YouTube celebrates Deaf Awareness Week by killing crowd-sourced captions

(arstechnica.com)

YouTube says it's killing crowd-source subtitles due to spam and low usage. "While we hoped Community Contributions would be a wide-scale, community-driven source of quality translations for Creators," the company wrote, "it's rarely used and people continue to report spam and abuse." The community does not seem to agree with this assessment, since a petition immediately popped up asking YouTube to reconsider, and so far a half-million people have signed. "Removing community captions locks so many viewers out of the experience," the petition reads. "Community captions ensured that many videos were accessible that otherwise would not be."

Instead of the free, in-house solution YouTube already built and doesn't want to keep running, the company's shutdown post pushes users to paid, third-party alternatives like Amara.org. YouTube says that because "many of you rely on community captions," (what happened to the low usage?) "YouTube will be covering the cost of a 6 month subscription of Amara.org for all creators who have used the Community Contribution feature for at least 3 videos in the last 60 days."

This is why we need decentralized alternatives to YouTube more than ever.

Microsoft plans to buy Zenimax Media, Bethesda's parent company for $7.5 billion

(bloom.bg)

Bethesda is the publisher of games like The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout and also has at least two titles slated for debut next year. ZeniMax, based in Rockville, Maryland, owns several other studios across the globe, giving Microsoft’s Xbox business a much-needed infusion of titles and game developers. It’s one of the biggest privately held game companies with 2,300 employees worldwide, Microsoft said. The latest in the Elder Scrolls series has sold more than 20 million copies, making it among the top-selling games of all time.

Microsoft will keep that commitment, Spencer said in an interview. Future games, like Starfield, will be available for Xbox, PC and Microsoft’s Game Pass video-game service. “We’ll take other consoles on a case-by-case basis,” Spencer said.

Microsoft is trying to monopolize the gaming industry over the past couple of years by buying all these companies and it's not going to be good in the long term. I fully expect their IPs to be Xbox and Windows 10 exclusive eventually.

Boy, the US House Antitrust Committee has to be beating themselves for not inviting them like the other Big Four a couple months ago. It's called building a monopoly.

Nintendo 3DS production officially ends

(www.polygon.com)

“We can confirm that the manufacturing of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems has ended. Nintendo and third-party games for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems will continue to be available in Nintendo eShop, on Nintendo.com and at retail. The existing library of more than 1,000 Nintendo 3DS games contains many critically acclaimed titles and can provide years of content to explore and enjoy.”

The end of the 3DS is no surprise — the Nintendo Switch had replaced the 3DS as the company’s state-of-the-art handheld, practically since its launch in early 2017. The 3DS closes down a nearly 10-year run, beginning with its February 2011 launch, going through several model revisions and variations, and ending with the New Nintendo 3DS, New 3DS XL, 2DS, and 2DS XL. The 3DS was the successor of Nintendo’s extraordinarily popular DS line of handhelds, which began in 2004 and ended in 2013 with 154 million units sold.

End of an era, glad I was able to get two 3DS models. It'll be missed surely.

New Ham Radio Onboard The ISS Is On The Air

(k0lwc.com)

The ISS features four different vertical antennas on the spacecraft. The reason for four antennas is redundancy in case of an antenna failure. They are made of flexible metal tape that are coated in Kapton, a polyimide film that can withstand extreme temperatures. The antennas are designed to withstand kick loads of 125 lbs.

Very cool stuff here!

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission finds that IBM discriminated against older workers when making thousands of layoffs between 2013 and 2018

(www.propublica.org)

The letter says a nationwide EEOC investigation “uncovered top-down messaging from (IBM’s) highest ranks directing managers to engage in an aggressive approach to significantly reduce the headcount of older workers to make room for” younger ones.

Lawyers for some former workers said EEOC investigators have told them the agency decision may apply to more than 6,000 ex-IBM employees, a number that could grow considerably if, as experts say is likely, the agency’s finding prompts new, private age discriminaton lawsuits.

This is huge, glad that it has been opened up to maybe more legal actions against IBM. Journalism works in this case.

NIVIDIA has agreed to buy ARM for $40 billion in cash/stock

(bloom.bg)

Nvidia will pay $21.5 billion in stock and $12 billion in cash for the U.K.-based chip designer, including a $2 billion payment at signing. SoftBank may receive an additional $5 billion in cash or stock if Arm’s performance meets certain targets, the companies said Sunday in a statement. An additional $1.5 billion will be paid to Arm employees in Nvidia stock.

