Governments are using the pandemic to crack down on digital rights, report finds

The Freedom on the Net 2020 report, an assessment of 65 countries released Wednesday, found that the pandemic has accelerated a decline in free speech and privacy on the internet for the tenth consecutive year, and accused some governments of using the virus as a pretext to crack down on critical speech.

“The pandemic is accelerating society’s reliance on digital technologies at a time when the internet is becoming less and less free,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House, which is funded by the US government. “Without adequate safeguards for privacy and the rule of law, these technologies can be easily repurposed for political repression.”

Amid the pandemic, internet connectivity has become a lifeline to essential information and services — from education platforms, to health care portals, employment opportunities and social interactions. But state and nonstate actors are also exploiting the crisis to erode freedoms online.
Nowhere has
Read More
Read More

The FAA is opening the door a crack for self-flying drones like Skydio to reach their potential

You can’t fly a drone at night. You can’t fly a drone over people. You need to be able to see it with your naked eye at all times — or have a dedicated observer who can. These rules exist to keep dumb drones (and reckless pilots) from crashing into people, property, and other aircraft in the skies.

But what happens when drones get smarter, and can dodge obstacles on their own? That’s the kind of drone that Skydio builds, and it appears to be successfully convincing the FAA to create exceptions to that naked-eye, Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) rule.

This week, the FAA granted the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) a blanket waiver to fly Skydio drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) to inspect any bridge, anywhere across the state, for four whole years. They primarily need to make sure the bridge isn’t occupied by random

Read More
Read More

How Amazon Plans For Luna To Crack The Cloud Gaming Market

Video game streaming services aren’t as rare as they used to be, but there are still only a handful of companies with the resources and infrastructure to support such an initiative. The latest is Amazon, the online retail giant that has made tech inroads with its Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The company introduced Luna, a cloud gaming platform that will run on a variety of devices. While Luna invites aren’t coming until October, the rollout was suitably impressive and promises some distinctive features like dedicated publisher channels. Early access signups are available now, but Amazon has already shown an impressive lineup of games included with its Luna Plus game channel. It also works with any Bluetooth controller, but Amazon has made its own Luna controller that connects directly to the cloud service, similar to Google Stadia.

GameSpot spoke with product lead Oliver Messenger about the service, its approach with channels,

Read More
Read More