Facebook Gave More Than 150 Companies, Including Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon and Yahoo, Unprecedented Access To Users' Personal Data: NYT

The New York Times obtained hundreds of pages of Facebook documents which were generated in 2017 that show that the social network considered these companies business partners and effectively exempted them from its privacy rules. From a report: Facebook allowed Microsoft’s search engine Bing to see the names of nearly all users’ friends without their consent, let Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada read, write, and delete users’ private messages, and see participants on a thread, allowed Amazon to get users’ names and contact information through their friends, and let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts “as recently as this summer” despite publicly claiming it had stopped sharing such information a year ago, the report said. Collectively, applications made by these technology companies sought the data of hundreds of millions of people a month.

The records also show that Russian search giant Yandex, which was accused last year by Ukraine’s security service for giving user data to Kremlin, also had access to Facebook’s unique user IDs in 2017. A Yandex spokeswoman told the Times that the company was unaware of the access to user data provided by Facebook. Yandex did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment. In response to the report, Steve Satterfield, Facebook’s Director of Privacy and Public Policy defended the actions of the social network.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Facebook Gave More Than 150 Companies, Including Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon and Yahoo, Unprecedented Access To Users’ Personal Data: NYT

Ars takes a first tour of the length of The Boring Company’s test tunnel

HAWTHORNE, CA—On a breezy Tuesday evening across the busy street from SpaceX’s headquarters, Elon Musk’s Boring Company invited a group of journalists to take a ride through the company’s first test tunnel. The test tunnel stretches 1.14 miles from SpaceX’s former parking lot, under Crenshaw Boulevard, under the SpaceX campus, and finally terminating behind some nondescript warehouses in Hawthorne, at Prairie St. and 102th St.

The ride was hardly a finished product; judging the success of The Boring Company’s tunnel-digging vision would be impossible at this point. What today’s demo did, though, was offer a proof-of-concept.

Entering the tunnel

Across the street from SpaceX, journalists were ushered down a ramp to the original opening of The Boring Company’s first tunnel. We got into a modified Model X—modified in that it had bumpers added to the wheels to prevent the vehicle from too much undesirable movement while in the tunnel. Then, a driver (who Boring Company employees told us we were strictly not allowed to speak to) drove us up to the mouth of the tunnel, onto the raised curbs that flanked either side of the tunnel walls.

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Source: Ars Technica – Ars takes a first tour of the length of The Boring Company’s test tunnel

NYT digs deeper into Facebook's creepy data sharing excesses

We regret to inform you that we may have published our article titled “Facebook’s terrible 2018” just a few hours too early. Tonight the New York Times has once again dug into the social network and assembled — based on internal documents and interv…

Source: Engadget – NYT digs deeper into Facebook’s creepy data sharing excesses

Researchers Demonstrate Teleportation Using On-Demand Photons From Quantum Dots

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: A team of researchers from Austria, Italy and Sweden has successfully demonstrated teleportation using on-demand photons from quantum dots. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group explains how they accomplished this feat and how it applies to future quantum communications networks. Scientists and many others are very interested in developing truly quantum communications networks — it is believed that such networks will be safe from hacking or eavesdropping due to their very nature. But, as the researchers with this new effort point out, there are still some problems standing in the way. One of these is the difficulty in amplifying quantum signals. One way to get around this problem, they note, is to generate photons on-demand as part of a quantum repeater — this helps to effectively handle the high clock rates. In this new effort, they have done just that, using semiconductor quantum dots.

Prior work surrounding the possibility of using semiconductor quantum dots has shown that it is a feasible way to demonstrate teleportation, but only under certain conditions, none of which allowed for on-demand applications. Because of that, they have not been considered a push-button technology. In this new effort, the researchers overcame this problem by creating quantum dots that were highly symmetrical using an etching method to create the hole pairs in which the quantum dots develop. The process they used was called a XX (biexciton)–X (exciton) cascade. They then employed a dual-pulsed excitation scheme to populate the desired XX state (after two pairs shed photons, they retained their entanglement). Doing so allowed for the production of on-demand single photons suitable for use in teleportation. The dual pulsed excitation scheme was critical to the process, the team notes, because it minimized re-excitation.

