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ted 2018: netflix sees itself as the anti-apple
streaming service netflix is famous for its unique culture. the most well-known example is the company’s no-vacation policy, which allows employees to take off as many days as they choose, whenever they choose. that policy is just a symbol of a broader attitude in the company, according to ceo reed hastings.“there’s a whole lot of that freedom,” hastings said on stage saturday, at the ted conference in vancouver. he purposely built netflix to have a culture of open information sharing after his first company, pure software, struggled because it was too obsessed with creating processes to prevent mistakes from happening. “we were trying to dummy-proof the system, and eventually only dummies wanted to work there,” he said. workers across the company are given updates on a wide range of netflix's projects, not just the ones their department is working on.the netflix culture of information sharing builds a sense of responsibility among employees, hastings said. “we’re like the anti-apple. they compartmentalize, we do the opposite. everyone gets all the information.” he added: “i find out about big decisions made all the time that i had nothing to do with.”`to disagree silently is disloyal.`—netflix ceo reed hastingsthat’s why hastings promotes courage as a fundamental value at the company. “we want people to speak the truth, and we say, ‘to disagree silently is disloyal.’” he added, “it’s not ok to let a decision go through without saying ...
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inside nokia’s 3310 and 8110 feature phone nostalgia trip
let’s all agree that this has not been a year of feel-good stories in tech. whether it’s facebook privacy or youtube algorithms, the headlines out of silicon valley have been a dismal parade of lapses and letdowns. so let’s take a moment to appreciate the one thread development everyone can get behind: nokia’s perfect throwback party.you may not know the nokia 3310 or 8110 by name, but you’d recognize them in a heartbeat. they’re two of the phones that made nokia the dominant cell phone seller of the oughts, the candy bar and banana form factors that defined the pre-iphone era.over the last year, as you’ve likely seen, a company called hmd global has resurrected both, upgrading and updating them just-so for a world that still needs feature phones aplenty. what could have been a lazy cash-grab reboot—looking at you, michael bay’s teenage mutant ninja turtles—has instead turned out two thoughtfully designed and executed devices. and they couldn’t have come at a better time.retro magica quick clarification: hmd is a company that makes the phones—both smart and feature—sold under the nokia brand, so this isn't technically the same company that dominated the cell phone landscape through the turn of the millennium. but hmd resides in the same building as nokia’s headquarters, and was founded by former nokia employees—including chief product officer juho sarvikas, who shepherded the return of the 3310 and 8110, and started at nokia over a decade ago. e...
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how russian facebook ads divided and targeted us voters before the 2016 election
when young mie kim began studying political ads on facebook in august of 2016—while hillary clinton was still leading the polls— few people had ever heard of the russian propaganda group, internet research agency. not even facebook itself understood how the group was manipulating the platform's users to influence the election. for kim, a professor of journalism at the university of wisconsin-madison, the goal was to document the way the usual dark money groups target divisive election ads online, the kind that would be more strictly regulated if they appeared on tv. she never knew then she was walking into a crime scene.over the last year and a half, mounting revelations about russian trolls' influence campaign on facebook have dramatically altered the scope and focus of kim's work. in the course of her six-week study in 2016, kim collected mounds of evidence about how the ira and other suspicious groups sought to divide and target the us electorate in the days leading up to the election. now, kim is detailing those findings in a peer-reviewed paper published in the journal political communication. the researchers couldn't find any trace, in federal records or online, of half of the 228 groups it tracked that purchased facebook ads about controversial political issues in that six-week stretch. of those so-called `suspicious` advertisers, one in six turned out to be associated with the internet research agency, according to the list of accounts facebook eventually pr...
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these celebrity portraits are fake. sort of
about a year ago, toronto residents began noticing a series of six-foot-high celebrity portraits on the sides of convenience stores around the city. there was a shirtless justin bieber with a gold chain around his neck, hair immaculately coiffed; mike tyson with his famous face tattoo; zach galifianakis in a t-shirt with a messenger bag slung casually around his shoulder. they were fascinated.selfies taken in front of these portraits started popping up on instagram and twitter, prompting widespread speculation about the origin of the mysterious images. `there were all these people wondering, what the hell are these things?” says peter andrew lusztyk, the canadian photographer who created the images and posted them all over town to create what he called an `illegal outdoor exhibition.` `everyone was like, is a new movie coming out or what?`related storiesalmost nobody guessed the truth about the images—that the portraits were actually of wax models from madame tussauds. lusztyk had spent months shooting the images on site at the madame tussauds locations in las vegas and washington, dc, where he shot the figures against a white backdrop, as if they were in a studio. he and his assistants worked in the morning, before the museum opened to the public.the idea started as an experiment to determine if viewers could tell that the images were fake, but even lusztyk was surprised at how realistic they looked. `photographing them actually made them even more lifelike, becaus...
