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reCAPTCHA: The amazing truth behind this Google project
The reason the words are blurry or warped isn’t to test your patience; these are taken from scanned texts, which are often mistranslated by auto-digitising programs — or optical character recognition (OCR) software if you wish to get technical. That’s where we step in.

Through the use of CAPTCHAs, humans around the world digitised 20 years worth of New York Times back issues in mere months. Within the first year, 440 million words had been deciphered: the equivalent of 17,600 books.
google  captcha  machine-learning 
4 days ago
Jian Ghomeshi, John Hockenberry, and the Laws of Patriarchal Physics | The New Yorker
The worst thing about this accursed genre of personal essay—“My Year of Being Held Responsible for My Own Behavior”—may be that it consists, almost necessarily, of terrible writing.
metoo 
5 days ago
Self-driving cars will cost more than $250,000 with today's available equipment — Quartz
That extra cost, according to one of the few experts prepared to discuss the subject openly: about $250,000 per vehicle.
driverless 
5 days ago
Inside the remedial customer service class for deactivated Uber drivers | The Outline
Uber sends drivers like this directly to the guild’s remedial driving course — which costs $70 — to get back on the road. But Rana was making sure they also got a lesson in organized labor.
uber  gig-economy 
5 days ago
Linux 4.19-rc4 released, an apology, and a maintainership note - Linus Torvalds
, I need to change some of my
behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal
behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development
entirely.

I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to
understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.
community  linux 
6 days ago
Massachusetts police tweet lets slip scale of leftwing surveillance | US news | The Guardian
Tom Arabia, a co-founder of Combat, said: “No one can deny the Massachusetts state police are surveilling leftwing organizations.”

He added that the image on the state police tweet “was both unsurprising and also a bit scary, because of how intimate it is in a sense to see your own organization listed in a police browser’s bookmarks”.
boston  police  surveillance  infiltration  activism 
6 days ago
Spotify to Use Playlists to Gauge Moods for Ad Targeting | Digital - Ad Age
"We've been able to aggregate this idea of launching playlists as a proxy for the activity or mood you're in," said Spotify's VP-North America advertising and partnerships Brian Benedik, who noted that the streaming music service has roughly 400,000 playlists related to barbecues.
affective-computing  spotify  music 
6 days ago
Gillian Flynn: A Howl
They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.
metoo  abuse  sexism 
6 days ago
Opinion | The Hacking of America - The New York Times
Democrats abandoned the working class for the microchip. Known in the 1980s as Atari Democrats, they were soon reinvented as the New Democrats. “Thanks to the near-miraculous capabilities of microelectronics, we are vanquishing scarcity,” a New Democrat manifesto announced in 1995, damning “those who cannot and will not participate in the knowledge economy” as “losers.”
history  technology  america 
6 days ago
Are duck-and-cover school drills from the nuclear era a useful parallel to active shooter drills?
Robert K. Musil, an anti-nuclear activist, wrote in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1982 that a childhood filled with media coverage of atomic tests and duck-and-cover drills left him numb and preoccupied. “I particularly recall the early atomic tests on television, that showed a model house erected by the Army crumbling and disintegrating in the blast,” he wrote (he’s probably talking about this).

As Alex Wellerstein wrote to me in an email: “The argument I would make is that hiding under your desks from the nuclear threat makes it real and ‘embodied’ in a way that pretty much no other approach can do
nuclear  duck-and-cover  apocalypse 
7 days ago
Quit Using ‘Lolita’ To Absolve Your Guilt, John Hockenberry
Sixty years later, more people are noticing what Véra hoped for. But the flip side is that more people, particularly men, are clinging to Lolita to absolve their own terrible behavior. Dolores Haze is not a therapy animal. Feeling guilty about the trauma of girls and women doesn’t absolve you of your own bad deeds and thoughts.
metoo 
8 days ago
On Amazon’s Time
“Every retail distribution center operator would love to be able to just have workers when they need them and not have them when they don’t,” Mark Meinster, the executive director of Warehouse Workers for Justice, told me. “There are various schemes to try to do that.” For that purpose, the best arrow in Amazon’s quiver is VTO... “an AM [Area Manager] actually told one of my former associates ‘Do you want to go home? Because the picks are about to get really bad,’” meaning the items on their “pick path” would be spread farther apart in the warehouse, and therefore more difficult to grab in the designated time.
amazon  labor 
8 days ago
Timed toilet breaks, impossible targets and workers falling asleep on feet: Brutal life working in Amazon warehouse - Mirror Online
Alone in a locked metal cage, 10 feet from my nearest colleague, a robot approaches from the shadows and thrusts a tower of shelves towards me.

