Uber and Lyft Drivers Strike Alongside Fast Food Workers in LA, Demand $30 Minimum Wage

Around 100 rideshare drivers protested their working conditions this afternoon in Los Angeles, engaging in a “take over” of an Uber Hub, before joining up with a contingent of fast food workers from McDonald’s who were striking for the right to unionize.

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Source: Gizmodo – Uber and Lyft Drivers Strike Alongside Fast Food Workers in LA, Demand Minimum Wage

Problem Solving: How To Fill A Pool With 15 Tons Of Jello

This is a video of former NASA engineer Mark Rober discussing and then tackling the challenge of filling a pool entirely with Jello, which all needs to be boiled and then chilled in order to set. How does he do it? SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER: Not with a bunch of tanned bikini babes and hunks in banana hammocks passing buckets like I suspected. “Suspected, or was really hoping for?” Was really hoping for.

Keep going for the video while I wonder what it was like a day later.

Source: Geekologie – Problem Solving: How To Fill A Pool With 15 Tons Of Jello

SpaceX returns its Falcon 9 to the pad for another Starlink launch attempt

After two launch attempts and a week of downtime, SpaceX has returned its Falcon 9 rocket to the launchpad for the Starlink mission. The 90-minute launch window opens at 10:30pm ET Thursday (02:30 UTC Friday), and the weather—including those pesky upper-level winds—appears likely to cooperate.

With a mass of 18.5 tons, this will be SpaceX’s heaviest launch to date for either the Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy rocket. The rocket will attempt to boost 60 Starlink satellites, each 227kg, to an altitude of 440km. This is the company’s first block of Starlink satellites for what should eventually be a much larger constellation, and they will help SpaceX gauge its performance and conduct tests of several key systems.

With six more launches, for a total of about 400 satellites, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said the Starlink constellation will reach the point of being able to offer some initial Internet connectivity to ground-based users. A dozen launches would bring “significant” connectivity, he said, and 24 launches would bring near-worldwide service.

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Source: Ars Technica – SpaceX returns its Falcon 9 to the pad for another Starlink launch attempt

Video Games Should Be Weirder

I’ve been thinking a lot about yesterday’s surprise announcement of Playdate, the new handheld games experiment from Firewatch publisher Panic. More than anything, it’s weird: A small, single-purpose handheld with a set 12-week program of mystery games is the sort of thing that demands your attention. And yes, it has…

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Source: Kotaku – Video Games Should Be Weirder

Comcast Does So Much Lobbying That It Says Disclosing It All Is Too Hard

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Comcast may be harming its reputation by failing to reveal all of its lobbying activities, including its involvement in trade associations and lobbying at the state level, a group of shareholders says in a proposal that asks for more lobbying disclosures. Comcast’s disclosures for its lobbying of state governments “are often cursory or non-existent,” and Comcast’s failure to disclose its involvement in trade associations means that “investors have neither an accurate picture of the company’s total lobbying expenditures nor an understanding of its priorities, interests, or potential risks from memberships,” the proposal said. “Comcast’s lack of transparency around its lobbying poses risks to its already troubled reputation, which is concerning in a highly regulated industry, especially given the rise of public Internet alternatives.”

The proposal is on the ballot for Comcast’s June 5 annual shareholder meeting and was filed by Friends Fiduciary, which “invest[s] based on Quaker values” and says it “actively screen[s] companies for social responsibility.” Friends Fiduciary and other investors who joined the proposal collectively hold “over 1 million shares of Comcast stock,” they said. The shareholder resolution would be non-binding even if it passed. It asks for an annual report disclosing, among other things, “Payments by Comcast used for (a) direct or indirect lobbying or (b) grassroots lobbying communications” and information on “Comcast’s membership in and payments to any tax-exempt organization that writes and endorses model legislation.” Comcast’s board unanimously recommended that shareholders vote against the Friends Fiduciary resolution, saying that Comcast “already disclose[s] most of our government lobbying interactions” as required by law. “[O]ur Board believes that the requirements in this proposal are burdensome and an unproductive use of our resources and are not in the best interests of our shareholders,” Comcast said in a rebuttal included in its proxy statement.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Comcast Does So Much Lobbying That It Says Disclosing It All Is Too Hard

Why That Anti-Loot Box Bill Is Actually Kinda Shitty

A bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday aimed at banning pay-to-win microtransactions and loot boxes in video games that are “minor-oriented.” The bill, however, essentially applies to all video games ever made, whether children were the intended audience or not. It would also appear to ban a…

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Source: Gizmodo – Why That Anti-Loot Box Bill Is Actually Kinda Shitty

Snapchat Employees Allegedly Misused Internal Tools to Snoop on Users: Report

Existing online today means giving over a wealth of data. The hope is that the companies safeguarding it are doing so securely, but thousands of people work for these companies, and all it takes is a few bad actors with the right access to peep at some of your most intimate personal details. And, according to two…

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Source: Gizmodo – Snapchat Employees Allegedly Misused Internal Tools to Snoop on Users: Report

6 Reasons Why Genre Fans Should Check Out the Criterion Channel

We’re fully drowning in streaming services at this point. You gotta have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, and you’re soon gonna need Disney+. Depending on your geeky interests, you might also need Shudder, CBS All Access, and/or DC Universe. Last month, yet another service joined the fray: the Criterion Channel. So…

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Source: io9 – 6 Reasons Why Genre Fans Should Check Out the Criterion Channel

New Assange indictment adds 17 espionage charges

Supporters of Julian Assange protest outside the Ecuadorian embassy as the WikiLeaks founder awaits a High Court hearing to determine whether he will be extradited to Sweden on sexual charges. Now, new US charges have been added to a previous indictment: 17 counts of espionage.

