canonical Views the Snap Ecosystem as a Compelling Distribution-Agnostic Solution

Tue, 2019-08-06 16:45
Canonical's Martin Wimpress addresses Snaps, Flatpak, and other competing standards, and community unease around Canonical's control of the Snap store. intensivevocoder writes: With these advances in hardware support, the last significant challenge users face when switching from Windows or Mac to a Linux distribution is app distribution and installation. While distribution-provided repositories are useful for most open source software, the release model of distributions such as Ubuntu or Fedora lock in users to a major version for programs for the duration of a particular release. Because of differences in how they interact with the underlying system, certain configuration tasks are different between Snaps or Flatpaks than for directly-installed applications. Likewise, initial commits for the Snap and Flatpak formats were days apart -- while the formats were developed essentially in parallel, the existence of two 'universal' package formats has led to disagreement about competing standards. TechRepublic interviewed Martin Wimpress, engineering manager for Snapcraft at Canonical, about Ubuntu's long term plans for Snaps, its adoption and support in other Linux distributions, Canonical's position as the operator of the Snap Store, and the benefits Snaps provide over Flatpak. An excerpt from the interview: TechRepublic: Practically speaking, there are two competing standards for cross-platform application packaging -- three, if you count AppImage. What's the practical benefit that Canonical's Snap format offers over Flatpak or AppImage? Martin Wimpress: If you look at the initial commits of both of those projects, Snaps have a lineage back to Click packages, which were developed for [Ubuntu Phone] originally. The Snap project developed out of what had been learned from doing the phones, with a view to solving problems in IoT. So, although technically snapd and xdg-apps -- and consequently Flatpak -- look like they emerged around the same time, Snaps can trace their lineage back to the Click project from several years previous. If we're looking at Flatpak specifically, we can probably include AppImage in most of these comparisons as well. Some of the similarities are that Snaps are self-contained software packages, which is something that Flatpak and AppImage strive to be as well. I think that Flatpak achieves that better than AppImage. I think AppImage still makes some assumptions on what's installed on the host operating system. It doesn't bundle everything inside the AppImage. Similarly, Snaps, Flatpak, and AppImage work across all the major Linux distributions without modification. We haven't all arrived at this solution by accident. We've clearly, independently, all realized that this is a problem that we need to solve in order to encourage software vendors to publish their applications on Linux, because Linux is a very broad platform to target. If you can lower the hurdles... to getting your software in front of users on Linux, then that's a good thing. And we're all aiming to do the same thing there.

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Yelp is Screwing Over Restaurants By Quietly Replacing Their Phone Numbers

Tue, 2019-08-06 16:10
A new report by Vice reveals yet another marketing tactic by Grubhub that attempts to maximize the commission fees it can charge to restaurants when customers order through the service. Yelp, a Grubhub partner, quietly hides a Grubhub-affiliated phone number when you choose to call a business from the Yelp app. An anonymous reader writes: According to Vice, a Yelp listing for a restaurant shows the correct phone number for the business. If users click to "order delivery or takeout," they are presented with the option to order through a deep-linked Grubhub app. However, if they click the actual phone number listed to call the business directly, the phone number that appears on the dialer is not the official one that is shown on the listing. Instead, a different number is used so that Grubhub could track it as a "marketing" call, giving the company the ability to bill restaurants upwards of 30 percent commission instead of fees as low as 3 percent. Further reading: Meal-Delivery Company GrubHub is Buying Thousands of Restaurant Web Addresses, Preventing Mom and Pop From Owning Their Slice of Internet.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

AT&T Employees Took Bribes To Plant Malware on the Company's Network

Tue, 2019-08-06 15:28
AT&T employees took bribes to unlock millions of smartphones, and to install malware and unauthorized hardware on the company's network, the Department of Justice said yesterday. From a report: These details come from a DOJ case opened against Muhammad Fahd, a 34-year-old man from Pakistan, and his co-conspirator, Ghulam Jiwani, believed to be deceased. The DOJ charged the two with paying more than $1 million in bribes to several AT&T employees at the company's Mobility Customer Care call center in Bothell, Washington. The bribery scheme lasted from at least April 2012 until September 2017. Initially, the two Pakistani men bribed AT&T employees to unlock expensive iPhones so they could be used outside AT&T's network. The two recruited AT&T employees by approaching them in private via telephone or Facebook messages. Employees who agreed, received lists of IMEI phone codes which they had to unlock for sums of money. Employees would then receive bribes in their bank accounts, in shell companies they created, or as cash, from the two Pakistani men.

