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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Winter stout is coming? HBO releases new Game of Thrones beer – CNET

Inspired by character Jon Snow, here’s hoping Brewery Ommegang’s King in the North beer tastes like victory and not regret.
Source: CNET

Sharp Objects wraps up its first season – CNET

The murder mystery drama comes to its conclusion.
Source: CNET

Lamborghini is going to sell the Aventador SVJ that owned the 'Ring – Roadshow

Because the rich weirdos of the world need a 770 horsepower hypercar with four-wheel steering.
Source: CNET

Small fire breaks out near Tesla factory in Fremont – CNET

A fire started on a cardboard pile before being quickly extinguished.
Source: CNET

Porsche's Project Gold 911 is a brand-spankin'-new 993 Turbo – Roadshow

The body shell is original, but everything else is as fresh as the produce from your garden.
Source: CNET

2019 Acura NSX gets more 'playful,' will turn you orange with desire – Roadshow

There wasn’t a lot broken with last year’s NSX, so don’t expect major changes in 2019. Stiffer suspension plus a few software tweaks should make for an even more engaging car.
Source: CNET

Epic Games just gave a perk for folks to turn on 2FA; every other big company should, too

Let’s talk a bit about security.

Most internet users around the world are pretty crap at it, but there are basic tools that companies have, and users can enable, to make their accounts, and lives, a little bit more hacker-proof.

One of these — two-factor authentication — just got a big boost from Epic Games, the maker of what is currently The Most Popular Game In The World: Fortnite.

Epic is already getting a ton of great press for what amounts to very little effort.

The company is giving users a new emote (the victory dance you’ve seen emulated in airports, playgrounds and parks by kids and tweens around the world) to anyone who turns on two-factor authentication. It’s one small (dance) step for Epic, but one giant leap for securing their users’ accounts.

The thing is any big company could do this (looking at you Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet and any other company with a huge user base).

Apparently the perk of not getting hacked isn’t enough for most users, but if you give anyone the equivalent of a free dance, they’ll likely flock to turn on the feature.

It’s not that two-factor authentication is a panacea for all security woes, but it does make life harder for hackers. Two-factor authentication works on codes, basically tokens, that are either sent via text or through an over-the-air authenticator (OTA). Text messaging is a pretty crap way to secure things, because the codes can be intercepted, but OTAs — like Google Authenticator or Authy — are sent via https (pretty much bulletproof, but requiring an app to use).

So using SMS-based two-factor authentication is better than nothing, but it’s not Fort Knox (however, these days, even Fort Knox probably isn’t Fort Knox when it comes to security).

Still, anything that makes things harder for crimes of opportunity can help ease the security burden for companies large and small, and the consumers and customers that love them (or at least are forced to pay and use them).

I’m not sure what form the perk could or should take. Maybe it’s the promise of a free e-book or a free download or an opportunity to have a live chat with the celebrity, influencer or athlete of a user’s choice. Whatever it is, there’re clearly something that businesses could do to encourage greater adoption.

Self-preservation isn’t cutting it. Maybe an emote will do the trick.


Source: TechCrunch

What is this weird Twitter army of Amazon drones cheerfully defending warehouse work?

Here is a strange little online community to puzzle at. Amazon has developed an unnerving, Stepford-like presence on Twitter in the form of several accounts of definitely real on-the-floor workers who regurgitate talking points and assure the world that all is right in the company’s infamously punishing warehouse jobs.

After Flamboyant Shoes Guy called out the phenomenon, I found 15 accounts (please don’t abuse them — they get enough of that already). All with “Amazon smiles” as their backgrounds and several with animals as profile pictures. All have the same bio structure: “(Job titles) @(warehouse shorthand location). (Duration) Amazonian. (2- or 3-item list of things they like.)” All have “FC Ambassador📦” in their name. All have links to an Amazon warehouse tour service.

And all ceaselessly communicate upbeat messages about how great it is to work at an Amazon warehouse and assuring everyone that they are not being forced to do this. The messages all seem cut from the same cloth, frequently along the same exact patterns:

The workers say that they don’t receive compensation for being ambassadors; it’s a “totally optional role” they have taken on voluntarily (Update: turns out they are paid to do this). They also claim to be warehouse employees in the ordinary sense. If so, they’re putting their numbers at risk by taking the time out to bang out long tweets hourly on how great they’re doing.

Their most frequent topics of conversation are how they get bathroom breaks, the pleasant temperature of the warehouses, the excellent benefits and suitable wages, friendly management and how the job isn’t monotonous or tiring at all. FC Ambassador Carol, for example, is downright elated to be a picker, and is clearly a Bezos admirer.

You can practically hear the smile on her face.

I have a friend who worked as a picker for a while, admittedly some years back. He said it was some of the most mind-numbing yet physically demanding work he’s ever done. I understand that some folks may just be happy to have a job with full pay and benefits — I’d never begrudge anyone that, I’ve sure felt that — but the unanimous and highly specific positivity on display in these ambassador accounts really seems like something else.

It’s no secret, after all, that Amazon has an image problem when it comes to labor. Reports have for years described grueling labor at these “fulfillment centers,” where footsore workers must meet ever-increasing daily goals, their time rigidly structured and room for advancement cramped. Just recently Gizmodo’s Brian Menegus has had a couple of great stories on current — not past — labor conditions at the company, and of course there have been dozens of such stories detailing exploitation or generally poor conditions over the last few years. And not just here in the U.S., either.

Certainly Amazon may have improved those conditions. And certainly they would want to get the message out. But these accounts are equally certainly not the grassroots advocacy they seem to be. (There’s already a parody account, naturally, or perhaps one of the ambassadors slipped the leash.)

I’ve asked Amazon for more details on what this program really consists of, and how it comes to pass that warehouse workers are being not paid to monitor Twitter, regularly rebutting critics with clearly canned stats and the kind of forced humor one would imagine they would indulge in if their overalls hid a shock collar. I’ll update this post if I hear back.

Update: Amazon says these “FC ambassadors are employees who have experience working in our fulfilment centers. It’s important that we do a good job of educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfillment centers, and the FC ambassador program is a big part of that along with the fulfilment center tours we provide.”

And yes, they are paid to do this. Being an “FC ambassador” is a full-time job, it seems. I’ve asked for further details, since the ambassadors seem to imply they do this just as a bit of extra responsibility at their regular job because they like teaching others so much.


Source: TechCrunch

Android P finally embraces the Xbox One S gamepad — and Fortnite may, too – CNET

The Xbox One S controller could have been the best Android gamepad. Maybe it finally will.
Source: CNET

Microsoft reportedly facing bribery probe in Hungary – CNET

Probe follows similar investigations in other countries, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Source: CNET

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