Tumblr Porn Vanishes Today
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '18 at 08:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's commence-panic department
Earlier this month, Tumblr announced that it would be permanently banning adult content from its platform on December 17th. Well, that day has arrived and the social media site is now hiding all posts that are currently flagged as explicit, as well as posts that users are in the process of appealing. This includes media showing sex acts, exposed genitals, and "female-presenting" nipples. The Verge reports: In addition to what's already gone, more adult content is going to be flagged in coming weeks, Tumblr says, and it hopes that the automated tools will be more accurate at picking out what counts as explicit. In a blog post that went up today, Tumblr apologized to users: "We are sorry that this has not been an easy transition and we know we can do a better job of explaining what we're doing." It said the change would be a slow process that involves "flagging tens of billions of GIFs, videos, and photos."
Many users also criticized Tumblr's decision to consider "female-presenting nipples" as explicit, while male-presenting nipples were still okay. Some pointed out that in the case of non-binary, genderfluid, or trans individuals, it would be confusing where the line would be drawn on whose nipples would be considered explicit. In its blog post today, Tumblr has added the caveat, "yeah, we know you hate this term," but maintained the language and distinction. "We understand and agree that there have been too many wrongfully flagged posts since we announced the policy change," says Tumblr. But if users don't appeal their posts, then they're out of luck. That could also be a problem for popular older accounts, which may not have anyone monitoring them to appeal the overly aggressive moderation. Flagged content will be hidden, but not deleted, Tumblr emphasized. That will allow posts to be appealed even after they're removed from public view. On a more positive note, Tumblr says that "all appeals will be sent to a real, live human who can make the appropriate call."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's confirms-what-we-already-knew department
AmiMoJo shares a report from the BBC: Russia used every major social media platform to influence the 2016 US election, the report claims. New research says YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram and PayPal -- as well as Facebook and Twitter -- were leveraged to spread propaganda. Its authors criticize the "belated and uncoordinated response" by tech firms. It is the first analysis of millions of social media posts provided by Twitter, Google and Facebook to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Russia adapted techniques from digital marketing to target audiences across multiple channels, with a particular focus on targeting conservatives with posts on immigration, race, and gun rights. There were also efforts to undermine the voting power of left-leaning African-American citizens, by spreading misinformation about the electoral process. "What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party -- and specifically Donald Trump," the report says. "Trump is mentioned most in campaigns targeting conservatives and right-wing voters, where the messaging encouraged these groups to support his campaign. The main groups that could challenge Trump were then provided messaging that sought to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage members from voting."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cause-and-effect department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Writing in the Journal of Neuroscience, Peters and colleagues describe how they recruited 32 healthy men aged between 19 and 33 and gave all of them the same dinner of pasta and veal, an apple and a strawberry yoghurt. Participants were then either sent home to bed wearing a sleep-tracking device, or kept awake in the laboratory all night with activities including parlor games. All returned the next morning to have their hunger and appetite rated, while 29 of the men had their levels of blood sugar measured, as well as levels of certain hormones linked to stress and appetite. Participants also took part in a game in which they were presented with pictures of 24 snack food items, such as chocolate bars, and 24 inedible items, including hats or mugs, and were first asked to rate how much they would be willing to pay for them on a scale. During a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan, they were asked to choose whether or not they would actually buy the object when its price was fixed -- an experiment that allowed researchers to look at participants' brain activity upon seeing pictures of food and other items. A week later, the experiment was repeated, with the participants who had previously stayed up allowed to sleep, and vice versa.