I have nine seconds to grab and process an item to be sent for packing – a target of 300 items an hour, for hour after relentless hour.
amazon 
8 days ago
Amazon’s ‘worker cage’ has been dropped, but its staff are not free | André Spicer | Opinion | The Guardian
. A wristband patented by the company (but which is not yet in use) can direct the movement of workers’ hands using “haptic feedback”
amazon  factory  labor 
8 days ago
FBI Locks Down, Evacuates AURA Solar Observatory in New Mexico
All that has happened over the last week at the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, 130 miles southwest of Roswell—and the situation is still a mystery.
new-mexico 
8 days ago
Leon Rocha グラフィックの男 on Twitter: "🛒🛍️ SUPERMARKETS, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND ICE CREAM ✊🍨 *EXTREMELY ADAM CURTIS VOICE* 1/ This is a story about a supermarket chain that uses artificial intelligence, and h
The "artificial intelligence and machine learning" platform has historical stock and sales figures, and also has weather forecast built in. So when the system predicts hot weather coming, it automatically orders vast amounts of ice cream and soft drinks. Sounds fair enough?
ai  retail  automation 
8 days ago
Scientist Publishes A List Of Known Harassers in Academia | WCAI
“I'm also surprised at how institutions... were unable to act to protect students or junior faculty,” she said. “There are multiple cases of people who murdered the people that they were harassing.”
metoo  academia 
8 days ago
Last defendant in murder-for-hire case sentenced | News | pilotonline.com
Jay Glosser, of Queenswood Terrace in Chesapeake, was accused of conspiring to kill another TCC professor, Kimberly Perez, who had filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. Worried that the complaint could cost him his job, Glosser turned to his neighbor, Chesapeake trucking company owner Raymond Groves Sr., prosecutors said.
harassment  crime  academia 
8 days ago
Gael García Bernal: "The cinema is very good for making deep friendships" - The San Diego Union-Tribune
"I think the Indio Fernández said that 'I make movies to travel and make friends.' Making friends makes me think it's something I understand quite well, and obviously traveling," he said...
"Because in the end, the film, what does it matter if it exists or not?" It does not have any empirical importance, it's the importance that one gives, I think that in a group we all act in that ritual, we all work on that mystery and it's there where we got together, "he continues explaining.
film  art 
10 days ago
Lots of car noises are fake — let’s make them more fun | The Outline
Weird thing is, in many newer cars, these noises are mostly fake.
cars  Skeuomorph 
10 days ago
Kameron Hurley: Hard Publishing Truths: Relationships Matter – Locus Online
9) Entire process from first editor’s desk to publication: four years.
That book that was almost not published was nominated for and won several awards.
writing  publishing 
10 days ago
Product placement may help power NASA’s next big space mission - The Verge
In August, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told advisers that he is forming a new committee focused on figuring out how NASA can go commercial. The committee, headed by Maxar Technologies’ Mike Gold, will pursue ways NASA could work with advertisers to brand its spacecraft and rockets as well as investigate how astronauts might engage in endorsements and media opportunities — both on and off Earth.
nasa  space  capitalism  advertising 
11 days ago
Harvard Is Vaulting Workers Into the Middle Class With High Pay. Can Anyone Else Follow Its Lead? - The New York Times
April 2001, several dozen students from the Harvard Living Wage Campaign took over Massachusetts Hall, which housed the offices of the university’s top administrators, demanding a better deal for campus workers. How could one of the richest educational institutions in the country, they asked, with an endowment worth billions, pay so many people so badly?
activism  labor 
11 days ago
Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy? | The New Yorker
Zuckerberg was convinced that he was ahead of his users, not at odds with them. In 2010, he said that privacy was no longer a “social norm.” That year, the company found itself in trouble again after it revised its privacy controls to make most information public by default
facebook  zuckerberg 
12 days ago
Facebook's Numbers and Polls of Its Users Tell Different Stories - Bloomberg
even if significant numbers of users are tempted to say they use Facebook less than they actually do, that’s significant information for advertisers. If users feel guilty about logging on to Facebook and don't have a positive experience, they might be less likely to buy things advertised on it.
facebook 
12 days ago
Many Facebook users don't understand its news feed | Pew Research Center
When asked whether they understand why certain posts but not others are included in their news feed, around half of U.S. adults who use Facebook (53%) say they do not – with 20% saying they do not understand the feed at all well. Older users are especially likely to say they do not understand the workings of the news feed: Just 38% of Facebook users ages 50 and older say they have a good understanding of why certain posts are included in it, compared with 59% of users ages 18 to 29.
facebook 
12 days ago
Revisiting the Downtown Scene Through Alien Eyes in ‘Liquid Sky’ - The New York Times
It was also the most eccentric example of those Reagan-era movies — “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Splash,” “Moscow on the Hudson,” to name three — in which America is shown through foreign eyes.
