Ring in the Refunds

The FTC is issuing a few refunds. It's Deja Vu for the Weinstein trial. ByteDance is not keen on selling TikTok. Boeing is a very safe place for safe people (lie).

Ring in the Refunds

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Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring, Lawsuit

The FTC is sending $5.6 Million to customers of Ring (the video doorbells, owned by Amazon) after Ring settled a lawsuit over unlawful access of user data. They'll be performing a bit over 100,000 refunds via PayPal, of all things.

The settlement is one of a multi-part settlement around privacy of data from the Amazon-owned doorbell doohickey, as well as Amazon's Alexa assistant. Employees and contractors were accessing user data and videos from Ring, and Alexa was storing children's voices and location data beyond how they claimed they would.

According to the lawsuit, Amazon was using the unlawfully acquired video feeds from Ring to "train their algorithms" without customer consent, which I'm sure every Ring owner is excited to be a part of. Beyond that, the FTC was charging Ring for failing to properly secure their data, with hackers exploiting lax security to spy on and harass Ring customers.

Oh, also, Ring only recently changed their policy which previously allowed cops to access your doorbell's recordings essentially at will.

We're Doing This Again, Apparently

After the massive fallout of the "MeToo" movement, Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape in multiple trials, from California to New York.

Now, New York's court of appeals has overturned the rape conviction, citing that Weinstein was unfairly tried in the state. Their argument is that the prosecutors called witnesses to the stand who were not a part of the charges.

To be clear: this doesn't mean he has been found innocent. It just means the original trial in New York is nullified, more or less. From here, a new trial will kick off, in which we'll probably just end up at the same conclusion about the, y'know, convicted rapist.

More Like RipTok

ByteDance has stated that it would rather just shut down TikTok in the US than sell it after Biden signed the spending bill which had the TikTok ban tacked onto it.

TikTok is not profitable. (Spoiler: many popular apps are not profitable. Tech money is weird and bullshit.) It would not make business sense for ByteDance to sell TikTok, as it would expose ByteDance's industry secrets. It's the same reason every other social network doesn't want to share their algorithms. That is the secret sauce they're all hoping to optimize.

Pictured: Biden commenting "cant let gang know i fw dis" on a TikTok video

However, TikTok users: fret not. It remains unlikely that anything will be happening immediately unless TikTok decides to make a point by temporarily shutting down or something. But as of right now, there is about a year grace period baked into the bill for the "forced divestment" of TikTok, as well as myriad lawsuits the government faces for the whole, y'know, "threatening the livelihood of millions of businesses and shutting off an app that 170,000,000 Americans use" thing. Turns out, giving the government the authority to choose what speech is allowable is not a particularly popular idea. And yet here we are.

Boeing Sounds Very Healthy

John Barnett retired from Boeing in 2017 after years of working as a quality control manager. During his time there, he had raised concerns about safety issues, noting that there were faulty parts and a culture of moving quickly rather than prioritizing quality engineering.

Weirdly, Boeing airplanes keep having parts fall off of the mid-flight these days. Odd.

Barnett would go on to become known as a whistleblower, and was in the midst of providing testimony against Boeing in an ongoing investigation when he was recently found dead, with his death ruled a suicide.

Separately, the FAA is now investigating a union claim that Boeing illegally retaliated against two employees for raising concerns about shoddy work. Because we live in a country that has Very Normal Laws, safety inspection of commercial aircraft manufacturing is done in part by employees working for the manufacturer itself. In this case, these engineers were ostensibly performing FAA duties, but were employees of Boeing. After raising concerns, both employees got very similar shitty performance reviews.

Overall, Boeing seems to be having a very normal and very healthy go of it. These are the actions of a company that values safety and quality engineering.

Gaming News

Here's the Weather

Source: VentuSky

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