How Smart TVs In Millions Of U.S. Homes Track More Than What’s On Tonight

The growing concern over online data and user privacy has been focused on tech giants like Facebook and devices like smartphones. But people’s data is also increasingly being vacuumed right out of their living rooms via their televisions, sometimes without their knowledge.

In recent years, data companies have harnessed new technology to immediately identify what people are watching on internet-connected TVs, then using that information to send targeted advertisements to other devices in their homes. Marketers, forever hungry to get their products in front of the people most likely to buy them, have eagerly embraced such practices. But the companies watching what people watch have also faced scrutiny from regulators and privacy advocates over how transparent they are being with users….

continue reading… How smart TVs in millions of U.S. homes track more than what’s on tonight

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Your Phone Isn’t Listening To You, But It May Be Watching Everything You Do

There’s a new conspiracy theory in town

You’ve seen the YouTube videos. It’s a shaky-cam iPhone shot with a wide-eyed someone giggling under their breath “cat food,” or some other miscellaneous thing they allegedly never talk about or search for near or on their device. The climax of this plot line hits in the following hours or days after they’ve muttered said random phrase, and they’re suddenly served an ad on Facebook of the exact same thing they said before. Preposterous! It’s the classic “your phone is listening to everything you say,” conspiracy theory that so many people have willingly started to believe. But, according to researchers from Northeastern University, reported by Gizmodo’s Kashmir Hill, this isn’t the case at all. After a yearlong study, they found no evidence that your apps are listening to you, but they did find out that they may be watching everything that you do.

A group of computer science academics ran an experiment that tested over 17,000 of the most popular Android apps in order to determine if any of them recorded audio from the phone’s microphone. Some of these apps were Facebook’s own and over 8,000 other apps capable of sending information to the social media platform. Out of the set of apps tested, more than half had permissions to access the device’s camera and microphone, according to the report, which would allow for any conversations one had whilst having the app opened to potentially be recorded. Using an automated program as a method of interacting with the apps on the devices, all of the traffic created was analyzed and the researchers determined that no audio files were sent to any third-party domains….

continue reading… Your phone isn’t listening to you, but it may be watching everything you do

7 Striking Maps That Visualize The Human Footprint

In a short amount of time, humans have changed the face of planet Earth.

Our impact has been so profound, in fact, that scientists have declared the dawn of the Anthropocene epoch, or the age of human influence.

Today’s ambitious graphic comes to us from Reldresal, and it looks at this human footprint from a number of different angles. Here are some of the ones we found most interesting….

continue reading… 7 Striking Maps that Visualize the Human Footprint

Facebook Thought Declaration of Independence Quotes Were Hate Speech

It seems all content is not created equal. A Facebook algorithm categorized parts of the Declaration of Independence as hate speech and took down excerpts of it ahead of the Fourth of July.

An editor for the Liberty County Vindicator, a community newspaper in Texas, said Facebook took action after the paper started posting the text of the historic document.

The Vindicator posted the Declaration of Independence in 12 parts on its Facebook page leading up the nation’s birthday. Facebook sent a notice that one of those parts “goes against our standards on hate speech.”

According to the Vindicator, Facebook flagged a passage that included the phrase “merciless Indian savages” at the end of a long rebuke of King George III. After the Declaration’s famous opening lines about all men being created equal and having an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it goes on to list 27 specific grievances against the king’s rule. The last of those reads: He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

The paper suspected that this quote is the reason Facebook blocked the post, although the social media company did not cite a specific reason….

continue reading… Facebook thought Declaration of Independence quotes were hate speech

The U.S. Labor Shortage Is Reaching A Critical Point

  • Private payrolls grew less than expected in June, likely due not just to a slowdown in hiring but also a decline in the labor pool.
  • For the first time, there are more job openings than there are eligible workers to fill them.
  • Economists expect wage pressures to continue building as part of increasing inflation.

America’s labor shortage is approaching epidemic proportions, and it could be employers who end up paying.

A report Thursday from ADP and Moody’s Analytics cast an even brighter light on what is becoming one of the most important economic stories of 2018: the difficulty employers are having in finding qualified employees to fill a record 6.7 million job openings.

Truck drivers are in perilously low supply, Silicon Valley continues to struggle to fill vacancies, and employers across the grid are coping with a skills mismatch as the economy edges ever closer to full employment.

“Business’ number one problem is finding qualified workers. At the current pace of job growth, if sustained, this problem is set to get much worse,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement. “These labor shortages will only intensify across all industries and company sizes.”

Private payrolls grew by 177,000 in June, a respectable number but below market expectations. It was the fourth month in a row that the ADP/Moody’s count fell short of 200,000 after four months at or above that level.

The reason for the tick down in hiring certainly isn’t because there aren’t enough jobs….

continue reading… The U.S. labor shortage is reaching a critical point

Neighbors Protest ICE As It Breaks Up Child Sex Trafficking Ring

Protesters wrote ‘Oakland PD is a disgrace’ in chalk on the ground, as ICE agents busted up a child prostitution ring in their neighborhood.

Video of neighbors protesting as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents broke up a child sex trafficking ring in their neighborhood has resurfaced, as politicians and activists call for the agency to be abolished.

A local CBS news station reported on the incident, which took place in West Oakland, California, last year. ICE began conducting the raid in the morning, waking up neighbors who saw ICE and Department of Homeland Security vehicles on the street.

Assuming the agents were arresting illegal immigrants, people began protesting outside of the house.

Neighbor Hadar Cohen woke up to her roommate crying, saying she didn’t know what to do. The two of them and other housemates went outside to find agents on their street. Cohen, who was holding a “No person is illegal” sign, said that agents weren’t telling the neighbors what was going on….

continue reading… WATCH: Neighbors Protest ICE As It Breaks Up Child Sex Trafficking Ring

4th of July Zombies – Americans Don’t Know Why We Celebrate Fourth of July!

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