From Yahoo! Pipes to Zapier: A brief history of web app automation (The Next Web)

The Next Web: From Yahoo! Pipes to Zapier: A brief history of web app automation. “In 2020, just about everyone has used — or at least heard of — apps like Zapier, IFTTT, and Integromat, or at least used built-in automation tools and workflow builders inside apps like Slack. For many businesses, automation is a non-optional investment. If they want to compete in their industry, then automation is a must. But how did we get there? How exactly has business process automation evolved? When did it take over the workplace? And what’s next, now that seemingly every app has automation built-in?”

Android Police: A beginner’s guide to Tasker: How to automate (almost) anything on your phone

Android Police: A beginner’s guide to Tasker: How to automate (almost) anything on your phone. “Tasker is one of the most powerful apps on the Play Store for automating tasks on your smartphone, but it’s far from the easiest to get to grips with, which is where this guide comes in… For the completely uninitiated, Tasker — which does cost $3.49 — lets you add extra customizations and automations to Android phone. It combines triggers (such as reaching a location, or opening up a particular app) with actions (so turning off Wi-Fi, or boosting screen brightness). The possibilities are almost limitless, provided you can get your head around it to begin with.”

The Verge: How hard will the robots make us work?

The Verge: How hard will the robots make us work?. “On conference stages and at campaign rallies, tech executives and politicians warn of a looming automation crisis — one where workers are gradually, then all at once, replaced by intelligent machines. But their warnings mask the fact that an automation crisis has already arrived. The robots are here, they’re working in management, and they’re grinding workers into the ground.”

Skynet, But For Welfare: Automating Social Services Is Killing People (Techdirt)

Techdirt: Skynet, But For Welfare: Automating Social Services Is Killing People. “Citizens looking for government assistance have grown accustomed to jumping through red tape hoops. Now, the hoops are inaccessible, but still must be jumped through. The most marginalized members of society are given URLs instead of contact names and numbers when many of them have no reliable access to the internet or a computer. A new series by The Guardian shows the human cost of going paperless. It’s happening all over the world, and it’s literally killing people.”

MakeUseOf: How to Use IFTTT Applets With Advanced Filters to Superpower Your Tasks

MakeUseOf: How to Use IFTTT Applets With Advanced Filters to Superpower Your Tasks . “IFTTT is a great way to automate your everyday processes on your computer, your phone, and your smart home. But its basic functionality is somewhat limited. There is a way to create more advanced IFTTT applets that only run under certain conditions. We’ll show you how, using an option called Filters in the IFTTT developer platform.”

Hackaday: Bots That Snag The Hottest Fashion While Breaking Social Trust In Commerce

Hackaday: Bots That Snag The Hottest Fashion While Breaking Social Trust In Commerce. “At DEF CON 27 [FinalPhoenix] took the stage to share her adventures in writing bots and uncovering a world that buys and sells purchasing automation, forming groups much like cryptocurrency mining pools to generate leads on when the latest fashion is about to drop. This is no small market either. If your bots are leet enough, you can make a ton of cash. Let’s take a look at what it takes to write a bot, and at the bots-for-sale economy that has grown up around these concepts.”

How-To Geek: You Can Now Schedule Custom Routines in Google Home

How-To Geek: You Can Now Schedule Custom Routines in Google Home. “A few months ago, Google added a feature to Google Assistant called Custom Routines that allows users to create strings of commands that can be executed with just a single phrase. Starting today, you can schedule those commands. The new scheduling option is found inside the Routines menu, though it’s worth noting that it’s only available for new routines, not ones that were created before the feature was live. That means you’ll need to recreate your existing routines if you’d like to schedule them. Bummer.”

The art of algorithms: How automation is affecting creativity (VentureBeat)

VentureBeat: The art of algorithms: How automation is affecting creativity. “As part of the so-called fourth industrial revolution, millions of jobs will be lost to automation, according to a recent World Economic Forum report. The net loss is expected to be as many as five million jobs by 2020, though of course a whole bunch of new jobs will be created, including positions in IT and data science. Jobs such as manufacturing and production are expected to be heavily affected, while another recent report indicated that more than 100,000 legal jobs will be automated over the next 20 years. But art… art is sacred.”

Thrive Global: AI Is Now a Source of Anxiety for Many People

Thrive Global: AI Is Now a Source of Anxiety for Many People. “As the robots rise, so does the anxiety, according to new research published in the journal Social Science Computer Review. And people who are part of historically marginalized groups — like women, people of color and those with less education — report being most fearful of technology. As a result, they’re more anxious about what AI and automation mean for their future.”

Google Hiring Self-Driving Car Testers

Google is hiring people to help test its self-driving cars. “Google is offering these new recruits $20 per hour to drive its vehicles for six to eight hours a day. They will have to sign a 12-24 month contract and provide written and oral feedback to the company’s engineers. Google will require the drivers to have a bachelor’s degree, a typing speed of over 40 words per minute and both a clean driving and criminal record. All of the work that they do with the company will also have to remain confidential and there will be a number of in- and out-of-car training courses to pass as well.” Well, that’s me out – no degree –

Reuters: How Google Is Shaping the Rules of the Driverless Road

If you have any interest in self-driving cars at all, check out this enormous article from Reuters: How Google is shaping the rules of the driverless road. “The battle to dominate the next generation of cars hinges in part on autonomous driving technology. Google has built a leading position – thanks not just to its tech expertise, but also its persistent lobbying.”