Miscellaneous

09 November 2018

Sundar Pichai of Google: 'Technology Doesn't Solve Humanity's Problems' New York Times

Growing up in India, he slept on the floor of a house without a refrigerator. Today, the chief executive is steering Google through the most turbulent period in its history.

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Google in China: When 'Don't Be Evil' Met the Great Firewall Bloomberg

If you’re planning on moving to China anytime soon, here’s a piece of advice: Get yourself a WeChat account. Open up the “super app,” as it’s known in China, and you can do almost anything: Pay your cab fare, order from a five-star restaurant, buy fruit from a street vendor, or even give alms to a panhandler—they often wear QR codes slung around their necks. It’s possible to spend long stretches in China without so much as touching a banknote.

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09 September 2018

Alibaba’s Jack Ma, China's Richest Man, to Retire From Company He Co-Founded New York Times

Alibaba’s co-founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, said he planned to step down from the Chinese e-commerce giant on Monday to pursue philanthropy in education, a changing of the guard for the $420 billion internet company.

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04 September 2018

Google at 20: how a search engine became a literal extension of our mind The Conversation

We are losing our minds to Google. After 20 years, Google’s products have become integrated into our everyday lives, altering the very structure of our cognitive architecture, and our minds have expanded out into cyberspace as a consequence. This is not science fiction, but an implication of what’s known as the “extended mind thesis”, a widely accepted view in philosophy, psychology and neuroscience.

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05 August 2018

There's ingenuity behind Apple's great success. But we must guard against its might The Observer

The more awesome our technological progress, the more our politicians take refuge in the familiar ideological categories of the 19th century. Last week, Apple became the world’s first trillion-dollar corporation. It, like Amazon and Google hard on its heels, offers products and services that have transformed our lives. These companies’ financial and market powers are staggering. They are the new technopolists. But how are the great things they do to be curated and enhanced and how are the menaces to be contained?

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03 August 2018

Apple's $1 Trillion Milestone Reflects Rise of Powerful Megacompanies New York Times

... Apple’s new 13-figure valuation highlights how a group of enormous companies has come to dominate the United States economy. Today, a smaller cluster of American companies commands a larger share of total corporate profits than since at least the 1970s.

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26 July 2018

Children mining cobalt in slave-like conditions as global demand for battery material surges ABC News

If you have not spared a thought for cobalt since high school science, then it might be time.

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28 June 2018

Amazon, Google and Microsoft Employee AI Ethics Are Best Hope For Humanity Forbes

Artificial Intelligence can seem like it is improving at an often alarming rate but the reality is often less glamorous. Slow improvements and long paths to success. Despite this, we often see stories that depict giant leaps and dystopian futures. Despite significant progress, we are nowhere near the singularity, Matrix or Terminator images used to illustrate reality. AI can be helpful, but this doesn't mean AI can't cause more significant problems than it solves either. In fact, it's causing employees to quit and stop working on projects until the employer changes the policy - in some cases successfully and time will tell in others. These employees aren't MIT or a Think Tank in Switzerland they are companies you use every day...Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

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11 June 2018

The lesson from big tech’s latest PR events? They know we’re on to them... The Observer

In the bad old days of the cold war, western political and journalistic institutions practised an arcane pseudoscience called Kremlinology. Its goal was to try to infer what was going on in the collective mind of the Soviet Politburo. Its method was obsessively to note everything that could be publicly observed of the activities of this secretive cabal – who was sitting next to whom at the podium; which foreign visitors were granted an audience with which high official; who was in the receiving line for a visiting head of state; what editorials in Pravda (the official Communist party newspaper) might mean; and so on.

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Underpaid and exhausted: the human cost of your Kindle The Observer

Five o’clock in the morning and the young woman’s eyelids are drooping. All night she has been removing spots of dust from Amazon smartspeakers with a toothbrush. Time seems to crawl. Now she is overwhelmed with exhaustion.

