Latest stories - Adi Robertson

2 Hours Ago   In any congressional hearing about technology, at least a few lawmakers will use Silicon Valley executives as their own personal tech support staff. But usually, the questions at least involve products that their companies actually make.

5 Hours Ago   In a House Judiciary Committee hearing today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was asked to explain why a Google image search for “idiot” turned up pictures of Donald Trump — and whether that was a case of intentional bias.

9 Hours Ago   MakerBot is announcing a new printer that’s more polished (and more expensive) than most of its earlier products. Known as the MakerBot Method, the printer is supposed to bridge the gap between its parent company’s expensive industrial machines, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the cheaper desktop printers that MakerBot is known for.

Yesterday   Even the victim says the sentence was too harsh Continue reading…

5 Days Ago   Next week, Sundar Pichai will try to reassure Congress that Google’s search engine isn’t rigged. The Google CEO is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, answering questions about “potential bias and the need for greater transparency” in Google’s business practices.

5 Days Ago   Former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos attempted to fund a “magnificent 2019 comeback” on the crowdfunding platform Patreon, only to be banned after one day. Yiannopoulos’ Patreon campaign, whose banner image is seen above, garnered around 250 patrons pledging an unknown amount of money before being kicked off the service.

6 Days Ago   Mark Zuckerberg told Facebook staff to block the Vine video app’s friend-finding feature, cutting off access the same day that the service launched. According to documents released today by the UK Parliament, Facebook executive Justin Osofsky proposed the move on January 24th, the same day the app appeared on iOS.

7 Days Ago   The US Secret Service has revealed plans for a test of facial recognition surveillance around the White House, with the goal of identifying “subjects of interest” who might pose a threat to the president.

7 Days Ago   The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) was hacked during the 2018 midterm elections, according to a report from Politico. Republican officials said that hackers had access to four senior NRCC aides’ email accounts for “several months,” until a security firm discovered the intrusion in April.

9 Days Ago   The world of Blade Runner is getting an anime series, raising an important question: does the world of Blade Runner need an anime series? Sure, the animated short Blade Runner: Blackout, which helped set up last year’s Blade Runner 2049, was pretty good, but a full-fledged series just seems gratuitous.

13 Days Ago   More than 400 Google employees have signed an open letter urging Google to cancel an in-development Chinese search app, on the grounds that it will enable censorship and human rights violations by the Chinese government.

13 Days Ago   The US Treasury Department has placed bitcoin addresses on its sanctions list for the first time after two Iranian hackers were charged with extorting millions of dollars through them.

13 Days Ago   The Department of Justice has unsealed indictments against eight people who allegedly ran the infamous online advertising scams 3ve and Methbot. The defendants, who are primarily from Russia, are accused of collecting more than $36 million from companies who thought they were paying to place ads on websites.

14 Days Ago   Twitter now prohibits misgendering or “deadnaming” transgender people, alongside other harassment and abuse tactics. The change appears to have happened in late October, but news of it began circulating late last week.

14 Days Ago   Google employees have renewed their public protests against “Project Dragonfly,” a censored and surveillance-enabling search app that Google is reportedly building for the Chinese market. An open letter, published on Medium today, says Dragonfly would make Google complicit in human rights abuses by the Chinese government.

15 Days Ago   On Monday, the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments for the long-running antitrust case Apple v. Pepper. The court will decide whether iPhone users can sue Apple for locking down the iOS ecosystem, something the suit’s plaintiffs say is creating an anti-competitive monopoly.

17 Days Ago   Half-Life is one of my favorite video game series, and in honor of its 20th anniversary, I spent a week replaying the first game — which feels incredibly refreshing in 2018.

21 Days Ago   Do you want to really, physically walk around in virtual reality? Is an omnidirectional treadmill too bulky for your taste? A giant hamster ball too confining?

22 Days Ago   There are no collectibles in Half-Life. It’s incredible. That’s not how I would have praised the groundbreaking first-person shooter, which turns 20 years old today, when I first played it.

26 Days Ago   Facebook’s latest transparency report shows a big jump in spam and violent content takedowns, some advances in proactively identifying hate speech, and the first numbers for bullying, harassment, and child sexual exploitation takedowns.

26 Days Ago   Facebook has filed a patent that would make it easier to target whole families with ads by analyzing the photos they post. The application, filed on May 10th and published today, covers an algorithm that would identify elements of photographs — like faces or other details— and cross-reference them with other data to build a profile of an entire household.

27 Days Ago   The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch, and over 70 other groups have asked Facebook to adopt a clearer “due process” system for content takedowns. An open letter to Mark Zuckerberg urges him to enact the Santa Clara Principles, a series of moderation guidelines that academics and nonprofits put forward earlier this year.

28 Days Ago   eBay and Airbnb will both allow sexual harassment victims to take their cases to court, rather than requiring private arbitration, the companies told BuzzFeed. They’re the latest companies to drop forced arbitration clauses for sexual misconduct, following Facebook and Google — which promised changes after a massive employee protest.

29 Days Ago   An industry group wants antitrust regulators to investigate whether Comcast-NBCUniversal is abusing its power to hurt smaller television and internet service providers. The American Cable Association (ACA), which represents over 700 small and medium-sized cable operators, has asked US Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim to “immediately” open an investigation into Comcast’s practices.

29 Days Ago   YouTube is launching its virtual reality app on the Oculus Go mobile VR headset today, after announcing its plans in September. The app will be available in the Oculus Store, joining similar apps for Samsung Gear VR, Sony PlayStation VR, Google Daydream VR, and desktop VR headsets.

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