Zuck claims he chows down with politicos from "across the spectrum" but they all seem to be far-right creeps

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Congress this week, she asked him about his "ongoing dinner parties with far-right figures" -- that is to say, the meals where he listens to Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro, Hugh Hewitt and other Nazi- and Nazi-adjacent figures whine about "leftist social media bias." Read the rest

Data viz video of the most visited websites from 1996 to 2019

In 1996, AOL and Yahoo! were at the top. Things changed. They can change again.

(Data Is Beautiful) Read the rest

Senior DHS staffer who oversaw #KidsInCages and promoted the #MuslimBan is now a top Google employee

Miles Taylor was chief of staff to DHS undersecretary Kirstjen Nielsen, publicly defending his boss's implementation of the #MuslimBan ethnic cleansing policy and helping to implement the family separation #KidsInCages policy. Read the rest

Ernst and Young subjected women employees to "training" about keeping the company's men happy

At the height of the #MeToo movement, giant management consulting firm Ersnt and Young (AKA "EY") sent a group of women to Power-Presence-Purpose, a "leadership and empowerment" workshop led by Marsha Clark, who advised them that "Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus" and "Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square." Read the rest

Griefer terrorizes baby by taking over their Nest babycam...again

Nest is a home automation company that Google bought in 2014, turned into an independent unit of Alphabet, then re-merged with Google again in 2018 (demonstrating that the "whole independent companies under Alphabet" thing was just a flag of convenience for tax purposes); the company has always focused on "ease of use" over security and internecine warfare between different dukes and lords of Google meant that it was never properly integrated with Google's security team, which is why, over and over again, people who own Nest cameras discover strangers staring at them from their unblinking camera eyes, sometimes shouting obscenities. Read the rest

Wyden's "Mind Your Own Business Act" would force online services to respect Do Not Track

Do Not Track was a standardized way for browsers to tell services that their owners did not consent to having their activities and usage logged; however, it was subverted by Big Tech and big media companies and turned into a useless tick-box that had virtually no impact on your privacy. Read the rest

Yahoo Groups is being prepared for shutdown, with all stored archives to be deleted on Dec 14

The latest fuck-you from Oath -- the Verizon division created to manage the zombie assets of AOL and Yahoo, bought at a ridiculous premium and then written down by more than 99% -- is the impending drawdown of Yahoo Groups, with mass deletions of all stored "Files, Polls, Links, Photos, Folders, Calendar, Database, Attachments, Conversations, Email Updates, Message Digest, Message History" as of Dec 14. Read the rest

The first-ever mandatory California drug price report reveals Big Pharma's farcical price-gouging

In 2017, California passed a state law mandating disclosure of wholesale drug prices, something the Big Pharma companies fought tooth and nail. Now, the first of those disclosures has taken place, and it reveals spectacular levels of price-gouging from the pharmaceutical industry's greediest monopolists: an overall rise of 25.8% in the median drug price since 2017. Read the rest

Apple told TV Plus showrunners to avoid plots that might upset Chinese officials

In early 2018, Apple SVP of internet software and services Eddy Cue and SVP of internet software and services Morgan Wandell instructed TV creators it had commissioned to produce content for Apple TV Plus to avoid plots and scenarios that held China and the Chinese state up in a critical light. Read the rest

AT&T hikes business customers' bills by up to 7%, charging them to recoup its own property taxes

AT&T business customers, including those who've been promised a locked-in rate inclusive of all taxes and fees, are finding "property tax" surcharges on their bills of up to 7%. These charges represent an attempt by AT&T to pass on the property taxes it pays on its own offices and other facilities to its customers. Read the rest

Google continues to funnel vast sums to notorious climate deniers

Google and the other big tech companies are some of the most lavish funders of climate denial "think tanks" and lobbying groups, something they've been at continuously for more than six years, without interruption. Read the rest

Shepard Smith quit Fox News right after Trump AG Bill Barr met with Rupert Murdoch

Sure has been one heck of a news week. And it ain't over yet. Read the rest

Kelly Link and Gavin Grant have bought a bookstore!

Macarthur "Genius" Kelly Link and her husband Gavin Grant are the forces-of-nature behind the amazing Small Beer Press (previously). Read the rest

​13 years later, World of Warcraft is STILL telling queer guilds they're not allowed to advertise their queerness

13 years ago, World of Warcraft was embroiled in a scandal when company management backed up a moderator who punished a player for advertising an LGBTQ-friendly guild, who argued that advertising the fact that you're queer violated the game's hate speech laws by provoking homophobes to send hateful messages to group members. Read the rest

Apple's capitulation over Hong Kong protest app isn't new; and the NBA is racing it to the bottom

When Apple caved to pressure from the Chinese government and yanked an Ios app that let users avoid being attacked by the city-state's murderous, rampaging police forces, it was merely continuing a long tradition of capitulation to Chinese authorities, who control access to some of Apple's most important customers as well as the factories that make the bulk of Apple's products. Read the rest

Nobel Prize in Chemistry split 3 ways for lithium-ion battery research

From left: Akira Yoshino, Dr. M. Stanley Whittingham and Dr. John Goodenough (Charles Dharapak / Yoshiaki Sakamoto / Kyodo News / Binghamton University)

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to three scientists whose work developing lithium-ion batteries made mobile phones, iPads, laptops, and electric cars possible.

The three recipients are U.S. engineer John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham of the U.K., and Akira Yoshino of Japan. They will share the 9 million Swedish kronor ($906,000) prize awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Read the rest

Raph Koster's next game: the evolution of sandbox play

Raph Koster (previously) is a games design legend, the designer behind such classics as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, a consistently thoughtful and smart theorist of games, and the author of A Theory of Fun, the best book I've ever read about games and gaming. Read the rest

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