AT&T Preps For New Layoffs Despite Billions In Tax Breaks and Regulatory Favors
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard:
AT&T is preparing for yet another significant round of layoffs according to internal documents obtained by Motherboard. The staff reductions come despite billions in tax breaks and regulatory favors AT&T promised would dramatically boost both investment and job creation. A source at AT&T who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak publicly told Motherboard that company leadership is planning what it's calling a "geographic rationalization" and employment "surplus" reduction that will consolidate some aspects of AT&T operations in 10 major operational hubs in New York, California, Texas, New Jersey, Washington State, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, and Washington, DC. A spokesperson for AT&T confirmed to Motherboard that it is planning to "adjust" its workforce.
While AT&T has yet to come up with a final, formal internal tally for this new round of looming layoffs, AT&T employees worry the staff reductions could prove to be significant, especially outside of these core areas. Managers are being briefed on the plans now, though AT&T isn't expected to formally announce the specifics until they're finalized later this month. The staff reductions were first announced in an internal memo sent to managers last Friday by Jeff McElfresh, President, Technology & Operations at AT&T. This news comes in the wake of AT&T receiving a $20 billion windfall last quarter courtesy of the Trump administration tax breaks. That's in addition to the friendlier environment AT&T finds itself in as a result of the Trump administration's assault on consumer protections ranging from net neutrality to broadband privacy guidelines. "To win in this new world, we must continue to lower costs and keep getting faster, leaner, and more agile," McElfresh told employees. "This includes reductions in our organization, and others across the company, which will begin later this month and take place over several months."
Deep Pacific Waters Are Cooling Down Due To Centuries-Ago Little Ice Age, New Study Suggests
schwit1 quotes a report from The Inquisitr:
Most of the world's waters may be warming as a result of climate change, but a new study shows that the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean still appear to be cooling down hundreds of years after the period in history known as the "Little Ice Age." According to a report from Science Daily, a team of researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) and Harvard University discovered that there has been a "lag" of a few centuries in terms of temperature change in the deep Pacific. This part of the ocean, the report stressed, is still seemingly cooling and adjusting to the temperature drops of the Little Ice Age while the rest of the Pacific gets warmer as a result of modern factors.
"These waters are so old and haven't been near the surface in so long, they still 'remember' what was going on hundreds of years ago when Europe experienced some of its coldest winters in history," commented WHOI physical oceanographer Jake Gebbie, lead author of the new study. As documented in a paper that was published Friday in the journal Science, the researchers created a model simulating how the deep Pacific's temperature might react to changes in climate on the surface, then compared the data from the model against two historical sources. These sources included ocean temperature data taken in the 1870s by scientists aboard the HMS Challenger and temperatures gathered over a century later, through the World Ocean Circulation Experiment in the 1990s. Based on how these comparisons aligned, the researchers found that warming was present in most parts of the world's oceans and consistent with the current trend of climate change. The only exception was the deep Pacific, where temperatures were cooling at around 1.25 miles (two kilometers) deep. This suggested that long-ago changes in surface climate, such as those that took place during the Little Ice Age, could still have an influence on the effect of climate change in modern times.
Canada's Bell Telecommunications Company Wants Permission To Gather, Track Customer Data
Bell Canada is
asking customers for permission to track everything they do with their home and mobile phones, internet, television, apps or any other services they get through Bell or its affiliates. "In return, Bell says it will provide advertising and promotions that are more 'tailored' to their needs and preferences," reports CBC.ca. From the report:
"Tailored marketing means Bell will be able to customize advertising based on participant account information and service usage patterns, similar to the ways that companies like Google and others have been doing for some time," the company says in recent notices to customers. If given permission, Bell will collect information about its customers' age, gender, billing addresses, and the specific tablet, television or other devices used to access Bell services. It will also collect the "number of messages sent and received, voice minutes, user data consumption and type of connectivity when downloading or streaming." "Bell's marketing partners will not receive the personal information of program participants; we just deliver the offers relevant to the program participants on their behalf," the company assures customers. Teresa Scassa, who teaches law at the University of Ottawa and holds the Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy, says Bell customers who opt into Bell's new program could be giving away commercially valuable personal information with little to no compensation for increased risks to their privacy and security. "Here's a company that's taking every shred of personal information about me, from all kinds of activities that I engage in, and they're monetizing it. What do I get in return? Better ads? Really? That's it? What about better prices?"
