company:paypal

  • Is #facebook now (also) a #blockchain company ?
    https://hackernoon.com/is-facebook-now-also-a-blockchain-company-1d738bbae536?source=rss----3a8

    The company has hired most of the team at a London-based smart contract startup.Facebook has had a blockchain group since about a year ago, when veteran Facebook executive and former PayPal president David Marcus was tapped to lead the company’s efforts in the space. Now, they have made their first big move into the blockchain and #crypto market by quietly hiring most of the team behind Chainspace, a smart contract platform registered in Gibraltar with offices in London.Chainspace, founded last year by researchers in London, uses smart contracts to offer extensibility, rather than catering to specific applications such as Bitcoin for a currency, or certificate transparency for certificate verification. Unlike Ethereum, Chainspace’s sharded architecture allows for a ledger linearly scalable (...)

    #social-media #technology


  • A Viral Oops Not Only Deceives the User, it Fools the Developer
    https://hackernoon.com/a-viral-oops-not-only-deceives-the-user-it-fools-the-developer-62f81e640

    “Growth hacking” has become the latest buzzword, as investors like Paul Graham profess it’s functionally that matters. Clearly, everyone wants growth. To someone creating a new technology, nothing feels better than people actually using what you’ve built and telling their friends. Growth feels validating. Growth tells everyone the company is doing things right. At least that’s what we want to believe.Good Growth, Bad GrowthSometimes viral loops drive growth, because the product is truly awesome, while in other cases growth occurs for, well, different reasons. As an example of good growth, it’s hard to top PayPal’s viral success in the late 90s. PayPal knew that once users started sending money to each other, mostly for stuff bought on eBay, they would infect one another. The allure that (...)

    #startup #viral-oops #entrepreneurship #viral-loop #business


  • Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/10/business/location-data-privacy-apps.html

    Dozens of companies use smartphone locations to help advertisers and even hedge funds. They say it’s anonymous, but the data shows how personal it is. The millions of dots on the map trace highways, side streets and bike trails — each one following the path of an anonymous cellphone user. One path tracks someone from a home outside Newark to a nearby Planned Parenthood, remaining there for more than an hour. Another represents a person who travels with the mayor of New York during the day (...)

    #smartphone #GPS #BigData #profiling #géolocalisation #IBM #Foursquare #Goldman_Sachs (...)

    ##Paypal


  • Coinbase Enables Instant Paypal Withdrawals, And November Was The Worst Month For ICOs
    https://hackernoon.com/coinbase-enables-instant-paypal-withdrawals-and-november-was-the-worst-m

    The State of The Market — December 17, 2018BTC: $3,397.73 (+3.33%)XRP: $0.299002 (+2.29%)ETH: $90.06 (+3.28%)Over the weekend, the crypto market crashed to a new low of $100 Billion and held on to it. Exactly one year ago, on December 17, 2018, #bitcoin touched its all-time high of $20,000. Bitcoin has lost nearly 85% of its value ever since, and more than $700 Billion was wiped off from the crypto market. Meanwhile, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV) are racing each other to the bottom as both sides are dumping the other #cryptocurrency. Litecoin has now overtaken BCH with the recent crash. Also, Ethereum, for the first time, is priced more than BCH.In other news, Cryptojacking is up by 400% in 2018. According to Kaspersky, there were about 13 million instances of cryptojacking (...)

    #cryptocurrency-news #cryptocurrency-investment #blockchain


  • The Biggest Myth in #blockchain: Transactions Per Second
    https://hackernoon.com/the-biggest-myth-in-blockchain-transactions-per-second-c300ca16d802?sour

    And why you should ignore itTransactions per second. Network speed. Scaling. Whatever guise it comes in, the crypto community seems obsessed with transaction speed — especially when it comes to #ethereum.* So much so, that some people think scaling ‘problems’ are to blame for Ether’s recent bear market.“PayPal, the global monolith, makes millions of transactions every day — but runs at an average of 193 per second.”But is our obsession with transaction speed shortsighted? Of course, speedy stable transactions are essential for the future of all but the most specialist projects. Yet in the wider world of FinTech, there’s no such obsession. #paypal, the global monolith, makes millions of transactions every day — but runs at an average of 193 per second. This is a long way off blockchain’s ‘holy grail’ (...)

    #blockchain-transactions #transactions-per-second


  • ANU #23 — One-Step Payment and Unite India 2018
    https://hackernoon.com/anu-23-one-step-payment-and-unite-india-2018-f6e33187e17?source=rss----3

    ANU #23 — One-Step Payment and Unite India 2018AppCoins News Update, or ANU for short, is a regular bi-weekly update by the AppCoins team. As usual, we are going to cover dev updates, market reports, team members and upcoming events. This week’s focus is on the recent protocol developments such as the One-Step Payment, the integration of PayPal in the AppCoins BDS Wallet, and the AppCoins team presence at Unite India 2018.QuicklinksDev UpdateAPPC Markets ReportFeatured Team MemberUpcoming EventsThe Dev Update coming out every two weeks is as certain as the sun coming up every morning. Here it is once again!We’ve been working hard since the Ada release to solve smaller issues that were left unfixed, and to develop the next features that will come out in the next release. We’re pretty excited (...)

