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Industry & Technology

Russia tries to force Facebook and Twitter to relocate servers to Russia

Ars Technica - January 21, 2019 - 7:30pm

Enlarge / A smartphone folder labeled with the Russian word for "community." (credit: Getty Images | Kirill Kudryavtsev )

The Russian government agency responsible for censorship on the Internet has accused Facebook and Twitter of failing to comply with a law requiring all servers that store personal data to be located in Russia.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian censorship agency, "said the social-media networks hadn't submitted any formal and specific plans or submitted an acceptable explanation of when they would meet the country's requirements that all servers used to store Russians' personal data be located in Russia," The Wall Street Journal reported today.

Roskomnadzor said it sent letters to Facebook and Twitter on December 17, giving them 30 days to provide "a legally valid response."

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, video games, and the new online town square

Ars Technica - January 21, 2019 - 7:15pm

Enlarge (credit: Aurich / Getty)

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people—including one sitting US Congressperson—gathered online to watch a marathon stream of someone playing Donkey Kong 64. The most notable thing about this, perhaps, was just how little organic interest in Donkey Kong 64 actually had to do with much of the gathering.

Let me back up a little bit. The main, ostensible purpose for Harry "Hbomberguy" Brewis' "Donkey Kong Nightmare Stream" was that he simply wanted to beat Donkey Kong 64, as he put it on YouTube. DK64 was a game Brewis said he "never finished properly as a kid... I want to destroy Donkey Kong 64, so until that has been achieved, the stream doesn't stop. I don't care if I fall asleep. I don't care if I run out of food. The stream will continue."

But the stream was also set up as a fundraiser for Mermaids, a UK-based gender-dysphoria charity that has recently been criticized by TV writer and comedian Graham Linehan (The IT Crowd, Father Ted). And Brewis was clear that Linehan's words also served as a direct motivation for the charity marathon.

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Cisco and Pure shove mini AI in FlashStack converged systems

The Register - January 21, 2019 - 7:00pm
Entry-level AIRI equivalent

Pure Storage and Cisco have linked arms to build a converged FlashStack system for AI, a kind of AIRI microMINI but one that will run at half the speed.…

Best dating apps of 2019 - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 21, 2019 - 6:54pm
Ready to jump into the world of online dating apps? Here's the best place to start.

Russia opens civil case against Facebook, Twitter over data laws - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 21, 2019 - 6:31pm
A watchdog wants them to outline plans for storing Russians' personal data in the country.

Google must pay €50 million for GDPR violations, France says

Ars Technica - January 21, 2019 - 6:26pm

Enlarge / Google's main headquarters. (credit: Cyrus Farivar)

Google has been fined €50 million (~$57 million) by French regulators, the first major penalty under a sweeping new European Union privacy law known as GDPR, which took effect last year.

According to the French government agency, known by the acronym CNIL, Google is still in breach of the law.

CNIL explained that Google had violated two provisions of the law: first by not making its data-collection policies easily accessible enough and second by not obtaining sufficient and specific user consent for ad personalization across each of Google’s numerous services, including YouTube, Google Maps, and more.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

The Register - January 21, 2019 - 6:01pm
Lot fetched almost £66k before being deleted

A cheeky eBay seller sought to cash in on the love Great Britain bears for everyone's favourite dithering racist royal by attempting to auction debris from the crash Prince Philip was involved in last week.…

Why Uber wants to build scooters and bikes that can drive themselves

Ars Technica - January 21, 2019 - 5:58pm

Enlarge (credit: Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Uber is looking to hire people to help it develop autonomous scooter and bike technology, according to Wired-editor-turned-robotics-entrepreneur Chris Anderson. The goal would be to allow bikes and scooters to "drive themselves to charging or better locations." People interested in joining the project can fill out this form.

Uber acquired the bike- and scooter-sharing startup Jump last year and has continued offering electric bikes and scooters under the Jump brand. Efforts to develop autonomous bikes and scooters will be conducted under the Jump brand, according to Anderson. Uber also has a separate self-driving car project called the Uber Advanced Technology Group.

