The Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

Have you seen innovation and invention in the past decade that required thinking out of the box of an old reality? Indeed, you have. I can't tell you what's coming, because you haven't thought of it yet! But the potentials of it are looming large. Let me give you an example, Let us say that 20 years ago, you predicted that there would be something called the Internet on a device you don't really have yet using technology that you can't imagine. You will have full libraries, buildings filled with books, in your hand - a worldwide encyclopedia of everything knowable, with the ability to look it up instantly! Not only that, but that look-up service isn't going to cost a penny! You can call friends and see them on a video screen, and it won't cost a penny! No matter how long you use this service and to what depth you use it, the service itself will be free.

Now, anyone listening to you back then would perhaps have said, "Even if we can believe the technological part, which we think is impossible, everything costs something. There has to be a charge for it! Otherwise, how would they stay in business?" The answer is this: With new invention comes new paradigms of business. You don't know what you don't know, so don't decide in advance what you think is coming based on an old energy world. ..."
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls
Logo No Hate Speech Movement

Bundestag passes law to fine social media companies for not deleting hate speech

Honouring computing’s 1843 visionary, Lady Ada Lovelace. (Design of doodle by Kevin Laughlin)

Monday, September 30, 2019

Russia rolls out the red carpet for Huawei over 5G

Yahoo – AFP, Andrea PALASCIANO, September 29, 2019

Russia's move with Huawei may be as much a show of solidarity with Beijing against the
US as it is a drive to bring ultra high-speed internet to Russia (AFP Photo/FRED DUFOUR)

Moscow (AFP) - While the US banned Huawei for alleged espionage and asked its allies to do the same, Moscow has rolled out the red carpet for the Chinese tech company, letting it develop 5G networks in Russia.

Analysts say the move is as much a show of solidarity with Beijing against the US as it is a drive to bring ultra high-speed internet to Russian tech users.

This month, Huawei opened its first 5G test zone in Moscow in partnership Russian operator MTS, with a view to rolling out the service to the rest of the capital.

Moscow authorities say the network will become part of the city's normal infrastructure within the next few years.

A pioneer in telecoms networks compared to many Western countries, Russia plans to deploy 5G in all of its main cities by 2024.

When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Russia in June -- at the height of Washington's conflict with Huawei -- Russia's main operator MTS signed a contract with the Chinese company.

'We live well in Russia'

At the inauguration of the 5G zone in Moscow, the CEO of Russia's branch of Huawei Zhao Lei praised the company's activities in the country.

"We have been working in Russia for 22 years. Thanks to our partners, we live well here," he said.

Russia's move with Huawei may be as much a show of solidarity with Beijing 
against the US as it is a drive to bring ultra high-speed internet to Russia (AFP 

He added that Huawei, considered a world leader in 5G technology, plans to "lead in the development of 6G" in the future.

Huawei is also the world's second-largest smartphone company. It did not respond to AFP's interview requests.

A source in Russia's 5G research community said Huawei is the biggest investor in the development of mobile technologies in Russia, with "the largest research laboratory of all operators" in Moscow.

According to the Vedomosti business daily, Huawei currently employs 400 people in Moscow and 150 in Saint Petersburg in mobile research and development. It aims to employ 500 more people by the end of 2019 and 1,000 more over five years.

Experts said Russia's welcome of Huawei does not mean the Chinese company is alone in the race for developing 5G in Russia.

"Russian operators are all collaborating with multiple 5G equipment vendors, Huawei included. We do not see any clear 5G leaders in the network deployment in Russia," said Michela Landoni, an analyst at Fitch Solutions.

She said operators prefer this approach to avoid being "reliant on one specific vendor" and to protect themselves against cyber threats.

The Tele2 operator was the first to launch 5G in Russia with Sweden's Ericsson in August, on Moscow's main Tverskaya street.

Russia and China, analysts say, are trying to break away from the US 
monopoly over smartphone operating systems (AFP Photo/Christof STACHE)

'Economic front'

In the midst of a trade war and technological rivalry with China, the US has threatened to cut Huawei's access to the US components and services it needs, such as the Android operating system that the company uses on its phones.

Russia then promptly stepped in to offer its Aurora operating system to the Chinese group.

If Android remains Huawei's preferred choice, Landoni said Aurora could be a "short-term solution" for the group.

According to the analyst, Aurora could become a "stepping stone" in the development for Huawei's own OS.

