Los Angeles is pumping the brakes on scooter companies that won’t tell it what part of the city you’re wheeling around. From a report: Last September, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation said it would require all scooter companies to provide real-time location data on the vehicles to help with city planning purposes. The data is collected by GPS on the scooters. The requirement raised privacy concerns because sensitive data would be handled by the city government. The government partners with data aggregators, like Remix, to analyze that information. Privacy advocacy groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Technology and Democracy, have publicly spoken out about these data requests.
It still isn’t clear how long LADOT retains the location data, and there aren’t public details on what aggregators can do with that information. What is clear: Companies that don’t share the data won’t be allowed to put as many scooters on the streets as those that do. Companies that declined to provide the data were given a 30-day provisional permit to operate in LA, which were handed out last week, while those that agreed to hand over anonymized location data received permits for a full year.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – The Majority of Scooters in LA Are Going To Share Your Location With the City
After cracking jokes on stage during the Game Developers Choice and IGF awards at GDC last night, Double Fine boss Tim Schafer had almost completely lost his voice, but he still croaked his way through his annual appearance on Kotaku Splitscreen. Jason and I talked to him about the unionization joke he told at the…
Source: Kotaku – Tim Schafer Talks Unionization, Streaming, And The Future Of Double Fine
The Free Software Foundation has announced the latest batch of hardware it has certified for “Respecting Your Freedom” as part of its RYF program…
Source: Phoronix – FSF Certifies A USB Microphone For Respecting Your Freedom Plus Some Network Adapters
“I’m not anti-union, but I don’t really think we need them, right?” said Double Fine head Tim Schafer while hosting yesterday evening’s Game Developers Choice Awards in San Francisco. “We’re all great here and in this show. No one here is union and…” Then the stage lights went out.
Source: Kotaku – Unions Stole The Show At Last Night’s GDC Awards
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Microsoft this week was the latest to highlight the U.S. government’s terrible broadband mapping in a filing with the FCC, first spotted by journalist Wendy Davis. In it, Microsoft accuses the FCC of over-stating actual broadband availability and urges the agency to do better. “The Commission’s broadband availability data, which underpins FCC Form 477 and the Commission’s annual Section 706 report, appears to overstate the extent to which broadband is actually available throughout the nation,” Microsoft said in the filing. “For example, in some areas the Commission’s broadband availability data suggests that ISPs have reported significant broadband availability (25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up) while Microsoft’s usage data indicates that only a small percentage of consumers actually access the Internet at broadband speeds in those areas,” Microsoft said.
Similar criticism has long plagued the agency. The FCC’s broadband data is received via the form 477 data collected from ISPs. But ISPs have a vested interest in over-stating broadband availability to obscure the sector’s competition problems, and the FCC historically hasn’t worked very hard to independently verify whether this data is truly accurate. The FCC’s methodology has long been criticized as well. As it currently stands, the agency declares an entire ZIP code as “served” with broadband if just one home in an entire census block has it. In its filing, Microsoft “suggested that the Commission’s ongoing effort to more accurately measure broadband could be improved by drawing on the FCC’s subscription data, along with other broadband data sets from third-parties such as Microsoft, to complement survey data submitted under the current rules.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Microsoft Says the FCC ‘Overstates’ Broadband Availability In the US
Steam’s ages-old game library screen is getting a much-needed overhaul. Valve has previewed a redesign that keeps the familiar column of games on the left, but shakes up seemingly everything else. You’ll see rows for your recently played games and,…
Source: Engadget – Steam’s redesigned library will show what’s happening with your games
We’ve all heard that old line that claims if you love your job, you never really work a day in your life. The cheerful protagonist of Mister Mailman certainly embodies that—and he’s not gonna let anyone, especially the cackling troll who resides at house #666, to get in the way of his postal duties or ruin his day.
Source: io9 – A Chipper Mailman Faces Off With a Customer Who’s Literally From Hell in This Funny Short
At GDC today, Valve announced a new UI for the Steam Library. The new Steam Library has larger game icons and more categorization for your games. PC Gamer says the library reminds them of Plex or the Apple TV. The Steam Friend’s List is integrated into the Library view on the right side. They noted that the coolest feature is using Steam Tags for games to create new categories such as “Ninja Action.” A Beta release is scheduled for this summer.
The new Steam Events page will create a new way for fans of games to connect with developers. Games in your library that are organizing occasions like game updates, streams, tournaments, and so on will be found here. This is being built in response to today’s live service games. Developers will be able to get the word out to fans through calendar support for Google and iCal, Steam client notifications, email, text message, and Steam mobile app. These events will be shown in other parts of Steam also.
“We think of this as the way developers will be able to communicate with players through Steam,” Kroll said. “We want to build the foundation for a communication platform where all the interesting things that are happening in games can find their way to the customers. And the customers that are interested in finding out ‘what’s happening in games in my library, what kind of events are happening, what’s been updated recently, what are my friends doing,’ making all that much easier for players to be able to find.”
Source: [H]ardOCP – Steam Is Getting a Redesigned Library and New Events Features
As tough as it is, The_Happy_Hob has just put the Dark Souls series well and truly in its place, completing all five games—the three Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne—in a row. Without taking a single hit.
