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Samsung phone owners are upset because they can't delete the Facebook app

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Samsung's sleazy deals with Facebook mean that owners of Samsung phones are not able to uninstall the Facebook apps that come pre-installed with their devices.

This is true even of flagship phones like the Galaxy 8.

Facebook claims that if you don't login to the app or run it, it won't spy on you.

This hasn't stemmed the tide on social media, where Samsung owners are complaining that they can't exorcise the zuckermonster from their pocket surveillance rectangles.

A Facebook spokesperson said the disabled version of the app acts like it’s been deleted, so it doesn’t continue collecting data or sending information back to Facebook. But there’s rarely communication with the consumer about the process. The Menlo Park, California-based company said whether the app is deletable or not depends on various pre-install deals Facebook has made with phone manufacturers, operating systems and mobile operators around the world over the years, including Samsung. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, wouldn’t disclose the financial nature of the agreements, but said they’re meant to give the consumer "the best" phone experience right after opening the box.

Samsung Phone Users Perturbed to Find They Can't Delete Facebook [Sarah Frier/Bloomberg]

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ddillinger
9 days ago
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I wasn't in much danger of buying a Samsung phone to begin with but now they can go straight to hell
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Canada's housing market is slowly but surely imploding, and Canadians are more exposed that the US was in 2008

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After 20 years of unprecedented lows, Canada's central bank is gradually raising rates; this, combined with strict rules on new loans, empty house taxes in overheated cities like Vancouver, and mandatory ownership disclosures (which keep money launderers out of the market) are depressing the Canadian housing market, and the prognosis is not good.

Canada's economy is heavily dependent on construction (8% of the job market) and consumer spending, and both of these will fall as cheap capital evaporates and debt payments shoot up, potentially triggering a contraction spiral.

Taken separately, each of the measures that are cooling the housing market are sensible and long, long overdue -- and it's the tardiness that is the problem. Time and again, Canadian politicians and regulators have kicked the can down the road on the unsustainable housing bubble, leading to a situation in which every possible outcome is impossibly terrible.

The original sin was allowing Canada's cities to become speculative vehicles for global criminals looking to stash their capital outside of the states they'd helped loot into near-collapse. Then, to allow Canadians to bid against the looters, the banks loosened up lending rules, larding Canadians with unsustainable debt -- and driving up housing prices, attracting more offshore speculators, requiring even more cheap debt for the Canadians who actually lived in the cities (lather, rinse, repeat).

The result is debt of every kind: policy debt, cash debt, city planning debt, and it's all coming due at once. Think of the interest rate hikes: the law of small numbers means that even modest rate hikes have huge effects on borrowers. Canada's base-rate may be a low 1.75%, but that means borrowers are paying 15% more than they were a year ago to service their debts.

It doesn't help that the new rules are often badly constructed (people who want to roll over their mortgages with their existing lenders are not subject to stricter lending rules, but they have to pass those rules to switch to another lender that might offer better rates), and that they don't reflect regional differences (Calgary, where house prices plunged after the oil shock, does not need the same restrictions as Vancouver and Toronto).

Canada's national debt-to-income ratio is 173.8% (it's 208% in Toronto and 242% in Vancouver). That's significantly higher than the US ratio on the eve of the 2008 crisis. Canada was once praised for its foresight and mature handling of the crisis, but it's increasingly apparent that much of that alleged wise planning was just deferment -- with interest.

There are solutions! Canada issues its own sovereign currency and most of its debt is denominated in CAD. That means that it can deploy modern monetary theory, adding money to to economy without risking inflation, through a jobs guarantee, and put all the idle workers and capital resources to work.

Many economists have been surprised by how quickly the impact from rate hikes has rippled through the economy. In a recent report, CIBC economist Royce Mendes notes it historically takes six quarters for the full effect of a rate hike to show up in slower spending. Yet it hadn’t been that long since Poloz’s first hike in July 2017 before the first pinch was felt. “The fact that the effects are showing up sooner this time around could simply be a sign that the storm will pass quicker,” Mendes writes. “But more likely it’s a reflection that models based on historical evidence will tend to underestimate the effects of rate hikes on the Canadian household sector in its current indebted state.” In other words, we’re in uncharted territory.

Consider, for example, the auto market. Canadians have always loved their cars and trucks, and thanks to the availability of cheap loans with 84-month terms, our tastes have grown more luxurious in the past few years. Elite brands like BMW, Mercedes and Lexus currently account for about 12 per cent of all vehicle sales. But dealerships are now seeing fewer customers walk through their doors. The number of vehicles sold in Canada outright shrank in October, compared to the year before. It marked the eighth straight month of declines, the longest stretch of negative sales since the Great Recession.

This is how Canada’s housing correction begins [Jason Kirby/Macleans]

(via Naked Capitalism)

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ddillinger
10 days ago
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Thank You For Smoking

jwz
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In just a few years, vaping has wiped out two decades of work getting teens to quit (or never start) cigarette smoking.

Nearly all of the increase comes from an increase in vaping nicotine. [...] Juul reported a monster revenue increase of nearly 800 percent between 2017 and 2018 (from $107 million to $942 million), and they control about 75 percent of the market. That's enough all by itself to account for a huge single-year increase in vaping. [...]

Vaping in general, and Juul in particular, have wiped out years of hard work to get teens off of cigarettes. And since most of the increase is in vaping nicotine, it means we're raising yet another generation of addicts, sucked in by the same kind of marketing that was originally used to suck them into cigarette smoking. What a crime this is.

"Siri, show me a business that is more evil than Facebook."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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ddillinger
15 days ago
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Have it your way, Ilya Varlamov

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Have it your way, Ilya Varlamov

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ddillinger
31 days ago
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the most 2018 picture
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When You're A Classically Trained Opera Singer But Hip Hop Is Life

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Hip Hopera absolutely needs to be the next big thing. 

Submitted by: (via Babatunde Akinboboye)

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ddillinger
33 days ago
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Hulu and AT&T plan to run ads when you pause videos

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Companies have previously dabbled in ads that appear when you pause videos, but they're about to come roaring back in the streaming era. Variety has learned that Hulu and AT&T both expect to introduce pause ads sometime in 2019. The companies s...
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ddillinger
45 days ago
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could this be the return of blu-ray? because ffffuuuuuuuuuck that forever
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