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The Wild Wild Web

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Elizabeth Dwoskin, Craig Timberg, and Tony Romm, the Washington Post:

The document, which is previously unreported and obtained by The Post, weighed four options. They included removing the post [by then-candidate Donald Trump advocating for banning Muslims from entering the United States] for hate speech violations, making a one-time exception for it, creating a broad exemption for political discourse and even weakening the company’s community guidelines for everyone, allowing comments such as “No blacks allowed” and “Get the gays out of San Francisco.”

Facebook spokesman Tucker Bounds said the latter option was never seriously considered.

The document also listed possible “PR Risks” for each. For example, lowering the standards overall would raise questions such as, “Would Facebook have provided a platform for Hitler?” Bickert wrote. A carveout for political speech across the board, on the other hand, risked opening the floodgates for even more hateful “copycat” comments.

Ultimately, Zuckerberg was talked out of his desire to remove the post in part by Kaplan, according to the people. Instead, the executives created an allowance that newsworthy political discourse would be taken into account when making decisions about whether posts violated community guidelines.

It isn’t often that invoking Hitler is useful in policy questions but, in this instance, it is hard to see how Facebook’s broad policy exceptions for “newsworthiness” would not apply to hypothetical posts from him. Is Facebook theoretically comfortable with a politician to use its platform to advocate for genocide? Staggering as it may seem, it is not such an outlandish question. I would argue that, if such a hypothetical fits into the company’s “newsworthiness” rules, then that policy is wildly irresponsible; if it does not, then there is a line, and advocating genocide should not be the benchmark for when such posts are not allowed.

One way to simplify this question is to ask whether Facebook’s executives believe that its role is to be a comfortable space for many people to see advertising, or if they believe it should be a passthrough entity and international exporter of the First Amendment.

Kevin Roose, the New York Times:

Just like the California gold rush, the Wild Wild Web started an enormous accumulation of personal and corporate power, transforming our social order overnight. Power shifted from the czars of government and the creaky moguls of the Fortune 500 to the engineers who built the machines and the executives who gave them their marching orders. These people were not prepared to run empires, and most of them deflected their newfound responsibility, or pretended to be less powerful than they were. Few were willing to question the 2010s Silicon Valley orthodoxy that connection was a de facto good, even as counter-evidence piled up.

There are still some stubborn holdouts. (Facebook, in particular, still appears attached to the narrative that social media simply reflects offline society, rather than driving it.) But among the public, there is no more mistaking Goliaths for Davids. The secret of the tech industry’s influence is out, and the critics who have been begging tech leaders to take more responsibility for their creations are finally being heard.

Anna Wiener, the New Yorker:

Under Section 230, content moderation is free to be idiosyncratic. Companies have their own ideas about right and wrong; some have flagship issues that have shaped their outlooks. In part because its users have pushed it to take a clear stance on anti-vaccination content, Pinterest has developed particularly strong policies on misinformation: the company now rejects pins from certain Web sites, blocks certain search terms, and digitally fingerprints anti-vaccination memes so that they can be identified and excluded from its service. Twitter’s challenge is bigger, however, because it is both all-encompassing and geopolitical. Twitter is a venue for self-promotion, social change, violence, bigotry, exploration, and education; it is a billboard, a rally, a bully pulpit, a networking event, a course catalogue, a front page, and a mirror. The Twitter Rules now include provisions on terrorism and violent extremism, suicide and self-harm. Distinct regulations address threats of violence, glorifications of violence, and hateful conduct toward people on the basis of gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, and caste, among other traits and classifications. The company’s rules have a global reach: in Germany, for instance, Twitter must implement more aggressive filters and moderation, in order to comply with government laws banning neo-Nazi content.

[…]

Debates over content moderation tend to focus on companies like Facebook and Twitter, and some might be glad to see the biggest platforms lose their immunity shield. But what are Twitch, Reddit, FlyerTalk, Bogleheads, Hacker News, wikiFeet, or iNaturalist without their content? (Yelp without yelps: Why bother?) Twitter could revert to “bird chirps,” and be a place for benign, pithy commentary on nothing; Instagram could subsist on photographs of gloppy eggs Benedict and memes about disgruntled golden retrievers. Alternatively, if companies were disincentivized from moderating content, the Internet could become a cesspool. We might face another kind of information crisis — a dying off of user-generated discourse, opinion, and news. “Without Section 230, the traditional media would have even more power over speech and expression,” [Jeff Kosseff] writes. “And those power structures could be even more stacked against the disenfranchised.”

