!write!technologist   51

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Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis - The New York Times
Facebook employed a Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protesters, in part by linking them to the liberal financier George Soros. It also tapped its business relationships, persuading a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.

these two sentences cobbled together are chefs kiss
#$#👺  !write!technologist  !write!scale  !write!dystopia  !tech!practicalprivacy  !write!readthenews  #$#monopoly  #xxi#tech  #techpol  #swamp  #t#oops 
4 days ago by lemeb
Waymo CEO Says Self-Driving Cars Won't Be Ubiqitous for Decades - Bloomberg
The head of Alphabet Inc.’s autonomous vehicle unit gave a cautious outlook for the nascent industry on Tuesday, saying the technology won’t be ubiquitous for decades and that driverless vehicles will always have constraints.

Waymo Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik said self-driving cars will require driver assistance for many years to come, and that he doesn’t envision a day when the technology operates in all weather conditions and without some sort of "user interaction."
!write!utopia  !write!technologist  #t#selfdriving 
5 days ago by lemeb
Waymo to Start First Driverless Car Service Next Month - Bloomberg
In just a few weeks, humanity may take its first paid ride into the age of driverless cars. 

Waymo, the secretive subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is planning to launch the world’s first commercial driverless car service in early December, according to a person familiar with the plans. It will operate under a new brand and compete directly with Uber and Lyft. 

Waymo is keeping the new name a closely guarded secret until the formal announcement, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven’t been made public. 
!write!utopia  !write!technologist  #t#selfdriving 
5 days ago by lemeb
Disruption: A Manifesto
But most tech writing is shallow and pointless. It’s nobody’s fault; everyone is just doing their job. Communications teams feed reporters winning anecdotes about their founders that explain exactly nothing. (“One day, Chad was eating a ham sandwich and realized...”) The reporters are overworked and underpaid and need to file a new story by EOD. Who can blame them for taking the bait?

Editors are desperate for shareable content, which too often means some kind of caricature. Tech is either brilliant or banal, heroic or heinous. The best minds of our generation are either curing cancer, or building a slightly faster way to buy weed. The robots will either free us from drudgery or destroy civilization. Hate-click or like-click, the stories tend to be about a handful of people. The pasty boy genius. The tragic token woman. The fascist billionaire. The duo of white dudes dueling to lead us to Mars.

!write!technologist  %words  %criticism 
8 days ago by lemeb
Donna Zuckerberg: ‘Social media has elevated misogyny to new levels of violence’ | Books | The Guardian
“So, there are online communities that exist under the umbrella of what we know as the Red Pill, which are men connected by common resentments against women, immigrants, people of colour,” she explains. “What I was surprised to find was the extent to which they are using ancient Greek and Roman figures and texts to prop up an ideal of white masculinity.”
#t#social  !write!technologist  #xxi#masculinite  #xxi#culture  #xxi#nazi  !ihop  &readnext  #techpol 
8 days ago by lemeb
Decentralisation: the next big step for the world wide web | Technology | The Guardian
The decentralised web, or DWeb, could be a chance to take control of our data back from the big tech firms. So how does it work and when will it be here?
#t#next  #techpol  #$#monopoly  !write!technologist 
9 weeks ago by lemeb
Waymo’s Robot Cars, and the Humans Who Tend to Them - The Atlantic
In some ways, these humans are the answer to some of the long tail of what-ifs that come up when people think about robot cars. How could they possibly know what to do in every situation? What if a streetlight is out? What if there’s construction? In those cases, the car can simply dial a human and have them verify the road conditions, then replan its route. I imagine they sit there like security guards, in front of a bunch of screens, waiting for the pings from the robots. Or perhaps they are served up serially: What about this situation? How about this intersection? What’s going on here?
!write!technologist  #t#selfdriving 
12 weeks ago by lemeb
Children 'at risk of robot influence' - BBC News
What our results show is that adults do not conform to what the robots are saying. But when we did the experiment with children, they did. It shows children can perhaps have more of an affinity with robots than adults, which does pose the question: what if robots were to suggest, for example, what products to buy or what to think?"
!write!dystopia  !write!technologist  #techpol  #t#robot  %econ%behav 
august 2018 by lemeb
Jonathan Gold wrote about food, but his approach was universal - Vox
For a critic in any medium — even, say, a New York-based film critic like myself — City of Gold is also a kind of master class in the things that good critics do. As many noted over the weekend, a hallmark of Gold’s writing is that he wrote not just about eating but also about culture and about being a person, and that’s what the film underlines well.