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's show-me-the-evidence department
hackingbear writes: Germany's IT watchdog has expressed skepticism about calls for a boycott of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, saying it has seen no evidence the firm could use its equipment to spy for Beijing, news weekly Spiegel reported. "For such serious decisions like a ban, you need proof," the head of Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Arne Schoenbohm, told Spiegel, adding that his agency had no such evidence. The U.S. has been pressuring German authorities for months to drop Huawei, according to people familiar with the matter, but the Germans have asked for more specific evidence to demonstrate the security threat. German authorities and telecom executives have yet to turn up any evidence of security problems with Chinese equipment vendors, according to a person familiar with the matter. Separately, at a (secret lobster-themed) meeting in Canada in July 2018, espionage chiefs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. -- all signatories to a treaty on signals intelligence, and often referred to as the "Five Eyes" -- agreed to do their best to contain the global growth of Chinese telecom (vendor) Huawei, the Australian Financial Review reported (paywalled). On the other hand, documents leaked by WikiLeaks and Snowden claimed that the NSA, the leader of the Five Eyes, tapped German Chancellery for decades and bugged routers made by Cisco, the leading American networking equipment vendor.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's he-says-she-says department
Joshua Bakita, a former software engineering intern on the Edge team at Microsoft, says one of the reasons why Microsoft had to ditch EdgeHTML rendering engine in Edge browser and switch to Chromium was to keep up with the changes (some of which were notorious) that Google pushed to its sites. These changes were designed to ensure that Edge and other browsers could not properly run Google's sites, he alleged. Responding to a comment, he wrote: "For example, they may start integrating technologies for which they have exclusive, or at least 'special' access. Can you imagine if all of a sudden Google apps start performing better than anyone else's?" This is already happening. I very recently worked on the Edge team, and one of the reasons we decided to end EdgeHTML was because Google kept making changes to its sites that broke other browsers, and we couldn't keep up.
For example, they recently added a hidden empty div over YouTube videos that causes our hardware acceleration fast-path to bail (should now be fixed in Win10 Oct update). Prior to that, our fairly state-of-the-art video acceleration put us well ahead of Chrome on video playback time on battery, but almost the instant they broke things on YouTube, they started advertising Chrome's dominance over Edge on video-watching battery life. What makes it so sad, is that their claimed dominance was not due to ingenious optimization work by Chrome, but due to a failure of YouTube. On the whole, they only made the web slower.
Now while I'm not sure I'm convinced that YouTube was changed intentionally to slow Edge, many of my co-workers are quite convinced -- and they're the ones who looked into it personally. To add to this all, when we asked, YouTube turned down our request to remove the hidden empty div and did not elaborate further. And this is only one case.Read Replies (0)
MIPS Goes Open Source
Posted by News Fetcher on December 17 '18 at 01:32 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's marching-forward department
Junko Yoshida, writing for EETimes: Without question, 2018 was the year RISC-V genuinely began to build momentum among chip architects hungry for open-source instruction sets. That was then. By 2019, RISC-V won't be the only game in town. Wave Computing (Campbell, Calif.) announced Monday (Dec. 17) that it is putting MIPS on open source, with MIPS Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and MIPS' latest core R6 available in the first quarter of 2019. Art Swift, hired by Wave this month as president of its MIPS licensing business, described the move as critical to accelerate the adoption of MIPS in an ecosystem.
Going open source is "a big plan" that Wave CEO Derek Meyer, a MIPS veteran, has been quietly fostering since Wave acquired MIPS Technologies in June, explained Swift. Swift himself is a MIPS alumnus who worked at the company as a vice president of marketing and business development for four years. Wave, which styles itself as a tech startup poised to bring "AI and deep learning from the datacenter to the edge," sees MIPS as a key to advancing Wave's AI into a host of uses and applications. Included in MIPS instruction sets are extensions such as SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) and DSP. Swift promised that MIPS will bring to the open-source community "commercial-ready" instruction sets with "industrial-strength" architecture. "Chip designers will have opportunities to design their own cores based on proven and well tested instruction sets for any purposes," said Swift.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's end-of-road department
Less than five months after Google's plan to build a censored search engine and other tools for the Chinese market became public, the company has "effectively ended" the project, reports The Intercept. From the report: Google has been forced to shut down a data analysis system it was using to develop a censored search engine for China after members of the company's privacy team raised internal complaints that it had been kept secret from them, The Intercept has learned. The internal rift over the system has had massive ramifications, effectively ending work on the censored search engine, known as Dragonfly, according to two sources familiar with the plans. The incident represents a major blow to top Google executives, including CEO Sundar Pichai, who have over the last two years made the China project one of their main priorities.
