The largest data set of astronomical sky survey data in history has just been made available on the Internet, for free, and for anyone to access. The data, the second edition of data from the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS), comprises over 1.6 petabytes of data.
China has started rolling out the Chinese ‘social credit score’, which takes into account, among other things, your behaviors, and your purchases. But don’t think you’re immune if you don’t live in China; companies around the world, including the U.S., are already compiling a ‘social score’ on you. While a “social score” is different in some ways from a “social credit score”, it’s not really that far removed, and the potential is pretty concerning.
Google Maps has just been implicated in a divorce, its Street View having captured an image of a woman undeniably cheating on her husband. In the past we have written about various Google Maps oopsies, including it causing the wrong house to be demolished, and Google Street View capturing the image of a woman urinating in public. But to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that Google Maps has led to divorce.
Hundreds of thousands of would-be video watchers found that YouTube was down for them Tuesday night – in fact it’s still down for some people – because of an oopsie by the Pakistan government, trying to block its own people from accessing YouTube. Instead, Pakistan accidentally ended up blocking as much as 2/3rs of YouTube users around the world from accessing YouTube.
On Friday people across the United States started experiencing a massive Comcast outage. Over the weekend, instead of getting better, it spread, and now, going on 4 days later, the Comcast outage is global.
GDPR offers a panoply of rights for individuals. Even if you are not a business owner or a corporate officer or manager, by now you have probably heard the term ‘GDPR’, or the phrase ‘General Data Protection Regulation’, which is what ‘GDPR’ stands for. As an individual you may have thought “Whatever the heck GDPR is, it doesn’t affect or apply to me.” But you would be wrong. The good news is that, as an individual, you are the protected entity covered by the ‘Protection’ in General Data Protection Regulation!
I was recently interviewed, in my capacity as an Internet law and policy attorney, and head of the Institute for Social Internet Public Policy, for an article sponsored by RSA about the impact that GDPR (the EU’s General Data Protection Rules), which goes into effect in the European Union in May 2018, is going to impact, well, everything. And, in particular, about how it will impact U.S. based businesses, because, trust me, it will.
The Blue Whale Challenge, also known as the Blue Whale Game, is purported to be a deadly game which targets teenagers online and through social media. Said to be named after the way a blue whale will beach itself and die, Blue Whale consists of 50 challenges, increasingly harmful, photographic completion of which you send back to your handler (known as the ‘curator’ or the ‘administrator’), with the final fiftieth challenge being suicide, also broadcast via social media.
Oh Internet video, the bane of those Internet citizens who prefer to read text. If you, like many others, have been searching the world over (quite literally) for the full text of French president Emmanuel Macron’s speech following the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement (more formally known as the Paris Climate Accord), we have it for you! What is most unusual is that following Macron’s speech on the subject in French (he is the president of France after all), he gave a speech in English, clearly for Americans and other English speakers. It is in this English address that he uttered the potshot heard round the world: “Make our planet great again.”
Facebook has taken out a full-page “Tips for Spotting False News” ad in British newspapers, telling people how to spot and avoid fake news ahead of the UK general election. Facebook has also been deleting tens of thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were created solely to spew false news stories, particularly ahead of elections. In fact, Facebook has said that ahead of this week’s election in France, they removed more than 30,000 accounts that were spreading fake news stories that could have (and were likely intended to) influence that election.
The Internet in general, and social media in particular, has changed everything. Here are the actual facts of the incident in which a bloodied Kentucky doctor – Dr. David Dao – ended up being dragged off United Airlines flight 3411 in the bump heard ’round the world, along with the full text of the apology comment from United CEO Oscar Munoz.
LiveJournal has come fully under Russian control since January of this year, and as of last week LiveJournal and its users are now completely subject to Russian law. In reality, LiveJournal (also known as LJ), a place to, well, live journal your thoughts, etc., has been owned by Russian interests since 2007, but many users either didn’t know that, or didn’t care because LJ was still being managed out of California, and the LiveJournal servers were located in California. But all that has changed. (Note: We have provided the full text of both the LiveJournal TOS and the controlling Russian law at the end of this article.)