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Democratic Senate Campaign Group Exposed 6.2 Million Americans' Emails

Tue, 2019-08-06 14:43
A political campaign group working to elect Democratic senators left a spreadsheet containing the email addresses of 6.2 million Americans' on an exposed server. From a report: Data breach researchers at security firm UpGuard found the data in late July, and traced the storage bucket back to a former staffer at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, an organization that seeks grassroots donations and contributions to help elect Democratic candidates to the U.S. Senate. Following the discovery, UpGuard researchers reached out to the DSCC and the storage bucket was secured within a few hours. The researchers published shared their findings exclusively with TechCrunch and published their findings. The spreadsheet was titled "EmailExcludeClinton.csv" and was found in a similarly named unprotected Amazon S3 bucket without a password. The file was uploaded in 2010 -- a year after former Democratic senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whom the data is believed to be named after, became secretary of state. UpGuard said the data may be of people "who had opted out or should otherwise be excludedâ from the committee's marketing.

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Backblaze Hard Drive Stats Q2 2019

Tue, 2019-08-06 14:05
Backblaze: As of June 30, 2019, Backblaze had 110,640 spinning hard drives in our ever-expanding cloud storage ecosystem. Of that number, there were 1,980 boot drives and 108,660 data drives. This review looks at the Q2 2019 and lifetime hard drive failure rates of the data drive models currently in operation in our data centers.

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Microsoft Catches Russian State Hackers Using IoT Devices To Breach Networks

Tue, 2019-08-06 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Hackers working for the Russian government have been using printers, video decoders, and other so-called Internet-of-things devices as a beachhead to penetrate targeted computer networks, Microsoft officials warned on Monday. "These devices became points of ingress from which the actor established a presence on the network and continued looking for further access," officials with the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center wrote in a post. "Once the actor had successfully established access to the network, a simple network scan to look for other insecure devices allowed them to discover and move across the network in search of higher-privileged accounts that would grant access to higher-value data." Microsoft researchers discovered the attacks in April, when a voice-over-IP phone, an office printer, and a video decoder in multiple customer locations were communicating with servers belonging to "Strontium," a Russian government hacking group better known as Fancy Bear or APT28. In two cases, the passwords for the devices were the easily guessable default ones they shipped with. In the third instance, the device was running an old firmware version with a known vulnerability. While Microsoft officials concluded that Strontium was behind the attacks, they said they weren't able to determine what the group's ultimate objectives were. Microsoft says they have notified the makers of the targeted IoT devices so they can add new protections. "Monday's report also provided IP addresses and scripts organizations can use to detect if they have also been targeted or infected," adds Ars Technica. "Beyond that, Monday's report reminded people that, despite Strontium's above-average hacking abilities, an IoT device is often all it needs to gain access to a targeted network."

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Best Milky Way Map Yet Confirms Our Galaxy Is Warped and Twisted

