The Daily Moth 12-19-2018

December 20, 2018

Facebook Allowed Tech Companies to View Users’ Data; Elon Musk Unveils “Bumpy” Underground Tunnel in Los Angeles; President Trump Considering Pulling Out U.S. Troops from Syria; Senate Passes Criminal Justice Reform Bill; Deaf and Loud Concert in Detroit; Guest Deaf Bing: DST Restaurant​

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, December 19. Ready for news?




Facebook Allowed Tech Companies to View Users’ Data  


The New York Times did an investigative report that said Facebook in 2017 allowed several big technology companies to look into the personal information of Facebook users.


Microsoft’s Bing search engine was allowed to see the names of Facebook users’ friends without consent.


Netflix and Spotify were allowed to read Facebook users’ private messages, again without consent.


Amazon was allowed to get users’ names and contact information through their friends.


Yahoo was allowed to view streams of friends’ posts.


Apple and other smartphone makers had the ability to view data used on people’s phones.


The article explained that Facebook reached deals with more than 150 companies to share customers’ data.


The article reported that Facebook shared data with Yandex, a Russian search service.


The investigation said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was not completely truthful when he said in April that people have complete control of their data.


Facebook responded to this by saying all of the information shared was authorized by the users who linked their apps with Facebook, which meant users allowed this. Or users chose to opt in to Facebook’s personalization services, where it would seek to fit with users’ behaviors. So they said users authorized this.  


The articles said there are no reports of the other companies misusing the data, but this article only adds to the increasing number of concerning reports about how Facebook and other tech companies handle user privacy.


In separate but related news, the attorney general for the District of Columbia has filed a lawsuit against Facebook for allowing a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, to view personal data of tens of millions of users without their permission. This is related to the controversy about this in March, now there is a lawsuit.




Elon Musk Unveils “Bumpy” Underground Tunnel in Los Angeles


Elon Musk unveiled the new underground tunnel in Los Angeles County he built with his company, The Boring Company. The idea is to bypass traffic.


Guests were invited to ride a Tesla Model S to ride on surface streets where they would stop at an elevator platform that took the car 30 feet below.


From there, the cars drove on molded concrete shelves at speeds between 35 to 50 mph. Reporters said it felt like driving on a dirt road, that it was bumpy.


Musk explained that this was just a prototype, that in the future the road would be as smooth as glass.


Musk’s ultimate vision is to have large “buses” that can fit up to 16 people traveling at speeds of up to 150 mph in those tunnels. He also envisions personal vehicles to be able to travel in the tunnels.


It appears Musk has a long way to go as it’s still a bumpy ride. For now, we still have to be stuck in traffic if you want to drive.




President Trump Considering Pulling Out U.S. Troops from Syria; Senate Passes Criminal Justice Reform Bill


Here are two political news briefs.


The first — President Trump is considering ordering all U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Syria, which totals to about 2,000 troops. Trump today declared victory over the ISIS. The White House said there would be a transition to the next phase.


The battle against ISIS is still ongoing, as there were 47 airstrikes against 20 ISIS targets on Saturday. Military analysts say there is an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 ISIS militants still in Iraq and Syria. Some lawmakers concerned that if the U.S. quickly pulls out their troops, the ISIS could make a comeback.


The second news — the Senate has passed a criminal justice reform proposal with a 87-12 vote, showing strong bipartisan support.


The bill is named “The First Step Act.” It aims to ease prison sentencing laws and expand job training and programs to reduce recidivism rates for federal prisoners.


The bill now heads to the House. President Trump has been a strong advocate for the bill and said he looks forward to signing it. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is credited with leading the efforts with the bill.




Criminal Justice Bill:




Deaf and Loud Concert in Detroit


On Sunday night, Deaf rapper Sean Forbes teamed up with several other Deaf musicians, performers, and interpreters, and the Detroit Symphonic Orchestra, to perform a concert named, “The Deaf and Loud Symphonic Experience.”