The dispute began in mid-August, when the The Intercept revealed that Google employees working on Dragonfly had been using a Beijing-based website to help develop blacklists for the censored search engine, which was designed to block out broad categories of information related to democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest, in accordance with strict rules on censorship in China that are enforced by the country's authoritarian Communist Party government.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's taking-a-bold-step department
The European Union has a target of making all new buildings zero-energy by 2020, but in Norway, carbon neutrality isn't enough. From a report: A consortium in Oslo made up of architects, engineers, environmentalists, and designers is creating energy-positive buildings in a country with some of the coldest and darkest winters on Earth. "If you can make it in Norway, you can make it anywhere," says Peter Bernhard, a consultant with Asplan Viak, one of the Powerhouse alliance members.
Bernhard says Powerhouse began in 2010 with a question: Is it possible to not only eliminate the carbon footprint of buildings, but to also use them as a climate-crisis solution? It was a lofty goal. According to the European Commission, buildings account for 40 percent of energy usage and 36 percent of carbon-dioxide emissions in the EU. But after undertaking several energy-positive projects -- building a new Montessori school, retrofitting four small office buildings, building a few homes, and breaking ground on two new office buildings -- Powerhouse has found the answer to the 2010 question to be an emphatic "Yes." In 2019, the collective's biggest project to date will open to the public: Powerhouse Brattorkaia, in the central Norwegian city of Trondheim.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's tough-luck department
Amazon is rethinking its strategy around some items it sells which it calls internally "Can't realize a profit" -- or "CRaP" for short, according to the Wall Street Journal. From the report: Inside Amazon, the items are known as CRaP, short for "Can't Realize a Profit." Think bottled beverages or snack foods [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. The products tend to be priced at $15 or less, are sold directly by Amazon, and are heavy or bulky and therefore costly to ship -- characteristics that make for thin or nonexistent margins. Now, as Amazon focuses more on its bottom line in addition to its rapid growth, it is increasingly taking aim at CRaP products, according to major brand executives and people familiar with the company's thinking.
In recent months, it has been eliminating unprofitable items and pressing manufacturers to change their packaging to better sell online, according to brands that sell on Amazon and consultants who work with them. One example: bottled water from Coca-Cola Co. Amazon used to have a $6.99 six-pack of Smartwater as the default order on some of its Dash buttons, a small device that allows for automatic reordering with a single press. But in August, after working with Coca-Cola to change how it ships and sells the water, Amazon notified Dash customers it was changing that default item to a 24-pack for $37.20.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department
Google will invest $1 billion in a new campus in New York City, the company said Monday. From a report: The new 1.7 million square foot "Google Hudson Square" campus will include two buildings located at 315 and 345 Hudson Street and an office space situated at nearby 550, Washington Street in Manhattan, Google said in a blog post on Monday. The move will expand Google's presence near the Hudson River in New York City. Earlier this year, the search giant announced it had purchased shopping and office complex Chelsea Market for $2.4 billion. Google said the Hudson Square campus will be the main location for its New York-based global business organization. It said the investments in Chelsea and Hudson Square will create capacity to more than double headcount in New York over the next decade. Google currently houses more than 7,000 employees in New York City in a range of teams including Search, Ads, Maps, YouTube and Cloud. "Our investment in New York is a huge part of our commitment to grow and invest in U.S. facilities, offices and jobs," Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said in the blog post. Unlike Amazon, Google did not pursue tax breaks or other incentives from New York.Read Replies (0)