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Source: Slashdot – Researchers Demonstrate Teleportation Using On-Demand Photons From Quantum Dots

Apple Is Sending Out Push Notifications Bothering People to Watch Carpool Karaoke

Tech giant Apple is sending out push notifications for its deeply annoying Carpool Karaoke show—a standalone spin on a The Late Late Show with James Corden segment which was released last year to terrible reviews—the Verge reported on Tuesday, in seeming disregard of its own policies on unsolicited promotional…

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Source: Gizmodo – Apple Is Sending Out Push Notifications Bothering People to Watch Carpool Karaoke

The first 'Rocket League' Hot Wheels car arrives this month

Want a tangible sign of your devotion to Rocket League, but would rather not drop $180 on an RC car kit or even several dollars on a Pull-Back Racer? Don’t worry, you can buy something with your pocket change. Hot Wheels is launching its first Rock…

Source: Engadget – The first ‘Rocket League’ Hot Wheels car arrives this month

Having Vega 10 Linux GPU Hangs? Try Rolling Back The Firmware

If you recently installed the Radeon Software 18.50 Linux driver package or recently updated your system’s firmware from the linux-firmware.git tree and experiencing GPU hangs with Radeon “Vega 10” graphics hardware, the firmware may be to blame…

Source: Phoronix – Having Vega 10 Linux GPU Hangs? Try Rolling Back The Firmware

SpaceX Raising $500 Million To Help Build Its 'Starlink' Satellite Broadband Network

According to the Wall Street Journal, SpaceX is raising a $500 million round of fundraising to help build its massive satellite internet project, called Starlink. “The new funding puts SpaceX’s valuation at $30.5 billion,” reports CNBC. “The report says the capital comes from existing shareholders as well as new investor Baillie Gifford, a Scottish investment firm.” From the report: Starlink — a name SpaceX filed to trademark last year — is an ambition unmatched by any current satellite network. The company is attempting to build its own constellation of 4,425 broadband satellites, with another 7,518 satellites to come after. SpaceX will begin launching the constellation in 2019. The system will be operational once at least 800 satellites are deployed. Starlink would offer broadband speeds comparable to fiber optic networks.The satellites would provide direct-to-consumer wireless connections, rather the present system’s redistribution of signals, transforming a traditionally high-cost, low reliability service.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – SpaceX Raising 0 Million To Help Build Its ‘Starlink’ Satellite Broadband Network

Pixar's Stunning, Heartwarming Short Bao Is Now Available to Watch Online

Earlier this year, Pixar paired Incredibles 2 with its first-ever animated short directed by a woman: Domee Shi’s Bao, a lovely tale about an elderly woman who befriends one of her own dumplings. And now, if you missed before, you can see it for free online.

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Source: io9 – Pixar’s Stunning, Heartwarming Short Bao Is Now Available to Watch Online

Microsoft's Next-Gen Xbox Consoles Are Codenamed 'Anaconda' and 'Lockhart'

According to Windows Central, there are two upcoming next-generation Xbox consoles in the works — a cheaper “S”-style console to succeed the Xbox One S, and a more beastly “X”-style console to succeed the Xbox One X. “The codename for the ‘S 2’ seems to be ‘Lockhart,’ and the codename for the ‘X 2’ seems to be ‘Anaconda,’ which may also be serving as a dev kit,” reports Windows Central. From the report: The next-gen Lockhart console will be the affordable SKU, providing the next-gen Xbox experience in a package potentially around as powerful as the current Xbox One X hardware wise, with refinements under the hood. The Anaconda console will be more powerful and more expensive, providing a cutting-edge console gaming experience. We’ve also heard Microsoft is exploring technology to dramatically reduce loading times, potentially including SSD storage in the package.

We’ve heard from multiple places that the next-gen Xbox consoles will be fully compatible with everything on your current Xbox One consoles, including your OG Xbox and Xbox 360 library via backward compatibility. We’ve also heard that Microsoft is working on a new platform for games dubbed “GameCore,” as part of Windows Core OS, which the Scarlett family will support when it’s ready. It extends the work Redmond has been doing on UWP. GameCore should make it easier for developers to build games that function not only on Xbox “Scarlett” consoles but also Windows 10 PCs, further reducing the amount of work studios need to do to get games running across both platforms. The report doesn’t mention if the cheaper next-generation Xbox console will be streaming-only, or if it will still support traditional discs and downloads. With a disc-free version of the Xbox One reportedly coming next spring, this seems like a possibility.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Microsoft’s Next-Gen Xbox Consoles Are Codenamed ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Lockhart’

Negan Arrives and Chickens Declare War in the Latest Tabletop Gaming News

Happy Holidays, everyone! Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, io9’s column all about tabletop games and roleplaying. As we get ready for the most wonderful time of the year, you might have a few extra gifts you’re getting ready to buy for family and friends…or perhaps for yourself. Here’s our latest list of some of the…