According to Sylvain Chevallier, a partner at the technology consulting firm BearingPoint, the aim is "to create an economic front against the US."

Russia and China, he said, are trying to break away from the US monopoly over smartphone operating systems.

As for the espionage risks Washington has warned of, Russia is hardly worried.

While using foreign mobile equipment risks foreign government accessing data, for Russia there is "no big difference" if it is Huawei, Ericsson or another company, said Evgeny Khorov, the head of the Wireless Network Lab at Russia's Academy of Sciences.

"Many people use Android phones whose system is designed by Google. Does this mean that Google has access to all the data? Yes, of course," he said.

"So what's the difference between Huawei and Google in this case?"

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Google wins EU fight against worldwide 'right to be forgotten'

Yahoo – AFP, Catherine KURZAWA, 24 September 2019

Google hailed the ruling, saying it has worked Google has worked "to strike a
sensible balance between people’s rights of access to information and privacy"

Google is not required to apply an EU "right to be forgotten" to its search engine domains outside Europe, the EU's top court ruled Tuesday in a landmark decision.

The European Court of Justice handed victory to Google in the case, seen as crucial in determining whether EU online regulation should apply beyond Europe's borders or not.

The US internet giant had argued that the removal of search results required under EU law should not extend to its domain or its other non-EU sites.

The court ruled that, while a search engine operator such as Google must carry out "de-referencing" of links as demanded by a regulator or court in an EU state to all European versions of its sites, that "right to be forgotten" did not need to go further.

"There is no obligation under EU law" for search engine operators such as Google "to carry out such a de-referencing on all the versions of its search engine," the court said.

But it did stress that de-referencing on EU sites must include measures to "seriously discourage" a European internet user being able to get around the "right to be forgotten" by accessing unrestricted results from a search engine on a non-EU domain.

That demands "geo-blocking", which Google says it already uses effectively in Europe.

Savvy internet users, however, can get around that measure with a VPN that masks the user's location, or by going to some non-Google search engines.

Google hails win

The EU court case, seen as pitting individuals' rights to privacy online against freedom of information, stemmed from a legal battle waged by France since 2014 to have Google apply the "right to be forgotten" to all its search domains.

If France had won, it could have deepened a rift between Europe and the United States, which is home to most of the internet's behemoths and whose President Donald Trump has railed against what he sees as EU meddling in US business.

In the end, though, the court found that EU law on the issue did not seek to have the "right to be forgotten" extend beyond its borders.

Google hailed Tuesday's decision by the EU court.

"It's good to see that the court agreed with our arguments," its lawyer, Peter Fleischer, said in a statement, adding that Google has worked "to strike a sensible balance between people's rights of access to information and privacy".

The US company and other stakeholders had warned that authoritarian countries outside Europe could abuse global de-referencing requests to cover up rights violations.

"It's a balanced decision. You can't impose extraterritorial effects when it comes to de-referencing a person," said Yann Padova, a data privacy lawyer with the Baker McKenzie firm in Paris who was not involved in arguing the case.

"What would we say if China started demanding de-referencing of content accessible to French users?" he asked.

Closely watched case

Google's position was bolstered in January by a non-binding opinion from the EU court's top legal advisor, advocate general Maciej Szpunar, who recommended judges "should limit the scope of the de-referencing that search engine operators are required to carry out, to the EU".

The case had been closely watched, especially as Europe has also already emerged as a global rule-setter in terms of data protection on the internet.

A 2016 General Data Protection Regulation it enacted that covers all EU citizens and residents has forced many sites and companies around the globe to comply with its measures.

In terms of the "right to be forgotten" legal fight, France's data regulator, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), had argued that, for de-referencing to be effective, it must apply to all domains wherever they are.

In 2016, CNIL fined Google 100,000 euros ($110,000) for non-compliance. Google appealed to France's highest court, which in turn referred to the European Court of Justice, ending up with Tuesday's ruling.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Twitter closes thousands of fake news accounts worldwide

France24 –AFP, 20 September 2019

Washington (AFP) - Twitter said Friday it has closed down thousands of accounts across the world for spreading fake news as well as pro-government propaganda, including in places like the United Arab Emirates, China and Spain.

Accounts coming from China seeking to sow discord among protesters in Hong Kong were closed down, as were accounts amplifying a pro-Saudi message coming from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates directed at Qatar and Yemen, Twitter said.

Fake news accounts were also suspended in Spain and Ecuador.

