Friday Five for July 7th, 2017

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 at 14:16

Now Accepting Nominations for the 2017-18 BruinTech Executive Board

Submit your nomination(s) today!
Open positions include:
  • President-Elect (3-year term)
  • Vice President for Events & Outreach
  • Vice President for Information Systems
  • Vice President for Programs & Projects
  • Vice President for Strategic Communications
  • Historian
Please visit the BruinTech website at for details explaining the roles and duties of each position, or email
To nominate someone (including yourself), fill out this short nomination form with the contact information of the nopminee AND the position of interest. We will contact each nominee to begin the process of putting together a profile for the BruinTech online elections.
The nomination period for the 2017-18 Executive Board will be from June 23, 2017 - July 07, 2017. 
Please submit your nominations no later than 6:00 pm on Friday, July 7th.

Californians: Demand a Vote on Your Broadband Privacy Before the Telecom Lobby Runs Out the Clock

Right now, politicians in Sacramento are holding up a bill that would restore your broadband privacy rights and directly reject Congress and the Trump Administration's decision to side with Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.
It is in fact the first bill ready to be enacted into California law that would be a direct response to the latest string of efforts in Washington DC to curb consumer protections in broadband access. A.B. 375 (Chau) would ensure your broadband provider must secure your permission first before selling your personal information to third parties.
However, it has been stalled in the Senate Rules Committee -- likely due to opposition from major cable and telephone companies. If they are successful at keeping the bill stalled until July 18th, then the bill is dead for the rest of the year.
Read more:
A cause both sides should fight for!

A Judge Threw Out a Lawsuit Alleging Facebook Tracks Logged Out Users Because There Was No 'Realistic' Economic Harm

A US judge has dismissed nationwide litigation accusing Facebook of tracking users' internet activity even after they logged out of the social media website.
In a decision late on Friday last week, US District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California said the plaintiffs failed to show they had a reasonable expectation of privacy, or that they suffered any "realistic" economic harm or loss.
The plaintiffs claimed that Facebook violated federal and California privacy and wiretapping laws by storing cookies on their browsers that tracked when they visited outside websites containing Facebook "like" buttons.
Read more:
Holy invasion of privacy, Batman!

Sun's Gravity Could Power Interstellar Video Streaming

Need to send a message across interstellar space? Use the sun for a signal boost. A new proposal suggests that the sun's gravity could be used to amplify signals from an interstellar space probe, allowing video to be streamed from as far away as Alpha Centauri. Better still, the technology to do it has already been invented.
Though we don't have probes far out enough to take advantage of this technology yet, it may eventually come in handy for interstellar communications. Building the communications grid now makes calls to our own spacecraft -- or that of another alien race -- a future possibility.
Read more:

Amazon and eBay Images Broken by Photobucket's "Ransom Demand"

Thousands of images promoting goods sold on Amazon and other shopping sites have been removed after a photo-sharing service changed its terms. Ebay and Etsy have also been affected, in addition to many forums and blogs.
The problem has been caused by Photobucket introducing a charge for allowing images hosted on its platform to be embedded into third-party sites. The company caught many of its members unaware with the charge, prompting some to accuse it of holding them to ransom. 
Denver-based Photobucket is now seeking a $399 annual fee from those who wish to continue using it for "third-party hosting" and is facing a social media backlash as a consequence.
Read more: