John Lister

Tue
02
Jan
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Websites Face $60 Million Fine for 'Illegal Content'

Social media sites could face fines of almost $60 million if they don't remove hate speech and other illegal posts within 24 hours of receiving a report. The new German law has prompted Facebook to recruit hundreds of staff. It's the result of the ... Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz law, which is known as NetzDG for short, and literally translates as Network Enforcement Act. (Source: BBC.com ) Libel And Hate Speech Both Covered The law doesn't change what content is allowed and not allowed. Instead, it says that sites must remove any content that is "obviously illegal." A prime example is ... (view more)

Thu
28
Dec
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Library Of Congress Abandons Twitter Archive

The Library of Congress has abandoned a project to archive every post made on Twitter. It blames the sheer number of "tweets" now being made, along with an increasing reliance on images and videos. The library is the world's largest and collects all ... manner of documents from newspapers to government forms. As a general rule it, doesn't aim to collect all possible data from a source but made an exception for Twitter in 2010. At that point it reached an agreement with Twitter to get a copy of its complete archive of posts, then dating back to 2006. The idea was to "document the emergence of ... (view more)

Wed
27
Dec
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Apple Admits: Older iPhone Models Purposely Slowed Down

Apple has admitted it deliberately slowed down older iPhones, saying the move improved performance. It's ended years of speculation, but sparked a flurry of lawsuits. Every time a new iPhone comes out, a conspiracy theory emerges that older iPhones ... suddenly started getting slower. Critics claimed Apple was deliberately slowing down the models so that people would be more tempted to upgrade to the new model in the hope of regaining their former performance. Apple has always denied this and a study a couple of months ago found no clear pattern of processor performance and speed slowing down, ... (view more)

Thu
21
Dec
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Uber Ruling Could Affect Other Tech Companies

A European court has ruled that Uber is a transport company rather than a tech business. It may not make an immediate difference to its operations, but could be a big step in the way online companies are regulated. Uber, which describes itself as a ... ride-hailing firm, lets users hire a cab through a smartphone app, then pairs them with self-employed drivers in the area. The ruling by the European Court of Justice stemmed from attempts by city officials in Barcelona, Spain to hold Uber to the same local regulations as traditional taxi services. The legal principle determined by the case now ... (view more)

Wed
20
Dec
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'Password' Still a Common Password in 2017

A security company has released its list of the worst passwords of 2017. As always with this annual survey, it tells us more about culture than security practices. The list comes from SplashData, which compiles the rankings based on how many times ... particular passwords appears in leaked lists of user databases (mainly among English language users). The survey this year totaled more than five million passwords, though it's worth noting the company deliberately excluded leaks of passwords from adult sites. (Source: cnet.com ) The most common are hardly any surprise with "123456" beating out " ... (view more)

Tue
19
Dec
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Facebook to Penalize 'Engagement Bait' Posts

Facebook says it's cracking down on posts that unreasonably encourage users to share content or tag friends. It's also offering a way to temporarily stop seeing posts from a particular user. The move is designed to deal with people and organizations ... who take unfair advantage of the way Facebook decides what most users see on the site (with the default settings). The order posts appear for a particular user is heavily influenced by how many other people the user knows have "liked", shared or commented on. Meanwhile tagging somebody in a post (which is done by writing their name in a reply to a ... (view more)

Thu
14
Dec
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Trio Admits Hijacking Home Devices

Three Americans have plead guilty to hijacking more than 100,000 internet-connected devices. The group of infected machines (known as a "botnet") was then used to attack websites using a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) to make websites ... unavailable. While most DDoS attacks are carried out on PCs, this attack in particular targeted weaknesses in smaller devices that use the Internet. This included routers, digital video recorders and wireless cameras. That's a significant point, as the tech security community has generally treated security flaws in such devices as a lower ... (view more)

Wed
13
Dec
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Report: AI Trading May Hasten a Stock Market Crash

Artificial intelligence designed to make investing more reliable could backfire in the next stock market crash, according to a global business site. The article for website "Quartz" says AI systems might not react well if market conditions suddenly ... change. The problem is with the increasingly sophisticated way that computer programs can make investment decisions on behalf of human investments. Computers have been used for such processes for many years - but until recently, were simply set to follow basic preprogrammed rules. For example: the program might place a buy order if a ... (view more)

Tue
12
Dec
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Former Exec Slams Facebook for 'Destroying Society'

A former Facebook executive says the site is responsible for "ripping apart the social fabric of how society works." Chamath Palihapitiya says the problem isn't restricted to the US. Speaking at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Palihapitiya ... said he felt "tremendous guilt" about his role as Facebook's vice president of user growth. Talking about the way Facebook tried to get users to stick around on the site, he echoed the comments of former colleagues in likening it to psychological manipulation. Social Media Works Like Drug He referred to "dopamine-driven feedback loops", referring ... (view more)

Thu
07
Dec
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YouTube Pulled From Amazon Gadgets

Users of some Amazon gadgets will have to look elsewhere for YouTube videos, after Google announced it will block the site from the devices. It's a tit-for-tat response to Amazon refusing to stock some Google hardware products. YouTube will be ... blocked from January 1st, 2018 on Amazon Fire TV devices, which include both table-top boxes and HDMI sticks. There's also an immediate block on YouTube on the Echo Show, which is a variant of the 'smart speaker' range that includes a screen. Google had already blocked YouTube on the Echo Show once but Amazon found a workaround. That workaround has now ... (view more)

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