Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Slashdot

Slashdot
News for nerds, stuff that matters
Updated: 12 min 28 sec ago

Alcohol-Related Car Accidents Declined In New York After Introduction of Uber, Analysis Finds

Fri, 07/04/2017 - 1:20am
According to a new paper from Jessica Lynn Peck of the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, ride-hailing services may have helped reduce alcohol-related traffic accidents by 25-30% in New York City. The report specifically focuses on Uber, which was first introduced in the city in May 2011, and looks at how the ride-hailing service has impacted New York City. The Economist notes in its report that Uber is "largely banned outside of New York City." From the report: To control for factors unrelated to Uber's launch such as adverse weather conditions, Ms Peck compares accident rates in each of New York's five boroughs to those in the counties where Uber was not present, picking those that had the most similar population density and pre-2011 drunk-driving rate. The four boroughs which were quick to adopt Uber -- Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx-- all saw decreases in alcohol-related car crashes relative to their controls. By contrast, Staten Island, where Uber caught on more slowly, saw no such decrease.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook To Use Photo-Matching To Block Repeat 'Revenge Porn'

Fri, 07/04/2017 - 12:40am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from AOL: Facebook is adding tools to make it easier for users to report so-called "revenge porn" and to automatically prevent the images from being shared again once they have been banned, the company said. "Revenge porn" refers to the sharing of sexually explicit images on the internet, without the consent of the people depicted in the pictures, in order to extort or humiliate them. The practice disproportionately affects women, who are sometimes targeted by former partners. Beginning on Wednesday, users of the world's largest social network should see an option to report a picture as inappropriate specifically because it is a "nude photo of me," Facebook said in a statement. The company also said it was launching an automated process to prevent the repeat sharing of banned images. Photo-matching software will keep the pictures off the core Facebook network as well as off its Instagram and Messenger services, it said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Uber Contract 'Gibberish', Says MP Investigating Gig Economy

Fri, 07/04/2017 - 12:00am
A committee of MPs has lambasted Uber's contracts with drivers as "gibberish" and "almost unintelligible" as the company attempts to ensure its drivers remain self-employed. From a report: Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions select committee that is carrying out an investigation into the so-called gig economy, said: "Quite frankly the Uber contract is gibberish. They are well aware that many, if not most, of their drivers speak English as a second language -- they recently lost a court case trying to escape Transport for London's new English testing rules for private hire drivers -- yet their contract is almost unintelligible." [...] Publishing full details of Uber's contract terms, along with those for the takeaway courier firm Deliveroo and Amazon, Field said all three used some kind of "egregious clause" which attempted to prevent people challenging their "self-employed" designation, although neither Uber's nor Amazon's contract went as far as Deliveroo's, in the committee's view.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

YouTube Now Requires Channels To Have More Than 10K Views To Make Money Off Ads

Thu, 06/04/2017 - 11:20pm
YouTube is getting a little pickier about who can make money there. From a report on CNET: Google's massive video site said Thursday that channels must reach 10,000 total views before they qualify to run ads, the most direct way to make money there. The logic, essentially, is to remove one of the main incentives that spur bad actors to set up bogus accounts with somebody else's content -- the easy money. It also comes two weeks after YouTube suffered big advertiser pull-outs after a rash of news reports about brands' commercials running next to objectionable videos, like those with racist language.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

London Police Ink Shadowy Deal With Industry On Website Takedowns

Thu, 06/04/2017 - 11:00pm
AmiMoJo writes: The EFF is warning about unregulated activity against websites by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) of the City of London Police. A program called RogueBlock accepts notifications from IP holders, which the PIPCU then acts on, giving private companies legal jurisdiction over the entire internet, with appeals in the case of malicious reports and mistakes being extremely difficult to make. For example, Spanish sports streaming site Rojadirecta had its domain name seized by the U.S. government for over a year, despite the site being lawful in its native Spain. The EFF terms this kind of activity "Shadow Regulation."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New Destructive Malware Intentionally Bricks IoT Devices

Thu, 06/04/2017 - 10:40pm
An anonymous reader writes: "A new malware strain called BrickerBot is intentionally bricking Internet of Things (IoT) devices around the world by corrupting their flash storage capability and reconfiguring kernel parameters. The malware spreads by launching brute-force attacks on IoT (BusyBox-based) devices with open Telnet ports. After BrickerBot attacks, device owners often have to reinstall the device's firmware, or in some cases, replace the device entirely. Attacks started on March 20, and two versions have been seen. One malware strain launches attacks from hijacked Ubiquiti devices, while the second, more advanced, is hidden behind Tor exit nodes. Several security researchers believe this is the work of an internet vigilante fed up with the amount of insecure IoT devices connected to the internet and used for DDoS attacks. "Wow. That's pretty nasty," said Cybereason security researcher Amit Serper after Bleeping Computer showed him Radware's security alert. "They're just bricking it for the sake of bricking it. [They're] deliberately destroying the device."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitter Co-Founder Ev Williams Is Selling 30 Percent of His Stock For 'Personal' Reasons

Thu, 06/04/2017 - 10:00pm
The co-founder and current board member of Twitter, Ev Williams, said today that he plans to sell a "minority of [his] TWTR" stock over the next year, and doesn't plan to sell "more than 30 percent" of his holdings. Williams is the company's largest individual shareholder, so his recent announcement may make some investors worried. However, Twitter stock was only down less than 1 percent Thursday following this news. Recode reports: Williams was careful to say the sale was for "personal" reasons, not company performance reasons. Twitter's stock is down more than 15 percent over the past three months. Williams explained the sale in a blog post, and wrote that he has spent a lot of money investing through his venture fund, Obvious Ventures, and also donated a lot to charity and political campaigns over the past year. "I'd like to continue," he added. Williams sold about $4 million in stock this week, according to an SEC filing, and has set up a 10b5-1 trading plan, which means he'll sell at pre-determined dates moving forward to avoid any concerns over insider trading.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Uber Said To Use 'Sophisticated' Software To Defraud Drivers, Passengers

Thu, 06/04/2017 - 9:20pm
A class-action lawsuit against Uber alleges that Uber has "devised a 'clever and sophisticated' scheme in which it manipulates navigation data used to determine 'upfront' rider fare prices while secretly short-changing the driver," reports Ars Technica. "When a rider uses Uber's app to hail a ride, the fare the app immediately shows to the passenger is based on a slower and longer route compared to the one displayed to the driver. The software displays a quicker, shorter route for the driver. But the rider pays the higher fee, and the driver's commission is paid from the cheaper, faster route, according to the lawsuit." From the report: This latest lawsuit (PDF) claims that Uber implemented the so-called "upfront" pricing scheme in September and informed drivers that fares are calculated on a per-mile and per-minute charge for the estimated distance and time of a ride. "However, the software that calculates the upfront price that is displayed and charged to the Users calculates the expected distance and time utilizing a route that is often longer in both distance and time to the one displayed in the driver's application," according to the suit. In the end, the rider pays a higher fee because the software calculates a longer route and displays that to the passenger. Yet the driver is paid a lower rate based on a quicker route, according to the suit. Uber keeps "the difference charged to the User and the fare reported to the driver, in addition to the service fee and booking fee disclosed to drivers," according to the suit.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.