That’s why, watching City of Gold, I actually fist-pumped a few times, as the film pointed to a lot of what made Gold such an important critic. Two in particular stuck with me, qualities that good critics aspire to, no matter what they’re writing about.

%criticism  %words  %😃  !write!technologist 
july 2018 by lemeb
Google Leads Series A Investment Round in KaiOS to Connect Next Billion Users - KaiOS
KaiOS Technologies Inc., developer of the emerging operating system for smart feature phones, KaiOS, today announced a $22M Series A investment from Google to help bring the internet to the next generation of users.

“This funding will help us fast-track development and global deployment of KaiOS-enabled smart feature phones, allowing us to connect the vast population that still cannot access the internet, especially in emerging markets,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies.
!write!technologist  #t#hack  #t#beyondsv 
june 2018 by lemeb
IBM pitched Watson as a revolution in cancer care. It's nowhere close
Breathlessly promoting its signature brand — Watson — IBM sought to capture the world’s imagination, and it quickly zeroed in on a high-profile target: cancer.

But three years after IBM began selling Watson to recommend the best cancer treatments to doctors around the world, a STAT investigation has found that the supercomputer isn’t living up to the lofty expectations IBM created for it. It is still struggling with the basic step of learning about different forms of cancer. Only a few dozen hospitals have adopted the system, which is a long way from IBM’s goal of establishing dominance in a multibillion-dollar market. And at foreign hospitals, physicians complained its advice is biased toward American patients and methods of care.
#t#oops  #$#cons  #t#ml  #t#bio  #t#beyondsv  #t#automation  #$#pharma  !write!technologist 
june 2018 by lemeb
Amazon’s Clever Machines Are Moving From the Warehouse to Headquarters - Bloomberg
Amazon began automating retail team jobs several years ago. Under an initiative called “hands off the wheel,” the company shifted tasks like forecasting demand, ordering inventory and negotiating prices to algorithms, people familiar with the matter say. At first, humans could easily override the machine’s decisions. For instance, if a brand notified Amazon about an upcoming marketing blitz for a product, an Amazon manager could increase the order in anticipation of demand the algorithm didn’t expect. But such tinkering was increasingly discouraged as the machines proved their precision, the people say. Anyone overriding the machines had to justify their decision, and the push to automate made them reluctant.
A key turning point came in 2015 when the value of goods sold through the marketplace exceeded those sold by the retail team, the people say. The retail team, which had far more employees, watched its importance fade and money funneled into projects like Amazon Web Services and Alexa. It didn’t help that the marketplace generated twice the operating profit margin of the retail business—10 percent versus 5 percent, according to a person familiar with the company’s finances. In many international markets, the retail team has never turned a profit, the person says.

