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Your phone and TV are tracking you, and political campaigns are listening in - Los Angeles Times
Serge Egelman, research director of the Usable Security & Privacy Group at UC Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute, said his team can unearth which opaque data brokerages are amassing information, but not which political campaigns or interest groups buy it from them.

“There are a lot of industries buying this data for things that most people are not expecting,” Egelman said. Some might be trying to get you to purchase a Volvo, while others aim to manipulate your vote. But none disclose what they know about you and how.
data  brokers 
The Difference Between Online Knowledge and Truly Open Knowledge - The Atlantic
Our job, as thinkers and teachers, is not to stand back and claim that the all bricks have crumbled. Rather, our job is to understand how the wall gets built, and how we might try to build it differently.
media  google 
2 days ago
Capitalism’s New Clothes | Evgeny Morozov
Zuboff’s definition of surveillance capitalism hinges upon whether behavioral surplus is used to modify behavior, not whether data extraction is visible. The processes of data extraction inherent in Zuboff’s positive alternative (when the data enter behavioral reinvestment cycle) are, after all, as opaque as those same processes under surveillance capitalism (when the data yield behavioral surplus)...This simpler theory goes like this: tech firms, like all firms, are driven by the need to assure long-term profitability. They achieve it by overpowering their competitors through faster growth, externalizing the costs of their operations and leveraging their political power. Data extraction and the behavioral modification it enables—clearly more important to firms in industries such as online advertising—arise, where they do, in that context.
data  surveillance  capitalism 
8 days ago
BuzzFeed's layoffs won't kill it. But they have changed it.
These weren’t just bylines, they were internet personalities. And so on media Twitter the job losses sparked an outpouring of grief, sympathy, and handwringing disproportionate to their sheer number. T
buzzfeed  media  layoffs 
10 days ago
If AI is truly the future, it needs to learn to see non-binary people | Dazed
Seeing ill-fitting advertisements is one thing; it would be something else entirely to be denied access to a restroom, a locker room, or even an aeroplane because my face doesn’t ‘match’ the gender on my identification.
trans  gender  ai  face-detection  non-binary  categories  data 
10 days ago
What Being an Editor Taught Me About Writing | Literary Hub
When you are writing, you are attempting to communicate an idea to the world. In the first draft, the idea is still expressed in your own private language.
writing  editing 
11 days ago
Tom Overton on Twitter: "‘It is necessary to be embarrassed 1000 times to produce a good work. Get used to being embarrassed.’ -John Berger, ‘Notes on Writing’, Gambit, 1965…"
‘It is necessary to be embarrassed 1000 times to produce a good work. Get used to being embarrassed.’ -John Berger, ‘Notes on Writing’, Gambit, 1965
writing  inspiration 
11 days ago
Is Line Editing a Lost Art? | Literary Hub
Toni Morrison, who was also edited by Gottlieb, said she never wrote “with Bob in mind; that would be very bad for me. He isn’t the ideal reader for the product, but he is the ideal editor for it.” Line editors are not readers in the public sense; they are private practitioners, whose profession operates on a sense of both trust and authority.
editing  publishing 
16 days ago
⣝⣵⡎⣵⢗⣿⣫⢗⡎⣵ on Twitter: "so apparently google groups helpfully removed half of their usenet archives at random because they may contain "malicious software" but NOT TO WORRY, whoever was the admin of said usenet group back in 1983 can p
so apparently google groups helpfully removed half of their usenet archives at random because they may contain "malicious software"

but NOT TO WORRY, whoever was the admin of said usenet group back in 1983 can post a request with google to get their archive reinstated
google  thebook 
18 days ago
A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions | The New Yorker
The claim sounds more like a goblin’s curse than like a prognosis, but Mallory was persuasive; the colleague who was initially supportive of him recently said, with a shake of the head, “Yes, I believed that.”...An acquaintance of Mallory’s recently said that “there’s not a lot of confrontation” in publishing. “It’s a business based on hope. You never know what’s going to work.” In the industry, rumors about the “Jake” e-mails were contained—perhaps by discretion or out of people’s embarrassment about having been taken in.
publishing  grifters 
19 days ago
Why CAPTCHAs have gotten so difficult - The Verge
. With all those researchers, scammers, and ordinary humans solving billions of puzzles just at the threshold of what AI can do, at some point the machines were going to pass us by. In 2014, Google pitted one of its machine learning algorithms against humans in solving the most distorted text CAPTCHAs: the computer got the test right 99.8 percent of the time, while the humans got a mere 33 percent.
