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Apple raises iOS cellular download limit to 200MB

It's a welcome addition, and could be helpful if you absolutely need an app when you're away from WiFi. However, it may still be too modest for some. It's not too hard to find apps for productivity and social networking that top even the unofficial limit (Facebook's is 260MB), and you can generally forget about many games when they can occupy gigabytes. And like before, there's no way to override this cap. You'll have to wait for WiFi to download larger apps even if you have a truly unlimited data plan. While there are likely reasons for this -- carriers don't want customers saturating their networks -- it won't be much fun if you absolutely need an app in a pinch.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/31/apple-raises-ios-cellular-download-limit-to-200mb/

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Sex, lies, and surveillance: Something’s wrong with the war on sex trafficking

Thorn offers internet companies its content moderation tool "Safer," and for law enforcement, its separate data-mining and user-profiling tool "Spotlight." Both use data sources and AI to automate policing of sex content. Of Thorn's 31 nonprofit partners, 27 target adults and vow to abolish consensual sex work under the banner of saving children from sex trafficking.

"With our work on child sex trafficking, we recognize that this crime often presents itself within the broader field of sex work which does include consensual adult sex work," Thorn CEO Julie Cordua told Engadget via email. "We also realize that the reasons why people have sex for money are complex and varied. This is a complex field with a lot of nuance. Our programs are designed specifically to channel very limited resources on the recovery of children who are being exploited through sex trafficking, not on consenting adults."

Before Engadget reached Thorn for comment on this article, its website listed partnerships with data dealers, web scrapers and identity brokers including Connotate, Trusona, Trade Desk, Laxdaela, and 41st Parameter (Experian). When asked about Thorn's relationships with the now-removed partners, Cordua told Engadget that our queries reminded Thorn its "Partnerships" page "is outdated."

"Why don't you just work with Thorn?"

On May 23rd in Patreon's luxurious new San Francisco offices, everyone at the Sexual Content, Child Protection conference was upset. It featured presentations by the Internet Watch Foundation on removing online child exploitation material, experts on sex offender registries, psychologists on pedophilia prevention, consensual sex work, and more.

One reason we were upset was the disturbing nature of what we were there to discuss: the facts and factors of child sexual exploitation online.

The other reason culminated within a presentation by attorney Cathy Gellis on Section 230, concerning online content and the law. Referencing the lawsuit between the US federal government's FOSTA law and human rights groups, things grew especially grave when Gellis described what's happened since the law's April 2018 passage and implementation online.

Like Thorn's nonprofit partners, FOSTA states consensual adult sex work is the same as child sex trafficking. When a woman has consensual sex for art or profit, her online speech about it is now interpreted as an internet crime on par with sex-trafficked children. You might say FOSTA doesn't "believe women." Its supporters don't. Major internet platforms, not known for believing the experiences of female users, rushed to implement FOSTA's restrictions.

Yet FOSTA has utterly backfired. According to a new paper from Fordham Law School, FOSTA's conflation of sex work with trafficking makes it "A Hostile Law with a Human Cost." It states:

Within one month of FOSTA's enactment, thirteen sex workers were reported missing, and two were dead from suicide. Sex workers operating independently faced a tremendous and immediate uptick in unwanted solicitation from individuals offering or demanding to traffic them. Numerous others were raped, assaulted, and rendered homeless or unable to feed their children. These egregious acts of violence and economic devastation are directly attributable to FOSTA's enactment.

Meanwhile, law enforcement professionals have complained that their investigations into sex-trafficking cases have been "blinded" -- they no longer have advertisements to subpoena, digital records to produce for prosecutors, and leads that can bring them to live crime scenes full of evidence, like hotel rooms.

Even the Department of Justice asked the House Judiciary Committee to change FOSTA's focus to traffickers, and not cases where "there is minimal federal interest," like consensual sex work. That request was ignored.

At the child protection conference Gellis said lawsuit plaintiffs contend FOSTA has made it harder to prosecute sex trafficking, in addition to erasing discussion about child sexual abuse prevention and silencing sex workers.

We know people are being harmed on all sides of FOSTA, Gellis said, "but everyone has been chased into the shadows." Victims cannot be found.

The room of experts, internet company employees, engineers, and policymakers was brought to a standstill.

The EFF of online child protection organizations

The child protection conference was organized by the Prostasia Foundation. Frankly, I was surprised press was even invited, as usually such meetings with internet companies are kept behind closed doors. It made more sense when the organizer, Prostasia's Executive Director Jeremy Malcolm, briefed me on the event's "Chatham House Rule" policy (though we could attribute quotes to presenters).

"Producers of legitimate 18+ sexual content are often stigmatized by association with producers of child pornography," Malcom told Engadget via email, "and this meeting is largely about drawing a line between these two things and saying NO, they are different."

Malcolm added, "People like sex workers and adult entertainers are actually among the strongest opponents of child sexual abuse. But they are very seldom heard, because other child protection groups have a broader anti-porn and anti-sex work agenda, which silences minority voices -- especially LGBTQ+ people, kinky people, and sex workers."

Malcom is a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, and was EFF's Senior Global Policy Analyst. He explained Prostasia's approach is a challenge to other digital child protection orgs. "We aim to essentially be an EFF-like watchdog of these groups," Malcom said, "as well as having our own positive child abuse prevention agenda, based on science rather than stigma."

I appreciate "watching the watchers" more than most, but I wondered what Malcom was talking about. Turns out, anti-trafficking organizations are a lucrative growth market riddled with charlatans who've fooled companies as big as Google for years, and gotten away with it.

In late 2011, Google made a corporate donation of $11.5 million to "ending modern day slavery." The three groups Google funded were International Justice Mission, Polaris Project, and Not for Sale.

International Justice Mission is a conservative evangelical Christian group. Polaris Project defines sex trafficking in its "Modern Slavery" paper as including escorts, strip club employees, cammers, and phone sex workers. Not for Sale has an Abolitionist Academy for "lectures and lessons to learn about many aspects of trafficking, such as investigations, aftercare, health care, and Biblical justice."

All three -- IJM, Polaris Project, and Not For Sale -- were utterly taken apart for using invented facts and falsified data in Truthout's 2015 Special Report: Money and Lies in Anti-Human Trafficking NGOs. Truthout wrote, "in the world of anti-trafficking organizations, money and lies are deeply – perhaps inextricably – tied. The false claims, forwarded as fact, are big. So is the money that's spent and received in the service of those claims – more than half a billion dollars in recent years. That we know of."

"When you work in this world, you know fabricated stories are used by everyone to get funding," Pierre Legros -- ex-husband of disgraced sex trafficking fraudster Somaly Mam -- told GlobalPost in 2015.

So Prostasia's interest in becoming an EFF watchdog for these exploitative nonprofits is quite warranted.

Yet, according to Malcom, Prostasia's outreach to many major Internet platforms has been met with, "Well, why don't you just work with Thorn?"

Two and a half web scrapers

I first heard about Thorn when its founder, Ashton Kutcher, testified on behalf of Thorn in 2017 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations -- and press called out Kutcher and Thorn for using sex-trafficking numbers that didn't add up.

Prior to this, I'd been aware of Thorn's early incarnation as DNA Foundation, which got raked over the coals in 2011 for ... you guessed it: inaccurate data about sex trafficking stats. The organization claimed that "100,000 to 300,000 children are turning to prostitution every year." But a two-month investigation using law enforcement data showed that there were 8,263 arrests across America for underage sex work over the past ten years.

Anyway. Since then, Thorn pivoted into big data analytics.

Thorn doesn't usually like to talk about what its products Safer or Spotlight do. Its website says "Safer is a complete solution to help stop child sexual abuse material from spreading across your platform. Keeping you, your company and your users, safer."

Safer's whitepaper "Platform Protection 101" mentions its hashing, matching, reporting, and law enforcement modules. Thorn CEO Julie Cordua described Safer as a "content moderation platform" and told Engadget:

Safer is specifically designed to stop the spread of child sexual abuse material (CSAM, legally called child pornography) and does not intersect with our work on child sex trafficking ...

We offer a module so companies can hash their images (in their own environment so the data does not leave) and send hashes to our service to bounce against a list of hashes of confirmed child sexual abuse images/videos so they can detect if they are hosting illegal child pornography and then take action (e.g., removal, reporting). This type of detection helps stop the viral spread of this content, stops the re-victimization of the children in the material and can lead to the identification of children in these images/videos.

Spotlight is Thorn's other product. At present and according to publicly available information, Spotlight scrapes websites and forums; its handout says "Spotlight is built on a data archive of millions of records of escort ads and forum data collected from various websites."

Then, "Spotlight takes this massive amount of data and turns it into an asset for law enforcement." Additionally, "The tool allows an officer to search or filter escort ads based on phone number, email, key words, age, location."

War on sex, meet war on privacy

Let's be clear about a couple of things. FOSTA's blast radius is deadly, and increasing with time. If Safer operates exactly as Thorn claims, then that is good, crucial work worth supporting. But Spotlight is terrifying and practically purpose-made for abuse. And Thorn supported FOSTA.

