Day: December 7, 2022

Debate Continues Over What To Do About The Fact That Starlink, Other Low-Earth-Orbit Satellite Systems Are Causing Irreversible, Research-Harming Light Pollution

For years, scientific researchers have warned that Elon Musk’s Starlink low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband constellations are harming scientific research. Simply put, the light pollution Musk claimed would never happen in the first place is making it far more difficult to study the night sky, a problem researchers say can be mitigated somewhat but never fully eliminated. Musk

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Judge Hands Theranos’ Other Fraudulent Exec ‘Sunny’ Balwani Near-13 Year Prison Sentence

Despite his rather chipper name, there’s not a lot that ex-startup executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani can feel happy about during his long Wednesday spent in court. A federal judge sentenced Theranos’ other big executive to 155 months, or a little less than 13 years in prison.

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Meta is scheming to replace Twitter

Hands chiseling the Facebook logo.

There are few things in this life that we can consistently count on. Maggie Nelson’s writing will always move us, my mom’s pancake recipe will always slap, and Meta will always try to take users from other platforms by morphing their own.

On Wednesday, just weeks after Elon Musk “let that sink in” to the Twitter headquarters, social media consultant and industry analyst Matt Navarra tweeted about Meta’s staff discussing building a new Twitter rival with a “notes” feature on Instagram, building a separate text-focused app, or adding new, Twitter-like feeds to Instagram. It’ll be called Realtime or Real Reels, or Instant which are fine names except that they all sound the same.

“Twitter is in crisis and Meta needs its mojo back,” one Meta employee wrote in a post, according to the New York Times. “LET’S GO FOR THEIR BREAD AND BUTTER.”

While things are unbelievably messy at Twitter, Meta has had its own headaches itself. It had to pause terrible changes after the Kardashians came after them and, of course, it failed to stop the spread of misinformation that rocked the foundations of democracies across the globe. But users have been ignoring those flags for years.

It’s nothing new for Meta to try to be everything to everyone. Instagram recently started to look a lot like TikTok, but bad. It pivoted to video, increased recommended posts, pushed out “Add Yours” stickers and remix abilities on Reels for Instagram and Facebook, and has overall begun prioritizing Reels, its short-form video feature designed to take over the app. Before TikTok was a threat, Instagram latched onto Snapchat’s success by launching Instagram Stories. And now, in the post-TikTok world, rumors are spreading that it’s considering taking some cues from BeReal, too.

The platform is trying to become, really, a superapp with shopping, online stores, sharing links, ordering cars, messaging with friends, and more — which, as Mashable has reported previously, sucks.

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Pentagon splits giant cloud contract among Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Oracle

Correction: This story previously misstated the total value of the contracts. The U.S. Department of Defense awarded cloud contracts with a combined potential value of up to $9 billion to Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Oracle, expanding and splitting up work that has been a past lightning rod of controversy. “The purpose of this contract is to provide the Department of Defense with enterprise-wide, globally available cloud services across all security domains and classification levels, from the strategic level to the tactical edge,” the DoD said in each award notice. It added, “The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability will allow mission owners… Read More

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Facebook and Anti-Abortion Clinics Have Your Info

Facebook is collecting ultrasensitive personal data about abortion seekers and enabling anti-abortion organizations to use that data as a tool to target and influence people online. A joint investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and The Markup found that the world’s largest social media platform is already collecting data about people who visit the websites of hundreds of crisis pregnancy centers. Facebook declined to answer detailed questions about its filtering systems and policies on data from crisis pregnancy clinics. At least 294 sites shared visitor information with Facebook.

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