Love in the Time of Algorithms
Dating sites like OKCupid let you find people whose interests, morals and life outlook are directly aligned with your own. This is probably a good thing for the health of your relationship–who wants to argue about what religion to raise your kids, for example?–but could actually be detrimental to society overall.
The federal government spends money to fix the country’s infrastructure, help senior citizens get affordable access to health care and beef up national security, but did you know that it also pays for stuff like workshops on Star Trek musings?
Saying it seeks to help politicians “become better listeners” and make techies effective citizens, TechCrunch today announced the launch of CrunchGov.
In an introductory post, CrunchGov creator Greg Ferenstein explained that the new site will include a political leaderboard grading politicians on how they vote on tech and a “legislative database of technology policy.” That database will contain bills under congressional review and names of both the politicians who clearly understand the intersection of technology and policy and those who don’t have a clue.
CrunchGov’s tech-related report cards for politicos will rank legislators with “transparent criteria” that merge the political and the technical.
The august and proper BBC News has taken a look at a new and lurking scourge found in thickly settled neighborhoods throughout the world: passive-aggressive wifi names.
Many wifi users stick with something simple, like “Home” or the name of their router (“NETGEAR01″), but wifi networks in some neighborhoods reveal a world of what the BBC aptly terms “bite-sized self-expression.”
The BBC reports that these expressions may be used to embarrass or complain about the neighbors:
Social media has played an increasingly important role in elections over the years–just ask the Obama campaign for confirmation on that. But there’s one frisky feline who’s using the platform to drum up support for a Halixfax mayoral campaign. Meet Tuxedo Stan the cat: He’s running for mayor in Canada, because why the fuck not?
Now, what does this sound like to you?
One recent morning, 14 job candidates filed into his fourth-floor office in Alexandria, Virginia, where a wiffle ball net is stowed in the lobby and a pirate flag hangs in the conference room. How many might he hire? “Fourteen, if we like them all,” he said.
If you guessed “a venture-backed consumer Internet startup,” you are incorrect. (Thanks for playing; better luck next time.)
A famous poet once stated that April is the cruelest month, but he probably didn’t even know that April is “National Child Abuse Prevention Month.” It’s kind of terrible that we as the human species need an entire month to remind each other not to hurt kids. But luckily, the Manhattan D.A. is coming to the rescue.
In order to fight against the proliferation of violent and sexual crimes against children on the Internet, the Department of Justice has assembled a task force that will work to combat these crimes; today, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced that it will be joining the thousands of law enforcement officials on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program.
You know that whole Stop Online Privacy Act that threatens to give our government control to basically turn off whatever part of the internet they want? It’s really scary. And cable news networks don’t really care about it enough to cover it. Or they’re simply afraid to poke at their corporate overlords because of it. Or they’re part of a vast conspiracy theory to help it pass.
SOPA, short for the Stop Online Piracy Act, is a bill making its way through Congress, fueled by Hollywood’s lobbying dollars. Essentially, it would give the American government the opportunity to hit the kill switch on any domain accused of hosting violations of copyright, sight-unseen and without due process. That would be bad. The Internet knows this, Important People On The Internet know this, and they seem to be working very hard to make people aware of it.
Unfortunately, their efforts—at least as far as money is concerned—might not be enough to match the power of Hollywood’s lobbying cash.