[…]

Ultimately, the problems that need solving may not be ones of content moderation. In the book “Platform Capitalism,” published in 2017, the economist Nick Srnicek explores the reliance of digital platforms on “network effects,” in which value increases for both users and advertisers as a service expands its pool of participants and suite of offerings. Network effects, Srnicek writes, orient platforms toward monopolization; monopolization, in turn, makes it easier for a single tweet to be an extension of state power, or for a single thirty-six-year-old entrepreneur, such as Zuckerberg, to influence the speech norms of the global digital commons. Both outcomes might be less likely if there were other places to go. The business model common to many social-media platforms, meanwhile, is itself an influence over online speech. Advertisers are attracted by data about users; that data is created through the constant production and circulation of user-generated content; and so controversial content, which keeps users posting and sharing, is valuable. From this perspective, Donald Trump is an ideal user of Twitter. A different kind of business might encourage a different kind of user.

Wiener’s article is the one I have hopelessly been trying to write, and my conclusion is similar. Moderation is not inherently a problem; having monolithic siloed social networks is much more concerning.

The other conclusion is deeply unsatisfying: voters need to elect leaders who view power with responsibility, not arousal. The last several years have proved that to be accurate in virtually all contexts. But, true as it may be, it is not helpful us now, and it does not give us an adequate framework for dealing with the problems caused by amplifying propagandists’ glorification of their interests without context.

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MotherHydra
5 days ago
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End the reliance on Zuckerbook, old people won’t go willingly so cancel or regulate the shit out of what is, essentially, a publisher just like Twatter. If you’re gonna be the newsstand for the world are you not a publisher bound to the same laws as newspapers? I hate social media basically.
Space City, USA
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Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 865 Plus is its most powerful mobile chip, designed for gaming

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Qualcomm has announced a refreshed version of its flagship Snapdragon 865 processor called the Snapdragon 865 Plus, which is designed to boost performance by almost 10 percent for gaming and AI applications.

There are three key improvements of the Snapdragon 865 Plus from the stock standard 865:

  • The Kryo 585 CPU has had its clock speed boosted up to a maximum of 3.1GHz, which is 10 percent higher than the standard 865
  • The Adreno 650 GPU offers 10 percent faster graphics rendering
  • Newly added compatibility for Qualcomm’s FastConnect 6900 connectivity suite, which the company says supports Wi-Fi speeds up to 3.6Gbps

It’s a similar refresh to last year’s Snapdragon 855 Plus model, which offered improvements to CPU and GPU...

Continue reading…

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MotherHydra
5 days ago
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Yaaaawn. Mobile chip. Gaming. Where does that burn diagram touch and who cares?
Space City, USA
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Fallout TV Series Underway from Westworld Creators

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Fallout TV Series Underway from Westworld Creators radams Thu, 07/02/2020 - 13:40
But We'll Be Waiting A While

Fallout TV series has been announced and it's got some pretty heavy hitters putting it together.

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MotherHydra
11 days ago
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Oh good grief no, this will turn out about as well as everything from Season 2 forward in Westworld. I pray they don’t touch on anything related to New Vegas.
Space City, USA
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Animal Crossing: New Horizons hits 5 million physical units sold in Japan

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons continues to top the sales charts worldwide three months after launch. Sure, the game has slowed down a bit, but it's still popular enough to regularly pull in the #1 spot in multiple regions. That includes Japan, where the physical release of the game is killing it.

In those three months since launch, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold 5 million units at retail. 5 million physical copies in Japan alone in such a short amount of time is staggering! Since that number doesn't even include digital purchases, you can only imagine just how much more impressive the sales tally is!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been the perfect game at the perfect time for Nintendo, and goes to show how Nintendo really is the king when it comes to hitting that expanded audience market.

