“We have labeled the Kenosha shooting a mass murder and are removing posts in support of the gunman,” Facebook announced just a week after the event, when it launched a truly epic campaign of censorship that blatantly contradicts its claimed free support. speech.
For starters, killing two people is now mass murder? It seems the social media giant’s staff just looked for the closest excuse to suppress posts that contradict their personal biases – and no senior person has bothered to correct the call.
The blackout went far and wide: Facebook actively monitored its users for pro-Kyle Rittenhouse posts and removed the content. It even targeted reports from lawyers advocating the merits of his self-defense case.
And it made it hard to see even the things that weren’t killed right away. “One of the main things they did was manipulate the search engine so that you couldn’t even find references to Kyle Rittenhouse,” Dan Gainor, vice president of the Media Research Center, told The Post. “They don’t interact with normal people.”
More broadly, the company explained its blackout as follows: “We do not allow symbols, praise or support from dangerous individuals or organizations on Facebook. We define dangerous as such things as: terrorist activity, organized hatred or violence, mass or serial murder, human trafficking, criminal or harmful activity.”
In other words, it found Rittenhouse guilty of breaking some of those rules months before he got his day in court (where he won justification) — and did its best to make sure he was found guilty in court. of public opinion through almost all defense arguments and evidence.
We also strongly doubt that Facebook is consistently applying its alleged bans on supporting “dangerous individuals or organizations,” “organized hatred,” or “criminal or harmful activity.” Too many of those terms are far too vague: For example, legitimate protest can be technically criminal, and accusations of “organized hate” are all too common.
A really neutral standard here is the one GoFundMe applies: It picked up every defense fund for Rittenhouse, saying the terms of service “prohibited raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime.” As long as it does that for all such funds, that’s not biased.
But the Facebook staff couldn’t resist taking sides. As one employee put it in internal discussions obtained by The Post, “Employees are drunk with the absolute power to be in control of society in America, without ever having to go to a voting booth (if voting is even an option).”
Social media now qualify for various legal protections by claiming to be ‘neutral platforms’. Yet Big Tech is developing a strong track record of suppressing the truth in the service of apparent political bias. Something has to change.
Packages pile up as Amazon Web Services outages destroy delivery
A glitch in Amazon Web Services wreaked havoc on the e-commerce giant’s delivery operations, preventing drivers from getting routes or packages and cutting off communication between Amazon and the thousands of drivers it relies on.
According to Downdetector, an online platform that provides users with real-time information about the status of various websites and services, the outage began around 10 a.m. Eastern time (8.30 p.m. IST) on Tuesday.
At the height of the outage, the web monitoring site reported more than 20,000 complaints for Amazon and more than 11,000 for Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud computing arm.
By 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time, reported outages had fallen by about half for AWS and two-thirds for Amazon, and by 7:35 PM Eastern Time, Amazon.com said it had resolved issues with network devices leading to web services outages. “Now that the network device issues have been resolved, we are now working on restoring any disrupted services.”
Earlier, three delivery service partners said an Amazon.com app used to communicate with deliverers was down as part of the system outage. Vans that were supposed to deliver packages along the way stopped with no communication from the company, the person said.
The problems came amid Amazon’s critical holiday shopping season, when the company couldn’t afford delays that could potentially cause lengthy lockdowns.
A West Coast delivery company owner said the company stopped deliveries on Tuesday and planned to regroup on Wednesday.
At the height of the outage, the web monitoring site reported more than 20,000 complaints for Amazon and more than 11,000 for the company’s cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services.
Multiple popular websites, including Coinbase Global, Robinhood Markets, Walt Disney and Netflix, were also affected, according to Downdetector.
Disney said that although people were able to enter the parks, they were having trouble checking in online and paying for purchases.
Video streaming service Netflix saw a 26 percent drop in traffic after the AWS issues were reported, demonstrating how quickly outages can ripple outwards, said Doug Madory, an analyst at network monitoring company Kentik. “It’s getting more complicated with software running these services, so if something goes wrong, it can take a long time to figure out what went wrong and fix it,” he said.
According to Downdetector, several popular websites were also affected, including those of McDonald’s, Venmo and T Rowe Price.
Webcast presentations from Comcast and Altice USA at UBS’s Global TMT Conference experienced disruptions on Tuesday, and the Charter Communications presentation was rescheduled.
AWS is the leading provider of cloud computing, selling companies compute and software services on demand rather than maintaining their own data centers and teams in-house. Its customers include a wide range of industries and the federal government.
How to choose a flight with the least chance of weather delays
The holidays are a notoriously difficult time to travel by plane, partly because of the number of people trying to fly and partly because of the greater chance of winter weather. Blizzards and icy airstrips can quickly derail days of air travel.
But while you can’t plan for every event or know what the weather will be like when you book your flights, you can can help minimize potential disruptions with smart planning.
Why you should choose an early flight
In general, experts recommend book an early flight, as delays and cancellations pile up over the course of a day. Since passenger flights generally don’t take off at night, airlines have some downtime to prepare for future (or existing) scheduling chaos. Catching a morning plane can reduce the chances of ending up in a domino of delays. And if your early flight is cancelled, you have more options for same-day departures than for evening departures.
