Found: 108 records....
Slashdot
Monday April 19, 2021 @ 02:03:42 AM mt

Microsoft Edge Adds a 'Kids Mode' Limiting Browsing to 70 Web Sites




"In Microsoft's ongoing endeavor to convert people to its rebooted Edge web browser, it's launching a new Kids Mode that makes it easy for parents to control how their children surf the web," reports Gizmodo: Parents have the choice between two versions, one for ages five to eight years and one for ages nine to 12 years. Both enable the strictest level of tracking prevention in Edge and Bing SafeSearch by default to filter out adult text, images, and videos from search results. The only difference between the two age ranges is that the older one includes a newsfeed with curated articles from MSN for Kids. Don't worry though: It focuses on more kid-friendly topics like fun science and animal facts rather than breaking news and politics, Microsoft said. Kids Mode also restricts what sites kids have access to, with roughly 70 popular kids sites allowed from the get-go (any additional allowable sites have to be added to the list individually). If a child tries to view a site that's not on that list, they're met with a cutesy block page, pictured below, that prompts them to ask an adult for permission.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Likes: Dislikes:
Like Dislike Comment Follow
Slashdot
Monday April 19, 2021 @ 02:03:40 AM mt

'Blistering' Note Reveals Secret Travails of Facebook's Content Moderators




A Facebook content moderator (contracted through Accenture) quit their position in Austin, Texas but also left a critical internal note which was later leaked by a senior tech reporter at BuzzFeed who described it as "blistering." SFGate also calls it "a harrowing account of what it's like to work as a Facebook content moderator." The message describes content moderation as a job that takes a significant toll mentally and physically and has led some coworkers to go on psychiatric medication for the first time or self-medicate with alcohol and drugs... "Content analysts are paid to look at the worst of humanity for eight hours a day..." The employee in question allegedly acknowledges that Facebook has made improvements to their wellness program, but still claims it to be inadequate, stating that managers view their employees' brains "as machines," rather than taking into account the consequences of workplace stress. But the note also points out that "Those who spend the most time in the queues have the least input as to policy... It can take months for issues to be addressed, if they are addressed at all..." Content analysts should be able to communicate directly with those responsible for designing policy... The fact that content analysts are hired by outside agencies makes these things impossible. There are no established avenues for communication with Facebook full-time employees, and we can face penalties if we attempt to contact them. The last line of the note offers this benediction for Facebook. "I hope you figure out a way to stop constantly starting PR fires and traumatize people en masse."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Likes: Dislikes:
Like Dislike Comment Follow
Slashdot
Monday April 19, 2021 @ 02:03:37 AM mt

Debian Votes to Issue No Statement on Stallman's Return to the FSF Board




An anonymous reader writes: Debian Project Secretary Kurt Roeckx has announced the results of a closely-watched vote on what statement would be made about Richard Stallman's readmission to the Free Software Foundation's board. Seven options were considered, with the Debian project's 420 voting developers also asked to rank their preferred outcomes: Option 1: "Call for the FSF board removal, as in rms-open-letter.github.io" Option 2: "Call for Stallman's resignation from all FSF bodies" Option 3: "Discourage collaboration with the FSF while Stallman is in a leading position" Option 4: "Call on the FSF to further its governance processes" Option 5: "Support Stallman's reinstatement, as in rms-support-letter.github.io" Option 6: "Denounce the witch-hunt against RMS and the FSF" Option 7: "Debian will not issue a public statement on this issue" While all seven options achieved a quorum of votes, two failed to achieve a majority options 5 and 6. ("Support Stallman's reinstatement" and "Denounce the witch-hunt...") The option receiving the most votes was #7 (not issuing a public statement) but it wasn't that simple. The vote's final outcome was determined by comparing every possible pair of options to determine which option would still be preferred by a majority of voters in each possible comparision. In this case, that winner was still the option which had also received the most votes: Debian will not issue a public statement on this issue. The Debian Project will not issue a public statement on whether Richard Stallman should be removed from leadership positions or not. Any individual (including Debian members) wishing to (co-)sign any of the open letters on this subject is invited to do this in a personal capacity. The results are captured in an elaborate graph. Numbers inside the ovals show the final ratio of yes to no votes (so a number higher than 1.00 indicates a majority, with much higher numbers indicating much larger majorities). Numbers outside the ovals (along the lines) indicate the number of voters who'd preferred the winning choice over the losing choice (toward which the arrow is pointing). The winning option is highlighted in blue.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Likes: Dislikes:
Like Dislike Comment Follow
Slashdot
Monday April 19, 2021 @ 02:03:35 AM mt

