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The New York Times: The Week in Tech – Countdown to the California Consumer Privacy Act

Read on The New York Times

Some stories you shouldn’t miss

  • A number of high-profile foundations — including the Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation and the Economic Security Project, led by the Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes — are financing an antitrust movement against Big Tech, my colleague David McCabe reported. Can they build momentum for trustbusting?

  • Speaking of tech giants, an article in Washington Monthly argued that Amazon, Apple and Google should stay out of health care. The piece, by Matthew Buck of the Open Markets Institute, said the tech companies’ drive to maximize corporate revenues could skew the development of health technology away from the best interests of patients and toward overtreatment.

  • Do you own an Amazon Ring doorbell cam? A sobering look at the monitoring system in Vice called Ring “America’s Scariest Surveillance Company.”Meanwhile, a piece in Slate urged Ring owners to post a disclosure notice for passers-by and offers some mock-ups. One said: “Smile! You’re on a Ring Camera!”

  • An essay in The Atlantic riffed on the meaning of drunk textsand their rise as a popular communication style. “Like all texting, drunk texting is a form of nonintimate intimacy,” Kaitlyn Tiffany wrote in the piece. “Like all drunk communication, it’s susceptible to poor translation, missed meanings, embarrassment and horniness.”

  • File under the annals of technology: George Laurer, the man who developed the bar code, could not believe how ubiquitous it became, a Times obituary of the inventor reported. Officially called the Universal Product Code, it made its debut in 1974 when a scanner registered 67 cents for a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

  • Computer science, the most popular major on many campuses, takes perseverance. This Twitter thread chronicled how one female undergraduate made it through — the A.P. Computer Science “brohort” notwithstanding.

  • A law professor, Frank Pasquale, says the time has come for a second wave of algorithmic accountability. “While the first wave of algorithmic accountability focuses on improving existing systems,” like tackling bias in facial recognition, he wrote in a blog post, “a second wave of research has asked whether they should be used at all — and, if so, who gets to govern them.”

Read the full article on The New York Times.

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