However, be prepared for even the first flight in the morning to be a little behind, as deicing is often necessary after a plane has been sitting overnight and frost or snow has formed. It may still make sense to take the earliest flight, as most later aircraft taking off in winter conditions must defrost anyway, and these operations are not necessarily first come, first served.
If possible, fly direct, even if it means continuing your journey
While a direct flight isn’t always feasible when traveling between smaller cities, it may be the best way to keep disruptions to a minimum. You are only dependent on the path of one plane and there is no risk of missing connections due to delays or losing checked luggage somewhere along the way. Direct flights can certainly be late or canceled, but the overall experience is likely to involve less time and frustration than having to catch two or more planes.
If you live within a few hours of a major hub, it may even be worth driving to the larger airport to catch a direct flight, naturally balancing the total time and cost with the potential for delays.
Choose your connections carefully
If you can’t get a direct flight, don’t default to the fastest or cheapest route. Consider flying a more southerly route, where snow and ice are less likely.
This is of course not an exact science. While northern airports are more likely to be hit by winter storms, they are also better prepared to deal with the impact and keep things moving. Even a little snow can paralyze an airport that rarely sees winter weather.
In addition, the airports your flight visits before boarding also matters. Even if you’re flying through sunny Texas, your plane could come out of snowy Minnesota. Unfortunately, you can’t control that, and it takes a lot of research to find a flight path in advance.
You may consider transiting or ending up at smaller airports (or secondary airports in major cities) with lower passenger and flight numbers. It can also pay off to have a slightly longer transfer time in case your first flight is delayed or has to defrost.
Consider alternative routes if the weather is bad
Know the weather before you go and what alternative routes there are. If you expect to be affected by cancellations, you may be able to get ahead of it by rescheduling with your airline (rather than waiting for every other stranded passenger to try the same thing). Of course, know that the weather is unpredictable, airline staff are very busy during these times and there are only a limited number of flights with so many seats on the way to your destination. Preparedness and patience are the keywords.
Clap for the lottery operator’s bid to switch software provider
National lottery operator Ithuba has been dealt a blow in its attempt to switch software providers without the approval of the regulator, the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).
ITWeb recently reported that NLC filed an urgent injunction request in the courts in October to prevent Ithuba from being replaced IGT, a global company that has been providing software services to the lottery provider since 2015.
In a statement released today, the NLC says it “welcomes and endorses the decision taken by the Gauteng Supreme Court on Friday, December 3, 2021, to ban and prevent the national lottery operator Ithuba from changing their technology partner and gaming platform for the South African national lottery without authorization from the National Lotteries Commission, the regulator of lotteries and sports pools in South Africa, and that of the Minister for Trade, Industry and Competition”.
Everything was ready for Ithuba to migrate its software platform to local software service provider Paytronix.
ITWeb understands that a €250 million deal with Paytronix was made before the injunction was launched by the NLC at 11am.
It was the NLC’s argument that by designating Paytronix as a service provider, Ithuba acted illegally and violated the lottery technology supply and support agreement.
In court documents, the regulator said it wanted to ban and ban Ithuba from installing Paytronix from December 2021 and going “live” with its Paytronix lottery system.
It also wanted the lottery operator to abide by the license agreement by reverting to the terms of its pre-existing agreement with IGT. The NCL also wanted Ithuba to pay the costs of the lawsuit.
However, Ithuba believed that IGT is holding the national lottery operator to pay ransom while crowding out local players.
Since 2015, Paytronix has been the ICT solutions provider for SA’s third national lottery operator, Ithuba.
Within the first three years of his appointment, Paytronix Systems managed the data operations of more than 1.6 billion transactions on behalf of Ithuba, with a transaction value of more than R19.5 billion.
The company designed and operates Ithuba’s mobile e-commerce platform, which allows lottery players to enjoy the online player experience.
The NLC states in its statement that it has a legal duty to maintain, protect, monitor and support the integrity of the state lottery.
This means that the transactions related to the state lottery are constantly assessed and revised, so that the interests of stakeholders are not harmed, it notes.
“In accordance with Lottery Act No. 57 of 1997, as amended, and the National Lottery Operating License, NLC receives proposals from the operator for changes such as new games, play channels and changes to game rules and prize payout structures. These proposals are assessed and recommended to the board, which advises the minister on approval.”
In November 2021, following a series of agreements with Ithuba, the NLC filed an urgent injunction against Ithuba due to the validity of changes made to the Lottery Technology Supply and Support Agreement, the authority says.
It adds that the Supreme Court ruling affirms the regulator’s authority and responsibilities in ensuring the fair and transparent operation of the national lottery as follows:
- Prohibit and prevent Ithuba from implementing the Lottery Technology Supply and Support Agreement amendment and installing a new system from December 1, 2021.
- Instruct Ithuba to comply with the license agreement by reverting to the terms of the pre-existing agreement with the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.
“The NLC remains committed to ensuring that South Africa’s national lottery is a safe and trusted marketplace, by ensuring that existing systems have the necessary safeguards in place to ensure the interests of participants and the general public be protected,” it concludes.
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