Toronto-based consultant Charlie Wilton, whose firm has advised Bell and Rogers in the past, says: "I mean, in a perfect world, they would give you discounts or they would give you points or things that consumers would more tangibly want, rather than just the elimination of a pain point -- which is what they're offering right now."
Software Developer Tops List of U.S. News & World Report's Annual Best Jobs Rankings
According to U.S. News and World Report's annual best jobs rankings, software developer
is the top pick for the new year. "The publication's Best Jobs of 2019 list takes seven factors into account, including median salary, employment rate and stress level," reports USA Today. "The median salary for a software developer is $101,790, and the unemployment rate is 1.9 percent, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics." From the report:
Though software developers have neither the highest median salary nor lowest unemployment rate on the U.S. News Best Jobs of 2019 list, the position's projected increase in demand -- roughly 30 percent between 2016 and 2026 -- and average stress levels helped it land the top spot, said Rebecca Koenig, careers reporter at U.S. News and World Report. "Unlike some other jobs that do pretty well on the list, which are very demanding, software developer tends not to be a really stressful profession," Koenig said. Here are the
Top 10, in order:
1. Software Developer
3. Physician assistant
5. (tie) Orthodontist
6. (tie) Nurse anesthetist
7. Nurse practitioner
9. (tie) Obstetrician and gynecologist
9. (tie) Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
9. (tie) Prosthodontist
9. (tie) Physician
The Impossible Burger 2.0 Is a Plant-Based Beef Replacement That Uses Soy Instead Wheat Protein To Take On New Forms
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Popular Science:
During a press event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Impossible Foods showed off its new plant-based ground beef replacement by offering a selection of foods from traditional sliders to the ambitious tartare. Thanks to a change in formula, the new Impossible Burger 2.0 goes beyond simple patties and aims to take on ground beef with every recipe, from lasagna to tacos. The first tastes are very promising. Back in 2016, the original Impossible Burger debuted as a veggie burger that could almost pass as beef. Its meaty secret was a molecule called heme, which contains iron and is largely responsible for the flavors we associate with cooked flesh. But, according to Impossible CEO Pat Brown, it requires a protein to bind it. The original Impossible Burger used wheat protein, which worked, but had some drawbacks. First, it meant the Impossible Burger wasn't gluten-free, but it also put some limitations on the meat's form factor. The wheat worked for burger patties that stayed in a relatively static shape, but it couldn't crumble or take on other shapes -- like meatballs -- without losing its integrity. The solution was a switch to soy.
The resulting Impossible Burger 2.0 product has 14 grams of fat and 240 calories in a single quarter-pound serving (whether it's a patty, ball, or glob of tartare). Impossible also claims that the Burger 2.0 has the same amount of bioavailable iron and protein as its cow-derived cousin. According to Brown, the levels of amino acids are "at least on-par" with typical ground beef and, in some cases, exceed what real meat can offer. As for taste, Popular Science's Stan Horaczek says "it works best as a burger with a thin patty so you don't get a whole mouthful of soy at once, but once you introduce a bun and some toppings, you might not even notice the differences with real beef."
The Impossible Burger 2.0 will be served at a few restaurants starting this week, with a wider roll out starting on February 8 when it will be available to all U.S. restaurants through food distributors. It's also planning to have its products in some U.S. supermarkets by later this year.
