Showing 2516 posts tagged tech

If the company wants to abruptly, drastically change the nature of their work, it can do so at will, and its employees have zero recourse if their bottom line is slashed. That’s because they aren’t technically employees, but contractors, bereft of the same protections and benefits granted to full-time workers. Management is invisible. When Rabbits stormed the company discussion forum with complaints, it was shut down, while the company, like Uber, balks at the idea that it’s an employer of any Rabbits at all. TaskRabbit is a platform. TaskRabbit is a mediator. TaskRabbit is not a bad boss, because it was never a boss to begin with — it’s just operating an algorithm. The notion of unionization in the “sharing economy” is of course preposterous and unheard of — not even Facebook has organized — so who needs collective bargaining when you’ve got trust, and community, and other ukelele-and-Vimeo startup platitudes?

If TaskRabbit Is the Future of Employment, the Employed Are F*cked

The new study, which analyzed data from the Current Population Survey from 1976 to 2012, illustrates that the recession had a disproportionately large effect on routine jobs, and greatly sped up their loss. That is probably because even if a new technology is cheaper and more efficient than a human laborer, bosses are unlikely to fire employees and replace them with computers when times are good. The recession, however, gave them a motive. And the people who lost those jobs are generally unable to find new ones, said Henry E. Siu, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia and an author of the study. Young people and those with only a high school diploma are much more likely to be unemployed and replaced by a machine, he said. And to the authors’ surprise, men are more vulnerable than women. “When you look at data, women who would otherwise be finding middle-paying routine jobs tend to be moving up the job ladder to these higher-paying brain jobs, whereas men are much more likely to just be moving from blue-collar jobs into not finding a job,” said Mr. Siu, who wrote the study with Guido Matias Cortes of the University of Manchester, Nir Jaimovich of Duke University and Christopher J. Nekarda of the Federal Reserve in Washington.

Technology, Aided by Recession, Is Polarizing the Work World - NYTimes.com

More than 5% of the sites they surveyed had turned to a technique known as “canvas fingerprinting” to identify visitors. This technique forces a web browser to create a hidden image. Subtle differences in the set-up of a computer mean almost every machine will render the image in a different way enabling that device to be identified consistently. Popular sites using the technique included the White House, the San Francisco Chronicle’s website and the YouPorn pornographic portal.

BBC News - Browser ‘fingerprints’ help track users

The idea is that children, with their sparking synapses and sponge-like brains, will be able to easily digest all the stuff that I had such trouble comprehending in my early 20s. It’s the same thing that compels Type A parents to scour the city for Mandarin-speaking preschools and toddler violin lessons.

Should I Teach My Kid To Code? | Fast Company | Business Innovation

A new study of over 1300 3rd to 5th graders found that parental monitoring of children’s media has ripple effects that extend across several different areas of children’s lives out into the future. For this study, my colleagues and I talked to children, their parents, their teachers, and even their school nurses, once at the beginning and once at the end of a school year. e asked parents whether they set limits on the amount of screen time their children were allowed to have each day, and also on the content of media their children were allowed access to. As one might expect, setting limits on the amount and content of children’s media is generally effective at reducing time on TV and video games and at reducing violent media exposure. However, seven months later we got a huge surprise. Children whose parents set more limits on the amount and content of media were now getting more sleep, had gained less weight (lowering their risk of obesity), were getting better grades in school, exhibited more helpful and cooperative social behaviors in school, and were less aggressive with their peers (as seen by the classroom teachers).

Kids on Screen-Time Diet Lost Weight and Got Better Grades - Scientific American

A national lawyers group has drafted a fresh road map for lawmakers across the nation that, if enacted by individual states, would change how survivors gain entry to the “digital assets” of the dead — potentially detouring the age-old, legal blockades used by various social sites. The plan, passed Wednesday by the Uniform Law Commission, would allow family trustees to sign onto the emails of those they’ve lost in order to mop up lingering money matters as well as enter social media platforms to shutter pages that often become unwanted memorials.

Facebook Graveyard: Families Seek Entry Into Digital Lives of the Dead - NBC News.com

We know that students do not make optimal choices when directing their own learning; especially when they’re new to a subject, they need guidance from an experienced teacher. We know that students do not learn deeply or lastingly when they have a world of distractions at their fingertips. And we know that students learn best not as isolated units but as part of a socially connected group. Modest as it is from a technological perspective, MIT BLOSSOMS is ideally designed for learning—a reminder that more and better technology does not always lead to more and better education.

An MIT Learning Program Challenges Many Ed-Tech Assumptions | MindShift

As much as hacking has become a daily irritant, much more of it crosses watch-center monitors out of sight from the public. The Chinese, the French, the Israelis—and many less well known or understood players—all hack in one way or another. They steal missile plans, chemical formulas, power-plant pipeline schematics, and economic data. That’s espionage; attack code is a military strike. There are only a few recorded deployments, the most famous being the Stuxnet worm. Widely believed to be a joint project of the U.S. and Israel, Stuxnet temporarily disabled Iran’s uranium-processing facility at Natanz in 2010. It switched off safety mechanisms, causing the centrifuges at the heart of a refinery to spin out of control. Two years later, Iran destroyed two-thirds of Saudi Aramco’s computer network with a relatively unsophisticated but fast-spreading “wiper” virus. One veteran U.S. official says that when it came to a digital weapon planted in a critical system inside the U.S., he’s seen it only once—in Nasdaq.

How Russian Hackers Stole the Nasdaq - Businessweek

Even without active use, the presence of mobile technologies has the potential to divert individuals from face-to-face exchanges, thereby undermining the character and depth of these connections. Individuals are more likely to miss subtle cues, facial expressions, and changes in the tone of their conversation partner’s voice, and have less eye contact.

Presence of a Smartphone Lowers Quality of Conversations - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

Hidden From Google doesn’t automatically archive each website that disappears from searches—instead, it relies on news reports about specific websites that are removed. Any person can submit a link that has been removed from Google, and the site will archive it. That means that the site is far from comprehensive. It only has a couple dozen stories listed thus far. Meanwhile, Google has a backlog of some 50,000 requests. By that measure, the site isn’t perfect—but it is a start. Websites such as Chilling Effects catalog takedown requests from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but haven’t yet begun listing sites removed from searches because of right to be forgotten requests.

'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced to Forget | Motherboard