Trump administration sues California over its brand-new net neutrality law

This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch

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The Department of Justice announced on Sunday that it has filed a lawsuit against California to block its new net neutrality law, just hours after it was signed by governor Jerry Brown. The lawsuit was first reported by the Washington Post. Senior Justice Department officials told the newspaper it is filing the lawsuit because only the federal government can regulate net neutrality and that the Federal Communications Commission had been granted that authority by Congress to ensure states don’t write conflicting legislation.

In its announcement, the Justice Department stated that by signing California’s Senate Bill 822 into law, the state is “attempting to subvert the Federal Government’s deregulatory approach by imposing burdensome state regulations on the free Internet, which is unlawful and anti-consumer.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said “under the Constitution, states do not regulate interstate commerce—the federal government does. Once again the California legislature has enacted an extreme

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The best gear for starting a small business

This post is by Henry Pickavet from TechCrunch

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Editor’s note: This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and TechCrunch may earn affiliate commissions.

When you’re ready to start a small business, having some helpful essentials will make the process a bit easier. Whether you need to print your own business cards or you’re ready to process orders on a reliable laptop, we’ve put together a few of our recommendations that will cover the basics.

Photo: Michael Hession                                                                                   

Business Card Printing Service: Vistaprint

Vistaprint has the best print quality of all the services we tested, and its website offers the best ordering and design experience.

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California governor signs nation’s toughest net neutrality bill into law

This post is by Jacob Kastrenakes from The Verge - All Posts

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California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the nation’s toughest net neutrality bill into law. The law will prohibit internet providers from blocking or throttling any legal apps and websites, and it will ban paid prioritization of content. The law also goes further than the since-overturned federal net neutrality rules by banning zero-rating — offering free data — of specific apps.

Several other states have taken action on net neutrality, but most chose to enact protections in a looser fashion that didn’t enforce it on all providers and wiggled around the Federal Communication Commission’s prohibition on state net neutrality laws. California, on the other hand, chose to just go for it, and it’s enacted a law that very clearly replicates and…

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How to Quit Drinking For ‘Sober for October’

This post is by Emily Price from Lifehacker

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There was a point in my mid 20s where I had a solid 4-beer-a-day habit. At the time I was dating a brewer and my entire social life just happened to be tied to beer. Going out at night to meet friends for a beer or cracking open a few bottles a pal had brought back from a recent trip (or that my boyfriend had just…

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Conference app for the UK’s Conservative Party leaked attendee data

This post is by Andrew Liptak from The Verge - All Posts

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This weekend, members of the UK’s Conservative Party kicked off their annual conference in Birmingham, using the event to highlight their plans and priorities for the coming year. This year’s event had a rocky start: its official app allowed users to access personal contact information of other attendees, without a password.

According to the BBC, the app had a button that allowed users to press a button and enter an attendee’s e-mail address, which gave them access without prompting them for a password. Several attendees reported that they were not only able to access non-public information in the accounts of various party members such as phone numbers and e-mail addresses, but they could also change said information. Various…

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The FBI used a suspect’s face to unlock his iPhone in Ohio case

This post is by Andrew Liptak from The Verge - All Posts

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When Apple debuted Face ID with the iPhone X last year, it raised an interesting legal question: can you be compelled to unlock your phone by looking at it? In an apparent first, Forbes reports that the FBI got a suspect to unlock his phone during a raid in August.

In August, the FBI raided the home of Grant Michalski, looking for evidence that he had sent or received child pornography. They were armed with a search warrant [warning: this documentation contains explicit descriptions of sexual abuse] which allowed them to search Michalski’s computer for evidence, and during the raid, agents recovered his iPhone X.

The agents who found the iPhone asked Michalski to unlock the device via Face ID, which he did. They “placed the [phone] into…

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Unbiased algorithms can still be problematic

This post is by Megan Rose Dickey from TechCrunch

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Creating unbiased, accurate algorithms isn’t impossible — it’s just time consuming.

“It actually is mathematically possible,” facial recognition startup Kairos CEO Brian Brackeen told me on a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt SF.