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meet the illustrator behind wired’s new staff portraits
today wired unveiled more than 100 new illustrations of our staff. created by new york–based artist simone noronha, the black-and-white profile portraits capture each person who works here. browse all of them on wired’s redesigned staff page, and expect them to crop up in other places, too, such as on wired reporters’ social media accounts. (sharp-eyed readers may have already noticed that wired’s editor in chief, nicholas thompson, has been using noronha’s portrait of him on twitter. the writers for our ideas vertical also got their drawings early.)wired design director ivylise simones and i worked closely with noronha to refine the portraits, and wired photographer beth holzer shot reference photos of nearly every staff member.i spoke to noronha about how the wired design team discovered her work and how she creates lively digital portraits.wired: at what point in your career did you start developing the illustration style that you have now?simone noronha: i’m an illustrator and designer based in new york. originally though i’m from dubai, united arab emirates, where i spent the first 18 years of my life, always drawing.i’m not sure i can pinpoint when i developed the style i have now. it’s an ever-evolving thing as i try to improve my work. that said, i like to think of illustrative style as just our natural flaws shining through and doing the best with it.wired: what tools do you use?sn: i work primarily digitally. i’ll fuss over details, constant eras...
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uber makes peace with a data-sharing deal for cities
the truce between two old foes—city governments and secretive private companies like uber—began at the curb.if you think the curb seems an unlikely appomattox, you haven’t been pay attention. today, the curb represents the most contested space in the urban world. cyclists pedal through bike lanes, cars battle for parking spots. taxis, ubers, and lyfts pick up and drop off riders. delivery trucks unload amazon prime boxes and buses pull in and out of stops. people on foot scuttle through it all, trying not to get hit.the people running cities believe there should be a place for all these things. maybe a few designated uber pick-up and drop off zones, or spaces reserved for trucks making deliveries. the companies want curb space, too, so they can do their thing. but before city governments can start reallocating that space (too long given over to private, parked cars), they need information.“the autonomous age is upon us but most cities really don’t even have the network password to log in,” says janette sadik-khan, a former new york city transportation commissioner and the chair of national association of city transportation officials. some don’t have their curbs mapped at all. others do, but the info is spread out across agencies, file formats, and incompatible maps. (one agency’s master files won’t include intersections; another’s might skimp on curb cuts.)you know who does have that data? private sector companies like uber, which collect piles of informa...
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softbank's futuristic vision fund takes on the real (estate) world
in the last two months michael marks has turned down a dozen offers to make keynote speeches at conferences. his company, construction startup katerra, is three years old, but the attention surge is very recent. “construction technology has gotten kinda buzzy,” he says.that may be. but more likely, interest in katerra has spiked because in january, the company landed an astounding $867 million in venture funding led by the softbank vision fund. a deal of that size, led by the venture industry’s most talked-about fund, will put a company on the map overnight. marks had been planning to raise around $500 million, but in a pattern that’s become familiar, once softbank got involved, everything got bigger.the softbank vision fund—a source of fascination and fear among rival venture investors—is known for its investments in cutting-edge technology. but now it’s making a big bet on one of the stodgiest industries around—real estate. the $93 billion fund’s sheer firepower has the potential to shape winners and losers in any market it decides to enter, and it is quickly doing so in real estate. the fund has met with at least 50 potential investments in the category, according to managing director jeffrey housenbold. that’s resulted in four big bets, with more to come.a month before the katerra deal, softbank led a $450 million investment in startup real-estate brokerage compass, and a $120 million investment in home-insurance startup lemonade. in august 2017, the f...
