47 Democrats Cave On Net Neutrality After GOP Calls Bill 'Dead On Arrival'

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Forty-seven Democratic members of Congress are calling for a net neutrality compromise with Republicans, who have refused to support a full restoration of the net neutrality rules repealed by the Ajit Pai-led Federal Communications Commission. The Democratic-majority U.S. House of Representatives voted in April to pass the Save the Internet Act, which would restore the Obama-era FCC’s net neutrality rules. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared the bill “dead on arrival” in the Republican-majority Senate.

Republican lawmakers say they’ll only accept a net neutrality law that isn’t as strict — even though large majorities of both Democratic and Republican voters support the FCC’s old net neutrality rules. On Wednesday, dozens of Democrats asked their party leadership to compromise with the GOP leadership. “We, the undersigned, voted for [the Save the Internet Act] because it represented an opportunity to resolve questions that courts have struggled with for decades,” the Democrats wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “At the same time, we recognize that this legislation is unlikely to become law, or pass through the Senate, in its current form. If that proves true, consumers will be left without enforceable net neutrality protections while partisan conflict continues. We believe this result is unacceptable and unnecessary.” The letter to Pelosi was led by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and signed by another 45 Democratic members of the House. It goes on to suggest that the House create “a bipartisan working group” that would write a net neutrality law that’s acceptable to Republican lawmakers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – 47 Democrats Cave On Net Neutrality After GOP Calls Bill ‘Dead On Arrival’

Microsoft Is Putting the Sexy Into Unsexy Software

Microsoft’s redesigned SharePoint platform is proof that Microsoft is serious about making their software more stylish. “It’s colorful, pretty, and makes SharePoint seem sexy instead of the boring corporate intranet website that most people associate it with,” writes The Verge’s Tom Warren, in response to Microsoft’s latest sizzle video all about SharePoint “innovations.” From the report: Microsoft’s video also contains the bubbles that form part of the new SharePoint logo — part of a broader revamp of the company’s Office icons that are rolling out right now. It also includes a bunch of Microsoft’s Fluent Design elements that form part of the company’s big push towards open design internally.

So why did Microsoft make such a flashy video for SharePoint? The company held a SharePoint conference earlier this week and launched a new SharePoint home sites feature. It’s a new landing site for a business’ intranet that combines news, events, content, video, and even conversations. SharePoint is used by businesses to encourage collaboration, and these new home sites look like a far more modern way to achieve that. Warren notes that Microsoft’s newly unveiled Windows Terminal also had a sizzle video that promoted the new design.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Microsoft Is Putting the Sexy Into Unsexy Software

A Trip to Godzilla's Home, Toho, Made Us Want to Stomp Through Its Amazing Sets

Last month in Tokyo, Toho Studios opened its doors to the assembled press, providing a rare look at Godzilla props of yore. We got an up close and personal look at some of the coolest kaiju around—and the cities they’ve destroyed over the years—and we’ve got the pictures to prove it!

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Source: io9 – A Trip to Godzilla’s Home, Toho, Made Us Want to Stomp Through Its Amazing Sets

Zuckerberg Met With Winklevoss Twins About Facebook Developing Cryptocurrency, Report Says

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly met with Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss to discuss the company’s plans to launch its own cryptocurrency. “The Financial Times reported Thursday that Zuckerberg met with the Winklevoss twins and executives with Coinbase, a popular online cryptocurrency exchange, as the company considers partnering with the company and others such as Gemini, the exchange founded by the Winklevoss brothers,” reports The Hill. From the report: Zuckerberg’s past legal conflict with the twins was one of the defining plot points of “The Social Network,” the Academy Award-winning movie based on Zuckerberg’s rise to power as Facebook’s founder. The two brothers claimed in legal proceedings to have come up with the original idea for Facebook while students at Harvard with Zuckerberg.

