July 17, 2019

Tech

"The economic summit in Bahrain organized by the Trump administration last month was the latest example of how Israel’s hi-tech industry created new diplomatic opportunities for a country with no apparent natural resources. While Israel had no..."

"Amazon Echo, released in 2014, introduced voice software into the home, quickly followed by Google Home, Apples’s HomePod and other generic smart speakers. In fact, the researcher Canalys, suggests 78 million smart speakers were sold last year...."

"IN FEBRUARY, LEAKED software code predicted the demise of the back button on the latest version of Google's Android smartphone. Apple did away with the iPhone's home button in 2017. LG’s latest handset allows users to control their devices..."

"Our country has never been perfect, but most of us can remember a simpler time, just a few years ago, when we more or less knew how to talk to each other, how to convey basic information, how to acquire simple facts about the world. Then came..."

"Call it the Five Stages of Privacy Erosion. Tech Company builds popular product. Product is exposed in the press for doing something shady behind the scenes. Tech Company apologizes/clarifies/signals a fix. Brief phase of collective rejoicing..."

"Pete Buttigieg made more than a few jaws drop last week when he released quarterly donation tallies that outperformed his place in the opinion polls by a large margin. Between April and July, Buttigieg raised a staggering $25 million from nearly..."

"Some things feel so inevitable, so apropos of a particular moment, that when they happen one can only stand back and marvel at the on-the-nose-ness of it all. Or so it struck me in mid-June, when, scrolling through my Twitter feed, I came across..."

"When Judge Robert Bork was nominated for the Supreme Court in 1987, a reporter for the weekly Washington City Paper discovered they both used the same video rental store. He popped in, asked for a list Bork’s rented movies, and published an..."

"More than one hundred thousand people work as online content moderators, viewing and evaluating the most violent, disturbing, and exploitative content on social media. In a new book, “Behind the Screen,” Sarah T. Roberts, a professor of..."

"In some ways, it’s a curious time to be launching an alternative currency. In the past, the main complaint about traditional currencies was their instability, with rapid and uncertain inflation making them a poor store of value. But the dollar..."

"When you ask experts how bots influence politics—that is, what specifically these bits of computer code that purport to be human can accomplish during an election—they will give you a list: bots can smear the opposition through personal attacks..."

"Ke­vin Peterson is deliberate when he speaks. He pauses frequently, as though chewing over his next thought. In life as on YouTube, where he is one of a growing number of leftists and progressives who have attracted large online followings, he..."

"I’m chief executive officer of a social network that competes with Facebook , so you might expect I’d agree with those seeking to break up Facebook in the name of fair competition. In fact, I strongly oppose the idea. I don’t believe Facebook is..."

"Aesthetically, the account’s photos sink under their own drabness — here’s a stack of folding chairs shot from an ungainly angle, here’s an antiseptic break room with shades of Dunder Mifflin — but mentally, they provide the equivalent of logging.."

"SpaceX launched 60 satellites last month that now swarm around our planet like bees around a hive. It’s the first phase of Elon Musk’s ambitious Starlink project that will eventually send thousands of satellites into orbit to create a worldwide..."

""IN THESE DAYS of anti-tech ire, it’s a popular cocktail hour topic: How much is Facebook making off my data? Last year, I spent a month trying to find out, hawking my personal data on blockchain-based marketplaces. I came away with $0.003. On..."

"We’ve known for ages that somewhere in the bowels of Facebook people were beavering away designing a cryptocurrency. Various names were bandied about, including GlobalCoin and Facebook Coin. The latter led some people to conclude that it must be..."

"One of my fondest memories of the internet involves me sitting alone in a neighborhood restaurant, watching the snow fall. It was a Friday evening and I was feeling lonely, so I tweeted about it. Then two friends, Tim and Robin, people I hadn't..."

"Facebook has unveiled libra, a cryptocurrency that will enable users to make international payments over Messenger and other group platforms like WhatsApp – perhaps from as soon as 2020. Here’s how it looks likely to work: a user would buy libra..."

"A city is never its stereotype, and just as you can ride the New York subway without stepping into a pile of rats, and order a slice of pizza in Chicago that does not come in the shape of a doorstop, you can walk around Los Angeles, like people..."

"RECENTLY, some of my friends have started using their faces to pay for things. Not by charming strangers in bars, but instead by using the iPhone Face ID feature, which has users “glance” at their phone to make a contactless payment. The glance..."