    #blockchain-technology #cryptocurrency #appcoin


  • PayPal ban unfairly lumps antifa with far-right Proud Boys, critics say
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/09/paypal-proud-boys-antifa-ban-gavin-mcinnes-criticism

    Crackdown draws ire from leftwing organizers who say the firm is pandering to white nationalists and extremists PayPal is canceling the accounts of the far right group, the Proud Boys, and also banning anti-fascists from the platform, saying it prohibits people who “promote hate” or “violence”. The online payment company’s decision to associate anti-fascist activists with a rightwing “hate group” has sparked intense backlash from leftwing organizers, who say the Silicon Valley firm is pandering (...)

    #Paypal #discrimination


  • Google Is Building a City of the Future in Toronto. Would Anyone Want to Live There ?
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/06/29/google-city-technology-toronto-canada-218841

    It could be the coolest new neighborhood on the planet—or a peek into the Orwellian metropolis that knows everything you did last night. Even with a chilly mid-May breeze blowing off Lake Ontario, this city’s western waterfront approaches idyllic. The lake laps up against the boardwalk, people sit in colorful Adirondack chairs and footfalls of pedestrians compete with the cry of gulls. But walk east, and the scene quickly changes. Cut off from gleaming downtown Toronto by the Gardiner (...)

    #Google #Paypal #algorithme #capteur #WiFi #domination #solutionnisme #urbanisme



  • #Frying_Pan_Tower Auction
    http://www.fptower.com/auction.html

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4dqj48UZ3Y

    The Frying Pan Tower, a surplus Coast Guard Light Station, is located 34 miles off the coast of North Carolina and has been turned into a unique adventure bed & breakfast like no other and, NOW YOU CAN OWN IT!

    The tower has proven it can shrug off hurricanes with Sandy, Arthur, Matthews passing over since purchased in 2010. It has high speed internet, hot & cold running purified rain water, has solar and wind energy captured into a battery storage bank and redundant backup generators. With triple redundant communications capabilities, underwater, helipad and internal motion detection security cameras, it is a very private and secure OFF THE GRID location and is now available for purchase by auction.

    With a starting bid of just $10,000 you could own your own piece of history and start your own adventure!

    Best of luck on your bid,

    AUCTION RULES 
    Start Date: May 3, 2018
    End Date: Based on bidding (see rules below)

    Bid Deposit: $5,000 via PayPal  (acceptance of terms & bid deposit payment button below)

    ​Completing a bid deposit will direct you to the bid form webpage where you may place your bid. Bids made without a valid deposit will not be accepted. On completion of the auction bidders will have their deposits refunded unless they win the auction but decide to not complete the payment terms. 

    Minimum opening Bid: $10,000
    Bid increment: $3,000


  • Bitcoin - Paypal-Mitgründer nennt Bitcoin "größten Betrug aller Zei...
    https://diasp.eu/p/7076288

    Bitcoin - Paypal-Mitgründer nennt Bitcoin „größten Betrug aller Zeiten“

    Bill Harris sorgt mit einem Beitrag auf recode.net für Aufsehen, er warnt Nutzer vor dem Investieren in Bitcoin

    https://derstandard.at/2000078665740/Paypal-Mitgruender-nennt-Bitcoin-groessten-Betrug-aller-Zeiten?ref=rss #News


  • The 600+ Companies PayPal Shares Your Data With
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/03/the_600_compani.html

    One of the effects of GDPR — the new EU General Data Protection Regulation — is that we’re all going to be learning a lot more about who collects our data and what they do with it. Consider PayPal, that just released a list of over 600 companies they share customer data with. Here’s a good visualization of that data.

    Is 600 companies unusual? Is it more than average? Less? We’ll soon know.

    https://www.paypal.com/ie/webapps/mpp/ua/third-parties-list
    https://rebecca-ricks.com/paypal-data

    #gdpr #paypal



  • Mit diesen Anbietern teilt Paypal eure persönlichen Daten | ❤ t3n
    https://t3n.de/news/paypal-datenschutz-drittanbieter-919801

    Paypal teilt eure persönlichen Nutzerdaten potenziell mit einer ganzen Reihe von Drittanbietern. Eine Website visualisiert jetzt all diese Verbindungen.

    Von der Verifikation von Daten über den Schutz vor Betrügern bis zu Marketing-Aktivitäten: Paypal kooperiert mit einer ganzen Reihe von Drittanbietern, denen der Zahlungsdienstleister unter Umständen auch Zugang zu persönlichen Nutzerdaten verschafft. Einen Eindruck davon, wie viele Drittanbieter möglicherweise Zugriff auf eure Daten erhalten, verschafft euch diese Visualisierung der Forscherin Rebecca Ricks.

    https://www.paypal.com/ie/webapps/mpp/ua/third-parties-list


  • Commons:La voix est libre - Comment participer au projet vocal de Wikipédia - Wikimedia Commons
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Voice_intro_project/fr

    La voix est libre est un projet de Wikimedia Commons qui a pour but d’illustrer les biographies des personnalités par des enregistrements de leurs voix.

    #Wikipédia #Enregistrement_vocal


  • Uber Pushed the Limits of the Law. Now Comes the Reckoning - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-10-11/uber-pushed-the-limits-of-the-law-now-comes-the-reckoning

    The ride-hailing company faces at least five U.S. probes, two more than previously reported, and the new CEO will need to dig the company out of trouble.

