Germany Is Wary of a Digital World (but Loves Its E-Toothbrushes)

from NYTs How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Melissa Eddy, a Berlin correspondent for The Times, discussed the tech she’s using. What are the most important tech tools for doing your job, and how do you use them? My iPhone X has become my multipurpose portable notebook, camera, recorder and connection device. I have typed breaking stories into the Notes app and sent them to editors, or jotted down key points from an event, when I found myself without pen and paper. I’ve used the camera to record Facebook Live […]

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4 Ways to Prepare for the Next Wave of Digital Transformation

from readwrite The next wave of digital transformation is on the horizon — and it’ll be a veritable tsunami. A 2017 SAP report showed that 84 percent of organizations think digital transformation is vital to their success but that only 3 percent have completed their transformation initiatives. This wave will consist of applications built by citizen developers. Soon, these developers will be able to build their own applications just like business users can build out their own spreadsheets, documents, and presentations. Where’s IT in all of this? Right now, companies relying on IT alone to propel digital transformation are running at a pace that’s […]

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The Battle For Silicon Valley’s Soul

from The New Republic Last year, as Big Tech drew comparisons to Big Tobacco, and the industry’s CEOs were hauled before Congress to explain why government propaganda and harassment had been allowed to continue unchecked on their platforms, Silicon Valley searched its conscience. At Google, employees urged the company to stop facilitating Chinese censorship and providing artificial intelligence for drone warfare. At Amazon and Salesforce, they tried to prevent ICE and Customs and Border Protection from usingtheir software. And across the field, workers called for safer workplaces, freedom from harassment, and better working conditions for the contractors, janitors, and food service employees who keep business […]

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Germany Has Ordered Facebook To Rein In Its Data Collection

From recode German regulators are trying to clamp down on Facebook’s data collection practices — a move that could force Facebook to make technical changes to its app in order to continue operating in the country. The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office in charge of antitrust laws, restricted Facebook from “[merging] user data from various sources,” the office announced Thursday. Essentially, it wants to block Facebook from combining user data that it collects through its other apps, like WhatsApp and Instagram, with data on Facebook. This would also restrict Facebook from collecting and combining any “data collected on third-party websites,” such […]

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Dear Mr Zuckerberg: The Problem Isn’t The Internet, It’s Facebook

From The Guardian Dear Mr Zuckerberg: I read with great interest your post Monday on Facebook celebrating 15 years of helping people connect with others through a series of frames on a blue background. Let me add my name to the list of those who are impressed with what you have built. Driven by a set of ideals and some clever code, you steadily built a money machine that has also accumulated remarkable influence around the world. I urge people to consider these numbers when pondering the power of Facebook: 2.3 billion users writing in more than 100 languages; almost $17bn in revenue in just the fourth […]

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Locast, a Free App Streaming Network TV, Would Love to Get Sued

From NYTs On the roof of a luxury building at the edge of Central Park, 585 feet above the concrete, a lawyer named David Goodfriend has attached a modest four-foot antenna that is a threat to the entire TV-industrial complex.  The device is there to soak up TV signals coursing through the air — content from NBC, ABC, Fox, PBS and CBS, including megahits like “This Is Us” and this Sunday’s broadcast of Super Bowl LIII. Once plucked from the ether, the content is piped through the internet and assembled into an app called Locast. It’s a streaming service, and […]

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The Robot Revolution Will Be Worse For Men

from recode The robots will someday take our jobs. But not all our jobs, and we don’t really know how many. Nor do we understand which jobs will be eliminated and which will be transitioned into what some say will be better, less tedious work. What we do know is that automation and artificial intelligence will affect Americans unevenly, according to data from McKinsey and the 2016 US Census that was analyzed by the Brookings think tank.  Young people — especially those in rural areas or who are underrepresented minorities — will have a greater likelihood of having their jobs replaced by […]

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Steve Jobs Never Wanted Us to Use Our iPhones Like This

from NYTs Smartphones are our constant companions. For many of us, their glowing screens are a ubiquitous presence, drawing us in with endless diversions, like the warm ping of social approval delivered in the forms of likes and retweets, and the algorithmically amplified outrage of the latest “breaking” news or controversy. They’re in our hands, as soon as we wake, and command our attention until the final moments before we fall asleep. Steve Jobs would not approve. In 2007, Mr. Jobs took the stage at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco and introduced the world to the iPhone. If […]

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‘The Goal Is To Automate Us’: Welcome To The Age Of Surveillance Capitalism

From The Guardian We’re living through the most profound transformation in our information environment since Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of printing in circa 1439. And the problem with living through a revolution is that it’s impossible to take the long view of what’s happening. Hindsight is the only exact science in this business, and in that long run we’re all dead. Printing shaped and transformed societies over the next four centuries, but nobody in Mainz (Gutenberg’s home town) in, say, 1495 could have known that his technology would (among other things): fuel the Reformation and undermine the authority of the mighty Catholic […]