"For much of World War I, Sir Phillip Gibbs was one of the few journalists the British War Office permitted to correspond from the Western Front. Gibbs’s mission was to describe, in terms that would be acceptable to government censors, the..."

"What do a Yemeni refugee in the queue for food aid, a checkout worker in a British supermarket and a depressed university student have in common? They're all being sifted by some form of artificial intelligence..."

"There sits Mark Zuckerberg, staring into a camera, proclaiming that the secret to controlling the future is controlling the stolen data of billions. A shocking declaration for the head of one of the world's most important and powerful companies..."

"Seven years after the arrival of 4G, EE has finally switched on the UK’s first 5G networks in six UK cities – and more are coming. The upgrade promises much faster data connections but conspiratorially-minded online activists are convinced that..."

"YouTube has been criticized often in recent weeks for hosting content created by radical actors, and has also been censured for how it has handled this criticism. The video sharing giant’s policies on harassment and hate speech and its..."

"But techno-optimists take the exercise a step further, by using data about one thing to forecast the future of an entirely different thing. This moves us from the flawed to the absurd. For instance, when techno-optimists compare anxiety over..."

"In a 1965 issue of Electronics magazine, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore wrote a short paper in which he correctly predicted the future development of computing technology. Titled “Cramming more components onto integrated circuits,” it theorized..."

"Wall Street is predisposed to hate and fear regulation, which is why the Nasdaq tumbled this week after the Trump administration and congressional Democrats reached a rare consensus that something must be done about tech behemoths..."

"You can pinpoint the exact moment when Apple lost the WWDC audience on Monday. John Ternus, the company's VP of hardware engineering, had just revealed that the Pro Display XDR, its new high-end 6K monitor, will cost $4,999."

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"As Europe moved toward war in the summer of 1914, two battleships were being built for the Ottoman Empire in British shipyards. Worried about signs of an Ottoman-German alliance, Winston Churchill, then first lord of the admiralty, seized the..."

"For most of this year, Joe Biden has strutted across stages in New Hampshire and Iowa, and at swanky fundraisers in New York and California, as if he were already the Democratic nominee. Questions about attacks from his rivals were, more often..."

"A vast city that may have had as many as 1,500 to 3,000 inhabitants in its heyday 9,000 years ago was part of a sprawling Neolithic network of barter. Fresh findings in the mega site at Motza, the Jerusalem foothills, include an obsidian blade..."

"Befitting Stranger Things’ loving ode to the ’80s, the golden age of merchandising, there sure is a lot of Stranger Things crap for sale. Need a copy of Hopper’s Magnum P.I.–inspired Hawaiian shirt for your own date night? Provided you’re not...."

"Big Government lobbyists and entrenched bureaucrats are predictably hysterical about a common-sense congressional push to improve transparency and accountability about wasteful taxpayer-funded monkey experiments. They’re worried that once..."

"The economic summit in Bahrain organized by the Trump administration last month was the latest example of how Israel’s hi-tech industry created new diplomatic opportunities for a country with no apparent natural resources. While Israel had no..."

"The early ‘90s, famously, saw the “End of History,” as it was dubbed by the right-Hegelian political theorist Francis Fukuyama. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and thus the ostensibly final victory of capitalism and liberal democracy..."

"“Almost all books of aphorisms, which have ever acquired a reputation, have retained it,” John Stuart Mill wrote in 1837, aphoristically—that is to say, with a neat if slightly dubious finality. (“How wofully the reverse is the case with systems..."

"While we can easily misjudge, misunderstand, or even avoid a pregnant individual’s experience of miscarriage, we can also forget that the loss of a pregnancy may impact a wide range of other people too. There’s usually one other person..."

"I have never tried psychedelic drugs, but I imagine the experience is a lot like drinking a Starbucks Frappuccino. Strange sensations, unnatural colors, increased heart rate, heightened emotions, paranoia: It’s all there in that plastic cup..."

"Fifty years ago this week, more than a million Americans drove, flew and even boated to Florida’s Cape Canaveral to witness the launch of Apollo 11, which would culminate four days later on July 20, 1969, with America’s victory over the Soviet..."

"The incidents now pass without much notice, a steady, familiar drumbeat of violence and hate targeting visibly Jewish people in New York City. Early on the morning of June 15, a Saturday, two men in a white Infiniti drove around Borough Park..."