Tue, 2019-08-06 10:00
Astronomers from the U.S. and Europe have put together a new 3D model of the galaxy based on the distance between stars and found that our galaxy is warped and twisted. "I'd say that it is shaped like a Pringle," said study co-author Radek Poleski, an astronomer at Ohio State University in Columbus. CNET reports: The research, published Thursday in the journal Science, draws on a population of stars known as the Cepheids, which are pulsing, massive, young stars that shine brighter than the sun. Using data from the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE), a sky survey run by the University of Warsaw out of Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, astronomers were able to pick out 2,431 of the Cepheids through the thick gas and dust of the Milky Way and use them to make a map of the galaxy. Dorota Skowron, lead author on the study and astronomer with Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, says the OGLE project observed the galactic disk of the Milky Way for six years, taking 206,726 images of the sky containing 1,055,030,021 stars. Within, they found the population of Cepheids, which are particularly useful for plotting a map because their brightness fluctuates over time. Using that fluctuation, the team produced a 3D model of the galaxy, confirming work that previously demonstrated the galaxy was flared at its edges. They were also able to determine the age of the Cepheid population, with younger stars located closer to the center of the galactic disk and older stars positioned farther away, near the edge. By simulating star formation in the early Milky Way, the team showed how the galaxy might have evolved over the last 175 million years, with bursts of star formation in the spiral arms resulting in the current distribution of Cepheids ranging from 20 million to 260 million years old.

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Scientists Are Using the Cold of Outer Space To Rethink Air Conditioning

Tue, 2019-08-06 07:00
A California-based company called SkyCool Systems is in the early stages of manufacturing a cooling system that's more energy efficient than anything humans have used for a century. It's doing it using radiative cooling, a concept that was used in the Middle East and India hundreds of years ago. Quartz reports: To understand how radiative cooling works, forget for a moment the sun. Think instead about the night sky. Once the sun has set and the cooler evening begins, just about everything on Earth -- the soil, the grass, the roofs of homes, even people -- give off heat. A lot of that heat rises up into the atmosphere where it effectively transmits out into space, never returning to Earth. The night sky is very chilly, and objects sending heat upward at night send up more heat than the whole sky is sending back down. Hundreds of years ago, long before refrigeration existed, people in India and Iran used this basic concept to make ice in climates with temperatures above freezing. Water was filled into large and shallow ceramic pools that were surrounded and insulated by hay, and then the pools were left out on clear nights. It sounds counterintuitive, but if the air wasn't too far above freezing, the heat emitted by the water made it lower in temperature than the surrounding air, allowing it to freeze. It's the same principle at play when you wake up on a summer morning to find a layer of frost or dew. Now the people at SkyCool are taking that principle and applying it to the modern era, employing it to reimagine how we cool our homes, data centers, and refrigerators. SkyCool's three co-founders created a material that helps facilitate the radiative cooling process. "Their invention looks a lot like a solar panel," reports Quartz. "A flat metal panel is covered in a sheet of the material -- a high-tech film -- the trio invented. The material reflects the light and heat of the sun so effectively that the temperature beneath the film can drop 5 to 10-degrees Celsius (41 to 50-degrees Fahrenheit) lower than the air around it. A system of small pipes circulating through the metal panel beneath the film are exposed to that colder temperature, cooling the fluid inside before it's sent out to current-day refrigeration systems." A new study published today in the journal Nature Sustainability says radiative cooling could one day be its own, electricity-free system.

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First Human-Monkey Chimera Raises Concern Among Scientists

Tue, 2019-08-06 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Efforts to create human-animal chimeras have rebooted an ethical debate after reports emerged that scientists have produced monkey embryos containing human cells. A chimera is an organism whose cells come from two or more "individuals", with recent work looking at combinations from different species. The word comes from a beast from Greek mythology which was said to be part lion, part goat and part snake. The latest report, published in the Spanish newspaper El Pais, claims a team of researchers led by Prof Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte from the Salk Institute in the U.S. have produced monkey-human chimeras. The research was conducted in China "to avoid legal issues," according to the report. Chimeras are seen as a potential way to address the lack of organs for transplantation, as well as problems of organ rejection. Scientists believe organs genetically matched to a particular human recipient could one day be grown inside animals. The approach is based on taking cells from an adult human and reprogramming them to become stem cells, which can give rise to any type of cell in the body. They are then introduced into the embryo of another species. Details of the work reported this week are scarce: Izpisua Belmonte and colleagues did not respond to requests for comment. However Alejandro De Los Angeles, from the department of psychiatry at Yale University, said it was likely monkey-human chimeras were being developed to explore how to improve the proportion of human cells in such organisms. De Los Angeles pointed out that, as with previous work in pigs and sheep, the human-monkey chimeras have reportedly only been allowed to develop for a few weeks -- ie before organs actually form. Prof Robin Lovell-Badge, a developmental biologist from London's Francis Crick Institute, agreed with De Los Angeles. "I don't think it is particularly concerning in terms of the ethics, because you are not taking them far enough to have a nervous system or develop in any way -- it's just really a ball of cells," he said. But Lovell-Badge added that if chimeras were allowed to develop further, it could raise concerns. "How do you restrict the contribution of the human cells just to the organ that you want to make?" he said. "If that is a pancreas or a heart or something, or kidney, then that is fine if you manage to do that. [But] if you allow these animals to go all the way through and be born, if you have a big contribution to the central nervous system from the human cells, then that obviously becomes a concern."