Source: Kotaku – Ironman Completes All Five Souls Games Without Taking A Hit
GameStop announced today that it is naming George Sherman as its new chief executive officer. The former head of Verizon retailer Victra has served as an executive at Advance Auto Parts, Best Buy Services, Home Depot and Target. He’ll be charged with…
Source: Engadget – GameStop’s new CEO is expected to lead a major overhaul
Tesla is suing a former engineer at the company, claiming he copied the source code for its Autopilot technology before joining a Chinese self-driving car startup in January. Reuters reports: The engineer, Guangzhi Cao, copied more than 300,000 files related to Autopilot source code as he prepared to join China’s Xiaopeng Motors Technology Company Ltd, the Silicon Valley carmaker said in the lawsuit filed in a California court. Separately, Tesla lawyers on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against four former employees and U.S. self-driving car startup Zoox Inc, alleging the employees stole proprietary information and trade secrets for developing warehousing, logistics and inventory control operations. The Verge reported on the lawsuit filed against Cao: Tesla says that last year, Cao started uploading “complete copies of Tesla’s Autopilot-related source code” to his iCloud account. The company claims he ultimately moved more than 300,000 files and directories related to Autopilot. After accepting a job with XPeng at the end of last year, Tesla says Cao deleted 120,000 files off his work computer and disconnected his personal iCloud account, and then “repeatedly logged into Tesla’s secure networks” to clear his browser history before his last day with the company. Tesla also claims Cao recruited another Autopilot employee to XPeng in February. Tesla claims that it gives XPeng “unfettered access” to Autopilot: “Absent immediate relief, Tesla believes Cao and his new employer, [XPeng], will continue to have unfettered access to Tesla’s marquee technology, the product of more than five years’ work and over hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, which they have no legal right to possess,” the company’s lawyers write.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Tesla Sues Former Employees For Allegedly Stealing Data, Autopilot Source Code
This is a video of a cool aunt recording a birthday message for Marge (aka Large Marge In Charge — she must love that nickname) on her na-na-na-na-na-nineteenth birthday while parked at a strip mall, then proceeding to sing happy birthday and exit her parking space prior to finishing the message and immediately getting into an accident. Jesus, Marge, is that what you wished for — a fender bender? “Did you not hear my nickname? Besides, she videos and drives too much.” Valid. Really it’s just nice to know I’m not the only one who still makes shameful birthday wishes.
Keep going for the video.
Source: Geekologie – Woman Recording Video Birthday Message On Phone Pulls Out Of Parking Spot, Immediately Gets In Accident
While not admitting to any fault, the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday settled a lawsuit for tens of thousands of dollars after unlawfully withholding records from a reporter under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Source: Gizmodo – FCC to Cough Up ,000 Settlement for Refusing to Turn Over Fake Comment Records
VR technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the past few years with optics and capabilities steadily improving even as hardware prices continue to decrease. Leading this revolution is the newly revealed Rift S from Oculus, the company’s first…
Source: Engadget – The Oculus Rift S is impressive but unnecessary
chicksdaddy writes: The grandson of Theo Brown, a legendary engineer and inventor for John Deere who patented, among other things, the manure spreader is calling out the company his grandfather served for decades for its opposition to right to repair legislation being considered in Illinois. In an opinion piece published by The Security Ledger entitled “My Grandfather’s John Deere would support Our Right to Repair,” Willie Cade notes that his grandfather, Theophilus Brown is credited with 158 patents, some 70% of them for Deere & Co., including the manure spreader in 1915. His grandfather used to travel the country to meet with Deere customers and see his creations at work in the field. His hope, Cade said, was to help the company’s customers be more efficient and improve their lives with his inventions. In contrast, Cade said the John Deere of the 21st Century engages in a very different kind of business model: imposing needless costs on their customers. An example of this kind of rent seeking is using software locks and other barriers to repair — such as refusing to sell replacement parts — in order to force customers to use authorized John Deere technicians to do repairs at considerably higher cost and hassle. “It undermines what my grandfather was all about,” he writes. Cade, who founded the Electronics Reuse Conference, is supporting right to repair legislation that is being considered in Illinois and opposed by John Deere and the industry groups it backs. “Farmers who can’t repair farm equipment and a wide spectrum of Americans who can’t repair their smartphones are pushing back in states across the country.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Grandson of Legendary John Deere Inventor Calls Out Company On Right To Repair
While Agents of SHIELD’s Phil Coulson is, at least currently, quite dead, actor Clark Gregg’s been spending time settling into his mysterious new role on the show as a character who’s everything the fallen agent and friend to the Avengers was not. This new character, Gregg explained, is someone who will terrify…
Source: io9 – Agents of SHIELD’s Clark Gregg Talks Season 6 and How the Show Is Still Pulling From Marvel’s Comics
This is a video of Pickle the rescue cat seemingly understanding and playing with a Newton’s Cradle desktop toy. Some more info from Pickle’s caretaker while I try to untangle all the balls on mine (I go absolutely nuts on that thing sometimes, like I’m trying to send a friend over the top bar of a swing set):
[Pickle] e has no front teeth so he is unable to keep his tongue inside his mouth making him even cuter. … Pickle did it all on his own and started playing with the Newton’s Cradle. At first, he was just trying to eat the balls and then realized when he lets go, it starts swinging. He then didn’t stop doing it and also started to pick up when he had done it wrong, as you can see in the video and stopped the swinging, trying again.
Admittedly, he does seem to know what he’s doing. Now I’m not saying this cat understands physics, but I’m also not saying I understand physics. Or any of the other sciences or math, although based on a series of Youtube videos I was watching last night at 4AM I am convinced there are at least 26 dimensions.
Keep going for the video (which does contain an f-bomb at 0:10 which I mistook for one of my own coworkers at first), and try to tell me that isn’t the face of a genius.
Source: Geekologie – Cat Plays With Newton’s Cradle Desktop Toy