The information release is part of the company's push to improve understanding of how its platform is used by state actors to manipulate public opinion.

Twitter said they had identified 4,302 accounts based in China "attempting to sow discord about the protest movement in Hong Kong."

This follows the identification in August of more than 200,000 fake accounts in China engaged in fueling public discord in Hong Kong.

The announcement follows Facebook's removing fake accounts based in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE last month for posting misinformation about regional hotspots including Libya, Sudan and Yemen.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Dutch Youtubers are fined $2,280 for Area 51 alien adventure

DutchNews, September 17, 2019

Photo: X51 via Wikimedia Commons 

Two young Dutchmen arrested in the US for trying to enter a military base part of Nevada known as Area 51, have been each fined $2,280 and ordered to stay away from the area for a year, website reported. 

The men, Ties Granzier aged 20 and Govert Sweep aged 21, both run YouTube channels and there was a drone, camera and laptops with them in the car they were driving. They were arrested a week ago, three miles inside the security zone, after telling police they had seen the signs but wanted to look at the site anyway. 

Area 51, around 120 miles north of Las Vegas, is home to a heavily guarded US military base. According to UFO conspiracy theorists, it is also home to the remains from a flying saucer that supposedly crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

PayPal cautious about future of Libra cryptocurrency

Yahoo – AFP, September 14, 2019

PayPal is part of the nonprofit Libra Association, which will oversee the
blockchain-based coin, maintaining a real-world asset reserve to keep its
value stable (AFP Photo/Handout)

San Francisco (AFP) - PayPal is cautious about the future of Facebook-backed cryptocurrency Libra, which is slated to debut with the pioneering digital payments firm as part of its oversight association.

International outcry is mounting over Libra -- with central banks, governments and regulators railing against Facebook's upstart cryptocurrency and questions over how it would be regulated.

The social media giant unveiled plans in June for Libra -- which will roll out in 2020 -- to be backed by a basket of currency assets to avoid the wild swings of Bitcoin and other virtual units.

"It's a non-binding commitment," PayPal investor relations vice president Gabrielle Rabinovitch said Thursday of the California-based company signing on to the Libra Association.

"And obviously, I think there's a lot of work to happen before we get to that point where it becomes something more than just a very exciting idea."

The nonprofit Libra Association, based in Geneva, will oversee the blockchain-based coin, maintaining a real-world asset reserve to keep its value stable.

Facebook envisioned Libra as a new global cryptocurrency, pledging to deliver a stable virtual money that lives on smartphones and could bring over a billion "unbanked" people into the financial system.

Hundreds of billions of dollars are transferred annually between migrants and loved ones in their home countries, and PayPal is a player in that sector.

"The goals and ambitions of Libra are very consistent with PayPal's overall ambitions in terms of serving the underserved; democratizing access to capital," Rabinovitch said.

"So we very much believe in the potential of Libra."

In Ivory Coast, telemedicine revolution proves blessing for heart patients

Yahoo – AFP, David ESNAULT, September 14, 2019

Thousands of heart patients in Ivory Coast are checked by telemedicine
each year (AFP Photo/DAVID ESNAULT)

Bouaké (Ivory Coast) (AFP) - Every time Catherine Coulibaly's 19-year-old son had to make a routine appointment with the cardiologist for his heart condition, she gritted her teeth as she silently counted the financial cost.

It wasn't just the hospital fee -- there was the transport, food and accommodation, too, all of it amounting to a hefty burden for an Ivorian family on a modest income.

But thanks to telemedicine -- consultations that doctors conduct through the internet or by phone -- this cost is now a fading memory.

Her son can book an appointment at a telemedicine facility in a nearby town in northern Ivory Coast.

There, he is attached to monitoring machines which send the data sent to Bouake University Hospital in the centre of the country, where it is scrutinised by a heart doctor.

The fledgling technology has long been championed by health advocates for poor rural economies.

Ivory Coast has become an African testbed for it, thanks to a project linking the Bouake hospital's cardiac department with health centres in several northern towns, some of which are a four-hour drive away.

Telemedicine "caused a sigh of relief for the population of Bouake, Boundiali, Korhogo, everyone," says Auguste Dosso, president of the "Little Heart" association, which helps families with cardiac health issues.

Some 45 percent of the Ivorian population live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank's latest estimate in 2017. And the minimum monthly wage -- not always respected -- is only around $100, or 90 euros.