'No One Was Driving the Car': 2 Dead After Fiery Tesla Crash




Texas TV station KPRC 2 reports that two men are dead after a Tesla "crashed into a tree and no one was driving the vehicle, officials say." Long-time Slashdot readers AmiMoJo and McGruber both submitted the story: There was a person in the passenger seat of the front of the car and in the rear passenger seat of the car. Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said authorities believe no one else was in the car and that it burst into flames immediately. He said it he believes it wasn't being driven by a human. Harris County Constable Precinct 4 deputies said the vehicle was traveling at a high speed when it failed to negotiate a cul-de-sac turn, ran off the road and hit the tree. KPRC 2 reporter Deven Clarke spoke to one man's brother-in-law who said he was taking the car out for a spin with his best friend, so there were just two in the vehicle. The owner, he said, backed out of the driveway, and then may have hopped in the back seat only to crash a few hundred yards down the road... Authorities said they used 32,000 gallons of water to extinguish the flames because the vehicle's batteries kept reigniting. At one point, Herman said, deputies had to call Tesla to ask them how to put out the fire in the battery.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Likes: Dislikes:
Like Dislike Comment Follow
Slashdot
Monday April 19, 2021 @ 02:03:33 AM mt

Founder of Adobe Dies at Age 81




Long-time Slashdot reader sandbagger brings the news that Charles 'Chuck' Geschke, the co-founder of Adobe, had died at the age of 81. The company started in co-founder John Warnock's garage in 1982, and was named after the Adobe Creek which ran behind Warnock's home, offering pioneering capabilities in "What you see is what you get" (or WYSIWYG) desktop publishing. Gizmodo reports: "This is a huge loss for the entire Adobe community and the technology industry, for whom he has been a guide and hero for decades," Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen wrote in an email to staff. "As co-founders of Adobe, Chuck and John Warnock developed groundbreaking software that has revolutionized how people create and communicate, " he continued. "Chuck instilled a relentless drive for innovation in the company, resulting in some of the most transformative software inventions, including the ubiquitous PDF, Acrobat, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Photoshop." After earning a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, Geschke met Warnock while working at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, according to the Mercury News. The two left the company in 1982 and founded Adobe to develop software. Their first product was Adobe PostScript, which Narayen lauded as "an innovative technology that provided a radical new way to print text and images on paper and sparked the desktop publishing revolution."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Likes: Dislikes:
Like Dislike Comment Follow
Slashdot
Monday April 19, 2021 @ 02:03:30 AM mt

How a True-Crime Podcast Led to an Arrest in a 25-Year-Old Cold Case




"A true-crime podcast has been credited with providing valuable information in a missing person case from the 1990s after two men were arrested," reports Newsweek: Kristin Smart, 19, of Stockton, California, went missing in May 1996 after returning to her dorm at California Polytechnic State University campus in San Luis Obispo. The case received widespread attention from Chris Lambert's Your Own Backyard podcast dedicated to investigating Smart's disappearance, which he began in September 2019. The last person who was thought to have seen Smart alive was Paul Flores, 44, who was also a freshman at the time, when he offered to walk Smart back to her dorm. Since Smart's disappearance, Flores has been a person of interest, suspect, and prime suspect. Now, District Attorney Dan Dow alleges that Flores killed her in his dorm room following an attempted rape. On Tuesday, April 13, Flores was arrested for her murder, and his father Ruben Flores, 80, was arrested as an accessory to murder for allegedly helping his son conceal Smart's body, which has never been found. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said that they arrested the father and son on Tuesday after a search at Ruben Flores' home using ground-penetrating radar and cadaver dogs last month resulted in new evidence linked to Smart's disappearance... Parkinson also credited the Your Own Backyard podcast with raising awareness of the case which resulted in "valuable information" after a key witness came forward. The Associated Press calls it "the latest in a line of true-crime podcasts credited with producing results in court," noting investigations by the Up and Vanished podcast also "led a man to confess to killing a Georgia beauty queen." And they list some of the "compelling clues" uncovered by the podcaster investigating Kristin Smart's disappearance: A former colleague of Paul Flores' mother, Susan Flores, told him Mrs. Flores came into work after Memorial Day weekend 1996 when Smart went missing saying she didn't sleep well because her husband had gotten a phone call in the middle of the night and left in his car. "The speculation has been all along that Paul called his dad in the middle of the night and his dad came up and helped him get rid of Kristin's body," Lambert said. A tenant who lived for a year at Susan Flores' home told him she heard a watch alarm every morning at 4:20 a.m. Smart had worked as a lifeguard at 5 a.m. at the Cal Poly pool, so it's possible she set her watch to wake up at that early hour.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Likes: Dislikes:
Like Dislike Comment Follow
Slashdot
Monday April 19, 2021 @ 02:03:28 AM mt