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watch spacex loft nasa’s new planet-hunting mission into orbit
nasa’s newest galactic scout is ready for duty. the transiting exoplanet survey satellite (dubbed tess for short) is set to embark on a two-year mission to scour our cosmic neighborhood for potentially habitable worlds. but first, it’ll need a boost from spacex.exhaust plumes billowed around pad 40 at cape canaveral last wednesday as spacex successfully test-fired its falcon 9 rocket. today, if all goes as planned, it will roar to life at 6:32 pm edt, lofting the refrigerator-sized tess spacecraft into orbit.the falcon 9 used for this flight will sport a brand new first stage booster—the final block 4 version before the upgraded block 5 version rolls out next month, which will sport upgraded engines and enhancements that will ease reusability. once the first stage has done its job, it will return to earth, where a drone ship will be waiting in the atlantic ocean to catch it.the tess satellite will survey the sky in search of small dips in the light emanating from nearby stars. those dips are telltale signs that a planet could be passing in front of its parent star—an event astronomers call a transit.tess’s predecessor, the kepler space telescope, also used the transit method to become the most prolific planet-hunter in history. in the course of its mission, it identified thousands of candidate planets beyond our solar system. astronomers have validated 2,600 of its observations, and thousands more are awaiting confirmation. but mission scientists expect tess to find...
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how to be an amateur cinematographer—250 miles above the earth
of all the ways for someone to describe their job, when that job entails orbiting more earth than 200 miles above the surface, “i’m just an astronaut” might be the most banal. but that’s exactly how paolo nespoli describes his role working with darren aronofsky on the documentary series one strange rock.nespoli is being humble, of course. his expertise as an engineer with the european space agency puts his occupational comfort zone well beyond most people’s potential. however, he would have to step out of it in order to help aronofsky capture scenes aboard the international space station—some of which are included in this 360-degree video.indeed, after receiving a crash course in cinematography from the famed director, nespoli—a man accustomed to rocketing from earth at speeds of 17,000 mph—claims he was “a little mortified.” he had always maintained an interest in photography and had even worked on a few professional shoots, but filming for national geographic felt like a tall order for a hobbyist. “it’s like the guy who goes out and runs on sundays compared to usain bolt doing the hundred meter,” he says.even so, there were few candidates for such a job, and nespoli had the benefit of experience, having already performed some camera work on the iss for the 2011 youtube film first orbit, which recreates yuri gagarin’s views of the earth during humanity’s first-ever spaceflight.this job was different though. the stakes were higher, the cameras mo...
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how russian facebook ads divided and targeted us voters before the 2016 election
when young mie kim began studying political ads on facebook in august of 2016—while hillary clinton was still leading the polls— few people had ever heard of the russian propaganda group, internet research agency. not even facebook itself understood how the group was manipulating the platform's users to influence the election. for kim, a professor of journalism at the university of wisconsin-madison, the goal was to document the way the usual dark money groups target divisive election ads online, the kind that would be more strictly regulated if they appeared on tv. she never knew then she was walking into a crime scene.over the last year and a half, mounting revelations about russian trolls' influence campaign on facebook have dramatically altered the scope and focus of kim's work. in the course of her six-week study in 2016, kim collected mounds of evidence about how the ira and other suspicious groups sought to divide and target the us electorate in the days leading up to the election. now, kim is detailing those findings in a peer-reviewed paper published in the journal political communication. the researchers couldn't find any trace, in federal records or online, of half of the 228 groups it tracked that purchased facebook ads about controversial political issues in that six-week stretch. of those so-called `suspicious` advertisers, one in six turned out to be associated with the internet research agency, according to the list of accounts facebook eventually pr...
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'rampage': 14 unanswered questions about the rock’s new movie
did you guys see? the rock has a new movie out. it’s called rampage. it’s based on an mid-’80s arcade game—though you’d never know that—and, like most dwayne johnson movies, it involves the rock wearing an impossibly tight t-shirt over his muscle-wall frame. things blow up; the ones that don't get smashed to pieces. tactical gear figures prominently in it.related storiesthe short version of the plot: an evil corporation called energyne, in order to avoid pesky regulations that would otherwise prevent them from doing their evil energyne-y business, is doing gene-editing experiments in space aboard an orbiting space station. when a heavily modified rat goes berserk (i think), the space station blows up. one scientist escapes with canisters containing a pathogen that could edit genes (again, i think), and jumps in a pod headed for earth. but the pod incinerates when it entered earth’s atmosphere. phew! wait, no: the canisters miraculously make it to the surface, and are discovered by a wolf, a crocodile, and an albino silverback gorilla who happens to be a friend of the rock's. (his name is george.) overnight, the animals all turn into alpha predators overnight.but that’s just the incredibly confusing first 20-odd minutes! after that, the geneticist responsible for the crispr technology that fell from the sky—kate, played by moonlight’s naomie harris—shows up at the animal habitat where the rock works. (he has a different name in the movie, which always s...
