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."
Writing in Wired, Boing Boing contributor Clive Thompson discusses the rise and rise of "Edge AI" startups that sell lightweight machine-learning classifiers that run on low-powered chips and don't talk to the cloud, meaning that they are privacy respecting and energy efficient.
Yesterday's column by John Naughton in the Observer revisited Nathan Myhrvold's 1997 prediction that when Moore's Law runs out -- that is, when processors stop doubling in speed every 18 months through an unbroken string of fundamental breakthroughs -- that programmers would have to return to the old disciplines of writing incredibly efficient code whose […]
Machine learning systems are notorious for cheating, and there's a whole menagerie of ways that these systems achieve their notional goals while subverting their own purpose, with names like "model stealing, rewarding hacking and poisoning attacks."
You no longer need to invest vast quantities of your time and money in order to take advantage of everything that graphic design can do for your brand or business. Design Wizard Pro allows you to quickly create pro-level image designs in minutes, and a lifetime subscription is currently available for over 90% off its […]
The Nintendo Switch is an undeniably awesome gadget, pairing old-school gaming styles with modern-day graphics and functionality for a new generation of gamers. The only complaint people seem to have is that its controllers are somewhat lacking, which is why more and more Switch-enthusiasts are picking up this Gbros. Wireless Adapter that lets you play […]
More and more people are flocking to a wide variety of careers in IT, thanks mostly to the high pay, plentiful advancement opportunities, and an exciting atmosphere that offers new challenges every day. The only problem is that this high demand means competition can be fierce if you’re entering the job market for the first […]