    Illustration: Maria Nguyen
    By Eric Newcomer
    October 11, 2017, 10:11 AM GMT+2

    Shortly after taking over Uber Technologies Inc. in September, Dara Khosrowshahi told employees to brace for a painful six months. U.S. officials are looking into possible bribes, illicit software, questionable pricing schemes and theft of a competitor’s intellectual property. The very attributes that, for years, set the company on a rocket-ship trajectory—a tendency to ignore rules, to compete with a mix of ferocity and paranoia—have unleashed forces that are now dragging Uber back down to earth.

    Uber faces at least five criminal probes from the Justice Department—two more than previously reported. Bloomberg has learned that authorities are asking questions about whether Uber violated price-transparency laws, and officials are separately looking into the company’s role in the alleged theft of schematics and other documents outlining Alphabet Inc.’s autonomous-driving technology. Uber is also defending itself against dozens of civil suits, including one brought by Alphabet that’s scheduled to go to trial in December.

    “There are real political risks for playing the bad guy”
    Some governments, sensing weakness, are moving toward possible bans of the ride-hailing app. London, one of Uber’s most profitable cities, took steps to outlaw the service, citing “a lack of corporate responsibility” and specifically, company software known as Greyball, which is the subject of yet another U.S. probe. (Uber said it didn’t use the program to target officials in London, as it had elsewhere, and will continue to operate there while it appeals a ban.) Brazil is weighing legislation that could make the service illegal—or at least treat it more like a taxi company, which is nearly as offensive in the eyes of Uber.

    Interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees, including several senior executives, describe a widely held view inside the company of the law as something to be tested. Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and former CEO, set up a legal department with that mandate early in his tenure. The approach created a spirit of rule-breaking that has now swamped the company in litigation and federal inquisition, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters.

    Kalanick took pride in his skills as a micromanager. When he was dissatisfied with performance in one of the hundreds of cities where Uber operates, Kalanick would dive in by texting local managers to up their game, set extraordinary growth targets or attack the competition. His interventions sometimes put the company at greater legal risk, a group of major investors claimed when they ousted him as CEO in June. Khosrowshahi has been on an apology tour on behalf of his predecessor since starting. Spokespeople for Kalanick, Uber and the Justice Department declined to comment.

    Kalanick also defined Uber’s culture by hiring deputies who were, in many instances, either willing to push legal boundaries or look the other way. Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan, who previously held the same title at Facebook, runs a unit where Uber devised some of the most controversial weapons in its arsenal. Uber’s own board is now looking at Sullivan’s team, with the help of an outside law firm.

    Salle Yoo, the longtime legal chief who will soon leave the company, encouraged her staff to embrace Kalanick’s unique corporate temperament. “I tell my team, ‘We’re not here to solve legal problems. We’re here to solve business problems. Legal is our tool,’” Yoo said on a podcast early this year. “I am going to be supportive of innovation.”

    From Uber’s inception, the app drew the ire of officials. After a couple years of constant sparring with authorities, Kalanick recognized he needed help and hired Yoo as the first general counsel in 2012. Yoo, an avid tennis player, had spent 13 years at the corporate law firm Davis Wright Tremaine and rose to become partner. One of her first tasks at Uber, according to colleagues, was to help Kalanick answer a crucial question: Should the company ignore taxi regulations?

    Around that time, a pair of upstarts in San Francisco, Lyft Inc. and Sidecar, had begun allowing regular people to make money by driving strangers in their cars, but Uber was still exclusively for professionally licensed drivers, primarily behind the wheel of black cars. Kalanick railed against the model publicly, arguing that these new hometown rivals were breaking the law. But no one was shutting them down. Kalanick, a fiercely competitive entrepreneur, asked Yoo to help draft a legal framework to get on the road.

    By January 2013, Kalanick’s view of the law changed. “Uber will roll out ridesharing on its existing platform in any market where the regulators have tacitly approved doing so,” Kalanick wrote in a since-deleted blog post outlining the company’s position. Uber faced some regulatory blowback but was able to expand rapidly, armed with the CEO’s permission to operate where rules weren’t being actively enforced. Venture capitalists rewarded Uber with a $17 billion valuation in 2014. Meanwhile, other ride-hailing startups at home and around the world were raising hundreds of millions apiece. Kalanick was determined to clobber them.

    One way to get more drivers working for Uber was to have employees “slog.” This was corporate speak for booking a car on a competitor’s app and trying to convince the driver to switch to Uber. It became common practice all over the world, five people familiar with the process said.

    Staff eventually found a more efficient way to undermine its competitors: software. A breakthrough came in 2015 from Uber’s office in Sydney. A program called Surfcam, two people familiar with the project said, scraped data published online by competitors to figure out how many drivers were on their systems in real-time and where they were. The tool was primarily used on Grab, the main competitor in Southeast Asia. Surfcam, which hasn’t been previously reported, was named after the popular webcams in Australia and elsewhere that are pointed at beaches to help surfers monitor swells and identify the best times to ride them.

    Surfcam raised alarms with at least one member of Uber’s legal team, who questioned whether it could be legally operated in Singapore because it may run afoul of Grab’s terms of service or the country’s strict computer-crime laws, a person familiar with the matter said. Its creator, who had been working out of Singapore after leaving Sydney, eventually moved to Uber’s European headquarters in Amsterdam. He’s still employed by the company.

