The Media is Now Opinion-Checking

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

There is yet another new threat to an important right that Americans and all freedom loving peoples hold dear  –   the right to express one’s opinions on important societal issues in open public forums.  In the 1960s, I, and many others, fought this fight on university campuses all across America.  This fight was called the Free Speech Movement

Today, university campuses are the locus of a new, and sadly misguided movement, the Anti-Free Speech Movement.  Some refer to it as “Cancel Culture”, which is ill-defined, but in essence, by whatever name, it is a movement spurred by the pernicious idea that one group of people should be able to dictate what other people are allowed to say, what opinions they are allowed to express, what they can write and the very words they are allowed to speak.  Writers and speakers that do not fit into a very narrow window of what is deemed “acceptable” by the Twitter-mobs are shouted down, dis-invited, slandered, libeled, subjected to calls for dismissal from their employment and have their very lives threatened.

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Big Tech Platforms Can’t Have It Both Ways on Free Speech

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Climate Censorship

Chris WhiteFrom The Daily Caller – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Democratic Florida Rep. Kathy Castor is getting pushback from climate skeptics after she asked Google on Monday to nix content on YouTube that takes a skeptical approach to United Nations’ climate models.

Castor asked CEO Sundar Pichai in a Jan. 27 letter not to incentivize “climate misinformation content on its platform.” She made the request after a Jan. 16 report from a nonprofit group suggested it found examples where YouTube’s algorithms promoted so-called climate denialism.

“Stop promoting climate denial and climate disinformation videos by removing them immediately from the platform’s recommendation algorithm,” the Florida Democrat wrote in a list of suggestions to Pichai.

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Nasdaq De-FAANGed?

By Zachary Mannes – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

We generally chart the regular NASDAQ — the NDX, QQQ, and the futures — but when you consider that a mere five momentum names, affectionately given the acronym “FAANG,” comprise nearly 40% of the weighting of the entire index, a glance at the Equal Weight version is not a bad idea. I prefer the First Trust  (QQEW) to the Direxion (QQQE) as it seems to chart slightly cleaner and the “EW” is easier to remember.

Watching for nuanced differentiation in the patterns between the QQEW and NDX, it is possible to see the potential for the former to lead a bit. For example, back in August/September of 2018, QQEW marked a divergent high. More recently, the QQEW began to count more like the blue 5th wave extension of (5) of Primary Wave 3 before the NDX shifted from it’s “(B)” wave.

More importantly, though, is that fact that the Equal Weight does not get pulled to such price extremes by the disproportionate momentum of a scant few stocks. The Primary Wave 3 in NDX has stretched all the way to the 223.6% Fibonacci extension as measured in log-scale off the July 2010 low for Primary 2. By contrast, the QQEW hit a more perfect 161.8% Fibonacci extension for it’s Primary wave 3 top.

The disproportionate extension, though, also appears to affect the downside corrective moves.

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Should We Regulate Big Tech?

By Luigi Zingales – Re-Blogged From Imprimis & Hillsdale College

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the invention of the automobile liberated individuals from the yoke of distance. While people could travel before the invention and widespread use of the automobile, they were bound in their daily lives by the limited distance horses could cover. Railroads alleviated but did not eliminate those restrictions—movement was confined by the location of railroad tracks and by train schedules. It was only the automobile that gave individuals the freedom to move at their own leisure.

A century after the invention of the automobile, the invention of the smartphone triggered a similar revolution. And while history never repeats itself, sometimes it rhymes, and these rhymes can help us understand the present.

Before the smartphone, people were tethered to their landlines. In the 1990s, the proliferation of mobile phones and increased access to the Internet greatly expanded our freedom to communicate and our access to information. But it was the introduction of the smartphone in 2007, coupled with mobile communication and the Internet, that brought unprecedented access to information to the Western world and to a significant portion of the developing world.

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Has This Become A “Short Everything In Sight” Market?

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

One of the strangest things about this strangest-ever expansion has been the way pretty much everything went up. Stocks, bonds, real estate, art, oil – some of which have historically negative correlations with others — all rose more-or-less in lock-step. And within asset classes, the big names behaved the same way, rising regardless of their relative valuation.

This seemingly indiscriminate buying created a paradise for index funds that simply accumulate representative assets in their chosen sectors. And it made life a nightmare for the higher-order strategies of hedge funds that get paid to beat the market.