One of the biggest logistical challenges for companies renting out electric bikes and scooters is how to keep the batteries charged. Companies use a variety of strategies for recharging. Some companies have employees who drive around the city picking up bikes and taking them back to charging stations. A Jump competitor called Bird has experimented with paying people to collect scooters and charge them at home.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Dealmaster: A bunch of Sonos speakers are discounted for the Super Bowl

Ars Technica - January 21, 2019 - 5:45pm

Enlarge / The Beam is more of an entry-level soundbar for smaller rooms and TVs than a true Playbar or Playbase replacement. (credit: Sonos)

Super Bowl season typically brings an uptick in deals for TV tech. True to form, Sonos has announced discounts for a handful of its home theater devices.

Here’s a rundown of the smart-speaker maker’s offerings:

  • The Sonos Beam soundbar is available for $349, a $50 discount.
  • The company’s larger soundbar, the Sonos Playbar, is available for $599, a $100 discount.
  • The Sonos Playbase, a speaker designed to sit under TVs that aren’t wall mounted, is available for $599, a $100 discount.
  • The Sonos Sub wireless subwoofer is also available for $599, another $100 discount.
  • Various bundles that include a mixture of the products above and/or the company’s Sonos One smart speakers are also discounted.

The deals are available on the Sonos website as well as third-party retailers like Amazon. Sonos says they will last until February 3, the date of Super Bowl LIII.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Prince Philip crash: Debris for sale on eBay

BBC Technology News - January 21, 2019 - 5:31pm
The seller says the parts "may even have Phil's DNA on it, if you wanted to clone him".

French data watchdog dishes out largest GDPR fine yet: Google ordered to hand over €50m

The Register - January 21, 2019 - 5:15pm
CNIL brands ad personalisation consent invalid, slams lack of transparency

Google has been fined a mammoth €50m by the French data protection watchdog for GDPR violations in a victory for Max Schrems' privacy group NOYB.…

Google hit with £44m GDPR fine over ads

BBC Technology News - January 21, 2019 - 5:13pm
Google has been fined 50 million euros (£44m) by the French data regulator CNIL.

Fossil shark named after 80s video game

BBC Technology News - January 21, 2019 - 5:04pm
The shark's teeth resemble alien spaceships from the game, Galaga, according to US scientists.

Google Doodle salutes Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 21, 2019 - 4:50pm
The Doodle shows the civil rights icon preparing for an event.

This 55-inch 4K Roku TV is just $300 - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 21, 2019 - 4:49pm
Watch the Super Bowl in style and save $200 on this full-featured Hisense model.

EU will have agreed a tech tax by March, says French finance minister

The Register - January 21, 2019 - 4:15pm
Bruno le Maire confident despite 'hesitant' nations

The French finance minister has said he expects the European Union to agree on a digital services tax by March – a year after the bloc's initial proposal.…

Amazon, Apple and Google face data complaints

BBC Technology News - January 21, 2019 - 4:08pm
The entertainment streaming giants are accused of breaking the EU's data protection rules.

This massive rocket creates a fireball as it launches, and that’s by design

Ars Technica - January 21, 2019 - 4:05pm

Anyone who watched the launch of United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket on Saturday was treated to an up-close view of the liftoff. This vantage point, showing the three-core rocket taking off beneath blue skies, offered a distinct view of a fireball engulfing the rocket during launch.

This can be rather distracting if you've never seen it before—uhh, is that rocket about to blow up?—but in reality it's a byproduct of the RS-68 rocket engines that power each of the three cores of the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle.

Developed during the 1990s by Rocketdyne, the expendable RS-68 engine was designed to be less expensive and more powerful than the Space Shuttle's reusable RS-25 main engines. Like the Shuttle's engines, the RS-68 engine runs on a cryogenic fuel mix of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Just forget what Gartner said about AI in June 'cos CIOs are all over it now apparently

The Register - January 21, 2019 - 3:30pm
Are these the stats you were looking for? Reverse ferret by tech research giant

Reverse ferret. Months after Gartner researchers confirmed a pitifully low proportion of CIOs were actually unleashing AI into the wild, the latest survey paints an entirely different picture.…

Spotify will reportedly let you block artists soon - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 21, 2019 - 3:07pm
The feature is being tested on iOS, Thurrott reported.

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