Trump Stokes Outrage in Silicon Valley—But It’s Selective

Silicon Valley is in the middle of an awakening, the dawning but selective realization that their products can be used to achieve terrible ends.

In the past few months, this growing unease has bubbled up into outright rebellion from within the rank and file of some of the largest companies in the Valley, beginning in April when Google employees balked at the company’s involvement with a Pentagon artificial intelligence program called Project Maven. On Monday, Amazon shareholders sent an open letter asking CEO Jeff Bezos to halt a program developing facial recognition software for governments pending a review by the board of directors. Also this week, as general read more

Europe’s Proposed Copyright Law Could Screw Up the Internet

Even as companies around the world raced to comply with sweeping privacy rules that took effect in the European Union last month, EU lawmakers were working on another set of changes that could have a global impact on the internet.

Today a committee in the EU’s legislative branch approved a proposed model copyright law that would likely lead many apps and websites to screen uploaded content using automated filters to detect copyrighted material. The proposal will now move to a vote by the full European Parliament.

The effect would be similar to how YouTube tries to detect and block copyrighted audio and video from being posted on its site, but it would be applied to all types of content, including text, images, and software, as well as audio and video. Critics say this section of the proposal, Article 13, would lead to legitimate content, such as satire or short excerpts, being blocked even outside the EU.

Another section of the proposal would require online services read more

New story in Business from Time: Burger King Apologizes for an Ad Offering Burgers to Russian Women Who Get Pregnant by World Cup Players

(MOSCOW) — Burger King has apologized for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who get pregnant by World Cup players.

Critics assailed the offer, announced on Russian social media, as sexist and demeaning.

The announcement was removed Tuesday from Burger King’s social media accounts but was still circulating among Russian social network users. It promised a reward of free burgers to women who get “the best football genes” and “ensure the success of the Russian team for generations to come.”

In a statement Wednesday to The Associated Press, Burger King said, “We are sorry about the clearly offensive promotion that the team in Russia launched online.” It said the offer “does not reflect our brand or our values and we are taking steps to ensure this type of activity does not happen again.”

Ads in Russia often play on read more

California Net Neutrality Bill Was ‘Hijacked,’ Lawmaker Says

Last month the California Senate passed what would be the country’s toughest net neutrality protections, which go even further than the repealed Obama-era Federal Communications Commission rules. But Wednesday, a California Assembly committee amended the bill, removing many protections in the original.

The amended version of the bill still bans broadband providers from blocking or throttling legal content, and from creating “fast lanes.” But critics of the changes worry that they could create loopholes that would allow broadband providers to undermine net neutrality. Perhaps most important is the removal of a prohibition on broadband providers charging access fees to content providers. Depending on how courts interpreted the bill, this could create a loophole that would allow companies like Verizon or Comcast to charge companies like Facebook or Netflix additional fees to make their content available and block access to content from companies that don’t pay.

“The read more

How a Child Moves Through a Broken Immigration System

As an immigration attorney working along the US-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas, Carlos García says he’s seen “a lot of sad stuff” over the years. But what he encountered at the McAllen federal courthouse Tuesday left him lost for words.

“You walk into the courtroom and there are 90 people waiting to be prosecuted for illegal entry,” he says. “When you talk to parents about losing their children and having their children taken away from them, it’s a different feeling. I can’t even describe it.”

García is one of several lawyers affiliated with the Texas Civil Rights Project who have offered legal assistance to detainees awaiting their fate at the local courthouse, after the Trump administration began implementing its zero-tolerance policy in April. The policy refers all illegal border crossings for criminal prosecution, including asylum seekers and regardless of whether crossers are traveling with children. Since May, the government has separated 2,342 read more

New story in Business from Time: American Airlines Doesn’t Want to Fly Migrant Children Separated From Their Families

American Airlines says it has asked the federal government not to use its flights to transport migrant children separated from their families under the White House’s current immigration policy.

“We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it,” the airline said in a statement Wednesday. “We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so.”

More than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border since the White House announced a “zero tolerance policy” regarding border crossings. Under the policy, adult migrants are arrested for criminal prosecution and separated from any children with whom they are traveling. The children are then kept in detention centers.

The policy has prompted widespread criticism as images and recordings of children kept in cages and crying inside those detention centers have been broadcast.

American Airlines read more

Why Lyft Is Trying to Become the Next Subscription Business

In many US cities, ride-sharing is a commodity. Both drivers and riders pull up Uber and Lyft interchangeably on their phones, weighing which to use based on price and wait time.

That’s a problem for ride-sharing companies. In an industry where new apps like Via, Juno, and Gett are coming online regularly, riders have myriad choices. Uber and Lyft can’t keep undercutting each other and everyone else to win riders forever; eventually, they’ll have to charge enough to retain drivers and also turn a profit, competing on the strength of their products and their brands. Both companies wish to be the one app we open every time we need to go anywhere. Lyft and Uber are attempting to compete for this alpha slot by improving their technology, boosting the quality of the service, and providing the most competitive prices.

But to become the one platform that people trust with their transportation needs, these companies will need to lock their riders in. That’s why Lyft’s read more

IBM’s Newest AI Can Probably Argue Better Than You

“Fighting technology means fighting human ingenuity,” an IBM software program admonished Israeli debating champion Dan Zafrir in San Francisco Monday. The program, dubbed Project Debater, and Zafrir, were debating the value of telemedicine, but the point could also apply to the future of the technology itself.

Software that processes speech and language has improved enough to do more than tell you the weather forecast. You may not be ready for machines capable of conversation or arguing, but tech companies are working to find uses for them. IBM’s demo of Project Debater comes a month after Google released audio of a bot called Duplex booking restaurants and haircuts over the phone.

IBM’s stunt Monday was a sequel of sorts to the triumph of its Watson computer over Jeopardy! champions in 2011. Project Debater, in the works for six years, took on two Israeli student debating champions, Zafrir and Noa Ovadia. read more

The Man Who Saw the Dangers of Cambridge Analytica Years Ago

In December 2014, John Rust wrote to the head of the legal department at the University of Cambridge, where he is a professor, warning them that a storm was brewing.

According to an email reviewed by WIRED, Rust informed the university that one of the school’s psychology professors, Aleksandr Kogan, was using an app he created to collect data on millions of Facebook users without their knowledge. Not only did the app collect data on people who opted into it, it also collected data on those users’ Facebook friends. He wrote that if just 100,000 people opted into the app, and if they had an average of 150 friends each, Kogan would have access to 15 million people’s data, which he could then use for the purposes of political persuasion. Journalists had already begun poking around, and Rust wanted the school to intervene, arguing Kogan’s work put the university at risk of “considerable media attention, almost entirely adverse.”

“Their intention is to extend this read more

New story in Business from Time: General Electric to End Its More Than 100-Year Run on the Dow Jones

(LOS ANGELES) — General Electric will be dropped from the Dow Jones industrial average next week, ending the industrial conglomerate’s more than 100-year run in the 30-company blue chip index.

S&P Dow Jones Indices said Tuesday that GE will be removed from index before the open of trading next Tuesday. Its slot will go to drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Boston-based GE was an original member of the Dow Jones industrials dating back to 1896. It had been a continuous member of the Dow since 1907.

GE has been struggling in recent years, shrinking dramatically since it became entangled in the financial crisis a decade ago.

The company is under investigation related to a $15 billion hit it took to cover miscalculations at an insurance unit.

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