    “This is the first time as a lawyer that I’ve been asked to be innovative.”
    Staff at home base in San Francisco had created a similar piece of software called Hell. It was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Heaven program, which allows employees to see where Uber drivers are in a city at a given moment. With Hell, Uber scraped Lyft data for a view of where its rival’s drivers were. The legal team decided the law was unclear on such tactics and approved Hell in the U.S., a program first reported by technology website the Information.

    Now as federal authorities investigate the program, they may need to get creative in how to prosecute the company. “You look at what categories of law you can work with,” said Yochai Benkler, co-director of Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. “None of this fits comfortably into any explicit prohibitions.”

    Uber’s lawyers had a hard time keeping track of all the programs in use around the world that, in hindsight, carried significant risks. They signed off on Greyball, a tool that could tag select customers and show them a different version of the app. Workers used Greyball to obscure the actual locations of Uber drivers from customers who might inflict harm on them. They also aimed the software at Lyft employees to thwart any slog attempts.

    The company realized it could apply the same approach with law enforcement to help Uber drivers avoid tickets. Greyball, which was first covered by the New York Times, was deployed widely in and outside the U.S. without much legal oversight. Katherine Tassi, a former attorney at Uber, was listed as Greyball supervisor on an internal document early this year, months after decamping for Snap Inc. in 2016. Greyball is under review by the Justice Department. In another case, Uber settled with the Federal Trade Commission in August over privacy concerns with a tool called God View.

    Uber is the world’s most valuable technology startup, but it hardly fits the conventional definition of a tech company. Thousands of employees are scattered around the world helping tailor Uber’s service for each city. The company tries to apply a Silicon Valley touch to the old-fashioned business of taxis and black cars, while inserting itself firmly into gray areas of the law, said Benkler.

    “There are real political risks for playing the bad guy, and it looks like they overplayed their hand in ways that were stupid or ultimately counterproductive,” he said. “Maybe they’ll bounce back and survive it, but they’ve given competitors an opening.”

    Kalanick indicated from the beginning that what he wanted to achieve with Yoo was legally ambitious. In her first performance review, Kalanick told her that she needed to be more “innovative.” She stewed over the feedback and unloaded on her husband that night over a game of tennis, she recalled in the podcast on Legal Talk Network. “I was fuming. I said to my husband, who is also a lawyer: ‘Look, I have such a myriad of legal issues that have not been dealt with. I have constant regulatory pressures, and I’m trying to grow a team at the rate of growth of this company.’”

    By the end of the match, Yoo said she felt liberated. “This is the first time as a lawyer that I’ve been asked to be innovative. What I’m hearing from this is I actually don’t have to do things like any other legal department. I don’t have to go to best practices. I have to go to what is best for my company, what is best for my legal department. And I should view this as, actually, freedom to do things the way I think things should be done, rather than the way other people do it.”

    Prosecutors may not agree with Yoo’s assumptions about how things should be done. Even when Yoo had differences of opinion with Kalanick, she at times failed to challenge him or his deputies, or to raise objections to the board.

    After a woman in Delhi was raped by an Uber driver, the woman sued the company. Yoo was doing her best to try to manage the fallout by asking law firm Khaitan & Co. to help assess a settlement. Meanwhile, Kalanick stepped in to help craft the company’s response, privately entertaining bizarre conspiracy theories that the incident had been staged by Indian rival Ola, people familiar with the interactions have said. Eric Alexander, an Uber executive in Asia, somehow got a copy of the victim’s medical report in 2015. Kalanick and Yoo were aware but didn’t take action against him, the people said. Yoo didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    The mishandling of the medical document led to a second lawsuit from the woman this year. The Justice Department is now carrying out a criminal bribery probe at Uber, which includes questions about how Alexander obtained the report, two people said. Alexander declined to comment through a spokesman.

    In 2015, Kalanick hired Sullivan, the former chief security officer at Facebook. Sullivan started his career as a federal prosecutor in computer hacking and intellectual property law. He’s been a quiet fixture of Silicon Valley for more than a decade, with stints at PayPal and EBay Inc. before joining Facebook in 2008.

    It appears Sullivan was the keeper of some of Uber’s darkest secrets. He oversees a team formerly known as Competitive Intelligence. COIN, as it was referred to internally, was the caretaker of Hell and other opposition research, a sort of corporate spy agency. A few months after joining Uber, Sullivan shut down Hell, though other data-scraping programs continued. Another Sullivan division was called the Strategic Services Group. The SSG has hired contractors to surveil competitors and conducts extensive vetting on potential hires, two people said.

    Last year, Uber hired private investigators to monitor at least one employee, three people said. They watched China strategy chief Liu Zhen, whose cousin Jean Liu is president of local ride-hailing startup Didi Chuxing, as the companies were negotiating a sale. Liu Zhen couldn’t be reached for comment.

    Sullivan wasn’t just security chief at Uber. Unknown to the outside world, he also took the title of deputy general counsel, four people said. The designation could allow him to assert attorney-client privilege on his communications with colleagues and make his e-mails more difficult for a prosecutor to subpoena.

