Bill Brown

Bill Brown

Followers 22
Following 23
US
Less than a week after it was reported that Facebook plans to more broadly roll out end-to-end encryption across its messaging features, a slew of privacy experts who have criticized the way Facebook has handled user data in the past have announced that they are joining the company.Nate Cardozo, formerly the senior information security counsel for nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, announced in a Facebook post that he would be joining the company as a privacy policy manager for WhatsApp.Robyn Greene, a senior policy counsel and government affairs lead for the Open Technology Institute, tweeted that she’d be joining Facebook as a privacy policy manager working on “law enforcement access and data protection issues.” And Nathan White joined Facebook this month from digital consumer rights group Access Now, The Information reported.A Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat that the company is hiring more experts to improve the company’s privacy products, tools, and processes, and that the goal is to bring in people who can “offer new perspectives and can help push us toward better approaches to privacy challenges in the future.”All three are joining Facebook from organizations that have advocated for secure communications and/or giving more users more control over how their data is handled — issues that Facebook’s approach to has been criticized in the past.Cardozo’s hire is particularly notable given that he’ll be leading privacy policy at WhatsApp.
UK
Fortnite's latest update finally adds mobile controller support.The V7.30 update allows Fortnite players to connect Bluetooth controllers to their mobile devices for improved control (and an overall more fluid experience) than using touchscreen controls.Controlling the game onscreen can often prove frustrating and slow, so it's a big change.It should hopefully make playing Fortnite on mobile much more palatable than it has been previously.In the V7.30 patch notes, Epic Games did not specify exactly which mobile devices this new feature will apply to, only that it will be available for "supported devices".We're hoping that means the majority of Android and iOS devices.
US
A reminder of how quickly the technology world evolves; it’s not only regulations which need to catch-up, but business practices too, as a Supreme Court opens the door for privacy lawsuits.In an interesting case, the Supreme Court of Illinois has set precedent for its Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).Companies who have not appropriately obtained consent from individuals before storing biometric data can now be sued under the BIPA without said individual being damaged, fraud for example, by the scenario.The ruling makes BIPA a dangerous piece of paper, as effective use of the Freedom of Information Act could put a few in precarious positions.The BIPA prohibits companies from gathering, using, or sharing biometric information without informed opt-in consent, though the issue which the Supreme Court has been considering is whether there are grounds for a lawsuit without damage being inflicted to the user.“Contrary to the appellate court’s view, an individual need not allege some actual injury or adverse effect, beyond violation of his or her rights under the Act, in order to qualify as an ‘aggrieved’ person and be entitled to seek liquidated damages and injunctive relief pursuant to the Act,” stated Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier in his decision.
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UK
One in 20 UK adults does not believe the Holocaust took place, a survey suggests, while one in 12 believes its scale has been exaggerated.Almost two-thirds of respondents (64%) either could not say how many Jews were murdered or “grossly” under-estimated the number, a survey of more than 2,000 people by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust found.On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people, including survivors, politicians and members of the public, will gather to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and remember its eleven million victims, six million of them Jews.More than 11,000 activities are expected to take place, while ceremonies will be held in London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.A national commemorative ceremony will take place in Westminster to mark the day, which is also acknowledging the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda and 40 years since the end of the genocide in Cambodia.Hulton Deutsch via Getty Images
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US
Premiering this week at the Sundance Film Festival 2019, this raw drama uses a fresh young cast to offer up a thoughtful, compelling allegory for the metoo era.As groggy night gives way to the cold light of day, her phone blows up with concerned texts.Writer and director Pippa Bianco marshals a naturalistic teen cast led by a sympathetic performance from Rhianne Barreto as Mandy.The droning and tinkling score marries with muted colours and jumpy, jarring editing as the camera shoulders in among the kids.They're children, bored and playing, flitting from hard partying to lung-busting sport with the vigour of youth.But Share avoids becoming a cautionary tale about drinking and drugs and the strange urge to film everything.
UK
During a recent interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella praised the European data regulation GDPR and called for the US to follow suit.Nadella shared his opinion on the new regulation which went into effect in May of last year, saying:"My own point of view on GDPR is it's a fantastic start on really treating privacy as a human right.I'm hopeful that in the United States we will have something that is along the same lines."Microsoft's CEO isn't alone in his beliefs and Apple's Tim Cook echoed similar ideas in his recent op-ed in Time Magazine in which he called for the US to rein in data brokers to help give consumers true privacy when it comes to their data.Microsoft's President Brad Smith also brought up privacy at this year's World Economic Forum.
