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Binance Says It Doesn't Own Indian Exchange WazirX, Years After Acquisition Announcement

Fri, 2022-08-05 12:50
Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange by trading volume, said on Friday it doesn't own India-based platform WazirX despite disclosing the acquisition two and a half years ago. From a report: Changpeng Zhao, founder and chief executive of Binance, said in a series of tweets that the company has been "trying to conclude the deal for the past few years," but hasn't completed the transaction yet citing "a few issues" that he declined to elaborate. Binance announced the acquisition of WazirX in late 2019 in a blog post. The official blog post, which carried a picture of Zhao and WazirX founders, also featured the Binance executive's enthusiasm about the deal. "The acquisition of WazirX shows our commitment and dedication to the Indian people and strengthen the blockchain ecosystem in India as well as another step forward in achieving the freedom of money," the 2019 post cited him as saying. WazirX also reported that it had been "successfully acquired by Binance" in a separate blog post.

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Facial Recognition Smartwatches To Be Used To Monitor Foreign Offenders in UK

Fri, 2022-08-05 12:05
Migrants who have been convicted of a criminal offence will be required to scan their faces up to five times a day using smartwatches installed with facial recognition technology under plans from the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. From a report: In May, the government awarded a contract to the British technology company Buddi Limited to deliver "non-fitted devices" to monitor "specific cohorts" as part of the Home Office Satellite Tracking Service. The scheme is due to be introduced from the autumn across the UK, at an initial cost of £6m. A Home Office data protection impact assessment (DPIA) from August 2021, obtained by the charity Privacy International through a freedom of information request, assessed the impact of the smartwatch technology before contracting a supplier. In the documents, seen by the Guardian, the Home Office says the scheme will involve "daily monitoring of individuals subject to immigration control," with the requirement to wear either a fitted ankle tag or a smartwatch, carried with them at all times. Those obliged to wear the devices will need to complete periodic monitoring checks throughout the day by taking a photograph of themselves on a smartwatch, with information including their names, date of birth, nationality and photographs stored for up to six years. Locations will be tracked "24/7, allowing trail monitoring data to be recorded."

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Apple Warns Suppliers To Follow China Rules on 'Taiwan' Labeling

Fri, 2022-08-05 11:20
Apple has asked suppliers to ensure that shipments from Taiwan to China strictly comply with Chinese customs regulations after a recent visit by senior U.S. lawmaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei stoked fears of rising trade barriers. From a report: Apple told suppliers on Friday that China has started strictly enforcing a long-standing rule that Taiwanese-made parts and components must be labeled as being made either in "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei," sources familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asia, language that indicates the island is part of China. The U.S. tech titan urged suppliers to treat the matter with urgency to avoid possible disruptions caused by goods and components being held for scrutiny, the people said. The timing is sensitive for Apple, as its suppliers are preparing components that will go into its next iPhones and other new products set to launch this autumn. Using the phrase "Made in Taiwan" on any import declaration forms, documents or cartons could cause shipments to be held and checked by Chinese customs, the sources added. Penalties for violating such a rule is a fine of up to 4,000 yuan ($592) or, in the worst-case scenario, the shipment being rejected, one of the sources said.

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Amazon is Buying iRobot For $1.7 Billion

Fri, 2022-08-05 10:40
Amazon this morning announced plans to acquire iRobot for an all-cash deal valued at $1.7 billion. From a report: The home robotics firm, best known for pioneering the robotic vacuum, was founded in 1990 by MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab members Colin Angle, Rodney Brooks and Helen Greiner. Twelve years after its founding, the company introduced the Roomba, a brand that has since become synonymous with the branding, selling more than 30 million units as of 2020. Brooks and Greiner have gone on to found and lead several other companies, while Angle has remained on-board as CEO -- a position he will maintain post-acquisition. "Since we started iRobot, our team has been on a mission to create innovative, practical products that make customers' lives easier, leading to inventions like the Roomba and iRobot OS," CEO Colin Angle said in a release. "Amazon shares our passion for building thoughtful innovations that empower people to do more at home, and I cannot think of a better place for our team to continue our mission. I'm hugely excited to be a part of Amazon and to see what we can build together for customers in the years ahead."