    Sullivan’s work is largely a mystery to the company’s board. Bloomberg learned the board recently hired a law firm to question security staff and investigate activities under Sullivan’s watch, including COIN. Sullivan declined to comment. COIN now goes by a different but similarly obscure name: Marketplace Analytics.

    As Uber became a global powerhouse, the balance between innovation and compliance took on more importance. An Uber attorney asked Kalanick during a company-wide meeting in late 2015 whether employees always needed to follow local ride-hailing laws, according to three people who attended the meeting. Kalanick repeated an old mantra, saying it depended on whether the law was being enforced.

    A few hours later, Yoo sent Kalanick an email recommending “a stronger, clearer message of compliance,” according to two people who saw the message. The company needed to adhere to the law no matter what, because Uber would need to demonstrate a culture of legal compliance if it ever had to defend itself in a criminal investigation, she argued in the email.

    Kalanick continued to encourage experimentation. In June 2016, Uber changed the way it calculated fares. It told customers it would estimate prices before booking but provided few details.

    Using one tool, called Cascade, the company set fares for drivers using a longstanding formula of mileage, time and demand. Another tool called Firehouse let Uber charge passengers a fixed, upfront rate, relying partly on computer-generated assumptions of what people traveling on a particular route would be willing to pay.

    Drivers began to notice a discrepancy, and Uber was slow to fully explain what was going on. In the background, employees were using Firehouse to run large-scale experiments offering discounts to some passengers but not to others.

    “Lawyers don’t realize that once they let the client cross that line, they are prisoners of each other from that point on”
    While Uber’s lawyers eventually looked at the pricing software, many of the early experiments were run without direct supervision. As with Greyball and other programs, attorneys failed to ensure Firehouse was used within the parameters approved in legal review. Some cities require commercial fares to be calculated based on time and distance, and federal law prohibits price discrimination. Uber was sued in New York over pricing inconsistencies in May, and the case is seeking class-action status. The Justice Department has also opened a criminal probe into questions about pricing, two people familiar with the inquiry said.

    As the summer of 2016 dragged on, Yoo became more critical of Kalanick, said three former employees. Kalanick wanted to purchase a startup called Otto to accelerate the company’s ambitions in self-driving cars. In the process, Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski told the company he had files from his former employer, Alphabet, the people said. Yoo expressed reservations about the deal, although accounts vary on whether those were conveyed to Kalanick. He wanted to move forward anyway. Yoo and her team then determined that Uber should hire cyber-forensics firm Stroz Friedberg in an attempt to wall off any potentially misbegotten information.

    Alphabet’s Waymo sued Uber this February, claiming it benefited from stolen trade secrets. Uber’s board wasn’t aware of the Stroz report’s findings or that Levandowski allegedly had Alphabet files before the acquisition, according to testimony from Bill Gurley, a venture capitalist and former board member, as part of the Waymo litigation. The judge in that case referred the matter to U.S. Attorneys. The Justice Department is now looking into Uber’s role as part of a criminal probe, two people said.

    As scandal swirled, Kalanick started preaching the virtues of following the law. Uber distributed a video to employees on March 31 in which Kalanick discussed the importance of compliance. A few weeks later, Kalanick spoke about the same topic at an all-hands meeting.

    Despite their quarrels and mounting legal pressure, Kalanick told employees in May that he was promoting Yoo to chief legal officer. Kalanick’s true intention was to sideline her from daily decisions overseen by a general counsel, two employees who worked closely with them said. Kalanick wrote in a staff email that he planned to bring in Yoo’s replacement to “lead day to day direction and operation of the legal and regulatory teams.” This would leave Yoo to focus on equal-pay, workforce-diversity and culture initiatives, he wrote.

    Before Kalanick could find a new general counsel, he resigned under pressure from investors. Yoo told colleagues last month that she would leave, too, after helping Khosrowshahi find her replacement. He’s currently interviewing candidates. Yoo said she welcomed a break from the constant pressures of the job. “The idea of having dinner without my phone on the table or a day that stays unplugged certainly sounded appealing,” she wrote in an email to her team.

    The next legal chief won’t be able to easily shed the weight of Uber’s past. “Lawyers don’t realize that once they let the client cross that line, they are prisoners of each other from that point on,” said Marianne Jennings, professor of legal and ethical studies in business at Arizona State University. “It’s like chalk. There’s a chalk line: It’s white; it’s bright; you can see it. But once you cross over it a few times, it gets dusted up and spread around. So it’s not clear anymore, and it just keeps moving. By the time you realize what’s happening, if you say anything, you’re complicit. So the questions start coming to you: ‘How did you let this go?’”

    #Uber #USA #Recht


  • Despite Disavowals, Leading Tech Companies Help Extremist Sites Monetize Hate
    https://www.propublica.org/article/leading-tech-companies-help-extremist-sites-monetize-hate

    Because of its “extreme hostility toward Muslims,” the website Jihadwatch.org is considered an active hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. The views of the site’s director, Robert Spencer, on Islam led the British Home Office to ban him from entering the country in 2013.

    But its designation as a hate site hasn’t stopped tech companies — including PayPal, Amazon and Newsmax — from maintaining partnerships with Jihad Watch that help to sustain it financially. PayPal facilitates donations to the site. Newsmax — the online news network run by President Donald Trump’s close friend Chris Ruddy — pays Jihad Watch in return for users clicking on its headlines. Until recently, Amazon allowed Jihad Watch to participate in a program that promised a cut of any book sales that the site generated. All three companies have policies that say they don’t do business with hate groups.

