Software bugs reportedly keep Arizona inmates jailed past release dates

From: Software bugs reportedly keep Arizona inmates jailed past release dates | Ars Technica:

A failure to update critical prison management software has kept hundreds of incarcerated people in Arizona behind bars longer than they should be, according to a whistleblower report.

Hmm, how could that be? ….

…. neither inmates nor their families should contact anyone to request an eligibility review. “This is done automatically based on system programming, which generates a list… “

… ah, what could possibly go wrong.

That’s some high pressure programming responsibilty right there.

“We knew from day one this wasn’t going to work,” a source in the Department of Corrections told KJZZ. “When they approved that bill, we looked at it and said ‘Oh, shit.'”

And some hindsight for good mearure too!

Facebook Australia: Tech giant faces growing criticism over news ban – BBC News

Updated 20/02/2021 it’s Tim Burners-Lee quote

From: Facebook Australia: Tech giant faces growing criticism over news ban:

The law will force tech giants to pay for news content on their platforms.
Facebook says the legislation “fundamentally misunderstands” its relationship with publishers.
But politicians, publishers and rights groups in several countries have accused it of bullying, and raised concerns over access to information.
Under Facebook’s new rules, Australian users are blocked from viewing and sharing local and international news, while local publishers are restricted from sharing or posting any links on their pages.

It’s not very often I side with Facebook, but unless someone can better explain this to me, certainly as a believer of a free and open Internet (warts and all), how is it fair that Facebook are expected to pay if Australian ‘me’ shares a link on it’s platform?

Australian authorities say they drew up the legislation to “level the playing field” on profits between the tech giants and struggling publishers. Of every A$100 (£56; $77) spent on digital advertising in Australian media these days, A$81 goes to Google and Facebook.

This is admirable, but surely the publishers opportunity to generate revenue is from visitors, Facebook generates those visitors, Facebook is good for their business no? Taxing them like this just seems like greed (or underlines publisher’s not moving quickly enough with the times to change their revenue model).

Or am I missing a massive part of this?

From Tim Burners-Lee:

Specifically, I am concerned that that code risks breaching a fundamental principle of the web by requiring payment for linking between certain content online,” Berners-Lee told a Senate committee scrutinizing a bill that would create the New Media Bargaining Code.

If the code is deployed globally, it could “make the web unworkable around the world”, he said.

Agree, and better put than me, they’re breaking how the Internet works

Apple Watch study on early COVID-19 detection graduates to peer-reviewed status – 9to5Mac

From: Apple Watch study on early COVID-19 detection graduates to peer-reviewed status:

A new study from Mount Sinai researchers published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research found that wearable hardware, and specifically the Apple Watch, can effectively predict a positive COVID-19 diagnosis up to a week before current PCR-based nasal swab tests.

I’m by no means an expert on the science, but I love the fact that consumer tech, afforable to many, has the prospect to have such benefits, not just for COVID but for the other similar challenges that are sure to follow

Twitter Mulls Subscription Product – what would make you signup?

From: Twitter Mulls Subscription Product, Tipping For Generating Revenue:

To explore potential options outside ad sales, a number of Twitter teams are researching subscription offerings ….. Other possible ways to generate recurring revenue include charging for the use of services like Tweetdeck or advanced user features like “undo send” or profile-customization options.

I was a big fan of Tweetdeck in the day, now I happily subscribe to Tweetbot on iOS / Mac, do you pay for your Twitter client, or would you consider it? If so what would be the reall killer feature to make you sign up?

Making GitHub’s new homepage fast and performant

From: github.blog/2021-01-29-making-githubs-new-homepage-fast-and-performant/

Creating a page full of product shots, animations, and videos that still loads fast and performs well can be tricky

I’m a long way out of modern front end web design and development techniques, but I love reading up on how others are making the best of the tech available, Github unsurprisingly are at the forefront and share how.

I’m in awe of some of the approaches front end developers are taking, any current techniques to optimise and enhance that I’ve missed out on?

GitHub homepage

Parler, Free Speech and the case for moderation – but who should do it?

From: Google suspends ‘free speech’ app Parler – BBC News:

Google has suspended “free speech” social network Parler from its Play Store over its failure to remove “egregious content”.

It’s been a busy weekend for Parler, seeing themselves removed from Google Play, the Apple App Store, and having their underlying hosting services revoked by AWS. Effectively the ‘unbiased’ free speech advocating social networking platform is dead.

It should be said that I’m based in the UK, we have freedom of speech here, much like the US, and we have the same problems as much of the Western World does, the illusion that Freedom of Speech also provides Freedom from Consequence. It doesn’t and shouldn’t in my opinion, and nor does it offer you a guarantee that you will have a platform to share that speech.  Prior to blocking the app Apple had warned them that they needed to moderate their content, the opposite of Parler’s goal, should Apple be able to dictate that?  Possibly not, but certainly they do have the rights to remove the app, it’s their storefront.

Private companies such as Facebook, Twitter (who have both banned Donald Trump over last weeks events at the Capitol) can choose who can and can’t use their services, there is no given right to access, which is what has led to services like Parler springing up, promising no bias, and full freedom (as is their right) – but as they have discovered – there are other private companies further up the chain who have rights to choose what traffic and content goes through their systems. Of course these private companies are also subject to external pressure, political, social, religious and more, but ultimately they have power over your ‘Freedoms’ and some people are not happy about this.

For me I’m in the camp that if it’s got to the point that your hosting provider says your content is bad, then it’s better off unseen. There are other hosting providers, if they aren’t happy either then maybe you should take the hint.

I won’t miss Parler

Hopefully I can keep below the 1 million USD threshold!

If your proceeds surpass the 1 million USD threshold in 2021, the standard commission rate will apply for the rest of the year.

Nice problem to have!

Google is killing off Android Things


Google is killing off Android Things, its OS for IoT devices:

It wouldn’t be a “normal” year without Google killing off a service or platform

If anyone ever asks you why developers favour iOS over Android this is it, why should I invest my time and resources on a platform that has a habit of canning things a year or two in 🙁

Salesforce is acquiring workplace chat app Slack for $27.7 billion


Salesforce is acquiring workplace chat app Slack for $27.7 billion – The Verge:

Cloud computing giant Salesforce is acquiring workplace chat app Slack, the two companies announced on Tuesday. … Salesforce is paying $27.7 billion for Slack

As someone who love’s, and lives in Slack all day this makes me nervous, on one hand this could be the backing and pressure release Slack needs to keep innovating, compete with Teams (and drive them), or it could be another of those Big Co. kills successful startup – please don’t break this.

Microsoft patents tech to see if you’re paying attention in that Teams call!

From Microsoft patents tech to score meetings using body language, facial expressions, other data – GeekWire:

The system uses cameras, sensors, and software tools to determine, for example, “how much a participant contributes to a meeting vs performing other tasks (e.g., texting, checking email, browsing the Internet).”

From now on I think I’m going Camera’s off