Cantwell report warns that Google and Facebook are killing local journalism as CEOs testify at Senate

Sen. Maria Cantwell discusses net neutrality at a 2017 town hall in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

The technology industry is pushing local journalism over the edge, according to a new report from the office of Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington state.

The report released Tuesday predicts that by the end of 2020, newspaper revenue will be down 70% compared to 20 years ago and broadcast revenues will dip more than 40%. The losses have created “news deserts” in 200 counties across the U.S. where there are no local newspapers covering their communities. More than 400,000 newsroom employees have been laid off, 60% of the nation’s local journalism jobs, according to the report.

“Local news has been hijacked by a few large news aggregation platforms, most notably Google and Facebook, which have become the dominant players in online advertising,” the report says. “These trillion-dollar companies scrape local

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Report released by Sen. Maria Cantwell slams Google and Facebook for decimating local news outlets

“Unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices” by tech giants Google and Facebook have suffocated local news outlets, contributing to a critical deficit of trustworthy local journalism, according to a new minority report from the Senate Commerce Committee released by ranking member Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

The report, echoing a landmark antitrust suit filed last week against Google by the Justice Department, concludes that Google and Facebook have used their sheer heft to dominate the digital advertising market, to the detriment of local media outlets and an informed public.

“These trillion-dollar companies scrape local news content and data for their own sites and leverage their market dominance to force local news to accept little to nothing for their intellectual property,” the report claims. “There is a clear need for Congress to address the market failures created by the search and social-media platforms.”

The report from the Commerce Committee’s Democratic minority recommends

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New map shows whether the ice cream machine at your local McDonald’s is broken

With just 2,000 lines of code, Rashiq Zahid, 24, created a website featuring a map that tracks which ice cream machines aren’t working at roughly 10,000 different McDonald’s restaurants across the US.

Zahid developed over the course of a few weekends this summer from his home in Berlin, Germany, after trying to order some ice cream at a McDonald’s and was told the machine was broken.
This excuse has become such a common refrain across the world that it’s spawned countless memes over the years. The question, “Why is the McDonald’s ice cream machine broken?” is constantly being asked on places like Twitter.

“I just created this as a joke, because it’s been common knowledge that the machine breaks all the time,” Zahid told CNN. “So initially I just wanted to just know for myself, verify if it’s just my impression or it’s really the case?”

Zahid’s site,
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SEMrush adds new features to boost local SEO list management toolkit

Users of SEMrush, an all-in-one marketing toolkit, now have access to two new features that will boost local SEO management. The Listing Management tool, which is available as part of the Premium service, makes it easier for businesses to boost visibility, track reviews and engage new customers.

Organisations using Listing Management will find that it is much easier to distribute business data, with firms able to share information automatically with more than 80 business directories in the US and over 40 in other countries. Within Listing Management, companies can edit all their information from one place and automatically distribute it to major search platforms, including Amazon Alexa, Google and Bing. Information will also be voice search ready.

Based on customer feedback, using Listing Management can significantly reduce the time it takes for digital marketing agencies to reach their clients. Across just a two-month period, healthcare-focused digital marketers WebServ used SEMrush

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This app will tell you if the local McDonald’s ice cream machine is broken

McDonald's ice cream

Get the scoop on whether ice cream’s available at your local Mickey D’s.

Getty Images

We all know the heartbreak of wanting nothing more than a cheap ice cream cone from McDonald’s, only to find when we get there that the machine is apparently broken. Thankfully, people will never run out of reasons to build apps, and there’s now one called mcbroken that’ll tell you whether the machine at your local McDonald’s is working.

Rashiq Zahid built the web app by reverse-engineering the fast-food chain’s internal application programming interface, or API, he said in a Thursday tweet

“I’m currently placing an order worth $18,752 every minute at every mcdonald’s in the US to figure out which locations have a broken ice cream machine,” he wrote, later clarifying: “Mcdonald’s keeps track which locations have a

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Intel is providing the smarts for the first satellite with local AI processing on board

Intel detailed today its contribution to PhiSat-1, a new tiny small satellite that was launched into sun-synchronous orbit on September 2. PhiSat-1 has a new kind of hyperspectral-thermal camera on board, and also includes a Movidius Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit. That VPU is found in a number of consumer devices on Earth, but this is its first trip to space — and the first time it’ll be handling large amounts of local data, saving researchers back on Earth precious time and satellite downlink bandwidth.

Specifically, the AI on board the PhiSat-1 will be handling automatic identification of cloud cover — images where the Earth is obscured in terms of what the scientists studying the data actually want to see. Getting rid of these images before they’re even transmitted means that the satellite can actually realize a bandwidth savings of up to 30%, which means more useful data is transmitted

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Power Ranking The Ticket’s Other Shows, Now That It Has Absorbed ESPN’s Local Programming

You may have heard that ESPN Radio has ended its local programming. I mean, if you listen (or maybe listened) to ESPN radio, you definitely, literally have heard that. But if you don’t, maybe you saw a stray headline or something. I don’t know your life. Anyway, it has happened, and some of those local shows have migrated to The Ticket. For the shows themselves, it’s not much of a change — remembering new call letters during station IDs and that’s about it. But if you listen to The Ticket on weekends, you have likely heard some new voices or noticed a few shifts in time slots while driving around.

All of which is just a bit of throat clearing to get to what I have thought about doing previously, but now have an actual reason to do: a formal ranking of the shows on The Ticket outside of the

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Ask SAM: Where can I dispose of old computer diskettes? | Local News

Q: I have a box of old computer diskettes with personal information. Where can I safely shred and dispose of them? Will local shredding events take them?

Answer: Shamrock Shredding, the shredding company that does many of the local shredding fundraisers for churches and nonprofits, said they do not accept diskettes. Gale Ketteler, the Utilities Public Information Officer for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities said in an email, “We do accept computer discs at 3RC EnviroStation at 1401 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Winston-Salem. Residents of Forsyth County can drop off either the CD-ROM type or the older square format, free of charge, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Visit for restrictions and more information.”

Q: I have a Stein Mart gift card. Can I still use it?

Answer: According to the Stein Mart website, all gift card balances expired Sept. 22. Customers had until Sept. 21 to use the cards. “If

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Using Data Recovery Software Does Not Mean Data Recovery In The Local Area Will Be Successful

It is easy to think data recovery software will solve hard disk recovery problems, but software does not always do the best job with data recovery in the local region. Do you an already have a duplicate copy of the software, stored elsewhere or a virus has damaged your files. In these cases, it may be easier to perform data recovery, using the software. If your problem is a hard disk drive itself, running software is a bad idea.

Software is not going to help perform hard disk recovery on a hard drive that is failing. The software is not designed for this type of recovery in local area and it could cause further damage to data, especially if the data is taken to a data recovery specialist after running a software program.

The real reason software does not work on a failed Drive

Information recovery in the present area … Read More

Local Business Benefits From Blog Writing and SEO Services

If you have a local business that is focused on a relatively narrow geographical location within your country or state, then you can benefit from local blog writing and SEO services. The reason for this should be obvious, although many small businesses are suffering from a lack of publicity and are not making the most of their customer base.

Even today, people will go to Yellow Pages if they want a service and Gumtree, Craigslist or eBay if they want to purchase products at cut prices. Few will carry out an online search for specific websites or blogs. That’s where you could be missing out!

Seek Out Your Own Local Business Services

There is more to the internet than those well-known sites, and there is no reason whatsoever why your home or local business cannot compete with these giants. Many have done it, and all it takes is to create … Read More