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India Seeks Antitrust Scrutiny of Global Merger and Acquisition Deals

Fri, 2022-08-05 10:00
India is a key overseas market for several global tech giants including Meta and Google. Now the South Asian nation is gearing up to have its voice heard for global M&A deals. From a report: New Delhi has proposed amendments to its Competition Act, 2002, to introduce a number of changes including requiring the permission of local watchdog (Competition Commission of India) for all overseas deals exceeding $252 million in value for firms with "substantial business operations in India." India, the world's second largest internet market that has drawn investments of tens of billions of dollars from Meta, Google and Amazon and venture capitalists including SoftBank, Sequoia and Tiger Global, has traditionally scrutinized deals based on asset size and not the transaction value. According to law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Indian regulator approved over 700 fillings in the past decade alone. But things appear to be taking a shift and attempting to bring parity between India's position to those of China, U.S., and Europe.

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Winamp, the Best MP3 Player of the 1990s, Receives Major Update

Fri, 2022-08-05 09:00
Winamp, the premiere music player of the late 1990s and early 2000s that was acquired by Radionomy from AOL in 2014, has received a major new update for the first time in four years. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a report via Ars Technica: The release notes for Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 1999 say that the update represents four years of work across two separate development teams, delayed in between by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the work done in this build focuses on behind-the-scenes work that modernizes the codebase, which means it still looks and acts like a turn-of-the-millennium Windows app. The entire project has been migrated from Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2019, a wide range of audio codecs have been updated to more modern versions, and support for Windows 11 and https streams have both been improved. The final release will be version 5.9, with some features targeted for release in version 5.9.1 "and beyond" (version 6.0 goes unmentioned). It requires Windows 7 SP1 or newer, dropping support for Windows XP. That said, in our limited testing the "new" Winamp is still in many ways an ancient app, one not made for the age of high-resolution, high-density displays. This may cause usability problems, depending on what you're trying to run it on. But hey, for all you people out there still trying to keep hope alive, it's nice to see something on Winamp.com that isn't a weird NFT project and a promise of updates yet to come.

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SoundCloud Announces Layoffs of 'Up To 20%' of Global Workforce

Fri, 2022-08-05 06:00
SoundCloud CEO Michael Weissman told employees in an email that the company "will be making reductions to our global team that will impact up to 20% of our company." "Making changes that affect people is incredibly hard. But it is one that is necessary given the challenging economic climate and financial market headwinds," he added. "Today's change positions SoundCloud for the long run and puts us on a path to sustained profitability. We have already begun to make prudent financial decisions across the company and that now extends to a reduction to our team." Billboard reports: In a statement, a rep for SoundCloud confirmed that the company "announced an approximate 20% reduction of its global workforce due to a significant company transformation and the challenging economic and financial environment." "During this difficult time," the rep added, "we are focused on providing the support and resources to those transitioning while reinforcing our commitment to executing our mission to lead what's next in music." Back in 2017, the company cut around 40% of its workforce, which then-CEO Alex Ljung said was necessary for the company to "control" its "independent future." Billboard notes that SoundCloud has moved towards profitability in the five years since. "The company obtained a $170 million infusion led by The Raine Group and Temasek and a $75 million investment from Pandora parent SiriusXM." This led to SoundCloud announcing its first profitable quarter in 2020. Earlier this year, the company said its annual revenue run rate was around $300 million.

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HBO Max, Discovery+ To Merge Into Single Streaming Platform Starting In Summer 2023