Perhaps we may better understand Thorn by whom it works with, features on its website, and its nonprofit partners. Because they really supported FOSTA.

Thorn's website features a post on trafficking recovery by Stephany Powell (Thorn partner Journey Out). On the topic of consensual sex work, Journey Out unequivocally states it is a false "perception" that sex work could be a woman's choice. Nearly all nonprofits Thorn partners with feel the same way, and say so. So much for believing women, or any daydreams about women being the ones who control their bodies.

The concern here is that Thorn and its partners like Polaris Project are working closely with companies like Palantir to nonconsensually track sex workers and everyone they come in contact with. Palantir Knows Everything About You describes how Palantir has so far escaped a ruling on whether or not its tools are illegal:

"Civil liberties lawyers are seeking a case to challenge the constitutionality of Palantir's use," Bloomberg wrote, "but prosecutors and immigration agents have been careful not to cite the software in evidentiary documents." Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Lawyers Guild's National Immigration Project told Bloomberg, "Palantir lives on that secrecy." And so, by extension, do Thorn and Polaris Project.

Thorn is now the primary go-to organization for major internet companies in "fighting sex trafficking" and child exploitation material. It has partnered with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest, Imgur, IAC (Match, Tinder, OkCupid), and more companies that set social policy and wrangle untold reams of sensitive user data.

Engadget reached out to Google, Facebook, and Twitter about their relationships with Thorn and did not receive a response by time of publication. We asked all three internet giants if they used Thorn's Safer or Spotlight products and whether Thorn has advised them on content policies.

Facebook appears to have a special relationship with Thorn that the social media company affectionately calls "long-standing" and includes joint collaboration on hackathons. As some may recall, Facebook pushed FOSTA to appease critical lawmakers. Though anyone who worries about what Facebook and Thorn might do to their privacy knows that using any Facebook property is akin to swinging at a piñata packed with hand grenades.

Anyway. What have we learned today? Well, for one, the scorched-earth approach to sex censorship -- FOSTA -- is working about as well as the "war on drugs." For another, we should've known the war on sex was a lucrative growth market.

I do not mean to diminish the work of those who stop the spread of child abuse material. I just would like to strongly urge us not to indulge any more tricksters than we already have.

Image: Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images (FOSTA protest)

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/31/sex-lies-and-surveillance-fosta-privacy/

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NASA picks first commercial landing partners for return to the Moon

Every partner will provide "end-to-end" services like integration, launch and operations. And while each of the companies has proposed flying particular equipment, NASA will decide the exact payloads for each flight before the end of the summer. The possible devices will cover everything from general science through to human landing-oriented tasks like identifying the lander position and studying lunar radiation.

These are "just the beginning" of NASA's private partnerships, the administration's Thomas Zurbuchen said. There are already more on deck, with private spaceflight companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX currently competing for the chance to build NASA's crewed lunar lander. It's far too soon to know how well this will work, of course, but it's safe to say this corporate-focused approach is a sharp contrast to the Apollo landings from half a century ago.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/31/nasa-commercial-partners-artemis/

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The Rock and Under Armour cook up true wireless earbuds

The Project Rock True Wireless In-Ear Headphones also feature UA TALKTHRU, which basically just lets you take calls and have conversations through the headphones (and cribs from similar technology found in JBL's own wireless earbuds). The bull logo on the side of the earbuds doubles as a button that when pressed activates a noise-canceling feature for when you're trying to focus on the task at hand and block out external distractions.

These are the second headphones to comes from the Project Rock line. The first, the UA Sport Wireless Train Project Rock Edition, was introduced last year. The over-the-ear headphones feature a similar sweat-resistant body and are bolstered by JBL's audio technology including 40mm drivers.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/31/under-armour-dwanye-johnson-project-rock-wireless-headphones/

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Judge demands Facebook hand over data privacy records

According to Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights of the Delaware Chancery Court, the shareholders have a "credible basis" to suspect that Facebook board members may have committed wrongdoing. Slights said his decision does not conclude that there was any misconduct. Though, if the shareholders discover otherwise, they could file another suit.

