On-trend in Asia: Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign logo

On-trend in Asia: Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign logo

A South Korean mania for shirts sporting the campaign logo from Jesse Jackson’s presidential bid has spread across the Pacific rim, getting knocked off in China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The logo is prized for its “smart color scheme,” “sensuous lettering” and “harmonized colors.” The shirt was popular with celebrities and college students alike: Rapper Moonbyul, for example, wore the shirt in the music video for her May release, “In My Room.” After the Jackson shirts’ initial appearance in South Korea, they quickly spread to stylish women across Asia, sold…

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“Smart home” companies refuse to say whether law enforcement is using your gadgets to spy on you

“Smart home” companies refuse to say whether law enforcement is using your gadgets to spy on you

Transparency reports are standard practice across the tech industry, disclosing the nature, quantity and scope of all the law enforcement requests each company receives in a given year. But there’s a notable exception to this practice: the “smart home” companies who sell you products that fill your house with gadgets that know every intimate fact of your life — all-seeing eyes, all-listening ears, all-surveillance network taps. The companies that sell these products refuse to say whether (or how) they are being suborned to serve as state surveillance adjuncts by law…

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US Customs is seizing refurbished Apple batteries and calling them “counterfeits”

US Customs is seizing refurbished Apple batteries and calling them “counterfeits”

Louis Rossman is one of the highest-profile independent Apple repair technicians, famous in part for fixing devices that Apple has declared to have reached their end-of-life, diverting these devices from landfill and keeping them in the hands of the people who paid good money for them. Rossman has to engage in lots of creative tactics to source parts for his repairs, including buying refurbished parts that have been removed from real Apple products; but Customs and Border Protection now seems to take the position that anything imported with an Apple…

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All the economists who told the FTC we shouldn’t break up Big Tech are paid by Big Tech

All the economists who told the FTC we shouldn’t break up Big Tech are paid by Big Tech

From the Open Markets Institute’s Mat Stoller and Austin Frederick, who analyzed the FTC’s panel, “The Current Economic Understanding of Multi-Sided Platforms,” in which economic experts told the regulator that Big Tech’s monopoly power just isn’t a problem: “every single economist testifying on the issue of corporate concentration derived income, directly or indirectly, from large corporations. Beyond that, the hearing itself was held at the Antonin Scalia Law School, which is financed by Google and Amazon.” Here’s a tldr version of the economists’ argument: Big Tech isn’t big because we…

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Security researchers identify “fingerprints” in 3D printed objects that can be used to trace their manufacturing

Security researchers identify “fingerprints” in 3D printed objects that can be used to trace their manufacturing

In PrinTracker: Fingerprinting 3D Printers using Commodity Scanners (Scihub mirror), a paper to be presented at the ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security conference in Toronto this month, a group of U Buffalo and Northeastern researchers present a model for uniquely identifying which 3D printer produced a given manufactured object, which may allow for forensic investigators to associate counterfeit goods, illegal guns, and other printed objects with the device that manufactured them. The technique uses “slight imperfections” in infill created by the “printer’s model type, filament, nozzle size…

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After killing disaster-recovery rules, Ajit Pai can’t understand why carriers aren’t helping hurricane-hit Florida

After killing disaster-recovery rules, Ajit Pai can’t understand why carriers aren’t helping hurricane-hit Florida

Ajit Pai is a member of the Ayn Rand/James Buchanan cult that says that any government regulation is an unfair attack on the “freedom” of business, which is why his ascendancy to the Chairmanship of the FCC under Donald Trump was attended by an orgy of deregulation — most of us know about his senseless slaughter of Net Neutrality, but that was just for starters. Among the rules Ajit Pai killed was one that required telcos rebuilding after natural disasters to quickly replace ruined telcoms infrastructure with equivalent systems. The…

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Emu is in love, enjoys skritches

Emu is in love, enjoys skritches

Just an emu in love. Taryn Smith is a “free flight bird trainer” who lives and works along the Sunshine Coast, in Australia. View this post on Instagram SundaySquish. A very special Emu A post shared by Taryn Smith (@tbonesjones) on Aug 6, 2017 at 2:45am PDT [via] View this post on Instagram Rubbing shoulders with an Aussie icon A post shared by Taryn Smith (@tbonesjones) on Jun 11, 2018 at 3:09am PDT Read full story

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Brazil Elections: Facebook’s WhatsApp “taking immediate legal action” against political spammers

Brazil Elections: Facebook’s WhatsApp “taking immediate legal action” against political spammers

WhatsApp, the messaging application business owned by Facebook, said on Friday it is “taking immediate legal action” against companies responsible for a flood of political spam ahead of Brazil’s presidential elections. Campaign propaganda has flooded social media in Brazil ahead of an Oct. 28 run-off vote in the presidential election. Brazil’s Folha (in Portuguese) is the best primary news source on this story. WhatsApp’s legal action today immediately follows a Folha report a couple of days ago that various companies (funding sources) linked to the extreme-right-wing frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro paid…

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HACKED: U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS); 75K individuals affected

HACKED: U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS); 75K individuals affected

The United States Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said Friday it was responding to a data breach that exposed the files of about 75,000 people. Reuters: The agency said it detected anomalous activity in the Federally Facilitated Exchange’s (FFE) Direct Enrollment pathway for agents and brokers. The number of files accessed in the breach represented a small fraction of consumer records present on the FFE, the CMS said. Here is the entire US CMS press release on the breach, published late Friday: CMS Responding to Suspicious Activity in…

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Google to charge hardware makers up to $40 per device for Android mobile apps

Google to charge hardware makers up to $40 per device for Android mobile apps

Google [Alphabet Inc.] will soon charge hardware companies up to $40 per device to use Google apps, under a new licensing plan that will replace one struck down by the EU earlier this year as anti-competitive, reports Reuters. On October 29, the new fee will go into effect on any new smartphone or tablet that Google launches in the European Economic Area, running Google’s Android operating system, the company said Tuesday. The fee can be as low as $2.50 and rises depending on the country and device size, the person…

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