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trump’s attack on amazon actually has its precedents
as public attitudes towards silicon valley and big tech continue their rapid pivot from admiration to vilification, the current occupant of the white house has sought to lead the chorus. several weeks ago, he launched a tweet-driven crusade against amazon and ceo jeff bezos, accusing the company of ripping off the us postal service and harming americans by not collecting more sales tax. his thursday order for a review of the post office’s finances is a clear attempt to undermine one of its largest customers, amazon.wired opinionaboutzachary karabell is a wired contributor. karabell is the head of global strategies envestnet and the president of river twice research.the president’s aggressive—and factually debatable—attacks have triggered concern about the fragility of our democracy and the potential for the powers of the state to be used to quash private companies. former treasury secretary larry summers said trump’s attacks on amazon echoed mussolini’s italy, where the state cowed private companies or destroyed them. sheila bair, former chair of the fdic, suggested that trump is undermining the bill of rights by assailing a company based on personal pique at negative coverage in the bezos-owned washington post.yet, here as elsewhere, the reaction to trump may say more about his ability to arouse strong and often negative passions than about how close the us is to a constitutional crisis or an erosion of fundamental liberties. trump is hardly the first president t...
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ted 2018: netflix sees itself as the anti-apple
streaming service netflix is famous for its unique culture. the most well-known example is the company’s no-vacation policy, which allows employees to take off as many days as they choose, whenever they choose. that policy is just a symbol of a broader attitude in the company, according to ceo reed hastings.“there’s a whole lot of that freedom,” hastings said on stage saturday, at the ted conference in vancouver. he purposely built netflix to have a culture of open information sharing after his first company, pure software, struggled because it was too obsessed with creating processes to prevent mistakes from happening. “we were trying to dummy-proof the system, and eventually only dummies wanted to work there,” he said. workers across the company are given updates on a wide range of netflix's projects, not just the ones their department is working on.the netflix culture of information sharing builds a sense of responsibility among employees, hastings said. “we’re like the anti-apple. they compartmentalize, we do the opposite. everyone gets all the information.” he added: “i find out about big decisions made all the time that i had nothing to do with.”`to disagree silently is disloyal.`—netflix ceo reed hastingsthat’s why hastings promotes courage as a fundamental value at the company. “we want people to speak the truth, and we say, ‘to disagree silently is disloyal.’” he added, “it’s not ok to let a decision go through without saying ...
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exploring the mirror link between two geometric worlds
twenty-seven years ago, a group of physicists made an accidental discovery that flipped mathematics on its head. the physicists were trying to work out the details of string theory when they observed a strange correspondence: numbers emerging from one kind of geometric world matched exactly with very different kinds of numbers from a very different kind of geometric world.quanta magazineaboutoriginal story reprinted with permission from quanta magazine, an editorially independent publication of the simons foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research developments and trends in mathematics and the physical and life sciences.to physicists, the correspondence was interesting. to mathematicians, it was preposterous. they’d been studying these two geometric settings in isolation from each other for decades. to claim that they were intimately related seemed as unlikely as asserting that at the moment an astronaut jumps on the moon, some hidden connection causes his sister to jump back on earth.“it looked totally outrageous,” said david morrison, a mathematician at the university of california, santa barbara, and one of the first mathematicians to investigate the matching numbers.nearly three decades later, incredulity has long since given way to revelation. the geometric relationship that the physicists first observed is the subject of one of the most flourishing fields in contemporary mathematics. the field is called mirror symme...
