Daily Archives: May 31, 2017

Chinese Boss Pays Employees $15 for Every Kilogram They Shed 

Wang Xuebao, the head of a investment consulting firm in Xian City, China, recently made international news headlines after he set up a cash reward system to motivate his employees to lose weight.The employees of Xian Jingtian Investment Consulting in Xian, China’s Shaanxi Province, have the opportunity to earn 100 yuan ($15) for every kilogram of body weight they lose, as part of a reward system implemented by their boss. Wang Xuebao came up with the idea after realizing that both he and his staff were spending most of their time behind a desk and weren’t moving around enough. That, coupled with an unhealthy diet had caused many of them to put on excess weight.Share PinPhoto: video screengrab“I was distressed because our company’s employees are often sitting in the office, and they don’t move around enough – myself included – so they are overweight,” Wang told CN West. “Through this weight-loss activity, we can form a culture and engage in healthy competition.”Launched in March, the monthly reward program has successfully motivated over half of Xian Jingtian employees to lose weight. They’ve started eating healthier and even going to the gym as often as they can, for the chance to collect their monthly cash bonuses.

Source: Chinese Boss Pays Employees $15 for Every Kilogram They Shed | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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Court Ruling: The FAA Can’t Make You Register Your Drone

Since December of 2015, Americans have been required to register any drone that weighs more than two sticks of butter with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It’s a minor hassle and costs a little bit of money and seems like a reasonable idea considering how many people are flying sizeable drones nowadays. However, there was one particular group that really didn’t appreciate the new ruling: model aircraft enthusiasts. One of them sued the FAA in February of 2016, and a federal court in Washington, D.C. ruled in favor of hobbyists, meaning that the FAA can no longer require you (or anyone else) to register their personal drones.Here’s the important bit of the ruling (you can read the whole thing here):In

Source: Court Ruling: The FAA Can’t Make You Register Your Drone – IEEE Spectrum

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Google to Start Tracking What Consumers Buy Offline, Too

Google already tracks what you buy online; it’s about to start tracking what you buy offline, too, the AP reports. The tech giant announced Tuesday it will start tracking money spent at merchants’ brick-and-mortar stores by people who’ve clicked on those stores’ digital ads. Google has access to about 70% of credit and debit card sales in the US, it explains, via partnerships with other data tracking companies; its new tool will match up those sales with the ad clicks of users logged into Google. Google can then let merchants know how effective their digital ads are at leading not only to online sales, but also to in-person sales, thus possibly convincing companies to increase the money they spend on online ads. Google runs the world’s largest digital ad network.

The Consumerist explains that location services on your phone could also be helpful in tracking offline purchases, giving this example: “Why yes, John Smith did see four ads for your coffee drink online yesterday, before spending exactly what one of those drinks costs at a location of yours near his office.” And, as CNN reports, Google will also start making more of an effort to get people into physical stores by offering up local store information on YouTube ads. Google says its new tracking tool is not invasive and that the company won’t have access to the exact amount spent or the particular items purchased by a user, but one privacy expert says it’s possible for aggregated data to be used to identify individuals—and another marketing expert says this type of data could be tempting to hackers. “The privacy implications of this are pretty massive, so Google needs to tread very carefully,” he says.

Source: Google to Start Tracking What Consumers Buy Offline, Too

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Linux-based Tizen 4.0 Open Source Operating System Released

At the Tizen Developer Conference (TDC) 2017, Samsung Electronics unveiled Tizen 4.0 open source operating system. The Korean tech giant showed off the new version of the Linux-based operating system and said that Tizen 4.0 OS has a wider range of applications to devices.It should be noted that Tizen 1.0 was announced at TDC 2012; since then, it has touched almost all of Samsung’s products. After bringing Tizen to smartphones, televisions, etc., Samsung is now planning to integrate Tizen 4.0 OS into more household and IoT devices. This will be done with the help of Tizen Real Time (RT).

