Mark Zuckerberg: CEO, billionaire, troll

You know that guy. The one who pops into a chill online community and makes everyone miserable. The one who says he’s “just asking questions” about women able to do math, black people and evolution, shooting victims and paid actors, the validity of the Holocaust.

He’s the one that mods have to kick out for “JAQing off” (“Just Asking Questions”) because he clearly has bad intentions to harm the community and recruit hate. The troll who feigns naïveté and uses free speech as a foil.

This week we learned that if you give that guy a platform for his voice, he’ll out himself real fast. Right now, headlines blare Zuckerberg in Holocaust denial row and Fortune 500 C.E.O. Says Holocaust Deniers Must Be Given “a Voice”.

To be clear, on Tuesday Zuckerberg gave a wandering kid-glove interview with Kara Swisher of Recode, read more

Comic-Con 2018: ‘Glass’ Is the Movie M. Night Shyamalan Wanted to Make For Comics Fans

In 2000, when writer-director M. Night Shyamalan released Unbreakable, comic book movies weren’t a sure thing: Iron Man was still eight years away, and the larger-universe model that the X-Men franchise hinted at had yet to be fully realized. So even though he’d made a movie with strong comic book themes, no one wanted him to emphasize that point.

“I was on a conference call with the studio, and they were saying we can’t mention the word ‘comic books’ or ‘superheroes’ because it’s too fringe,” Shyamalan told the crowd at Comic-Con International’s Hall H on Friday. They didn’t want to, he continued, attract “‘those people that go to those conventions’—that was literally a quote.”

As turned out, Unbreakable faltered when it was released. Despite starring both Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, it garnered about a third of the box office take of Shyamalan’s knockout studio debut, The Sixth Sense. “It was disheartening,” read more

YouTube CEO’s latest update details its growth, glosses over content problems

YouTube highlighted its growth and promised better communication with creators about its tests and experiments, the company announced today in its latest of an ongoing series of updates from CEO Susan Wojcicki focused on YouTube’s top five priorities in 2018. The majority of her missive today – which was also released in the form of a YouTube video – were wrap-ups of other announcements and launches the company had recently made, like the new features released at this year’s VidCon including Channel Memberships, merchandise, and Famebit.

However, the company did offer a few updates related to those launches, including news of expanded merch partnerships. But YouTube didn’t detail the crucial steps it should be taking to address the content issues that continue to plague its site.

YouTube said one way it’s improving communication is via Creator Insider, an unofficial channel started by YouTube read more

San Francisco aims to issue electric scooter permits next month

Companies seeking a permit to operate in the city had to submit an application by June 7th, and the SFMTA has been reviewing the dozen applications it received, assessing them for safety, sustainability, access, accountability, financial impact and other measures. Up to five companies will be selected to participate in a year-long pilot program that will evaluate the scooters and their impact. As many as 1,250 scooters may be allowed to operate in San Francisco during the first six months of the trial, and depending on how things play out, an additional 1,250 may be approved for the last half of the trial period.

Once the final firms are selected, the SFMTA will work with them to finalize and clarify the permit terms and conditions. Permits should be issued in August.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/20/san-francisco-issue-electric-scooter-permits-next-month/

By Firing James Gunn During Comic-Con, Marvel’s Reckoning Came at the Worst Time Possible

Just a few years ago, James Gunn was a champion of the Comic-Con cosmos, having arrived at the convention in 2013 to show off early footage from Guardians of the Galaxy, the Marvel adaptation that would become the director’s breakthrough hit. But on Friday, the 51-year-old filmmaker pulled out of a convention appearance, where he was to make a surprise announcement at a Sony Pictures panel. Whatever that particular revelation was, it paled in comparison to the day’s breaking news: Disney, which as Marvel Studios’ parent company had released both Guardians and its 2017 sequel, had fired the director after a series of years-old tweets had resurfaced. “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values,” noted Disney chairman Alan Horn in a statement. “And we have severed our business relationship with him.”