Check out some clips of the concert from DPAN.


[Video clips of: Sean Forbes; Mandy Harvey; Evelyn Glennie; Warren “Wawa” Snipe; Amber Galloway Gallego; Sean and Wawa]


Nice! It looked like a great experience for both deaf and hearing people. The lyrics to the songs were projected on a screen.


Sean was willing to answer some questions for an interview.


Sean: Hello!


Alex: What kind of impact do you think the concert had on the audience?


Sean: I think the impact from this concert, really for many deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing people have never experienced many concerts before, including a symphony orchestra concert so this is the first of its kind, The Deaf And Loud Symphonic Experience. Many people came up to me after and told me “wow, this is the best concert I’ve ever been to” which makes me wonder because that kind of concert is very visual, you can see Evelyn drumming, you can see Sly, the conductor orchestrating, you can see Jake Bass playing his keys, you can see so many different things including words on the screens behind us, and plus sign language.


Alex: What did it take to make sure everybody, deaf and hearing people, had an “equal” experience at the concert?


Sean: To really make this concert accessible, we really had to think outside the box, the reason is because the symphony and musicians tend to, sometimes, go off script. But for me, I established the tone that we had to follow the script. So many people were asking, what if we want to extend the song and keep going, I said no because it’s not fair access for deaf and hard of hearing people because we have to practice and know what our cues are and sometimes musicians tend to improvise so for me, I really had to make sure that everything flowed together, so that the deaf person on stage signing knows what is happening and the deaf people in the audience know what’s happening as well so we really made it accessible with sign language with many different visual elements.


Alex: Do you visualize doing more of this kind of concert in the future?


Sean: After the concert was finished, all day yesterday, and today many people have reached out to me and said “When will you host this in DC, New York, Los Angeles, Europe many people seem to want this kind of experience and I think it’s because deaf people are brought up thinking will I ever go to see a symphony? That kind of music is for elite people, but really we want to make this an accessible experience for all so, I’m really excited about that. It seems that there is a lot of chatter about making this happen so we’ll see.


Alex: Thank you, Sean for your time. Congratulations to him and to other musicians on a successful concert. They got a lot of attention in national media. Here’s hoping we’ll see this group perform again at various cities in the future.




Guest Deaf Bing: DST Restaurant


Here is a guest Deaf Bing from the high school English class at the Willie Ross School for the Deaf in Massachusetts!




Students: Hello!


Girl #1: Hello, how are you?


Students: We’re great!


Girl #1: I miss you!


Students: Me, too!


Boy #1: Not me!


Boy #2: Stop it!


Waiter: Are you ready to order?


Students: No, sorry.


Waiter: Do you need more time?


Students: Yes.


Girl #1: So how was your vacation?


Boy #2: I went to New York City, to a fancy show!


Students: Wow!


Boy #3: I went fishing in Rhode Island and got many bass.


Students: Awesome!

Girl #1: How about you?


Boy #4: I went to Florida.


Waiter: Are you ready to order?


Students: No, sorry.


Waiter: Do you need more time?


Students: Yes, please.


Boy #4: So I went to Florida, to Disney World. I met Mickey Mouse.


Students: Wow!


Girl #2: Did he know ASL?


Boy #4: No.


Students: Aw.


Boy #2: How about you?


Boy #5: I just played games all summer.


Boy #2: That’s nice.


Girl #2: I took care of four dogs.


(Waiter approaches, students rush to look at menus)


Girl #1: Hi. Can I have a pink drink, please?


Boy #5: Me too.


Boy #2: I’d like a pink drink as well. Large and extra strawberries.


Girl #2: Coffee, please.


Boy #3: Large pink drink, please.


Boy #4: I’d like a PSL, please.


Boy #2: Hey, good choice!


(Students talking)


Waiter: That is a Deaf Bing!




Alex: That’s funny and true, sorry waiters out there — we operate on DST. Thank you to the teacher, Dulce, and the students!




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!


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