Fri, 2022-08-05 03:00
Warner Bros announced that HBO Max and Discovery+ will launch in the U.S. as a single service in the summer of 2023. Variety reports: "At the end of the day, putting all the content together was the only way we saw to make this a viable business," [said JB Perrette, CEO and president of global streaming and interactive for Warner Bros. Discovery, on the company's Q2 earnings call]. Bringing HBO Max and Discovery+ together is aimed at cutting churn so "there's something for everyone in the household," he said. WBD did not announce what the new brand name for the merged service will be, nor did execs discuss pricing for the unified streamer. Warner Bros. Discovery is initially focused on the ad-supported and ad-free versions of the combined HBO Max-Discovery+, Perrette said, but is also "exploring how to reach customers in the free, ad-supported space" with content that is totally different from what's on the premium VOD services. HBO may or may not be part of the name of the unified direct-to-consumer WBD platform; Perrette said the company is doing research on consumer perception of the HBO Max name. But, HBO will continue to be a major brand: "HBO will always be the beacon and the ultimate brand that stands for television quality," he said on the call. The merged HBO Max-Discovery+ will combine the best elements of both services, said Perrette. He said HBO Max has had "performance and customer" issues but offers a rich set of features; Discovery+ has more limited features but provides a more robust underlying delivery capability. The media company plans to take the unified HBO Max-Discovery+ platform to Latin America following the summer 2023 rollout in the United States, adds Variety. Europe will see it in early 2024; Asia Pacific in mid-2024; and additional markets in fall 2024.

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From Software Developer To CEO: Red Hat's Matt Hicks On His Journey To the Top

Thu, 2022-08-04 23:30
ZDNet's Stephanie Condon spoke with Red Hat's new CEO, Matt Hicks, a veteran of the company that's been working there for over 14 years. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from their discussion: Matt Hicks, Red Hat's new CEO, doesn't have the background of your typical chief executive. He studied computer hardware engineering in college. He began his career as an IT consultant at IBM. His on-the-ground experience, however, is one of his core assets as the company's new leader, Hicks says. "The markets are changing really quickly," he tells ZDNet. "And just having that intuition -- of where hardware is going, having spent time in the field with what enterprise IT shops struggle with and what they do well, and then having a lot of years in Red Hat engineering -- I know that's intuition that I'll lean on... Around that, there's a really good team at Red Hat, and I get to lean on their expertise of how to best deliver, but that I love having that core intuition." Hicks believes his core knowledge helps him to guide the company's strategic bets. While his experience is an asset, Hicks says it's not a given that a good developer will make a good leader. You also need to know how to communicate your ideas persuasively. "You can't just be the best coder in the room," he says. "Especially in STEM and engineering, the softer skills of learning how to present, learning how to influence a group and show up really well in a leadership presentation or at a conference -- they really start to define people's careers." Hicks says that focus on influence is an important part of his role now that he didn't relish earlier in his career. "I think a lot of people don't love that," he says. "And yet, you can be the best engineer on the planet and work hard, but if you can't be heard, if you can't influence, it's harder to deliver on those opportunities." Hicks embraced the art of persuasion to advance his career. And as an open-source developer, he learned to embrace enterprise products to advance Red Hat's mission. He joined Red Hat just a few years after Paul Cormier -- then Red Hat's VP of engineering, and later Hicks' predecessor as CEO -- moved the company from its early distribution, Red Hat Linux, to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It was a move that not everyone liked. [...] "As he settles into his new role as CEO, the main challenge ahead of Hicks will be picking the right industries and partners to pursue at the edge," writes Condon. "Red Hat is already working at the edge, in a range of different industries. It's working with General Motors on Ultifi, GM's end-to-end software platform, and it's partnering with ABB, one of the world's leading manufacturing automation companies. It's also working with Verizon on hybrid mobile edge computing. Even so, the opportunity is vast. Red Hat expects to see around $250 billion in spending at the edge by 2025." "There'll be a tremendous growth of applications that are written to be able to deliver to that," Hicks says. "And so our goals in the short term are to pick the industries and build impactful partnerships in those industries -- because it's newer, and it's evolving."

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US Attorneys General Will Take Legal Action Against Telecom Providers Enabling Robocalls

Thu, 2022-08-04 22:02
The Attorneys General of all 50 states have joined forces in hopes of giving teeth to the seemingly never-ending fight against robocalls. Engadget reports: North Carolina AG Josh Stein, Indiana AG Todd Rokita and Ohio AG Dave Yost are leading the formation of the new Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. In Stein's announcement, he said the group will focus on taking legal action against telecoms, particularly gateway providers, allowing or turning a blind eye to foreign robocalls made to US numbers. He explained that gateway providers routing foreign phone calls into the US telephone network have the responsibility under the law to ensure the traffic they're bringing in is legal. Stein said that they mostly aren't taking any action to keep robocalls out of the US phone network, though, and they're even intentionally allowing robocall traffic through in return for steady revenue in many cases. Stein said in a statement: "We're... going to take action against phone companies that violate state and federal laws. I'm proud to create this nationwide task force to hold companies accountable when they turn a blind eye to the robocallers they're letting on to their networks so they can make more money. I've already brought one pathbreaking lawsuit against an out-of-state gateway provider, and I won't hesitate to take legal action against others who break our laws and bombard North Carolinians with these harmful, unlawful calls."

