Recent Updates Page 2 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 8:58 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    YouTube now says channels need 10,000 views to make money 

    YouTube now says channels need 10,000 views to make money

    In the wake of ads from major advertisers being shown alongside videos from hate groups and terrorists, YouTube has decided to revamp the way their creators make money. In a peculiar move, YouTube now says that in order for their content creators to be able to monetize their videos, a channel would need at least 10,000 views before being considered for YouTube’s Partnership Program.

    After a channel reaches the required views, YouTube then reviews the content of the channel to make sure it fits their community guidelines. YouTube is saying that this will help keep major advertisers off of channels that consist of stolen content. However, one can safely assume that the hate speech that collects on the video sharing platform has to have had a major influence on YouTube making this decision.

    While this new policy will more than likely please advertisers it doesn’t do much to stop the problems of hate speech and stolen content. Those channels will continue to persist whether or not there’s advertising on their videos due to the fact that they’re based more on a philosophy than a money-making strategy.

    Who this will really hurt are new creators. It’s already difficult for creators to make a name for themselves in a space that’s already crowded with personalities that are pulling in millions of views. Someone who may have a unique perspective, or talent, or voice that could benefit from YouTube, may quit out of frustration if they don’t meet the required number of views to even be considered for payment. When it comes to advertising, it’s usually the consumer that gets hurt worst, but then again there is the modern adage that if you’re using a platform that’s free, you’re not the customer, but the product.

     
  • Geebo 8:59 am on April 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: community policing, , revenge porn   

    Facebook’s new plan to fight revenge photos has one major flaw 

    Facebook's new plan to fight revenge photos has one major flaw

    The omnipresent Facebook announced that they will be taking new steps to try to prevent what’s known as ‘revenge porn’. These are usually pictures, mostly of women, that were either taken during romantic moments, or taken without their permission that are then posted on social media as a way of the spurned getting back at the ex. Facebook being the top dog in the social network hierarchy sees a lot of this being posted on their site.

    Now, Facebook says that they’ll be implementing photo recognition software to keep such images off their pages. That sounds great in theory, but there’s a major flaw in their approach to this problem: someone needs to report the picture first. It will then be added to a database where Facebook says it will be blocked from being posted across all its properties, including Instagram and WhatsApp.

    The problem with this approach is in most cases these photos are posted to private groups, like the infamous Marines United, where the victims, or anyone with a conscience, won’t have access to the photos to report them.

    If this process sounds a little familiar it’s because it’s very similar to craigslist’s ‘community policing’ where they expect the users to report ads for illegal content. Instead the flagging option in craigslist is abused in so many ways it’s become virtually pointless.

    With Facebook’s and craigslist’s recent joint effort to combat fake news, it seems like they’re putting their heads together on how to make it look like they’re solving a problem without really doing anything about it.

     
  • Geebo 8:58 am on April 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: egg, , Mastodon,   

    By dropping the egg, Twitter claims to combat harassment 

    By dropping the egg, Twitter claims to combat harassment

    Twitter recently announced that they were dropping the default egg avatar for new users, and replacing it with a generic silhouette. They say that the new avatar is a more pleasing aesthetic, but they also claim that it will curb harassment and bullying by trolls and anonymous users.

    In recent months, the Twitter egg has come to symbolize the hordes of anonymous users who sign up for multiple accounts used solely for the purpose of harassing others. One such infamous incident is when Saturday Night Live cast member Leslie Jones was harassed by racist and misogynist Twitter users who were using scores of anonymous accounts with the egg avatar. To put it bluntly, if Twitter thinks that by changing the default avatar from one generic one to another is going to curb harassment, it’s obvious that they are greatly mistaken. The trolls and their ilk will continue to just use the default avatar whether it’s an egg or a shadow because they’ll put minimal effort into opening new accounts used only for harassment.

    Since Twitter has largely failed to do anything about its harassment problem a different social network has seen a spike in users, possibly due to their policies that distance themselves from Twitter in this aspect. Mastodon has implemented a policy that specifically bans those who espouse the views of Nazis. Since the open-source service is based in Germany, German law specifically bans Nazi iconography and Holocaust denial. Mastodon has also implemented other features that are designed to discourage harassment by offering better privacy controls among other options.

