Technology

SF Bans Police From Using Facial Recognition Tech

Wired reports: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ban the use of facial recognition by city agencies, a first-of-its-kind measure that has inspired similar efforts elsewhere. San Francisco’s ban covers government agencies, including the city police and county sheriff’s department, but doesn’t affect the technology that unlocks your iPhone or cameras installed by businesses or individuals. It’s …

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Chinese Company To Sell Grindr After US Demand

The Associated Press reports: Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd said on Monday it had agreed to a request by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to sell popular gay dating app Grindr, setting a June 2020 deadline to do so. Kunlun’s decision came after Reuters reported in March that CFIUS, an inter-agency government …

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AGAIN: Facebook Warns Of WhatsApp Spyware Breach

Reuters reports: Facebook’s WhatsApp urged users to upgrade to the latest version of its popular messaging app after reporting that users might be vulnerable to having malicious spyware installed on phones without their knowledge. Earlier, the Financial Times (FT) reported that a vulnerability in WhatsApp allowed attackers to inject spyware on phones by ringing up targets using the app’s phone …

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SF May Ban Cops From Using Facial Recognition Tech

The Associated Press reports: San Francisco is on track to become the first U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition by police and other city agencies, reflecting a growing backlash against a technology that’s creeping into airports, motor vehicle departments, stores, stadiums and home security cameras. Government agencies around the U.S. have used the technology for more than …

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SCOTUS Rules 5-4 Against Apple In App Store Case

USA Today reports: The Supreme Court opened the door Monday for iPhone users to sue Apple over excessive prices on its exclusive App Store. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the 5-4 opinion and was joined by the court’s four liberal justices. The other four conservatives dissented. The question before the justices was whether consumers’ beef over prices is with Apple …

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Putin Signs Bill To Create Russia-Only Internet

CNN reports: Russia is one step closer to creating its own, independent internet—at least legally speaking. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law new measures that would enable the creation of a national network, able to operate separately from the rest of the world, according to documents posted on a government portal on Wednesday. For now, the network remains …

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Facebook Unveils Major Redesign, Focuses On Groups

The New York Times reports: Mark Zuckerberg declared last month that he planned to shift Facebook away from being a public town square and to private communications. Now the chief executive is rolling out the first in a series of changes to achieve that. On Tuesday at its annual developer conference, Facebook unveiled a redesign of its mobile app and …

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Domains Giant GoDaddy Takes Down 15K Scam Sites

Wired reports: You’ve seen the ads in your email or online: Celebrities supposedly hawking miracle weight loss cures or galaxy brain supplements. They’re at this point endemic to the web, as deeply ingrained as hashtags and puppies. But even though plenty of people fall for them, no one ever really does anything about it. Of all the security threats online, …

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Facebook Expects Record FTC Fine Up To $5B Over Their Dealings With Data-Mining Cambridge Analytica

CBS News reports: Facebook said it could face a fine of up to $5 billion as the result of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. The agency has been investigating Facebook for possible privacy violations, but has not announced any findings yet. The company set aside $3 billion in its quarterly earnings report Wednesday as a contingency against the …

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Streaming Services Win Battle For Oscars Eligibility

CNBC reports: In a win for Netflix, Amazon and other internet streaming services, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted not to change its rules for winning an Oscar, Hollywood’s top prize. The decision follows a battle over how long a movie must play on the big screens in theaters before being launched on the internet, DVD, …

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Broken Screens Delay Samsung’s $2000 Foldable

The Verge reports: Samsung has confirmed reports from earlier today that it is postponing the release of its $2,000 Galaxy Fold foldable phone only days before it was originally scheduled to go on sale. “We want our customers to have the best experience possible which is why, after initial feedback, we have decided to delay the release of the category-changing …

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Evangelicals Flip Out Over Medical AI: We Deny That “Disease Can Be Eradicated Apart From Jesus Christ”

A coalition of evangelical groups has issued a lengthy policy statement on artificial intelligence. Some excerpts: We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, …

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Bezos Divorce: He Keeps All Of WaPo, 75% Of Amazon

NBC News reports: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos, have finalized their divorce. The powerful business executive, whose portfolio includes The Washington Post, and his now-former wife announced the dissolution of their marriage in separate statements on Twitter. “Grateful to have finished the process of dissolving my marriage with Jeff with support from each other and everyone who reached …

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Online Shopping Overtakes Brick-And-Mortar Sales

CNBC reports: Online shopping led by Amazon hit a new milestone in February. The total market share of “non-store,” or online U.S. retail sales was higher than general sales for the first time in history, according to a report from the Commerce Department this week. Non-store retail sales last month accounted for 11.813 percent of the total, compared with 11.807 …

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Google Pulls Ex-Gay Torture App After HRC Pressure

Axios reports: Google is pulling a controversial app that LGBTQ rights groups say engages in a form of conversion therapy, joining Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, all of which banned the app months ago. Google had refused to ban the app from Living Hope Ministries, saying it didn’t clearly violate its Play Store terms of service. The change comes less than …

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HRC Yanks Google Endorsement Over Ex-Gay App

Fortune reports: Google lost an endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. LGBTQ group, over an app tied to the practice of so-called “conversion therapy” to change a gay person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which had previously scored a perfect 100 on the annual Corporate Equality Index, will have its rating withheld until the …

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Appeals Court Rules For Grindr In Impersonation Suit, Plaintiff Claims Ex-BF Had 1000+ Men Seek Him Out

Courthouse News Service reports: The case of the New Yorker whose nightmarish experience on Grindr sparked national headlines and federal litigation will disappear with neither a trace nor a precedent. An attorney for Matthew Herrick, whose ex-boyfriend used the hook-up app to send about 1,100 suitors Herrick’s way, had choice words Wednesday after the Second Circuit affirmed dismissal of their …

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EU Mandates Anti-Speeding Devices For New Vehicles

Forbes reports: Drivers in Europe will soon have to get used to anti-speeding devices in their cars, after EU legislators agreed this morning on new legislation requiring them. The agreement came after months of often tense negotiations which pitted safety against freedom, and prompted concerns over “big brother” watching driving behavior. The legislation will require all new vehicles put on …

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US Pressures Chinese Company To Sell Grindr Over Security Concerns Regarding US Military Personnel

Reuters reports: Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd is seeking to sell Grindr LLC, the popular gay dating app it has owned since 2016, after a U.S. government national security panel raised concerns about its ownership, according to people familiar with the matter. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has informed Kunlun that its …

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Google To Fund Dozens Of New Local News Websites

Axios reports: Google is launching the Local Experiments Project, an effort to fund dozens of new local news websites around the country and eventually around the world. The tech giant says it will have no editorial control over the sites, which will be built by partners it selects with local news expertise. Big tech companies like Google and Facebook are …

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