    Jihad Watch is one of many sites that monetize their extremist views through relationships with technology companies. ProPublica surveyed the most visited websites of groups designated as extremist by either the SPLC or the Anti-Defamation League. We found that more than half of them — 39 out of 69 — made money from ads, donations or other revenue streams facilitated by technology companies. At least 10 tech companies played a role directly or indirectly in supporting these sites.



  • The End of #Cash; The End of Freedom | Ian Welsh
    http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-end-of-cash-the-end-of-freedom

    The obvious point is about taxation; you can tax money you know about. But the less obvious point is about control and #surveillance: if everything is done electronically you can know who is doing what, because spending is doing. Nothing meaningful can be done in the modern world without money following it: people need money to live and money must be used to buy any goods involved.

    If everything can be seen, everything can be controlled. Readers may remember when PayPal, Visa and Mastercard all decided to cut off payments to Wikileaks. I know it’s common on the left now to hate Wikileaks, but only a fool doesn’t understand the power involved in stopping someone from getting money.


  • The Education of a Libertarian | Cato Unbound
    https://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/13/peter-thiel/education-libertarian


    Le Credo d’un athée libertaire

    I remain committed to the faith of my teenage years: to authentic human freedom as a precondition for the highest good. I stand against confiscatory taxes, totalitarian collectives, and the ideology of the inevitability of the death of every individual. For all these reasons, I still call myself “libertarian.”

    But I must confess that over the last two decades, I have changed radically on the question of how to achieve these goals. Most importantly, I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible. By tracing out the development of my thinking, I hope to frame some of the challenges faced by all classical liberals today.

    As a Stanford undergraduate studying philosophy in the late 1980s, I naturally was drawn to the give-and-take of debate and the desire to bring about freedom through political means. I started a student newspaper to challenge the prevailing campus orthodoxies; we scored some limited victories, most notably in undoing speech codes instituted by the university. But in a broader sense we did not achieve all that much for all the effort expended. Much of it felt like trench warfare on the Western Front in World War I; there was a lot of carnage, but we did not move the center of the debate. In hindsight, we were preaching mainly to the choir — even if this had the important side benefit of convincing the choir’s members to continue singing for the rest of their lives.

    As a young lawyer and trader in Manhattan in the 1990s, I began to understand why so many become disillusioned after college. The world appears too big a place. Rather than fight the relentless indifference of the universe, many of my saner peers retreated to tending their small gardens. The higher one’s IQ, the more pessimistic one became about free-market politics — capitalism simply is not that popular with the crowd. Among the smartest conservatives, this pessimism often manifested in heroic drinking; the smartest libertarians, by contrast, had fewer hang-ups about positive law and escaped not only to alcohol but beyond it.

    As one fast-forwards to 2009, the prospects for a libertarian politics appear grim indeed. Exhibit A is a financial crisis caused by too much debt and leverage, facilitated by a government that insured against all sorts of moral hazards — and we know that the response to this crisis involves way more debt and leverage, and way more government. Those who have argued for free markets have been screaming into a hurricane. The events of recent months shatter any remaining hopes of politically minded libertarians. For those of us who are libertarian in 2009, our education culminates with the knowledge that the broader education of the body politic has become a fool’s errand.

    Indeed, even more pessimistically, the trend has been going the wrong way for a long time. To return to finance, the last economic depression in the United States that did not result in massive government intervention was the collapse of 1920–21. It was sharp but short, and entailed the sort of Schumpeterian “creative destruction” that could lead to a real boom. The decade that followed — the roaring 1920s — was so strong that historians have forgotten the depression that started it. The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics. Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron.

    In the face of these realities, one would despair if one limited one’s horizon to the world of politics. I do not despair because I no longer believe that politics encompasses all possible futures of our world. In our time, the great task for libertarians is to find an escape from politics in all its forms — from the totalitarian and fundamentalist catastrophes to the unthinking demos that guides so-called “social democracy.”

    The critical question then becomes one of means, of how to escape not via politics but beyond it. Because there are no truly free places left in our world, I suspect that the mode for escape must involve some sort of new and hitherto untried process that leads us to some undiscovered country; and for this reason I have focused my efforts on new technologies that may create a new space for freedom. Let me briefly speak to three such technological frontiers:

    (1) Cyberspace. As an entrepreneur and investor, I have focused my efforts on the Internet. In the late 1990s, the founding vision of PayPal centered on the creation of a new world currency, free from all government control and dilution — the end of monetary sovereignty, as it were. In the 2000s, companies like Facebook create the space for new modes of dissent and new ways to form communities not bounded by historical nation-states. By starting a new Internet business, an entrepreneur may create a new world. The hope of the Internet is that these new worlds will impact and force change on the existing social and political order. The limitation of the Internet is that these new worlds are virtual and that any escape may be more imaginary than real. The open question, which will not be resolved for many years, centers on which of these accounts of the Internet proves true.