Google Removes 85 Adware Apps That Were Installed By Millions of Users
removed 85 Android apps from the official Play Store that security researchers from Trend Micro deemed to contain a common strain of adware. "The 85 apps had been downloaded over nine million times, and one app, in particular, named 'Easy Universal TV Remote,' was downloaded over five million times," reports ZDNet. From the report:
While the apps were uploaded on the Play Store from different developer accounts and were signed by different digital certificates, they exhibited similar behaviors and shared the same code, researchers said in a report published today. But besides similarities in their source code, the apps were also visually identical, and were all of the same types, being either games or apps that let users play videos or control their TVs remotely.
The first time users ran any of the apps, they would proceed to show fullscreen ads in different steps, asking and reasking users to press various buttons to continue. If the user was persistent and stayed with the app until it reached a menu page, every menu button push would trigger yet another fullscreen ad, over and over again until the app would suddenly crash, hiding its original app icon. But despite the crash, unbeknownst to the user, the app would continue to run in the phone's background, showing new fullscreen ads ever 15 or 30 minutes, generating profits for the fraudsters until users either removed the apps or reset devices to factory settings as a last resort. You can view a list of the 85 adware apps via
this PDF file.
DARPA Wants To Build an AI To Find the Patterns Hidden in Global Chaos
A new program at DARPA is aimed at creating a machine learning system that can sift through the
innumerable events and pieces of media generated every day and identify any threads of connection or narrative in them. It's called KAIROS: Knowledge-directed Artificial Intelligence Reasoning Over Schemas. From a report:
"Schema" in this case has a very specific meaning. It's the idea of a basic process humans use to understand the world around them by creating little stories of interlinked events. For instance when you buy something at a store, you know that you generally walk into the store, select an item, bring it to the cashier, who scans it, then you pay in some way, and then leave the store. This "buying something" process is a schema we all recognize, and could of course have schemas within it (selecting a product; payment process) or be part of another schema (gift giving; home cooking).
Although these are easily imagined inside our heads, they're surprisingly difficult to define formally in such a way that a computer system would be able to understand. They're familiar to us from long use and understanding, but they're not immediately obvious or rule-bound, like how an apple will fall downwards from a tree at a constant acceleration. And the more data there are, the more difficult it is to define. Buying something is comparatively simple, but how do you create a schema for recognizing a cold war, or a bear market? That's what DARPA wants to look into.
Verizon Says It Won't Launch Fake 5G Icons Like AT&T Did
Verizon and T-Mobile are calling out AT&T for starting a shady marketing tactic that
labeled its 4G network as a 5G network. "In an
open letter, in which AT&T is not named directly, Verizon says in part 'the potential to over-hype and under-deliver on the 5G promise is a temptation that the wireless industry must resist,'"
reports TechCrunch. Meanwhile, T-Mobile directly called out AT&T, tweeting
a short video of someone putting a sticky note reading "9G" on top of their iPhone's LTE icon. The Verge reports:
The promise comes right as AT&T has started to roll out updates doing exactly that: changing the "LTE" icon in the corner of select phones into an icon reading "5G E." One might assume that a "5G E" connection is the same thing as a "5G" connection, but it's not. AT&T is just pretending that the faster portions of its LTE network are 5G and is trying to get a head start on the 5G marketing race by branding it "5G Evolution." T-Mobile isn't happy about the marketing nonsense either. Its CTO, Neville Ray, wrote that AT&T was "duping customers."
Verizon says it's "calling on the broad wireless industry to commit to labeling something 5G only if new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities" (emphasis Verizon's). Kyle Malady, Verizon's chief technical officer, says Verizon will lead by example and that "a clear, consistent, and simple understanding of 5G" is needed so consumers don't have to "maneuver through marketing double-speak or technical specifications." Malady says Verizon will "not call our 4G network a 5G network if customers don't experience a performance or capability upgrade that only 5G can deliver." But that isn't the same thing as saying "we won't label our network 5G unless it's 5G." In fact, if you turn that sentence into a positive statement, it says "we will only call our 4G network a 5G network if it delivers a 5G-like experience." The Verge notes that Verizon "has also been misleading about its jump into 5G." Last year, Big Red bragged about launching the "world's first commercial 5G service," even though "it wasn't mobile; it was home internet service that just happened to be delivered wirelessly during the final stretch to a subscriber's home; and it didn't use the global 5G standard -- it used a rival 5G standard created by Verizon."