80s  cold-war  new-wave 
12 days ago
Replace ‘Tech’ With ‘Banks,’ and We’ve Seen a Big Comeuppance Before - The New York Times
It often feels as though these companies took on their pivotal positions so quickly that no one — not even their employees — had a chance to understand how they really worked or how much influence they had....But the regulations also appear to have cemented the status of the biggest banks in our economy. The largest financial institutions now control a bigger proportion of the industry’s assets than they did before the crisis.
silicon-valley  regulation 
12 days ago
Amazon workers in Australia describe warehouse 'hellscape'
"associates", as Amazon calls them - have described a cult-like corporate culture at the warehouse, where each day begins with group stretching exercises and workers having to share an "Amazon success story".

Managers then lead a team chant, such as "Quality!", "Success!", "Amazon!", or "Prime!", sometimes while jumping in the air.
amazon  factory 
13 days ago
Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea - The New York Times
Ms. Khan was not the first to criticize Amazon, and she said the company was not really her target anyway. “Amazon is not the problem — the state of the law is the problem, and Amazon depicts that in an elegant way,” she said.
amazon  antitrust  law 
13 days ago
Think Different | Boston Review
Apple redistributes more wealth upward than any corporation or country on the planet.
apple  silicon-valley  capitalism  antitrust 
14 days ago
The YouTube stars heading for burnout: ‘The most fun job imaginable became deeply bleak’ | Technology | The Guardian
“Divisive content is the king of online media today, and YouTube heavily boosts anything that riles people up,” he says. “It’s one of the most toxic things: the point at which you’re breaking down is the point at which the algorithm loves you the most.”
youtube 
14 days ago
See that New Starbucks? Your Rent's Going Up - CityLab
they found that the arrival of every new Starbucks into a given area was associated with a 0.5 percent rise in local housing prices. Coffee shops of all kinds—artisanal and chain—had a similar relationship
gentrification 
15 days ago
Privacy in User Research: Can You? - The Scholarly Kitchen
If you ever find yourself saying “but, if I tell them that, then users won’t agree to participate in my research,” take that as your conscience waving a red flag at you.
user-research  privacy  users 
16 days ago
NYT Fact Check: Bret Stephens – Popula
It’s true that most of them announced this on Twitter, but how meaningful is that? Perhaps in the past they would have taken out an ad in the paper, or appeared on the evening news.
twitter  broadcasting 
16 days ago
The monopoly-busting case against Google, Amazon, Uber, and Facebook - The Verge
the problem is the all-consuming size of the network, splitting off networks may lead to what Feld calls the “starfish problem.” “If you tear up a starfish, the pieces regrow and now instead of one starfish you have five starfish,” says Feld. “If you’re going to split up Facebook, what’s to prevent it from becoming three Facebooks, each one dominant in its particular market segment? That’s a hard problem for antitrust.”
facebook  social-media  antitrust 
17 days ago
There's A Reason That Misleading Claims Of Bias In Search And Social Media Enjoy Such Traction | Techdirt
very old playbook conservatives have used against newspapers and broadcasters for decades. Unfortunately, Silicon Valley is partly to blame for why it is working so well today. Search engines and social media platforms have been too secretive about how their algorithms work, and too secretive about how content moderation works. In the absence of substantive explanations, users have been left to wonder why search results look the way they do, or why some posts get removed and others don't. This uncertainty breeds suspicion, and that suspicion goes looking for other explanations
media  bad-faith 
17 days ago
Why Human Driving Will Never Die - The Drive
“Self-driving will become part of rentership culture, which is what the toxic wing of capitalism has been trying to foist on hardworking Americans for decades.“
driverless  automation 
17 days ago
Was She J.D. Salinger’s Predator or His Prey? - The New York Times
though I believe that if the book I wrote 20 years ago were published today it would be received differently, it does not appear that enlightenment concerning the abuses of men in power extends retroactively to women who chose to speak long ago, and were shamed and humiliated for doing so.
metoo 
17 days ago
Bernie Sanders is picking the wrong fight with Amazon
The idea is to force those companies to increase their pay, which is an excellent goal. But this is a bad justifying argument that directly undermines the sort of social-democratic welfare state that Sanders wants to build.