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Apple Might Remove the Headphone Jack From Its Next Entry-Level iPad

Thu, 2022-08-04 21:25
Apple's upcoming entry-level iPad is rumored to cut the 3.5mm headphone jack, joining the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and the entire iPhone lineup. The Verge reports: MySmartPrice says the CAD renders are sourced from a case maker working on accessories for what will be the 10th-generation iPad. It's a substantial redesign from the classic iPad design that has been left largely untouched for years; Apple increased the display size slightly in 2017 and has made other internal hardware upgrades, but the overall look has remained consistent. It appears that's about to change, with the new iPad sharing the same flat-sides aesthetic as recent iPhones, iPads, the 14-inch / 16-inch MacBook Pro, and 2022 MacBook Air. Both 9to5Mac and MacRumors reported on the renders. But as always, treat these easily faked images with a healthy amount of skepticism. The home button remains present, which means so do the sizable bezels above and below the display. MySmartPrice reports that the screen should be larger than the current 10.2-inch model, and there's a redesigned camera on the iPad's back reminiscent of the module from the iPhone X. The revamped iPad has a USB-C port, which would complete the transition for Apple's tablet line. These renders also include quad speakers, and that's where I get somewhat doubtful of what we're seeing: only the iPad Pro is currently outfitted with four speakers, so if this pans out, the base-level iPad would be leapfrogging both the iPad Air and Mini in the audio department. That strikes me as unlikely, but it could also serve as Apple's justification for nixing the headphone jack from a product used in many classrooms and other scenarios where support for affordable wired headphones has been meaningful.

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Crunchyroll Closes Deal To Acquire Anime Superstore Right Stuf

Thu, 2022-08-04 20:45
Crunchyroll announced that it's acquired Right Stuf, one of the world's leading online anime superstores. "Expanding Crunchyroll's eCommerce offerings, the acquisition aims to serve anime fans and collectors an even wider array of merchandise for online purchase including manga, home video, figures, games, music and everything in between," writes the company in a post. From the report: Founded in 1987, Right Stuf is a leading consumer source for anime pop culture merchandise online. By visiting its eCommerce portal, enthusiasts and collectors can find thousands of products, including Blu-rays, manga books, music, figurines, collectables, and more. Right Stuf also offers licensed anime home video products through its own label. "For 35 years, Right Stuf's mission has been to connect anime fans with the products they love," said Shawne Kleckner, CEO of Right Stuf. "Joining forces with Crunchyroll allows us to accelerate and scale this effort more than ever before. There has never been a more exciting time to be an anime fan than today!" Kleckner and the Right Stuf team will join Crunchyroll's Emerging Businesses organization, led by Terry Li. Sony acquired Crunchyroll for $1.175 billion from AT&T, in a deal that closed in August 2021.

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Record Labels' War On ISPs and Piracy Nets Multiple Settlements With Charter

Thu, 2022-08-04 20:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Charter Communications has agreed to settle piracy lawsuits filed by the major record labels, which accused the cable Internet provider of failing to terminate the accounts of subscribers who illegally download copyrighted songs. Sony, Universal, Warner, and their various subsidiaries sued Charter in US District Court in Colorado in March 2019 in a suit that claimed the ISP helps subscribers pirate music by selling packages with higher Internet speeds. They filed another lawsuit against Charter in the same court in August 2021. Both cases were settled. The record labels and Charter told the court of their settlements on Tuesday in filings (PDF) that said (PDF), "The Parties hereby notify the Court that they have resolved the above-captioned action." Upon the settlements, the court vacated the pending trials and asked the parties to submit dismissal papers within 28 days. Charter subsidiary Bright House Networks also settled (PDF) a similar lawsuit in US District Court for the Middle District of Florida this week. The record labels' case in Florida was settled one day before a scheduled trial, as TorrentFreak reported Tuesday. The case was dismissed with prejudice (PDF) after the settlement. No details on any of the settlements were given in the documents notifying the courts. A three-week jury trial in one of the Colorado cases was scheduled to begin in June 2023 but is no longer needed. The question for Internet users is whether the settlements mean that Charter will be more aggressive in terminating subscribers who illegally download copyrighted material. Charter declined to comment today when we asked if it agreed to increase account terminations of subscribers accused of piracy. "Even if the settlements have no specific provision on terminating subscribers, Charter presumably has to pay the record labels to settle the claims," adds Ars' Jon Brodkin. "That could make the country's second-biggest ISP more likely to terminate subscribers accused of piracy in order to prevent future lawsuits."