Source: Linux-based Tizen 4.0 Open Source Operating System Released

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Prisoner Acquitted Of Escape After Prosecutors Can’t Prove Location of Prison 

LOGAN — Based on an error that the Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office was unable to correct in court, a convicted murderer who fled from Hocking Correctional Institution on March 27, 2016, has been acquitted of a felony escape charge.John Modie, 59, was indicted on April 26, 2016 after escaping from the Correctional Institution but during a jury trial Tuesday in Hocking County Common Pleas Court, defense attorney Dorian Baum requested the case be dismissed based on Rule 29, which is a motion for a judgment of acquittal and Judge John Wallace had no choice but to rule in favor of Modie.This motion came after Hocking County Assistant Prosecutor Jordan Meadows rested the state’s case following the testimony of four witnesses. Rule 29 states that the judge must enter a judgment of acquittal of any offense for which the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction. In this case, Baum made the request based on the prosecutor’s office’s failure to establish that the crime occurred within the office’s jurisdiction in Hocking County.“He (Baum) asked for a motion to dismiss because we failed to prove that the (prison) facility was in Hocking County,” stated Hocking County Prosecutor Ben Fickel. “We tried to fix that error in the courtroom, unfortunately we were unable to do that.”

Source: Prisoner Acquitted Of Escape After Prosecutors Can’t Prove Location of Prison – WOUB Digital

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Republicans Push For ‘Ringless Voicemail’ Spam

The GOP’s leading campaign and fundraising arm, the Republican National Committee, is throwing its support behind a push that could let robocallers spam your voicemail inbox — without your phone ever ringing. As it stands, annoying consumers (you) with robocalls currently violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). More specifically, the law bans any non-emergency calls made with auto-dialers, computer-generated or prerecorded voices without the “prior express consent of the called party.”But a number of companies (including a marketing company named “All About the Message”) are petitioning the current FCC for an exemption that would allow them to bombard your voicemail inbox without technically causing your phone to ring.And the push this week got some major help by the Republican National Committee, who in filings with the FCC tries to argue that the marketing industry’s ability to annoy you is a First Amendment right.The FCC’s failure to allow an exemption for ringless voicemail “would not only restrict an important form of non-intrusive communication; it would have serious consequences for the First Amendment rights of those engaged in political communication via telephone,” claims the RNC.In other words, the RNC is claiming it’s the marketing industry’s First Amendment right to be able to send marketing missives directly to your voicemail inbox. Obviously lacking from the RNC letter is any real concern about the fact that consumers don’t want anything like this implemented.The US Chamber of Commerce and the American Financial Services Association have also thrown their weight behind the push for a ringless voicemail exemption. The Chamber of Commerce goes so far as to call anti-robocall and anti-spam protection provided under the TCPA as “archaic,” suggesting it prevents the marketing industry from developing new and amazing ways to annoy you.Raise your hand if you’d like your voicemail populated with marketing and political missives each morning?

Source: Republicans Push For ‘Ringless Voicemail’ Spam | DSLReports, ISP Information

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Don’t Call It Brexit Radio 

OXFORD, England — Union JACK Radio broadcasts out of a low-slung, graffiti-covered structure that its staff affectionately refers to on the air as “the dumpy little building.” On a nondescript Oxford street, the building is technically two stories but looks shorter; the ceilings are low, the carpeting worn. When I visited recently for a tour, one of the first things I learned was that there are bomb shelters underneath dating back to World War II — the days of Churchill, Spitfires, and Britain’s finest hour.Had it launched at any other time, Union JACK might not have attracted quite so much attention. The concept behind the station is straightforward. As the name implies, it plays only British music, by British artists. Its target audience is people 45 to 59 years old. This demographic is reflected both in the choice of the listener-selected playlist (you’re more likely to hear Pink Floyd than grime) and in the smattering of British-inflected dad jokes listeners are treated to between songs (the station eschews DJs in favor of pre-recorded promo material). On a recent morning, the playlist included music by New Order, Queen, Radiohead, some very good punk by a band called The Members, and recorded voiceovers making quips about some of the things typically viewed as essentials of Britishness: “popping out for a curry,” MINI Coopers, excessive politeness. According to its promotional materials, the station aims to celebrate “the quirky British way of life … from Mary Berry’s soggy bottom to a proper cup of tea.” (Sample catchline: “More British than Stephen Fry riding a swan.”)

Source: Don’t Call It Brexit Radio | Foreign Policy

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