Tumblr is being sold to WordPress parent company Automattic for a reported price of "less than $3m," a substantial decline from the $1.1B Yahoo paid for the company in 2013 (Yahoo subsequently sold Tumblr and several other startups it had overpaid for and then ruined to Verizon for more than $4b).
Much of that decline in value is the result of Verizon's decision to introduce a fucking terrible automated "adult content" filter (that decision, in turn, was driven by the passage of SESTA, a US censorship law that pushed Apple to briefly remove the Tumblr app from the Ios App Store).
When I first read the announcement of the Automattic acquisition, I briefly held out hope that the new owners would reverse Verizon's mistake, but those hopes were dashed then Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg announced that the filter would stay.
It's hard to understand this decision. The filter is a piece of unadulterated, unsalvageable garbage. Its awfulness is hard to overstate, but it can be neatly illustrated by this Bruce Sterling post, which reveals that the Tumblr porn filter blocked Sterling's post of a screenshot of a news story about the acquisition, which includes the happy coda, "This decision cannot be appealed."
Here are audio samples from a neural network based system that can analyze a 5-second recording of someone’s voice, then have that same voice say anything you want it to say. Someone made a version of the software that you can download from Github.
Our pal Andy Baio has been experimenting with an audio separation library called spleeter “that uses machine learning to quickly and freely separate music into stems.” It does a surprisingly good job, and he is using it to make funny mashups: nobody should have this kind of power pic.twitter.com/4vbl2MGK4Z — Andy Baio (@waxpancake) November 5, […]
Sue-Lin Wong is the Financial Times's South China reporter; this week, she attended the China Public Security expo, the country's largest surveillance tech show, held biannually in Shenzhen.
The more you use your computer, the more it becomes possible for others to use it too. Where there are anti-virus systems, there are hackers looking for a way to get around them. That’s why it’s important to get software that doesn’t just passively scout for viruses in the background. The folks behind GlassWire have […]
Knowledge is power. It’s a cliché, but sometimes things turn into a cliché because they’re true. If you’re making your way through the world of business and entrepreneurship, it only makes sense to read about the insights of people who have climbed that ladder before you. Trouble is, the modern workday doesn’t leave a lot […]
As much as some of us fear the loss of our jobs to robots, there’s one job we’re pretty sure they are welcome to: vacuuming. There’s nothing quite like kicking back and watching a robot vacuum do one of the most time-consuming tasks on the household chore list. And there are few ‘bots that do […]