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Tutanota Cries Antitrust Foul Over Microsoft Teams Blocking Sign-Ups For Its Email Users

Thu, 2022-08-04 19:20
Microsoft is being called out for blocking users of the end-to-end encrypted email service Tutanota from registering an account with its cloud-based collaboration platform, Teams, if they try to do that using a Tutanota email address. TechCrunch reports: The problem, which has been going on unrectified for some time -- with an initial complaint raised with Microsoft support back in January 2021 -- appears to have arisen because it treats Tutanota as a corporate email, rather than what it actually is (and has always been), an email service. This misclassification means that when a Tutanota email user tries to use this email address to register an account with Teams they get a classic "computer says no' response -- with the interface blocking the registration and suggesting the person "contact your admin or try a different email." "When the first Tutanota user registered a Teams account, they were assigned the domain. That's why now everyone who logs in with Tutanota address should report to their 'admin' (see screenshot)," explains a spokeswoman for Tutanota when asked why they think this is happening. To get past this denial -- and register a Teams account -- the Tutanota user has to enter a non-Tutanota email. (Such as, for example, a Microsoft email address.) To get past this denial -- and register a Teams account -- the Tutanota user has to enter a non-Tutanota email. (Such as, for example, a Microsoft email address.) In a blog post detailing the saga, Tutanota co-founder, Matthias Pfau, dubs Microsoft's behavior a "severe anti-competitive practice." "Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are discussing stronger antitrust legislation to regulate Big Tech. These laws are badly needed as the example of Microsoft blocking Tutanota users from registering a Teams account demonstrates," he writes. "The problem: Big Tech companies have the market power to harm smaller competitors with some very easy steps like refusing smaller companies' customers from using their own services." "This is just one example of how Microsoft can and does abuse its dominant market position to harm competitors, which in turn also harms consumers," he adds. [...] "As earlier discussed, we are unable to make your domain a public domain. The domain has already been used for Microsoft Teams. If teams have been used with a specific domain, it can't work as a vanity/public domain," runs another of Microsoft's support's shrugging-off responses. Tutanota kept on trying to press for a reason why Microsoft could not reclassify the domain for weeks -- but just hit the same brick wall denial. Hence it's going public with its complaint now. "The conversation went back and forth for at lest six weeks until we finally gave up -- due to the repeated response that they would not change this," the spokeswoman added. In an update, a Microsoft spokesperson said: "We are currently looking into the issue raised by Tutanota."

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Visa, Mastercard Suspend Payment For Ad Purchases On PornHub and MindGeek