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14 May 2018

And for His Next Act, Ev Williams Will Fix the Internet New York Times

For years, Ev Williams was saddled with doubts. As a co-founder of Blogger and Twitter and, more recently, as the chief executive of the digital publishing platform Medium, Mr. Williams transformed the way millions of people publish and consume information online.

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10 May 2018

The web is under threat. Join us and fight for it. by Tim Berners-Lee Medium

Today, the World Wide Web turns 29. This year marks a milestone in the web’s history: for the first time, we will cross the tipping point when more than half of the world’s population will be online.

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09 May 2018

From 'pretty please' mode to Digital Wellbeing, Google unveils tech with a responsible message Washington Post

Google’s annual developer conference is normally a relentlessly positive cheerleading session to excite developers to create products for the company and its Android operating system. But this year, there is a hint of a more serious tone as the company discusses creating technology that is not simply innovative, but responsible.

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08 May 2018

Microsoft Tries a New Role: Moral Leader New York Times

Facebook and Google are under the microscope for the ways their technologies can spread misinformation, while Amazon’s growing market power is a regular target of President Trump. And Apple pioneered the modern smartphone, a device increasingly seen as too addicting.

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At Google, 'responsibility' upstages new technology Washington Post

Google on Tuesday plans to wade into the debate over whether technology - and the time spent on devices - is harmful to people’s health, criticism that it has dodged more than Apple and Facebook.

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24 April 2018

Google's Parent Company Spends Like It's Thinking of a Future Beyond Ads New York Times

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is spending like it is beginning to prepare for life after advertising.

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09 February 2018

Why Twitter is now profitable for the first time ever Washington Post

Twitter posted a surprise profit in its Thursday earnings report — marking the first time it's ever made money as a public company.

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29 January 2018

Why Cloudflare Let an Extremist Stronghold Burn Wired

In the fall of 2016, Keegan Hankes, an analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, paid a visit to the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer. This was not unusual; part of Hankes’ job at the civil rights organization was to track white supremacists online, which meant reading their sites. But as Hankes loaded the page on his computer at SPLC’s headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, something caught his eye: a pop-up window that announced “Checking your browser before accessing … Please allow up to 5 seconds.” In fine print, there was the cryptic phrase “DDoS protection by Cloudflare.” Hankes, who had worked at SPLC for three years, had no idea what Cloudflare was. But soon he noticed the pop-up appearing on other hate sites and started to poke around.

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14 December 2017

The Biggest Tech Failures and Successes of 2017 New York Times

Let’s face it: Technology this year was one big “fail” after another. And the biggest loser from all of this was you.

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Google, Looking to Tiptoe Back Into China, Announces A.I. Center New York Times

Google pulled some of its core businesses out of China seven years ago, after concluding that government controls and surveillance ran counter to its commitment to a free and open internet.

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08 December 2017

Why Has Bitcoin's Price Gone Up So Fast? New York Times

Bitcoin has been in a bull market like few the world has ever seen.

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06 December 2017

Google Missed Out on China. Can It Flourish in India? New York Times

Every month, about four million more Indians get online. They include people like Manju, a 35-year-old seamstress in this city of ancient palaces, who got her first internet phone last week.

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05 December 2017

Page Not Found: A Brief History of the 404 Error Wired

The notorious 404 error, “Not Found,” is often, not totally erroneously, referred to as “the last page of the internet.” It’s an obligatory heads-up with an outsize reputation; it is a meme and a punch line. Bad puns abound. The error has been printed in comics and on T-shirts, an accessible and relatable facet of what was once relegated to nerd humor and is now a fact of digital life.

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01 November 2017

Google Has a New Plan for China (and It's Not About Search) Bloomberg

More than seven years after exiting China, Google is taking the boldest steps yet to come back. And it’s not with a search engine.

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08 October 2017

Chinese factory supplying major laptop brands accused of student labour abuses The Observer

The world’s biggest laptop brands rely on Chinese student labourers as young as 16 to work 12-hour days on factory production lines, with their funding and graduation at risk if they fail to comply, a labour watchdog has claimed.

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