Huawei Has Suspected Ties To Front Companies In Iran and Syria, New Documents Reveal
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters:
The U.S. case against the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies, who was arrested in Canada last month, centers on the company's suspected ties to two obscure companies. One is a telecom equipment seller that operated in Tehran; the other is that firm's owner, a holding company registered in Mauritius. U.S. authorities allege CFO Meng Wanzhou deceived international banks into clearing transactions with Iran by claiming the two companies were independent of Huawei, when in fact Huawei controlled them. Huawei has maintained the two are independent: equipment seller Skycom Tech Co Ltd and shell company Canicula Holdings Ltd. But corporate filings and other documents found by Reuters in Iran and Syria show that Huawei, the world's largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment, is more closely linked to both firms than previously known.
The documents reveal that a high-level Huawei executive appears to have been appointed Skycom's Iran manager. They also show that at least three Chinese-named individuals had signing rights for both Huawei and Skycom bank accounts in Iran. Reuters also discovered that a Middle Eastern lawyer said Huawei conducted operations in Syria through Canicula. Huawei, U.S. authorities assert, retained control of Skycom, using it to sell telecom equipment to Iran and move money out via the international banking system. As a result of the deception, U.S. authorities say, banks unwittingly cleared hundreds of millions of dollars of transactions that potentially violated economic sanctions Washington had in place at the time against doing business with Iran.
Connecting Your Bank Account To an App is Now a $3-Billion Business
When you link your checking account to Venmo or use it to buy bitcoin, a startup called Plaid is likely facilitating the connection with your bank. You punch in your user name and password; Plaid checks those credentials with the financial institution and, if they're accurate, passes banking information back to the app. That's it. From a report:
This kind of software has been around for decades. But in the last year, Plaid has captured investors' attention. The San Francisco startup was the subject of a bidding war among venture capitalists and at least one tech company, ultimately resulting in a $250-million investment last month. That money will partly go toward the acquisition of one of its biggest competitors. Plaid announced Tuesday it was buying New York-based Quovo Inc. The deal could be worth about $200 million after performance bonuses, said three people familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified because terms of the deal were private.
Since starting Plaid in 2012, Zach Perret has sold the startup's nine lines of code to some of the most popular finance apps. Robo-advisor startup Betterment, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc.'s Venmo and stock-trading app Robinhood Markets Inc. have all used Plaid. Meanwhile, Quovo specializes in wealth management and brokerages. "This represents the merging of two complementary but both very important businesses," said Perret, Plaid's chief executive. Plaid is now valued at roughly $3 billion.
Intel Demonstrates 10nm Ice Lake Processor, Promises PCs Will Ship With it Later this Year
Intel announced a
major rethink of its chip design back in December, just before it finally delivers 10nm chips for PCs and laptops. At CES 2019 this week, Intel is
demonstrating its first Ice Lake 10nm processor that's based on its new Sunny Cove microarchitecture. From a report:
Intel is building in Thunderbolt 3, Wi-Fi 6, and DL Boost (deep learning boost) into these Ice Lake chips for laptops and PCs to take advantage of. Intel is now promising that PC makers will have devices with Ice Lake processors on shelves by the end of 2019. At its CES keynote today, Intel demonstrated ODM systems from Pegatron and Wistron, and Dell even joined Intel on stage to show off an Ice Lake-powered XPS laptop that will be available later this year. Dell didn't show the device powered on, but it appeared to be a 2-in-1 device that looked similar to the XPS 13. Intel is also looking to the future, too. The chip giant is planning to use Foveros 3D chip stacking technology to build future chips, a method that allows Intel's chip designers to stack extra processing power on top of an already-assembled chip die. These "chiplets" can be stacked atop one another to form a processor that includes graphics, AI processing, and more.
