Facebook's "Free Basics" and colonialism: an argument in six devastating points

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Though India's independent telcoms regulator has banned services like Facebook's "Free Basics" -- which bribed phone companies to exempt Facebook's chosen services from the carriers' punishing data-caps -- the debate rages on, as Free Basics has taken hold through many poor countries around the world. Read the rest

Detoxing is (worse than) bullshit: high lead levels in "detox clay"

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"Bentonite Me Baby" is a brand of "detox clay" that you spread on your face, or eat, to rid your body of mysterious, nonspecific "toxins." It is full of lead. Read the rest

Vtech, having leaked 6.3m kids' data, has a new EULA disclaiming responsibility for the next leak

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Last December, Vtech, a crapgadget/toy company, suffered a breach that implicated the data of 6.3 million children, caused by its negligence toward the most basic of security measures. Read the rest

Australia, the driest country on Earth, eliminates basic climate science research

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Virtually all the climate scientists working at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation -- Australia's answer to NASA -- have been fired or moved out of climate research. Read the rest

Copyright trolls who claimed to own "Happy Birthday" will pay $14M to their "customers"

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For decades, Warner/Chappell Music claimed to own the rights to the Happy Birthday song, despite the reams of copyright scholarship and historical research showing they had no legitimate claim. Read the rest

Association of German judges slams US-EU trade deal for its special corporate courts

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Trade agreements like TPP and the US-EU TTIP are notorious for their Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses, which let corporations sue governments in secret proceedings, in order to force them to get rid of environmental, safety and labor laws that reduce profits. Read the rest

XOXO's new co-working space: no drop-ins, jerks or randos

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Last June, the founders of Portland's XOXO Conference announced a new co-working space; now they've formalized it, calling it "XOXO Outpost" and promising "something more than just a place to sit on your laptop—a supportive community of amazing people you’re genuinely excited to see every day, and XOXO’s extended network of friends and advisors to help your project succeed." Read the rest

How America's presidents started cashing out

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Right up until Gerry Ford, American presidents routinely refused any kind of directorships, paid lecture tours, or other opportunities to commercialize the office -- instead, they relied upon the generous presidential pension, currently at $200k/year plus a staff and expenses. Read the rest

Turn drone footage into 3D terrain models, which you can 3D print

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Drone Deploy is an analytics and automation package that uses drones to create accurate 3D terrain and architectural models. Read the rest

Superb investigative report on the fake locksmith scam

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If you've ever locked yourself out of your home and googled for a locksmith, you've seen that it's virtually impossible to reach a real local locksmith. Read the rest

Error 53: Apple remotely bricks phones to punish customers for getting independent repairs

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Iphone 6s that have been repaired by independent service centers are bricking themselves, seemingly permanently, with a cryptic message about "Error 53." Read the rest

At CBS, Sumner Redstone is out and Les Moonves is in

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CBS announced today that ailing and aging media mogul Sumner M. Redstone, who is 92, has resigned as the company's executive chairman. Leslie Moonves, CEO, has now taken the role of chairman.

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Tattoo artist asserts copyright over customers' bodies

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Solid Oak Sketches has filed copyright registrations in the tattoo designs that decorate the bodies of some of basketball's biggest stars (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kenyon Martin, DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe, etc), and has sued Take-Two Software, maker of NBA 2K16 and other basketball video games, for reproducing tattoos as part of the likenesses of the players. Read the rest

Google parent Alphabet surpasses Apple as 'world's most valuable company'

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With the release of its fourth-quarter earnings report today, Google parent company Alphabet became the world's most valuable company, and kicked Apple out of that coveted spot.

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Elizabeth Warren's new 1%: the percentage of fraudulent profits companies pay in fines

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In Rigged Justice: 2016 How Weak Enforcement Lets Corporate Offenders Off Easy, a 12-page booklet, Senator Elizabeth Warren documents corporations that were caught undertaking grossly fraudulent, highly profitable actions, and were made to pay a trivial fraction of those profits in fines -- fines become a part of the cost of doing business, not a deterrent to criminal behavior. Read the rest

Bill Gates sold rights to the Tiananmen 1989 pictures to a Chinese company

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The photos went as part of the deal that sold Corbis Entertainment's licensing arm to Visual China Group. Read the rest

First Second Books: a look back at ten years of world-changing graphic publishing

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First Second Books celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2016. From its inception, First Second was known for high quality graphic novels – books that told great stories for every age of reader, from kids to adults. Throughout the years, First Second has published graphic novels as diverse as Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost, Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamai’s This One Summer, Lucy Knisley’s Relish, and Faith Erin Hicks’ Friends With Boys. And First Second has broken ground with its publishing, bringing unprecedented acceptance and awards to the graphic novel form for kids and parents, teachers and librarians. The graphic novel market looks much different today than it did ten years ago!

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