11/26/2016

Delete yourself from the internet by pressing this button

The internet can be a beautiful and horrible place at the same time, and it isn’t weird to sometimes feel like you want to leave — there’s wasn’t an easy way out, until now.

Swedish developers Wille Dahlbo and Linus Unnebäck created Deseat.me, which offers a way to wipe your entire existence off the internet in a few clicks.

When logging into the website with a Google account it scans for apps and services you’ve created an account for, and creates a list of them with easy delete links.

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11/26/2016

Businesses brace for Trump decision on H-1B visas in wake of Sessions pick

termination-of-employment

President-elect Donald Trump’s policies on illegal immigration, particularly on the border wall and cracking down on sanctuary cities, were at the center of his election campaign. Now, advocates of immigration restriction are hoping for reform to H-1B visas that they say are hurting American workers.

The H-1B is a temporary, non-immigrant visa, currently capped at 85,000 visas a year, that allows employers to hire skilled, specialty workers on a temporary basis — particularly scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.

However, critics say that the system is rife with abuse, and is no longer a limited short-term program to help employers with unexpected labor shortages in niche areas, and has instead become a way to push out American workers in favor of cheap foreign labor.

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04/14/2016

Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

In the wake of the FBI’s failed fight against Apple, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have introduced a draft bill that would effectively ban strong crypto.

The bill would require tech and communications companies to allow law enforcement with a court order to decrypt their customers’ data. Last week a draft copy of the bill, dubbed the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, was leaked, but the new version is even worse than the discussion draft.

The bill would apply to “device manufacturers, software manufacturers, electronic communication services, remote communication services, providers of wire or electronic communication services, providers of remote communication services, or any person who provides a product or method to facilitate a communication or to process or store data.” That’s a pretty wide net.

“No entity or individual is above the law,” said Feinstein. “The bill we have drafted would simply provide that, if a court of law issues an order to render technical assistance or provide decrypted data, the company or individual would be required to do so.

“Today, terrorists and criminals are increasingly using encryption to foil law enforcement efforts, even in the face of a court order. We need strong encryption to protect personal data, but we also need to know when terrorists are plotting to kill Americans.”

Not that it would stop terrorists – apart from the very, very stupid ones. This law would only apply to US companies or overseas firms with offices here, so anyone else who writes encryption software would still be able to sell their code online to the evil terrorists and their ilk.

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03/04/2016

Zuckerberg and the Facebook Thought Police

Billionaire, alleged tax-dodger, CEO and all-round PC dullard Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook is not doing enough to combat hate speech.

At a recent townhall event in Berlin he pledged to work closer with the German authorities, and even offered to fund a section of the German police, in order to help Facebook expand its view of ‘protected groups’ and restrict ‘hate speech against migrants’.

Pardon my German, but what utter scheisse.

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09/15/2015

YouTube ‘Dancing Baby’ Copyright Ruling Sets Fair Use Guideline

In February 2007, Stephanie Lenz, a mother in Gallitzin, Pa., went on YouTube and uploaded a 29-second video of her toddler dancing while Prince’s song “Let’s Go Crazy” played in the background.

Prince’s publishers objected, Ms. Lenz filed a lawsuit, and for more than eight years the case has been symbolic of the clashes over copyright online.

On Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, cleared the way for the case to go to trial, and set a guideline that may change the way media companies police their holdings online. In its decision, the three-judge panel ruled that copyright holders must consider fair use before asking services like YouTube to remove videos that include material they control.

The suit, known as the “dancing baby” case, has become famous for its focus on the kind of Internet activity that millions of ordinary people engage in, posting candid videos of family and friends that may only incidentally include copyrighted media like songs. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group that represented Ms. Lenz in her lawsuit against Universal, called the judges’ decision a victory for Internet users.

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07/23/2015

As Collapse of IBM Continues, Clueless CEO Crumbles

As International Business Machines Corp.’s (IBM) financial results continue a remarkable collapse, its CEO, Ginni Rometty, becomes ever more optimistic in her view of the company’s future. Rometty’s public comments are either a sign of self-delusion or a means to keep a job on which her grip weakens by the quarter.

Consider that IBM posted a 13.5% drop in revenue to $20.8 billion in the second quarter and that net income fell 16.6% to $3.6 billion. Measure that against her reaction:

Our results for the first half of 2015 demonstrate that we continue to transform our business to higher value and return value to shareholders. We expanded margins, continued to innovate across our portfolio and delivered strong growth in our strategic imperatives of cloud, analytics and engagement, which are becoming a significant part of our business.

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