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Libraries Are Fighting To Preserve Your Right To Borrow E-Books

Tue, 2019-08-06 02:02
Librarian Jessamyn West writes for CNN: For the first two months after a Macmillan book is published, a library can only buy one copy, at a discount. After eight weeks, they can purchase "expiring" e-book copies which need to be re-purchased after two years or 52 lends. As publishers struggle with the continuing shake-up of their business models, and work to find practical approaches to managing digital content in a marketplace overwhelmingly dominated by Amazon, libraries are being portrayed as a problem, not a solution. Libraries agree there's a problem -- but we know it's not us. Public libraries in the United States purchase a lot of e-books, and circulate e-books a lot. According to the Public Library Association, electronic material circulation in libraries has been expanding at a rate of 30% per year; and public libraries offered over 391 million e-books to their patrons in 2017. Those library users also buy books; over 60% of frequent library users have also bought a book written by an author they first discovered in a library, according to Pew. Even Macmillan admits that "Library reads are currently 45% of our total digital book reads." But instead of finding a way to work with libraries on an equitable win-win solution, Macmillan implemented a new and confusing model and blamed libraries for being successful at encouraging people to read their books. With print materials, book economics are simple. Once a library buys a book, it can do whatever it wants with it: lend it, sell it, give it away, loan it to another library so they can lend it. We're much more restricted when it comes to e-books. To a patron, an e-book and a print book feel like similar things, just in different formats; to a library they're very different products. There's no inter-library loan for e-books. When an e-book is no longer circulating, we can't sell it at a book sale. When you're spending the public's money, these differences matter. [...] Their solution isn't just unsupportive, it doesn't even make sense. Allowing a library like the Los Angeles Public Library (which serves 18 million people) the same number of initial e-book copies as a rural Vermont library serving 1,200 people smacks of punishment, not support. And Macmillan's statement, saying that people can just borrow e-books from any library, betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how public libraries work. Macmillan isn't the first of the "big five" publishers to try to tweak their library sales model to try to recoup more revenue, but they are the first to accuse libraries of being a problem for them and not a partner.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Microsoft's New Windows Terminal Update Is Out and It's 'Huge'

Tue, 2019-08-06 01:25
Microsoft has released Windows Terminal Preview version 0.3, the recently launched command-line interface, which it wants to be the newest and best experience for developers who use Windows Command Prompt and PowerShell. ZDNet reports: It launched in June amid concern that it might replace the familiar Command Prompt and PowerShell. Microsoft is allowing Windows Terminal to co-exist with Windows Console but it believes Terminal will become the favored tool among those who need command-line apps. The latest version of the Terminal app is available from the Microsoft Store but it's also available on Microsoft's Releases page on GitHub. Among the improvements in v0.3 is that the interface can now be dragged regardless of where the mouse pointer is positioned on the title bar. The title bar itself has also been updated with a resized dropdown button with new colors and stays to the right of the last opened tab. There are also new colors for the minimize, maximize, and close buttons. Terminal is inheriting some accessibility features that allow tools like Windows Narrator "to interrogate, navigate, and read" the Terminal's user interface controls and text content, according to Kayla Cinnamon, program manager for Windows Terminal, Console and Command-Line. Terminal users can now define the tab title of each profile within settings, which takes priority over the shell-provided tab and should make it easier to tell the difference between profiles. There are now more choices for configuring the background image, with an option to add a background image on an acrylic background, as well as position the background anywhere on the screen. Additionally, Terminal users can now connect to the in-browser command-line called Azure-hosted Cloud Shell, which provides shell access to Azure. Kayla Cinnamon, program manager for Windows Terminal, Console and Command-Line, calls the update "HUGE," noting that the new accessibility features are still a work in progress.

