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 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 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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Why Upping Your Communication Game Is A Huge Part Of Redesigning Your Work Life

from Fast Company In the new hybrid workforce model, everything needs to be more intentional, and that’s probably a good thing. Expectations will have to be made more clear, and two-way communication and feedback will have to be more explicit in a remote work scenario. That’s a good change. And workers will be rewarded for what they produce, not just for “face time” with the boss (pun intended). In fact, useless video meetings, where nothing gets done, will become less and less tolerated as “video fatigue” and effective time management become more important and more visible. When there’s no one […]

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Shareholder Democracy Is Getting Bigger Trial Runs

from NYTs When you buy shares of a publicly traded company, you’re a part owner and, in theory, have a right to vote on some important matters that come before that company’s board of directors. Yet millions of people have had virtually no voice in the decisions of publicly traded American corporations, even though they have ownership stakes. The problem is that those stakes are indirect — held through mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and pension funds. Under current regulations, these various funds control voting rights that might otherwise go to shareholders and to those who receive or are vested in […]

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The Grid Isn’t Ready for the Renewable Revolution

from Wired YOU CAN ALMOST hear the electrical grid creaking and groaning under the weight of the future, as two forces converge to push it—often literally—to its breaking point.  One force is climate change, which can exacerbate disasters that take down parts of the grid, as Hurricane Ida did this summer, knocking New Orleans offline just as a heat wave settled in. Or extreme weather can suddenly spike the demand for energy just when the grid is least able to provide it, like during last winter’s Texas freeze and subsequent power system failure. The other force, ironically enough, is the massive […]

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FCC Plans To Rein In “Gateway” Carriers That Bring Foreign Robocalls To Us

from are technica The Federal Communications Commission hopes to reduce the number of illegal robocalls from overseas with an expansion of rules that require phone companies to implement Caller ID authentication technology and block illegal calls. “Eliminating illegal robocalls that originate abroad is one of the most vexing challenges the commission faces because of the difficulty in reaching foreign-based robocallers and the foreign voice service providers that originate their traffic,” the FCC said. To make a dent in that problem, the FCC is proposing new requirements on domestic gateway providers that accept calls from outside the US. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking […]

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How Ai Translation Could Unseat English As The Lingua Franca Of The Business World

from Fast Company Anyone who has traveled to a country where the language spoken is not their native one knows that not conversing fluently (or at all) can turn even a VIP into a second-class citizen. Einstein himself would have struggled to express his intelligence in, say, Farsi. In one of my favorite episodes of Modern Family, Sofia Vergara’s character Gloria says in frustration, “You don’t know how smart I am in Spanish!” Even fluent speakers can face bias if they have an accent because of certain underlying perceptions that your language skills are correlated with your intelligence. No one […]

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The Carbon Removal Industry Needs To Grow To Be The Size Of The Oil And Gas Industry

from Fast Company Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have spewed an extra 2.4 trillion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, pushing the average global temperature up more than 1.2 degrees Celsius. The world adds another 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year. We’re already seeing what that means, from catastrophic flooding to heat waves that scientists thought were statistically impossible. As emissions shrink, the world will also need a way to pull the CO2 we’ve already emitted out of the air, both to cover the continued emissions of industries that are hard to decarbonize and […]

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The Perverse Consequences of the NCAA Ruling

from The Atlantic The Supreme Court has changed college admissions forever. The justices’ decision late last month allowing NCAA Division I football and men’s basketball programs to provide new educational incentives to student athletes created an overdue avenue for compensating student athletes in commercially lucrative sports, many of whom come from low-income backgrounds. And new rules the NCAA rolled out last week in response to a series of state laws allow student athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness without violating college sports’ amateurism rules. So far, the changes have been celebrated as a step toward greater equity. […]

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How To Mitigate The Harmful Effects Of Zoom Burnout

from Forbes During the pandemic, the amount of screen time for many people working and learning from home as well as binge-watching TV has sharply increased. And prolonged screen time is leaving a series of maladies in its wake. Researchers at Arizona State University published a study showing that heavy screen users—defined as those who use screens an average of 17.5 hours per day—reported the least healthful dietary patterns and the poorest health-related characteristics compared with moderate and light users, who averaged roughly 11.3 and 7 hours of screen use per day, respectively. More here.

