All those hacks got Amazon’s Ring sued

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Amazon can add a new lawsuit to its ever-growing list of Ring woes.

An owner of a Ring smart video doorbell filed a class action lawsuit against the company on Thursday over allegations that the devices’ security vulnerabilities are a result of negligence and that they led to an invasion of privacy. The plaintiff, John Baker Orange, claims he installed a Ring on his garage last July — and then someone hacked it and talked to his children using its speaker.

Much of the suit seems to rest on whether or not Amazon knew its Ring devices were susceptible to …

Mike Bloomberg has spent a staggering $100 million on campaign ads in a month

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent well over $100 million on advertising since entering the Democratic presidential primary about a month ago — a head-spinning sum of money for ad buys that dwarfs most of his competition and highlights the unique advantages of being a billionaire in a highly competitive contest.

Only one other candidate has come close to Bloomberg in spending on ads: the other billionaire in the Democratic primary, former hedge fund executive Tom Steyer, who has been in the race since July. Combined, the two tycoons have spent roughly $200 million on ad buys, Advertising …

Consider the vulture

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A comic series from The Highlight about the world’s most mysterious species. Read the last installment here.

Christine Mi is a cartoonist and writer living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Brooklyn Rail, the Nib, and more. She also draws a pink webcomic called Sad Girl Pop. See more of Mi’s work and other Vox comics here.

The power of Greta Gerwig’s Little Women is that it doesn’t pretend its marriages are romantic

The insurmountable problem with Little Women — the one that’s had its fans in fits ever since its second volume was published in 1869, that every Little Women adaptation wrestles with — is that its climactic marriages are so profoundly unsatisfying. But Greta Gerwig’s take on Little Women, out now in theaters, is the first adaptation of the book to truly solve that problem — and it does so by leaning into everything fans dislike about those marriages, and amplifying it.

The end of Little Women sees its heroine, tomboyish and ambitious Jo, married off to the pointedly …

The telling conservative backlash to a Virginia zoning reform proposal, explained

Ibraheem Samirah, a Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates who represents portions of DC suburbs in Fairfax and Loudon Counties, has an idea: legalize “duplex” houses on all residential land throughout the state.

The proposal, intended to ameliorate housing shortages, is similar to ideas recently adopted by several West Coast states. And it has provoked an immediate backlash — driven less by economic analysis than by defensiveness about the sense that suburban lifestyles are under attack.

Though the proposal is striking in its breadth, applying without exemption to all communities in Virginia, it’s actually modest in its …

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was designed to be the opposite of The Last Jedi

When it comes to marketing and promotion, The Rise of Skywalker might not seem like it had to work too hard. It’s the last movie in the current, blockbuster Star Wars trilogy, which began in 2015 with The Force Awakens. It’s the ninth and final movie in the Skywalker saga, which began in 1977 with A New Hope. It also marks the return of director J.J. Abrams at the helm, who can be almost clinical when it comes to giving fans great action-adventure movies; prior to Star Wars, he remade Star Trek into a bonafide blockbuster franchise. And …

The internet made trans people visible. It also left them more vulnerable.

In 2010, the US had its first Black president, Facebook hadn’t yet gone public, and people still thought I was a man.

The way I experienced these past 10 years as a trans woman almost mirrors the status of the trans community at large. I entered the decade ostensibly as a happily married man, trying to build my life and career while repressing my gender identity. Five years in, I found my true self through persistent self-exploration. And I’m now leaving the decade scared shitless.

Few marginalized communities have experienced such dramatic whiplash of fortunes over the course of …

Queen Elizabeth gave her annual Christmas speech. The internet saw a secret message about Brexit.

Queen Elizabeth gave her annual Christmas Day queen’s speech yesterday, preaching a message of reconciliation and unity in the wake of the UK’s years-long debate over Brexit — and possibly hinting at her own views about Brexit with her fashion choices, if internet sleuths are to be believed.

The annual Christmas speech is a traditional address delivered by the monarch. In this year’s edition, prerecorded at Buckingham Palace and broadcast nationwide, Queen Elizabeth summarized 2019 as “quite bumpy.” She highlighted the birth of her eighth grandchild and also talked about her husband, 98-year-old Prince Phillip, who earlier this week …

Tenants sounded the alarm on facial recognition in their buildings. Lawmakers are listening.

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Lawmakers want to press pause on deploying facial recognition and other biometric technology in public housing. Though it’s not clear the extent to which the technology is already being used in public housing (or other categories of government-supported and -regulated housing), lawmakers say facial recognition raises privacy concerns, and point to its known inaccuracies, especially when applied to people of color and women (among other minority groups).

There’s no law regulating facial recognition at the federal level yet. But complementary legislation introduced in the House and the Senate — the “No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act” — would put a …

Amazon wants to patent technology that could identify shoppers by their hands

Today, visitors to Amazon Go cashierless stores need to scan an app to get in. In the future, Amazon may instead ask to just scan their hands instead.

The US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Amazon on Thursday for a touchless scanning system that would identify people not by their faces but by characteristics associated with the palms of their hands, including wrinkles and veins.

The application filing does not mean the company is definitely developing such technology, but the New York Post reported in September that Amazon was testing technology that would allow Whole Foods