Amazon shakes up Shipping #1425



Amazon is shaking up its shipping operation again by canceling contracts with shippers who underperformed and or did not meet service expectations putting 1200 drivers out of work. I think some of them that were canceled delivers to my house the most lazy delivery people ever. Just one show this week, as well as I, head to Houston on Thursday.

I hope you will consider a monthly insider donation and or a one time annual donation.

*** New Geek Central Discord Channel ***

Subscribe to the Newsletter.
Join the Chat @ GeekNews.Chat
Email Todd or follow him on Facebook.
Like and Follow Geek News Central Facebook Page.
Download the Audio Show File

Support my Show Sponsor: 5 Best Godaddy Promo Codes
30% Off on GoDaddy Products & Services cjcgeek30
$4.99 GoDaddy coupon for a New or Transferred .com domain cjcgeek99
$1.00 a month Economy Hosting with a free domain name. Promo Code: cjcgeek1h
$1.00 a month Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain name. Promo Code: cjcgeek1w
Support the show by becoming a Geek News Central Insider

Continue reading Amazon shakes up Shipping #1425


Facebook Will Allow Bloomberg’s Political Memes



Yesterday, The New York Times reported that Mike Bloomberg is working with Meme 2020 for the purpose of having the company make memes that support Bloomberg’s presidential campaign. Today, The Verge reported that Facebook will allow the memes for political campaigns, so long as the posts are clearly identified as ads. The memes will not be placed in Facebook’s political Ad Library.

“Branded content is different from advertising, but in either case we believe it’s important people know when they’re seeing paid content on our platforms,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge. “We’re allowing US-based political candidates to work with creators to run this content, provided the political candidates are authorized and the creators disclose any paid partnerships through our branded content tools.”

Personally, I wouldn’t have guessed that out of all the people who are running for president it would be Mike Bloomberg who decided to pay influencers to make memes about him. I don’t think there are too many 77-year-olds who understand what memes are, how fast they spread, or what they mean. I’d like to hear the story of how Bloomberg came to the conclusion that memes were exactly what his campaign needed.

But, that’s not the weirdest thing about this situation. According to The Verge, The Meme 2020 project is part of Jerry Media, the promoter behind the infamous Fyre Festival. Meme 2020 is led by Mick Purzycki, the executive director of Jerry Media. What could possibly go wrong?


Court Rules Apple Must Pay Workers for Time Spent Waiting for Exit Searches



The California Supreme Court has ruled that Apple Inc. violated California law when it failed to pay employees in Apple Stores for the time they spend waiting for mandatory bag and iPhone searches at the end of their shifts.

The case is called Frlekin v. Apple Inc. It was filed as a class-action lawsuit against Apple by a group of Apple workers. The workers claimed that they were required to submit to searches before leaving the stores but were not compensated for the time those searches required.

The decision made by the California Supreme Court was written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010. A key part of the decision says:

…Applying these factors here, it is clear that plaintiffs are subject to Apple’s control while awaiting, and during, Apple’s exit searches. Apple’s exit searches are required as a practical matter, occur at the workplace, involve a significant degree of control, are imposed primarily for Apple’s benefit, and are enforced through threat of discipline. Thus, according to the “hours worked” control clause, plaintiffs “must be paid”…

…We reiterate that Apple may tailor its bag-search policy as narrowly or broadly as it desires and may minimize the time required for exit searches by hiring sufficient security personnel or employing adequate security technology. But it must compensate those employees to whom the policy applies for the time spent waiting for and undergoing these searches.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Apple has 52 retail stores in California, and that workers are required to submit to exit searches. Employees estimate that waiting for and undergoing searches can take five to 20 minutes, or, on busiest days, up to 45 minutes.


U.S. Department of Justice Arrested Man for Laundering Bitcoin



The Department of Justice has arrested a man who allegedly was running a bitcoin mixing service on the dark web that helped criminals launder bitcoin transactions. ZDNet reported that this was the first case the Department of Justice brought against a bitcoin mixer.

The Department of Justice stated that Larry Harmon, from Ohio, was arrested for his operation of Helix, which the Department of Justice describes as a “Dark-net based cryptocurrency laundering service.” He was charged with money-laundering conspiracy, operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and conducting money transmission without a D.C. License.

According to the indictment, Harmon operated Helix from 2014 to 2017. Helix functioned as a bitcoin “mixer” or “tumblr,” allowing customers, for a fee, to send bitcoin to designated recipients in a manner that was designed to conceal the source or owner of the bitcoin. Helix was linked to and associated with “Grams,” a Darknet search engine also run by Harmon. Harmon advertised Helix to customers on the Darknet as a way to conceal transactions from law enforcement.