Algorithms are sets of rules that computers follow in order to solve problems and make decisions about a particular course of action. Whether it’s the type of information we receive, the information people see about us, the jobs we get hired to do, the credit cards we get approved for, and, down the road, the driverless cars that either see us or don’t, algorithms are increasingly becoming a big part of our lives. But there is an inherent problem with algorithms that begins at the most base level and persists throughout its adaption: human bias that is baked into these machine-based decision-makers.

Creating unbiased algorithms is a matter of having enough accurate data. It’s not about just having

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The war over music copyrights

This post is by Eric Peckham from TechCrunch

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VC firms haven’t been the only ones raising hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in a booming market. After 15+ years of being the last industry anyone wanted to invest in, the music industry is coming back, and money is flooding in to buy up the rights to popular songs.

As paid streaming subscriptions get mainstream adoption, the big music streaming services – namely Spotify, Apple Music, and Tencent Music, but also Pandora, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, and others – have entered their prime. There are now over 51 million paid subscription accounts among music streaming services in the US. The music industry grew 8% last year globally to $17.3 billion, driven by a 41% increase in streaming revenue and 45% increase in paid streaming revenue.

The surge in music streaming means a surge in income for those who own the copyrights to songs, and the

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Dad Adam Driver learns how to play Fortnite on SNL

This post is by Andrew Liptak from The Verge - All Posts

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Saturday Night Live returned for its 44th season this weekend, with The Last Jedi’s Adam Driver returning as host. While he didn’t reprise his role of Matt the Radar Technician from his 2016 appearance, he did jump on another cultural bandwagon: Fortnite.

The sketch opens with Dad Driver joining a squad, explaining that his ex-wife’s new husband has been playing the game with his son, and that he wants to find a way to keep up.

It doesn’t go well. Driver’s naïve character is truly out of his element, which makes for a fun skit in and of itself — running into walls and messing up the entire mission, but what really makes the sketch is the fact that SNL decided to forgo using game footage for the sketch. Instead, they reenacts the…

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Until data is misused, Facebook’s breach will be forgotten

This post is by Josh Constine from TechCrunch

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We cared about Cambridge Analytica because it could have helped elect Trump. We ignored LocationSmart because even the though the company was selling and exposing the real-time GPS coordinates of our phones, it was never clear exactly if or how that data was misused.

This idea, that privacy issues are abstract concepts for most people until they become security or ideological problems, is important to understanding Facebook’s massive breach revealed this week. 

The social network’s engineering was sloppy, allowing three bugs to be combined to steal the access tokens of 50 million people. In pursuit of rapid growth at affordable efficiency, Facebook failed to protect its users. This assessment doesn’t discount that. Facebook screwed up big time.

But despite the potential that those access tokens could have let the attackers take over user accounts, act as them, and scrape their personal info, it’s unclear how much users really care.

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Carpooling service Klaxit partners with Uber for last-minute changes

This post is by Romain Dillet from TechCrunch

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French startup Klaxit connects drivers with riders so that you don’t have to take your car to work every day. And the company recently announced a new feature with the help of Uber. If your driver cancels your ride home, Klaxit will book an Uber for you.

Klaxit is a ride-sharing startup that focuses on one thing — commuting to work. And this problem is more complicated than you might think. You can’t just go to work with the same person every day because you don’t always go to work at the same time. Similarly, sometimes your driver has to leave work early, leaving you at the office with no alternative.

As a driver, you want to take the quickest route to work. So you want to be matched with riders who are exactly on the way to work.

Klaxit currently handles 300,000 rides per day. In particular, the company

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Working Weekends

This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

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My friend Brad Feld takes a digital sabbath. No email, internet, phone for 24 hours from Friday night to Saturday night.

I’ve not been willing or able to do that but I do try to work less on the weekends.

I don’t go to the office under any circumstances on the weekends and I don’t take business meetings on the weekends either. I have told that to a few people over the years and they responded “I didn’t think I was business”. Oh well. I do not mean to offend.

I do generally spend Saturday morning in my home office catching up on personal/family work which I try not to do much of during the week. I remember my Dad doing the same when I was growing up. I did not consciously model that behavior after him but I do know where I got the idea.

