Style Guide for Writing About Technology – Tow Center – Medium
What follows is a style guide, offering tips on how not to write about technology, whether in reporting, features, or criticism. Think of this as a guide for avoiding the most egregious clichés and obscuring jargon.
ee  Tow_center  writing  journalism 
4 days ago
You thought fake news was bad? Deep fakes are where the truth goes to die
A good outline of some of the major issues and developments with deep fakes.
6 days ago
Why the Google Walkout Was a Watershed Moment in Tech - The New York Times
For two years, regulators, lawmakers, academics and the media have pushed Silicon Valley to alter its world-swallowing ways. But outsiders have few points of leverage in tech; there are few laws governing the industry’s practices, and lawmakers have struggled to get up to speed on tech’s implications for society. Protests by workers are an important new avenue for pressure; the very people who make these companies work can change what they do in the world.
ee  walkout  google  tech_worker 
11 days ago
Wikimania 2019 bids/Sweden - Meta
for digest: events - Wikimania 2019
Wikimania 
13 days ago
Facebook enables ad targeting for "white genocide" category
A story in the Intercept has uncovered that Facebook was allowing people to place advertising for people with an interest in the "white genocide" conspiracy theory. They have now removed this marketing segmentation.
13 days ago
Older People Are Worse Than Young People at Telling Fact From Opinion
Given 10 statements, five each of fact and opinion, younger Americans correctly identified both the facts and the opinions at higher rates than older Americans did. Forty-four percent of younger people identified all five opinions as opinions, while only 26 percent of older people did. And 18-to-29-year-olds performed more than twice as well as the 65+ set. Of the latter group, only 17 percent classified all five facts as factual statements.
research 
18 days ago
Restaurants have strict standards to protect customers. Tech platforms don't | CBC Radio
Jonathan Zittrain argues that social media platforms like Facebook have a responsibility to use our personal data only to advance our interests, not theirs.
platforms  accountability  zittrain 
18 days ago
Mijente
It’s time to hold Amazon accountable for its outsized share in building the deportation machine, and demand that they stop. It won’t be easy — Amazon makes billions from these contracts. But the company also depends on consumers — including millions of Latinx people — and has to worry about protecting its brand.
ee  notechforice  amazon  palantir  movement-security 
18 days ago
We Need New Child Labor Laws for the Digital Age – Power Trip – Medium
In fact, almost all of their digital activities can be described using game theorist Julian Küchlich’s term: playbour. He combines the words “play” and “labour” (he uses the British spelling) to signify how the distinction between leisure and production becomes unclear as digital media turns creative play into a commodity. Please don’t get distracted by the fancy jargon Küchlich borrows from the academic field of political economy. There’s nothing especially complicated about what he’s trying to say. It’s basically just the observation that every time my boys post a photo on Instagram or chat on Discord, they’re providing the content that other users will enjoy.
privacy  gdpr  labor  play  platform  content  ee  data  feminism 
26 days ago
A Lesson in Change Management from the Gates Foundation - Non Profit News | Nonprofit Quarterly
this story has many juicy bits about how organizations have to think when making major operational changes. If you add to this picture the information NPQ wrote about earlier this week concerning the culture at the Gates Foundation, it all makes sense. Systems are designed to resist change—until they are fully invested in a vision for something different.

Big or small, a well-run nonprofit must effectively manage organizational change and the human dimension of organizational life. These are the key takeaways from a recent state court decision that found the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had mishandled the hiring of a new chief data officer (CDO).
ee  data  gates  CDO  HR  culture 
4 weeks ago
How Archivists Could Stop Deepfakes From Rewriting History
Ultimately, the greatest protection archives offer against the distortion of history may be their careful documentation of previous errors. By supporting archiving projects, we not only ensure that the past is preserved accurately, but create a guide for the future by chronicling the long relationship between media and deception.
ee  witness  archive  deepfake  memory 
4 weeks ago
Powerless: How Top Foundations Failed to Defend Their Values—And Now Risk Losing Everything — Inside Philanthropy
The foundation world has mostly kept doing what it’s always done: trying to solve problems one at a time, within narrow frames, and steering clear of anything that might smack of ideology or partisanship. By and large, these funders have acted in the exact opposite way as the cabal of conservative funders who’s enjoyed stunning success in reshaping public policy.

Now, this cautious world of institutional philanthropy faces a moment of reckoning. Many funders are facing the potential of catastrophic setbacks to long-held goals.  

