歐盟在推動的設備維修權...

歐盟在推動設備的維修權:「EU brings in 'right to repair' rules for appliances」,歐盟的新聞稿在「New rules make household appliances more sustainable」這邊。

主要是因為現在很多廠商會故意將維修成本拉高,推動使用者去買新的,反而導致浪費:

Owners are usually unable to repair the machines themselves - or find anyone else to do it at a decent price - so are forced to buy a replacement.

新法會在 2021 年實施,主要是以家電為主,強迫製造商必須設計可被更換,並且需要提供備料讓使用者採購。

hiQ 爬 LinkedIn 資料的無罪判決

hiQ 之前爬 LinkedIn 的公開資料而被 LinkedIn 告 (可以參考 2017 時的「hiQ prevails / LinkedIn must allow scraping / Of your page info」),這場官司一路打官司打到第九巡迴庭,最後的判決確認了 LinkedIn 完全敗訴。判決書在「HIQ LABS V. LINKEDIN」這邊可以看到。

這次的判決書有提到當初地方法院有下令 LinkedIn 不得用任何方式設限抓取公開資料:

The district court granted hiQ’s motion. It ordered LinkedIn to withdraw its cease-and-desist letter, to remove any existing technical barriers to hiQ’s access to public profiles, and to refrain from putting in place any legal or technical measures with the effect of blocking hiQ’s access to public profiles. LinkedIn timely appealed.

而在判決書裡其他地方也可以看到巡迴庭不斷確認地方法院當時的判決是合理的,並且否定 LinkedIn 的辯解:(這邊只拉了兩段,裡面還有提到很多次)

In short, the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding on the preliminary injunction record that hiQ currently has no viable way to remain in business other than using LinkedIn public profile data for its Keeper and Skill Mapper services, and that HiQ therefore has demonstrated a likelihood of irreparable harm absent a preliminary injunction.

We conclude that the district court’s determination that the balance of hardships tips sharply in hiQ’s favor is not “illogical, implausible, or without support in the record.” Kelly, 878 F.3d at 713.

到巡迴庭差不多是確定的判決了,沒有其他特別的流程的話...

兩則跟 Uber 有關的消息,裁員與加州的新法...

Uber 從上市後的股價就不太好看,五月的時候以 $45 開盤,最近來到了 $33 左右,走到裁員這步不算太意外:「Uber lays off 435 people across engineering and product teams」。

以人數來算大約是 8%,有蠻大一部份是工程團段 (也不太意外):

Uber has laid off 435 employees across its product and engineering teams, the company announced today. Combined, the layoffs represent about 8% of the organization, with 170 people leaving the product team and 265 people leaving the engineering team.

另外一個相關的消息是加州通過法律,補上漏洞,對於這種以「合約關係」而認為不是員工的行為加以約束,認定這其實就是聘顧關係,所以相關的資方義務都必須被履行:「California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees」。

法律上的官方文件可以參考「AB-5 Worker status: employees and independent contractors.」這邊,先用翻譯快速看了一下... 可以看出來勞方市場的行業被放進排除條款,因為這些領域勞方有比較強勢的談判籌碼,應該讓市場決定規則。而對於資方強勢的行業則是朝著保護勞工的條款而設計。

現在已經有感覺共享經濟的神話開始不斷的被戳破...

紐約時報的 The Privacy Project 分析了這二十年來 Google 的隱私條款

紐約時報The Privacy Project 分析了 Google 在這二十年來的 Privacy Policy (英文版),可以看出網路廣告產業的變化,以及為什麼變得極力蒐集個資與使用者行為:「Google’s 4,000-Word Privacy Policy Is a Secret History of the Internet」。整篇看起來有點長,可以先看裡面的小標題,然後看一下列出來的條文差異,把不同時間的重點都列出來了。

最早期的轉變是「針對性」:

1999-2004
No longer talks about users ‘in aggregate’

1999 年的版本強調了整體性,後來因為針對性廣告而被拿掉:

1999
Google may share information about users with advertisers, business partners, sponsors, and other third parties. However, we only talk about our users in aggregate, not as individuals. For example, we may disclose how frequently the average Google user visits Google, or which other query words are most often used with the query word "Microsoft."

