"Open source" companies are playing games with licensing to sneak in proprietary code, freeze out competitors, fight enclosure

Writing new software licenses is a seemingly irresistible vice in the free and open source world, and the decades since the first GPL have been filled with bitter disputes and splits over licensing, with new licenses proliferating for motives both noble and base. Read the rest

How EFF's Eva Galperin plans to destroy the stalkerware industry

Eva Galperin is one of my colleagues at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, running our Threat Lab project, where she has made it her personal mission to eradicate stalkerware: malicious software marketed to abusive spouses, overbearing parents, and creepy employers, which runs hidden on mobile devices and allows its owner to spy on everything his target is doing ("Full access to someone’s phone is essentially full access to someone’s mind" -Eva). Read the rest

Notices at Intel press event seem to say attending photographers must assign copyright to all pictures and videos to the company?

Mitch Wagner attended an Intel press and analyst event today where he spotted these notices "posted discreetly in a couple of places on the walls": at first glance, they seem like your garden-variety abusive bullshit release ("Abandon hope all ye who enter here") but there's a decidedly Vessel-esque clause that seems to be saying that Intel claims the copyright in any photo or video in which any of the event appears, even "distorted in character or form, throughout the world, in all media now known or hereafter invented." This is some next-level bullshit. Read the rest

Patagonia tells banks and oil companies that they can no longer buy co-branded vests

Patagonia's iconic "power vest" is a favorite for co-branded company swag, but the company has quietly enacted a new policy that shuts out h oil, drilling, dam construction, etc. companies" as well as some "financial institutions" on the grounds that they are "environmentally damaging." Read the rest

Moderators for large platform tell all, reveal good will, frustration, marginalization

Alex Feerst, Medium's head of trust and safety, conducted a long, wide-ranging interview with senior content moderation staffers with experience at Dropbox, Google, Facebook, Reddit, Pintrest, and many unnamed platforms; the interview is very frank and reveals a group of people with a deep, real-world commitment to protecting users as well as defending free speech. Read the rest

After boasting about running his company from prison, Martin Shkreli gets solitary confinement

Martin Shkreli's poor impulse control continues to land him in terrible trouble: his price-gouging on lifesaving drugs didn't land him in prison, but his profligate boasting about it did (to say nothing of the revocation of his bail after he put a bounty on Hillary Clinton's hair follicles). Read the rest

Wells Fargo is looking for a new CEO

Wells Fargo is America's largest bank and it also leads the nation's banks for scandals, having stolen from rich people, poor people, veterans, active-service military personnel, homeowners, small businesses, etc, as well as 2,000,000 ordinary customers who had fraudulent accounts opened in their names in order to bleed them of transaction fees, sometimes at the expense of their good credit and even their financial solvency. Read the rest

America's best mobile carrier is also the first phone company to back Right to Repair legislation

As I've mentioned every Read the rest

The Boston Globe on breaking up Big Tech falls into the trap of tech exceptionalism

The Boston Globe has published a giant weekend package of responses to Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up the Big Tech monopolies. Read the rest

Facebook owns Netscape

AOL bought Netscape, renamed it New Aurora Corporation, sold it to Microsoft, who sold it to Facebook, where it is a "non-operating subsidiary." Netscape veteran JWZ writes, "That makes Facebook the current owner of the cookie patent, so I was hoping that this meant that they are now embroiled in the Forever War with ValueClick, but I now see that it was settled in 2010. Bummer!" Read the rest

The Chinese Communist Party's newspaper has spun out an incredibly lucrative censorship business

People.cn is a publicly listed subsidiary of The People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party; its fortunes are rising and rising with no end in sight as it markets itself as an outsource censorship provider who combine AI and a vast army of human censors to detect and block attempts to circumvent censorship through irony, memes, and metaphors. Read the rest

Millennials are killing McMansions

It all seemed so innocent when architecture grad student Kate Wagner started pushing her charming brand of millennial snark on us with her acerbic critiques of gaudy, poorly executed monster homes, but architecture is no laughing matter. Read the rest

Front-line programmers default to insecure practices unless they are instructed to do otherwise

It's always sort of baffling when security breaches reveal that a company has stored millions of users' passwords in unencrypted form, or put their data on an insecure cloud drive, or transmitted it between the users' devices and the company's servers without encryption, or left an API wide open, or some other elementary error: how does anyone in this day and age deploy something so insecure? Read the rest

After fatal crash, Boeing reverses sales policy that locked out some safety features unless airlines paid for an upgrade

The Boeing 737 Max is out of service around the world, following a fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines and an Indonesian Lion Air flight and there is intense investigation and speculation as to the cause of the crash. Read the rest

Grandson of legendary John Deere engineer defends right-to-repair and condemns Big Ag for "taxing customers"

Willie Cade's grandfather Theo Cade was one of John Deere's most storied engineers, with 158 patents to his name; he invented the manure spreader and traveled the country investigating stories of how farmers were using, fixing, modifying and upgrading their equipment; today, Willie Cade is the founder of the Electronics Reuse Conference, having spent a quarter-century repairing electronics, diverting e-waste from landfills and rehabilitating it for use by low-income schools and individuals. Read the rest

Two arrested for hiding cameras in motel rooms and charging for access to livestreams

Some 1,600 people were secretly livestreamed while staying in South Korean motel rooms where cameras had been hidden by criminals who operated a 4,000-user service for voyeurs, where a $45/month upcharge bought subscribers the right to access replays and other extra services. Read the rest

California's Right to Repair Bill, killed by Big Ag and Apple, has been reintroduced

Last year, California was one of several states to introduce right to repair legislation that would force companies to end practices that discourage the independent repair sector, creating a requirement to sell replacement parts, provide documentation, and supply codes to bypass DRM systems that locked new parts out of devices until the company activated them. Read the rest

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