Will the alarming developments of the past two years—and past few weeks—finally push mainstream philanthropy to stand up and fight for its values in the all-important spheres of ideology and power?
philanthropy  USA 
4 weeks ago
Ancestry Sites Could Soon Expose Nearly Anyone's Identity, Researchers Say
Agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have regulations for federally funded research that involves human subjects. Known as the common rule, a revision of these guidelines was set to be implemented in 2017, but won’t come in full effect until 2019. The revised common rule doesn’t currently consider our genomes to be identifiable information, but Erlich noted that the HHS is allowed to change that status as technology advances. That might stop unscrupulous scientists, who would stand to lose federal funding if they were caught trying to pilfer people’s identities.
ee  biometrics  dna  database  privacy  police 
5 weeks ago
Michael Lewis Wonders Who’s Really Running the Government - The New York Times
Lewis defines it this way: “The risk a society runs when it falls into the habit of responding to long-term risks with short-term solutions. … ‘Program management’ is the existential threat that you never really even imagine as a risk. … It is the innovation that never occurs and the knowledge that is never created, because you have ceased to lay the groundwork for it. It is what you never learned that might have saved you.”
ee  risk  creativity  program  government; 
5 weeks ago
In the struggle for AI supremacy, China will prevail - The gladiator’s edge
review of Kai-Fu Lee, "AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order"
AI  China; 
5 weeks ago
Digital IDs Are More Dangerous Than You Think | WIRED
By developing these technologies in parallel with systems for a digital ID, we are not simply establishing an identity to access basic social services. Digital IDs will become necessary to function in a connected digital world. This has not escaped the attention of authoritarian regimes. Already, they are working to splinter the internet, collect and localize data, and impose regimes of surveillance and control. Digital ID systems, as they are being developed today, are ripe for exploitation and abuse, to the detriment of our freedoms and democracies.
digitalID  privacy 
5 weeks ago
Some Tips for Small Foundations Seeking to ‘Punch Above Their Weight’ - The New York Times
“There’s a question for all philanthropists: When are you comfortable being part of a puzzle, and when do you want to be the puzzle?” Mr. Bradach said. “One can have a tremendous impact being part of a puzzle, but you can’t always have a tremendous impact being the puzzle.”She said her foundation had worked with the Gates, Ford, Annie E. Casey and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations. Because of its size, if the big foundations asked Melville to join a partnership, “we’d be left out,” Ms. Elliott said. Instead, she said, Melville made the first move. “So we go ahead and start it ourselves,” she said, “and then ask the others to join.”
ee  strategy  small_grant 
5 weeks ago
How the Internet defeated Seymour Hersh | openDemocracy
Higgins represents two distinct features of the information age: ‘open source’ intelligence gathering and unfamiliar networked solutions, developments that Hersh has ignored but which are radically changing the fields of intelligence and journalism.
ee  OSINT  bellingcat  syria 
5 weeks ago
What Is a Data Trust? | Centre for International Governance Innovation
What is perhaps new is the degree to which public governance and market institutions have developed, globalized and acquired interests of their own. The globalization of data markets has outpaced the evolution and jurisdiction of most consumer protections, which are typically designed and enforced by sovereigns. As with most self-regulation, it’s unlikely that markets alone will enforce good practice when it comes to data. Similarly, sovereign attempts to govern the global internet are often overreaching. Since a plurality of interests will be affected by data governance, a similarly plural governance tool is necessary.
ee  data_trust 
5 weeks ago
University tenure decisions still gloss over scientists’ public outreach
please include in the next digest - we funded this research
OA  mh 
6 weeks ago
China’s data privacy outcry fuels case for tighter rules | Financial Times
Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour.
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“China’s concept of privacy is more like Europe, trusting the government to protect people and manage society, but mistrusting companies that only care about profit,” said Martin Chorzempa, fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “The government can manage this distinction so long as the impact of surveillance does not become too onerous or intrusive.”
china  attitudes  data  gdpr  surveillance 
6 weeks ago
Inside The Black Mirror World of Polygraph Job Screenings | WIRED
However, the judge objected to the use of an unknown and unproven tool. An appeals court agreed, writing, “The thing from which [a] deduction is made must be sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs.” This became known as the Frye standard. Because polygraphs have never convinced the majority of scientists, the Frye standard has excluded them from most courtrooms for almost a century.
ee  tools  court  litigation  human_rights 
6 weeks ago
Border family separation and how computer software can make policy - Vox
The first is that implementation is policy. Whatever gets decided at various times by leadership (in this case, first to separate families, then to reunite them), what happens in real life is often determined less by policy than by software. And until the government starts to think of technology as a dynamic service, imperfect but ever-evolving, not just a static tool you buy from a vendor, that won’t change. But in a world where most people in the tech industry, and the general public, have very little insight into how government works and doesn’t work, the conversation can miss critical context.
ee  ice  tech_policy 
7 weeks ago
Google Maps Is a Better Spy Than James Bond – Foreign Policy
That Thornberry chooses to label civil society actors as “terrorists” and discount their testimony and verifiable evidence is not only lamentable; it is also inhumane and wrong. “So-called open-source intelligence” has developed into a powerful and respected tool, capable of uncovering secrets hidden in plain view. In the case of Syria, the vast majority of this information comes from civil society and regular citizens. They are simply ordinary people who are recording the industrial-scale slaughter around them in the hope that somewhere, someone is watching.
ee  open_source_intelligence  OSINT  bellingcat 
7 weeks ago
We ask the Home Secretary why UK intelligence agencies have unlawfully analysed PI's data | Privacy International
ing intelligence agency, MI5, today admitted that it captured and read Privacy International's private data as part of its Bulk Communications Data (BCD) and Bulk Personal Datasets (BPD) programmes, which hoover up massive amounts of the public's data. In further startling legal disclosures, all three of the UK's primary intelligence agencies - GCHQ, MI5, and MI6 - also admitted that they unlawfully gathered data about Privacy International or its staff. You can read the full press release here.