接下來的是蒐集的項目大幅增加,讓分析更準確:

2005-2011
Google shares more data for better targeting

然後是更多產品線互相使用使用者行為資訊:

2012-2017
Its complicated business requires a more complicated policy

接下來是因為法規而配合修改條文 (最有名的就是 GDPR):

2018-PRESENT
Policy adjusts to meet stricter regulation

美國政府對於書面文字的要求

好像是在 Twitter 上看到的,但一時間找不到是誰推的...

美國在 2010 年簽署的「Plain Writing Act of 2010」要求各種政府文件都必須用簡單的文字書寫,甚至還弄一個官方網站「Home | plainlanguage.gov」列出說明...

在網站裡面的「Use simple words and phrases」給了一個蠻長對應表,可以將一些艱澀的法律慣用詞彙換成平常常用的詞彙...

維基百科給的 Before & After 範例還蠻不錯的,在比較極端的情況下,讀起來的確輕鬆很多:

(Before) The amount of expenses reimbursed to a claimant under this subpart shall be reduced by any amount that the claimant receives from a collateral source. In cases in which a claimant receives reimbursement under this subpart for expenses that also will or may be reimbursed from another source, the claimant shall subrogate the United States to the claim for payment from the collateral source up to the amount for which the claimant was reimbursed under this subpart.

(After) If you get a payment from a collateral source, we will reduce our payment by the amount you get. If you get payments from us and from a collateral source for the same expenses, you must pay us back the amount we paid you.

AI 版的星海爭霸二將直接透過歐洲區的 Battle.net 匿名與人類對戰

前幾天 Blizzard 公佈的消息,DeepMind 的星海爭霸二 AI (AlphaStar) 將會透過 Blizzard 的 Battle.net 歐洲區伺服器跟人類對戰:「DeepMind Research on Ladder」。

Experimental versions of DeepMind’s StarCraft II agent, AlphaStar, will soon play a small number of games on the competitive ladder in Europe as part of ongoing research into AI.

預設是不會對到的,需要選擇參與:

If you would like the chance to help DeepMind with its research by matching against AlphaStar, you can opt in by clicking the “opt-in” button on the in-game popup window. You can alter your opt-in selection at any time by using the “DeepMind opt-in” button on the 1v1 Versus menu.

但你仍然不會知道對手是人還是 AI,而且如同一般對戰情況,這會影響到你的戰績:

For scientific test purposes, DeepMind will be benchmarking AlphaStar’s performance by playing anonymously during a series of blind trial matches. This means the StarCraft community will not know which matches AlphaStar is playing, to help ensure that all games are played under the same conditions. AlphaStar plays with built-in restrictions that the DeepMind team has defined in consultation with pro players. A win or a loss against AlphaStar will affect your MMR as normal.

okay,這樣大概知道為什麼只開放歐洲區了...

加州從今年七月開始,禁止 AI 偽裝成人類 (前幾天也有一些新聞在報導):「A California law now means chatbots have to disclose they’re not human」,對應的法條在「Bill Text - SB-1001 Bots: disclosure」這邊可以看到:

17941. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to use a bot to communicate or interact with another person in California online, with the intent to mislead the other person about its artificial identity for the purpose of knowingly deceiving the person about the content of the communication in order to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election. A person using a bot shall not be liable under this section if the person discloses that it is a bot.

(b) The disclosure required by this section shall be clear, conspicuous, and reasonably designed to inform persons with whom the bot communicates or interacts that it is a bot.

而加州是 Blizzard Entertainment 的總部...

法條上面對「online platform」有設計排除條款,不過如果只算星海二的人數,有可能不到這個豁免限制... 所以得避開而改用歐洲區來測試?

