All of this chicanery raises the question: Why are obituaries highly valued? The answer is simple, according to Robin Heppell, a funeral marketing consultant: Obituaries attract web traffic. Take, for example, Monique Heller, whose obituary for her father, which included how he thwarted “lunch thieves with laxative-laced chocolate cake and excrement meatloaf sandwiches,” went viral
In June 2021, Ralf Wenzel founded the grocery delivery startup JOKR to meet the demand of millions of people who had discovered the convenience of online shopping for food. One month later, the startup had raised $170 million to build “a new Amazon,” starting with grocery delivery in nine cities. By December, JOKR had raised
Supporters of algorithmic reparation suggest taking lessons from curation professionals such as librarians, who’ve had to consider how to ethically collect data about people and what should be included in libraries. They propose considering not just whether the performance of an AI model is deemed fair or good but whether it shifts power. The suggestions
Since 2018, Delta has worked with CBP to offer international passengers flying from Atlanta the option of checking in and going through security using face recognition instead of conventional documents. In 2019, the airline used face recognition during boarding for 86 percent of its international departures from Atlanta; the proportion fell during the pandemic due
This month a successful entertainment-business newsletter written by an influential reporter joined forces with publishing legend Janice Min to form a news startup. Buried in the story was a fascinating detail: The cofounders had signed up to go through the three-month Y Combinator accelerator program. If you haven’t been paying attention, this news might have
Early in the first pandemic summer, around the time California started requiring people to wear masks indoors, Jack Abraham booked a weeklong vacation to Miami. Four days into the trip, he tested positive for Covid-19. He canceled his return flight to San Francisco and, mildly sick, waited out his sniffles in an Airbnb. By the
The idea that major retailers need to do more is a sentiment that those who lose out to bots at the other end of the process can agree with: On Twitter, Thorley ended up venting his frustration at one of the major UK retailers, over their seemingly scant attempts to verify buyers were human. “Retailers
Onboard my first plane in well over a year, since the start of the pandemic, I settle into seat 20F of United Airlines 1450, nonstop Newark to Denver on a twin-engine Boeing 737-900. There’s a covalent sensation of nostalgia and novelty, like seeing a familiar place with fresh eyes, rebooting muscle memory grown soft from
These programs are particularly widespread at community and technical colleges like Hillsborough. Community colleges serve the majority of students from underrepresented groups, said Martha Parham, senior vice president at the American Association of Community Colleges. Historically Black Bowie State University, for example, opened a $42 million entrepreneurship academy in August that includes space for student
This may be remembered as the year when the world learned that lethal autonomous weapons had moved from a futuristic worry to a battlefield reality. It’s also the year when policymakers failed to agree on what to do about it. On Friday, 120 countries participating in the United Nations’ Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons could
The way we use the internet has changed—and fast. Before the pandemic, telecoms and internet service provider BT was handling five terabits of data every second from its UK customers during the day. When the pandemic hit and the world locked down, data volumes doubled. In Germany, DE-CIX Frankfurt, a major connection point for the
Highways are not great for the planet. Their smooth, wide, inviting lanes have helped make transportation the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, responsible for 29 percent of the total. With prodding from the Biden administration, major US automakers have pledged that 40 percent of their sales will be powered by plugs,
Despite all the hardship it caused, the pandemic also offered the chance of a lifetime. By proving that people could work responsibly—and often more efficiently—from home, and demonstrating how care for loved ones could exist alongside, not in opposition to, our jobs, it felt like there couldn’t possibly be a return to the Before Times.
