Category: insights

Tim Cook addresses George Floyd’s killing with a statement on racism


Apple has updated its home page with a statement from Tim Cook, addressing the tragic death of George Floyd and asserting the company’s commitment to “creating a better, more just world for everyone.” “Right now, there is a pain deeply etched in the soul of our nation and in the hearts of millions,” the Apple CEO writes. “To stand together, we must stand up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much longer history of racism.” Cook’s address comes after numerous appeals, urging Apple to publicly state its position…

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Publishers are suing the Internet Archive over 1.3M ‘free’ ebooks


A group of publishers is suing the Internet Archive over its trove of free ebooks. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House, claims the Internet Archive is practically committing theft by putting over 1.3 million titles up for free for anyone to download, The New York Times reports. The books were previously available to one borrower at a time, but in March the Internet Archive lifted the restriction due to the coronavirus, essentially creating a National Emergency Library to serve “displaced learners.” That didn’t sit right with the publishers,…

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Donald Trump is threatening to punish Twitter. Here’s why everyone should take this seriously


US President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Thursday afternoon declaring social media companies to be broadcasters (as opposed to carriers). While the exact language of the EO has yet to be revealed, an alleged draft has circulated on social media throughout the day. If what we’re seeing is close to the final order, it’s safe to say there will be huge ramifications for the tech community and the billions of us who use social media regularly. For your reading pleasure, here’s the draft of Trump’s upcoming EO regarding social media. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/RNDUzZWyxQ — Angry Staffer (@AngrierWHStaff)…

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Or just read more coverage about: Twitter

TNW Pride 2020: Why queer representation is so important for STEM


It’s (almost) time! Welcome to 🏳️‍🌈TNW Pride 2020🏳️‍🌈. We’ll be covering tech-related Pride stories and putting a much needed spotlight on the LGBTQPIA+ STEM community and its history all throughout the month of June. If you’d like to contribute, find details below.  I’m a 42-year-old queer technology journalist and the editor of Neural. This is my first job working in the tech industry. Just a few years back I was an almost 40-year-old intern. Before that, I worked in several different fields including a decade in the US military. Despite the diversity of my background I’ve never seen a more heteronormative…

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Algorithms associating appearance with criminality have a dark past


‘Phrenology’ has an old-fashioned ring to it. It sounds like it belongs in a history book, filed somewhere between bloodletting and velocipedes. We’d like to think that judging people’s worth based on the size and shape of their skull is a practice that’s well behind us. However, phrenology is once again rearing its lumpy head. In recent years, machine-learning algorithms have promised governments and private companies the power to glean all sorts of information from people’s appearance. Several startups now claim to be able to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help employers detect the personality traits of job candidates based…

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Cannabis is more effective at preventing and treating COVID-19 than hydroxychloroquine


A team of scientists from Canada have identified at least 13 strains of cannabis sativa they believe can aid in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The President of the United States of America has spent the past few weeks touting a dangerous drug called hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic treatment for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the president’s expertise is in reality TV, not medicine. Several studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine, a drug designed to treat malaria, has dangerous side-effects when used to treat coronavirus, including death. The quest for a COVID-19 drug that will both make Donald Trump and his friends in…

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This researcher explains what ‘life hacking’ is all about


TNW Answers is a live Q&A platform where we invite interesting people in tech who are much smarter than us to answer questions from TNW readers and editors for an hour.  You must have heard about ‘life hacks’: pieces of actionable advice that, if followed, claim to bring about noticeable improvement in someone’s quality of life. A life hack can be something small, like a particularly efficient way of folding laundry. Or it can take the form of an elaborate process, like John Walker’s Hacker Diet that approached weight-loss as an engineering problem. From personal-finance gurus to productivity experts to…

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The Boring Company finally finished digging Elon Musk’s silly tunnel under Vegas


After spending millions of dollars on years of R&D, Elon Musk‘s The Boring Company has finally ‘invented’ the tunnel. That’s right, the company that was going to solve traffic by building an underground mass-transit system that conveyed vehicles on a futuristic sled system at high speed… has finally finished digging the tunnels for its first commercial project: a “people mover” in Las Vegas. And not one of those fancy people movers like you might find at the airport. You won’t be standing on a swift moving track that goes underground or anything futuristic like that. Per a press release published…

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Using ‘personalized AI’ to end coronavirus lockdown is a stupid, cruel idea


A trio of AI and business experts from INSEAD, a prestigious business school, recently penned a lengthy article in the Harvard Business Review extolling the virtues of “personalized AI” prediction models to end the coronavirus lockdown. It’s the kind of piece that politicians, academics, and pundits refer to when discussing how technology can aid in the world’s pandemic response. It’s also a gift to politicians who think we should ignore medical professionals and prioritize the economy over human life. In short, the article is a travesty of ambiguous information. It uses the generic idea of artificial intelligence as a motivator to…

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China’s CEOs are making millions by selling their products on livestreams


In the past few years, retail-streaming has become a rapidly growing ecommerce channel in China, with all manners of salespeople directly selling goods to consumers on an ecommerce livestream. While influencers and celebrities are the most familiar faces seen on retail-streams, recently, executives of major Chinese corporations have also appeared in front of the live camera.  Some of these efforts yielded lucrative results — Li Jing, president of the home accessories business Mendale Textile, for instance, achieved $3.5 million worth of sales for his company on a four-hour livestream in March. James Liang, the executive chairman & former CEO of the…

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