At Facebook’s developer conference in April, Zuckerberg indicated that he was interested in Facebook becoming a tool for sending money quickly, a feature that would be a core part of the company’s entrance into the cryptocurrency realm. “When I think about all the different ways that people interact privately, I think payments is one of the areas where we have an opportunity to make it a lot easier,” he said at the conference, according to CNBC. “I believe it should be as easy to send money to someone as it is to send a photo,” he reportedly added last month.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Zuckerberg Met With Winklevoss Twins About Facebook Developing Cryptocurrency, Report Says

New Star Trek: Picard Show Gets A Teaser Trailer


This is a teaser trailer for the upcoming CBS All Access web television series Star Trek: Picard. It asks a lot of questions of why Jean-Luc Picard left his position as Starfleet admiral, but answers none of them. I mean, unless ‘I just wanted to make wine’ is the answer. Stick to the Earl Grey, bro! Some more info:

Star Trek: Picard takes place 18 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, with Picard having abandoned his life as a Starfleet admiral… presumably because of something dark and tragic in his past. Could it be connected to the destruction of Romulus from 2009’s Star Trek, which we have learned will play a part in the series? Or is it something else? Either way, it looks like Picard is going to be pulled back into the life he had once left behind.

Sounds deep. The show is scheduled to debut late 2019 with a run of ten episodes, but I already know how it ends because SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER: I was able to watch almost five seasons of Lost before losing interest. This will probably end with me watching all ten episodes because that’s much more manageable. “Wow, way to ruin it, GW.” The cat’s out of the bag!

Keep going for the trailer.

Source: Geekologie – New Star Trek: Picard Show Gets A Teaser Trailer

These Rage 2 Characters Have Amazing Names But No Backstories, So I Made Some Up

I’ve met some real characters during my time playing Rage 2. And by characters, I mean glorified quest dispensers. There’s old guy, cool lady, and of course—who could forget?—third main story person. These folks get functional speaking parts, but I honestly can’t remember a word they’ve said. They’re bland potato…

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Source: Kotaku – These Rage 2 Characters Have Amazing Names But No Backstories, So I Made Some Up

Neil Gaiman Wishes Good Omens Didn't Feel Quite So Close to Our Reality

In Amazon’s new adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, the actual impending Armageddon kind of takes a back seat to other elements of the apocalyptic story, in part because of the show’s understanding that we’ve all grown rather weary of the genre at a time when the world often feels as if it’s…

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Source: io9 – Neil Gaiman Wishes Good Omens Didn’t Feel Quite So Close to Our Reality

First American Financial Corp. Leaked 885 Million Sensitive Title Insurance Records

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Krebs on Security: The Web site for Fortune 500 real estate title insurance giant First American Financial Corp. leaked hundreds of millions of documents related to mortgage deals going back to 2003, until notified this week by KrebsOnSecurity. The digitized records — including bank account numbers and statements, mortgage and tax records, Social Security numbers, wire transaction receipts, and drivers license images — were available without authentication to anyone with a Web browser.

Santa Ana, Calif.-based First American is a leading provider of title insurance and settlement services to the real estate and mortgage industries. It employs some 18,000 people and brought in more than $5.7 billion in 2018. Earlier this week, KrebsOnSecurity was contacted by a real estate developer in Washington state who said he’d had little luck getting a response from the company about what he found, which was that a portion of its Web site (firstam.com) was leaking tens if not hundreds of millions of records. He said anyone who knew the URL for a valid document at the Web site could view other documents just by modifying a single digit in the link. And this would potentially include anyone who’s ever been sent a document link via email by First American. KrebsOnSecurity confirmed the real estate developer’s findings, which indicate that First American’s Web site exposed approximately 885 million files, the earliest dating back more than 16 years. No authentication was required to read the documents. “As of the morning of May 24, firstam.com was returning documents up to the present day (885,000,000+), including many PDFs and post-dated forms for upcoming real estate closings,” Krebs adds. “By 2 p.m. ET Friday, the company had disabled the site that served the records. It’s not yet clear how long the site remained in its promiscuous state.”
A spokesperson for the company issued the following statement: “First American has learned of a design defect in an application that made possible unauthorized access to customer data. At First American, security, privacy and confidentiality are of the highest priority and we are committed to protecting our customers’ information. The company took immediate action to address the situation and shut down external access to the application. We are currently evaluating what effect, if any, this had on the security of customer information. We will have no further comment until our internal review is completed.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – First American Financial Corp. Leaked 885 Million Sensitive Title Insurance Records