US
The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty broke cover at the Detroit Auto Show, boasting a mantle-shifting 1,000 pound-feet of torque.That's all well and good, but what if you want to pull the world's largest stumps with a bit more flash?This week, Ram unveiled the Ram HD Laramie Longhorn.It's not going to give the truck any more torque -- like it needs it.Rather, it's an appearance package that aims to make the interior about as fancy as possible with Southwestern flavor.It maintains the premium look with chrome bumpers, side steps, wheel flares and 20-inch alloy wheels.
US
No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you — that's an alpaca walking around in an optician's office.The fluffy mammal walked into an optician's office in Hennebont, France after authorities believe it escaped from a nearby farm, SWNS reports.As the alpaca walked past the store, the automatic doors opened and the curious camelid decided to venture in for a closer look.Photographer Pierre-yves Nicolas spotted the furry creature and said it appeared to be at ease, checking itself out in the mirrors."The alpaca walked down the street, past my studio and stopped in front of the opticians' shop," the 58-year-old photographer said."He stayed there for half an hour.
Sweden
Bilar, rymdraketer och nu partikelacceleratorer?Och enligt entreprenören skulle det innebära kostnadsbesparingar på flera miljarder euro.Europeiska organisationen för kärnforskning, Cern, är världens största partikelfysiklaboratorium – och partikelacceleratorn Large Hadron Collider är ett otroligt viktigt verktyg.Men man är på väg att växa ur LHC, och i mitten av januari presenterades planer på att bygga en ny större accelerator.Entreprenören som revolutionerat både bil- och rymdindustrin tillfrågades om att hjälpa till i bygget.Enligt brittiska Independent tog Fabiola Gianotti, generaldirektör för Cern, kontakt med Musk i somras för att förhöra sig om huruvida tunnelbolaget The Boring Company kunde vara aktuellt.
US
The digital divide might not be on the same scale or intensity as some other continents are facing, but it is still a genuine problem for some regions in the ‘developed’ markets.Which has unveiled its latest list of connectivity not-spots throughout the UK, and unfortunately for those who like the peace and tranquillity of the countryside, the Eden comes with the sacrifice of connectivity.The Orkney Islands in Scotland were the worst offenders for connectivity, with average speeds hitting a whopping 3 Mbps, though Allerdale, the Shetland Islands and Moray were also representing Scotland at the top (or bottom).While there might be constant reminders that digital equality is top of the list for politicians, the consistency of the worst offending areas just shows how difficult it is to solve the problem.The government might well have its Universal Service Obligation to wave in the face of the operators, but that seems to be having little effect.Interestingly enough, previous reports have pointed towards the availability of higher speed broadband packages in these areas.
China
Auto concierge platform Motorist.sg today announced it’s raised seed funding from JobsCentral co-founders Der Shing Lim and Shao-Ning Huang and Zopim’s Royston Tay for an undisclosed amount.The Singapore-based startup claims to have facilitated over 9,200 transactions worth US$176 million since its founding in 2015.It already has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam, but is planning on opening a fourth in Thailand with the new injection.Motorist.sg CEO Damian Sia says the company intends to raise another round of funding in mid-2019.
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US
Welcome to Hard Fork Basics, a collection of tips, tricks, guides, and advice to keep you up to date in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world.Some seem to think so, but of course, it won’t be simple.There are numerous “solutions” being offered by various developers, researchers, and academics.The concept of sharding existed long before it became part of the blockchain industry’s lexicon.It’s traditionally used in database management to ensure the database operates at optimum speed and efficiency.Generally speaking, none of these smaller “sharded” databases should have anything that is also replicated in another shard to reduce duplicates of data.
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China
Chinese giant NetEase Games has for the first time moved to limit the amount of time China’s youth spend playing its games, highlighting the increased scrutiny of the country’s gaming sector.Gaming companies have faced greater oversight for their alleged involvement in childhood gaming addiction.Last year, state mouthpiece the People’s Daily called Tencent’s online multiplayer title “Honour of Kings” poison, saying greater regulation of social games is needed.NetEase will limit users 12-years-old and under to one hour of gameplay a day from Monday to Fridays, and two hours on Saturdays and Sundays, the company said in a statement.Gamers between the ages of 13 and 18 will be permitted to play two hours on weekdays and three hours on weekends.NetEase will also ban underage players from logging on between 9:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m every day.