    Is Mastodon or any other Twitter clone on the precipice of taking over the social network market? Not really. However, if Twitter continues to descend into a quagmire of persecution without any intervention on Twitter’s behalf, then its userbase could splinter off into other avenues, leaving it a more recent equivalent of MySpace.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on April 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Stadiums   

    The Raiders moving to Vegas is a symptom of a much larger disease 

    The Raiders moving to Vegas is a symptom of a much larger disease

    When it came to the NFL, for many years the city of Los Angeles was always a bridesmaid but never a bride. Whenever an NFL team wanted their city to chip in public money for a new stadium, the team would always threaten to move to L.A. Two teams finally made good on those threats when St. Louis and San Diego told the Rams and Chargers respectively, to take a hike. L.A. went from being a the biggest major market without a football team, to having two teams in less than a year. At one time, the Raiders themselves were in an agreement with the Chargers to share a stadium in L.A. with their AFC West rivals.

    Now with the second largest media market out of reach, where could the Raiders threaten to go to try to get a new stadium out of Oak Town’s coffers? With Los Angeles being at capacity Las Vegas became the next logical market to court. While not as large a market as Los Angeles, or even Baltimore, Las Vegas does attract many travelers from across the country to its glitzy attractions.

    The problem here is that it seems more than likely that the Raiders had no intention of staying in Oakland. Former Raiders and 49ers Hall of Fame player Ronnie Lott headed a business consortium that not only would have created a smaller but more modern and lucrative stadium, but the City of Oakland itself agreed to the deal and had promised to kick in a share of the cost. It would have been a new stadium with luxury suites and plenty of space for concessions which the aging Oakland Coliseum is said to have lacked. It also would have kept the stadium in the same relative area as the Coliseum. However, Raiders owner Mark Davis, and his haircut, had been visiting Las Vegas for the past year, entering into talks with various businessmen including local billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Even when Adelson pulled out of helping the Raiders financially in their move to Vegas, Davis went full speed ahead with the move anyway. while it’s not the Colts moving out of Baltimore in the middle of the night, it’s still an egregious show of disrespect to the Raider faithful. To make matters worse, Davis has sent out e-mails to Raiders ticket holders to make their deposits now for their games in Vegas. That’s a 9 hour drive at over 500 miles, which basically shows that the Raiders don’t want the lunch pail fans, but more of the wine and cheese crowd which goes against everything the Raiders have stood for in the past.

    Therein lies the problem with the modern NFL, it hasn’t been about the fans for years now. It’s all about the owners and their greed. The NFL owners voted almost unanimously to approve the Raiders’ move to Vegas. The lone holdout was Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross, who used private money to renovate the Dolphins’ stadium. With the exception of stadium stalwarts like Lambeau Field in Green Bay or Soldier Field in Chicago, stadiums have become largely disposable. Stadiums that had been previously thought of as hallowed grounds like Three Rivers in Pittsburgh and Texas Stadium in Dallas have all fallen to the proverbial wrecking ball, however, in those cases at least the teams stayed in their markets. Who’s to say that with the current climate among NFL owners we wouldn’t one day see the Portland Steelers or the San Antonio Cowboys? In a few years the new sign of urban, and in some cases suburban, blight will be the carcasses of old sports stadiums littered across the country. While the Raiders may have not been the first to eschew their fans in pursuit of the almighty dollar, they’re certainly a huge part of a much larger problem that one day just may price the NFL out of existence.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on April 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Facebook and craigslist team up to fight fake news, not notice irony 

    Facebook and craigslist team up to fight fake news, not notice irony

    Since the 2016 Presidential Election, ‘fake news’ has been the story that’s refused to die with Facebook being ground zero for most fake stories that are perpetrated on the internet. In the past Facebook has taken steps to combat this problem without really fixing anything in our opinion. Now Facebook must be absolutely serious about the problem because they’ve teamed up with that bastion of truth and integrity, craigslist. Sarcasm fully intended, by the way.

    While we’ve been over this before, but it bears repeating. With Facebook, anyone can post just about anything no matter how libelous it may be, pay to get the story boosted, then when the story turns out to be blatantly false, it takes nothing short than an act of God to get the story removed. As for craigslist, you can post an ad for just about anything including, but not limited to, revenge ads soliciting the sexual assault of just about any person you feel has wronged you. That’s not including the paranoid, racist and otherwise hate-filled scribes that inhabit the rants and raves section.

