Fill The Void In Your Life With Plants During this One-Day Amazon Sale

After that Washington Post article came out about millennials and their houseplants, I felt incredibly seen. But, I continue to buy them and care for them (to the best of my ability, which is not that great) and if you want to keep adding to your greenhouse, Amazon has some very easy-to-care-for plants on sale for…

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Source: LifeHacker – Fill The Void In Your Life With Plants During this One-Day Amazon Sale

Silicon Valley Investors Wants to Fund a 'Good For Society' Facebook Replacement

Silicon Valley angel investor Jason Calacanis just announced the “Openbook Challenge,” a competition to create a replacement for Facebook.

“Over the next three months, 20 finalists will compete for seven $100,000 incubator grants,” explains long-time Slashdot reader reifman. “Their goal is to find startups with a sustainable business model e.g. subscriptions, reasonable advertising, cryptocurrency. etc. And they want it to be ‘good for society.'”
Jason Calacanis writes:
All community and social products on the internet have had their era, from AOL to MySpace, and typically they’re not shut down by the government — they’re slowly replaced by better products. So, let’s start the process of replacing Facebook… We already have two dozen quality teams cranking on projects and we hope to get to 100…

This is not an idea or business plan competition. We’re looking for teams that can actually build a better social network, and we’ll be judging teams primarily based upon their ability to execute… Keep in mind, that while ideas really matter, Zuckerberg has shown us, execution matters more.
Calacanis has even created a discussion group for the competition…on Facebook. And his announcement includes a famous quote from Mark Zuckerberg.

“Don’t be too proud to copy.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Silicon Valley Investors Wants to Fund a ‘Good For Society’ Facebook Replacement

Battle royale hybrid 'Darwin Project' is now free to play

It’s tough to compete in the battle royale world, especially with Fortnite in the room. How do you convince players to try your game if they aren’t immediately enraptured? Scavengers Studio knows how: give it away. The company has turned E3 darling T…

Source: Engadget – Battle royale hybrid ‘Darwin Project’ is now free to play

Could We Fund a Universal Basic Income with Universal Basic Assets?

Universal Basic Incomes aren’t really the issue, argues Fast Company staff writer Ben Schiller. “It’s how you find $2 trillion to pay for it.”
One answer may come in the form of “universal basic assets” (UBA). UBA can mean a fund of publicly-owned infrastructure or revenue streams — like Alaska’s Permanent Fund which pays residents up to $2,000 a year from state oil taxes. Or, it can mean actual assets that drive down the cost of living, like tuition-free education and free public broadband. There are lots of proposals going around now that fall into these two camps…

Entrepreneur Peter Barnes has called for the creation of a Sky Trust that would both limit the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and provide revenue from carbon taxes. These “carbon dividends” solve two problems at once: income inequality and climate change. He would also tax corporations for using natural resources, on the thinking that the atmosphere, minerals and fresh water around us represent a “joint inheritance.” He would also tax speculative financial transactions and use of the electromagnetic spectrum. The U.K. think-tank IPPR recently proposed a similar “sovereign wealth fund owned by and run in the interests of citizens.” It would finance the fund with “a scrip tax of up to 3% requiring businesses to issue equity to the government, or pay a tax of equivalent value,” sales of land owned by the U.K. monarchy, and higher inheritance taxes.

Blockchain can help. Blockchain technology could offer a way to divide publicly-owned infrastructure so it’s genuinely publicly-owned. We could issue tokenized securities in the assets around us giving everyone a stake in their environment. Then they could trade those tokens on exchanges, like they were cryptocurrencies, or use the tokens as collateral on loans.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Could We Fund a Universal Basic Income with Universal Basic Assets?

Apple will shutter its last Watch-exclusive store in May

On May 13th, the last Apple Watch-exclusive store will close its doors. The shop, which is located inside Shinjuku, Tokyo’s posh Isetan department store, is one of the three pop-ups the tech titan built when it launched the wearable back in 2015. Twi…

Source: Engadget – Apple will shutter its last Watch-exclusive store in May

NYT: Lynchings Around the World are Linked To Facebook Posts

An anonymous reader quotes the New York Times:
Riots and lynchings around the world have been linked to misinformation and hate speech on Facebook, which pushes whatever content keeps users on the site longest — a potentially damaging practice in countries with weak institutions and histories of social instability. Time and again, communal hatreds overrun the newsfeed unchecked as local media are displaced by Facebook and governments find themselves with little leverage over the company. Some users, energized by hate speech and misinformation, plot real-world attacks.

A reconstruction of Sri Lanka’s descent into violence, based on interviews with officials, victims and ordinary users caught up in online anger, found that Facebook’s newsfeed played a central role in nearly every step from rumor to killing. Facebook officials, they say, ignored repeated warnings of the potential for violence, resisting pressure to hire moderators or establish emergency points of contact… Sri Lankans say they see little evidence of change. And in other countries, as Facebook expands, analysts and activists worry they, too, may see violence.

A Facebook spokeswoman countered that “we remove such content as soon as we’re made aware of it,” and said they’re now trying to expand those teams and investing in “technology and local language expertise to help us swiftly remove hate content.” But one anti-hate group told the Times that Facebook’s reporting tools are too slow and ineffective.