We have therefore written to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, to ask him to:

Confirm what changes he will make to the Investigatory Powers Act as a result of last week's ECHR judgement;

Instruct the security and intelligence agencies to provide to our Counsel and ourselves a full explanation as to why the agencies unlawfully held and analysed PI's data; and
privacyinternational  m15  m16  gchq  uk  snooperscharter  hjd 
7 weeks ago
News Site to Investigate Big Tech, Helped by Craigslist Founder - The New York Times
At ProPublica, Ms. Angwin and Mr. Larson subverted the traditional model of tech reporting altogether. They did not need access. With the right tools, they could study impact.
technology  ee  propublica  markup  algorithms  investigative_journalism 
7 weeks ago
$1m to pay open source maintainers on Tidelift
Think of the Tidelift Subscription like a Red Hat or Cloudera subscription, but for all of the other open source libraries you build into your applications from package managers like npm, Maven, PyPI, Packagist, and RubyGems. And with the proceeds flowing through to the actual open source maintainers behind that software.

Tidelift makes it possible for open source creators to get paid by adding net-new valuable assurances around their software. We add something useful that professional development teams want, rather than hiding existing and future capabilities away behind paywalls or curtailing your ability to use the software freely. Our model grows maintainer income as projects have more users, rather than as maintainers spend more hours, so it’s possible to build a significant income around your open source project.
ee  open_source  civilsociety 
7 weeks ago
Opinion | We Are Not the Resistance - The New York Times
But the mind-set of “the resistance” is slippery and dangerous. There’s a reason marchers in the black freedom struggle sang “We Shall Overcome” rather than chanting “We Shall Resist.” Their goal was to overcome a racial caste system — to end it — and to create a new nation, a Beloved Community. Similarly, those who opposed slavery didn’t view themselves as resisters; they were abolitionists.
ee  framing  resistance 
8 weeks ago
Beware of Data Miners Offering Protection | American Civil Liberties Union
t’s a compelling story, but there are lots of reasons to believe it will always be filed under fiction. A major National Research Council report and other experts examining the question have all concluded that pattern-based data-mining — in which suspicious patterns of activity are flagged, cold, by computer algorithms — is very unlikely to be effective against terrorism.
ee  palantir  aclu 
8 weeks ago
People Are Mad that Facebook and Google Sponsored a Privacy Event - Motherboard
The ethical dilemma of what sponsorship money to accept is a common one for such events. Last year the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference included both Google and Facebook among its sponsors. The Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection Conference lists Palantir among its 2016 sponsors. The International Association of Privacy Professionals—"the world's largest information privacy organization"—organizes multiple privacy-focused events every year, and its corporate "members" include Google, Microsoft, AT&T, and even Monsanto.
ee  palantir  transparency  sponsorship  corporations 
8 weeks ago
Why we won’t be at APC 2018 – DATACTIVE
Palantir is a company specializing in big data analytics, which develops technologies for the military, law enforcement and border control. The deployment of Palantir’s technologies has raised wide-spread concern among civil liberties and human rights advocates. Reporting shows that, in the United States, Palantir has played an important role in enabling the efforts of the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to identify, detain, and deport undocumented immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. This has resulted in the indefinite detention of thousands of children who have been separated from their parents. This indefensible policy has come under strong criticism from the United Nations and prompted an alliance of technology workers and affected communities, to call – so far, unsuccessfully – for Palantir to cancel its contracts with ICE.
ee  data_justice  cardiff  palantir 
8 weeks ago
How Connected Is Your Community to Everywhere Else in America? - The New York Times
“This gives us the first way to systematically look at some of those relationships,” said Mark Granovetter, a sociologist at Stanford who has written influential papers on the value of social networks. “They have just scratched the surface here.”
ee  weak_ties  facebook  bubbles 
8 weeks ago
Lawmakers Demand Intelligence Community Release a Report on Deepfakes - Motherboard
three representatives—Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.)—sent the letter to DNI director Dan Coats as a plea and a warning: That deepfakes could be used against the U.S. by hostile nations.

