Congratulations! If you believed Federal Communications Commission chair Ajit Pai’s evidence-free assertion that someone launched a cyber attack on the agency’s website in 2017, rather than crashed after comedian John Oliver directed the audience of his insanely popular show to weigh in on Pai’s crusade to kill net neutrality rules, oh boy do we have some news for you.
Sadly, Pai managed to kill net neutrality anyways with an effective funeral date of June 11th. That’s, uh, tomorrow. In theory, that means you have less than 24 hours to read all of these great stories before your ISP is allowed to slow Gizmodo to a crawl for nefarious restoring internet freedom reasons with no legal consequences. Either way, I’d get started:
FCC Emails Show Agency Spread Lies to Bolster Dubious DDoS Attack Claims
As it wrestled with accusations about a fake cyberattack last spring, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) purposely misled several news organizations, choosing to feed journalists false information, while at the same time discouraging them from challenging the agency’s official story.
Internal emails reviewed by Gizmodo lay bare the agency’s efforts to counter rife speculation that senior officials manufactured a cyberattack, allegedly to explain away technical problems plaguing the FCC’s comment system amid its high-profile collection of public comments on a controversial and since-passed proposal to overturn federal net neutrality rules.
Give Your Nudes to Facebook
When Facebook expanded its pilot program to block revenge porn from being posted on its platforms last month, the blowback was swift. The program, which asks users to send in nude or partially nude images so they can be hashed and blocked, was called “creepy” and “controversial.”
But Facebook’s approach builds on the way the tech industry fights the spread of child exploitation images, and it has the potential to protect millions of people who are victims of revenge porn (or non-consensual intimate imagery). Facebook doesn’t have a great track record on fighting revenge porn—it’s the platform where communities dedicated to nonconsensually sharing nude images, like Marines United, thrived—so it’s especially important for Facebook to step up on this issue.
How Many Social Media Users Are Real People?
Most social media users know that bot accounts are among us, whether as fake voters with loud opinions or obsessive re-tweeters of a single corporation’s content. When it comes to telling many ‘fake’ accounts from real ones, however—or just knowing how many non-individuals are active online—even savvy users are mostly in the dark.
Tallies suggest there are over three billion social media users in the world, many of whom maintain accounts on multiple platforms. The total number of social media accounts may be several times that, making the task of sorting out people (and their braver/sassier/sexier online alter-egos) from commercial, political, and general trolling accounts a gargantuan technical challenge. According to the experts we’ve asked for this week’s Giz Asks, it’s virtually impossible to pin down a figure on who’s real and who’s not, but there are a few things that warm-blooded web users can look out for.
People in Positions of Power Need to Help Shut Down Vitriolic Fan Behavior
If you’ve spent literally any time on the internet interacting with fans of pretty much any genre franchise, like Ghostbusters, Star Trek, or Star Wars, then you know that what begins as an impassioned debate can quickly descend into hostile, vitriolic trolling.
Parrot’s New Foldable Drone Can Nail Some Crazy Shooting Angles
Today, drone manufacturer Parrot announced the newest addition to its quadcopter family. The new model, the $700 Anafi, is seemingly Parrot’s answer to the folding DJI Mavic Air. It’s small, shoots 4K HDR video, and and can do a few cool tricks with its gimbal-mounted camera. But when it comes to additional features, it doesn’t really do much to threaten the entrenched competition.
The Boba Fett Movie Shouldn’t Star Boba Fett
Plans for a Boba Fett film have been in the works for a long time—Lucasfilm almost officially announced one, to be helmed by the Fantastic Four reboot’s Josh Trank, in 2015. But plans have changed, and with the recent reports that Logan director James Mangold has boarded the project, Fett’s back in business. But… should he be?
Couple Who Scammed Amazon Out of $1.2 Million in Electronics Sentenced to Nearly Six Years in Prison
Back in October, Gizmodo reported that an Indiana couple had been charged for relieving $1.2 million worth of merchandise from Amazon. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana today announced husband and wife Erin and Leah Finan have been sentenced to nearly six years in prison each.
Here Are the Coolest Features in iOS 12
At WWDC Apple debuted the next version of its iOS operating system, iOS 12. After dealing with issue after issue in iOS 11 for the past year, the company’s shied away from a visual overhaul, opting to fix what ails the OS and add some features that, while not revolutionary, are welcome additions to iOS 12 (and hopefully mean fewer bugs in the long run).
Everything Apple Announced at WWDC Today
If you hoped that Tim Cook would surprise the world and introduce some new Apple hardware at this year’s WWDC keynote, you must feel sorely disappointed. But if you get all hot and bothered by attractive and useful macOS upgrades, you are in luck. The annual developer conference is off to an interesting start with a long list of little things that will make using Apple products a lot better.
All the New Features Coming in macOS 10.14 Mojave
After a year that saw multiple macOS security issues, WWDC has finally arrived, and with it, Apple has a chance to address these concerns while also adding some helpful new features to the next version of its desktop operating system. So here’s everything coming in the next version of macOS version 10.14 Mojave.
Mike Mignola Talks About Hellboy’s Evolution and the State of Superhero Films
Mike Mignola isn’t doing as much with Hellboy as he used to. But, with new collections of classic material and fresh storylines about the Right Hand of Doom and the BPRD coming out, he’s never too far from his signature creation.
Though the character bowed out of a starring role last year in a poignant goodbye, the fictional universe that grew around Hellboy continues in various comic-book series. New omnibus collections will be re-packaging the character’s appearances in chronological order and a new Hellboymovie is in production, too, due to hit screens early next year. Mignola graciously spoke to io9 about the past, present, and future of Anung Un Rama during a recent phone call.
What Is Dark Matter and Why Hasn’t Anyone Found It Yet?
Five-sixths of the universe’s stuff seems to be missing, and we just can’t find it. It’s called “dark matter,” and scientists have gone looking for it with some of the world’s largest, most expensive experiments.
Time and time again, these experiments come up empty handed. Most recently, the scientists at the XENON1T experiment, a literal ton of super-sensitive liquid xenon, didn’t find the signal they were looking for after a nine-month search. Nor has the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland, managed to turn up anything. So, you might wonder, what are we looking for and why? And why are the world’s physicists so deeply divided about what “dark matter” could be?