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How Technology Is Driving Change In Almost Every Major Industry

from Forbes I’m sure I won’t surprise you if I write that smart use of technology is an integral part of success in business today. We live in the digital era—using mobile devices to create, cloud computing to collaborate, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence to improve operations, and data analysis to extract key insights. And that’s just scratching the surface. I’m not sure, however, that most people recognize how technology can help make a good company great, and great business owners—and hopefully, their teams—wealthy. Last month, my team at Fundera released a report called “10 Businesses to Start Now to […]

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Fei-Fei Li’s Quest To Make AI Better For Humanity

from Wired SOMETIME AROUND 1 am on a warm night last June, Fei-Fei Li was sitting in her pajamas in a Washington, DC, hotel room, practicing a speech she would give in a few hours. Before going to bed, Li cut a full paragraph from her notes to be sure she could reach her most important points in the short time allotted. When she woke up, the 5’3″ expert in artificial intelligence put on boots and a black and navy knit dress, a departure from her frequent uniform of a T-shirt and jeans. Then she took an Uber to the […]

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Internet Freedom Continues To Decline Around The World, A New Report Says

from The Verge Digital authoritarianism is on the rise, according to a new report from a group that monitors internet freedoms. Freedom House, a pro-democracy think tank, said today that governments are seeking more control over users’ data while also using laws nominally intended to address “fake news” to suppress dissent. It marked the eighth consecutive year that Freedom House found a decline in online freedoms around the world. “The clear emergent theme in this report is the growing recognition that the internet, once seen as a liberating technology, is increasingly being used to disrupt democracies as opposed to destabilizing […]

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How Do Tech Companies Deceive You Into Giving Up Your Data And Privacy

from TED ? Have you ever actually read the terms and conditions for the apps you use? Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad and his team at the Norwegian Consumer Council have, and it took them nearly a day and a half to read the terms of all the apps on an average phone. In a talk about the alarming ways tech companies deceive their users, Myrstad shares insights about the personal information you’ve agreed to let companies collect — and how they use your data at a scale you could never imagine. More here.

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What is an API? In English, please.

from freeCodeCamp Before I learned software development, API sounded like a kind of beer. Today I use the term so often that I have in fact recently tried to order an API at a bar. The bartender’s response was to throw a 404: resource not found. I meet lots of people, both working in tech and elsewhere, who have a rather vague or incorrect idea about what this fairly common term means. Technically, API stands for Application Programming Interface. At some point or another, most large companies have built APIs for their customers, or for internal use. But how do […]

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What We Often Get Wrong About Automation

from HBR When leaders describe how advances in automation will affect job prospects for humans, predictions typically fall into one of two camps. Optimists say that machines will free human workers to do higher-value, more creative work. Pessimists predict massive unemployment, or, if they have a flair for the dramatic, a doomsday scenario in which humans’ only job is to serve our robot overlords. What almost everyone gets wrong is focusing exclusively on the idea of automation “replacing” humans. Simply asking which humans will be replaced fails to account for how work and automation will evolve. Our new book, Reinventing Jobs: […]

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Amazon Patents Alexa Tech To Tell If You’re Sick, Depressed And Sell You Meds

from ars technica Amazon has patented technology that could let Alexa analyze your voice to determine whether you are sick or depressed and sell you products based on your physical or emotional condition. The patent, titled “Voice-based determination of physical and emotional characteristics of users,” was issued on Tuesday this week; Amazon filed the patent application in March 2017. The patent describes a voice assistant that can detect “abnormal” physical or emotional conditions. “For example, physical conditions such as sore throats and coughs may be determined based at least in part on a voice input from the user, and emotional conditions […]

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Security in a World of Physically Capable Computers

from Schneier on Security It’s no secret that computers are insecure. Stories like the recent Facebook hack, the Equifax hack and the hacking of government agencies are remarkable for how unremarkable they really are. They might make headlines for a few days, but they’re just the newsworthy tip of a very large iceberg. The risks are about to get worse, because computers are being embedded into physical devices and will affect lives, not just our data. Security is not a problem the market will solve. The government needs to step in and regulate this increasingly dangerous space. The primary reason computers […]

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Paul G. Allen, Microsoft’s Co-Founder, Is Dead at 65

from NYTs Paul G. Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft who helped usher in the personal computing revolution and then channeled his enormous fortune into transforming Seattle into a cultural destination, died on Monday in Seattle. He was 65. The cause was complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family said in a statement. The disease recurred recently after having been in remission for years. He left Microsoft in the early 1980s, after the cancer first appeared, and, using his enormous wealth, went on to make a powerful impact on Seattle life through his philanthropy and his ownership of the N.F.L. team there, […]

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Report: Amazon’s AI Recruiter Favored Men

from Axios An algorithmic recruiter meant to help Amazon find top talent was systematically biased against women, a Reuters investigation found. Why it matters: This is a textbook example of algorithmic bias. By learning from and emulating human behavior, a machine ended up as prejudiced as the people it replaced. The details: Amazon’s experiment, which dates back to 2014, was trained on 10 years of job applications, most of which came from men, reports Reuters’ Jeffrey Dastin. * The system concluded that men were better candidates for technical jobs. * In 2015, Amazon began to realize that the system was […]

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