Thu, 2022-08-04 18:40
Visa and Mastercard said Thursday card payments for advertising on Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek would be suspended after a lawsuit stoked controversy over whether the payments giants could be facilitating child pornography. CNBC reports: A federal judge in California on Friday denied Visa's motion to dismiss a lawsuit by a woman who accuses the payment processor of knowingly facilitating the distribution of child pornography on Pornhub and other sites operated by parent company MindGeek. Visa CEO and Chairman Al Kelly said in a statement Thursday that he strongly disagrees with this court and is confident in his position. "Visa condemns sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse," Kelly said. "It is illegal, and Visa does not permit the use of our network for illegal activity. Our rules explicitly and unequivocally prohibit the use of our products to pay for content that depicts nonconsensual sexual behavior or child sexual abuse. We are vigilant in our efforts to deter this, and other illegal activity on our network." Kelly said the court decision created uncertainty about the role of TrafficJunky, MindGeek's advertising arm, and accordingly, the company will suspend its Visa acceptance privileges until further notice. During this suspension, Visa cards will not be able to be used to purchase advertising on any sites, including Pornhub or other MindGeek-affiliated sites, Kelly said. "It is Visa's policy to follow the law of every country in which we do business. We do not make moral judgments on legal purchases made by consumers, and we respect the rightful role of lawmakers to make decisions about what is legal and what is not," Kelly said. "Visa can be used only at MindGeek studio sites that feature adult professional actors in legal adult entertainment." Separately, Mastercard told CNBC it's directing financial institutions to suspend acceptance of its products at TrafficJunky following the court ruling. "New facts from last week's court ruling made us aware of advertising revenue outside of our view that appears to provide Pornhub with indirect funding," a statement from Mastercard said. "This step will further enforce our December 2020 decision to terminate the use of our products on that site." At that time, Visa also suspended sites that contained user-generated content and acceptance on those sites has not been reinstated.

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The Founder of GeoCities On What Killed the 'Old Internet'

Thu, 2022-08-04 18:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo, written by Jody Serrano: In the early aughts, my wheezing dialup connection often operated as if it were perpetually out of breath. Thus, unlike my childhood friends, it was near to impossible for me to watch videos, TV shows, or listen to music. Far from feeling limited, I felt like I was lucky, for I had access to an encyclopedia of lovingly curated pages about anything I wanted to know -- which in those days was anime -- the majority of which was conveniently located on GeoCities. For all the zoomers scrunching up their brows, here's a primer. Back in the 1990s, before the birth of modern web hosting household names like GoDaddy and WP Engine, it wasn't exactly easy or cheap to publish a personal website. This all changed when GeoCities came on the scene in 1994. The company gave anyone their own little space of the web if they wanted it, providing users with roughly 2 MB of space for free to create a website on any topic they wished. Millions took GeoCities up on its offer, creating their own homemade websites with web counters, flashing text, floating banners, auto-playing sound files, and Comic Sans. Unlike today's Wild Wild Internet, websites on GeoCities were organized into virtual neighborhoods, or communities, built around themes. "HotSprings" was dedicated to health and fitness, while "Area 51" was for sci-fi and fantasy nerds. There was a bottom-up focus on users and the content they created, a mirror of what the public internet was like in its infancy. Overall, at least 38 million webpages were built on GeoCities. At one point, it was the third most-visited domain online. Yahoo acquired GeoCities in 1999 for $3.6 billion. The company lived on for a decade more until Yahoo shut it down in 2009, deleting millions of sites. Nearly two decades have passed since GeoCities, founded by David Bohnett, made its debut, and there is no doubt that the internet is a very different place than it was then. No longer filled with webpages on random subjects made by passionate folks, it now feels like we live in a cyberspace dominated by skyscrapers -- named Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and so on -- instead of neighborhoods. [...] We can, however, ask GeoCities' founder what he thinks of the internet of today, subsumed by social media networks, hate speech, and more corporate than ever. Bohnett now focuses on funding entrepreneurs through Baroda Ventures, an early-stage tech fund he founded, and on philanthropy with the David Bohnett Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to social justice and social activism that he chairs. Right off the bat, Bohnett says something that strikes me. It may, in fact, be the sentence that summarizes the key distinction between the internet of the '90s-early 2000s and the internet we have today. "GeoCities was not about self-promotion," Bohnett told Gizmodo in an interview. "It was about sharing your interest and your knowledge." When asked to share his thoughts on the internet of today, Bohnett said: "... The heart of GeoCities was sharing your knowledge and passions about subjects with other people. It really wasn't about what you had to eat and where you've traveled. [...] It wasn't anything about your face." He added: "So, what has surprised me is how far away we've gotten from that original intent and how difficult it is [now]. It's so fractured these days for people to find individual communities. [...] I've been surprised at sort of the evolution away from self-generated content and more toward centralized programing and more toward sort of the self-promotion that we've seen on Facebook and Instagram and TikTok." Bohnett went on to say that he thinks it's important to remember that "the pace of innovation on the internet continues to accelerate, meaning we're not near done. In the early days when you had dial up and it was the desktop, how could you possibly envision an Uber?" "We're still in that trajectory where there's going to be various technologies and ways of communicating with each other, [as well as] wearable devices, blockchain technology, virtual reality, that will be as astounding as Uber seemed in the early days of GeoCities," added Bohnett. "I'm very, very excited about the future, which is why I continue to invest in early-stage startups because as I say, the pace of innovation accelerates and builds on top of itself. It's so exciting to see where we might go."