(c) “Online platform” means any public-facing Internet Web site, Web application, or digital application, including a social network or publication, that has 10,000,000 or more unique monthly United States visitors or users for a majority of months during the preceding 12 months.

(c) This chapter does not impose a duty on service providers of online platforms, including, but not limited to, Web hosting and Internet service providers.

美國軍方應該是超級關注這個議題,相較於 AlphaGo 或是 AlphaZero 是資訊完全透明的遊戲,這次要踏入非對稱資訊的遊戲。

如果在這個領域上有成果的話,可以預期未來的戰爭 (yeah 實體戰爭) 會開始大量採用 AI 了...

針對 JavaScript 時代調整網頁的效能評估指標

早期網頁的效能評估指標都沒有考慮 JavaScript 的情況,大多都是 TTFB (Time to First Byte) 或是網頁大小以及 DOMContentLoaded 或是 load 這類 DOM event 為主,但因為 Goodhart's law,現代的網頁設計會故意將許多 JavaScript 要做的事情搬到 load 以後開始做,以降低 load 被延遲的問題,讓前端的「KPI」比較好看:

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

但在 load 之後整個網站還是不能用,使用者的體驗其實很差,這個評估方式的價值變低不少。所以「Measuring Jank and UX」這篇就再找出一些新的指標,來評估 JavaScript 造成的問題。

可以看到文章裡面評估了很多關於 CPU loading 與操作時間的指標,也許這一兩年還會有用,不過我覺得還是會遇到 Goodhart's law 描述的問題... XD

一堆軟體工程的定律...

看到「Famous Laws Of Software Development」這篇文章,2017 年的整理,裡面包括了很多軟體工程上的定律:

  • Murphy's Law
  • Brook's Law
  • Hofstadter's Law
  • Conway's Law
  • Postel's Law
  • Pareto Principle
  • The Peter Principle
  • Kerchkhoff's Principle
  • Linus's Law
  • Moore's Law
  • Wirth's law
  • Ninety-ninety rule
  • Knuth's optimization principle
  • Norvig's Law

開頭就放 Murphy's Law... XD

裡面的概念大多數都聽過了,有些知道名字,但有些只知道概念...

西班牙透過新法規限制 Uber 營業

包括 UberCabify 都受到新規範影響:「Ride-hailing companies suspend Barcelona services after new regulations」。

新規範限制乘客必須在上車前十五分鐘叫車:

The Catalan government ruled that ride-hailing services could only pick up passengers after a 15-minute delay from the time they were booked.

不是直接說你違法,而是用這個方式壓制隨叫隨到的服務... 這個方式應該會擴散到其他地區。

Facebook 花錢向使用者購買他們的行為記錄

這則從 Nuzzel 上看到的,國外討論得很凶:「Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them」。

Facebook 付錢給使用者,要他們安裝 VPN (以及 Root CA,看起來是為了聽 HTTPS 內容),然後從上面蒐集資料,這本身就不是什麼好聽的行為了,但更嚴重的問題在於包括了未成年人:

Since 2016, Facebook has been paying users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 per month plus referral fees to sell their privacy by installing the iOS or Android “Facebook Research” app. Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history page. The program is administered through beta testing services Applause, BetaBound and uTest to cloak Facebook’s involvement, and is referred to in some documentation as “Project Atlas” — a fitting name for Facebook’s effort to map new trends and rivals around the globe.

這個計畫在 iOS 平台下架了,但 Android 平台看起來還是會繼續:

[Update 11:20pm PT: Facebook now tells TechCrunch it will shut down the iOS version of its Research app in the wake of our report. The rest of this article has been updated to reflect this development.]

Facebook’s Research program will continue to run on Android. We’re still awaiting comment from Apple on whether Facebook officially violated its policy and if it asked Facebook to stop the program. As was the case with Facebook removing Onavo Protect from the App Store last year, Facebook may have been privately told by Apple to voluntarily remove it.

未成年人部份應該會是重點,拉板凳出來看...