    (2) Outer space. Because the vast reaches of outer space represent a limitless frontier, they also represent a limitless possibility for escape from world politics. But the final frontier still has a barrier to entry: Rocket technologies have seen only modest advances since the 1960s, so that outer space still remains almost impossibly far away. We must redouble the efforts to commercialize space, but we also must be realistic about the time horizons involved. The libertarian future of classic science fiction, à la Heinlein, will not happen before the second half of the 21st century.

    (3) Seasteading. Between cyberspace and outer space lies the possibility of settling the oceans. To my mind, the questions about whether people will live there (answer: enough will) are secondary to the questions about whether seasteading technology is imminent. From my vantage point, the technology involved is more tentative than the Internet, but much more realistic than space travel. We may have reached the stage at which it is economically feasible, or where it soon will be feasible. It is a realistic risk, and for this reason I eagerly support this initiative.

    The future of technology is not pre-determined, and we must resist the temptation of technological utopianism — the notion that technology has a momentum or will of its own, that it will guarantee a more free future, and therefore that we can ignore the terrible arc of the political in our world.

    A better metaphor is that we are in a deadly race between politics and technology. The future will be much better or much worse, but the question of the future remains very open indeed. We do not know exactly how close this race is, but I suspect that it may be very close, even down to the wire. Unlike the world of politics, in the world of technology the choices of individuals may still be paramount. The fate of our world may depend on the effort of a single person who builds or propagates the machinery of freedom that makes the world safe for capitalism.

    For this reason, all of us must wish Patri Friedman the very best in his extraordinary experiment.

    Editor’s Note: Mr. Thiel has further elaborated on the question of suffrage here. We copy these remarks below as well:

    I had hoped my essay on the limits of politics would provoke reactions, and I was not disappointed. But the most intense response has been aimed not at cyberspace, seasteading, or libertarian politics, but at a commonplace statistical observation about voting patterns that is often called the gender gap.

    It would be absurd to suggest that women’s votes will be taken away or that this would solve the political problems that vex us. While I don’t think any class of people should be disenfranchised, I have little hope that voting will make things better.

    Voting is not under siege in America, but many other rights are. In America, people are imprisoned for using even very mild drugs, tortured by our own government, and forced to bail out reckless financial companies.

    I believe that politics is way too intense. That’s why I’m a libertarian. Politics gets people angry, destroys relationships, and polarizes peoples’ vision: the world is us versus them; good people versus the other. Politics is about interfering with other people’s lives without their consent. That’s probably why, in the past, libertarians have made little progress in the political sphere. Thus, I advocate focusing energy elsewhere, onto peaceful projects that some consider utopian.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Thiel

    #disruption #religion #singularité #capitalisme #Trump


  • Why There Are No New Social Networks – The Ringer
    https://theringer.com/social-media-invention-facebook-twitter-snapchat-tech-e40178df183

    “Social apps are now focused on messaging, and certainly it’s a vibrant area of innovation and advancement,” Blau told me. “So I wouldn’t say that all social apps are stagnating.” Maybe the copycat cycle will just push us away from public-facing social apps altogether and into private messaging, an arguably more inventive (and in some cases, nicer) space. It seems that the only time someone is able to create a new social network, it’s by accident. Venmo is not a social app — at least, it wasn’t intended to be. The PayPal-owned payment system was launched as a dead simple way to share money, complete with a few lighthearted features like emoji and a real-time feed of users’ transactions. This feed ultimately became a sort of social network within the app: It fuels FOMO, forces us to consider the financial side of dating, and even acts as a window into modern drug culture.

    Venmo didn’t set out to be a better Twitter or a Facebook alternative; it took a fact of daily life that wasn’t all that interesting and certainly not very “social,” and created new digital communication behaviors. It was accidentally inventive.

    Product Hunt’s social editor and writer, Niv Dror, says there’s something else keeping this market stagnant. “Once an app becomes significant enough to pose a threat to the big players, they either get acquired or significantly handicapped by a competitive feature or restricted access,” he told me via email. He cites Meerkat, a huge 2015 hit I’d nearly forgotten about, which was one of the originating apps in the now-ubiquitous livestreaming trend. Dror worked at Meerkat until the app was forced to shutter. “On my second day working at Meerkat, Twitter decided to cut off our access to the social graph (since they acquired Periscope), which really hurt us in the long run.”

    #médias_sociaux


  • Life in the People’s Republic of WeChat - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-09/life-in-the-people-s-republic-of-wechat

    More than 760 million people use it regularly worldwide; it’s basically how people in China communicate now. It’s actually a lot of trouble not to use WeChat when you’re there, and socially weird, like refusing to wear shoes.

    In China, 90 percent of internet users connect online through a mobile device, and those people on average spend more than a third of their internet time in WeChat. It’s fundamentally a messaging app, but it also serves many of the functions of PayPal, Yelp, Facebook, Uber, Amazon, Expedia, Slack, Spotify, Tinder, and more. People use WeChat to pay rent, locate parking, invest, make a doctor’s appointment, find a one-night stand, donate to charity. The police in Shenzhen pay rewards through WeChat to people who rat out traffic violators—through WeChat.

    On the train, I notice a woman moving methodically down the car, stopping to talk to the other passengers. Is she begging? Testifying? Only when she stops before the woman next to me do I get it: She’s asking for QR scans, trying to get followers for a WeChat official account.