    Both sites, and their founders by extension, are acting like they’re standing on some kind of moral high ground. In reality the high ground their standing on is the mountain of lies perpetrated by their users and encouraged by the sites themselves.

     
  • Geebo 10:02 am on April 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: April Fools Day, ,   

    Snapchat wins April Fools Day at Instagram’s expense 

    Snapchat wins April Fools Day at Instagram's expense

    April Fools Day used to be a fun day on the internet. Websites would create jokes, but they were actually clever and enjoyable. For example, Google changed their name to Topeka for April 1st, 2010 after the capital city of Kansas changed its name to Google for a day in an attempt to get Google Fiber. In April of 2009, ThinkGeek posted on their website that they would be offering a Star Wars Tauntaun sleeping bag. If you’ll recall, one of the characters had to sleep inside one of the beasts to prevent himself from freezing to death. The concept was so well done that ThinkGeek actually ended up offering the item later on in the year. Then everyone on the internet felt they needed to get in on the act. The jokes became stale, predictable, or just downright unfunny. That was until this past weekend.

    While most of 2017’s April Fools Day jokes largely went unnoticed, one particular prank was able to garner headlines over the weekend. Snapchat is the photo and video sharing app that has taken over the internet by storm. Many reports have come out and said that Snapchat has more daily active users than Twitter. Facebook owned Instagram has been accused of out and out stealing features from Snapchat, such as the Snapchat Stories feature. Instagram reportedly didn’t even bother to change the name, calling their feature Instagram Stories.

    Over the weekend, Snapchat decided to turn the tables on Instagram. After taking a picture through the Snapchat app, one of the filters made your picture look just like an Instagram photo that is fictitiously liked by only one person, your mom. This is actually a clever prank because not only does take a meaningful but fun jab at Instagram but it’s not mean or annoying to their users. While it’s unlikely that future April Fools Days won’t just be ‘Turn Off the Internet Day’, it is nice to see that not everyone has lost all their creativity.

     
  • Geebo 10:55 am on March 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , TOR, VPN   

    Congress repeals internet privacy rules. What does this actually mean for you? 

    Congress repeals internet privacy rules. What does this actually mean for you?

    As was expected, the House of Representatives also voted to repeal internet privacy regulations that would have prevented internet service providers from selling your personal information to advertisers. President Trump is expected to sign it into law once the legislation reaches his desk. However, the questions remain about how this affects the individual user and what can they do to protect themselves?

    First off, if your web history is sold to a third-party it won’t be sold as an individual’s history. Instead, it will be sold off as part of a multitude of users who fit a certain demographic, for example males ages 18-34. Also, that’s only if your ISP or wireless provider engages in selling your data. Most large ISPs have voluntarily promised not to sell your internet history.

    If you’re still unsure about your history being sold you could always use a Virtual Private Network or VPN. A VPN is basically a tunnel that goes through your ISP’s connection but hides your direct activity from them. You could also use the TOR browser which reroutes your internet traffic throughout many servers across the world, however, with the TOR browser you would sacrifice speed for a certain level of anonymity. While VPNs and TOR would hide your traffic from your ISP, they will not hide you from law enforcement if you’re engaging in illegal activity, as VPNs can just as easily sell disclose your browsing history and law enforcement has been catching bad guys through TOR for years.

    If you’re really worried about your privacy there are options out there, however, they may cost you a little bit of money or speed, but in the end they may be worth it.

     
  • Geebo 11:16 am on March 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Las Vegas,   

    The Raiders’ move to Las Vegas is a losing gamble 

    The Raiders' move to Las Vegas is a losing gamble

    Very few teams in the NFL have a history as storied as the Raiders. Between their origins and history in Oakland and their 12-year stint in Los Angeles, the Raiders are synonymous with football in California. That’s why it came as a shock to many that the NFL owners almost unanimously approved the Raiders’ request to move to Las Vegas. While Raiders ownership may be dazzled by the promise of a $1.9 billion brand new stadium in Las Vegas, this move may be a losing bet not only for the Raiders but for Sin City as well.