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Source: io9 – Negan Arrives and Chickens Declare War in the Latest Tabletop Gaming News

Twitter Is Relaunching the Reverse-Chronological Feed

Twitter is introducing a new toggle in the app to allow users to switch from the ranked timeline to the original, reverse-chronological feed. “The company says the move comes in recognition of the fact that Twitter is often most useful in real time, particularly during live events such as sports games or the Oscars,” reports The Verge. From the report: The latest incarnation of the original Twitter feed can be accessed by tapping the cluster of small stars — the company calls it the “sparkle” and now so shall we all, forever — and switching to see the latest tweets. Over time, the company will learn your behavior. If you routinely switch to the latest tweets, Twitter will default you to them. This marks a change from the past, when the app would switch you back to the ranked timeline at unpredictable intervals.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Twitter Is Relaunching the Reverse-Chronological Feed

Chrome OS beta brings Google Assistant to more devices

To date, native access to Google Assistant on a Chrome OS device has meant splurging on Google-made hardware like the Pixelbook or Pixel Slate. You won’t have to be quite so picky for much longer, though. Google has started testing Chrome OS 72 in…

Source: Engadget – Chrome OS beta brings Google Assistant to more devices

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse's Excellent Supporting Cast Is More Star-Studded Than You Think

While the leading characters in Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse are incredible enough all on their own, the surprisingly large cast of supporting characters really make the movie shine in a way that’s a little difficult to put your finger on, exactly—until the credits start rolling.

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Source: io9 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Excellent Supporting Cast Is More Star-Studded Than You Think

T-Mobile Denies Lying To FCC About Size of Its 4G Network

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: T-Mobile has denied an allegation that it lied to the Federal Communications Commission about the extent of its 4G LTE coverage. A group that represents small rural carriers says that T-Mobile claimed to have 4G LTE coverage in places where it hadn’t yet installed 4G equipment. That would violate FCC rules and potentially prevent small carriers from getting network construction money in unserved areas. T-Mobile said the allegations made by the Rural Wireless Association (RWA) in an FCC filing on Friday “are patently false.”

“RWA’s misrepresentations are part of an ongoing pattern of baseless allegations by the organization against T-Mobile designed to delay or thwart competition in rural America and deprive rural Americans of meaningful choice for broadband services,” T-Mobile wrote. “The organization’s repeated disregard for fact-based advocacy is a disrespectful waste of Commission time and resources.” RWA members have conducted millions of speed tests at their own expense to determine whether the major carriers’ coverage claims are correct. The RWA says both Verizon and T-Mobile have exaggerated coverage, and the FCC is taking the allegations seriously. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced last week that the FCC has begun an investigation and that a preliminary review of speed-test data “suggested significant violations of the Commission’s rules.” The FCC has not said which carrier or carriers violated the rules.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – T-Mobile Denies Lying To FCC About Size of Its 4G Network

Apple’s iOS 12.1.2 fixes eSIM and cellular bugs, but there might be more to it

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Source: Ars Technica – Apple’s iOS 12.1.2 fixes eSIM and cellular bugs, but there might be more to it

Jezebel I Rewatched Love Actually and Am Here to Ruin It for All of You | Deadspin Cubs Owners Discu

Jezebel I Rewatched Love Actually and Am Here to Ruin It for All of You | Deadspin Cubs Owners Discussed Moving Team Out Of Chicago During Beef With Mayor | Splinter What the Fuck Is Sarah Huckabee Sanders Even Talking About Anymore? | The Root #BankingWhileBlack: Bank Calls Cops on Man Because His Paycheck Was Too…

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Source: Kotaku – Jezebel I Rewatched Love Actually and Am Here to Ruin It for All of You | Deadspin Cubs Owners Discu

For the first time ever, Disney posts a Pixar “short” on YouTube for free

Disney Pixar

While Ars Technica takes a comprehensive approach to film reviews, we usually skip one portion: any pre-film “bumper.” For one, these cartoon shorts are usually dissimilar from the film they’re attached to. More importantly, most studios don’t bother with them.

Pixar has consistently been the exception to that rule, and the studio has shipped so many bumper shorts that it has put out a whopping three compilations of the things. To promote the latest collection, Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 3, the Disney-owned studio has made a bold decision: to give away its latest (and possibly best) short on YouTube. As it turns out, Pixar has never offered such a giveaway until this week.

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Source: Ars Technica – For the first time ever, Disney posts a Pixar “short” on YouTube for free