Google bans cryptocurrency mining extensions in the Chrome Web Store

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In an effort to prevent malicious sites from using your computer’s processing power to mine cryptocurrency without your knowledge, Google is blocking all extensions that include mining scripts in the Chrome Web Store. The danger with such scripts is that they can hog your system resources, and cause your computer to slow down and overheat. Plus, they’re easy to bake into browser extensions that may be designed and described as something innocuous and useful to you, like automatically muting tabs with sound. Google says it previously allowed extensions that mined currency, as long as they were designed specifically for the…

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Microsoft bans offensive language on Xbox and Skype

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An update to Microsoft’s Services Agreement, to roll out on May 1, penalizes offensive language across Microsoft products, including Xbox and Skype. It raises a few questions about what the company considers offensive and how deeply into your communications they can delve in order to investigate. Originally spotted by law student Jonathan Corbett, the changes to the Service Agreement seem to focus on Xbox Live specifically: In the Code of Conduct section, we’ve clarified that use of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited. We’ve also clarified that violation of the Code of Conduct through Xbox Services may result in…

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Arizona Bans Uber’s Autonomous Vehicles Following Pedestrian Death

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Uber’s autonomous vehicles are no longer welcome in Arizona.

That’s according to the state’s governor Doug Ducey.

Around 10 PM on March 18, one of Uber’s autonomous vehicles struck a woman as she crossed a road in Tempe, Arizona. She later died from her injuries at a local hospital. This was the first time an AV caused a pedestrian fatality.

Yesterday, Ducey sent a letter to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi responding to the incident:

As governor, my top priority is public safety. Improving public safety has always been the emphasis of Arizona’s approach to autonomous vehicle testing, and my expectation is that public safety is also the top priority for all who operate this technology in the state of Arizona. The incident that took place on March 18 is an unquestionable failure to comply with this expectation…

In the best interests of the people of my state, I have directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to suspend Uber’s ability to test and operate autonomous vehicles on Arizona’s public roadways.

Immediately following the crash, Uber suspended all autonomous vehicle testing nationwide.

The Technologies That Power Self-Driving Cars [INFOGRAPHIC]
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But what’s remarkable is that Ducey restricted the penalty to the one company responsible: Uber. Waymo, General Motors, Mobileye, and various other AV manufacturers are also testing in the state; in the wake of the pedestrian death, Ducey could have chosen to ban all AV testing outright. Instead, he chose to allow  to continue their testing in the state.

In fact, the other companies still allowed soon be able to take those test to the next level. Less than three weeks before the Uber incident, Ducey signed an executive order giving companies permission to test their AVs without a human driver behind the wheel.

It’s still possible that other states will suspend Uber, or other AV testing. But so far, fears that the incident would hinder the maturation of autonomous vehicle technology seem to be unfounded.

The post Arizona Bans Uber’s Autonomous Vehicles Following Pedestrian Death appeared first on Futurism.

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Reddit bans communities trading firearms and drugs

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Reddit's bid to clean up its communities now includes what those communities trade. The social site has updated its policies to ban the trade of firearms, explosives, drugs (including alcohol and tobacco), services with "physical sexual contact," st…
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Facebook bans hate group Britain First

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Where is the line between free speech and expressing your views versus hate speech? That's the question that social networks have been grappling with for years, and it's only getting worse. Today, Facebook banned the alt-right group Britain First, wh…
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Facebook bans far-right hate group Britain First

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Facebook has announced it has permanently deleted the accounts of the far-right extremist group Britain First, and its leaders, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen. Britain First are perhaps one of the most controversial elements in British politics. Although the party has never known success at the ballot box, it’s boasted the one of the largest social media reaches of any British political institution. They became known for their inflammatory, emotionally-provocative, often ALL-CAPS posts, which pushed an unashamedly anti-Islam, anti-immigration, and eurosceptic perspective. In a blog post published earlier today titled “Taking action against Britain First,” the company elaborated on its…

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Presidential order bans Broadcom’s proposed acquisition of Qualcomm

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The Broadcom-Qualcomm deal is dead, forbidden by a presidential order. It is a permanent ban that forbids any future acquisition, merger or deal with similar consequences. Broadcom’s nominee’s for the Qualcomm board of directors have been disqualified by the same order. The presidential order cites “credible evidence” that the deal might threaten national security. It does not go into detail, but the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) said that Qualcomm’s leadership in wireless patents for 5G are key to national security. If Qualcomm is impeded in its R&D, Chinese companies…

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Bumble bans images of guns in profile pictures

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Dating app Bumble will no longer allow images of guns in users’ profile photos. In a blog post last night, the company announced that its moderation team would begin the process of removing any previously uploaded user photos that include gun imagery or firearms and continue to moderate new uploads in the future.

The decision comes amid widespread calls for gun control following several mass shootings in the US, including one last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed. In the weeks that followed, companies like Delta, United Airlines, MetLife, and Hertz cut ties with the NRA, largely due to public pushback. Bumble has also cut ties with the NRA, The New York Times reports.

Bumble’s CEO, Whitney Wolfe…

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YouTube bans Neo-Nazi group following backlash over hate speech

YouTube has banned the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen, but only after a Daily Beast report shamed the platform for its inaction. Since the Logan Paul fiasco, YouTube introduced a stricter content policy and (somewhat) more serious consequences for content…
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