amazon  labor  bernie-sanders 
17 days ago
How Duterte Used Facebook To Fuel the Philippine Drug War
Facebook free to use on mobile phones, Facebook has completely saturated the country. And because using other data, like accessing a news website via a mobile web browser, is precious and expensive, for most Filipinos the only way online is through Facebook... In an April 2016 report, the company itself proclaimed Duterte the “undisputed king of Facebook conversations.” Two months later, he was elected president...Facebook influencers hitched themselves to Duterte’s rising star; transgender rights activist Sass Sasot (more than 650,000 followers), blogger RJ Nieto (1.2 million followers), and former pop singer Mocha Uson (5.7 million followers)
facebook  Philippines  fake-news  global  free-basics  fascism  microcelebrity  fame  celebrity 
18 days ago
Medium abruptly cancels the membership programs of its 21 remaining subscription publisher partners » Nieman Journalism Lab
It didn’t work out. Medium laid off about 50 people, or a third of its staff at the time. It launched its own Medium memberships for $5 a month, which would unlock stories.
medium 
19 days ago
Let’s Get Pissed Off About Orbital Reflector… – Trevor Paglen – Medium
There are hundreds of these “black” spacecraft, mostly operated by the American military to conduct optical and electronic surveillance, coordinate military activities, and to enable navigation and targeting for military aircraft, cruise missiles, drones, and nuclear weapons. The more time you spend looking at how outer space actually works, the more you come to understand that space has become the domain of the world’s most powerful militaries — a platform for surveillance and warfare.
surveillance  space 
19 days ago
How Fiverr and Online Gig Platforms Create Competition - The Atlantic
. Decades ago, the only companies that outsourced work overseas were multinational corporations with the resources to set up manufacturing shops elsewhere. Now, independent businesses and individuals are using the power of the internet to find the cheapest services in the world too, and it’s not just manufacturing workers who are seeing the downsides to globalization. All over the country, people like graphic designers and voice-over artists and writers and marketers have to keep lowering their rates to compete
gig-economy  global  economy  mechanical-turk 
21 days ago
Prep School Confidential - bookforum.com / current issue
The big mistake of “A Cyborg Manifesto” (though it is hard to pick just one) was its assumption that human enmeshment with tech was, taken on its own, politically interesting.
haraway  cyborg 
22 days ago
Johnny Johnny Yes Papa explained by the internet’s best meme creators - Polygon
“You’re this explorer who just tumbles into a bizarre tomb full of unknowable, weird objects and you’re sure that nobody else has ever been there but then you notice scrawled messages on all of the walls and it becomes clear that people have been there. Somehow, millions of people. But none of them have ever told the rest of the world.
weird  youtube  memes 
23 days ago
Five Trends to Avoid When Founding a Startup · fast.ai
Venture Capital often pushes what could’ve been a successful small business to over-expand and ultimately fail; prevents companies from focusing their priorities; distracts from finding a monetization plan; causes conflict due to the misalignment of incentives between VCs and founders; and is full of far too many unethical bullies and thugs.
vc  silicon-valley  startups 
24 days ago
This Old Soviet aeroplane Hangar In Germany Houses An Enormous Tropical Resort | Business Insider
Known as the Tropical Islands, the space is 1,181 feet long, 689 feet wide, and 351 feet tall. To put that in perspective, eight football fields and the Statue of Liberty could fit inside.
travel  germany  berlin 
24 days ago
Snap wants out of Venice - Curbed LA
The move represented a change for Snap on the real estate front. The company has drawn the ire of locals in part because it rented office spaces across the neighborhood instead of centralizing in one main office space like many traditional companies do. That strategy resulted in many smaller businesses being pushed out to make room for Snap.
los-angeles  gentrification  snapchat 
24 days ago
Don’t Pretend Facebook and Twitter’s CEOs Can’t Fix This Mess
In the earliest days, it wasn’t always obvious what these platforms were doing and what they would become—even to insiders. But at a certain point, it became clear that money was the driving factor, and dopamine- or rage-induced interactions meant more money. They didn’t care about creating a positive experience for users—which would at a minimum require physical and mental safety. Every single one of them knew what was going to happen. And we saw it time and time again.
ellen-pao  engagement  moderation  facebook 
24 days ago
The Tangled History of Soviet Computer Science
Condemned as a capitalist tool, the computer would help expose the USSR’s weakness.
toread  history  computers  russia  cold-war 
24 days ago
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