Heart disease surging

The pioneer behind the scheme is cardiologist Florent Diby, who set up an association called Wake Up Africa.

In Ivory Coast, heart disease, diabetes and other "lifestyle" ailments are surging, Diby explained.

Cardiac specialists are rare in Ivory Coast -- patients can spend much of their
income in transport and accommodation when they need a consultation 

"Urbanisation is making people more sedentary, and there's the rise in tobacco consumption, changes in diet, stress," Diby said.

Three decades ago, only around one in eight of the Ivorian population had high blood pressure -- now the figure is one in four, on a par with parts of Western Europe.

But in Ivory Coast -- and across Africa -- well-equipped cardiology units are rare.

"Ninety percent of heart attacks can be diagnosed by telemedicine, so for us cardiologists it's a revolutionary technology," said Diby.

The beauty of the telemedicine scheme is that neither the doctor nor the patient has to travel far.

The cardiac patient is hooked up to the electrocardiogram (ECG) and other diagnostic machines with the help of a technician in a local health centre, which is connected to a computer in Bouake's University Hospital.

The cardiologist there can then see the results in real time, provide a diagnosis and prescribe treatment.

The five-year-old project has already linked 10 health centres to the seven cardiologists at Bouake, enabling 4,800 patients in other towns to receive consultations by telemedicine each year. The goal is to expand this to 20 sites, doubling the intake.

Expertise France, the French public agency for international technical assistance, subsidises up to 185,000 euros of the network, which pays for equipment such as computers, artificial intelligence software and internet connections.

Diby is now calling for telemedicine to be expanded in other medical fields such as neurology and psychiatry, not just in the Ivory Coast, but across West Africa too.

That opinion is shared by other experts. Sixty percent of Africans live in rural areas, where shortages of doctors are usually acute.

But numerous hurdles need to be overcome, especially investment in computers and access to the internet, according to a 2013 analysis published by the US National Library of Medicine.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Albert Heijn experiments with cash-register free supermarket

DutchNews, September 5, 2019 


Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn is experimenting with a new form of shopping in which ‘buying groceries is just like taking something out of the fridge’. 

The testing ground, a 14 square meter purpose-built store at the company’s Zaandam HQ, has no cash registers and shoppers do not have to scan the products they are buying either. 

Instead, customers open the door to the shop by scanning their bank card.  As they leave, the grocery bill will appear on a screen and the money they owe will automatically be deducted from their bank account. 

The Dutch market leader says it is the first company in Europe to try out such a system, which is currently only being used by company staff. Later this year the company aims to place its laboratory supermarket at a different location where it can be used by anyone.

‘We have cameras in store which register where you walk and what you are standing in front of,’ spokesman Jasper Hoogers said. ‘And this is only a trial. We are testing out lots of different scenarios to see if works.’ 

The cameras do not use facial recognition and work together with special shelving which registers if a product is removed or put back, Hoogers said. 

The company has not yet researched what customers think of the idea, but the underlying thought is to make things easier for clients, Hoogers said. ‘This would allow us to develop a store which can be located anywhere and is open 24 hours a day,’ he said.

Murder victim's plight prompts EU order on emergency calls

Yahoo – AFP, 5 September 2019

The European Court of Justice ordered that mobile phone operators hand over
data enabling calls to 112 to be localised

A horrific rape and murder of a kidnapped teen in Lithuania prompted the European Court of Justice on Thursday to order mobile phone operators to hand over data enabling the localisation of calls made to the international emergency number 112.

The 17-year-old girl, who was abducted and burnt alive in the boot of a car in 2013, made 10 desperate calls to 112 begging for help. However her number did not show in the call answering centre, preventing her being located.

The girl's family lodged a lawsuit, accusing Lithuania of failing to implement an EU directive requiring telecom operators to provide for free caller information to locate calls made to 112.

Thursday's decision by the court ordered that all phone operators in the EU give that information. They must do so even for phones which do not have a SIM card inserted but which are still able to connect to the 112 service.

Currently eight of the EU's 28 member states, among them France, do not allow phones without a SIM card to make 112 calls, according to the European Emergency Number Association.

In many cases, that was to prevent children playing with old mobile phones accidentally calling the emergency services number, it said.

The EU forms the core of the countries using 112 as an emergency number for mobile phones, originally offered on the GSM standard that Europe championed.