Facebook has faced several lawsuits related to the Cambridge Analytica data leak. At one recent hearing, Facebook attorney Orin Snyder reportedly argued that there is "no expectation of privacy" on Facebook. According to Digital Trends, Snyder allegedly said, "there is no invasion of privacy at all because there is no privacy." That is in direct conflict with privacy focus Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have been promoting. While Facebook's future may be private, its present is still complicated.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/31/facebook-ordered-shareholder-cambridge-analytica-records/

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Finally, I can use my iPhone to ride the NYC subway

Before I get into that, though, let's first talk about the setup process for Express Transit, as the Apple Pay feature is called. When you go to "Wallet Apple Pay" settings on your iPhone, you'll now see an option called Express Transit Card. After you tap on that, you need to select a credit or debit card, which will be used as default payment for your public transit rides. I already have a couple cards saved on my iPhone for use with Apple Pay, so all I had to do was choose one of them. Then, after a quick Face ID authentication, I was ready to go. The entire process took less than a minute.

Once I arrived at the subway station, I just placed my iPhone next to the OMNY reader on the turnstile and then the screen displayed a message that says "GO." I didn't have to open an app or unlock my phone to get through, and the same goes for the Apple Watch and Android phone with Google Pay that I tested. The fact that I didn't have to swipe my old MetroCard to try to catch a train was quite satisfying. Not only because it feels futuristic, but because it means I don't have to go to a vending machine to refill my card or worry about it getting lost or stolen.

Unfortunately, right now the OMNY system only works for single-fare rides, but the MTA says that by the end of 2020 all types of fares will be supported, including weekly and monthly passes. The other downside at the moment, of course, is that you can't use this at every subway station or on every bus line. At launch, OMNY is only working at 16 subway stations on the 4, 5 and 6 lines between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center (Brooklyn) and Grand Central-42nd Street (Manhattan), plus all buses on Staten Island. An MTA spokesperson told Engadget that more stations and buses will get overhauled toward the end of 2019.

Today's OMNY launch is just the beginning of the MTA's plan to replace the use of swipeable MetroCard, a system that has been in place since 1993, by 2023. And if you don't have Apple Pay or Google Pay, don't worry: The MTA is adamant that it is "platform agnostic," so you can also use services like Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay. Additionally, in 2021 the MTA plans to introduce its own OMNY-branded contactless transit card, in case there are NYC residents who would rather not use tech from Apple, Google and others.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/31/apple-pay-iphone-new-york-city-subway-mta-omny/

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Panasonic’s cinema-centric S1H mirrorless camera can shoot 6K video

There's no doubt that the S1H will be the most advanced full-frame mirrorless camera for video, well ahead of anything from Canon, Nikon and Sony. You'll be able to shoot 5.9K 16:9 video at up to 30 fps, giving you more options to punch in or crop for a final 4K release format. It can also shoot full 6K at a 3:2 aspect ratio, and will support cinema-oriented anamorphic lenses just like the GH5.

Panasonic notes that the S1H is the world's first full-frame mirrorless camera to handle 10-bit 4K DCI (4,096 x 2,160) video at up to 60 fps. However, that's a slightly dubious claim, as the camera will crop 4K DCI video to a Super 35mm (roughly APS-C) equivalent size. Still, it looks like it is the largest effective sensor area on a mirrorless camera for 60fps 4K video, beating Panasonic's GH5 (4K 60fps at Micro Four Thirds) and Fujifilm's X-T3 (4K 60fps at APS-C with a 1.25x crop). It will, however, shoot 4K 30fps video using the full sensor area, just like the S1.

The S1H will pack V-Log/V-Gamut color modes out of the box, delivering 14+ stops of dynamic range, the same on Panasonic's $20,000+ Cinema Varicam. Panasonic notes that the color management is the same as on the GH5/GH5s and Varicam, so you'll be able to mix and match easily when shooting with all three cameras.

With the large sensor and 6K video, the S1H could get hot, so Panasonic designed it to dissipate heat better than the S1/S1R. As such, it offers unlimited recording lengths, making it a good option for event videography.

There's still a lot we don't know about the S1H, however. It's not clear whether it will pack a depth-from-defocus contrast-detect AF system like the S1 and S1R, or use a hybrid phase-detect system (the latter seems unlikely). Panasonic didn't say whether it will have in-body stabilization or other features available on the S1/S1R either, and didn't even reveal the sensor resolution. It did say that the camera would cost around $4,000, however and arrive sometime this fall.

Panasonic's S1 with the DMW-STC20 teleconverter and S Pro 70-200mm f/4 lens

Panasonic also revealed more details about the paid software upgrade coming for the Lumix S1. The "Upgrade Firmware Key DMW-SFU2" for the camera will arrive in July, and transform it into a much more impressive video camera. Once installed, the S1 will support both internal and external 4:2:2 10-bit recording, with the latter at up to 60 fps. It'll also unlock V-Log/V-Gamut color modes with 14+ stops of resolution, much like the S1H, meaning the two cameras might share the same sensor.