    #wechat #Tencent #messagerie


  • Why Some Silicon Valley Tech Executives Are Bunkering Down For Doomsday
    http://www.npr.org/2017/01/25/511507434/why-some-silicon-valley-tech-executives-are-bunkering-down-for-doomsday

    Max Levchin who was a co-founder of PayPal, is the CEO of Affirm, a lending startup, who is opposed actually to this trend of survivalist thinking but is surrounded by it. He said what people worry about is, to use Max’s word, “the pitchforks,” and by that he means the idea that the sort of tension that we saw with the Occupy movement a few years ago would take on a wider, more virulent form.

    [...]

    To give you an example, he said, “The food that’s on the shelves in our grocery stories depends on a supply chain that depends on GPS and GPS, the Global Positioning System, depends to some degree on the Internet, and the Internet depends to some degree on another system known as DNS, and each one of those is vulnerable in its own way.”...

    He’s a highly rational person. ... He said, “Look, I’m not rushing out and declaring that the end of the world is near, but what I am saying is that it is,” in his view, “logically rational to talk about the fragility of these digital and electrical systems, which are really second nature and largely unexamined as we go about our daily lives.”

    https://16553.mc.tritondigital.com/NPR_381444908/media-session/baec9d8b-055b-4a34-83ce-f08d4950f04a/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/381444908/511658475/npr_511658475.mp3

    Ou comment quelques pontes de la Silicon Valley se préparent au « doomsday », doutant entre autre de la solidité du système technique qu’ils dirigent face aux conséquences de la destruction du système politique et social que d’une certaine manière ils organisent.

    L’article original du New Yorker (Evan Osnos) :
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich

    Le Survival Condo :
    http://survivalcondo.com

    #Donald_Trump #Numérique #Politique #Silicon_Valley #Survivalisme #États-Unis


  • They Have, Right Now, Another You
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/12/22/they-have-right-now-another-you

    Stephen Crowley/The New York Times/Redux Peter Thiel speaking at the Republican National Convention, Cleveland, July 2016. Thiel, the first outside investor in Facebook and a cofounder of #PayPal, is a founder of #Palantir, a #Silicon\Valley firm funded by the #CIA, whose algorithms allow for rapid analysis of voluminous data that it makes available to intelligence agencies and numerous police forces as well as to corporations and financial institutions.

    Advertisements show up on our #Internet browser or #Facebook page or #Gmail and we tend to think they are there because some company is trying to sell us something it believes we want based on our browsing history or what weʼve said in an #e-mail or what we were searching for on #Google. We probably donʼt think they are there because we live in a particular neighborhood, or hang out with certain kinds of people, or that we have been scored a particular and obscure way by a pointillist rendering of our lives. And most likely, we donʼt imagine we are seeing those ads because an algorithm has determined that we are losers or easy marks or members of a particular ethnic or racial group.

    As OʼNeil points out, preferences and habits and zip codes and status updates are also used to create predatory ads, “ads that pinpoint people in great need and sell them false or overpriced promises.” People with poor credit may be offered payday loans; people with dead-end jobs may be offered expensive courses at for-profit colleges. The idea, OʼNeil writes, “is to locate the most #vulnerable people and then use their private #information against them. This involves finding where they suffer the most, which is known as the ‘#pain_point.

    #algorithme #délétère #données #data


  • Shadow Regulations
    https://www.eff.org/issues/shadow-regulation

    Shadow Regulations are voluntary agreements between companies (sometimes described as codes, principles, standards, or guidelines) to regulate your use of the Internet, often without your knowledge.

    Shadow Regulation has become increasingly popular after the monumental failure of restrictive Internet laws such as ACTA, SOPA and PIPA. This is because Shadow Regulation can involve restrictions that are as effective as any law, but without the need for approval by a court or parliament. Indeed, sometimes Shadow Regulation is even initiated by government officials, who offer companies the Hobson’s choice of coming up with a “voluntary” solution, or submitting to government regulation.

    How Big Pharma’s Shadow Regulation Censors the Internet
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/09/how-big-pharmas-shadow-regulation-censors-internet

    This particular Shadow Regulation network contains a confusing web of similar-sounding organizations with overlapping memberships, such as the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) and the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP). In simple terms the former is comprised mostly of the pharmaceutical industry, whereas the latter pulls in its partners such as Internet platforms (Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!), payment processors (PayPal, Mastercard, and American Express), delivery providers (UPS), and domain name companies (GoDaddy and Rightside). A third key player is LegitScript, which was instrumental in the formation of both ASOP and CSIP, and carries out most of the operational level arrangements that are agreed at a level of principle by those organizations. Internet users are not represented at board level in either ASOP, CSIP, or LegitScript.

    A hallmark of Shadow Regulation is that government is also often quietly involved behind the scenes, and so it is here. The formation of the CSIP was announced at a White House-hosted industry event [PDF] on October 14, 2010, following months of talks between the administration and the CSIP’s founding industry members. Similarly, LegitScript is led by the former Associate Deputy Director Office of National Drug Control Policy, and subsists on lucrative contracts from government as well as from private industry. With this framework in place, the “voluntary” adoption by Internet intermediaries of measures that primarily benefit the pharmaceutical industry suddenly becomes very easily explicable.

    #Etats-Unis #démocratie #farce #big_pharma