“Though they and government officials had repeatedly asked Facebook to establish direct lines, the company had insisted this tool would be sufficient, they said. But nearly every report got the same response: the content did not violate Facebook’s standards.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – NYT: Lynchings Around the World are Linked To Facebook Posts

Teen who hacked top US officials gets two years in prison

The teenager who founded the hacking group that broke into ex-CIA chief John Brennan’s email has been sentenced to serve two years at a youth detention center. Kane Gamble went by the alias “Cracka” when he and his group “Crackas With Attitude” targe…

Source: Engadget – Teen who hacked top US officials gets two years in prison

WikiLeaks loses access to a key cryptocurrency account

This hasn’t been the best week for WikiLeaks, to put it mildly. Coinbase has shut off the WikiLeaks Shop’s account for allegedly violating the cryptocurrency exchange’s terms of service. In other words, the leak site just lost its existing means of…

Source: Engadget – WikiLeaks loses access to a key cryptocurrency account

Many Amazon Warehouse Workers are on Food Stamps

Many of Amazon’s warehouse workers have to buy their groceries with food stamps through America’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, reports the Intercept.
In Arizona, new data suggests that one in three of the company’s own employees depend on SNAP to put food on the table. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, the figure appears to be around one in 10. Overall, of five states that responded to a public records request for a list of their top employers of SNAP recipients, Amazon cracked the top 20 in four.
Though the company now employs 200,000 people in the United States, many of its workers are not making enough money to put food on the table… “The average warehouse worker at Walmart makes just under $40,000 annually, while at Amazon would take home about $24,300 a year,” CNN reported in 2013. “That’s less than $1,000 above the official federal poverty line for a family of four.”
In addition Amazon uses temp workers who may also be on food stamps, notes the article, adding that in 2017 Amazon received $1.2 billion in state and local subsidies, while effectively paying no federal income tax.
“The American people are financing Amazon’s pursuit of an e-commerce monopoly every step of the way: first, with tax breaks, subsidies, and infrastructure improvements meant to lure fulfillment centers into town, and later with federal transfers to pay for warehouse workers’ food.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Many Amazon Warehouse Workers are on Food Stamps

AMD Ryzen 7 2800X Rumored Ready To Counter Incoming Intel 8-Core Coffee Lake-S

AMD Ryzen 7 2800X Rumored Ready To Counter Incoming Intel 8-Core Coffee Lake-S
AMD just released its second-generation 12nm Ryzen Zen+ processors, with the range-topping model being the Ryzen 7 2700X. However, Senior Vice President Jim Anderson is hinting that a faster chip, the Ryzen 7 2800X, will become the new flagship of the mainstream Ryzen family later this year.
It’s no secret that Intel is preparing to unleash

Source: Hot Hardware – AMD Ryzen 7 2800X Rumored Ready To Counter Incoming Intel 8-Core Coffee Lake-S

What Happens When Restaurants Go Cashless

There’s a new trend starting: restaurants that won’t accept cash. USA Today reports:
Restaurant owners say ordering is faster from customers who slap down plastic instead of dollars, cutting a few seconds out of the process. But most of the benefits appear to accrue to the restaurants: less time taken counting bills, reduced pilferage, no armored-car fees or fear of stickups. It’s a risky strategy. For starters, upscale Millennials — among the most coveted of diners because of their youth and affluence — prefer to pay in cash, according to Bankrate.com data. Also, more than a third of Americans between the ages of 18 and 37 do not have a credit card. For customers, patronizing restaurants that don’t take cash means one less payment option when they need a quick meal during an all-too-short lunch hour. Plus, it raises questions about whether it discriminates against cardless teens and the poor… A committee in Chicago is weighing Alderman Edward Burke’s proposed requirement that merchants accept cash. Massachusetts has had a Discrimination Against Cash Buyers rule on the books since 1978… Lana Swartz, co-editor of the book Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff, says “One of the cornerstones of American capitalism is everyone’s money is equal.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports:
Many business owners would rather be cashless. Cash actually costs money — banks charge fees for cash deposits and to handle coins… And counting and checking cash and preparing it for deposit takes up time a manager could spend with staff or customers… Millions of consumers use little or no cash. In a survey released last month by the financial services company Capital One, only 21 percent of 2,000 people questioned said cash was their most common way to pay for things. But going cashless isn’t a slam-dunk. Some customers who want to use cash point to a statement on paper money: “This note is legal tender for all debts public and private.” However, the Federal Reserve says on its website that private companies can make their own policies about cash unless there is a state law saying otherwise.
One Houston restauranteur changed his mind about going cashless, saying “You can’t compete if you think you’re going to create a whole set of rules and expect people to follow them.” One Chicago restauranteur admits that “it has generated the most negative pushback of anything we’ve ever done,” estimating revenue fell 2% just from angry cash customers who never returned.

But he persisted because his eight restaurants had experienced six burglaries, break-ins or armed robberies over the last eight years — and got “dozens and dozens” of counterfeit bills from customers — while by going cashless, he no longer has to pay for bank fees and armored car pickups.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – What Happens When Restaurants Go Cashless

Coinbase Reportedly Shuts Down Wikileaks Store, Assange Calls for Boycott in Response

Wikileaks, the whistle-blowing organization which is now almost solely run by founder and fugitive Julian Assange from a small room in the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he is claiming asylum from the police, claims that one of its official stores has been taken down by cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

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Source: Gizmodo – Coinbase Reportedly Shuts Down Wikileaks Store, Assange Calls for Boycott in Response