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Google Has Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

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Julia Angwin, reporting for ProPublica:

When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”

And, for nearly a decade, Google did in fact keep DoubleClick’s massive database of web-browsing records separate by default from the names and other personally identifiable information Google has collected from Gmail and its other login accounts.

But this summer, Google quietly erased that last privacy line in the sand — literally crossing out the lines in its privacy policy that promised to keep the two pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new language that says browsing habits “may be” combined with what the company learns from the use Gmail and other tools. […]

The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on the keywords they used in their Gmail. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.

My question is simple. Why is Google doing this? To make even more money? Or because they need to do this to keep making the same amount of money? Either way it’s gross.

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shrike
217 days ago
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What happened to #donoevil?
Finland
evaryont
216 days ago
You may or may not be aware, but that hasn't been any part of Google's (or Alphabet's now?) corporate slogan for years now. I think more than a decade. And this is particuarly evil, in my book.
popular
216 days ago
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3 public comments
superiphi
216 days ago
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The last google login thing I use is the calendar. Time to stop
All that spying & the ads I get are still pathetic
Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
fxer
217 days ago
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Daily reminder why you should feel no shame running a content blocker, things are so massively stacked against you it's unbelievable
Bend, Oregon
sirshannon
217 days ago
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Damn it.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Issues Warning Regarding Samsung Washing Machine Explosions

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Jill Disis, reporting for CNN Money:

The warning comes more than a month after Samsung was hit with a federal class-action lawsuit by customers who said their machines had exploded during use.

Customers in Texas, Georgia and Indiana all said they were washing clothes when they heard a violent boom. A washer belonging to a McAllen, Texas, woman “exploded with such ferocity that it penetrated the interior wall of her garage,” according to court filings. A woman in Dallas, Georgia, said it felt and sounded as if “a bomb went off.”

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in New Jersey, references similar reports collected by local news and filed online with regulators. It also claims Samsung “has moved aggressively to collect and destroy all evidence of the defective machines” after they exploded.

It’s the lawsuit filed by these people claiming their washing machines exploded that claims Samsung “has moved aggressively to collect and destroy all evidence of the defective machines”, not the Consumer Product Safety Commission, but that a pretty serious allegation. Rough month for Samsung.

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shrike
241 days ago
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Finland
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Joanna Stern Cuts the Cheese

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Joanna Stern:

It’s why I’ve long felt technology’s thinolympics has been a waste of time. “Our new product is so much thinner than the competition that you can fit one more sheet of paper into your messenger bag! You’ll need to make room for the charger, though, since we cut out some battery. Sorry!”

The equation has long been: Thinner + lighter = poorer performance + shorter battery life. Both the Spectre and the MacBook, updated in April, still require you to make some sacrifices. But the trade-offs no longer outweigh the benefits of owning a laptop that could double as a cheese knife — if that’s what you want.

Pairs well with yesterday’s debate over the purported lack of a headphone jack in the next iPhone.

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shrike
328 days ago
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Finland
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Pebble Layoffs

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Steve Kovach, writing for Tech Insider:

Pebble, the buzzy startup credited for being one of the first companies to launch a modern smartwatch, is laying off 40 employees this week, CEO Eric Migicovsky told Tech Insider in an interview. That’s about 25% of its total staff.

I still hope they make it, but its hard for a scrappy small company to compete against Apple, Samsung, LG, et al.

Kovach:

The Pebble layoffs come at a shaky time for the wearable technology market. FitBit, the leader in the wearable category, has seen its stock fall dramatically in recent months. Apple dropped the price of the Apple Watch by $50 to $299 on Monday, a sign that it’s not selling as well as hoped.

I do not assume that the $50 price cut for the Sport models is a sign it’s not selling as well as hoped. My guess is that it’s a sign that, one year in, they’re significantly cheaper for Apple to produce.

