Moderators Break Facebook NDAs to Tell All

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Three Facebook moderators have broken their NDAs and told The Verge what they saw at the company’s moderation sites. It is a gripping, horrifying, read.

[Kevin] Utley worked the overnight shift at a Facebook content moderation site in Tampa, FL, operated by a professional services vendor named Cognizant. The 800 or so workers there face relentless pressure from their bosses to better enforce the social network’s community standards, which receive near-daily updates that leave its contractor workforce in a perpetual state of uncertainty. The Tampa site has routinely failed to meet the 98 percent “accuracy” target set by Facebook. In fact, with a score that has been hovering around 92, it is Facebook’s worst-performing site in North America. The stress of the job weighed on Utley, according to his former co-workers, who, like all Facebook contractors at the Tampa site, must sign a 14-page nondisclosure agreement. “The stress they put on him — it’s unworldly,” one of Utley’s managers told me. “I did a lot of coaching. I spent some time talking with him about things he was having issues seeing. And he was always worried about getting fired.” On the night of March 9th, 2018, Utley slumped over at his desk.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Launches July 21

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Harry Potter Wizards Unite

Niantic announced that its upcoming augmented reality game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, will launch this Friday, July 21. In a press conference outside Universal Studio’s Wizarding World in Florida, Niantic said it would hold Wizards Unite events similar to its Pokémon GO Fests. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is set in J.K. Rowling’s fictional universe where players help protect the wizarding world from exposure to muggles. Players will use their smartphones to capture magical creatures running loose, hunt potion ingredients, and use portkeys to travel to popular locations in the wizarding world.

Openly Operated Wants to Improve Privacy Policies

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Openly Operated is a certification for apps and services. The certification process ensures that they live up to their privacy and security claims with an audit.

An OO-certified app or site must meet three criteria. First, it needs to demonstrate “a basic level of transparency” by making its code and infrastructure — among other things — public and fully documented. Second, it needs to lay out its policy in the form of “claims with proof,” establishing what user data is collected, who can access it, and how it’s being protected. Third, those claims must be evaluated by an OO-certified auditor who then makes the audit results public.

I’ve complained about privacy policies before, and this sounds like a great idea. I hope it gets traction.

Bitcoin Inventor Claims Battle Heads to Court

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Physical bitcoin in someone's hand

Craig Wright says he is Satoshi Nakamoto – the inventor of Bitcoin.  Many dispute his claim. That includes Ether creator Vitalik Buterin. The two men clashed a conference and now Mr. Wright is going to court, Bloomberg News reported.

The supposed fraud is Craig Wright, an Australian-born technologist who gained notoriety three years ago when he declared himself the inventor of Bitcoin. The provocateur is Vitalik Buterin, a baby-faced Russian-Canadian programmer who helped create another popular digital currency called Ether. No one disputes Buterin’s role in Ether; many reject Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious genius behind Bitcoin…At some point, Wright determined the courts could be a useful venue for achieving his own goals. Wright, who says he holds a master’s degree in law from Northumbria University in the U.K., hopes a series of lawsuits can establish himself as the father of Bitcoin. “This will give me the chance to prove my credentials in front of a judge, rather than being judged by Twitter,” Wright told Bloomberg in an email.

Pro Users Tell What They Think of the New Mac Pro

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AppleInsider writes:

Apple aimed the new Mac Pro at the most demanding of all high-end users, so we went to users like that and asked what they thought. Video editors, medical experts and the Department of Defense are all considering this new Mac closely.

Hearing the reactions and purchase plans from pro users carries enormous weight.

What if Plants Could Be Smart Home Devices?

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What if plants could be smart home devices? That’s the idea of Harpreet Sareen and Pattie Maes in their cyborg botany research.

These experiments led the researchers to possible future applications that include sending notifications—the plant might jiggle to alert you when your package is delivered, for instance—or as a motion sensor, which could help you keep track of your pet or be applied to security systems.

Cool idea. When most people talk about “invisible interfaces” they usually mean things like smart clothing or using your voice like with a HomePod. Now if only trees transmitted Wi-Fi…

What Finder Sync on macOS Catalina Looks Like

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In macOS Catalina, you won’t sync your iDevices in iTunes. Instead, you’ll have Finder sync. Stephen Hackett gives us an idea of what it will look like and how it works.

When you plug in an iPod to a Mac running Catalina, the device appears in the Finder sidebar,and clicking it reveals a wide range of syncing options, organized in a much nicer fashion that what is found in iTunes 12…

As you would imagine, each section in this interface surfaces content across various apps on the system. For example, Finder sees the local files I have in the new Music app…

Critically, most of the UI is pretty much the same.

Cardhop 1.1 Adds Multiple Business Cards, Template Settings, More

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Cardhop 1.1 came out today, bringing with it a lot of improvements: Template settings to customize fields and labels for new contacts; smart group templates: Create smart groups that automatically update based on common contact searches; multiple business cards: create separate business cards for different situations; business card settings automatically sync between devices using iCloud; stickers! Express yourself in iMessage with Cardhop’s sticker pack; Gravatar support to automatically find contact photos by email when adding or editing contacts; support for sending messages to groups with the parser; added YouTube social profile label, and more. App Store: US$3.99

Cardhop 1.1 Adds Multiple Business Cards, Template Settings, More

Body Suite 2 Update Offers New Keep and Contacts Apps

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Boxy Suite is a collection of Google apps on the Mac, to give users a native, non-web experience. Today Boxy Suite 2 is rolling out, with automatic dark mode; new apps for Google Keep and Google Contacts; a quick launcher to change your account, navigate between sections, and launch task managers; integration with task managers like Things, OmniFocus, 2Do, and Todoist; instant account switching; unread counts for all accounts; notifications for all accounts; improved Minimal Mode; and opening links in the background. The Dashboard has also been revamped, and a bunch of fixes in Boxy for Calendar are also available.

Body Suite 2 Update Offers New Keep and Contacts Apps

iOS 13 Will Warn You When You Delete an App With an Active Subscription

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A new popup warning users when they are about to delete an app with an active subscription was spotted in the second beta of iOS 13. Cult of Mac reported that the pop also features a “Manage Subscription” button so users cancel any subscriptions they no longer want.

The new popup, spotted in the second iPadOS beta by Federico Viticci, asks “Do you want to keep your subscription for this app?” The prompt explains that you can continue to use your subscription on other devices, and reminds you when the subscription will renew. If you want to cancel, you can tap the “Manage Subscription” button.This will take you directly to the subscriptions section in the App Store, where you can cancel any subs you no longer need