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MotherHydra
12 days ago
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BEST game.
Space City, USA
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AMD Readies New Radeon RX 5000 Graphics Card Bundle, Will Include Godfall & World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

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AMD's Ryzen CPUs aren't the only products getting a new game bundle as the upcoming Raise The Game bundle for Radeon RX 5000 series graphics cards has also been leaked by Videocardz. AMD's Radeon RX 5000 series graphics cards based on the first generation Navi architecture will be part of the new game bundle promotion.

AMD Radeon RX 5000 Series '1st Gen Navi' Graphics Cards Getting New 'Raise The Game' Bundle - Will Include Godfall and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Expansion

A few days ago, the latest game bundle for AMD Ryzen CPUs was detailed which would include the latest AAA title from Ubisoft, Assassin's Creed Valhalla. AMD isn't leaving its graphics cards behind as the 'Raise The Game' bundle promo is also getting renewed with two new titles. The bundle will include two new additions, Godfall & World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

The new game bundle will be applicable on all Radeon RX 5000 series graphics cards. The Radeon RX 5700 XT, Radeon RX 5700 & the Radeon RX 5600 XT will get both titles for free while users who will be purchasing the Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics card will only get Godfall. Once again, the new bundle will run for a limited time period and will be available only through participating retailers.

AMD Radeon RX 5000 '7nm Navi RDNA' GPU Lineup Specs:

Graphics CardRadeon RX 5700 XT 50th AnniversaryRadeon RX 5700 XTRadeon RX 5700Radeon RX 5600 XTRadeon RX 5500 XT
GPU Architecture7nm Navi (RDNA 1st Gen)7nm Navi (RDNA 1st Gen)7nm Navi (RDNA 1st Gen)7nm Navi (RDNA 1st Gen)7nm Navi (RDNA 1st Gen)
Stream Processors2560 SPs2560 SPs2304 SPs2304 SPs1408 SPs
TMUs / ROPs160 / 64160 / 64144 / 64144 / 6488 / 32
Base Clock1680 MHz1605 MHz1465 MHz1130 MHz1670 MHz
Boost Clock1980 MHz1905 MHz1725 MHz1560 MHz1845 MHz
Game Clock1830 MHz1755 MHz1625 MHz1375 MHz1717 MHz
Compute Power10.14 TFLOPs9.75 TFLOPs7.95 TFLOPs7.19 TFLOPs5.19 TFLOPs
VRAM8 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR66 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR6
Bus Interface256-bit256-bit256-bit192-bit128-bit
Bandwidth448 GB/s448 GB/s448 GB/s288 GB/s224 GB/s
TBP235W225W180W150W130W
Price$449 US$399 US$349 US$279 US$169 US (4 GB)
$199 US (8 GB)
Launch7th July 20197th July 20197th July 201921st January, 20207th October 2019

Talking about the two new titles, Godfall will be available on Epic Games Store and is expected to launch in Holiday 2020. The same is true for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands which will be the 8th expansion to the long-running MMO. The new game promo is said to go live in the coming week & will provide users who purchase the said products with a pre-order core so they can have access to the said titles on day 1.

Both games add around $100-$120 US of value to your Radeon graphics card purchase which is fantastic for gamers. This might also be the last game bundle for 1st generation Navi graphics cards as AMD plans to release its 2nd Generation Navi based graphics cards in 2H 2020 which will include the enthusiast 'Big Navi' halo products.

The post AMD Readies New Radeon RX 5000 Graphics Card Bundle, Will Include Godfall & World of Warcraft: Shadowlands by Hassan Mujtaba appeared first on Wccftech.



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MotherHydra
12 days ago
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Imagine playing WarCraft in current day. Sad.
Space City, USA
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SpaceX Rejects Assertion That Starlink Constellation Size Should Determine FCC Fees

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Hawthorne, California based astronautic launch services provider and manufacturer Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) is well on its way to diversify its revenue streams. The fundamental premise behind the company's creation was to bring down the costs of launching payloads to space and low earth orbit (LEO) by reusing first-stage rocket boosters. SpaceX has succeeded in this goal of reusability as it has become the first launch service provider to consistently land its rocket boosters on drone ships – a fact that has injected fresh air into the astronautic industry.