The rest of the

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All the updates for Disney’s next Star Wars animated show, Star Wars Resistance

This post is by Andrew Liptak from The Verge - All Posts

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The third animated show from Dave Filoni

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Leak reveals Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6 might lack USB-C ports

This post is by Tom Warren from The Verge - All Posts

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Microsoft is holding a Surface hardware event on Tuesday (October 2nd) in New York City, and a new leak reveals the company will announce a Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6. We’d been expecting Microsoft to refresh both these devices at the event, but we’d also been assuming the new hardware would come with modern USB-C ports. Germany site WinFuture claims that neither the Surface Laptop 2 or Surface Pro 6 will include USB-C ports.

Instead, Microsoft is said to be sticking with its trusted mini DisplayPort and Surface Connector combo for connecting to displays and charging the device. If the report is genuine then this would be a surprising move from Microsoft, and it would also match rumored leaked photos of the Surface Laptop 2. The…

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Relike lets you turn a Facebook page into a newsletter

This post is by Romain Dillet from TechCrunch

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French startup Ownpage has recently released a new product called Relike. Relike is one of the easiest ways to get started with email newsletters. You enter the web address of your Facebook page and that’s about it.

The company automatically pulls your most recent posts from your Facebook page and lets you set up an emailing campaign in a few clicks. You can either automatically pick your most popular Facebook posts or manually select a few posts.

Just like any emailing service, you can choose between multiple templates, decide the day of the week and time of the day, import a database of email addresses and more. If you’ve used Mailchimp in the past, you’ll feel right at home.

But the idea isn’t to compete directly with newsletter services. Many social media managers, media organizations, small companies, nonprofits and sports teams already have a Facebook page but aren’t doing anything

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The Gardens Between is an unexpected lesson in theoretical physics

This post is by Michael Moore from The Verge - All Posts

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It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.

The Gardens Between is about two kids, Ariana and Frendt, exploring surreal islands that are made from objects in their shared memories. But you don’t actually control either character directly — you control the flow of time. At first this seems like a difficult thing to wrap your head around. But because of how you are able to observe the forward and backward movement of time, it all makes sense, as you’re able to understand the causality of events. However, when I think about how the characters might see these events…

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Nearly a quarter of US households own a smart speaker, according to Nielsen

This post is by Micah Singleton from The Verge - All Posts

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Smart speaker love is in full effect for US consumers, with 24 percent of US households owning a smart speaker, and 40 percent of those households owning multiple speakers, according to Nielsen’s latest study.

Devices like Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home speaker, and Apple’s HomePod have taken off in recent years, and it seems that trend is continuing, with Nielsen noting that 62 percent of smart speaker owners have purchased their devices in the past six months. Forty-five percent of smart speaker owners are planning to purchase more devices for their home, Nielsen said.

  <cite>Source: <a class="ql-link" href=";xs=1&amp;"  rel="nofollow noopener">Nielsen</a></cite>

According to the study, most people are using their smart speakers to listen to music, and 68 percent of people chat with their smart…

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What the heck is going on with measures of programming language popularity?

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I looked at the TIOBE index today, as I do every so often, as most of the software pros I know do every so often. It purports to measure the popularity of the world’s programming languages, and its popularity-over-time chart tells a simple story: Java and C are, and have been since time immemorial, by some distance the co-kings of language.

But wait. Not so fast. The rival “PYPL Index” (PopularitY of Programming Languages) says that Python and Java are co-kings, and C (which is lumped in with C++, surprisingly) is way down the list. What’s going on here?

What’s going on is that the two indexes have very different methodologies … although what their methodologies have in common is both are very questionable, if the objective is to measure the popularity of programming languages. TIOBE measures the sheer quantity of search engine hits. PYPL measures how often

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Everything coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now in October

This post is by Bryan Bishop from The Verge - All Posts

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October is nearly here, so it’s time to think about Halloween, and streaming services are doing their best to offer up a selection of the spooky, supernatural, and suspenseful. Netflix is leading the way with a number of original movies and TV shows coming to subscribers over the course of the month. Mike Flanagan’s TV series adaptation of the Shirley Jackson novel The Haunting of Hill House will arrive on October 12th, along with Apostle, the new period horror film from director Gareth Evans (The Raid). Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the latest adaptation of the Archie comic, will arrive on October 26th, and it looks to be including a healthy dose of Satanic weirdness to differentiate itself from the 1990s Melissa Joan Hart version….

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