in the “biz relationships don’t matter that much when you got massive scale” storyline
!write!scale  %stats  #t#automation  !write!technologist  !write!utopia  #$#labor  #$#logistics  #t#ml  !write!dystopia 
june 2018 by lemeb
The Netflix Binge Factory
Netflix doesn’t necessarily care if you binge-watch an entire season of a show within a couple days of it launching. “We’re not trying to encourage that,” Sarandos says. “The completion of a single episode is a more important trigger. We wouldn’t be looking at, ‘Are people plowing through it in the first weekend?,’ because the number of people who do that is pretty slim.” But one metric I heard repeatedly during my visits to Netflix was 28-day viewership — basically how many people completed a full season of a show within the first four weeks it’s on the service. Sarandos also tells me the company looks at which shows new subscribers watch first: It lets them know if a show is driving people to sign up for Netflix.
#$#entertainment  !write!technologist  #$#innov  %stats  %longform  %journalism 
june 2018 by lemeb
Inside Anduril, Palmer Luckey's Bid to Build A Border Wall
As Luckey and his team see it, Lattice will become not just a system for securing the border but a general platform for geographic near-omniscience. With the aid of artificial intelligence, it aims to synthesize data from potentially thousands of sensors and local databases

It struck me after I’d wrapped up my visits with Anduril that, aside from the drug smugglers they helped intercept on the border, I had not heard the founders mention the people who might get caught in their omniscient zone. What is the right way to treat those individuals? What of the children and parents who are now being torn apart while crossing? Those are social and political questions, not technical specifications. But it is increasingly the case that the people who build new technologies trigger political consequences.

Though tech companies have been taking their knocks lately, even the ones now under the most scrutiny were launched in a glow of idealism. We once dreamed that an era of ultraconnected and infinitely empowering tech would solve the kinds of problems that lead people to flee their own countries or that propel terrorists or nations to attack. Those problems didn’t end. It now seems obvious that tech was never going to make us better human beings; we are still our flawed selves. Instead, those same technologies that once seemed full of promise are finding their way into all-too-human clashes—led by a company named after an avenging sword.
%longform  #surveillance  !write!technologist  !write!dystopia 
june 2018 by lemeb
This Man Is Building an Armada of Saildrones to Conquer the Ocean - Bloomberg
Engineer and adventurer Richard Jenkins has made oceangoing robots that could revolutionize fishing, drilling, and environmental science. His aim: a thousand of them.

every industry is revolutizonized by smartphone, one at a time. what a time to be alive.
!write!utopia  !write!technologist  *whatatime  #t#beyondsv 
may 2018 by lemeb
Google’s Selfish Ledger is an unsettling vision of Silicon Valley social engineering - The Verge
Google has built a multibillion-dollar business out of knowing everything about its users. Now, a video produced within Google and obtained by The Verge offers a stunningly ambitious and unsettling look at how some at the company envision using that information in the future.

The video was made in late 2016 by Nick Foster, the head of design at X (formerly Google X), and shared internally within Google. It imagines a future of total data collection, where Google helps nudge users into alignment with their goals, custom-prints personalized devices to collect more data, and even guides the behavior of entire populations to solve global problems like poverty and disease.

!write!dystopia  !write!technologist 
may 2018 by lemeb
Father John Misty rates the Red Hot Chili Peppers, marriage and smartphones - YouTube
there is definitely going to be like... one or two generations from now... they're like "wanna see an impression of my parents? uuuh *air-types on his fake smartphone*"
april 2018 by lemeb
Watching the watchers in Silicon Valley
I have rarely in my career encountered so much secrecy. Sometimes a PR person emails to gauge my interest in writing about a company even before revealing its name or exactly what it does. I have interviewed startup founders who refuse to disclose details about their business model. This kind of stealth hampers public accountability. Firms that are unwilling to share details about their technology have been known to lure journalists into overhyping their potential. The media dubbed Elizabeth Holmes at Theranos the “next Steve Jobs”: she sat for interviews and photo shoots without ever revealing many details about her firm’s technology. Earlier this year America’s securities regulator charged her with deceiving investors. When visiting tech firms, reporters are asked to sign non-disclosure agreements on iPads as they check in. I used to remind the receptionists that the very purpose of my visit was to disclose information, but they couldn’t care less. After they let us in, most tech companies make us wear badges around our necks to alert everyone to our presence (danger! Journalist on the loose!). At Facebook, the lanyard is red. It feels like a scarlet letter.
!write!readthenews  !write!technologist 
april 2018 by lemeb

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