Later other countries adopted the number too, often alongside their own national emergency numbers, including Australia, China, India, Turkey and the United States.

The European Court of Justice ordered that mobile phone operators hand over data enabling calls to 112 to be localised.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Could cryptocurrency dethrone the dollar?

MSN – Yahoo, 1 September 2019 

Chris J Ratcliffe Bank of England governor Mark Carney has suggested that a
virtual currency could one day replace the dollar as king of the foreign exchange market

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has suggested that a virtual currency, modelled on Facebook's Libra, could one day replace the dollar as king of the foreign exchange market.

The BoE chief aired vague proposals for a so-called "Synthetic Hegemonic Currency" at the recent Jackson Hole Symposium of central bankers.

Here is a brief assessment of why the greenback is losing its lustre and the outlook for Carney's proposed new digital currency, which would be supported by major central banks around the world.

Why dollar dominance?

The dollar has been the world's reference currency since the Bretton Woods agreement in 1944, when various key units were fixed to the value of the greenback. It has retained its global supremacy ever since, thanks to the economic and political clout of the United States.

"The dominant currency is always that of the world's biggest political power," noted Philippe Waechter, head of research at Ostrum Asset Management.

The dollar accounted for almost 62 percent of global foreign exchange reserves in the first quarter of 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The European single currency was second with 20.2 percent, while China's yuan comprised only two percent despite the country's rise to the rank of the world's second biggest economy behind the US.

Why is greenback losing appeal?

Although the dollar has lost its sparkle owing to globalisation and the changing world economic order, gyrations in the US unit still impact economies elsewhere.

"US developments have significant spillovers onto both the trade performance and the financial conditions of countries even with relatively limited direct exposure to the US economy," Carney said at the recent bankers' meet in Wyoming.

Alastair Pike Don't expect the US to let its currency dwindle without a fight

When the greenback appreciates, so do repayments for many emerging nations because their debts tend to be denominated in dollars.

The BoE chief, who steps down in January, added: "In the longer term, we need to change the game."

Central bank role?

The public sector, in the form of central banks, could instead provide the best support for a new virtual currency, according to Carney.

"It is an open question whether such a new (cryptocurrency) would be best provided by the public sector, perhaps through a network of central bank digital currencies," he said.

Yet central bankers and world leaders alike remain anxious over the current crop of virtual currencies because they are unregulated.

US President Donald Trump himself has lashed out at Bitcoin and Libra for being "based on thin air" and having no standing or dependability -- unlike the dollar.

Commentators believe Washington is unlikely to allow the greenback to lose its cherished status as the world's premier reserve currency.

"The United States will simply not allow it to happen without a fight. Nobody in its position would," said Rabobank analysts.

What about Libra?

The BoE governor meanwhile made explicit references to Libra -- a future cryptocurrency unveiled by social media giant Facebook in June.

Carney avoided all mention of Bitcoin, which is the world's most popular digital unit but has been plagued by volatility.

Libra, which aims to launch in the first half of 2020, will be backed by a basket of currency assets to avoid the wild swings of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Yet Libra has also attracted the ire of central bankers owing to its origin in the private sector.

"Central banks are a little annoyed by this (Facebook) bid to privatise currency," said Agnes Benassy-Quere, a researcher at the Paris School of Economics.

Whereas Bitcoin is decentralised, Libra will be co-managed by 100 partner firms including Facebook itself.

US tech futurist Andrew Yang, upending 2020 White House race

MSN – AFP, 1 September 2019

ALEX EDELMAN US tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, the son of Taiwanese immigrants,
has gone from virtual unknown to one of the 10 Democratic hopefuls who made the
stage for the party's third presidential debate, set for September 12, 2019

Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang may not become the next US president, but the clear-headed futurist has mounted a surprisingly vigorous White House bid centered around his plan for universal basic income.

For the past year, the son of Taiwanese immigrants has crisscrossed early voting states like Iowa, calmly but convincingly telling whoever will listen that the automating away of some four million jobs in America's heartland helped elect President Donald Trump.

Yang's message is part dark warning -- the rise of the machines is real -- and part clarion call for solutions to cushion the blow in an era of massive transformational change.

His campaign has gone from a long slog convincing skeptical voters about his pledge to provide every American adult with $1,000 a month, to a solid run for the Democratic nomination that few saw coming, and which puts him in the next nationally televised debate with nine other Democrats.