“We request that the Intelligence Community report to Congress and the public about the implications of new technologies that allow malicious actors to fabricate audio, video and still images,” they wrote.
ee  deep_fakes  propaganda  manipulation 
8 weeks ago
The rise of giant consumer startups that said no to investor money - Recode
When Andy Dunn started building his direct-to-consumer menswear brand, Bonobos, in 2007, he saw no great options for e-commerce software. As a result, he estimates that Bonobos spent tens of millions of the $120 million it had raised from investors on building, supporting and tweaking the Bonobos technology stack over the years.

But a decade later, Dunn was able to turn to e-commerce software company Shopify as the platform for Allswell, a mattress brand that Dunn helped incubate in his new role at Walmart where he oversees the company’s digital-native consumer brands.

“Shopify is the absolute game-changer,” Dunn said. “At least 75 percent of the digital brands I talk to today are on Shopify and many of them are now saying we don’t need to invest that much in tech.”
ee  business  entrepreneurship  tech_stack 
8 weeks ago
How the Weather Channel Made That Insane Hurricane Florence Storm Surge Animation | WIRED
That short window of time belies how much tech underpins the rest of the operation, though. The studio is outfitted with a Mo-Sys camera tracking system, a physical box that attaches to a camera, and uses sensors and an IR signal to triangulate the camera’s position in a virtual space. TWC also needed specialized software to translate the Unreal Engine graphics into a broadcast-ready format.

Now that much of the groundwork is laid, expect to see more of these immersive demonstrations—and keep an eye out for the surprising amount of detail they can have.
ee  infographic  VR  animation  weather 
9 weeks ago
Yuval Harari: Hacking Humanity | CBC Radio
Our brains are getting hacked. Artificial intelligence, biotechnology and ever-sophisticated algorithms are tapping into our values, habits, tastes, desires and the very thought patterns that define us — all to control how we shop, what we read, and whom we vote for. <...> We are too easily hacked — and we shouldn't even be surprised by the fact. We do not choose the family into which we're born, nor the place, nor our physical or mental attributes, nor even our desires. So does this mean we're hardwired to be controlled by corporate and governmental agencies? Not quite. We can use artificial intelligence to combat the intrusions of artificial intelligence. So any time a hack is about to occur, whether it's information is being collected while we're online, or traveling with our cell phones in hand, we could be notified that the hack is in progress, and have the option to block it.
AI  manipulation 
9 weeks ago
India’s misguided move towards data localisation | Financial Times
"A draft government policy envisages a ban on the international transfer of data generated by Indian ecommerce users. A similar policy implemented by the Reserve Bank of India will prohibit companies sending financial data abroad from October.

