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  1. George Floyd: Anonymous Hackers Reemerge Amid US Unrest - An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: As the United States deals with widespread civil unrest across dozens of cities, "hacktivist" group Anonymous has returned from the shadows. The hacker collective was once a regular fixture in the news, targeting those it accused of injustice with cyber-attacks. After years of relative quiet, it appears to have re-emerged in the wake of violent protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd, promising to expose the "many crimes" of the city's police to the world. However, it's not easy to pin down what, if anything, is genuinely the mysterious group's work. Various forms of cyber-attack are being attributed to Anonymous in relation to the George Floyd protests. First, the Minneapolis police department website was temporarily taken offline over the weekend in a suspected Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. This is an unsophisticated but effective form of cyber-attack that floods a server with data until it can't keep up and stops working -- in the same way that shopping websites can go offline when too many people flood it to snap up high-demand products. A database of email addresses and passwords claiming to be hacked from the police department's system is also in circulation, and being linked to Anonymous. However, there is no evidence that the police servers have been hacked and one researcher, Troy Hunt, says the credentials are likely to have been compiled from older data breaches. A page on the website of a minor United Nations agency has been turned into a memorial for Mr Floyd, replacing its contents with the message "Rest in Power, George Floyd", along with an Anonymous logo. On Twitter, unverified posts have also gone viral, apparently showing police radios playing music and preventing communication. However, experts suggest it is unlikely to be a hack, and could instead be the result of a stolen piece of hardware being commandeered by protesters on the scene -- if the videos are genuine in the first place. Anonymous activists are also circulating years-old accusations against President Trump, taken from documents in a civil court case that was voluntarily dismissed by the accuser before it went to trial.

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  2. Sony Postpones PS5 Event 'To Allow More Important Voices To Be Heard' - Sony is postponing its PlayStation 5 event that was scheduled for June 4th due to ongoing protests. From a report: "While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration," says Sony in a Twitter message. "And for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard."

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  3. India's Richest Man Built a Telecom Operator Everyone Wants a Piece Of - As investors' appetites sour in the midst of a pandemic, a three-and-a-half-year-old Indian firm has secured $10.3 billion in a month from Facebook and four U.S.-headquartered private equity firms. From a report: The major deals for Reliance Jio Platforms have sparked a sudden interest among analysts, executives and readers at a time when many are skeptical of similar big check sizes that some investors wrote to several young startups, many of which are today struggling to make sense of their finances. Prominent investors across the globe, including in India, have in recent weeks cautioned startups that they should be prepared for the "worst time" as new checks become elusive. Elsewhere in India, the world's second-largest internet market and where all startups together raised a record $14.5 billion last year, firms are witnessing down rounds (where their valuations are slashed). Miten Sampat, an angel investor, said last week that startups should expect a 40%-50% haircut in their valuations if they do get an investment offer. Facebook's $5.7 billion investment valued the company at $57 billion. But U.S. private equity firms Silver Lake, Vista, General Atlantic, and KKR -- all the other deals announced in the past five weeks -- are paying a 12.5% premium for their stake in Jio Platforms, valuing it at $65 billion.

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  4. New Ebola Outbreak Declared in Congo City That Last Saw the Virus in 2018 - Congo's health minister confirmed the discovery of a new Ebola case in the country's Equateur province, which last saw an outbreak of the highly deadly virus in 2018, ultimately killing 33 people there. From a report: The province's governor, Bobo Boloko Bolumbu, spoke on national radio earlier on Monday, saying there were five likely cases and that four of those infected had already died. He said the cases were found in Mbandaka, the provincial capital, which is home to more than 1 million people and is an important port city at the confluence of the Congo and Ruki rivers, which are heavily plied for trade and transport. The World Health Organization's director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said later on Monday that six cases had been identified by Congo's Health Ministry. He said the WHO's response was already underway. No cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Mbandaka, although more than 3,000 have been confirmed across Congo. The coronavirus and Ebola are unrelated. Ebola, which is endemic to Africa's tropical rainforests, is transmitted only through contact with an infected person's bodily fluids and manifests as a hemorrhagic fever accompanied in severe cases by vomiting and extensive internal bleeding. Congo has grappled for almost two years with a separate Ebola outbreak in its northeastern provinces that has killed 2,272 people so far. In April, the end of that outbreak, the country's worst, had been just days away from being declared over when new cases were found. The same region is also home to the world's largest ongoing measles outbreak. Further reading: WHO's statement. .

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  5. Behind Tech Layoffs Lay Systemic Cash Flow Negative Companies - An anonymous reader shares an analysis: Since the pandemic started, there's been approximately 61,260 tech layoffs. Close to 30% of the layoffs came from public tech companies, 85% of those companies are unprofitable. No deep insights here, just the simple fact that the once growth hyper focused startups grew to be publicly traded companies without ever sorting their unit economics, and now their mediocracy has real consequences on real people. This includes household names such as Uber, Lyft, Casper, and Eventbrite which we've all used, and raises the question: why did we allow so many unprofitable companies IPO? When did losing money become acceptable and the new normal for publicly traded companies? Chamath Palihapitiya's "VC Ponzi Scheme" monologue comes to mind.

