I reported the news in print and online. Here’s the difference.

Former NYTimes executive editor Jill Abramson dissects the big problem with internet news.

  • Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times, describes what life was like for a journalist in the 1980s – a "stone age" when news was governed by the printing press schedule.
  • Today, many journalists will break stories on Twitter before writing it, eliminating nuance and increasing the chance of error.
  • Social media in particular has added a fatal speed to journalism. Errors erode public trust in the media, and allow those in power to undermine the free press.
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Who is getting rich off you? The insidious big data economy.

Where is your data now? Follow the money.

  • Your day to day actions on the Internet give businesses personal data that turns you into an ad target – or the opposite.
  • Facebook, for example, allowed landlords to block demographic groups such as African Americans, LGBTQ, or disabled people from seeing housing ads – a violation of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.
  • Data brokers have crossed a line, but the laws that should regulate them are outdated; just look at the billion-dollar data deal between 23andMe and Big Pharma. Is it ethical?
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AI can predict your future tweets by looking at your friends’ accounts

A new study shows how machine-learning methods could examine your friends' past tweets to accurately predict your future behavior online.

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  • The study examined the past tweets of hundreds of Twitter users, each within a particular social circle, in order to see how accurate of predictions it's possible to make with machine-learning techniques.
  • The results showed that machine-learning techniques can predict the future Twitter activity of a given user by looking only at about 9 of their friends, and that these predictions are about as accurate as predictions made with the benefit of looking at the user's past writings.
  • The findings have troubling implications for online privacy, namely that, in theory, not even leaving Facebook or Twitter would prevent someone from generating an accurate profile of you.
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  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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Are screens really destroying young people’s brains?

A new report says there's not as much evidence of physical harm as you might think.

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  • Leading pediatricians say the assumption that screen time is behind problems is not really supported by research.
  • The danger has more to do with a screen being a gateway for unwanted intrusions into a child's life.
  • While recommendations are difficult based on the limited amount of research that has been done, the report offers a few.
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