"Both Indian and foreign companies, particularly from the US, have protested... Such data localisation measures are on the rise around the world. Frequently they use legitimate concerns such as cyber security or privacy as covers for old-fashioned protectionism."
gdpr  splinternet  india 
9 weeks ago
Tech Leavers | Kapor Center
The Tech Leavers Study is a first-of-its-kind national study examining why people voluntarily left their jobs in tech. The Kapor Center and Harris Poll surveyed a representative sample of more than 2,000 U.S. adults who have left a job in a technology-related industry or function within the last three years.
diversity  discrimination  employment  bias  ee 
9 weeks ago
Opinion: Sex Abuse Is Draining Nonprofits of Dedicated Workers. Here’s a Solution. - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
If you want the nonprofit world to be shaped by smart, talented, visionary people, new practices need to be put in place by those who hold influence. In my experience, too many in philanthropy — both women and men — have been unwitting accomplices to the pressures placed on women like me.

Change won’t happen simply by holding more training sessions on how to prevent sexual harassment or adopting more polices. Instead it takes foundations recognizing that they are losing out on their investments when they give money to organizations that tolerate bad management, sexual abuse, racism, and bullies who run talented people out of nonprofits. There are some simple ways grant makers can avoid amplifying biases:
ee  sexual_harassment  sunlight 
9 weeks ago
Open access — the movie
review of Paywall, the film on OA which we sponsored. Please include in digest.
OA  mh 
9 weeks ago
Open-access movement hits the silver screen
Paywall, please include in digest - we supported this film
OA 
9 weeks ago
Why Google Fiber Is High-Speed Internet’s Most Successful Failure
But we believe Google Fiber’s most significant impact was to change the nature of relations between infrastructure providers and local authorities. Thanks to Google Fiber, the monopoly mindset gave way to one in which both sides understood the other could walk away. Cities learned that inefficient construction management would lead providers to invest elsewhere, while ISPs came to see that cities could only do so much to improve the economics of upgrades and new deployments. Following Google’s lead, the ISPs and the cities created public-private partnerships such as Research Triangle’s North Carolina Next Generation Network, in which both got more, in terms of their goals, than they gave.
ee  fiber  google  infrastructure 
9 weeks ago
Click, copy, paste: Is our proposed copyright bill futureproof? | City Press
we support the ReCreate Coalition in South Africa, mentioned in the article.
Copyright  reform  mh 
9 weeks ago
A Facebook War: Libyans Battle on the Streets and on Screens - The New York Times
The New York Times found evidence of military-grade weapons being openly traded, despite the company’s policies forbidding such commerce. Human traffickers advertise their success in helping illegal migrants reach Europe by sea, and use their pages to drum up more business. Practically every armed group in Libya, and even some of their detention centers, have their own Facebook page.
ee  libya  facebook 
10 weeks ago
An Overview of National AI Strategies – Politics + AI – Medium
This article summarizes the key policies and goals of each strategy, as well as related policies and initiatives that have announced since the release of the initial strategies. It also includes countries that have announced their intention to develop a strategy or have related AI policies in place.

I plan to continuously update this article as new strategies and initiatives are announced. If a country or policy is missing (or if something in the summary is incorrect), please leave a comment and I will update the article as soon as possible.
ai  ee  national 
10 weeks ago
The simple but ingenious system Taiwan uses to crowdsource its laws - MIT Technology Review
If people can propose their ideas and comments but they cannot reply to each other, then it drastically reduces the motivation for trolls to troll,” Tang says.The second is that it uses the upvotes and downvotes to generate a kind of map of all the participants in the debate, clustering together people who have voted similarly. People then naturally try to draft comments that will win votes from both sides of a divide, gradually eliminating the gaps.
ee  taiwan  debate  platform  government  democracy 
10 weeks ago
A new fleet of satellites is detecting human rights abuses from space - Hack - triple j
The satellites have resolution of about 30cm per pixel, meaning each pixel of an image shows 30cm on the ground. That's detained enough to be able to pick out people, or to tell which way a car is driving from the direction of its windshield.

Despite this coverage, satellites rarely capture the moment of an atrocity - normally it's images immediately before and immediately after.

That means satellite images are only as good as the analyst.
ee  satellites  geodata  humanrights 
10 weeks ago
Her rapist was convicted because of a rape kit. So why are so many kits untested? | KUOW News and Information
Ohio also invested heavily in new robotics to process dozens of samples at once and save scientists from repetitive manual tasks, such as sucking up and squeezing out drops of chemicals with pipettes.

“The robots do about three times the amount of work that an individual scientist could do,” Slaper said.
ee  rape_kit  AI  crime  automation  RABA 
august 2018
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