November 22, 2017 Last Updated 7:25 am

Google admits to gathering location data even when Android users turn off location services

Morning Brief: Bauer Media to shutter three Australian magazine titles in move following a ‘viability audit’ — with CEO promising more staff cuts and magazine closings to come

There continues to be a problem with the Thanksgiving Day holiday — a lack of good songs. American retailers attempt to make up for it by playing Christmas music in their stores starting the day after Labor Day, which I know most shoppers find annoying. Still, we need good songs for Thanksgiving, we need the Thanksgiving equivalent of Christmas In Killarney. That’s because I will be spending the holiday in Ireland and need something to hum.

TNM will shutdown sometime this afternoon and resume posting on Tuesday, November 28. So, despite the lack of appropriate music, here is wishing all of you a happy Thanksgiving Day holiday, even if you are not spending it in the US, or do anything at all for the fourth Thursday of November.

This morning two stories seem to exemplify the world we live in today.

The Associated Press found “Mad” Mike Hughes who says he wants to strap himself onto a rocket on Saturday as part of an effort to prove that the Earth is flat.

“I don’t believe in science,” said Hughes. “I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction.”

The Washington Post’s Avi Selk saw the article and immediately reached out to Hughes, who had more interesting things to say.

“I’m a believer in the flat Earth,” Hughes said. “I researched it for several months.”

“John Glenn and Neil Armstrong are Freemasons. Once you understand that, you understand the roots of the deception.”

That’s folks, encapsulates America today about as well as a Donald Trump tweet.

The Washington Post, Avi Selk:

This man is about to launch himself in his homemade rocket to prove the Earth is flat

Seeking to prove that a conspiracy of astronauts fabricated the shape of the Earth, a California man intends to launch himself 1,800 feet high on Saturday in a rocket he built from scrap metal.

Assuming the 500-mph, mile-long flight through the Mojave Desert does not kill him, Mike Hughes told the Associated Press, his journey into the atmosflat will mark the first phase of his ambitious flat-Earth space program.

Then there is this little revelation from Quartz about Google — a company, though it is hard to believe, which once had as its motto “don’t be evil.” They were just kidding.

According to Quartz, Google’s Android has been sending back location data to corporate even when the cellphone owner has turned off location services.

The giant techs have been allowed to play fast and loose with their customer data for a long time now, and the only question one might have is when one of the two political parties begin to incorporate breaking up these behemoths as part of their party platform.

Quartz, Keith Collins:

Google collects Android users’ locations even when location services are disabled

Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.

Quartz observed the data collection occur and contacted Google, which confirmed the practice…

…The revelation comes as Google and other internet companies are under fire from lawmakers and regulators, including for the extent to which they vacuum up data about users. Such personal data, ranging from users’ political views to their purchase histories to their locations, are foundational to the business successes of companies like Facebook and Alphabet, built on targeted advertising and personalization and together valued at over $1.2 trillion by investors.

Fortune, Reuters:

Uber Paid Hackers $100,000 to Keep Secret a Massive Data Breach In 2016

Uber Technologies Inc paid hackers $100,000 to keep secret a massive breach last year that exposed the data of some 57 million accounts of the ride-service provider, the company said on Tuesday.

Discovery of the company’s cover-up of the incident resulted in the firing of two employees who led Uber’s response to the hack, said Dara Khosrowshahi, who was named CEO in August following the departure of founder Travis Kalanick.

Magazine publishers are taking a close look at their portfolios of titles and making some hard decisions regarding which will survive into 2018.

Today, Australian media reported that Bauer Media CEO Paul Dykzeul has decided to shutter three of their titles: Yours, Homes+ and Recipes+. The move comes after the company conducted what it called a “viability audit” which also resulted in the selling off of five titles.

This year has been a tough one for the magazine business, maybe the toughest one since the Great Depression. Even if there has not been a flood of magazine closings, there has been moves to divest print, in general, as well as to sell off titles. 2018 will likely start with the sale of parts of Time Inc. or the whole thing, as well as Hearst absorbing Rodale.

Nine News, Miranda Ward:

Bauer Media chops three magazines

Bauer Media has axed three more magazines with Homes+, Recipes+ and Yours to close at the end of January. The magazines are the first to be closed by newly appointed CEO Paul Dykzeul who took over running Australia’s largest magazine publisher from Nick Chan in June.

Homes+ launched in July 2014 while Yours was launched four years ago and Recipes+ was launched around two years ago. In a statement Dykzeul said: “These are essential changes so we can anticipate and respond to changes in the publishing market and are in line with our previously-announced strategy.

AdNews, Lindsay Bennett:

Bauer digital boss Christian Fricke exits

Bauer Xcel boss Christian Fricke has resigned from the publisher after less than 18 months in the role. Fricke relocated to Australia to take up the position in June last year, following several years at the Germany branch of Bauer. He replaced Carl Hammerschmidt.

In a statement, Bauer says Fricke is leaving to return to Germany for “family reasons”.

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