The indictment alleges that Helix moved over 350,000 bitcoin – valued at over $300 million at the time of the transactions – on behalf of customers, with the largest coming from Darknet markets. Helix partnered with the Darknet market AlphaBay to provide laundering services for AlphaBay customers. AlphaBay was one of the largest Darknet marketplaces in operation at the time it was seized by law enforcement in July of 2017.

When I hear the phrase “money-laundering”, it makes me think of physical money being sneakily transferred through various businesses and/or bank accounts. I had not considered that bitcoin could also be laundered, but it appears it is possible. I think that this precedent – that you can get arrested for laundering bitcoin – could make those who are currently doing it consider stopping.

Another interesting thing about this case is that it makes it clear that bitcoin isn’t really private. There are apparently ways for law enforcement to track where the bitcoins go, how many bitcoins go were transferred, and the people involved in transferring it.


U.S. Department of Justice and FBI Brought Charges Against Huawei



The U.S. Department of Justice announced that a superseding indictment was returned yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (Huawei) the world’s largest telecommunications manufacturer, and two U.S. subsidiaries with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Brian A. Benzskowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and Christopher A. Wray, Director, FBI, announced the charges.

…As revealed by the government’s independent investigation and review of court filings, the new charges in this case relate to the alleged decades-long efforts by Huawei, and several of its subsidiaries, both in the U.S. and in the People’s Republic of China, to misappropriate intellectual property, including from six U.S. technology companies, in an effort to grow and operate Huawei’s business. The misappropriated intellectual property included trade secret information and copyrighted works, such as source code and user manuals for internet routers, antenna technology and robot testing technology. Huawei, Huawei USA and Futurewei agreed to reinvest the proceeds of this alleged racketeering activity in Huawei’s worldwide business, including in the United States…

According to the Department of Justice, the superseding indictment also adds a charge of conspiracy to steal trade secrets stemming from the China-based company’s alleged long-running practice of using fraud and deception to misappropriate sophisticated technology from U.S. counterparts.

In addition to Huawei, four official and unofficial subsidiaries are also indicted defendants. They include Huawei Device Co. Ltd. (Huawei Device), Huawei Device USA Inc., (Huawei USA), Futurwei Technologies Inc (Futurewei) and Skycom Tech Co. Lt. (Skycom). Defendants also include Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wanzhou Meng (Meng).


Judge Temporarily Blocks Microsoft’s JEDI Contract



JEDI saga continues! A federal judge has ordered a temporary block on the JEDI cloud contract, which Microsoft was selected for (over Amazon) by the Department of Justice. The judge’s action was in response to a suit filed by Amazon.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud computing contract is intended to modernize the Pentagon’s IT operations. It could be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade. Personally, I don’t think Microsoft or Amazon would be in a dire situation as a result of not getting the JEDI contract. But, here we are.

CNBC reported that in January of 2020, Amazon’s cloud computing arm, AWS, filed a formal motion asking the court to pause Microsoft’s work on the JEDI cloud contract. The court granted that motion today.

Earlier this week, Amazon said that it wants to question President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and former Defense Secretary James Mattis over the JEDI contract. Amazon has stated that the evaluation process included “clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias.”

Personally, I feel like this is a spat between two incredibly rich corporations over a contract that they both want – but neither of them actually need in order to stay in business. I’m finding it hard to care about the outcome of this case.


SpaceX Manned Flight #1424



SpaceX is expected to have it first manned launch in May of 2020. This is exciting news as we will be one step closer from being out from under the nose of the Russians in getting astronauts to the ISS. This will be a monumental achievement. It’s not yet known if they will be going to the ISS on the first launch we can only hope so. No show on Thursday I will be in Los Angeles for Podcast Movement Evolutions.

I hope you will consider a monthly insider donation and or a one time annual donation.

*** New Geek Central Discord Channel ***

Subscribe to the Newsletter.
Join the Chat @ GeekNews.Chat
Email Todd or follow him on Facebook.
Like and Follow Geek News Central Facebook Page.
Download the Audio Show File

Support my Show Sponsor: 5 Best Godaddy Promo Codes
30% Off on GoDaddy Products & Services cjcgeek30
$4.99 GoDaddy coupon for a New or Transferred .com domain cjcgeek99
$1.00 a month Economy Hosting with a free domain name. Promo Code: cjcgeek1h
$1.00 a month Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain name. Promo Code: cjcgeek1w
Support the show by becoming a Geek News Central Insider

Continue reading SpaceX Manned Flight #1424