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Wilson is like Longreads for podcasts

Meet Wilson, a new iPhone app that plans to change the way you discover and listen to podcasts. The company describes the app as a podcast magazine. It has the same vibe as Longreads, the curated selection of longform articles.

With its minimalistic design and opinionated typography, Wilson looks like no other podcasting app. On an iPhone X, the black background looks perfectly black thanks to the OLED display. It feels like an intimate experience.

Every week, the team selects a handful of podcast episodes all tied together by the same topic. Those topics can be the Supreme Court, the LGBTQ community, loneliness, dads, the World Cup…

Each issue has a cover art and a short description. And the team also tells you why each specific podcast episode is interesting. In other words, Wilson isn’t just an audio experience. You can listen to episodes in the app or open them in Apple Podcasts.

Navigating in the app is all based on swipes. You can scroll through past editions by swiping left and read more

‘Ghost Recon Wildlands’ adds a hardcore permadeath mode

The mode is available for every difficulty setting and will be available to everyone for free, although Year 2 Pass holders will get first crack. You’ll have to wait until July 31st if you don’t want to pay extra.

There’s more than just a no-forgiveness option, of course. Ubisoft is adding two player-versus-player maps, and it’s revamping its Prestige economy to both let you earn credits in the regular campaign (not just Ghost War) and spend it on Prestige Packs that include customization. You’ll also find an eSports- and stream-friendly Observer Mode for watching custom matches, a new victory screen to let you celebrate your triumphs and a True Solo mode that turns off AI teammates.

Ubisoft is still keeping some details close to the vest (such as player-versus-environment missions, new themes and new classes). However, it’s evident that the developer is following a strategy like the one that keeps read more

Niantic explains how and why it bans players in Pokémon GO

Getting banned for cheating is nothing new in Pokémon GO. There’ve been big ol’ ban waves every few weeks for ages now.

The policies have never been totally set in stone, however — at least not publicly. Like many of the game’s mechanics, the player base has had to share info amongst themselves to figure out the offenses and their relative punishments, from slaps on the wrist to lifetime bans.

At long last, Niantic has published a proper “Three-Strike Discipline Policy.”

As the name implies, most infractions will be handled on a three-strike system. Niantic notes, however, that “some misbehaviors” (they leave that one pretty open-ended) will work out to an instant perma ban.

So what’s worthy of a strike? Spoofing (making the game think you’re somewhere you’re not), using modified Pokémon GO clients or bots or doing something that accesses Pokémon GO’s backend in an unauthorized way.

On the first strike, you’ll get a warning message. You’ll still be able to play, read more

Facebook Confirms It’s Working on a New Internet Satellite

Fiber optic cables are the gold standard of a good internet connection, but laying them can be expensive, and in some parts of the world, a physically daunting task. So in remote corners of the globe, people often connect to the internet instead via massive geostationary satellites. These school bus-size instruments are especially far away, producing significantly slower connections. A host of companies believe the better way to connect the estimated half of Earth’s population that’s still offline is to launch “constellations” of smaller satellites into low Earth orbit, around 100 to 1,250 miles above our planet.

According to emails obtained from the Federal Communications Commission in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by WIRED, and a confirmation from the company itself, Facebook is officially one of them.

The emails show that the social network wants to launch Athena, its very own internet satellite, in early 2019. The new device is designed read more

Senate gives up on ZTE sanctions

Earlier this year, the US banned ZTE from working with US companies after the firm shipped US-made parts to Iran and North Korea and then lied about giving executives involved in the deals large bonuses. But in June, the Commerce Department announced that it and the Trump administration had come to an agreement with ZTE and sanctions would be lifted as long as the company paid a $1 billion penalty, put $400 million in escrow, installed new directors and embedded a US-selected corporate monitor.

US lawmakers, however, weren’t satisfied with the deal and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) told the Wall Street Journal last month, “China is using its telecommunications companies as means to conduct espionage. We need to solve the larger puzzle of trade and national security in addition to read more