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Congress Asks More than 80 Companies for Big Tech Complaints September 20, 2019

House lawmakers asked the companies for information on how their businesses had been affected by Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Congress Asks More than 80 Companies for Big Tech Complaints Source: NY Times Tech

Congress Asks More than 80 Companies for Big Tech Complaints

House lawmakers asked the companies for information on how their businesses had been affected by Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Congress Asks More than 80 Companies for Big Tech Complaints
Source: NY Times Tech

To fight ‘evil’ ICE, an engineer pulled his code off Github

Immigration Silicon Valley

Immigration Silicon Valley

When engineer Seth Vargo found that a company using his open-source code worked with US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, he pulled the code off Github. The company, enterprise software maker Chef, found that, without the code, its business ground to a halt.

Vargo had worked for the Seattle-based company, but he didn’t know about the contract with ICE until tech writer Shanley Kane tweeted about it on Monday. ICE, which was formed under the presidency of George W. Bush in 2003, has stirred protests as it ratcheted up deportation and family separation policies under President Donald Trump.

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To fight ‘evil’ ICE, an engineer pulled his code off Github
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Drones might help you out the next time your car breaks down – CNET

A towing company in Texas plans to use drones to assess the situation before sending a truck. Drones might help you out the next time your car breaks down – CNET
Source: CNet

PayPal reinstates controversial policy of pocketing fees from refunds

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

PayPal is reinstating a controversial policy around its handling of fees in the event of a refund. Starting next month, PayPal will begin pocketing the initial 2.9 percent commission fee sellers forfeit during a transaction even when the seller is refunding a customer in full.

The company initially rolled out this policy back in April, but seller backlash over PayPal claiming the commission fee led it to reverse course. Now, PayPal says it’s updating its policy for good, citing its “cost structure” and claiming the approach to refunds is in line with industry practice. Sellers are again up in arms over the change, with some claiming that it is not in fact the case that the online payment processing industry handles refunds like this.

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PayPal reinstates controversial policy of pocketing fees from refunds
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All the best signs we saw at the Climate Strike in NYC – CNET

Across the globe today students led marches and rallies for action on the Climate Change crisis, agitating for radical change towards sustainability throughout society, from industry to government to farming practices to the military industrial complex. The march in NYC boasted upwards of 250,000 people, many of them children cutting school to participate, and culminated in a rally with musical performances and a speech from Greta Thunberg, the internationally famous child activist. Check out all the inspired home-made signs we saw today! All the best signs we saw at the Climate Strike in NYC – CNET
Source: CNet

Facebook suspends tens of thousands of apps following Cambridge Analytica scandal – CNET

The suspended apps were tied to 400 developers. Facebook suspends tens of thousands of apps following Cambridge Analytica scandal – CNET
Source: CNet

Inside Airbnb, Employees Eager for Big Payouts Pushed It to Go Public

Tension has grown among a 6,000-person work force as it waits to sell company shares, people with knowledge of the situation said. Inside Airbnb, Employees Eager for Big Payouts Pushed It to Go Public
Source: NY Times Tech

YouTube CEO apologizes after verification uproar, softens policy changes – CNET

The Google-owned site said it’s tightening verification restrictions, and creators are furious. YouTube CEO apologizes after verification uproar, softens policy changes – CNET
Source: CNet

YouTube backtracks on taking badges away from creators after outcry

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

YouTube is almost completely backtracking on the verification system changes it announced yesterday. All YouTubers who are currently verified will get to keep their verification status, and YouTubers who are not yet verified will still be able to apply for it once they hit 100,000 subscribers, as creators have in the past.

Only a single key change isn’t being reversed: YouTube will actually verify that channels are authentic, whereas in the past it seemingly has not thoroughly taken this very obvious step.

This is all quite different from the original plan. YouTube had indicated it was going to limit verification to only established brands and the biggest personalities — people who were at high risk of impersonation. It meant that the…

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YouTube backtracks on taking badges away from creators after outcry
Source: New feed

Twitter Suspends Account of Former Adviser to Saudi Crown Prince

The account was one of thousands with ties to governments in the Middle East that were taken down by the social media company. Twitter Suspends Account of Former Adviser to Saudi Crown Prince
Source: NY Times Tech

Images from New York City’s Global Climate Strike

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

“I’m here because I care, and I think we need to make radical changes”

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Images from New York City’s Global Climate Strike
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That Leaked List of Samsung Devices Getting Android 10 Is Bogus

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. A screenshot made the rounds earlier this week that allegedly listed all the Samsung devices that were going to receive Android 10. The list caused an understandable excitement for some Samsung owners, hopeful that the latest version of Android would hit device of…

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That Leaked List of Samsung Devices Getting Android 10 Is Bogus
Source: Life Hacker

Uber sues New York City to overturn limits on drivers cruising without passengers

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Uber filed a lawsuit against New York City Friday in an effort to overturn rules limiting the amount of time ride-hail drivers can spend in busy parts of the city. It was the second time this year that Uber has sued New York City.

The suit comes a month after the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission approved an extension on its cap on the number of Uber and Lyft vehicles permitted to operate within the city. The moratorium on new vehicle licenses now extends until August 2020.

The commission also amended its rules aimed at limiting the amount of time drivers can cruise without passengers in Manhattan below 96th Street. Under the new rules, Uber and Lyft must reduce deadheading — or the amount of time drivers spend without passengers in…

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Uber sues New York City to overturn limits on drivers cruising without passengers
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How Can You Tell If an App Is Malware?