captcha  ai  google  automation 
22 days ago
Inside Dau, the 'Stalinist Truman Show': 'I had absolute freedom – until the KGB grabbed me' | Film | The Guardian
I’m convinced the reason the project has been active for so long has nothing to do with creative reasons, but that it allows Khrzhanovsky to live a luxurious and tyrannical lifestyle, lording it over dozens, if not hundreds, of people on a Russian oligarch’s dime,” says one critic, who asked not to be named.
russia  film  paris 
27 days ago
Are These Bad Habits Creeping Into Your Writing? | Literary Hub
Start off your flashback with, let’s say, two or three standard-issue had’s (“Earlier that year, Jerome had visited his brother in Boston”), then clip one or two more had’s to a discreet “’d” (“After an especially unpleasant dinner, he’d decided to return home right away”), then drop the past-perfecting altogether
29 days ago
A Mother Loses a Son to Suicide, but Their Dialogue Continues - The New York Times
“grief,” “suffering” and “trauma” are words Li would never touch. It’s shopworn language to her, cliché. “Can one’s intelligence rely entirely on the public language; can one form a precise thought, recall an accurate memory, or even feel a genuine feeling, with only the public language?” she wrote in her memoir.
4 weeks ago
Bryan Singer’s Accusers Speak Out - The Atlantic
“I got a photograph with him, and my sister would be like, ‘That’s so cool you know the director of X-Men,’ ” Skopek recalls. “I had my grandparents saying, ‘Keep making contacts like that; that’s so awesome.’ ”
hollywood  metoo 
4 weeks ago
The Secrets of Lyndon Johnson’s Archives, by Robert A. Caro | The New Yorker
There are certain moments in your life when you suddenly understand something about yourself. I loved going through those files, making them yield their secrets to me.
research  writing  archives 
4 weeks ago
Her Left Hand, The Darkness | Alison Smith | Granta Magazine
. I had been assigned an artist. ‘Who?’ I asked, gripping the receiver. There was a pause. I heard papers shuffling, and then: ‘Ursula K. Le Guin.’ ‘Thank you,’ I murmured. ‘Thank you for choosing me.’ There was another pause. The secretary cleared her throat. ‘You were the only one who applied.’
literature  ursula-leguin  sf  scifi 
5 weeks ago
Facebook and Google Are the New Data Brokers
They claim not to sell data, but Facebook and Google have paid developers with
data. This selling of your personal data is central to platform economics. Could
quality signals change the terms of the bargain?
facebook  data  google 
5 weeks ago
Facebook's internal documents about how it made money off children to be releasedReveal
two Facebook employees deny a refund request from a child whom they refer to as a “whale”
facebook  zynga  gaming  addiction 
5 weeks ago
Nonfiction Book Review: NAME ALL THE ANIMALS: A Memoir by Alison Smith, Author . Scribner $24 (319p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5522-6
"If I lived past the summer of my eighteenth year," Smith resolves, "I would have to face that Roy died and that I—the little sister, the tagalong... would surpass him."
grief  death 
5 weeks ago
Opinion | The Malign Incompetence of the British Ruling Class - The New York Times
Even a columnist for The Economist, an organ of the British elite, now professes dismay over “Oxford chums” who coast through life on “bluff rather than expertise.” “Britain,” the magazine belatedly lamented last month, “is governed by a self-involved clique that rewards group membership above competence and self-confidence above expertise.”
brexit  uk  india 
5 weeks ago
The ‘Age of Tech’ Is Over - The Atlantic
Look closer at one big sector where tech companies have already started chewing: E-commerce. Online shopping is a $500 billion industry in the U.S., which sounds like quite a lot. But really, it’s no more than Americans spend each year at gas stations. Yep, gas stations.
tech  business  silicon-valley  economics 
5 weeks ago
“I Drank the Apocalyptic Kool-Aid”: Art Historian Hal Foster on Why He Has Developed an Unromantic View of the Avant-Garde
this riddle that I get from Walter Benjamin, that “modernism teaches us how to survive civilization.” He also has this extraordinary idea of a “positive barbarism,” which is similarly enigmatic. He never really explains what he means, but he locates the idea in the aftermath of World War I, when he said that artists and architects and writers had to “start from scratch, to make a new start, make a little go a long way.