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Philippines Legislator Offers Up Bill That Would Criminalize 'Ghosting'

Thu, 2022-08-04 17:25
An anonymous reader shares a report: Real problems are what legislators are supposed to be solving. The Philippines has plenty of those, ranging from (government-endorsed) extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and drug users to abuses of state power to silence journalists to the actual murders of human rights activists. But legislators with their own axes to grind will always find ways to hone this edge, even if it means subjecting themselves to international ridicule. Enter Representative Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves, Jr. The rep has introduced a bill that would criminalize the act of "ghosting." For those unfamiliar with internet slang, it may appear Teves is trying to criminalize the act of being a ghost. (Webster's Ye Olde English Dictionary, perhaps.) But ghosts actually engage in "haunting," which is not the same thing as "ghosting." Ghosting is something else. Ghosting is disengaging from a relationship (short-term or long-term) by ignoring all calls, IMs, text messages, emails, etc. from a paramour until the problem ultimately solves itself. If one interested person can't get a response from a disinterested person, sooner or later the interested person stops trying.

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Equifax Issued Wrong Credit Scores For Millions of Consumers

Thu, 2022-08-04 16:45
Credit giant Equifax sent lenders incorrect credit scores for millions of consumers this spring, in a technology snafu with major real-world impact. From a report: In certain cases the errors were significant enough -- the differential was at least 25 points for around 300,000 consumers -- that some would-be borrowers may have been wrongfully denied credit, the company said in a statement. The problem occurred because of a "coding issue" when making a change to one of Equifax's servers, according to the company, which said the issue "was in place over a period of a few weeks [and] resulted in the potential miscalculation" of credit scores. While Equifax did not specify dates or figures, a June 1 alert from housing agency Freddie Mac to its clients said Equifax told the agency that about 12% of all credit scores released from March 17 to April 6 may be have been incorrect. Equifax wrote that "there was no shift in the vast majority of scores" and that "credit reports were not affected." But the company declined to comment to CNN Business about how people can learn whether they were among those whose credit scores were incorrectly reported -- and what recourse they may have if they were issued loans at a higher rate or denied a loan outright because of the snafu.

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US Officials Declare Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency

Thu, 2022-08-04 16:05
The Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency on Thursday as cases topped 6,600 nationwide. From a report: The declaration could facilitate access to emergency funds, allow health agencies to collect more data about cases and vaccinations, accelerate vaccine distribution and make it easier for doctors to prescribe treatment. "We're prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus," Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a Thursday briefing about the emergency declaration. A quarter of U.S. cases are in New York state, which declared a state of emergency last week. California and Illinois followed suit with emergency declarations Monday.

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GitLab Plans To Delete Dormant Projects in Free Accounts

Thu, 2022-08-04 15:19
GitLab plans to automatically delete projects if they've been inactive for a year and are owned by users of its free tier, The Register reported Thursday. From the report: The Register has learned that such projects account for up to a quarter of GitLab's hosting costs, and that the auto-deletion of projects could save the cloudy coding collaboration service up to $1 million a year. The policy has therefore been suggested to help GitLab's finances remain sustainable. People with knowledge of the situation, who requested anonymity as they are not authorized to discuss it with the media, told The Register the policy is scheduled to come into force in September 2022. GitLab is aware of the potential for angry opposition to the plan, and will therefore give users weeks or months of warning before deleting their work. A single comment, commit, or new issue posted to a project during a 12-month period will be sufficient to keep the project alive. The Register understands some in the wider GitLab community worry that the policy could see projects disappear before users have the chance to archive code on which they rely. As many open-source projects are widely used, it is feared that the decision could have considerable negative impact.

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