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inside nokia’s 3310 and 8110 feature phone nostalgia trip
let’s all agree that this has not been a year of feel-good stories in tech. whether it’s facebook privacy or youtube algorithms, the headlines out of silicon valley have been a dismal parade of lapses and letdowns. so let’s take a moment to appreciate the one thread development everyone can get behind: nokia’s perfect throwback party.you may not know the nokia 3310 or 8110 by name, but you’d recognize them in a heartbeat. they’re two of the phones that made nokia the dominant cell phone seller of the oughts, the candy bar and banana form factors that defined the pre-iphone era.over the last year, as you’ve likely seen, a company called hmd global has resurrected both, upgrading and updating them just-so for a world that still needs feature phones aplenty. what could have been a lazy cash-grab reboot—looking at you, michael bay’s teenage mutant ninja turtles—has instead turned out two thoughtfully designed and executed devices. and they couldn’t have come at a better time.retro magica quick clarification: hmd is a company that makes the phones—both smart and feature—sold under the nokia brand, so this isn't technically the same company that dominated the cell phone landscape through the turn of the millennium. but hmd resides in the same building as nokia’s headquarters, and was founded by former nokia employees—including chief product officer juho sarvikas, who shepherded the return of the 3310 and 8110, and started at nokia over a decade ago. e...
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paul ryan's eventual exit from congress tops this week's internet news
businessfacebook ceo mark zuckerberg appears before the senate committee on the judiciary and senate committee on commerce, science, and transportation hearing, “facebook, social media privacy, and the use and abuse of data.
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at march for science, federal researchers weather trump storm
attendance at this weekend’s march for science is expected to be lower than last year's, when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across the country to protest the trump administration and its science policies. many anti-trump protesters say their attention is now focused on other forms of action, such as filing lawsuits to overturn new rules, or recruiting scientists to run for office in local, state, and congressional offices.“part of what we wanted to see from the march last year was to take the anger and energy and excitement and put it to work in their local communities,” says shaughnessy naughton, director of 314 action, a group that takes its name from the first three numerals of pi and is dedicated to recruiting and advising candidates with stem backgrounds to run for public office. so far, the group has endorsed 50 candidates (all democrats) in school board, state legislature, and congressional mid-term races.naughton says polling shows the general public trusts scientists, and that trust can help in coming up with evidence-based policy prescriptions. “scientists represent the outsider status, people who aren’t beholden to politics as usual and that does resonate with folks,” she says. “it also gives credibility on the most important issues of education, health care, the environment or gun safety. it can take them outside democrat or republican talking points.”naughton won’t make this year’s march in washington, dc, or one planned...
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diamond and silk expose facebook's burden of moderation
of all the absurdities of mark zuckerberg’s more than ten hours of congressional testimony this week, one moment of theater stands out.“i'd like to show you, right now, a little picture here,” missouri republican billy long said to the facebook ceo. a staffer placed a large photo of two women behind his head. “you recognize these folks?”“i do,” zuckerberg said. “i—i believe—is that diamond and silk?”it was. lynette `diamond` hardaway and rochelle `silk` richardson are biological sisters and black conservative internet personalities who became famous before the 2016 presidential election for being vocal supporters—and paid consultants—of trump's campaign. they boast a particularly strong following on facebook, where their audience has ballooned to 1.5 million followers. but in september, the sisters claim, facebook began limiting the reach of their videos, and earlier this month, it said they were “unsafe.”that was the crux of long’s actual question: “what is unsafe about two black women supporting president donald j. trump?`by thursday afternoon, facebook’s ceo was likely already familiar with the pair. during both of zuckerberg’s hearings on capitol hill this week, lawmakers including senator ted cruz and representatives joe barton, fred upton, marsha blackburn, and richard hudson all cited the bloggers. for these six lawmakers, the saga of diamond and silk is a proxy for an issue that’s enraged conservatives: they believe that ...
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smartphone apps know too much. we need to fix permissions
thanks to facebook, app permissions have popped back into the public’s consciousness again. last month it was discovered that facebook had stored the phone logs of android users who opted sharing their contacts in the days before android 4.1 jelly bean. then this week, during mark zuckerberg’s congressional testimony, two representatives asked whether facebook might be listening to private conversations through our phone microphones and using the info to serve up eerily specific ads.zuckerberg responded definitively to the questions about the microphone conspiracy theory—“no”—then felt the need to add that facebook does have access to audio when people record video on their devices for facebook. “i think that is pretty clear. but i just wanted to make sure i was exhaustive there,” he said.facebookfacebookbut zuckerberg’s do-si-do with congress, rather than being clear or exhaustive, showed that people are still genuinely confused about what data their smartphone apps can and can’t access. that’s partly because of app permissions: they’re oversimplified and designed to offer a minimal amount of information, right as they’re asking for access to your data. and while they’ve improved just as apps have, it’s not enough to match the sophistication of the data-gathering technology that now surrounds us.it may seem obvious at this point, but mobile apps—not just facebook—can vacuum up a crazy amount of data with every interaction. (just look at what...