Proposing an Alternative To Renting or Owning a House: Publicly-Owned Housing




"Renting is terrible. Owning is worse. A third option is necessary," argues a recent article in the Atlantic, "a way to rent without making someone else rich." It's written by Shane Phillips, who's the Housing Inititiative Project Manager at UCLA's Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies: Largely as a consequence of housing prices, Generation X held less than half as much wealth in 2019 as Baby Boomers of the same age did two decades earlier, and Millennials are on course to hold even less. Something has gone catastrophically wrong, and the problem won't be solved by doubling down on homeownership; we've seen where that leads. But our current model of renting a lifetime of uncertainty only to make someone else rich won't do the job either. We need something new, an innovation on par with the government's development of 30-year mortgages nearly a century ago. We need a housing option that combines the accessibility, flexibility, and limited risk of renting with some of the stability and wealth-generating potential of homeownership. His suggested solutiion? A public-ownership rental option: The foundation of the program would be quite simple: public ownership of housing, acquired or built with government loans though run by local for-profit or nonprofit property managers and rented at market prices. No saving for a down payment (or being given one by family) and no qualifying for a mortgage. The only requirements for participation in the public-ownership option would be (1) move in, and (2) pay rent. As the loans were paid down, the equity would accrue to the tenants, minus the cost of operating and maintaining the building, administrative costs, and so on. Unlike rent-to-own programs, however, this option would never require that the tenant take out a mortgage. A renter would never truly "own" her unit. But she would claim a stake in the public portfolio of properties and be able to draw on that asset, perhaps in the form of monthly payments after a few years of renting, or larger dividends later in life, much like Social Security. The benefit could be transferred to any publicly owned apartment, allowing tenants to build wealth without being locked in place. After 35 or 40 years, a tenant might no longer owe any rent at all... Renting in a public-ownership building would be an option for the large number of middle-income individuals who lack the resources or the immediate desire to become homeowners.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Likes: Dislikes:
Like Dislike Comment Follow
Slashdot
Monday April 19, 2021 @ 02:03:25 AM mt

What Happened After Elite Universities Made Standardized Test Scores Optional




The New York Times reports: Whether college admissions have changed for the long haul remains unclear. But early data suggests that many elite universities have admitted a higher proportion of traditionally underrepresented students this year Black, Hispanic and those who were from lower-income communities or were the first generation in their families to go to college, or some combination than ever before... The easing of the reliance on standardized tests, which critics say often work to the advantage of more educated and affluent families who can afford tutors and test prep, was most likely the most important factor in encouraging minority applicants. Only 46 percent of applications this year came from students who reported a test score, down from 77 percent last year, according to Common App, the not-for-profit organization that offers the application used by more than 900 schools... Schools had been dropping the testing requirement for years, but during the pandemic a wave of 650 schools joined in. In most cases, a student with good scores could still submit them and have them considered; a student who had good grades and recommendations but fell short on test scores could leave them out. Most schools have announced that they will continue the test-optional experiment next year, as the normal rhythm of the school year is still roiled by the pandemic. It is unclear whether the shift foretells a permanent change in how students are selected.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Likes: Dislikes:
Like Dislike Comment Follow
Slashdot
Monday April 19, 2021 @ 02:03:23 AM mt

Edward Snowden's NFT Self-Portrait Sells for 5.4 Million in Charity Auction




Gizmodo reports: The latest big name to get in on the NFT craze is former intelligence contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, who on Friday auctioned off an original NFT art piece for roughly $5.4 million worth of the cryptocurrency Ether. Titled "Stay Free", it's a digital self-portrait made out of pages from a U.S. Court of Appeals decision that ruled the National Security Agency's widespread surveillance of phone records violated the law, a practice Snowden brought to light in 2013 by leaking classified NSA secrets to journalists... The NFT sold for 2,224 Ether, worth just over $5.4 million at the time of publishing. All proceeds from this sale will go to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a non-profit that develops open-source tools for whistleblowers and works to shield journalists from state-sponsored hackers and government surveillance. Snowden has led the organization as president since 2017.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Likes: Dislikes:
Like Dislike Comment Follow
Slashdot
Monday April 19, 2021 @ 02:03:21 AM mt

Bitcoin Other Cryptocurrencies Plummet This Weekend




"The mania that drove crypto assets to records as Coinbase went public last week turned on itself on the weekend," report Bloomberg as the price of bitcoin took a big dive: The world's biggest cryptocurrency plunged as much as 15% on Sunday, just days after reaching a record of $64,869. It subsequently pared some of the losses and was trading at about $56,440 at around 8:25 a.m. in Tokyo Monday. Ether, the second-biggest token, dropped as much as 18% to below $2,000 before also paring losses. The volatility buffeted Binance Coin, XRP and Cardano too. Dogecoin the token started as a joke bucked the trend and is up 7% over 24 hours, according to CoinGecko. The weekend carnage came after a heady period for the industry that saw the value of all coins surge past $2.25 trillion amid a frenzy of demand for all things crypto in the runup to Coinbase's direct listing on Wednesday. The largest U.S. crypto exchange ended the week valued at $68 billion, more than the owner of the New York Stock Exchange... Dogecoin, which has limited use and no fundamentals, rallied last week to be worth about $50 billion at one point before stumbling Saturday. Demand was so brisk for the token that investors trying to trade it on Robinhood crashed the site a few times Friday, the online exchange said in a blog post. There was also speculation Sunday in several online reports that the crypto plunge was related to concerns the U.S. Treasury may crack down on money laundering carried out through digital assets... Besides the "unsubstantiated" report of a U.S. Treasury crackdown, Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of crypto lender Nexo, said factors for the declines may have included "excess leverage, Coinbase insiders dumping equity after the direct listing and a mass outage in China's Xinjiang province hitting Bitcoin miners."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Likes: Dislikes:
Like Dislike Comment Follow