Cory published a writeup of my research showing Google offshoot Sidewalk Labs’ plan to build a surveilling city in Toronto involves a much, much larger chunk of land than publicly disclosed (in fact about 2,600 acres of prime Toronto waterfront!). It flushed out a response from the high-priced US PR firm Berlin Rosen, apparently acting on behalf of Sidewalk Labs: Read the rest
Google's Sidewalk Labs convinced Toronto to let it build an all-surveilling "smart city" on a small patch of lakefront and then promptly shenaniganized things, breaking all its privacy and transparency promises and prompting a mass exodus of its advisory board members and other watchdogs. Read the rest
P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever is a fun new alphabet book written by rapper Lushlife that shows kids just how nutty the English language really is (rules schmules!):
Turning the traditional idea of an alphabet book on its head, P is for Pterodactyl is perfect for anyone who has ever been stumped by silent letters or confused by absurd homophones. This whimsical, unique book takes silent letter entries like “K is for Knight” a step further with “The noble knight’s knife nicked the knave’s knee.” Lively illustrations provide context clues, and alliterative words help readers navigate text like “a bright white gnat is gnawing on my gnocchi” with ease. Everyone from early learners to grown-up grammarians will love this wacky book where “A is for Aisle” but “Y is definitely not for Why.”
This week has been so surreal. My picture book #pisforpterodactyl comes out today and hit the top 5 bestselling books on all of Amazon — between @michelleobama and #diaryofawimpykid. We just hit the front page of @reddit, too. https://t.co/7rqAjyHIVi pic.twitter.com/zvfJq9fq5S
— Lushlife (@lushlifemedia) November 13, 2018
More than 200 engineers at Google are said to be preparing a 'women's walk', in which people walk out of work, after claims that the company protected sexual harasser executives, and offered them generous payouts. Read the rest
YouTube just unveiled a plan to combat phony conspiracy videos intended to manipulate or defraud viewers. Read the rest
Google knew that Project Maven, its contract to supply AI to US military drones would be unpopular, but they were chasing hundreds of millions of dollars in follow-on contracts, and even though dozens of engineers quit over the project, at least they got a snazzy mission patch. Read the rest
Alphabet division Sidewalk Labs (a sister company to Google) is poised to spend $50,000,000 to redevelop a piece of Toronto waterfront called Quayside, filling it with "modular, dynamic" buildings that can be reconfigured as their uses change, data-gathering sensors that will help Sidewalk refine its own products and also allow Quayside to tune its zoning, usage, and management from moment to moment, as well as a new Google headquarters and a bunch of startups, and "affordable" micro-apartments starting at 162 square feet. Read the rest
Federal auto safety regulators today said that self-driving cars “will save time, money and lives,” but also sent a clear signal that they want the power to inspect and approve technology before it hits the highways, rather than each U.S. state setting its own safety standards.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on a press call today that a new federal premarket approval system "would require a lot more upfront discussion, dialogue and staffing on our part."
The government's statement today is big news for Uber, Google, Apple, and other Silicon Valley firms pouring millions of R&D dollars into figuring out how to swap human drivers for smart machines, or at least allow us to share control in “semiautonomous” setups. Read the rest
Within hours of Google announcing Sundar Pichai as CEO and reconfiguring itself into Alphabet (AKA abc.xyz), the proliferation of amusing abc.[TLD] domains begins. abc.wtf redirects to competing search engine Bing.
Well, that was an interesting way to end a Monday...
— Chris Andrikanich (@alphabet) August 10, 2015
Perhaps it is all a sign of a too-hurried decision, of hands forced.
— darth™ (@darth) August 10, 2015