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space photos of the week: morning light hits the southern lights
fasten your five-point harnesses because today we’re going on a trip. we’ll start at our home planet (ok, just above it), where astronauts aboard the international space station have captured some unusual photographs. as they swoop overheard at almost 18,000 miles per hour, they normally keep busy doing science experiments and research. but they do get to witness a sunrise and sunset every hour and a half and when those intersect with special events like auroras over the north and south poles, they’re ready with their cameras.next we’re zipping to mars to check out a crater that could have one of two origin stories. mars used to have a lot of volcanic activity and evidence of these times remains as pockmarks around the surface of the planet. this crater, called ismenia patera might be an ex-volcano, though some suspect it could be a scar from a major meteorite impact.take a bathroom break, because next we’re heading to jupiter to rendezvous with the juno spacecraft. on april 1, juno was performing its twelfth orbit of the gas giant and it took some spectacular photos. the spacecraft orbits the planet every 53 days and each time not only sends back pretty photos, but invaluable science as well. we are slowly learning more about jupiter’s interior, as well as what might be fueling its lovely swirling storms.not ready to head back to earth? check out the full collection of space photos here.
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best weekend tech deals: lg oled, kindle, alienware, megaboom
who woulda thunk it? even though we've just survived another friday the 13th, the bad luck hasn't impacted the number of tech deals. there's still a huge sale on amazon devices like the kindle and fire tablets. that sale ends april 16, but we also put up some tech deals earlier this week that are still relevant. check out techbargains for more great deals.top weekend pickshere are the crème de la crème of the deals we unearthed:ring wi-fi hd video doorbell for $100 (was $133): this smart doorbell lets you see who's at your door or get alerts when movement happens. amazon just bought this company and dramatically lowered the price of this alexa-enabled device. read our ring review to learn more.alienware aurora intel core i7 gaming desktop for $1,500 (was $1,869): need a beefy gaming desktop? this alienware has a 7th generation intel cpu, nvidia gtx 1080 gpu (which makes this vr capable), 16gb ram, 2tb hard drive, and windows 10 home.65` lg oled hdr 4k tv for $2,400 (was $3,497): even with a huge discount, this tv is expensive, but that's because it's one of the absolute best you can buy. it has a perfect oled screen with deep blacks, comes with a dolby atmos-enabled sound bar, and supports all forms of hdr.ultimate ears megaboom large bluetooth speaker for $121 (was $140): the boom and megaboom kickass. they've been our favorite pair of bluetooth speakers for several years running (megaboom review). this unit is manufacturer refurbished with a 1-year warranty. use c...
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russia bans telegram, china's facial recognition, and more security news this week
it was the week of zuck. as facebook founder and ceo mark zuckerberg slogged through more than 10 hours of testimony in front of two different congressional committees, privacy and security advocates were listening for anything they could glean about how facebook manages data, implements privacy protections, and helps users make informed choices—or doesn't. neither session delved as deeply as it could have into specific information about russian goals and strategies in conducting information operations on facebook during the 2016 us elections. and facebook admitted this week that the data consulting firm cambridge analytica could have accessed private facebook messages, on top of everything else, for the 87 million users that were in its reach. here's how to check if you were one of the users caught in cambridge analytica's dragnet.meanwhile, researchers have found a troubling `patch gap` in the software updates many android handsets will claim to have installed versus what patch code is actually present on the phone. in other words, your android phone may be lying to you about being fully up to date. a new report indicates that attackers are actively exploiting a vulnerability in devices like routers and video game consoles that researchers have been warning about, in vain, since 2006. and it turns out that emergency siren equipment sold by the boston-based company ati systems and used in municipalities around the us isn't adequately encrypted to protect against syst...
