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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Amazon to raise Prime membership in US to $119 from $99 – CNET

The 20 percent price hike goes into effect May 11 and hits existing customers’ renewals on June 16.
Source: CNET

Pro-Trump social media duo accuses Facebook of anti-conservative censorship

Following up on a recurring thread from Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional appearance earlier this month, the House held a hearing today on perceived bias against conservatives on Facebook and other social platforms. The hearing, ostensibly about “how social media companies filter content on their platforms,” focused on the anecdotal accounts of social media stars Diamond and Silk (Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson), a pro-Trump viral web duo that rose to prominence during Trump’s presidential campaign.

“Facebook used one mechanism at a time to diminish reach by restricting our page so that our 1.2 million followers would not see our content, thus silencing our conservative voices,” Diamond and Silk said in their testimony.

“It’s not fair for these Giant Techs [sic] like Facebook and YouTube get to pull the rug from underneath our platform and our feet and put their foot on our neck to silence our voices; it’s not fair for them to put a strong hold on our finances.”

During the course of their testimony, Diamond and Silk repeated their unfounded assertions that Facebook targeted their content as a deliberate act of political censorship.

What followed was mostly a partisan back-and-forth. Republicans who supported the hearing’s mission asked the duo to elaborate on their claims and Democrats pointed out their lack of substantiating evidence and their willingness to denounce documented facts as “fake news.”

Controversially, they also denied that they had accepted payment from the Trump campaign, in spite of public evidence to the contrary. On November 22, 2016, the pair received $1,274.94 for “field consulting,” as documented by the FEC.

Earlier in April, Zuckerberg faced a question about the pair’s Facebook page from Republican Rep. Joe Barton:

Why is Facebook censoring conservative bloggers such as Diamond and Silk? Facebook called them “unsafe” to the community. That is ludicrous. They hold conservative views. That isn’t unsafe.

At the time, Zuckerberg replied that the perceived censorship was an “enforcement error” and had been in contact with Diamond and Silk to reverse its mistake. Senator Ted Cruz also asked Zuckerberg about what he deemed a “pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship” against conservative voices on the platform.

Today’s hearing, which California Rep. Ted Lieu dismissed as “stupid and ridiculous,” was little more than an exercise in idle hyper-partisanship, but it’s notable for a few reasons. For one, Diamond and Silk are two high-profile creators who managed to take their monetization grievances with tech companies, however misguided, all the way to Capitol Hill. Beyond that, and the day’s strange role-reversal of regulatory stances, the hearing was the natural escalation of censorship claims made by some Republicans during the Zuckerberg hearings. Remarkably, those accusations only comprised a sliver of the two days’ worth of testimony; in a rare display of bipartisanship, Democrats and Republicans mostly cooperated in grilling the Facebook CEO on his company’s myriad failures.

Congressional hearing or not, the truth of Facebook’s platform screw-ups is far more universal than political claims on the right or left might suggest. As Zuckerberg’s testimony made clear, Facebook’s moderation tools don’t exactly work as intended and the company doesn’t even really know the half of it. Facebook users have been manipulating the platform’s content reporting tools for years, and unfortunately that phenomenon coupled with Facebook’s algorithmic and moderation blind spots punishes voices on both sides of the U.S. political spectrum — and everyone in between.


Source: TechCrunch

Your annual Amazon Prime membership fees are about to increase

On today’s wildly successful earnings call, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky dropped a bit of a bombshell for Amazon Prime subscribers. The retailer’s everything-and-the-kitchen-sink annual subscription plan is about to get pricier. On May 11, Prime annual memberships will jump $20, from $99 a year to $119.

The news follows a similar announcement back in January, which found the monthly version of the program increasing from $10.99 to $12.99 — a $24 increase. Of course, annual subscribers will still come out ahead — the monthly model works out to $156 a year. This is the first increase to annual pricing in nearly four years

Why the bump? Amazon’s wild content buying spree likely has something to do with it. Just this afternoon, it announced that it was extending its Thursday Night Football deal another two years. 

“Since we increased the annual price of Prime four years ago both the value of Prime and the cost to offer it have increased significantly,” Amazon said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. And certainly the program has grown a lot, from a free shipping program to including everything from Alexa special features to The Washington Post

The new prices apply starting May 11 for new subscribers. Existing subscribers will see an increase for renewals starting June 16.


Source: TechCrunch

Meet Badass, the Grassroots Activists Hitting Revenge Porn Where It Lives

From posting “boner killers” to helping law enforcement, victims of nonconsensual pornography are fighting back.
Source: Wired

Producción descentralizada de energía para un mundo más democrático y verde

El sector eléctrico enfrenta tres grandes retos: la creciente demanda de electricidad, la necesidad de estimular las fuentes limpias y la de integrar el sistema eléctrico. La generación distribuida de energía puede ser la solución a todos ellos
Source: MIT

'Blockchain': ¿Qué es y cómo funciona una cadena de bloques?

Definición de cómo y cuándo nació, por qué, cómo funciona, para qué sirve y cómo y para qué puede utilizarla cada persona
Source: MIT

Una nueva terapia génica podría evitar las transfusiones de por vida

15 de los 22 pacientes de beta talasemia que se sometieron al tratamiento experimental de la compañía BlueBird ya no necesita sangre ajena, y los otros siete, que padecían la versión más grave de la enfermedad, necesitan menos transfusiones que antes
Source: MIT

Apple ends production of AirPort base stations

It’s an end of an era in Cupertino today. Apple just announced the end of production on its AirPort line of base stations, a list that includes the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule.

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, the company noted that it will continue to sell its remaining stock, but once it’s done, it’s done. “We’re discontinuing the Apple AirPort base station products,” says the spokesperson. “They will be available through Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last.”

The end of the line probably doesn’t come as too much of a surprise for outsiders. A lot has changed in the home networking category since Apple arrived on the scene nearly 20 years back. A number of other consumer electronics bigwigs have entered the fray, along with a number of notable startups.

Google, Linksys and Netgear have offered some pretty compelling offerings, along with newcomers like Plume and Eero. AirPort has clearly become less and less of a focus for the company over the past decade. While the home setting continues to play a vital role in Apple’s hardware play, the company’s focus has since shifted to multimedia and smart home offerings like Apple TV and the HomePod.

It seems likely that the company will continue exploring home networking avenues in the future, as it focuses more and more on its HomeKit strategy, but AirPort in its current form doesn’t appear to have been profitable enough to have warranted whatever remaining resources the company was continuing to expend.

Given its relatively newfound willingness to partner with hardware makers on the HomeKit front, however, third-party hardware could potentially prove a compelling avenue in the future. Meantime, the company should be providing continued support for those who pick up any remaining stock. It’s also started offering some advice for those looking for an Apple-friendly home router. 


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook Launches a New Ad Campaign With an Old Message

Facebook ads will appear on TV, online, in movie theaters, and on public transit and billboards.
Source: Wired

The iPad Apps Pilots Use in the Cockpit

No Words With Friends for British Airways pilots, it’s all about fuel calculations, safety notices, and maps.
Source: Wired

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