US Telcos Are Selling Access To Their Customers' Location Data, and That Data Reaches Bounty Hunters and Others Not Authorized To Possess It
T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers' location data, and that data is
ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country, an investigation by news outlet
Motherboard has found. From the report:
Nervously, I gave a bounty hunter a phone number. He had offered to geolocate a phone for me, using a shady, overlooked service intended not for the cops, but for private individuals and businesses. Armed with just the number and a few hundred dollars, he said he could find the current location of most phones in the United States. The bounty hunter sent the number to his own contact, who would track the phone. The contact responded with a screenshot of Google Maps, containing a blue circle indicating the phone's current location, approximate to a few hundred metres. [...] The bounty hunter did this all without deploying a hacking tool or having any previous knowledge of the phone's whereabouts. Instead, the tracking tool relies on real-time location data sold to bounty hunters that ultimately originated from the telcos themselves, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, a Motherboard investigation has found. These surveillance capabilities are sometimes sold through word-of-mouth networks.
[...] Motherboard's investigation shows just how exposed mobile networks and the data they generate are, leaving them open to surveillance by ordinary citizens, stalkers, and criminals, and comes as media and policy makers are paying more attention than ever to how location and other sensitive data is collected and sold. The investigation also shows that a wide variety of companies can access cell phone location data, and that the information trickles down from cell phone providers to a wide array of smaller players, who don't necessarily have the correct safeguards in place to protect that data. "Blade Runner, the iconic sci-fi movie, is set in 2019. And here we are: there's an unregulated black market where bounty-hunters can buy information about where we are, in real time, over time, and come after us. You don't need to be a replicant to be scared of the consequences," Thomas Rid, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University,
Ron Wyden, a senator from Oregon,
said in a statement, "This is a nightmare for national security and the personal safety of anyone with a phone."
London's Heathrow Airport Halts Departures Over Drone Sighting
London's Heathrow Airport
halted departures on Tuesday after a report of a drone sighting, less than a month after a
similar event crippled operations at a major U.K. airport. From a report:
"We are currently responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety," a spokesperson for the airport said. "As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause."
Google's New SMS and Call Permission Policy is Crippling Apps Used by Millions
Ryne Hager, writing for AndroidPolice:
Late last year, Google decided it was time to crack down on apps requesting SMS and call log permissions. Ostensibly, exceptions would be granted for categories including backups and automation, but as of now, there are still gaps which cover legitimate use cases. While some popular apps like Tasker have successfully secured exemptions, others like Cerberus have not. Instead, they've decided to strip out those permissions or risk facing the wrath of Google's upcoming January 9th banhammer, killing associated functionality and disappointing millions of long-time users to adhere to the Play Store's new policy.
The Play Console support page for the applicable set of permissions notifies developers that they can submit what is effectively an application for an exemption, categories for which are listed on the same page. (And that list of exceptions has grown since the original announcement.) Nonetheless, a further set of prohibitions are also included in the form itself, which explicitly preclude support for phone security/device location apps like Cerberus.
Proceedings Start Against Portland State University Professor Whose Carefully Crafted Fiction Helped Expose the Rot Within Some Sectors of Modern Academia
Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University in Oregon, led a trio of scholars last year who
submitted to leading publications what they called "intentionally broken" papers on gender, race and sexuality. Several of those absurd pieces were published. Portland State University has
now started disciplinary proceedings against Boghossian. From a report:
The Oregon university's institutional review board concluded that Boghossian's participation in the elaborate hoax had violated Portland State's ethical guidelines, according to documents Boghossian posted online. The university is considering a further charge that he had falsified data, the documents indicate. Last month Portland State's vice president for research and graduate studies, Mark R. McLellan, ordered Boghossian to undergo training on human-subjects research as a condition for getting further studies approved. In addition, McLellan said he had referred the matter to the president and provost because Boghossian's behavior "raises ethical issues of concern."
Digital Hoarding Can Make Us Feel Just as Stressed and Overwhelmed as Physical Clutter, Research Suggests
Emerging research on digital hoarding -- a reluctance to get rid of the digital clutter we accumulate through our work and personal lives --
suggests that it can make us feel just as stressed and overwhelmed as physical clutter. From a report:
Not to mention the cybersecurity problems it can cause for individuals and businesses and the way it makes finding that one email you need sometimes seem impossible. The term digital hoarding was first used in 2015 in a paper about a man in the Netherlands who took several thousand digital photos each day and spent hours processing them. "He never used or looked at the pictures he had saved, but was convinced that they would be of use in the future," wrote the authors.
In a study published earlier this year Neave and his colleagues asked 45 people about how they deal with emails, photos, and other files. The reasons people gave for hanging on to their digital effects varied -- including pure laziness, thinking something might come in handy, anxiety over the idea of deleting anything and even wanting "ammunition" against someone. The team has used those responses to develop a questionnaire to assess digital hoarding behaviours in the workplace, and have tested it with 203 people who use computers as part of their job. Their findings show that email appears to be a particular problem: among participants, the average inbox had 102 unread and 331 read emails.
IBM Tops 2018 Patent List as AI and Quantum Computing Gain Prominence
earned a record 9,100 U.S. patents in 2018, marking the
26th year in a row the Armonk, New York-based company
has been the top recipient. From a report:
Samsung was second with 5,850 patents while tech giants Apple and Microsoft also appeared in the top ten, according to a list compiled by research service IFI Claims. IBM's latest patent haul, which topped the 9,043 it received last year, includes a growing number of inventions related to artificial intelligence and quantum computing, which many people see as critical technologies of the future.
Windows 10 Will Reserve 7GB of Your Computer's Storage in its Next Major Release So That Big Updates Don't Fail
In the next major release of Windows 10, Microsoft will
reserve 7GB of your device's storage to resolve a Windows 10 bug thrown up by Windows Update not checking whether a PC has enough storage space before launching after big updates. From a report:
As Microsoft warned ahead of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, systems that don't have enough space to install Microsoft's 'quality updates' or new versions of the OS will see an error message explaining there is insufficient storage space. That happens because Windows doesn't check if a device has enough space before initializing. Microsoft's current solution is for users to manually delete unnecessary temporary files and temporarily move important files like photos and videos to external storage devices to make enough space for the update. This problem is more acute for devices with little storage capacity, such as many of the cheap 32GB flash-drive PCs on the market today.
Pingdom Will Kill Its Free Website Monitoring Plan on February 6
Pingdom, a popular website monitoring and performance management service, will soon stop welcoming non-paying users. In an email sent to users today,
Pingdom announced that it will be ending its free tier on February 6. From a report:
The move, which has unsurprisingly upset many users, comes five years after Pingdom was acquired by SolarWinds, an Austin, Texas-based firm. In its email, Pingdom said it intends to focus its resources and investment on the next phase of its product development. Founded in 2007, Pingdom attracted over 500,000 users from 200 countries in seven years, before it was acquired. Several major companies, including Google, Spotify, Microsoft, Twitter, Slack, Evernote, Mailchimp, Github, Square, Instagram, and others became its clients.
Coinbase Suspends Ethereum Classic (ETC) Trading After Double-Spend Attacks
Cryptocurrency trading portal Coinbase
delisted the Ethereum Classic (ETC) currency Monday after detecting a series of double-spend attacks over the last three days. From a report:
In layman terms, double-spend attacks are when a malicious actor gains the majority computational power inside a blockchain, which they then use to enforce unauthorized transactions over legitimate ones. According to a security alert published today by Coinbase security engineer Mark Nesbitt, this is exactly what's been happening on the Ethereum Classic blockchain for the past three days, since January 5. Nesbitt says that a malicious actor has carried out 11 (at the time of writing) double-spend attacks during which he moved funds from legitimate accounts to their own. [...] According to Crypto51, it only costs $5,029 to rent enough computing powerto overwhelm the ETC blockchain with your own miners and gain 51 percent hashing power to carry out a double-spend attack.
Politicians Cannot Block Social Media Foes, US Appeals Court Rules
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters:
A federal appeals court said on Monday a Virginia politician violated the Constitution by temporarily blocking a critic from her Facebook page, a decision that could affect President Donald Trump's appeal from a similar ruling in New York. In a 3-0 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Phyllis Randall, chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, violated the First Amendment free speech rights of Brian Davison by banning him for 12 hours from her "Chair Phyllis J. Randall" page.
The ban came after Davison had attended a 2016 town hall meeting, and then under his Facebook profile "Virginia SGP" accused school board members and their relatives of corruption and conflicts of interest. Randall had also removed her original post and all comments, including Davison's. Circuit Judge James Wynn rejected Randall's argument that her Facebook page was a private website, saying the "interactive component" was a public forum and that she engaged in illegal viewpoint discrimination. Davison's speech "occupies the core of the protection afforded by the First Amendment," Wynn wrote.
GitHub Free Users Now Get Unlimited Private Repositories
GitHub has always offered free accounts, but users were forced to make their code public. To get private repositories, you had to pay. Now, as TechCrunch reports, "Free GitHub users
now get unlimited private projects with up to three collaborators." From the report:
The amount of collaborators is really the only limitation here and there's no change to how the service handles public repositories, which can still have unlimited collaborators. This feels like a sign of goodwill on behalf of Microsoft, which closed its acquisition of GitHub last October, with former Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman taking over as GitHub's CEO.
Talking about teams, GitHub also today announced that it is changing the name of the GitHub Developer suite to 'GitHub Pro.' The company says it's doing so in order to "help developers better identify the tools they need." But what's maybe even more important is that GitHub Business Cloud and GitHub Enterprise (now called Enterprise Cloud and Enterprise Server) have become one and are now sold under the 'GitHub Enterprise' label and feature per-user pricing. In response, GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij said: "GitHub today announced the launch of free private repositories with up to three collaborators. GitLab has offered unlimited collaborators on private repositories since the beginning. We believe Microsoft is focusing more on generating revenue with Azure and less on charging for DevOps software. At GitLab, we believe in a multi-cloud future where organizations use multiple public cloud platforms."
LG Introduces Rollable OLED TV
One of the 2019 TV models LG outlined at its CES press conference today was the LG Signature OLED TV R (65R9), which
has a display that can roll up and disappear into its base when you're not using it. "LG calls the TV '
a revolutionary innovation that helps address the very human need for an aesthetically pleasing environment' and says it is 'redefining space' to offer unprecedented levels of 'immersion' and 'a new level of space integration,'" reports Ars Technica. From the report:
LG says to expect picture quality on par with its just-announced 2019 4K OLED lineup. That means 120Hz and AI image processing using LG's new Alpha 9 Gen 2 CPU. The TV's base -- the same one it rolls into -- houses a 4.2-channel, 100-watt soundbar with Dolby Atmos support. Additionally, the TV doesn't have to scroll all the way in. As seen in one of the images at the start of this article, it can fold down to what LG calls "Line View." This has five modes: music, clock, frame, mood, and home dashboard. Music offers an interface for playing music from the base. Clock shows the time, date, and weather. Frame displays a scrolling line of photos streamed from your smartphone, which is the mode in the photo above. The mood mode is for aesthetics, and home dashboard will allow access to some of LG's usual TV software features. No price has been announced yet, but
TechCrunch reports that it could cost more than the 8K TV LG
announced last week, which will compete directly with Samsung's $15,000 8K offering. LG says the Signature OLED TV R will be available for purchase in the second half of the year.