Tags : russia bans telegram, china's facial recognition, and more security news this week - that ,more ,have ,telegram ,russian ,week ,this week ,video game ,your files ,facial recognition ,researchers have russia bans telegram, china's facial recognition, and more security news this week
tesla fights the ntsb over its latest autopilot death
tesla loves a good fight. ceo elon musk has battled car dealers, president trump, and more than a few reporters. now he has found a new opponent in the national transportation safety board. the agency is investigating the crash of a model x that was running with autopilot engaged when it slammed into a highway divider in northern california last month, killing the driver. today, the ntsb announced it kicked tesla off the team looking into what happened and how to stop it from recurring.on the surface, the disagreement is about when and how to make information about the crash public. the ntsb, which investigates all major transportation accidents, is a cards-to-the-vest operation. it often shares facts as it finds them but rarely draws conclusions about things like causality or remedies until it's ready to release a thorough, detailed, and considered report. that usually takes at least a year, sometimes two.ktvu/aptesla argues the safest thing to do is make whatever it knows public as soon as possible. a week after the march 23 crash, tesla announced that walter huang, the driver of the model x, had turned on autopilot, putting the car's computer in charge of staying between the lane lines and a safe distance from other vehicles. driver's using autopilot are supposed to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel to monitor the fallible system. tesla said huang’s hands were not detected on the wheel for the six seconds prior to the crash and that he should have had...
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why the music industry hasn't had its #metoo moment
when a man turns himself in to authorities for allegedly punching a woman in the face enough times to knock out her front teeth, there are various ways to respond. claiming a conspiracy might be the most peculiar option to exercise. yet, that’s what singer lil’ mo did when asked about allegations of abuse leveled against rapper fabolous by his ex, former love & hip hop star emily b.“how did they get this information?” mo, a longtime collaborator of the artist’s, asked a journalist shortly after the arrest. “i’ll olivia pope this situation”—a reference to the controversy-quelling protagonist of abc’s scandal—“before i let somebody take my brother down. something don’t seem right.”related storiesif you’ve been paying attention to the music industry as of late, no, something doesn’t seem right—but not in the way lil’ mo is thinking. the #metoo movement has been successful in bringing about a true reckoning for the largely unspoken harassment and abuse women too often have to endure in their professional lives. but despite its impact across fields—it spread from movies and television to media, tech, academia, finance, even the restaurant industry—the same can’t be said for the music world.mere weeks before the story of fabolous’ arrest broke, another rapper, xxxtentacion, notched his first number-one album on the billboard 200 with ?. the feat comes less than a year after the then-19-year-old was released from jail and placed on house a...
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within facebook, a sense of relief over the zuckerberg hearings
about two hours, or 20 percent, into mark zuckerberg’s marathon testimony before congress this week, the facebook ceo had a slightly awkward exchange with senator john cornyn (r-texas). cornyn wanted to know what happens to people’s data when they delete their accounts. zuckerberg responded that facebook deletes their data. but cornyn continued, “how about third parties that you have contracted with to use some of that underlying information, perhaps to target advertising for themselves?”to zuckerberg, this must have been exasperating. as he has said over and over, facebook doesn’t sell data to advertisers. doing so could allow outsiders to build competitive ad-targeting products that would undermine facebook’s business. and so zuckerberg patiently explained, yet again, how facebook works. “we do not sell data to advertisers. we don't sell data to anyone.”before the hearings, zuckerberg’s colleagues in menlo park had been nervous. the company had been battered, insulted, and mocked for weeks. the stock price had collapsed. and now zuckerberg, who isn’t known for his charisma or quick-witted stage presence, would be grilled by professional grillers. the whole thing felt to facebook roughly like watching the father of the bride at a tense wedding, refilled glass of chardonnay in hand, slide up to the microphone to give a toast. it could go ok. it should go ok. but it might also go horribly wrong.once the hearings started, though, according to numerous faceb...
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how the march for science became a movement
in january 2017, what started as a subreddit thread about the new white house scrubbing all mention of climate change from its official government website became, just three months later, the single biggest pro-science demonstration in the history of humankind. on april 22, more than a million people across all seven continents took to the streets (and dirt roads and snowfields) to declare themselves, not dispassionately, for the fundamental political value of science.the idea that the rules that govern society should be based on evidence, not partisan caprice, is an assertion seemingly so noncontroversial that before last year’s inaugural march for science, most people had never even thought about raising a latex glove-covered fist in the air to defend it. according to a (non-peer-reviewed) survey, 90 percent of people who showed up that day considered the march for science their first science-related public demonstration. but for many, it wouldn’t be their last.that’s because in the intervening 12 months, the march for science has evolved from a collection of defiant facebook event pages into a national, decentralized network of individuals and organizations fighting for science in their home communities. which is why mfs organizers aren’t worried about trying to match last year’s turnout at the more than 230 marches scheduled around the world for this saturday. every day, people are already turning out in less visible, but more impactful, ways.valorie aquino was ...