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Design Of Hiring Algorithms Can Double Diversity In Firms

from Fast Company We know that algorithms can outperform humans across an expanding range of settings, from medical diagnosis and image recognition to crime prediction. However, an ongoing concern is the potential for automated approaches to codify existing human biases to the detriment of candidates from underrepresented groups. For example, hiring algorithms use information on workers they have previously hired in order to predict which job applicants they should now select. In many cases, relying on algorithms that predict future success based on past success will lead firms to favor applicants from groups that have traditionally been successful. But this […]

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The Top 10 Communication Lessons An Entrepreneur Can Learn

from Forbes Every successful business leader needs to know how to communicate effectively. Both written and verbal communication skills are crucial if you want to build and maintain strong relationships with your employees, customers and partners. These essential communications insights are often learned throughout an entrepreneur’s journey, and sometimes they can come to you through unexpected career situations. That’s why we asked the members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share the best communication lessons they’ve learned during their careers so far. Here are their top 10 lessons and why each was so impactful. More here.

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How Climate Change Could Impact Your Home Value

from US News IN 2018, THE FEDERAL Emergency Management Agency announced that it would be updating New York City’s flood maps as a result of rising sea levels and shifting climate change forecasts. After all, in New York City, it’s been estimated that approximately 80 percent of the property owners who have experienced flood damage since the maps were last updated in 1983 didn’t have flood insurance. If you live in an area that has been plagued by floods, fires or beach erosion, or if you are concerned because 2014 to 2018 were the warmest years on record, you may […]

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House Lawmakers Condemn Big Tech’s ‘Monopoly Power’ and Urge Their Breakups

from NYTs House lawmakers who spent the last 16 months investigating the practices of the world’s largest technology companies said on Tuesday that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google had exercised and abused their monopoly power and called for the most sweeping changes to antitrust laws in half a century. In a 449-page report that was presented by the House Judiciary Committee’s Democratic leadership, lawmakers said the four companies had turned from “scrappy” start-ups into “the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.” The lawmakers said the companies had abused their dominant positions, […]

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Agtech’s Moment To Shine

from Forbes Agtech, the marriage of agriculture and technology, recently hit headlines with word of AppHarvest’s impending IPO. AppHarvest is an agtech startup that builds high-tech greenhouses with innovations that support water and energy conservation, including what is may be the world’s biggest greenhouse. The company’s high profile investors include domestic lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart and Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance. Over the summer celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry invested in Apeel Sciences a California-based food bio company that produces a coating that extends the life of produce. Earlier this month Syngenta announced its acquisition of the Italian biotech […]

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IBM To Split Into Two Companies By End Of 2021

from ars technica IBM announced this morning that the company would be spinning off some of its lower-margin lines of business into a new company and focusing on higher-margin cloud services. During an investor call, CEO Arvind Krishna acknowledged that the move was a “significant shift” in how IBM will work, but he positioned it as the latest in a decades-long series of strategic divestments. “We divested networking back in the ’90s, we divested PCs back in the 2000s, we divested semiconductors about five years ago because all of them didn’t necessarily play into the integrated value proposition,” he said. […]

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The Plain View

from Plaintext Like any good nonfiction writer, the Majority Staff (i.e., Democrats) of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law has produced a long-read document distinguished by deep research and an unyielding thesis: Big Tech is too big, too bad, and fights dirty. Sixteen months ago, the subcommittee set out to expose bad behavior in Silicon Valley’s top companies. Empowered with subpoenas, it had little trouble finding it. The docket of whistle-blowing witnesses and damning exhibits uncovered a litany of bullying, self-interested, anti-competitive behavior that justified the exercise, which some thought redundant because of ongoing investigations by the […]

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Why This Author Is Taking A Stand Against Amazon’s Audiobook Monopoly

from Fast Company When science fiction writer and activist Cory Doctorow releases his new novel, Attack Surface, next month, you’ll be able to pick up a physical copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local independent bookstore. If you’d prefer an e-book, you’ll be able to download it on Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and other mainstream digital book platforms. But if you’re someone who prefers an audiobook, you’ll find the novel, which deals with a corporate cybersecurity expert struggling with the morality of her work, absent from one of the biggest audiobook stores on the internet: Amazon’s […]

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