January 20, 2019

Tech

"Facebook has little control to change human behaviors that they exploit with their algorithms; and regulations will not eliminate the abuse and misinformation either."

"Ryan of Ryan Toysreview really isn’t that different from any other first grader.... Except when he plays, he does so in front of a camera. "

"Not merely a watchmaker, Nico specializes in restoring automata—clockwork-powered dolls and figures meant to mimic life. In gardens and grottoes of the Renaissance, moving statues became toys of the wealthy..."

"The National Data Analytics Solution (NDAS) will use a combination of AI and statistics to try to assess the risk of someone committing a gun or knife crime. A prototype is expected by March 2019."

"As with many technological updates that are suddenly imposed on unsuspecting users, the new Gmail interface has been met with much annoyance."

"On Monday, a slew of Facebook users logged on to the platform and were bombarded with old chat messages, some from nearly a decade ago, all popping up as new through Facebook Messenger."

"In his final State of the Art column, Farhad Manjoo reflects on the industry’s changes and presents a new guide for navigating the future of technology."

"A recent study from researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who own smart speakers are aware of the risks, but feel resigned to the idea that the erosion of privacy is now a fact of life."

" Deliveries are now expected to go into neighborhoods that were never designed for freight traffic — creating congestion, noise problems, and infrastructure damage in addition to emissions"

"Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the first person in human history to draw inspiration from Augustus Caesar, the founder of the Roman Empire, but he’s one of a very few for whom the lessons of Augustus’s reign have a concrete urgency."

"In general, progress has brought about unprecedented prosperity while also making it easier to do harm. But between two kinds of outcomes — gains in well-being and gains in destructive capacity — the beneficial ones have largely won out."

"China’s leaders like the internet they have created. And now, they want to direct the nation’s talent and tech acumen toward an even loftier end: building an innovation-driven economy, one that produces world-leading companies."

"While the revelation of an apparent indictment against Julian Assange sets an ominous precedent for news organizations, it also serves as a reminder of his group’s stark transformation."

"By shifting accents, Australian expatriates are seen to be shifting class and status, indicating a sense of superiority to those who remain in Australia. The quickly acquired faux-British accent in particular has been associated with pretension..."

"The first pig-to-human skin graft using live cells is set to take place this month in Boston. At the same time, Tector is readying a clinical trial in which he will install his triple-knockout pigs’ kidneys in dialysis patients..."

"What will climate adaptation look like? A million individual products, each precisely targeted on social media to the intersection of a consumer culture and a catastrophe."

"The futurist philosopher Yuval Noah Harari thinks Silicon Valley is an engine of dystopian ruin. So why do the digital elite adore him so?"

"Accepting the protesters' demand that Google eliminate mandatory arbitration in harassment and discrimination cases would force others to follow."

"YouTube wants to recommend things people will like, and the clearest signal of that is whether other people liked them. Pew found that 64 percent of recommendations went to videos with more than a million views."

"The HDI is like a country’s report card... However, it still suffers from real flaws. There have been numerous attempts to do its job better, including one that we published on Nov. 6."

"It is one thing for a site to tell a user they must take their hate elsewhere. It is another for the actors who control the Internet’s infrastructure to prevent the site itself from operating."

"It’s hard to argue against the comforts of modernity. Avocado toast, fiber optics, Roombas. What’s not to love? But there are always tradeoffs."

"[New] approaches are helping people move parts of their bodies that they couldn’t before. Still, despite the successes, there’s a long way to go before either method is made available to patients at a broader scale."

"Badiucao’s new exhibition launches in Hong Kong on November 3, but the Chinese artist and cartoonist won’t be attending it, because he’s scared that if he does he’ll be “disappeared” by Communist Party of China (CPC) agents."

"Tech is displacing work, not just for low-income, low-skilled workers, but increasingly on middle-class professions too. Information-based work, where computers can do more efficient and accurate work is all under threat."

"Technology has always been a coin with two sides: potential and peril. That’s what Mary Shelley explored in “Frankenstein,” which is celebrating its 200th birthday this year, and it has been the main theme of science fiction ever since."

"Electric vehicles are going to render the fight over fuel economy standards moot. The auto industry is headed for revolution, Trump notwithstanding."

"Perhaps the global rise of authoritarians and big tech platforms are merely correlated, and no causation can be proved. But I increasingly wonder whether we would benefit if tech companies assumed that some level of causation was real."

"When it comes to machine learning, things can get a little spooky: We know an algorithm can solve a problem, but we often don’t know exactly how."

If a self-driving car is headed towards a baby and an elderly woman, which should it hit? New research into public opinion may offer an answer - and the elderly won't be pleased.

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."

"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."

"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"

"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."

"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "

"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."

"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."

"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."

"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"