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shrike
429 days ago
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Still keeping my Pebble and I won't switch until the Apple Watch has a battery that lasts over a long weekend.
Finland
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Matt Granger on ‘The Force Awakens’

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Matt Granger:

The Huffington Post’s article, “40 Unforgivable Plot Holes in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

Over the last few weeks I saw this article reposted over and over both by folks in the film industry and outside of it. The reposts often carried captions from Facebook users like “Yep!” or “This is exactly my problem”. Oh shit. Did I miss something? Maybe the Huffington Post and half of Facebook saw something I didn’t. I needed to know more. So I read the article. I read it numerous times. In the end, I came to my own conclusion…

The Huffington Post has no idea what the fuck it’s talking about.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I’ve grown exhausted with the horseshit, hater culture that online, millennial ‘journalists’ use to click-bait their way to some sort of self-perceived intellectual high ground. Hate first. Don’t bother asking questions later.

Loved this takedown.

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shrike
504 days ago
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The original story was full of debunks of the bullshit claims in the comments.

It seems that the author didn't even watch the movie or was too engrossed in writing down his top 40 plot holes to miss the explanations.

Also the whole definition of a plot hole seems to vary, some people think it's anything that they don't like, others think that if something isn't explicitly explained via dumbed-down exposition, it MUST be a "plot hole".
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Carrie Fisher Has The Best Response To The Slave Leia Merchandise Controversy

io9
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Carrie Fisher Has The Best Response To The Slave Leia Merchandise Controversy

Recently, the Star Wars fanbase took time off from freaking out about The Force Awakens to freak out over a rumored ban on merchandise depicting Princess Leia’s “Slave” outfit from Return of the Jedi. Many words about the matter have been said since—a lot of them pretty good!—but leave it to Leia herself to put it best.

http://toyland.gizmodo.com/rumor-disney-m...

During the big marketing push for The Force Awakens, the debate over whether or not it’s right to sell toys of the scantily clad Leia has been put forth to the actor—and naturally, someone as wonderfully outspoken as Carrie Fisher does not hold back.

Here’s a tame, but still pretty damn fantastic, response she gave to the Wall Street Journal:

There’s been some debate recently about whether there should be no more merchandise with you in the “Return of the Jedi” bikini.

I think that’s stupid.

To stop making the merchandise?

The father who flipped out about it, “What am I going to tell my kid about why she’s in that outfit?” Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off. Backstage.

Yeah, empowered Hutt-slaying Leia! But Fisher had a far testier response when it came to a similar question over at the L.A. Times:

How about telling his daughter that the character is wearing that outfit not because she’s chosen to wear it. She’s been forced to wear it. She’s a prisoner of a giant testicle who has a lot of saliva going on and she does not want to wear that thing and it’s ultimately that chain, which you’re now indicating is some sort of accessory to S&M, that is used to kill the giant saliva testicle…. That’s asinine.

Thanks, Carrie Fisher. From now on I can no longer think of Jabba the Hutt’s name as anything other than “Giant Saliva Testicle”. Seems like after 30+ years of dealing with stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-lookin’ Nerf herders, Carrie Fisher still doesn’t tolerate your nonsense, either way!

Maybe we could just like, I dunno, treat her like Han and Luke and have BAZILLIONS of different Leia toys, instead of just slave Leia ones? No? Too sensible? Just give me my Hoth Leia action figure, goddamit.

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shrike
518 days ago
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Carrie Fisher, the voice of reason.
Finland
popular
537 days ago
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HarlandCorbin
537 days ago
I like Leia on Endor. Or Leia helping to fix the Falcon.
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dukeofwulf
537 days ago
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The real giant saliva testicle who put Leia in that costume is George Lucas, and Carrie Fisher would be arrested for strangling him with those S&M chains.
MotherHydra
537 days ago
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Perfect way to shut this moronic BS down.
Space City, USA
sirshannon
539 days ago
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Giant Saliva Testicle.
Belfong
539 days ago
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gold! what a great response!
malaysia
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