Business

Algorithms play a growing role in our lives, even as their flaws are becoming more apparent: A Michigan man wrongly accused of fraud had to file for bankruptcy; automated screening tools disproportionately harm people of color who want to buy a home or rent an apartment; Black Facebook users were subjected to more abuse than
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Jack Dorsey is no fan of Mark Zuckerberg. He once told Rolling Stone that at dinner at Chez Zuck, the Facebook CEO served him a goat he had killed, and the meat was cold. More recently, he made fun of Zuckerberg’s metaverse ambitions. Nonetheless, however unintentionally, today the CEO of Square finds himself making a
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Video games are about power fantasies, the conventional wisdom goes: Fight enough dragons to reach level 99, sell enough wolf skins to buy a gaudy gold cape, and become rich or strong or accomplished in the world of the game—even if you aren’t in real life. For Catdicax, a Finnish woman now in her 30s,
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Jack Dorsey was glum. It was 2009, and we were in Baghdad, among a group of Silicon Valley movers and shakers on a State Department junket to visit businesses, universities, and the eerily deserted Iraq National Museum. But back home, all the moving and shaking in the company he had invented—a short-form blog platform called
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Tamarya Sims makes themself heard above the din of August in western North Carolina, no small feat. Their laughter bursts gleefully across the grinding, metallic whir of crickets and static, and their cat’s ears poke up along the bottom of the screen. “I’m not trying to buy land, I’m trying to attain land without being
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Do you ever find yourself wondering, “What is Web3?” You’re not alone. The idea is having a moment, whether you’re measuring by VC funding, lobbying blitzes, or incomprehensible corporate announcements. But it can be hard to tell what all the hype is about. To believers, Web3 represents the next phase of the internet and, perhaps,
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When the Wall Street Journal launched a series of explosive articles based on internal Facebook documents in September, people naturally wondered about the source. Apparently, an unnamed employee had left the company, taking with her hundreds of documents that exposed how much Facebook (which changed its name to Meta several weeks later) understood the harm
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Before the Covid-19 pandemic, many people only fantasized about working when and where they pleased. In one of the most publicized studies on this subject, Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, which included over 30,000 people in 31 countries, concluded that 73 percent of respondents desire remote work options. A CNBC survey predicts that by the
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As Tiger King 2 enthralls and appalls viewers and some fans of Star Trek: Discovery lament the idea of having to shell out for another streaming service subscription, take pity on the once-hot video technology now more likely to be a makeshift coaster for your coffee: DVDs were once the future—but now they’re difficult to
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This July, Amazon showed off several new warehouse robots with names borrowed from Sesame Street that are, presumably, meant to evoke childhood wonder rather than futuristic dread. Bert, a wheeled robot about the size of a filing cabinet, navigates around a warehouse carrying products. Ernie, a large industrial robot arm, moves totes filled with packages
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“The whole system is totally fucked,” says Peter Cole, owner of Australian ecommerce company Urban Plant Growers. Two months after it was due to arrive in Sydney, Cole’s $1.6 million order of hydroponic kits and lights, packed into two 40-foot shipping containers aboard a ship that set sail from Shenzhen, China, is still floating somewhere
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Ernest Ogbuanya spent the pandemic working from his home in Virginia, near Amazon’s HQ2, supporting the Amazon Web Services network. The work could be stressful—thousands of businesses rely on the Amazon cloud—but Ogbuanya liked knowing the work was important, and that he could do it without leaving his house. Then Amazon announced that everyone would
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Who is actually to blame for the spectacular downfall of the blood-testing startup Theranos? Is it Elizabeth Holmes, the girl boss founder who faces 11 counts of wire fraud for allegedly misleading investors? Or is it the company’s employees who signed off on various reports suggesting the technology performed well? What about Theranos’ board members—like
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Ever feel like your boss just doesn’t understand you? That’s because they don’t—and that’s especially true when it comes to flexible working. Future Forum, a research group backed by Slack, runs its quarterly “Pulse” survey of 10,000 knowledge workers alongside focus groups with their bosses across six countries, including the US and UK. For the
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The email hit staff inboxes on a Tuesday in early November. With it came a significant change to ByteDance, the Chinese company behind the hit app TikTok and its domestic counterpart, Douyin. An organization famous for its flat hierarchy—any employee, regardless of their standing, has long been able to direct-message founder Zhang Yiming on Lark,
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Major online retailers are alluring, with perks like two-day shipping, the option to try on at home before paying, and the convenience of shopping in your pajamas. The problem is, these conveniences come at a cost to individuals, communities, and the environment. But there’s good news: There is something you can do about it, and
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Hi, everyone! A “decentralized autonomous organization” (translation: a group of crypto lovers) has decided to buy an original copy of the Constitution. Maybe they’ll add Satoshi’s signature?  The Plain View Every afternoon at 1:30, the robots file into the café. Gliding their way into the dining area on four wheels, the cadre of one-armed creatures
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Where does social media go from here? The leaked documents known as the Facebook Papers hammered home the fact—if there was any doubt remaining—that even the world’s most sophisticated content moderation systems can’t keep pace with human misbehavior on the billions-of-users scale, or the damage generated by algorithms designed to maximize engagement. Jeff Allen spent
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When it comes to sales of electric cars, Norway is in a league of its own. In September, battery-powered electric vehicles accounted for 77.5 percent of all new cars sold. That figure makes Norway a world leader by a long way—leapfrogging over the UK, where 15 percent of new car sales were electric as of
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In 2018, thousands of Google employees protested a Pentagon contract dubbed Project Maven that used the company’s artificial intelligence technology to analyze drone surveillance footage. Google said it wouldn’t renew the contract and announced guiding principles for future AI projects that forbid work on weapons and surveillance projects “violating internationally accepted norms.” At the same
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A few years ago, Greg Platt, an electric vehicle salesperson in Portland, Oregon, was having extraordinary success with a particular type of customer: foreigners. For a $250 fee, he’d ship cars north, where they usually crossed to western Canada by ferry. Other interested buyers would fly in from Europe. He’s still not sure why—it may
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Early last month, a jargon-laden post by a pseudonymous Twitter handle set off a storm in the cryptocurrency world. The account called itself Gabagool.Ξth (a blend of references to the The Sopranos and the Ethereum blockchain) and featured a fuchsia nebula as a profile picture. It called out what it saw as foul play in
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Should you get Twitter Blue? That depends on whether you consider yourself a “power user.” The platform’s new subscription service, which costs $3 per month, comes with a suite of requested features: bookmark folders for organizing saved tweets, a “reading mode” that declutters long threads, and a (sort of) edit button, good for 30 seconds
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What do Alex Berenson, Bari Weiss, and Glenn Greenwald have in common? They’ve all railed against being deplatformed—be it a Twitter ban or the loss of a job at a prestigious publication—only to find a new home and great riches on Substack. The hyped newsletter platform, founded in 2017 and touted as an alternative way
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The semiconductor industry lives at the cutting edge of technological progress. So why can’t it churn out enough chips to keep the world moving? Nearly two years into pandemic-caused disruptions, a severe shortage of computer chips—the components at the heart of smartphones, laptops, and innumerable other products—continues to affect manufacturers across the global economy. Automakers
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