Meta’s Failed Giphy Deal Could End Big Tech’s Spending Spree

from ars technica Instagram? Sure! WhatsApp? Go nuts. But don’t mess with GIFs. That’s the strange position taken by Britain’s competition watchdog in choosing to block Meta’s takeover of GIF repository Giphy. Meta, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ruled, must now sell all the GIFs—just 19 months after it reportedly paid $400 million for them. It’s a bold move—and a global first. Never before has a tech giant been ordered to press undo on a completed deal rather than pay a fine or make promises about how the newly merged businesses would operate. Meta, the parent company of […]

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The Metaverse Is Coming, and the World Is Not Ready for It

from NYTs The metaverse is coming. It was once a science-fiction fantasy, most notably in Neal Stephenson’s novel “Snow Crash,” of an all-encompassing virtual universe that would exist alongside the physical one. But technological advances have brought this transformation of human society close enough to reality to demand that we consider its consequences. In the metaverse, a user might curate a digital avatar, like a character in a video game. Through the eyes of their avatar, they would experience a digital reality as active and engaging as the physical one. Some futurists believe that soon we might attend doctor’s appointments […]

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Fully Remote Companies Are Hiring – 4 Ways To Make Your Application Stand Out

from Forbes FlexJobs, a job site that focuses on remote, work from home and flexible job opportunities, recently released a list of 50 companies that allow 100% of their workers to work remotely 100% of the time. The companies spanned various industries, including technology, financial services, health and wellness and more. Recent job postings went well beyond engineering, including marketing, operations, finance, legal, HR, even admin roles. If your goal is to land a fully remote job, you don’t have to only focus on tech companies or tech roles. Whatever industry or function you target, you will need to show […]

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How TikTok Reads Your Mind

from NYTs There are four main goals for TikTok’s algorithm: ????, ???? (??), ????, and ????, which the company translates as “user value,” “long-term user value,” “creator value,” and “platform value.” That set of goals is drawn from a frank and revealing document for company employees that offers new details of how the most successful video app in the world has built such an entertaining — some would say addictive — product. The document, headed “TikTok Algo 101,” was produced by TikTok’s engineering team in Beijing. A company spokeswoman, Hilary McQuaide, confirmed its authenticity, and said it was written to […]

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The FTC Sues Nvidia to Block Its Historic Deal With Arm

from Wired (via Ars Technica) The Federal Trade Commission has sued to block Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm, the semiconductor design firm, saying that the blockbuster deal would unfairly stifle competition. “The FTC is suing to block the largest semiconductor chip merger in history to prevent a chip conglomerate from stifling the innovation pipeline for next-generation technologies,” Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s competition bureau, said in a statement. “Tomorrow’s technologies depend on preserving today’s competitive, cutting-edge chip markets. This proposed deal would distort Arm’s incentives in chip markets and allow the combined firm to unfairly undermine Nvidia’s rivals.” More here.

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Do You Feel Rich?

from Seth’s Blog It’s not the same as being rich. Rich is always relative. Compared to your great-grandparents, we’re impossibly, supernaturally rich. We have access to information and technology that was unimagined a century ago. At the same time, compared to someone ten miles away or ten years in the future, we’re way behind. Two people with precisely the same resources and options might answer the question of ‘rich’ completely differently. Because money is a story. More here.

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Educating in the Metaverse

from SERENDIPTHY35 There is not much mention of education in all the discussions this year about the metaverse, but it is thought that it will better allow students to have a cyber-physical learning experience. The virtual world will merge with the real one more and more seamlessly. For the past 20 months, there has been a global educational experiment in online learning. But don’t think that what has happened in education because of the COVID-19 pandemic is an accurate account or prediction of what teaching and learning are at their best, or what they will become in a metaverse. The […]

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Access To Online College Courses Can Speed Students’ Degree Completion

from Brookings Online courses are an increasingly important part of students’ college experience, but how does this impact what students glean from their college experience? Trends toward online learning were evident even before the COVID-19 outbreak. For instance, more than 30% of all students enrolled at postsecondary institutions took at least one online course in the fall 2016 term. Advocates of online education suggest that departments offering online courses can support their students through the ease of access to coursework; for example, internet-based learning can help students avoid scheduling conflicts and offer students greater flexibility to pursue outside activities, like […]

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Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should […]

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Why Can’t People Teleport?

from Wired LET’S FACE IT: Nobody likes to travel. Whether they’re traveling to get to an exotic location for vacation or traveling to work on a daily commute, nobody actually likes the part where they have to travel. The people who say they like to travel probably mean they like to arrive. That’s because being somewhere can be really fun: seeing new things, meeting new people, getting to work sooner so you can go home early and read physics books. The actual traveling part is usually a drag: getting ready, rushing, waiting, rushing some more. Whoever said “it’s the journey, […]