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  6. Publishers File Suit Against Internet Archive for Systematic Mass Scanning and Distribution of Literary Works - Today, member companies of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Internet Archive (IA) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The suit asks the Court to enjoin IA's mass scanning, public display, and distribution of entire literary works, which it offers to the public at large through global-facing businesses coined "Open Library" and "National Emergency Library," accessible at both openlibrary.org and archive.org. In a statement, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) wrote: IA has brazenly reproduced some 1.3 million bootleg scans of print books, including recent works, commercial fiction and non-fiction, thrillers, and children's books. The plaintiffs --Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons and Penguin Random House -- publish many of the world's preeminent authors, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, Newbery Medal, Man Booker Prize, Caldecott Medal and Nobel Prize. Despite the self-serving library branding of its operations, IA's conduct bears little resemblance to the trusted role that thousands of American libraries play within their communities and as participants in the lawful copyright marketplace. IA scans books from cover to cover, posts complete digital files to its website, and solicits users to access them for free by signing up for Internet Archive Accounts. The sheer scale of IA's infringement described in the complaint -- and its stated objective to enlarge its illegal trove with abandon -- appear to make it one of the largest known book pirate sites in the world. IA publicly reports millions of dollars in revenue each year, including financial schemes that support its infringement design. In willfully ignoring the Copyright Act, IA conflates the separate markets and business models made possible by the statute's incentives and protections, robbing authors and publishers of their ability to control the manner and timing of communicating their works to the public. IA not only conflates print books and eBooks, it ignores the well-established channels in which publishers do business with bookstores, e-commerce platforms, and libraries, including for print and eBook lending. As detailed in the complaint, IA makes no investment in creating the literary works it distributes and appears to give no thought to the impact of its efforts on the quality and vitality of the authorship that fuels the marketplace of ideas.

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  7. New Coronavirus 'Losing Potency', Top Italian Doctor Says - Reuters: The new coronavirus is losing its potency and has become much less lethal, a senior Italian doctor said on Sunday. "In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy," said Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in the northern region of Lombardy, which has borne the brunt of Italy's coronavirus contagion. "The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago," he told RAI television. Italy has the third highest death toll in the world from COVID-19, with 33,415 people dying since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21. It has the sixth highest global tally of cases at 233,019. However new infections and fatalities have fallen steadily in May and the country is unwinding some of the most rigid lockdown restrictions introduced anywhere on the continent. Zangrillo said some experts were too alarmist about the prospect of a second wave of infections and politicians needed to take into account the new reality. "We've got to get back to being a normal country," he said. "Someone has to take responsibility for terrorizing the country." The government urged caution, saying it was far too soon to claim victory.

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  8. Samsung Rolls Out Access Upgrade Plan For New Galaxy Devices - Samsung is rolling out Samsung Access, a monthly premium upgrade program in the US for users who purchase new Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, or Galaxy S20 Ultra phones, the company announced in a blog post. From a report: Unlike its legacy upgrade program, Samsung Access provides additional benefits, including a Premium Care membership, and a premium Microsoft 365 subscription, which includes Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Skype, along with 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage. Another big difference between the new Access plan and the legacy upgrade plan: if you already have a Samsung device, you can't trade it in to join the new Access plan. The standard upgrade plan allows you to trade in an existing device and put any remaining balance toward a new one. Pricing for a minimum three-month subscription to Samsung Access will cost $37 per month for the S20, $42 per month for the S20 Plus, and $48 per month for the S20 Ultra.

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  9. Microsoft Now Credits Maker of Package Manager it 'Copied' -- But Offers No Apology - Microsoft has now admitted it failed to give due credit to Canadian developer Keivan Beigi for his role in the new WinGet Windows 10 package manager. From a report: Last week, Beigi, who built the open-source AppGet package manager for Windows, accused Microsoft of copying his work for WinGet without acknowledging his product's influence. Beigi says Microsoft copied large parts of AppGet to deliver WinGet, the Windows package manager announced at Microsoft Build 2020. Last week, he detailed his discussions with a senior manager at Microsoft named Andrew who approached him in July 2019 with an invitation to meet and discuss "how we can make your life easier building AppGet". Andrew Clinick, a group program manager on the team responsible for how apps install on Windows, has now admitted Microsoft failed to give Beigi proper credit for AppGet's influence on WinGet. "Our goal is to provide a great product to our customers and community where everyone can contribute and receive recognition," wrote Clinick. "The last thing that we want to do is alienate anyone in the process. That is why we are building it on GitHub in the open where everyone can contribute. "Over the past couple of days we've listened and learned from our community and clearly we did not live up to this goal. More specifically, we failed to live up to this with Keivan and AppGet. This was the last thing that we wanted."

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  10. Facebook Employees Publicly Criticize Zuckerberg's Inaction Over Trump - Senior Facebook employees took to Twitter over the weekend to express their dismay at Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg's decision not to take action on incendiary comments posted to the social network by U.S. President Donald Trump. From a report: After the president tweeted a message with the words "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" in response to protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Twitter for the first time obscured one of his tweets, marking it with a warning that it breached service rules by glorifying violence. Facebook's response to the same content, in a post from Zuckerberg on Friday, was to say, "We think people need to know if the government is planning to deploy force." Several senior figures at Facebook expressed strong disagreement. "Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind," said Ryan Freitas, director of product design for Facebook's News Feed. "I apologize if you were waiting for me to have some sort of external opinion. I focused on organizing 50+ likeminded folks into something that looks like internal change." "Giving a platform to incite violence and spread disinformation is unacceptable, regardless who you are or if it's newsworthy," wrote Andrew Crow, head of design for Facebook's Portal product line. Joining them with individual messages against the passive policy were Design Manager Jason Stirman, Director of Product Management Jason Toff and Product Designer Sara Zhang, who tweeted that "Internally we are voicing our concerns, so far to no avail."

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