There are a lot of apps you can download on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. That’s obvious. What’s not so obvious is that even though both companies do a pretty good job of (mostly) catching bullshit apps, there are still plenty that sneak through because they just toe the line between scammy and barely…

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How Can You Tell If an App Is Malware?
Source: Life Hacker

Secretive FBI demands for information go far beyond tech companies, new documents reveal

The FBI has sent secretive written demands for information to more than 120 companies in recent years — including telecommunications providers, technology firms and credit agencies — according to documents released Friday, raising new questions about the government’s ability to quietly gather data on people. Secretive FBI demands for information go far beyond tech companies, new documents reveal
Source: Washington Post Tech

Minecraft’s new character creator lets players control how they look

MInecraft

The newest Minecraft beta update comes with the ability to make a customized version of yourself, as spotted by VentureBeat. Developer Mojang announced the feature in a blog post, noting the change alongside a slew of performance and gameplay fixes.

The Minecraft Character Creator lets you personalize your avatar within the game, the first official tool for doing following years of mods and third-party skin creators handling the task. The new tool lets you tweak everything from facial features and hairstyles to skin tones and facial hair. Mojang says that more than 100 customization items will be available for free. It’s also introducing a range of custom accessories, but you’ll have to pay for those. Of course if that’s not enough,…

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Minecraft’s new character creator lets players control how they look
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Checkmarks mean more to YouTube creators than validation, and removing them has consequences

YouTube Brandcast Presented By Google - Presentation

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic for YouTube

Verification badges on YouTube are more than just a checkmark to creators. Those tiny marks are a sign that after years of building a channel, they’re seen as a valuable member of the community.

That’s why when YouTube suddenly sent out a flood of emails to creators who have picked up verification badges over the years, alerting them that they were due to have their badge revoked as part of an overhaul to the verification system next month, it hurt. Numerous creators with verified checkmarks spoke to The Verge about feeling demoralized after receiving the email. Many creators also said this was just another example of YouTube seemingly turning its back on endemic creators who helped build the site into what it is today.

Having a…

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Checkmarks mean more to YouTube creators than validation, and removing them has consequences
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Emmy nominee Sterling K. Brown isn't done playing around – CNET

The award-winning actor, known for his roles in Black Panther and This Is Us, takes on a new challenge in The Angry Birds Movie 2 as a tech-savvy pig named Garry. Emmy nominee Sterling K. Brown isn't done playing around – CNET
Source: CNet

Uber sues New York City, says 'cruising cap' threatens its business model – CNET

The city recently passed a law that limited the amount of time drivers can cruise certain parts of the city without a passenger in the car. Uber sues New York City, says 'cruising cap' threatens its business model – CNET
Source: CNet

Borderlands 3: First look at the Halloween-themed Bloody Harvest event – CNET

The latest installment in the sci-fi game series that inspired the “looter-shooter” genre is here. Borderlands 3: First look at the Halloween-themed Bloody Harvest event – CNET
Source: CNet

This is 'Peak Week' for Asthma

If you have asthma and you feel like it’s gotten worse lately, it’s not your imagination: Llate September is informally known as asthma “peak week” because several asthma-exacerbating factors converge.

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This is 'Peak Week' for Asthma
Source: Life Hacker

Emmy nominee Jared Harris on filming harrowing Chernobyl: 'I enjoy the fear' – CNET

The Emmy-nominated star of the HBO and Sky hit miniseries about the 1986 nuclear disaster talks about making the show, why it resonates now and why he loves Frasier. Emmy nominee Jared Harris on filming harrowing Chernobyl: 'I enjoy the fear' – CNET
Source: CNet

Don’t update to iOS 13.0 if you play Fortnite or PUBG Mobile

Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Apple’s latest iOS refresh arrived not quite fully baked, leading to all sorts of bugs that range from minor to serious. The situation is so pressing, in fact, that Apple is pushing up the release of iOS 13.1 by a week to help iron out the kinks. But for avid players of battle royale mobile titles like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, that means going a few days without being able to properly play the touch-based shooters.

Both games, as well as many others, rely on multiple, simultaneous touch inputs to control in-game characters. The issue with iOS 13 is that a three-finger press-and-hold gesture was introduced to allow for more granular text editing options.

Since the official release yesterday, countless players have complained that the…

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Don’t update to iOS 13.0 if you play Fortnite or PUBG Mobile
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Beats headphones will get the same iOS 13.1 audio sharing feature as AirPods

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Apple isn’t reserving the convenient new audio sharing feature in iOS 13 just for its own AirPods; the company is also extending it to Beats products. Audio Sharing allows two sets of earbuds or headphones to be connected to a single iPhone, letting people listen to the same music or watch video content together from one device.

The following Beats products will support Audio Sharing:

  • Powerbeats Pro
  • Powerbeats 3 Wireless
  • BeatsX
  • Solo 3 Wireless
  • Studio 3 Wireless

They all have either Apple’s W1 or H1 chip inside, which is what enables the feature.

Beats says Audio Sharing will be available next week. Like AirPods, Apple occasionally updates the firmware of Beats products quietly in the background to improve performance and add new…

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Beats headphones will get the same iOS 13.1 audio sharing feature as AirPods
Source: New feed

How to Wean Your Kids off Juice

It probably started as a once-in-a-while treat at a birthday party or out at a restaurant. But once your toddler got a taste of that sweet, sweet juice, bland old milk and water just didn’t have the same appeal. And now, juice is all they want to drink.

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How to Wean Your Kids off Juice
Source: Life Hacker