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Amazon Is Coaching Cops On How To Obtain Surveillance Footage Without a Warrant

Tue, 2019-08-06 00:45
popcornfan679 shares a report from Motherboard: When police partner with Ring, Amazon's home surveillance camera company, they get access to the "Law Enforcement Neighborhood Portal," an interactive map that allows officers to request footage directly from camera owners. Police don't need a warrant to request this footage, but they do need permission from camera owners. Emails and documents obtained by Motherboard reveal that people aren't always willing to provide police with their Ring camera footage. However, Ring works with law enforcement and gives them advice on how to persuade people to give them footage. Emails obtained from police department in Maywood, NJ -- and emails from the police department of Bloomfield, NJ, which were also posted by Wired -- show that Ring coaches police on how to obtain footage. The company provides cops with templates for requesting footage, which they do not need a court warrant to do. Ring suggests cops post often on Neighbors, Ring's free "neighborhood watch" app, where Ring camera owners have the option of sharing their camera footage. As reported by GovTech on Friday, police can request Ring camera footage directly from Amazon, even if a Ring customer denies to provide police with the footage. It's a workaround that allows police to essentially "subpoena" anything captured on Ring cameras. Last week, Motherboard also found that at least 200 law enforcement agencies around the country have entered into partnerships with Amazon's home surveillance company Ring.

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Amazon Squeezes Sellers That Offer Better Prices On Walmart

Tue, 2019-08-06 00:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Amazon's determination to offer shoppers the best deals is prompting merchants selling products on its marketplace to raise their prices on competing websites, a testament to the company's growing influence over the e-commerce market. Amazon constantly scans rivals' prices to see if they're lower. When it discovers a product is cheaper on, say, Walmart.com, Amazon alerts the company selling the item and then makes the product harder to find and buy on its own marketplace -- effectively penalizing the merchant. In many cases, the merchant opts to raise the price on the rival site rather than risk losing sales on Amazon. Pricing alerts reviewed by Bloomberg show Amazon doesn't explicitly tell sellers to raise prices on other sites, and the goal may be to push them to lower their prices on Amazon. But in interviews, merchants say they're so hemmed in by rising costs levied by Amazon and reliant on sales on its marketplace, that they're more likely to raise their prices elsewhere. The Amazon policy is likely to attract scrutiny from Congress and the FTC for fitting the definition of antitrust behavior. "Monopolization charges are always about business conduct that causes harm in a market," said Jennifer Rie, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence who specializes in antitrust litigation. "It could end up being considered illegal conduct because people who prefer to shop on Walmart end up having to pay a higher price."

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E3 Accidentally Doxxed Over 2,000 Journalists, YouTubers, and Streamers

Mon, 2019-08-05 23:20
The Entertainment Software Association, which runs the E3 video game expo, accidentally made phone numbers, emails, names, and addresses of over 2,000 attendees public on their website. "A copy of the list was archived on several popular message boards for trolls, and includes the home addresses of many reporters," reports BuzzFeed News. From the report: The leaked list was discovered by journalist and YouTube creator Sophia Narwitz. Narwitz made a video about the database, titled "The Entertainment Software Association just doxxed over 2000 journalists and content creators," last week. Narwitz told BuzzFeed News that some members of the media criticized her following her video, accusing her of drawing attention to the list. Making Narwitz's role in this more complicated is her history with the pro-GamerGate subreddit, r/KotakuInAction. She's currently arguing publicly with members of the gaming site Kotaku. Based on screenshots Narwitz tweeted, however, she did attempt to notify ESA about the leak before making her video about it. "I think this whole event shows a stunning level of incompetence on the ESA's part. The file wasn't password protected, it was just in the open for anyone to download with a single click," she said. Harassment against those included on the list appears to have already begun. "ESA was made aware of a website vulnerability that led to the contact list of registered journalists attending E3 being made public," the ESA wrote in a statement provided to Kotaku. "Once notified, we immediately took steps to protect that data and shut down the site, which is no longer available. We regret this occurrence and have put measures in place to ensure it will not occur again."

