19 Hours Ago Thomas Piketty, the French economist behind 2014's game-changing Capital in the 21st Century, has a new book, Capital and Ideology (out in France now, coming in English in 2020), which uses the same long-run economic series that Capital 21C benefited from to understand the relationship between wealth and ideology.
Yesterday The Sackler family got richer than the Rockefellers through their role in creating and sustaining the opioid crisis, which took more American lives than the Vietnam war.
Yesterday The real estate bubble is in trouble: London's luxury housing market has been in freefall for years, and New York's retail vacancy has been soaring, even as global super-luxe housing is also tanking.
Yesterday LA's next source of energy: a massive solar panel and lithium battery array in the Mojave, operated by 8minute Solar Energy, and capable of supplying 6-7% of the city's energy budget, with four hours of nighttime use.
Yesterday A Hill-HarrisX survey found that 58% of Americans "support government-funded public college tuition and the cancellation of student debt for the more than 44 million Americans who currently hold it." 72% of Democrats, 58% of independents, and 40% of Republicans support the proposition.
Yesterday Maria Farrell admits that comparing smartphones to abusive men (they try to keep you from friends and family, they make it hard to study or go to work, they constantly follow you and check up on you) might seem to trivialize domestic partner violence, but, as she points out, feminists have long been pointing out both the literal and metaphorical ways in which tech replicates misogyny.
2 Days Ago Iowa state court officials contracted with Coalfire to conduct "penetration tests" on its security; as part of those tests, two Coalfire employees broke-and-entered the Adel, Iowa courthouse, and were caught by law-enforcement, whose bosses in Dallas County were not notified of the test.
2 Days Ago I'm in the midst of couple of weeks' worth of lectures, public events and teaching, and you can catch me in Toronto (for Word on the Street, Seeding Utopias and Resisting Dystopias and 6 Degrees); Newry, ME (Maine Library Association) and Portland, ME (in conversation with James Patrick Kelly).
3 Days Ago Octavia Butler (previously), the brilliant Afrofuturist, McArthur Genius Grant-winning science fiction writer, died far, far too soon, leaving behind a corpus of incredible, voraciously readable novels, and a community of writers who were inspired by her example.
3 Days Ago EFF has just posted a job listing for a development director, seeking someone to "take charge of EFF's eleven-person Development Team in their efforts to raise over $13 million each year," starting late 2019 or early 2020.
3 Days Ago When social media was young, it was obvious that it had some pathologies -- perverse incentives that drove people toward antisocial behaviour. Back in those days, a company named Flickr did some radical things that made it (briefly) the best social network on the internet (until Yahoo bought it and all but destroyed it): among other things, Flickr did not publicly display follower or favorite counts, and it would allow you to export all of your data to any rival service, provided that the rival
3 Days Ago AB5 is about to pass the California legislature: it forces companies like Lyft and Uber to comply with the longstanding Dynamex decision and treat their employees as employees.
3 Days Ago French economist Thomas Piketty changed the world in 2014 with his magisterial Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a book that reported out an incredibly ambitious project to map out three centuries' worth of capital flows, and from that, to derive an empirical answer about whether markets are a machine for finding smart people and allocating capital to them so that they can invent things that make us all better off ("meritocracy"), or whether they simply make the people who happened to get ric
3 Days Ago I'm in the midst of couple of weeks' worth of lectures, public events and teaching, and you can catch me in many places: San Francisco (for EFF's Pioneer Awards); Toronto (for Word on the Street, Seeding Utopias and Resisting Dystopias and 6 Degrees); Newry, ME (Maine Library Association) and Portland, ME (in conversation with James Patrick Kelly).
4 Days Ago This Sunday, the outstanding SF in SF reading series hosts two outstanding authors: Hannu Rajaniemi (Summerland) and Christopher Brown (Rule of Capture). American Bookbinders Museum, 366 Clementina Alley.
4 Days Ago It has been 0 days since Facebook's last privacy scandal. The majority of period tracking apps transmit sensitive data to Facebook the minute you open them, before you interact with them at all, thanks to the common use of Facebook's analytics tool (which nominally gives app developers a free way to track their products' use, but which, not incidentally, allows FB to harvest all that usage data).
4 Days Ago Margrethe Vestager (previously) is the EU competition commissioner who handed out a bouquet of multibillion-dollar fines to US-based Big Tech companies; she had resigned herself to being ousted after her previous term but in a last-minute surprise she has been granted another turn in office, with a new mandate to create a "Europe fit for the digital age." Vestager's heart is definitely in the right place, even if she has effectively taken forced breakups off the table, judging that the ensuing l
4 Days Ago The Black Blorchestra performs a gorgeous and stirring rendition of "Glory to Hong Kong" for an audience of protesters in HK, all dressed in the uprising's defacto uniform of masks and helmets.
5 Days Ago Juul is the cash-flush e-cigarette company whose billions (invested by Marlboro's parent company) have allowed it to create a massive market of addicted children, wiping out decades of progress in weaning children off of nicotine.
5 Days Ago For two decades, the Phoenix police union has had a secret deal with the police department that required that the disciplinary records of cops would be "purged," so that no one, not even their supervisors, would be able to retrieve them.
5 Days Ago Eleanor Saitta's (previously) 2016 essay "Coercion-Resistant Design" (which is new to me) is an excellent introduction to the technical countermeasures that systems designers can employ to defeat non-technical, legal attacks: for example, the threat of prison if you don't back-door your product.
5 Days Ago The NCAA is notionally an "amateur" league, but the only thing amateur about it is that the athletes (who risk their health and even their lives) are unpaid, while the universities effectively own and operate wildly profitable pro sports teams.
5 Days Ago The attorneys general from 48 states, DC, and Puerto Rico are collaborating on a joint antitrust investigation of Google's dominance in the ad- and search-markets, but two AGs are sitting this one out: California's Xavier Becerra and Alabama's Steve Marshall.
5 Days Ago For years, researchers have tracked the discrepancy in average life-expectancy predicted by income equality, and, as with the wealth gap itself, this life-expectancy gap just keeps getting wider.
5 Days Ago For decades, people (including me) have predicted that cyberinsurers might be a way to get companies to take security seriously. After all, insurers have to live in the real world (which is why terrorism insurance is cheap, because terrorism is not a meaningful risk in America), and in the real world, poor security practices destroy peoples' lives, all the time, in wholesale quantities that beggar the imagination.