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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Claves técnicas y económicas del plan de Rusia para salir de internet

China creó su Gran Cortafuegos en los albores de la web. Casi dos décadas después, y con una sociedad plenamente integrada en la red global, al país le va a costar mucho replicar la idea. Pero el Gobierno ruso no se suele ser flexible ni receptivo ante la presión pública
Source: MIT

Cada vez más voces urgen que la IA se diseñe desde la sociología

Las herramientas de inteligencia artificial están cada vez más integradas en servicios que afectan a la vida de las personas. Si no se diseñan teniendo en cuenta el contexto y las necesidades de las minorías y las personas a las que se dirigen, no conseguirán nada más que agravar los problemas que ya sufren
Source: MIT

Borofeno, el nuevo material prodigioso que podría destronar al grafeno

Sintetizado por primera vez en 2015, este material basado en el boro es más fuerte y más flexible que su antecesor, además de ligero y muy reactivo. A pesar de que es difícil de crear y manejar, químicos, físicos y otros científicos ya están entusiasmados con sus posibles aplicaciones
Source: MIT

The government is about to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic filing system

Thanks to pressure from tax preparation industry, Congress is getting ready to ban the Internal Revenue Service from ever building a free electronic tax filing system.

As ProPublica reports, the effort is a bipartisan one. The House Ways and Means Committee, led by Massachusetts Democrat, Richard Neal, passed the Taxpayer First Act.

The bill would make changes to the IRS and is sponsored by Georgia Democratic Congressman John Lewis and Mike Kelly, a Republican from Pennsylvania.

One of its stipulations would make it illegal for the IRS to create its own online system for tax filing. That’s right, members of Congress are prohibiting a branch of the federal government from providing a much-needed service that would make the lives of all of their constituents much easier.

And why is Congress taking the step? Because companies like Intuit, the company behind TurboTax, and H&R Block have been lobbying lawmakers for years to take the step.

In other countries, the agencies in charge of taxes have their own programs which make filing taxes more efficient — and free — for citizens. But that would eat into the profits for the tax prep industry, which was estimated to pull in $11 billion in 2018.

“This could be a disaster. It could be the final nail in the coffin of the idea of the IRS ever being able to create its own program,” Mandi Matlock, a tax attorney who does work for the National Consumer Law Center, told ProPublica.

There are a number of ways that the IRS could make tax preparation easier for taxpayers dealing with the only certainty in life other than death.

The IRS could develop a free online system. It could also submit pre-prepared tax returns for people to approve and then file based on the salary data the agency already has.

Roughly 70% of American taxpayers are already able to file for free online, but only 3% do, according to data from the taxpayer advocacy organization, The Taxpayer Advocate Service.

Americans who make less than $66,000 can access the Free File Inc. software online through the IRS.gov website and all taxpayers can download electronic versions of IRS paper forms through the service.

Back in 2002, the IRS entered into an agreement with a consortium fo tax software companies, which was known as Free File, Inc.  As part of that deal, the companies agreed to open up access to filing software for about taxpayers who make less than $66,000 and the IRS agreed not to compete with the companies by developing its own software.

That deal has been renewed for over a decade and the new bill before Congress would make it permanent. One reason why folks Congress could be pushing this through is all of the money that H&R Block and Intuit spent to lobby Senators and Representatives. ProPublica estimates that the tax prep industry has spent $6.6 million to advocate for the IRS filing deal. The Ways and Means chair, Neal, received $16,000 in contributions from the two companies in the last two election cycles, according to the ProPublica report.


Source: TechCrunch

In Congressional Hearing on Hate, the Haters Got Their Way

YouTube even had to disable comments on the House Judiciary Committee’s livestream of the hearing because it filled up with so much filth.
Source: Wired

‘Hateful comments’ result in YouTube disabling chat during a livestreamed hearing on hate

At today’s House Judiciary hearing addressing “Hate Crimes and the Rise of White Nationalism,” hate appears to have prevailed.

As the hearing’s livestream aired on the House Judiciary’s YouTube channel, comments in the live chat accompanying the stream were so inflammatory that YouTube actually disabled the chat feature mid-hearing. Many of those comments were anti-semitic in nature.

Unsurprisingly, the hearing struggled to balance its crowded witness list, which included Facebook public policy director Neil Potts and Google public policy lead Alexandria Walden. Potts emphasized that Facebook recently righted its course with regard to white nationalism, though this shift is still in its earliest days.

“Facebook rejects not just hate speech, but all hateful ideologies,” Potts said in the hearing. “Our rules have always been clear that white supremacists are not allowed on our platform under any circumstances.”

The hearing was probably ill-fated from the start. As Democrats attempt to grapple with the real world effects of white supremacist violence, voices on the far right — recently amplified by figures in Congress — denounce that conversation outright. When political parties can’t even agree on a hearing’s topic, it usually guarantees a performative rather than productive few hours and in spite of some of its serious witnesses, this hearing was no exception.

Hours after the hearing, anti-semitic comments continue to pour into the House Judiciary YouTube page, many focused on Rep. Jerry Nadler, the committee’s chair. “White nationalism isn’t a crime its [sic] a human right,” one user declared. “(((They))) are taking over our government,” another wrote, alluding to widespread anti-semitic conspiracy theories. Many more defended white nationalism as a form of pride rather than a hate-based belief system tied to real world violence.

“… Hate speech and violent extremism have no place on YouTube,” YouTube’s Walden said during the hearing. “We believe we have developed a responsible approach to address the evolving and complex issues that manifest on our platform.”


Source: TechCrunch

Hateful comments flood YouTube live stream of congressional hearing on hate – CNET

The Google-owned video service had to shut down the comment section on the stream.
Source: CNET

Netflix's dunk on Oscar backlash? It might buy its own movie theater – CNET

Netflix is in early talks to buy a historic theater in Los Angeles for tens of millions of dollars, at a time when it has traditional Hollywood on edge more than usual.
Source: CNET

Verizon issues patch for vulnerabilities on millions of Fios routers – CNET

If you have a Verizon Fios Quantum Gateway router, get the latest update.
Source: CNET

Distracted driving up 10% compared to 2018, study says – Roadshow

Yet another study shows drivers can’t stop looking at their phones.
Source: CNET

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