Yang, 44, has seen his crowds, once numbering a few dozen people or fewer, nudge into the hundreds, sometimes 1,000-plus, and readily sits for interviews with conservative commentators, leading to broad cross-party exposure.

While he has described himself as the opposite of Trump -- "an Asian guy who likes math" -- he is eager to woo Trump supporters, especially working-class white men anxious about their diminishing socioeconomic status.

Come September 12, Yang will be the only non-politician on the debate stage, standing alongside political giants like former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.

People have taken notice, including SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk.

"I support Yang," Musk tweeted August 10, a succinct seeming presidential endorsement from a highly visible global entrepreneur.

Yang, whose go-to outfit is a sport coat, dress shirt and no tie, has never held elected office. He is relaxed and direct, a skilled explainer beholden to no political camp.

One year ago he was a political nobody. By February he was the novelty candidate. Today he is outpolling three sitting US senators, a current and former congressman, and the mayor of New York.

"People started catching on to the fact that I was proposing solutions, not sound bites, and that we can actually start solving the problems on the ground," Yang told AFP in Iowa at a Democratic dinner.

"I'm identifying things that politicians only occasionally pay lip service to," like rising rates of suicide and depression, and declining US life expectancy.

His campaign raised more than $1 million from small donors in nine days following the second debate July 31.

Yang gang

The unlikely nature of Yang's candidacy -- "Random Man Runs for President," read one magazine cover -- has only elevated his stature.

"Once they hear about him... they love him," said Tom Krumins, a 25-year-old in South Carolina who once worked for Venture For America, the Yang-founded non-profit training thousands of young professionals to work for US start-ups.

"As that support continues to grow and as he continues to build his visibility online and in-person presence, he's going to take it by storm."

Yang has released several dozen policy prescriptions, including an ambitious $5 trillion outline to battle climate change.

But his signature plan provides every American 18 and over with a $1,000 monthly "freedom dividend," no strings attached, to counter automation pressures which he says could cause one third of all Americans to lose their jobs in the next 12 years.

Republicans blast the proposal as socialism. But Yang notes that a version of universal basic income has long been in place in conservative-leaning Alaska, where residents get government checks, funded by state oil revenues.

He says his dividend could be funded through consolidating certain welfare programs, implementing a value-added tax, and hiking taxes on top earners.

Not everyone is sold, including the liberal Sanders, who said he prefers a federal jobs guarantee.

"I think most people want to work," Sanders told Hill TV this week. "Part of our humanity is when we are productive members of our society."

Other party rivals have ignored Yang, even as he presented sharp answers in the second debate, when he warned that "wall-to-wall robots," not undocumented workers, were stealing away US jobs.

"Immigrants are being scapegoated for issues they have nothing to do with in our economy," he said.

But he raised eyebrows when he bleakly pronounced: "We are 10 years too late" to confront climate change.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Google to pay out $150-200m over YouTube privacy claims: reports

Yahoo – AFP, August 31, 2019

The allegations against YouTube were made by privacy groups who said the platform
had violated laws protecting children's privacy by gathering data on users under
the age of 13 (AFP Photo/LIONEL BONAVENTURE)

Washington (AFP) - Google will pay $150-200 million to settle allegations YouTube violated a children's privacy law while gathering data to better target its adverts, US media reports said Friday.

The US Federal Trade Commission agreed the amount of the settlement against YouTube parent Google, which if approved by the Justice Department would be the largest settlement in a case involving children's privacy, the New York Times reported.

The allegations against YouTube were made by privacy groups who said the platform had violated laws protecting children's privacy by gathering data on users under the age of 13 without obtaining permission from parents, Politico reported.

The FTC is expected to announce its decision on the settlement in September, the New York Times said.

US regulators have long argued Google fails to protect children from harmful content and data collection on its YouTube platform.

Advocacy group The Center for Digital Democracy said in a statement that the proposed settlement would be "woefully low" given Google's size and revenue, and called on the FTC to "enjoin Google from committing further violations" of children's privacy law.

Google remains the money-making engine for parent company Alphabet, with most of its revenue coming from digital ads, which accounted for $116 billion of the $136 billion the Silicon Valley-based company took in last year.

In January, France's CNIL data watchdog slapped Google with a record 50-million-euro fine for failing to meet the EU's tough General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force early last year.

Google is appealing the fine.

Fellow US tech giant Facebook recently settled a record $5 billion fine with the US Federal Trade Commission for misusing users' private data.