You'll also get in-camera LUT application to make on-set monitoring more accurate, 96Hz audio with an optional XLR accessory, and a waveform brightness level display. It will arrive in July, but Panasonic still hasn't listed the price, which leads me to believe that it will be pretty high.

Given the limited selection of L-Mount lenses, Panasonic unveiled 1.4x DMW-STC14 and 2x DMW-STC20 teleconverters. They'll make the current Lumix S Pro 70-200mm F4 O.I.S. and upcoming 70-200mm f/2.8 models a bit more useful by up to doubling the focal length, transforming them into super telephoto lenses, at the cost of some speed. They'll arrive sometime in fall 2019 with the prices still to be determined.

Finally, showing it's still committed its smaller sensor lineup, Panasonic unveiled an impressive new lens for its GH5 and other Micro Four Thirds cameras, the Leica DG VARIO-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 ASPH. On top of the fast aperture, which will allow for shallow depth of field and great bokeh, it has some features specifically designed for video shooters. That includes a silent zoom mechanism, stepless aperture and a "mechanism that suppresses focus breathing," meaning that it won't zoom in and out when you adjust focus -- just like a real cinema lens. Panasonic didn't reveal the price for this product either (c'mon!), but given the specs, expect it to be well north of $1,000.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/31/panasonic-s1H-cinema-6k-mirrorless-camera/

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Most of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites are already on track

The first batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites has been orbiting Earth for about a week, and now SpaceX has released a status update on the mission. According to a spokesperson, "all 60 satellites have deployed their solar arrays successfully, generated positive power and communicated with our ground stations."

The statement didn't directly mention concerns by astronomers about their brightness and visibility, but Elon Musk already has, and they aren't expected to reach their full altitude for three to four weeks. According to SpaceX, "observability of the Starlink satellites is dramatically reduced as they raise orbit to greater distance and orient themselves with the phased array antennas toward Earth and their solar arrays behind the body of the satellite."

Parabolic Arc notes that during a speech at MIT this week, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell mentioned four of the units had unspecified problems, while today's update said "most" are using their Hall thrusters to reach operational altitude and have already made contact with their broadband antennas, but all of them have maneuvering capability to avoid each other and other objects.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/31/starlink-broadband-satellite-spacex/

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The sixth season of ‘Silicon Valley’ will be its last

The run of Silicon Valley has been a tumultuous one. While the show has pretty consistently been well-reviewed, it lost one of its main characters from season one when actor Christopher Evan Welch died from lung cancer. The show also took a narrative turn after season four when controversial actor and comedian T.J. Miller left the show. It came out shortly after his departure that one of his co-stars, Alice Wetterlund, said he was a "bully and petulant brat."

Despite all of the drama surrounding the show, its ensemble cast of Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr and Amanda Crew has provided consistent laughs while lampooning the culture of startups and venture capital in Silicon Valley. The show has been nominated and won several Emmys and other awards. When it wraps, it will be the third HBO show to leave the air this year, following the end of Game of Thrones and Veep.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/31/silicon-valley-season-6-final-season/

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Drake sparks hundreds of fake eBay listings for Steph Curry’s hair lint

But Drake didn't stop there.

He then took to Instagram to post a video and picture with a caption that said, "Steph Curry hair lint for sale on my eBay right now!!! username: DraymondShouldntWear23." In the image, you can see Drake holding the piece of lint that he took from Curry. Naturally, because this is the internet after all, that post from Drake has now taken on a life of its own. And even though Steph Curry's hair lint doesn't appear to actually be up for sale -- the username "DraymondShouldntWear23" is "no longer registered," according to eBay -- Engadget discovered hundreds of fake listings on the site. One has a bid of $100,000.

What's more bizarre about this whole situation is that some of these fake listings are described as "Benefits charity," even though the sellers clearly have no access to Curry's hair lint. "10% of the sale of this item will benefit The Humane Society of the United States," reads an eBay listing that's currently live. eBay has not responded to our request for comment, but the company's policies state that sellers must "provide accurate and consistent details about your items and to be clear and specific about the terms and conditions of the sale."

That's clearly not that's happening when people search for "Steph Curry hair lint" on eBay, which brings up more than 200 results -- and it's not as if Drake took 200 pieces of lint out of Curry's hair. We'll update this story if we hear back from eBay. Either way, this shows yet again the power Drake has to turn the internet on its head. It also shows that, despite this starting out as harmless NBA drama, there will always be people out there trying to find ways to run scams. Or maybe, just maybe, it's all part of the joke.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/31/drake-steph-curry-hair-lint-ebay-fake-listings-draymond-green-trash/

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