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With China, a ‘Cold War’ Analogy Is Lazy and Dangerous

from NYTs A new idea is gaining currency among some politicians and policymakers in Washington: The United States is in a cold war with China. It’s a bad idea — bad on history, bad on politics, bad for our future. The Biden administration has wisely pushed back on the framing. But the president’s actions suggest that his strategy for dealing with China may indeed suffer from Cold War thinking, which locks our minds into the traditional two-dimensional chess model. Competition with China, though, is a three-dimensional game. And if we continue to play two-dimensional chess, we will lose. While neither […]

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‘The Great Resignation’ Misses the Point

from Wired IN EARLY MAY, Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, did an interview with Bloomberg about a possible spike in job turnover. “The Great Resignation is coming,” he warned. A few weeks later, the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed a record 4 million Americans had left their jobs in April. Suddenly, people were reaching for ways to refer to the phenomenon unfolding before them—to brand it, to make sense of it. Klotz’s catchy off-the-cuff terminology, now printed on Bloomberg’s pages, seemed to fit the bill. And just like that, a name was born. We […]

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The Next Cyberattack Is Already Under Way

from The New Yorker In the nightmare, sirens caterwaul as ambulances career down ice-slicked, car-crashed streets whose traffic lights flash all three colors at once (they’ve been hacked by North Korea) during a climate-catastrophic blizzard, bringing pandemic patients to hospitals without water or electricity—pitch-black, all vaccinations and medications spoiled (the power grid has been hacked by Iran)—racing past apartment buildings where people are freezing to death in their beds, families huddled together under quilts, while, outside the darkened, besieged halls of government, men wearing fur hats and Kevlar vests (social media has been hacked by Russia), flashlights strapped to their […]

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How to Completely Disappear From the Internet

from pcmag Some might say the internet was built on anonymity, paving the way for a place where free speech reigns supreme. But after years of learning about who’s snooping into everything we do online, privacy on the web is hardly a given. It’s not just about government spying; it’s also about how much data big companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have collected in order to serve up targeted ads—not to mention how much of your personal data gets scooped up in all the breaches and hacks. There are always going to be good reasons for people to go online […]

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How a Mistake by YouTube Shows Its Power Over Media

from NYTs The email subject line that arrived at 10:19 a.m. on Tuesday carried some of the worst information a small online news outlet can receive: “Novara Media we have removed your channel from YouTube.” Novara had spent years using YouTube to attract more than 170,000 subscribers for its left-leaning coverage of issues like climate change, capitalism and social policy. Suddenly, and without warning, that powerful distribution tool was zapped — leaving people in the newsroom wondering how the organization could survive. “We had this ambient awareness of our dependence on these big tech platforms,” Ash Sarkar, a contributing editor, […]

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A Brief History of Online Influence Operations

from Lawfare The Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files series resumed last week, revealing that the platform took action against an online campaign to set up a new right-wing “Patriot Party” after the Jan. 6 insurrection. Earlier this month news outlets reported that a number of former employees excoriated the company’s content moderation practices in their departure emails. And on Oct. 25, a dozen news outlets released new stories based on yet more leaked Facebook documents. In congressional hearings on the initial Facebook leak, Sen. Richard Blumenthal succinctly captured the tone of the public sentiment, saying that “Facebook and Big Tech […]

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‘The Problem Is Him’ Kara Swisher On Mark Zuckerberg’s Crisis And Ours

from NY Mag When Vietnam’s communist rulers gave Facebook an ultimatum to censor anti-government posts earlier this year or leave the country, Mark Zuckerberg personally made the call to appease them. It’s among the damning revelations about the company to emerge from whistleblowers in recent weeks, most of them contained in the so-called Facebook Papers. The trove shows how Facebook knowingly amplified anger and misinformation about the platform and the company’s engineers chillingly identified ways to manipulate the behavior of its 3.5 billion users, meaning about half the planet’s population may ultimately be swayed by the whims of one man. […]

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Facebook Who? Zuckerberg Announces Rebranding As Meta

from ars technica During his Connect 2021 keynote presentation today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rolled out the name “Meta” as a new corporate identity reflecting the company’s “new north star—to help bring the metaverse to life.” The name, which Zuckerberg noted comes from the Greek word for “beyond,” is “a new company brand to encompass everything that we do.” That means the company will be “looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments, one for a family of apps and one for work on future platforms,” he said. The name “Facebook,” Zuckerberg said, “just doesn’t encompass everything we […]

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The Qualities Of An Indispensable Leader

from Forbes What is the secret sauce that makes some leaders stand out from the rest? These are the leaders who rise through the ranks, great at managing their teams while also keeping the company’s vision in mind, the type of people identified for advancement into senior leadership. According to Janet Altman, Marketing Principal at Kaufman Rossin and indispensable leader herself, the number one factor she looks for in promising leaders is their ability to handle a strategic scope. “The most important thing for me, when I think of my go-to people, is the ability to look at the big […]

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