quotes  art  architecture 
5 weeks ago
How Facebook Borrows From the NSA Playbook – Oversight – Medium
Pretend There Was No “Abuse” When the Entire System Is the Abuse
facebook  nsa  surveillance 
6 weeks ago
Paul Schrader, In Conversation
there was a little soft-core theater nearby, a Russ Meyer kind of theater. They weren’t making any money, so the owner had this brilliant idea to program a month of Ingmar Bergman. That was just like three blocks away from college. Everybody from Calvin started going to see these Bergman films
film  criticism 
6 weeks ago
It's Time to Talk About Ecological Grief
Ecological grief is the grief that’s felt in response to experienced or anticipated ecological loss. It may arise due to acute environmental disasters. For example, one in six survivors of Hurricane Katrina met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, and crop-damaging heat waves have been shown to lead to increased suicide rates in India. But grief can also stem from stress and anxiety associated with slow, creeping changes in one’s environment — feelings that many of us are experiencing as the winters become uncannily warmer and extreme weather events become more frequent..., “Lament for the Land,” an existential question is posed: “Inuit are people of the sea ice. If there is no more sea ice, how can we be people of the sea ice?”
ecology  climate-change  environment 
6 weeks ago
What It Felt Like When “Cat Person” Went Viral | The New Yorker
wrap my brain around what had happened and what it would mean and thinking, This is it. This is the happiest I will ever be.
viral  publishing 
6 weeks ago
‘Cat Person’ and Other Tales of Discomfort in a Debut Collection - The New York Times
I was shaken out of my numb disdain into a kind of anger. No, it’s what the author has done, and why? I wanted better for these characters — lives with real emotional stakes, actual personalities and not just kinks.
writing  fiction  criticism 
6 weeks ago
Mainframe, Interrupted
The Panther 21 was a group of Black Panthers arrested in New York in 1969. ..

One of our members said: “Look, Clark Squire is a programmer. If we raise bail, it will raise consciousness among programmers not just about the war but about what’s happening to black people in America today.”
labor  organizing  tech  tech-workers  racial-justice  prisons 
6 weeks ago
Love Canada Geese
They're not remaining because someone is feeding them. They're remaining because they or their mates or children are unable to fly south. It's not necessarily a broken wing that can cause them to be grounded
6 weeks ago
Japan's hidden caste of untouchables - BBC News
As recently as 2009, there was public outcry when Google Earth incorporated publicly available historical maps of Tokyo and Osaka that pinpointed the location of Buraku villages in feudal times, dragging up the contentious issues of prejudice and profiling.
japan  google  maps 
7 weeks ago
anne boyer on Twitter: "and as a lover of the lyric I am sorry to say lyric writing seems particularly vulnerable to fascist modes: imprecision, self-aggrandizement, mystification through aestheticization, certain kinds of (often sentimental) claims to na
and as a lover of the lyric I am sorry to say lyric writing seems particularly vulnerable to fascist modes: imprecision, self-aggrandizement, mystification through aestheticization, certain kinds of (often sentimental) claims to nature
7 weeks ago
The Birth of the New American Aristocracy - The Atlantic
In her incisive portrait of my people, Uneasy Street, the sociologist Rachel Sherman documents the syndrome. A number among us, when reminded of our privilege, respond with a counternarrative that generally goes like this: I was born in the street. I earned everything all by myself. I barely get by on my $250,000 salary. You should see the other parents at our kids’ private school.
class  inequality 
7 weeks ago
stewart brand's space colonies book
space  habitat 
8 weeks ago
Dirty dealing in the $175 billion Amazon Marketplace - The Verge
For sellers, Amazon is a quasi-state. They rely on its infrastructure — its warehouses, shipping network, financial systems, and portal to millions of customers — and pay taxes in the form of fees. They also live in terror of its rules, which often change and are harshly enforced. A cryptic email like the one Plansky received can send a seller’s business into bankruptcy, with few avenues for appeal.
amazon  business  infrastructure 
8 weeks ago
Google is delaying a change that will break old web games — again - The Verge
For new projects, this is just another feature to work around. But the way it’s coded means that games and web art built for the old standard can be permanently muted, with no way to turn the audio on. Developers can modify their work for the new standard, but many web games aren’t constantly maintained, and many developers didn’t even know the change was coming. They felt blindsided by the sudden update and ignored by Google.
google  digital-art 
9 weeks ago
The Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Nightmare Came True
An Amazon user in Germany recently requested data about his personal activities and inadvertently gained access to 1,700 audio recordings of someone he didn’t know.
amazon  alexa  surveillance  echo  gdpr 
9 weeks ago
As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants - The New York Times
Facebook has never sold its user data, fearful of user backlash and wary of handing would-be competitors a way to duplicate its most prized asset. Instead, internal documents show, it did the next best thing: granting other companies access to parts of the social network in ways that advanced its own interests.
facebook  data  privacy  users 
9 weeks ago
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