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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball yesterday at 07:29. 1 comments

The FAA Knew

The FAA Knew

The Federal Aviation Administration was well aware of the fatal hazards with the Boeing 737 MAX before the March 2019 Ethiopian Airlines crash and allowed the planes to continue carrying passengers, a report shows. As the Wall Street Journal notes, the FAA had estimated that throughout its 30-45 year life cycle, the Boeing 737 MAX would have crashed roughly as many times as “all fatal...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 11, 2019 at 06:49. 1 comments

Report: Advertising Scammer Bribed a Facebook Employee to Keep Its Posts Up

Report: Advertising Scammer Bribed a Facebook Employee to Keep Its Posts Up

Here’s one more leak in the drip drip drip of evidence that Facebook is totally out of control, even if and when it tries to get it together. Buzzfeed reports that an extremely predatory scammer that exploited Baby Boomers (also previously exposed by Buzzfeed in October) had a helper on the inside at Facebook.

An enterprising former member of Facebook’s policy team known in messages as “Ryan”...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 11, 2019 at 02:30. 3 comments

Influencer Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison After Domain Hijacking at Gunpoint Goes Awry

Influencer Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison After Domain Hijacking at Gunpoint Goes Awry

We give you our modern-day Macbeth, a 27-year-old man who once sat on an empire of dumb college memes and now, after a domain name hijacking that ended in bloodshed, pays the price of 14 years in federal prison and $35,000. Was it all worth it, Mr. Adams?, we ask, as we now reflect on the nature of the United States in 2019.

The facts of the case are as follows: by 2015, Rossi Lorathio Adams...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 10, 2019 at 00:10.

Witness Spooky Evidence of Snapchat's New Face-Swapping Feature

Witness Spooky Evidence of Snapchat's New Face-Swapping Feature

Sometimes social media dipsomania comes into harsh relief, as it did today when the technology wars manifested themselves as the ability to superimpose your face on a cat: aka, Snapchat’s new social drug “Cameos.” It’s terrifying.

As TechCrunch first reported, Snapchat has selectively released a beta version of a feature which allows users to scan their faces and insert them into a collection...

Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 07, 2019 at 23:00. 10 comments

The Quiet Joys of ASMR Porn

The Quiet Joys of ASMR Porn

I am watching a video of the outward crevice of a human’s large intestine. The cavity, exposed in the cold light of day, is isolated from the owner’s body; it pulsates to what sounds like wet dog food squishing in the palm of a hand. It is, at turns, grotesque, then abstract, suggestive of the hungry mouth of a carnivorous sea creature. It is what a high-minded curator might call “liminal” in...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 07, 2019 at 07:15. 16 comments

Away Warns Employees Not to 'Like' or 'Fave' Article Detailing Execs' Psycho Behavior

Away Warns Employees Not to 'Like' or 'Fave' Article Detailing Execs' Psycho Behavior

If we’ve learned nothing else this year, it’s that behind every breezy inspirational lifestyle brand advertising vast sunny horizons lurks a demon tyrant draining the sweat and blood of Millennial urbanites slaving day and night in the miserable dungeons of Slack.

This is to say that it’s been a whirlwind 24 hours since The Verge’s breathtaking exposé on rampant workplace abuse at the...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 07, 2019 at 04:43. 5 comments

FCC Finds Wireless Carriers Wildly Overstate Coverage, Gives Them More Money Anyway

FCC Finds Wireless Carriers Wildly Overstate Coverage, Gives Them More Money Anyway

On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission, the ghoulish specter of a disemboweled regulatory body, for a fleeting moment appeared before a House oversight committee as shadow of its former self. It produced: a report! The result of a year-long investigation, FCC field agents exposed mobile carriers’ sham claims of providing coverage to underserved areas; the FCC then took that...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 06, 2019 at 22:20. 6 comments

Twitter's NSFW Purge Looms

Twitter's NSFW Purge Looms

Terms of Service updates are messy, particularly for sex workers, who are always a casualty of moderation wars. Instagram shadowbans fully-clothed bodies; Patreon suspends adult content creators; Tumblr boots them altogether; payment processors indiscriminately shutter accounts . So when Twitter, the last major social media sanctuary for porn and artful nudity, announced that it’s banning...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 05, 2019 at 05:30. 12 comments

Should You Be Allowed to Copyright a Law? We're Going to Find Out

Should You Be Allowed to Copyright a Law? We're Going to Find Out

Copyright law, boring on its face, has posed various unprecedented threats to intellectual freedoms in recent internet history. It threatens to kill our links , kill our news , kill our memes, kill our precious videos of babies dancing to Prince . And yesterday, the Supreme Court considered the momentously stupid question: should you be able to paywall a law?

The answer is no!!!!, but Georgia...

12 Comments

Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 04, 2019. 3 comments

Six Top Tech Companies Weaseled Their Way Out of $100 Billion in Taxes, Study Finds

Six Top Tech Companies Weaseled Their Way Out of $100 Billion in Taxes, Study Finds

Tech companies don’t pay their taxes. Together, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Apple, and Microsoft may have skipped out on over $100 billion in taxes they should have paid since 2010, according to a new report from the UK-based tax accreditation organization Fair Tax Mark. That’s enough to pay three million Americans the median per capita annual income, 14 percent of US annual spending...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 03, 2019. 9 comments

Donald Trump to Freak Out About Political Ads on Google in 3, 2, 1

Donald Trump to Freak Out About Political Ads on Google in 3, 2, 1

Donald Trump clearly doesn’t watch CBS, because if he did, he’d be standing on a tarmac in front of a chopper, screaming about yesterday’s 60 Minutes report. For an interview with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, the program found that Google and YouTube collected the Trump campaign’s money for more than 300 video ads before removing them days later. The evidence can be found in Google’s public...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Dec 03, 2019.