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US
If there's one thing an automaker loves, it's auctioning off the first VIN of a fancy new model for charity.Ford's the latest automaker to hitch its horse to that cart, and it's one hell of a horse.The keen eyes at Car and Driver found the auction listing for the first 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 off the production line.VIN 001 will be sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.The auction house estimates that the auction will finish up on Friday, Jan. 18 at approximately 8:30 p.m. Mountain.As with many other high-profile VIN 001 auctions, 100 percent of the proceeds are going to charity.
UK
The leaks of the Samsung Galaxy S10 have been pouring in, but the latest one is probably going to get someone fired.A Reddit post has appeared of a creepshot of someone holding what appears to be the S10 Plus:Suspicions were raised by the pill-shaped camera cutout on the top right of the screen, and a purported Samsung worker chipped in to confirm:He has the security case on (flip cover, folded corner on left), but he removed the security software that puts watermark/employee+deviceId on screen.Lot of trouble for thatEdit; I have one also, AMA
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US
January is the trial month of eating healthier and working out more but if you really want to stick to your fitness goals a home gym might be the solution.Building a home gym may sound pricey but when you budget smart enough you can have your very own home gym for under $350.The right tools and equipment will help you along the way and right now Walmart has great discounts on gym equipment.If 2019 is the year you start investing in your health goals, Walmart is discounting this professional workout equipment so you can exercise from the comfort of your home.There’s a lot of expensive machinery out there but the Gold’s Gym XRS 50 home gym with high and low pulley system is a complete workout unit that targets your entire body.It packs up to 280 pounds of weight for lifting which is an impressive amount for this price.
US
These robots not only help us turn the lights on or order the groceries.A friendly robot that can socially interact is just the tonic for elderly, lonely, or mobility-challenged people.Changing the way we think about robotsOf all the famous science fiction books and movies about robots going rogue and wiping out humanity, The Terminator is probably the most well known.In that movie, the robots follow the (human-given) command to protect the human race by exterminating some of them.Aside from movies and replacement limbs, the world now uses robotic surgical assistants, robot aids to vacuum and clean the house in our absence, and there are even people who have robotic dogs.
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During 2018’s I/O conference, Google announced a new approach for developing Android apps.Part of Android JetPack, the Navigation Architecture Component helps you visualize the different routes through your application and simplifies the process of implementing these routes, particularly when it comes to managing fragment transactions.To use the Navigation component, you’ll need to create a Navigation Graph, which is an XML file describing how your app’s Activities and fragments relate to each other.A Navigation Graph consists of:Destinations: The individual screens the user can navigate toActions: The routes the user can take between your app’s destinations
US
Germany automotive firm Continental is best know for its tires, but at CES 2019 the company is demonstrating something a little different: package delivery by robot dog.As part of its research into the future of mobility, Continental has partnered with robotics company ANYbotics (a spin off from ETH Zurich) to imagine the future of package delivery.In a staged demonstration on the CES show floor, the firm showed how one of ANYbotics’ four-legged robots could jump out the back of a self-driving delivery truck and carry a package right up to someone’s front door.In the demo, the ANYMal robot could be seen slowly picking its way over debris in the garden before ringing the fake doorbell with one if its limbs.It then tips the package off its back onto the porch and performs a little victory dance as a bonus.As you might guess from the staged nature of this demo, Continental has no plans to make this a real service any time soon.
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The latest version of Google’s first-party Podcasts app has added support for Android Auto, reports AndroidPolice.Popular paid podcasting app Pocket Casts has been Android Auto compatible since 2015, but support for Google’s free alternative, which was launched just last year, is long overdue.Its interface works pretty much as you’d expect any Android Auto podcasting app to.There are sections to view all your podcasts, new episodes, downloads and in-progress episodes, and while you’re listening you have access to standard playback controls.There are also a pair of buttons that let you skip forward and back by 30 and 10 seconds respectively.Android Auto support is available for Google Podcasts with version 8.91 of the Google app, which is currently in beta, but should be rolling out to everyone shortly.
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