Posts Tagged: blocks

Indonesia blocks Steam, PayPal and other services over missed regulatory deadline

Indonesia is blocking residents from accessing various online platforms after those services failed to comply with a July 29th regulatory deadline, reports Reuters (via The Verge). Among the affected platforms are PayPal, Steam and Yahoo (owned by Engadget’s parent company Apollo Management).

Under the country’s 2020 MR5 law, companies labeled as “Private Electronic System Providers” had until this week to register with a government database or face an outright ban. Similar to India’s restrictive 2021 IT law, MR5 gives Indonesia the power to force online platforms to take down content the government deems unlawful or a threat to public order. In instances involving “urgent” requests, services have four hours to take action.

According to Reuters, a handful of tech companies, including Google, Meta and Amazon, rushed in recent days to meet Friday’s deadline. Indonesia may restore access to some of the online services that are currently blocked in the country, provided they register with the government.

PayPal and Valve did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the general director of Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information, told a local news network that the government could temporarily lift restrictions on PayPal to allow users to withdraw their money.

Organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch have criticized Indonesia’s new content moderation rules. “[MR5] is a tool for censorship that imposes unrealistic burdens on the many digital services and platforms that are used in Indonesia,” said Linda Lakhdhir, Asia legal advisor at Human Rights Watch. “It poses serious risks to the privacy, freedom of speech, and access to information of Indonesian internet users.”

Many Indonesians have also come out against the law, using hashtags like “BlokirKominfo” to voice their opposition to the government’s actions. On Saturday, Pangerapan dismissed those criticisms, saying the measure would help protect the country’s internet users.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Facebook blocks Russian advertisers from running ads globally

Advertisers within Russia can no longer create or run ads on Facebook "anywhere in the world," including their home country, the social network told Business Insider. The website has also suspended all ads targeting people in Russia, "due to the difficulties of operating in [the country] at this time." 

This is just the latest step Facebook has taken following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Shortly after the attacks started, it blocked Russian state media from running ads on its platform before restricting access to RT and Sputnik in Ukraine and across the European Union. A few days after that, Facebook started demoting the outlets' pages and any post linking to them on its main website and on Instagram. 

As a response to the social network restricting access to state-run media, Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor blocked Facebook in the country, though Instagram and WhatsApp remain available. The agency throttled access to the website before that when Facebook officials refused to stop fact-checking state media outlets upon its request. In a statement issued after Roskomnadzor blocked Facebook completely, Meta's president of global affairs Nick Clegg said the company "will continue to do everything [it] can to restore [its] services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action."

According to a report by independent Russian news agency Interfax, Russia also recently blocked Twitter in the country. Roskomnadzor previously limited the country's access to Twitter, as well, after the social network paused ads and recommendations and started labeling tweets from Russian state media outlets. The social network said, however, that it's only seeing the effects of throttling within the region and not of an outright ban. 

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Audi built a custom EV for Ken Block’s next Gymkhana video

Ken Block’s Gymkhana series is ready to go electric. On Wednesday, the rally driver showed off his new Audi S1 Hoonitron, a purpose-built EV the automaker designed specifically for Block. Audi didn’t share many details on the prototype, but as you can see from the photo above, it pulls more than a few design cues from the company’s iconic Sport Quattro S1. That’s not by accident; it was that car that inspired Block to pursue his career.

Block promised to show off what the EV can do in a future video tentatively called “Elektrikhana.” It’s unclear if Travis Pastrana will join with a custom-built Solterra from Subaru. If you’ve not seen a Gymkhana event, they involve some of the most skillful driving you’ll see on a closed course. The S1 Hoonitron could significantly change how Block tackles the annual series. 

The instant torque of an EV should help with the constant drifting that’s involved in Gymkhana courses. The lower center of gravity could also make cornering a lot tighter. One thing we’ll have to see is if the S1 Hoonitron replicates the sound a rev limiter makes in a traditional internal combustion engine car. After all, that sound is part of the fun of watching rally car driving.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Trump admin blocks expanded rules against inefficient lightbulbs

On Friday the Department of Energy announced it will not allow amended standards for incandescent lamps to go into effect. Following the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 there was talk of a "ban" on incandescent lights, but…
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California’s new police body cam law blocks the use of facial recognition

In August, backers of California's Body Camera Accountability Act pointed out a test of facial recognition software that identified 26 state lawmakers as criminals. They argued it showed the flaws of such technology, and now Governor Gavin Newsom has…
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Venezuela’s largest ISP blocks Tor

Venezuelans have been relying on tools like Tor to access news sources, including local outlets like El Nacional and international ones like CNN en Español, after the government banned them in the country. Unfortunately, they're going to have…
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‘Coding Jam’ uses musical blocks to teach kids programming concepts

Last year, Osmo expanded its iPad-based children's learning system with a program that teaches kids to code by linking tangible tiles with on-screen commands. Now the company's expanded its platform with Coding Jam, an add-on that assigns musical ton…
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You can pre-order the Blocks modular smartwatch for $60 off right now

The Blocks Smartwatch is on sale for $ 60 – $ 100 off its normal price at our DT Shop. The smartwatch can be upgraded with additional modules that add everything from NFC capabilities to full-on smartphone functionality thank to a SIM add-on.

The post You can pre-order the Blocks modular smartwatch for $ 60 off right now appeared first on Digital Trends.

Wearables–Digital Trends

Clickety click: See how the modular Blocks smartwatch works in this new video

The Blocks modular smartwatch is one of the most exciting wearables coming this year, and now we’ve got the chance to see it in action, complete with a revised design and strap, in a new video.

The post Clickety click: See how the modular Blocks smartwatch works in this new video appeared first on Digital Trends.

Wearables–Digital Trends

Blocks is the first modular smartwatch and they are killing it on Kickstarter

Blocks modular smartwatchBlocks is a new type of smartwatch that allows you to change parts of the band in order to add more function. Rather than buy a whole new smartwatch, just add more modules.

Blocks smartwatch has a circular display that offers things like phone notifications, wifi connectivity, and activity tracking. Nothing too special over regular smartwatches, but what makes it really stand out are the modules.

Users can simply buy more and insert them into the band whenever they want. Currently, five modules are out, extra battery, heart rate sensor, GPS, NFC, and Adventure module that measures altitude, pressure, and temperature. There are many more being worked on too, plus, developers can also design their own modules.

“We have already partnered with major technology companies to develop our Modules and have over 1,500 individual developers signed up to work on our platform. The BLOCKS Software Development Kit (SDK) and Module Development Kit (MDK) will be made available soon.”

If Blocks smartwatch is something that might interest you, check out their Kickstarter page. So far, they have 20 days left and have destroyed their goal. They were asking for $ 250k, but have already received over $ 1.1 million.

Source: Kickstarter

Come comment on this article: Blocks is the first modular smartwatch and they are killing it on Kickstarter

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With these simple building blocks, even a toddler could build a working robot

As technology gets smarter, so do toys. In the case of Robo Wunderkind, modular kits of tech-filled cubes that build plug-and-play robots, toys can be a good jumping off point for learning new skills. It’s already more than doubled its $ 70,000 funding goal on Kickstarter.

The post With these simple building blocks, even a toddler could build a working robot appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech»Digital Trends

Senate blocks NSA reform bill and Patriot Act extensions

The USA Freedom Act aimed at addressing the NSA’s bulk collecting of phone call metadata was approved by the House of Representatives ten days ago, but blocked by the Senate tonight (live video stream here). The Section 215 provisions of the Patriot …
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