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      How Warner Chappell was able to steal revenues from 25% of a popular Minecraft vlogger's channels

      Oliver Brotherhood is a British vlogger with over 3 million subscribers who has produced a string of very popular Minecraft-related videos under the name Mumbo Jumbo; yesterday, in the space of two hours, a quarter of his videos were claimed by music publishing giant and notorious copyright fraudsters Warner Chappell, who will now get revenues from those videos, and can take them down at will. Read the rest

      A deep dive into the internal politics, personalities and social significance of the Googler Uprising

      Writing in Fortune, Beth Kowitt gives us a look inside the Googler Uprising, wherein Google staff launched a string of internal reform movements, triggered first by the company's secret participation in an AI/drone warfare project for the Pentagon, then a secret attempt to build a censored/surveilling search engine for use in China, then the revelation that the company had secretly paid off an exec accused of sexual assault, to tune of $150m. Read the rest

      Pangea raised $180m to buy up low-rent Chicago properties "to help poor people," and then created the most brutally efficient eviction mill in Chicago history

      Pangea was founded by Al Goldstein, a Deutsche Bank investment banker who quit to found a massive, intercontinental payday lending outfit; he tapped the investors that he enriched with his payday lending business to stake him $180 million and bought up thousands of low-rent buildings in Chicago's poorest neighborhoods (which are also Chicago's blackest neighborhoods). Read the rest

      Grifty "information security" companies promised they could decrypt ransomware-locked computers, but they were just quietly paying the ransoms

      Ransomware has been around since the late 1980s, but it got a massive shot in the arm when leaked NSA cyberweapons were merged with existing strains of ransomware, with new payment mechanisms that used cryptocurrencies, leading to multiple ransomware epidemics that locked up businesses, hospitals, schools, and more (and then there are the state-level cyberattacks that pretend to be ransomware). Read the rest

      Nordstrom removes $790 Gucci 'Indy Turban' that looks identical to Sikh headwear

      Gucci’s new $800 ‘Indy Full Turban’ was not a good idea. Read the rest

      Axon makes false statements to town that bought its police bodycams, threatens to tase their credit-rating if they cancel the contract

      Axon -- formerly Taser International -- makes police bodycams that they sell to towns on the cheap, betting that they'll make it up by gouging the towns for cloud-based storage for footage from the cameras (what could possibly go wrong?!). Read the rest

      Native American tribes need better internet access. This one weird spectrum might do the trick.

      Marginalized Native American communities throughout the United States could have better access to high-speed internet if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decides to allow tribes to use the Educational Broadband Services (EBS) spectrum for services like telemedicine, transmitting medical records electronically, or an online high school. Read the rest

      Foxconn promised it would do something with the empty buildings it bought in Wisconsin, but they're still empty (still no factory, either)

      The Verge's Josh Dzieza continues his outstanding coverage of Foxconn's shell-game in Wisconsin, where the company -- promised billions in subsidies and tax-breaks by former governor Scott Walker, a Koch darling, and by Trump, who used Foxconn's promise of a major new Wisconsin factory to claim his policies were working -- has lived up to its reputation for overpromising and underdelivering by absorbing billions in subsidies but never delivering on promised jobs. Read the rest

      Monet Money: landscape painting sells for $110.7 million

      This Claude Monet landscape painting just broke a record by selling for $110.7 million dollars at auction. Read the rest

      A year after Meltdown and Spectre, security researchers are still announcing new serious risks from low-level chip operations

      Spectre and Meltdown are a pair of chip-level security bugs that exploit something called "speculative execution," through which chips boost performance by making shrewd guesses about which computer operations are performed together. Read the rest

      Jury awards $2b to California couple who say Bayer's Roundup weedkiller gave them cancer

      Back in 2018, evil got a shot in the arm when Nazi collaborators Bayer were allowed to buy Big Ag monopolists Monsanto, celebrating the marriage by getting rid of the Monsanto name (on the grounds that Monsanto's tactics had tarnished their reputation even worse than Bayer's use of concentration camp slaves and fatal medical experiments on Jews and others imprisoned by the Nazis, to say nothing of their notorious product Zyklon B). Read the rest

      Collecting user data is a competitive disadvantage

      Warren Buffet is famous for identifying the need for businesses to have "moats" and "walls" around their profit-centers to keep competitors out, and data-centric companies often cite their massive collections of user-data as "moats" that benefit from "network effects" to make their businesses good investments. Read the rest

      Just like Amazon, Walmart now offers free next-day delivery

      Mega-retailer Walmart on Tuesday announced next-day delivery on more than 200,000 items for orders over $35. Read the rest

      Helium shortage deflating Party City's business

      Party City, the brick-and-mortar retailer that's a one-stop-shop for single-use, brightly-colored plastic crap and other festive decorations, is closing 45 of its 900 stores across the country. Store profits are down due to the shortage of helium on the planet; Party City historically makes big money from filling balloons. From CNN:

      The Earth holds pockets of helium buried under rock, but it's notoriously hard to capture because it, well, floats. When drilling or fracking for natural gas, energy companies capture some helium and sell it. But helium makes up a tiny percentage of the gasses trapped under rock formations. Over the past few years, some drillers have claimed to find troves of helium buried underground, but those haven't always panned out. Party City said it really started feeling the pinch in August 2018...

      The good news for Party City is it signed an agreement with a new helium supplier. Party City believes the new supplier can help it return its balloon business back to normal starting in the summer, and it hopes the supplies will last for the next two-and-a-half years...

      (Party City CEO) Harrison cautioned, however, that the additional helium wasn't a sure thing. Party City's new supplier might believe it is sitting on a lot of helium, but it can't know for sure until it bottles and sells it.

      Read the rest

      Delta targets its workers with anti-union apps that push deceptive memes

      Aviation is one of America's most concentrated industries, and workers have steadily lost ground to shareholders and execs, who have enriched themselves with tactics like flying planes to South America for maintenance by non-union technicians who do not speak the language that the maintenance manuals are written in. Read the rest

      Amazon told to stop selling kids' school supplies that contain over 80 times the legal limit of lead

      This pencil pouch has over 35 times the legal limit of lead, 29 times the legal limit of cadmium.

      #BlueMoon: Jeff Bezos says Blue Origin will land on Moon by 2024

      “We must return to the Moon—this time to stay.”

      More posts

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