New Cell Phone Users in China Must Now Submit to Face Recognition Scans

New Cell Phone Users in China Must Now Submit to Face Recognition Scans

As the Black Friday authorities command Americans to buy, buy, buy, until we’re choking on packing peanuts, I suppose the retail dystopia could be bleaker. Effective yesterday, consumers registering new phone numbers or purchasing SIM cards in China have to get their faces scanned under a new rule that orders citizens to submit their identities to facial recognition companies.

The policy,...

Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Nov 28, 2019. 3 comments

Apple Bows to Pressure and Lists Crimea as Part of Russia in Maps

Apple Bows to Pressure and Lists Crimea as Part of Russia in Maps

Earlier today, Moscow-based BBC journalist Will Vernon noticed that Apple appears to have quietly ceded to Russia’s stance on Crimea by redrawing national borders on the Russian version of its Maps app and labeling the region as “Russia.” When viewed from the US, Crimea is listed simply as “Crimea” and no home country is given for the peninsula. Since Russia occupied and annexed the peninsula...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Nov 28, 2019. 14 comments

Mark Zuckerberg Basically Only Invited White Men to His Conversation Series, the Result Is a Grueling Endurance Test

Mark Zuckerberg Basically Only Invited White Men to His Conversation Series, the Result Is a Grueling Endurance Test

Mark Zuckerberg cares deeply about the voice of the people, so this year, he invited a bunch of white dudes to discuss that and other Big Stuff in six pre-recorded conversations. This was Zuckerberg’s 2019 “personal challenge”: A series of “public discussions” aimed, in his words, to “engage more in some of these debates about the future, the tradeoffs we face, and where we want to go.”

The...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Nov 27, 2019. 10 comments

Bloodsucking Prison Telecom Is Scamming Inmates With 'Free' Tablets

Bloodsucking Prison Telecom Is Scamming Inmates With 'Free' Tablets

When you get free technology, you can reasonably assume that you’re getting screwed. That’s infinitely truer if you’re in prison.

As Reason first reported, the West Virginia Division of Corrections struck a deal in February with GTL (formerly Global Tel*Link), the rent-seeking prison telecommunications company that’s been gobbling up smaller providers and gouging inmates for, in one Oregon...

10 Comments

Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Nov 27, 2019.

Beloved Koala Famous for Viral Rescue Has Been Put Down

Beloved Koala Famous for Viral Rescue Has Been Put Down

The inferno that’s ripped through thousands of square miles of Australia has, as of four days ago, reportedly claimed six lives, around 600 homes, millions of acres of forest, and koalas en masse. Today we’ve lost another baby, whose rescue uplifted social media for a fleeting moment and whose death quashes joy.

But it’s for the best. Yesterday, the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie announced...

Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Nov 26, 2019. 16 comments

Is Julian Assange Okay or What?

Is Julian Assange Okay or What?

Julian Assange got a doctors’ note—doctors’, plural, from over 60 doctors, yes, s-i-x-t-y. In an assessment culled from “harrowing eyewitness accounts” from his October court hearing, as well as testimony from various doctors and visitors over the years. They write that he can’t stand trial and call on the UK to get him to a university teaching hospital immediately, or else he could “die in...

16 Comments

Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Nov 26, 2019. 10 comments

The Plan to Fix the Web Needs More Murder

The Plan to Fix the Web Needs More Murder

A skeptic might read the headline “I Invented the World Wide Web. Here’s How We Can Fix It” as another hollow New York Times regret-itorial along the lines of “I Created a Monster. Here’s My Next Thing!” But Tim Berners-Lee, the benevolent father of the internet, has produced an international treaty to rebuild the web as its founders envisioned, with the endorsements of Facebook and Google,...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Nov 23, 2019. 3 comments

U.S. Army Looking Into National Security Concerns Over TikTok After Using It to Recruit Troops

U.S. Army Looking Into National Security Concerns Over TikTok After Using It to Recruit Troops

The United States Army, which has attracted scrutiny for deploying its recruitment campaign on TikTok, hears the drums of the resistance, Reuters reports. On Thursday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy announced that he’s ordered a national security assessment in response to a letter from Senator Chuck Schumer, who again flagged concerns over user data vulnerable to the clutches of the Chinese...

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Whitney Kimball Whitney Kimball Nov 22, 2019. 9 comments

Amnesty International: Google and Facebook Are a Threat to Human Rights

Amnesty International: Google and Facebook Are a Threat to Human Rights

Amnesty International has compiled a 60-page inventory of cases illustrating how we arrived here in the Google-Facebook surveillance hellscape. It doesn’t tell us much more than we already know, but it pounds and pounds on the message that we’re kneeling before the overlords Mark and Sundar and surrendering our data, even as we read the report, and there’s not much we can do about that. This...

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