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October 25, 2021

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Dave Chappelle responds to Netflix controversy with a video clip from his concert.

New York Times
Dave Chappelle responded to the controversy over his Netflix standup special “The Closer” — which has been criticized as promoting bigotry toward transgender people — by posting a five-minute video clip to Instagram on Monday in which he denied that he had been invited to speak to transgender employees of......

Jeff Bezos’ Rocket Company Wants to Build a Space Station

New York Times
Blue Origin, the space company owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is teaming up with other firms to build a space station in Earth orbit. The group announced its plans on Monday, revealing the latest concept for a privately built orbital outpost that could replace or complement the......

Amazon workers in Staten Island file to hold a union election.

New York Times
A fledgling union of employees at four Amazon warehouses in Staten Island officially requested an election to form a union on Monday, the National Labor Relations Board said. For months, the organizers behind the union push have been collecting signatures on cards that must be submitted to the labor agency......

Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistle-blower, testifies in Parliament.

New York Times
British policymakers heard testimony on Monday from the former Facebook manager who became a whistle-blower and shared scores of internal documents with policymakers, regulators and journalists to help build a case for stiffer oversight of the social media giant. Frances Haugen, the former employee, spoke before a Parliament committee as......

Google Pixel 6 Review: Playing Catch-Up With the iPhone

New York Times
For half a decade, Google, the maker of Android, the world’s most widely used phone software, has had a dream to make a best-selling phone that rivals the gold standard, the iPhone. Google’s Pixel phones have consistently received positive reviews but sell tepidly because of a major weakness: They have......

Facebook Wrestles With the Features It Used to Define Social Networking

New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — In 2019, Facebook researchers began a new study of one of the social network’s foundational features: the Like button. They examined what people would do if Facebook removed the distinct thumbs-up icon and other emoji reactions from posts on its photo-sharing app Instagram, according to company documents.......

I’m Not a Pilot, but I Just Flew a Helicopter Over California

New York Times
CAMARILLO, Calif. — On a recent Wednesday afternoon, I flew a helicopter over Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles. I took off from a small airport, climbed to about 10,000 feet and banked sharply toward the hills along the eastern skyline of Camarillo. Following a canal as it snaked......

Inside Amazon’s Worst Human Resources Problem

New York Times
In internal correspondence, company administrators warned of “inadequate service levels,” “deficient processes” and systems that are “prone to delay and error.” The extent of the problem puts in stark relief how Amazon’s workers routinely took a back seat to customers during the company’s meteoric rise to retail dominance. Amazon built......

A Rare Win in the Cat-and-Mouse Game of Ransomware

New York Times
While Emsisoft would not identify the victims, it said they had included key manufacturers, transportation companies and food suppliers across continental Europe, Britain and the United States. The timeline of Emsisoft’s effort overlaps with BlackMatter’s ransomware assaults last month on two American agriculture organizations: NEW Cooperative, an Iowa grain cooperative,......

In India, Facebook Grapples With an Amplified Version of Its Problems

New York Times
On Feb. 4, 2019, a Facebook researcher created a new user account to see what it was like to experience the social media site as a person living in Kerala, India. For the next three weeks, the account operated by a simple rule: Follow all the recommendations generated by Facebook’s......

Key takeaways from Week 7 of the Elizabeth Holmes trial.

New York Times
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In the seventh week of the fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the failed blood-testing start-up Theranos, testimony moved away from science and into discussions of faked demonstrations and misleading marketing. In previous weeks, jurors heard from former Theranos lab employees who detailed the......

Internal Alarm, Public Shrugs: Facebook’s Employees Dissect Its Election Role

New York Times
WHAT HAPPENED 1. From Wednesday through Saturday there was a lot of content circulating which implied fraud in the election, at around 10% of all civic content and 1-2% of all US VPVs. There was also a fringe of incitement to violence. 2. There were dozens of employees monitoring this,......

Eating Disorders and Social Media Prove Difficult to Untangle

New York Times
But young people have formed online communities where they discuss eating disorders and swap tips for the best ways to lose weight and look skinny. Using creative hashtags and abbreviations to get around filters, they share threads of emaciated models on Twitter as inspiration, create YouTube videos compiling low-calorie diets,......

Google said it had successfully ‘slowed down’ European privacy rules, according to lawsuit.

New York Times
WASHINGTON — Google said in an internal document that it had successfully “slowed down” European privacy rules in collaboration with other tech companies, according to a legal filing released on Friday. Ahead of a 2019 meeting with other major tech companies, Google said in a memo that it had “been......

With Coercion and Black Boxes, Russia Installs a Digital Iron Curtain

New York Times
Russia’s boldest moves to censor the internet began in the most mundane of ways — with a series of bureaucratic emails and forms. The messages, sent by Russia’s powerful internet regulator, demanded technical details — like traffic numbers, equipment specifications and connection speeds — from companies that provide internet and......

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