Dauntless Struggled With Online Issues In Its First Week, But Things Are Finally Improving

Dauntless, an online multiplayer game inspired by Monster Hunter that officially released earlier this week, has been slammed with matchmaking issues and server problems in its opening days, but its developers say things will get better.

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Source: Kotaku – Dauntless Struggled With Online Issues In Its First Week, But Things Are Finally Improving

Apple releases iOS 12.3.1 and a supplemental update for macOS 10.14.5

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Source: Ars Technica – Apple releases iOS 12.3.1 and a supplemental update for macOS 10.14.5

885 Million Sensitive Records Leaked Online: Bank Transactions, Social Security Numbers, and More

A major U.S. financial services company has reportedly leaked million of sensitive digitized records that date back more than 16 years, including bank account records, Social Security numbers, and wire transactions.

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Source: Gizmodo – 885 Million Sensitive Records Leaked Online: Bank Transactions, Social Security Numbers, and More

All Robotic Band Compressorhead Performs Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'

This is a video of the all-robotic band Compressorhead (previously) performing Nirvana’s classic ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘. Personally I bet it smells more like melting wires and leaking motor oil, but what do I know? “Very little.” And even that’s being generous. Unlike the cook at my favorite burger shack has been recently. “He even knows you like pickles.” HE KNOWS I LIKE PICKLES.

Keep going for the performance.

Source: Geekologie – All Robotic Band Compressorhead Performs Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

Dell’s CNBC Image Makeover

Dell Technologies is a vastly different company than Dell Computers was, they started out as a differentiated Apple like firm loosely tied to Microsoft and Intel. Today they are more like a new age umbrella company like old IBM was, but without their old lock in mentality, with far more control over their environment and ecosystem. However, people tend to, once they form an impression on a thing, hold that impression. This often forms the foundation for a rebranding argument as it is often less expensive to create a brand than it is to alter the impressions that surround it. However, given I can’t seem to point to an example of where that has ever been successful, the only viable path may be to work to change the perceptions you need changed surrounding the brand.

Now with Dell the change isn’t the typical one where mistakes of the past haunt the present however the same tools likely would apply. For instance, while I was at IBM that brand went negative due to some truly horrid management decisions made at the firm in the late 70s and 80s. To change that impression Louis Gerstner put together a unique team of advertising experts who, over a period of 5 years, largely rebuilt IBM’s image. It still surprises me to this day that one of the first things Gerstner’s successor, Sam Palmisano, did was dismantle that massively successful marketing effort.

Dell appears to be flirting with a similar effort to change their image as this video showcases. It isn’t yet at the level of IBM’s far better funded effort, but their need isn’t as critical either. Let’s talk about this video, and why an effort like this should be more common than it is.

Challenging The Existing Image To Recreate it

This CNBC video recrafts Dell’s history, not so much from what it was, but from how people see the company. The image that surrounds the brand is one of a PC company that provided what was likely a lackluster company machine you probably didn’t much care for. Most of how we touched Dell wasn’t with the stuff we bought ourselves but with the hardware that was bought for us using the typical lowest bidder approach.

I know, from my own experience, the Dell machine that Forrester gave me sucked and it was actually one of the reasons I left that company. Ironically, the machine I most wanted at that time was also a Dell, but it was their then XPS box which was focused on gamers and had a World of Warcraft theme. But, if I was like most folks, I’d have only seen what I was given and connected that less than happy experience to the Dell brand.