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Google, Facebook, Amazon May Be ‘Antitrust Situations’

By Bloomberg – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump, stepping up his criticism of technology firms he says are favoring liberal points of view, said they may be in a “very antitrust situation” but repeatedly said he can’t comment publicly on whether they should be broken up.

“I won’t comment on the breaking up, of whether it’s that or Amazon or Facebook,” Trump said in an Oval Office interview Thursday with Bloomberg News. “As you know, many people think it is a very antitrust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that.”

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Amazon Isn’t Paying Its Electric Bills. You Might Be

By Mya Frazier – Re-Blogged From Bloomberg

For a little while earlier this year, it seemed as though 87-year-old Rosie Thomas and her neighbors in the small town of Gainesville, Va., had beaten Amazon. Virginia’s largest utility, Dominion Energy Inc., had planned to run an aboveground power line straight through a Civil War battlefield—and Thomas’s property—to reach a nearby data center run by an Amazon.com Inc. subsidiary. After three years of petitions and protests in front of the gated data center, skirmishes punctuated by barking dogs and shooing police, Dominion agreed to bury that part of the line along a nearby highway, at an estimated cost of $172 million.

Formal Complaint Against Facebook for ‘Discriminatory Policy’

By Washington Times – Re-Blogged From Info-Wars

Data mining practices could violate the Civil Rights Act

The Trump administration announced a fair housing discrimination complaint against social media giant Facebook on Friday, saying the way the company targets ads can be used to screen out people based on race, sex or other protected categories.

The complaint goes to the heart of Facebook’s business model, which depends on being able to offer advertisers micro-targeting.

“Facebook mines extensive user data and classifies its users based on protected characteristics. Facebook’s ad targeting tools then invite advertisers to express unlawful preferences by suggesting discriminatory options,” the Housing and Urban Development Department said in the complaint.

Among those options are physical disabilities, parents with children and even religious practices — advertisers are allowed to show their ads only to people Facebook deems interested in “Jesus” or the “Christian Church,” for example.

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Adobe Partners with Companies to Help Track People via Devices for Ads

By Bestboy3 – Re-Blogged From The Corporate World

Adobe has shaken hands with around 60 companies who joined together for this cause of following us around online. Some major brands included in this deal are Sprint, Subway, and even the NFL!

When people hear the name “Adobe” they think of it as a company that’s involved with photoshop, PDF files, MP4, etc. Now let us talk about how this new partnership is going to work. Adobe is working with top companies to make your online experience more personalized. They will do this by filtering out adds with products/services that you’ve already bought or will never buy. In fact, Adobe will have files that can tell you’re the same person by your device. For example, if you have a PC that you always log into or an Ipad that has your account on it.

The initiative comes amid heightened privacy sensitivities after reports that Facebook allowed a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, to harvest data on millions of Facebook users to influence elections… see previous post “Facebook Under Fire”. Facebook also has been criticized for collecting call and text logs from phones running Google’s Android system.

The company timed Wednesday’s announcement to a digital marketing conference it is hosting this week in Las Vegas. Adobe executives said they believed their initiative offers strong privacy safeguards, though many people aren’t so convinced after what recently happened with Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.

All this might feel creepy, but such cross-device tracking is already commonly done by matching attributes such as devices that from the same internet location, or IP address. Consumers typically have little control over it.

However, in taking an opt-out approach, which is common in the industry, Adobe assumes that users consent, and it places the burden on consumers to learn about this initiative and to figure out how they can opt out of it.

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What the GDPR Means for Companies in Europe and Beyond

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • Not all EU member states have enacted national laws on data protection, and many will have difficulty shouldering the costs of doing so.
  • The second half of 2018 will provide early indicators of how much the European Union can influence large technology companies to address the privacy concerns of EU citizens.
  • Uncertainty regarding the severity of national enforcement could influence the regional development of technology, especially in terms of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Though the GDPR standardizes data protection policies across the European Union, each individual member state is required to place its own language into national law, leaving the door open for countries to interpret and implement the regulations in different ways.

(Shutterstock.com)

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Google Truth Algorithm

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Google’s efforts to filter out positions which they think are fake news, like climate skeptic posts, have hit an unexpected snag: Google have just noticed large groups of people across the world hold views which differ from the views championed by the Silicon Valley monoculture.

Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt: It can be ‘very difficult’ for Google’s search algorithm to understand truth

Catherine Clifford
2:38 PM ET Tue, 21 Nov 2017

In the United States’ current polarized political environment, the constant publishing of articles with vehemently opposing arguments has made it almost impossible for Google to rank information properly.

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