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photographing the lights of america's prisons—and the lives inside
light is a symbol for life, as any night traveler knows. a warm glow up ahead means there’s a town full of people, with a gas station or possibly a mcdonald’s where you can stretch your legs, use the john, maybe buy a coke.the lights in stephen tourlentes’of lengths and measures also represent life. though here, there’s no friendly pit stop. instead they beam from correctional facilities, the prisoners hidden from view behind miles of razor wire, cinder blocks, and electric fencing. it’s a life many would prefer not to think about.`the prison system makes people invisible,` tourlentes says. `it takes them, relocates them, makes them go away from the rest of us. but this light always spills back out onto the landscape.`related storiesmore than 1.5 million people are incarcerated in 1,800 prisons in the united states. that’s roughly 700 percent higher than the number of prisoners there were in 1970. harsh sentencing laws in the 1980s helped fuel this growth, leading to the construction of hundreds of correctional facilities and the establishment of the private-prison industry—often an economic boon to the struggling towns that received them.that was certainly the case with galesburg, the illinois town where tourlentes grew up. it had largely opposed the construction of the hill correctional center until the mid-’80s, when two major sources of employment—a boat engine factory and the galesburg state research hospital, which tourlentes' father directed—sh...
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why the music industry hasn't had its #metoo moment
when a man turns himself into authorities for allegedly punching a woman in the face enough times to knock out her front teeth, there are various ways to respond. claiming a conspiracy might be the most peculiar option to exercise. yet, that’s what singer lil’ mo did when asked about allegations of abuse leveled against rapper fabolous by his ex, former love & hip hop star emily b.“how did they get this information?,” mo, a longtime collaborator of the artist’s, asked a journalist shortly after the arrest. “i’ll olivia pope this situation”—a reference to the controversy-quelling protagonist of abc’s scandal—“before i let somebody take down my brother down. something don’t seem right.”related storiesif you’ve been paying attention to the music industry as of late, no, something doesn’t seem right—but not in the way lil’ mo is thinking. the #metoo movement has been successful in bringing about a true reckoning for the largely unspoken harassment and abuse women too often have to endure in their professional lives. but despite its impact across fields—it spread from movies and television to media, tech, academia, finance, even the restaurant industry—the same can’t be said for the music world.mere weeks before the story of fabolous’ arrest broke, another rapper, xxxtentacion, notched his first number-one album on the billboard 200 with ?. the feat comes less than a year after the then-19-year-old was released from jail and placed on ho...
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gadget lab podcast: how facebook will change after this
on this episode, we discuss facebook's future relationship with its users, and with the governments who seek to regulate it.
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what hearings? advertisers still love facebook
after 10 hours of verbal flogging by an incensed congress, facebook ceo mark zuckerberg seemed like a leader whose pedestal had cracked. over and over during his testimony this week, he apologized for lapses in his company’s handling of user data. he emerged from the hearings with months’ worth of homework for him and his team.but life’s not so bad for zuckerberg. his exhaustive, highly publicized grilling appears to have had minimal impact on the one thing that ultimately gives facebook its power: its popularity among advertisers.“there’s still a very positive outlook from the industry overall and the belief that facebook will continue to be a trustworthy partner,” says angela seits, director of social media and influencer marketing at the advertising agency pmg.not only do they see the platform as principled, “a couple of my clients have actually shifted more money towards facebook,” says shuman sahu, director of performance media at ad agency nina hale.with advertisers still eager to use facebook’s services, the company’s business model stays intact and its dominance as a social network and an advertising behemoth remains assured. the few brands that have abandoned facebook recently—pep boys, mozilla, sonos (for a week)—are just making a statement, says brian wieser, a senior analyst at pivotal research group. “they’re thinking, here’s a good opportunity to say something about our values.”of course, facebook is appealing to marketers only as...
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