Now if you can recraft that memory to make it so that people see the bigger picture of what Dell was and then take them up to what Dell is then you may be able to get them to reconsider their out of date and incomplete view of the company.

By the way, it is interesting to note that part of Dell’s problem Dell created. By focusing for a time on being the low-cost provider they didn’t realize they were building up a set of negative impressions that would haunt them into the future. They now get that building visible quality into all products is important to the brand and, even in PCs, this makes the firm a very different company than the one most seem to recall.

The CNBC Film

The film takes the audience back to the foundation of Dell in a dorm room by a medical student and then it’s parallel rise with Apple. It briefly, (it is only 12 minutes), profiles Michael Dell and uses an analyst (sadly not me), and a reporter to help tell the story. Interviews with Michael Dell and Jeff Clark (who looks really tired or sedated) help fill out the story. Jeff has been doing the day to day management over Dell Technologies for some time and he has, apparently, been a counterpoint to the trend of successor CEOs who have failed (Meg Whitman and Steve Ballmer come to mind) of late as his performance has been exemplary. I think a customer that has been with Dell throughout would have been a strong core for this effort and they’ll likely do that in a future film.

Now, as a stand-alone, this video wouldn’t have much impact (it doesn’t have viral potential and it is doubtful a critical mass of people will see it) but as part of a campaign on this it forms a nice foundation for what is likely to come.

Wrapping Up: Changing Impressions Is Hard

To a certain extend Dell, and pretty much every company, digs itself a hole when they first come to market. This suggests that it is important to not only message on what the company is but on what the company wants to become, so as the firm evolves, the image of the firm evolves with it. In Dell’s case I doubt the EMC acquisition was ever part of Dell’s long-term vision until the day Joe Tucci, EMC’s prior storied CEO, pitched the idea.

The other thing that Tech companies, even Apple these days, just don’t seem to get is the importance of marketing. Marketing fuels investment, it creates sales opportunities at scale, and it is charged with maintaining and changing, over time, the firm’s image. Yet that role in most firms is almost an afterthought, underfunded, under resourced, and generally underappreciated.

With this video Dell may be stepping up to the problem but I can point to many Dell peers that have bigger issues who aren’t. Google and particularly Facebook come to mind, (which, given both live off marketing dollars, is incredibly ironic). Something to noodle on over the long weekend.

The post Dell’s CNBC Image Makeover appeared first on TGDaily.

Source: TG Daily – Dell’s CNBC Image Makeover

Hackers Breach Company That Makes License Plate Readers for US Government

Hackers breached a company that provides license plate reader technology for the US government, including at the border with Mexico. From a report: The hackers posted what appears to be the internal data of the company, called Perceptics, on a dark web website on Thursday. A company employee confirmed to Motherboard that Perceptics was hacked. “We are aware of the breach and have notified our customers. We can’t comment any further because it is an ongoing legal investigation,” Casey Self, director of marketing for Perceptics said in an online message. The Register first reported the news on Thursday. The data appears to include a variety of databases, company documents, and financial information, according to the file directory giving an overview of the stolen material. Boris Bullet-Dodger, the hacker who listed the data online, contacted Motherboard with a link to the stolen data on Thursday. Perceptics, once a subsidiary of major government contractor Northrop Grumman, mainly distributes license plate readers, under-vehicle cameras, and driver cameras to the U.S., Canada, Mexico to place at border crossings.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Hackers Breach Company That Makes License Plate Readers for US Government

Doom Patrol's First Season Finale Gave Everyone What They Deserved

Even if you’ve read the handy caption, you’re probably still thinking to yourself, “What the hell is going on in that gif up there?” The answer: Doom Patrol. Which is to say, “a lot.” It’s a winding, intricate puzzle box of a story involving drag queens, the apocalypse, and Chumbawamba that Doom Patrol manages to tell…

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Source: io9 – Doom Patrol’s First Season Finale Gave Everyone What They Deserved