At a glance, 2021 was a good year for Upside Foods—one of the best-funded cultured-meat firms among the dozens of startups vying to brew real meat inside bioreactors instead of raising and slaughtering animals. In May the company—whose investors include Softbank, Tyson Foods, Whole Foods, and Bill Gates—rebranded from its former name, Memphis Meats. In
When Rob Curtis was running Gaydar back in 2018, he’d sit in chat rooms and watch the amorous hopefuls talk. “It was a dating site, but they were asking for help finding doctors, accountants, trying to navigate the complexities of being LGBTQ+ in a world not quite designed for us,” he says. Fast-forward three years
In short, the customer experience on Amazon isn’t what it used to be. But I don’t want to single out the ecommerce giant for this regression of its core product. The phenomenon is now endemic among the giants of Big Tech. Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft rose to prominence with fantastic products that were laser-focused
When Kaspars Dancis started working for the Exigen Group in 2000, he was just a few years out of university, and although his employer was based in the US, his home was in Latvia. But Exigen was a software development company and Dancis was a software engineer, so they found a way to make it
When former Uber driver Yaseen Aslam first started campaigning for app workers’ rights back in 2014, the battle felt hopeless; like a “dark tunnel.” He claims academics told him it was impossible to succeed because his fellow gig workers were too disparate and the majority were people from ethnic minorities, groups that did not have
Bob Goodfellow has spent 30 years in underground construction and design projects and now works on the Los Angeles Metro system. His company Aldea is working with Petra on tests of its initial systems. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” Goodfellow says. “There’s been talk about things like nuclear-powered tunnel-boring machines and contactless tunneling
Few-Shot Learner is pretrained on a firehose of billions of Facebook posts and images in more than 100 languages. The system uses them to build up an internal sense of the statistical patterns of Facebook content. It is tuned for content moderation by additional training with posts or imagery labeled in previous moderation projects and
Say you want to build a wind farm. You find a nice empty knoll in northern Vermont, where the breeze blows steadily and the neighbors don’t complain about sullied views. (A damn miracle, in other words.) You line up investors, get the right permits, and prepare to install your turbines. Then you hit snag: power
The summer of 2020 was something of a heyday—and a Wild West—for e-scooters in Scandinavia. Rental companies had been swarming to the region’s cities—Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen among them—believing they would be easy e-scooter converts thanks to heavily ingrained cycling cultures and their strong interest in sustainability. As city officials balked at how to impose
DoorDash said Monday it’s doing something different in New York City: It’s hiring about 60 delivery people as employees, rather than independent contractors. The couriers will travel by electric bicycle to make quick deliveries—within 10 to 15 minutes—in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The service marks DoorDash’s first foray into a new category of “instant” app-enabled delivery.
The nationwide shift to remote learning last year left many students stranded in the “homework gap,” unable to attend class online because they lack internet access. The gap was particularly wide in rural areas, and perhaps widest for Native peoples on tribal lands and reservations, who were left to face the homework gap, the pandemic,
That doesn’t have to mean everyone talking at once. Instead, Szafranksi predicts, we’ll all learn to make better use of text responses and questions to take part without interrupting the speaker. We’ll also learn, he says, to book shorter, more focused meetings, helped by knowing when people are at their best for such tasks. “The
The Federal Trade Commission has sued to block Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm, the semiconductor design firm, saying that the blockbuster deal would unfairly stifle competition. Ars Technica This story originally appeared on Ars Technica, a trusted source for technology news, tech policy analysis, reviews, and more. Ars is owned by WIRED’s parent company, Condé Nast.
In the wake of Jack Dorsey’s November 29 announcement that he would step down as Twitter CEO, one particular section of the social network’s user base reacted with a mix of despondency and pessimism. It was Crypto-Twitter—or CT—a vast subculture of developers, startup founders, thinkers, bloggers, influencers, and speculators who spend their days tweeting about
Instagram? Sure! WhatsApp? Go nuts. But don’t mess with GIFs. That’s the strange position taken by Britain’s competition watchdog in choosing to block Meta’s takeover of GIF repository Giphy. Meta, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ruled, must now sell all the GIFs—just 19 months after it reportedly paid $400 million for them. It’s
It wasn’t long ago that congressional hearings about Section 230 got bogged down in dismal exchanges about individual content moderation decisions: Why did you leave this up? Why did you take that down? A new crop of bills suggests that lawmakers have gotten a bit more sophisticated. At a hearing on Wednesday, the House energy
One year ago Google artificial intelligence researcher Timnit Gebru tweeted, “I was fired” and ignited a controversy over the freedom of employees to question the impact of their company’s technology. Thursday, she launched a new research institute to ask questions about responsible use of artificial intelligence that Gebru says Google and other tech companies won’t.