Enlarge / Supporters of Julian Assange protest outside the Ecuadorian embassy as the WikiLeaks founder awaits a High Court hearing to determine whether he will be extradited to Sweden on sexual charges. Now, new US charges have been added to a previous indictment: 17 counts of espionage. (credit: Amer Ghazzal / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Today, the Department of Justice filed a new indictment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with the US District Court in Alexandria, Va.—adding 17 more charges atop the original hacking charge used to file for Assange’s extradition from the United Kingdom. The new charges are all espionage-focused: conspiracy to receive, obtaining, and disclosure of “national defense information. Each of the 17 counts carries a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years.

In a statement announcing the filing, a Justice Department spokesperson said, “The superseding indictment alleges that Assange was complicit with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the US Army, in unlawfully obtaining and disclosing classified documents related to the national defense.” The new counts allege, among other things, that Assange conspired with Manning to steal “national defense information,” obtained that information from Manning, and “aided and abetted her in obtaining classified information with reason to believe that the information was to be used to the injury of the United States or the advantage of a foreign nation.”

In a Twitter post, a WikiLeaks spokesperson wrote, “This is madness. It is the end of national security journalism and the First Amendment.”

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Source: Ars Technica – New Assange indictment adds 17 espionage charges

More Telltale Games Are Disappearing From Digital Storefronts

Valve recently removed the option to buy the Telltale-developed series Tales From The Borderlands on Steam, and Good Old Games has announced it will no longer be selling any of Telltale’s games starting May 27. Nobody seems to know why.

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Source: Kotaku – More Telltale Games Are Disappearing From Digital Storefronts

Another Day, Another Lunatic Clinging To The Top Of A Moving Car

guy-riding-car.jpg

Because what better way to feel the wind between your teeth, this is a video of a man clinging spread-eagle style to the top of a Honda Civic while in traffic. Unfortunately, the video was published without context so I have no clue what the hell is going on here. Is that a meter maid’s fluorescent vest? Maybe he jumped on the person’s car when they tried to speed away without taking their ticket. Or maybe he’s a construction worker who almost (or did) get hit because somebody didn’t slow down in a work zone. Or maybe, just MAYBE (and don’t forget the simplest answer is often the right one), this man is a sunroof now.

Keep going for the video. And remember that while holding onto a moving vehicle, just like when being in a failing relationship, it’s important to know when to let go.

Source: Geekologie – Another Day, Another Lunatic Clinging To The Top Of A Moving Car

Facebook Removed 2.2 Billion Fake Accounts This Year

Facebook released its community standards enforcement report Thursday morning, offering a much more in-depth look at the inner workings of the company than previously seen. From a report: One of the most surprising insights came from Facebook’s removal of fake accounts. The company said it removed 2.2 billion accounts in the first quarter of the 2019. That’s a jump of nearly double compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 when 1.2 billion accounts were removed. That number seems astronomical, especially when considering that Facebook says it has 2.38 billion monthly active users overall. The reason that the social network can boast nearly as many removals as it has active users is that it typically finds and removes bogus accounts within minutes of them signing up. As a result, Facebook estimates that only 5% of its monthly active users are fake.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Facebook Removed 2.2 Billion Fake Accounts This Year

NASA officially orders its first segment of a lunar space station

Artist's conception of a spacecraft moving away from the Earth.

Maxar has been selected to build and fly the first element of NASA’s lunar Gateway. (credit: Maxar Technologies)

NASA has chosen its first commercial partner for a proposed space station to be built near the Moon, known as the Lunar Gateway. On Thursday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Maxar Technologies would build the first component of the Gateway—the power and propulsion element. Like the name suggests, it will provide electricity to the Gateway and help move it around.

“This time when we go to the Moon, we’re actually going to stay,” Bridenstine said in making the announcement. He has characterized the Gateway, which will be positioned in a high, elliptical orbit balanced between the Earth and Moon’s gravity, as a reusable “Command Module.” Under NASA’s current plans to land humans on the Moon by 2024, this is where astronauts will launch to from Earth before climbing aboard pre-positioned landers to take them down to the lunar surface.

Despite the fanfare Thursday—Bridenstine provided an hour-long overview of NASA’s ambitious Moon plans at the Florida Institute of Technology for a relatively simple contract award—the announcement represents a continuation of a Lunar Gateway plan that was initiated under the Obama administration. The Obama space plan involved using the Gateway as a stepping stone toward Mars, but now the Trump administration is pivoting toward the lunar surface.

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Source: Ars Technica – NASA officially orders its first segment of a lunar space station

Facebook Pilots Anti-Hate Speech Moderation Team Because, Y'know, All the Nazis and Stuff

Four million. That’s the number of pieces of content on Facebook that the platform claims it took action against for containing hate speech from January to March this year, according to its most recent transparency report. (And to put a fine point on it, that’s just the content it actually caught.) In a press briefing…

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Source: Gizmodo – Facebook Pilots Anti-Hate Speech Moderation Team Because, Y’know, All the Nazis and Stuff

Into the Dark's Latest Episode Looks Like The Hills Have Eyes With a Supernatural Twist

By now, horror fans know the drill: Each month brings a new installment of Hulu and Blumhouse’s holiday-themed horror series, Into the Dark. For June, it’s Father’s Day, and They Come Knocking looks to offer an excellent argument against ever camping in the isolated desert, especially if you see a bunch of “missing”…

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Source: io9 – Into the Dark’s Latest Episode Looks Like The Hills Have Eyes With a Supernatural Twist