10 stories this week (w/e 29 Feb)

2:40-min read

Hello from 20 Minutes into the Future. Welcome to our weekend complement to the normal weekly commentary. Below you’ll find 10 links to stories that also take a critical look at how technology is shaping our lives today.

⓵ The always brilliant Zeynep Tufekci on how China’s surveillance and censorship practices make it harder to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/02/coronavirus-and-blindness-authoritarianism/606922/

⓶ How the Bloomberg campaign is destroying norms on social media and pushing the boundaries of policies at big platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/22/technology/bloomberg-social-media.html

⓷ The House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy is digging into Ring’s deals with cops.
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/02/the-house-wants-to-know-what-ring-is-doing-with-footage-from-your-house/

⓸ In other surveillance capitalism news: a new study shows voice assistants accidentally trigger up to 19 times a day recording nearly a minute of accidental conversations with each activation.
https://www.zdnet.com/article/dont-worry-alexa-and-friends-only-record-you-up-to-19-times-a-day/


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⓹ The Long Term Stock Exchange is a long con.
https://marker.medium.com/silicon-valley-is-quietly-building-its-own-wall-street-9c0b34f25a27

⓺ I dunno about you but I’m inclined to believe the hundreds of researchers, activists, technologists, politicians, and yes, even other law enforcement officials that have come out against facial recognition.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/24/met-police-chief-cressida-dick-facial-recognition-technology-critics-ill-informed

⓻ A new study shows that Uber and Lyft create 70% more pollution than the alternatives they’ve replaced. Public transit is an unalloyed good thing and we can’t let these companies take it over. And make no mistake that is their master plan.
https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/25/21152512/uber-lyft-climate-change-emissions-pollution-ucs-study

⓼ “On Tuesday, the Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled that the couriers were dependent contractors, a classification that falls in between independent contractors and employees, and as such are eligible to form a union. This is the first instance of app-based workers winning that right in Canada.”
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjdwgd/why-its-a-big-deal-that-foodora-workers-can-unionize


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⓽ The Pope wants you to give up trolling for Lent. “The internet incites verbal violence.” As we’ve discussed before propaganda and hate speech online leads to stochastic terrorism.
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-pope-generalaudience-lent-insults/pope-to-catholics-for-lent-give-up-trolling-idUKKCN20K1NH

⓾ Despite evidence to the contrary I do still believe that technology can do good in the world. This article is a good read about how European startups and entrepreneurs are trying to demonstrate that tech for good can be just as profitable as the shitty big tech companies that have fucked the future.
https://sifted.eu/articles/tech-for-good-for-profit/


Dig deeper with these stories from 20 Minutes into the Future:


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Good night and good future, 
Daniel


20 Minutes into the Future is a critical look at how technology is shaping our lives today. And what actions we can take for a better tomorrow. If you're not already a subscriber and found this newsletter worth your while then please sign up.


My name is Daniel Harvey and I write 20 Minutes into the Future. I’m a product designer and have written for Fast Company, Huffington Post, The Drum, & more. If you're pissed about the current state of tech and want to see us do better then you’ve found a kindred spirit.

You can email me at daniel.harvey@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @dancharvey.