At the same time, the company is also looking to generate non-investor funds for its Starship launch vehicle project. As opposed to SpaceX's current Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, Starship's true destinations lie in beyond earth orbit, as the company hopes that the vehicle and its first stage will take crew not only to the lunar but also to the Martian surface.

It intends to partly achieve these funding requirements by selling satellite-based internet services to customers all over the world. This project, dubbed 'Starlink' has deepened SpaceX's dealings with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and as the fiscal year reaches its end, the company has filed new comments with the body. These present its viewpoints on the FCC's annual regulatory fee determination and counter those filed by other service providers.

SpaceX Believes Constellation Size and Operator Origin are Immaterial in Determining FCC Regulatory Fees

The comments were filed yesterday and it comes in response to the FCC's assessment of regulatory fee for the fiscal year 2020 and comments made by telecommunications service providers based inside and outside the United States.

Service providers, based inside and outside the U.S., have asked the FCC to consider several factors when determining the regulatory fees it charges for providing them with an even playing field for U.S. market access. Non-U.S. based services providers, such as the Australian Internet of Things (IoT) satellite connectivity startup Myriota, have argued that the Commission's international regulatory activities primarily benefit U.S licensed companies, and as a result, these companies should be charged more.

SpaceX through its filing rejects these claims and argues that non-US licensed service providers benefit just as much from the FCC's activities as American companies do. The company argues that by merely being granted access to the American market, the benefits that these international companies reap are higher than any disadvantages to them from the aforementioned regulatory activities.

The Eutelsat 8 West B deploying its solar array in 2015. Eutelsat, which is based in France, has joined Myriota in arguing that non-U.S. licensed service providers in North America should pay lower regulatory fees to the Federal Communications Commission. Eutelsat also argues that the size of an operator's NGSO (Non-Geostationary Satellite) constellation should be used as a proxy for fee determination. (Image Credit: Eutelsat)

Additionally, SpaceX also argues that other regulatory efforts by the FCC ensure that interference between service providers' equipment is minimized and that each company has impartial access to the American market regardless of its country of license. SpaceX cites the facts that a significant proportion of NGSO (Non-Geostationary Satellites) processing applicants in 2020 were non-U.S. licensed entities and that these entities enthusiastically participated in the Commission's orbital debris proceedings despite being exempt from participation, as evidence of their belief that that the FCC's activities are beneficial to American and non-American service providers.

The second disagreement that SpaceX has with its competitors is with their insistence that the size of a service provider's satellite constellation is used by the FCC as a criterion for determining regulatory fees. French satellite operator Eutelsat S.A., in particular, has argued before the Commission that the FCC differentiate NGSO satellite constellations based on their size and use this as a determining factor in fee calculation. SpaceX argues that this claim ignores the true burden on FCC resources placed by earth stations, which in the company's opinion is a better metric for calculating FCC resource expension. The company states that Starlink's beam steering and shaping enable the Commission to save resources when determining compatibility.

Finally, SpaceX also requests the FCC to implement a cap on regulatory fee increases for FY 2020. This is due to the fact that the year's fees for NGSO authorizations mark for a staggering 85% year-over-year increase, with the increase carrying the potential to introduce "fee shock" to service providers in SpaceX's opinion.

All-in-all, the filing represents SpaceX's efforts to keep its Starlink constellation safe from industry criticism as it ramps up deployment. Starlink is also at the center of the FCC's $20 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund that intends to bring high-speed broadband internet to rural Americans. The FCC disagrees with SpaceX on the fact that Starlink's lack of commercial deployment makes the service a strong contender for government funds, and to that end, SpaceX is working to deploy Starlink services as quickly as it can – as the company also continues to launch NASA, USAF and private sector payloads beyond earth's gravity.

The post SpaceX Rejects Assertion That Starlink Constellation Size Should Determine FCC Fees by Ramish Zafar appeared first on Wccftech.



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MotherHydra
12 days ago
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Imagine having to bear the indignity of the FCC when you're trying to be a space-faring species. The FCC can pound sand. What could they really do? Nothing, since its a terrestrial, dinosauric institution that serves to limit innovations.
Space City, USA
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