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Google Employee Alleges Discrimination Against Pregnant Women In Viral Memo

Mon, 2019-08-05 22:40
A Google employee has written a memo accusing the company of discriminating and retaliating against her for being pregnant. According to Motherboard, the memo has been seen by more than 10,000 employees. From the report: Last week, the woman posted the memo, titled "I'm Not Returning to Google After Maternity Leave, and Here is Why," to an internal company message board for expecting and new mothers. The memo was reposted to other internal message boards and has since gone viral, multiple current Google employees in different parts of the company have told Motherboard. Since then, employees have been posting memes that have gathered thousands of likes. The memes were made in support of the woman on an internal message board called "Memegen." In the memo, which is more than 2,300 words long, the woman says that her manager made discriminatory remarks about pregnant women. She says she reported the manager to human resources, which she alleges spurred retaliation. The woman, who was also a manager, says she eventually joined another team, but wasn't allowed to manage anyone on that team until she returned from maternity leave; she claims she was told that her maternity leave might "stress the team" and "rock the boat." She says that she and her baby had potentially life-threatening complications toward the end of her pregnancy, and that she would need to go on maternity leave earlier than expected. "During one conversation with my new manager in which I reiterated an early leave and upcoming bedrest, she told me that she had just listened to an NPR segment that debunked the benefits of bedrest," she wrote. "She also shared that her doctor had ordered her to take bedrest, but that she ignored the order and worked up until the day before she delivered her son via cesarean section. My manager then emphasized in this same meeting that a management role was no longer guaranteed upon my return from maternity leave, and that she supported my interviewing for other roles at Google." In response, a Google spokesperson sent this statement: "We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy. To make sure that no complaint raised goes unheard at Google, we give employees multiple channels to report concerns, including anonymously, and investigate all allegations of retaliation."

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Proposed Bill Would Make Monopolies Pay 'Serious' Fines

Mon, 2019-08-05 22:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Trade Commission's recent $5 billion settlement with Facebook largely drew two responses. One holds that $5 billion is objectively a large sum of money, while the other holds that, against Facebook's $55 billion 2018 revenue, the penalty amounts to mere drops in the ocean that will go completely unnoticed within the mammoth company. Both takes are true: a fine can be both a very large amount of money and yet also not "enough." The FTC's ability to penalize businesses, though, is limited under existing law. And so a group of Democratic senators has introduced a bill that could change the law in order to let the FTC fine a bad actor big bucks. The proposed law basically seeks to deter anticompetitive and monopolistic behavior by charging great gobs of money against the companies that get caught doing it. Businesses found to be in violation of certain antitrust laws would owe the greater of either 15% of their annual U.S. revenue or 30% of all revenue over the period of time the unlawful behavior took place. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the bill, which was also cosponsored by senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

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Turkey Moves To Oversee All Online Content, Raises Concerns Over Censorship

Mon, 2019-08-05 21:25
stikves writes: Turkey has granted its radio and television watchdog sweeping oversight over all online content, including streaming platforms like Netflix and online news outlets, in a move that raised concerns over possible censorship. The move was initially approved by Turkey's parliament in March last year, with support from President Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party and its nationalist ally. The regulation, published in Turkey's Official Gazette on Thursday, mandates all online content providers to obtain broadcasting licenses from RTUK, which will then supervise the content put out by the providers. Aside from streaming giant Netflix, other platforms like local streaming websites PuhuTV and BluTV, which in recent years have produced popular shows, will be subject to supervision and potential fines or loss of their license. In addition to subscription services like Netflix, free online news outlets which rely on advertising for their revenues will also be subject to the same measures.

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