    Las Vegas has been unsuccessfully trying to get a pro franchise for decades. They had a CFL team during the American Expansion period of the 1990s, which only lasted a single season. Similarly the city had the Las Vegas Outlaws of the ill-fated XFL. Las Vegas also has a similar problem to that of Los Angeles. While LA now has the Rams again and the incoming Chargers, most Southern California football fans spend their entertainment dollars on the established USC Trojans. Currently in Las Vegas, the big football ticket is the UNLV Rebels. The NFL will have a hard time pulling Las Vegas diehards away from the Rebels to see the Raiders.

    Las Vegas is paying for the new stadium with a hotel tax. That amount represents their contribution of a much larger price tag. You’d think that if any town could pull that off, it’s Las Vegas due to the fact that they are a top travel destination in the US. The problem is that hotel tax is also used for things like schools and public transportation. You could raise the hotel tax but that could start making hotels more expensive than your average traveler is willing to pay, and with gambling legal in many states now, Las Vegas doesn’t have the must see appeal that it used to. Combine that with the fact that Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson pulled out of his part of the deal, the Raiders have to pony up $650 million of their own money.

    This also isn’t taking into account that the Raiders will only be using the new stadium for 8 days out of the year without counting preseason games or possible playoff appearances. How is the city going to fill the stadium for the rest of the year as Las Vegas has no shortage of already established entertainment venues? As Stanford sports economist Roger Noll said to the Bay area media

    “It’s not in the casinos’ interest for you to fly into Vegas for the weekend and then have you spend half a day at the football stadium,” Noll said. “They attract you to gamble, go to the shows and eat at the expensive restaurants.

    He also added that “This is the worst deal for a city I have ever seen.”

    The reality is that the City of Oakland needs the Raiders. Unfortunately, the Raiders were unimpressed with the offers made by the city, necessitating the move to Las Vegas. With the Raiders moving to Las Vegas and the Golden State Warriors of the NBA moving to San Francisco, not only is the city losing two major revenue streams but also the number of jobs that went along with both of those franchises. As a city, Oakland was on the upswing when it came to being a viable market as an alternative to the other much more expensive cities in the Bay Area. With the loss of the Raiders, not only has it lost one of its few major attractions, but it may have lost its ability to attract bigger financial opportunities for the city which in the long-term will see a decline in Oakland’s standard of living.

     
  • Geebo 10:36 am on March 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Amazon Go breaks down when there’s too many people in it 

    Amazon Go breaks down when there's too many people in it

    Previously on this blog, we’ve posted about Amazon’s proposed brick and mortar store called Amazon Go. The store is supposed to work without cashiers with scanners and cameras doing most of the work. While we were wondering what’s keeping customers from stealing everything, Amazon has run into a much bigger problem. According to reports Amazon has run into the problem where the stores break down if they have more than 20 people in them.

    If there are more than 20 people in any given store the electronics behind the store find it incredibly difficult not only to track all the customers, but track the correct placement of items on the shelves as well. Because of this glitch, to put it mildly, Amazon has delayed the opening of their Amazon Go stores. The first store was supposed to open this month in Seattle.

    With such setbacks one has to wonder what would be more cost-effective, fine tuning the algorithms and equipment to make sure customers have a seamless experience, or hiring cashiers who can handle a crowd of people right off the bat?

     
  • Geebo 11:17 am on March 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Samsung to start reselling the explosive Note 7 

    Samsung to start reselling the explosive Note 7

    You remember the Smasung Galaxy Note 7 don’t you? It was the infamous phone that you couldn’t take aboard any US flight since a fault in the phone’s design would cause some of the phones’ batteries to overheat and burst into flames. Millions of the devices were recalled due to safety risks. Now Samsung says that they have fixed the problem and plan on selling refurbished Note 7s.

    The reason they’re doing this is because it would be an ecological nightmare just to dispose of the phones outright. Instead, Samsung is looking for locales where the government will allow them to see the now supposedly safe devices. Due to the bad press that the phones have gotten, don’t expect those locales to be anywhere in the US or Europe. Reports say that the intended markets for these phones will be Vietnam and India.

    If a refurbished version of the Note 7 were to be re-released in the US would you trust it enough to buy one, or has the press been so bad that the phone would be doomed to fail no matter how much Samsung guarantees it’s safe?

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel