Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Gizmodo: Goodbye Big Five

No comments:
Goodbye Big Five
Kashmir Hill

Reporter Kashmir Hill spent six weeks blocking Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple from getting her money, data, and attention, using a custom-built VPN. Here’s what happened.

A great series of articles illustrating very succinctly why it is pretty much impossible to completely avoid the "big five" Internet companies unless you want to disconnect from civilization altogether.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Washington Free Beacon: Study: Crackdown on Prescriptions Drove up Hep. C Infections

No comments:
Study: Crackdown on Prescriptions Drove up Hep. C Infections
BY: Charles Fain Lehman.

A key decision made to curb the opioid crisis not only made that situation worse, but also caused a surge in deadly hepatitis C infections, a new paper argues.
Prior to reformulation, OxyContin was extremely popular in illicit markets because its timed release mechanism meant that it contained large quantities of oxycodone—substantially more than "all-at-once" pills. Users would crush the pill and extract the oxy within, getting a longer lasting and more potent high.

Amid a nationwide crackdown on prescription opioids under the Obama administration, the Food and Drug Administration gave Purdue permission to reformulate its flagship drug. The new version gelled up on crushing, leaving it useless. This, regulators thought, would help slow the increase in deaths then attributed to OxyContin.

Instead, users began switching from pills to injected heroin, with all of the dangers that entails. That includes infection with hepatitis C, which can be transferred by sharing improperly sanitized needles.

Never underestimate the law of unintended consequences.

And don't assume that an addict is going to quit just because you made his favorite drug impossible to get. They're quite likely to switch to something else, and in this case, that something else was more dangerous than what they were forced off of.

Monday, February 18, 2019

AppleInsider: Huawei cloning Apple parts, rewarding employees for tech theft

No comments:
Huawei cloning Apple parts, rewarding employees for tech theft
By Roger Fingas. Monday, February 18, 2019, 07:27 am PT (10:27 am ET)

In November, a Huawei engineer heading up smartwatch development tracked down a supplier that helps build the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor, The Information said. The person arranged a meeting with the claim he could offer a manufacturing contract, but instead probed for details about the Apple Watch, an anonymous executive at the supplier said.

The engineer was accompanied by four researchers, and together the group is said to have spent an hour and a half asking about the Watch. With nothing given Huawei went silent.

Huawei has reportedly used similar tactics against companies like Cisco, Motorola, and Akhan Semiconductor. The U.S. Justice Department in fact claims that Huawei has a program that rewards employees for stealing data, with better bonuses based on how confidential information is.

This should come as no surprise, given the fact that the Chinese government has been stealing military and technology secrets for decades. And an important reason why nobody should buy Huawei equipment. Getting something for a low price should not be enough justification to reward theft.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

YouTube: Imam Tawhidi speaks from Auschwitz

No comments:
Imam Tawhidi speaks from Auschwitz
Australian Jewish Association, Feb 3, 2019

Have you ever seen an Imam condemn antisemitism from Auschwitz?

WATCH 2 min video.

He also has a message for America where Democrats have recently elected two highly anti-Israel and antisemitic Islamist representatives.

"The US Congress should be focusing on serving US citizens. It should not be a platform for Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to promote hatred against the Jewish people. My message from Auschwitz!"

I wonder if any mainstream media outlet will run this video.

A transcript of the video, in case it should become unavailable in the future:

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Can't Unsee: UI design game

No comments:
Can't Unsee is a game where you are presented with two different sample screens from iOS-like applications and must choose which one is correct and which one has design flaws.

Things like alignment of objects, shapes, colors, layout, etc. They start out simple, but get much harder as you go on.

h/t to Daring Fireball.

Naked Security: Firefox 66 will silence autoplaying web audio

No comments:
Firefox 66 will silence autoplaying web audio
by John E Dunn

It’s been on the to-do list for a while, but a new blog by the company has confirmed that from Firefox 66 for desktop and Firefox for Android, due on 19 March, media autoplay of video or audio will be blocked on websites by default.

Great news and it's about flippin' time.

Read the rest of the article for more information.

Friday, February 01, 2019

MacRumors: Hands-On With Dell's Massive 49-Inch 5K Ultrawide Display

No comments:
Hands-On With Dell's Massive 49-Inch 5K Ultrawide Display
Wednesday January 23, 2019 2:21 pm PST by Juli Clover

Dell recently unveiled the first 49-inch ultrawide 5K monitor with a 32:9 aspect ratio, the result of which is a wide, immersive display with an impressive resolution.

... The U4919DW might look impractical at first glance, but it's essentially designed for people who like to use two 27-inch monitors side by side. It's a dual QHD display with a total resolution of 5120 x 1440 pixels and a curve that makes it a bit easier to see everything at once.

Nice display. Too bad you have to deal with Dell's gang of idiots if you want to buy one. But I'm sure we'll soon see these sold elsewhere (Amazon, probably) in the near future.

MacRumors: UltraViolet Digital Movie Locker Service Will Close on July 31, 2019

No comments:
UltraViolet Digital Movie Locker Service Will Close on July 31, 2019
Thursday January 31, 2019 6:33 AM PST by Mitchel Broussard

Between January 31 and July 31, 2019, users will be able to keep accessing their UltraViolet Library, purchase new movies, and redeem digital codes. After the shutdown date, all UltraViolet Libraries will automatically close, but the company has detailed a way that users will be able to continue accessing their content.

To do this, UltraViolet is advising users to log into their accounts and verify that they have another retailer linked to their UltraViolet Library, which will allow them to watch their movies and TV shows on another platform after July 31. Retailers include Fandango Now, VUDU, Kaleidescape, Paramount Movies, and Verizon Fios.

The company implores that users do not unlink or close their UltraViolet Library, because UltraViolet and other retailers will continue working together to "maximize your continued access to movies and TV shows" after the shutdown. The company says that "in the majority of cases," movies and TV shows will remain accessible at previously-linked retailers after July 31.

I've always thought streaming media is no substitute for physical media, and here's yet another example why. When you "buy" content to stream, you are simply renting it. Your ability to play the content goes away when the publisher decides to take it away, whether that's because they removed the content, revoked your access or went out of business.

At least legitimate owners of UltraViolet codes also own the corresponding movies on DVD or Blu-Ray. I realize that it is illegal (thanks to brain-dead laws) to rip a movie you have purchased, but in the final analysis, that is the only way to retain control of the content that you purchased.