Regulatory approvals may well prove challenging. The companies said sign-offs are needed from China, U.K., European Union and U.S. authorities and may take as long as 18 months. China’s approval may be particularly difficult given rising tensions with the U.S.

One client that will be directly challenged is Intel. Huang said a priority will be investing in Arm’s efforts to design chips for data-center computing. While he’s carved out a $3 billion niche in the business of supplying Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. with graphics processors that help with their artificial intelligence workloads, Huang said he wants to speed up the adoption of Arm-based central processors, or CPUs. That’s a lucrative market dominated by Intel, which has about 90% share.

question remains that if it'll get by regulators from the US and EU, which I hope not because this is a monopoly play and it's going to be bad for mostly everyone.

Cathleen Ritteriser on the observance of 2751 Moments of Silence.

(cathleenritt-blog.tumblr.com)

Getting out my calculator, I learned the grim statistic that 2751 over 24 hours amounted to just under 2 people per minute. By defining a “moment” as 30 seconds, it would take 22.9 hours to observe a moment of silence for each individual killed that day. The last hour honors those that survived, yet suffered loss or trauma, and are forever haunted by the events of that day. 2751 Moments of Silence. Because social media like Twitter and Facebook have given me the luxury of meeting and befriending so many new, interesting individuals, while giving me a chance to develop personally, creatively and professionally, I want those 2751 individuals to have it for a day. 2751 individuals never had the chance to tweet, post a Facebook status update, record a Seesmic, write their blog or to decide it was all stupid and a complete waste of time. So on September 11th, neither will I. I encourage you to join me. In response to, “What are you doing right now?”, just say, 2751 Moments of Silence.

This still gets me to this day.

Jim Wright with a must-read on what a lot of people are feeling in the nearly two decades since 9/11

(www.stonekettle.com)

We simply cannot kill enough people to sate our need for revenge.

Entire countries were laid waste in revenge for 9-11. We did that. I know, I was there, I was one of those who went to war for a lie and helped to kill hundreds of thousands in revenge for something they never did.

It’s been almost 20 years now, and in those decades since 911 we Americans have become a callous people who can look upon those devastated lands and say, well, you know they had it coming, all of those bastards had it coming including their goddamned children. Fuck them.

We became a nation that tortures people and disappears people and detains people, including our own citizens, indefinitely without trial or recourse in abject repudiation of the very spirit of our nation’s own founding – and we are unashamed of that and unrepentant.

Nearly two decades on and we have a become a nation so filled with hate, so filled with rage, so fearful and so terrorized, that we are now deporting the very veterans who fought for America in the terrible days after 9-11.

2020 feels so much different that 2001: From unified to divided than ever.

joeo10.10centuries.org.

The Apocalyptic Red Western Skies Caused by Climate Change-Fueled Wildfires

(kottke.org)

These fires, along with the death, property damage, and poor health they’ve caused and will continue to cause, are just some of the debts coming due for decades of bad public policy, political inaction, and deliberate negligence by fossil fuel companies. The climate has changed and these are the consequences — the message in the sky is simply unmistakable.

Jason Kottke says it best on the Mars-like skies due to the fires on the west coast…

Karl Bode with a great piece on why the US will never going to fix their broken broadband sector until they recognize state and federal corruption is at the heart of the problem.

(www.techdirt.com)

While a kind gesture, the episode is fairly representative of our relationship to the digital divide and America's patchy, expensive broadband networks. As in, we've let telecom giants dictate state and federal policy for 30 years, resulting in geographic monopolies where the primary objective is maintaining the status quo (high prices, little competition, zero real accountability for market failure). Then, in the rare instance where the problem can hold our attention for more than thirty seconds, we throw a band aid on the byproduct of this corruption and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

American broadband doesn't suck because America is big, or because we haven't thrown enough money at the problem (giants like AT&T have received countless billions in tax breaks, subsidies, and regulatory favors, usually in exchange for bupkis). American broadband sucks because giant monopolies literally write state and federal telecom law, and have completely corrupted the legislative process from the town level on up.

This is why we're likely going to talk about this a decade from now since I feel nothing is going to change even with a new administration until the US can face this hard on.