Jurist: Libraries Are Not a Crime

Jurist: Libraries Are Not a Crime. “There is nothing wrong with being a landlord, and there is nothing wrong with collecting rent. But there is nothing particularly special or morally compelling about it, either. If copyright owners want to complain about the [National Emergency Library], let them do it as landlords, and let us see their arguments as landlord arguments. After all, unlike real landlords, they aren’t even objecting to the loss of actual income on a property they are maintaining. Literary landlords object to the possibility they might not collect every possible rent on a literary property they created or purchased long ago. Maybe we should feel sorry for them? I will confess, my sympathy is limited.”

New York Times: A Cheap, Simple Way to Control the Coronavirus

New York Times: A Cheap, Simple Way to Control the Coronavirus. “Simple at-home tests for the coronavirus, some that involve spitting into a small tube of solution, could be the key to expanding testing and impeding the spread of the pandemic. The Food and Drug Administration should encourage their development and then fast track approval.”

MIT Technology Review: The field of natural language processing is chasing the wrong goal

MIT Technology Review: The field of natural language processing is chasing the wrong goal. “What has the world really gained if a massive neural network achieves SOTA on some benchmark by a point or two? It’s not as though anyone cares about answering these questions for their own sake; winning the leaderboard is an academic exercise that may not make real-world tools any better. Indeed, many apparent improvements emerge not from general comprehension abilities, but from models’ extraordinary skill at exploiting spurious patterns in the data. Do recent ‘advances’ really translate into helping people solve problems?”

New York Times: I Tried to Live Without the Tech Giants. It Was Impossible.

New York Times: I Tried to Live Without the Tech Giants. It Was Impossible.. “Critics of the big tech companies are often told, ‘If you don’t like the company, don’t use its products.’ My takeaway from the experiment was that it’s not possible to do that. It’s not just the products and services branded with the big tech giant’s name. It’s that these companies control a thicket of more obscure products and services that are hard to untangle from tools we rely on for everything we do, from work to getting from point A to point B.”

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Help us out, Gov. DeSantis. We’re dying here | Editorial

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Help us out, Gov. DeSantis. We’re dying here | Editorial. “Gov. Ron DeSantis wore a face mask as he greeted Vice President Mike Pence with a fist-bump at Miami’s airport Monday. He should back up the photo-op with a sensible and long-overdue statewide mask requirement.”

New York Times: Yes, the Coronavirus Is in the Air

New York Times: Yes, the Coronavirus Is in the Air. “I am a civil and environmental engineer who studies how viruses and bacteria spread through the air — as well as one of the 239 scientists who signed an open letter in late June pressing the W.H.O. to consider the risk of airborne transmission more seriously. A month later, I believe that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via aerosols matters much more than has been officially acknowledged to date.”

Washington Post: I’ve eaten at restaurants, gone to a mall and attended concerts. That is life in France.

Washington Post: I’ve eaten at restaurants, gone to a mall and attended concerts. That is life in France.. “Over the past six weeks, I’ve eaten out at restaurants five times, attended two concerts, visited a large, busy indoor mall three times, had two haircuts, and repeatedly watched school kids run around the schoolyard. But that’s all been responsible behavior — because instead of being locked down in my house in the D.C. area, I’ve been in France, where life and the economy are now carrying on close to normal.”

The Conversation: Lawmakers keen to break up ‘big tech’ like Amazon and Google need to realize the world has changed a lot since Microsoft and Standard Oil

The Conversation: Lawmakers keen to break up ‘big tech’ like Amazon and Google need to realize the world has changed a lot since Microsoft and Standard Oil. “The chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google testified before Congress on July 29 to defend their market dominance from accusations they’re stifling rivals. Lawmakers and regulators are increasingly talking about antitrust action and possibly breaking the companies up into smaller pieces. I study the effects of digital technologies on lives and livelihoods across 90 countries. I believe advocates of breaking up big technology companies, as well as opponents, are both falling prey to some serious myths and misconceptions.”

MIT Technology Review: Why Congress should look at Twitter and Facebook

MIT Technology Review: Why Congress should look at Twitter and Facebook. “Removing popular individuals—and not just foreign influencers—is a significant step in the battle against disinformation, because influencers depend on their name as a brand. Without access to their name as a keyword, they experience difficulty reestablishing their audiences on other platforms. This is precisely why deplatforming works to prevent misinformation and harassment.”

CNN: The video of my daughter’s murder is still on YouTube and Facebook. They should have to take it down

CNN: The video of my daughter’s murder is still on YouTube and Facebook. They should have to take it down. “My daughter Alison was murdered on live television on August 26, 2015. To this day, the video of her murder is still being hosted on YouTube and Facebook. Both platforms took down the original videos, but the videos were reposted by conspiracy theorists and other bad actors. Along with my advocacy for gun violence prevention, I’ve spent the last five years trying to get Facebook and Google, which owns YouTube, to take down the reposted videos.”

Center for American Progress: A Comprehensive COVID-19 Vaccine Plan

Center for American Progress: A Comprehensive COVID-19 Vaccine Plan. “Several COVID-19 vaccines have shown promising results in early stages of development. This summer and fall, several vaccines will enter Phase III clinical trials to determine their efficacy and safety. Some experts believe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could authorize a vaccine within six months. But this time frame is not when most Americans can expect to be vaccinated. The time between FDA authorization of a vaccine and widespread availability can take many months. For example, in 2009, the first doses of the H1N1 vaccine were administered on October 5. Only 124 million doses were available by the end of January 2010, four months later.”

Dallas Voice: A harsh lesson in the reality of COVID-19

Dallas Voice: A harsh lesson in the reality of COVID-19. “… believing the pandemic to be a hoax, my partner and I hosted family members on Saturday, June 13. On Sunday, June 14, I woke up sick. By Monday, June 15, my partner and my parents were all sick. That same Monday, my in-laws traveled to witness the birth of their first grandchild. They took with them my father-in-law’s mother and one of my partner’s sisters. That night my father-in-law became ill. Then my mother-in-law and their daughter began feeling sick. So they cut their trip short.”

MIT Technology Review: It’s too late to stop QAnon with fact checks and account bans

MIT Technology Review: It’s too late to stop QAnon with fact checks and account bans. “Researchers have known for years that different platforms play different roles in coordinated campaigns. People will coordinate in a chat app, message board, or private Facebook group, target their messages (including harassment and abuse) on Twitter, and host videos about the entire thing on YouTube. In this information ecosystem, Twitter functions more like a marketing campaign for QAnon: content is created to be seen and interacted with by outsiders. Meanwhile, Facebook is a powerhouse for coordination, especially in closed groups.”

Washington Post: Trump’s team still does not get it

Washington Post: Trump’s team still does not get it. “Judging from their TV appearances, President Trump’s advisers are unwilling to admit error and adjust their handling of the coronavirus pandemic accordingly. They still insist they are doing everything perfectly, and still blithely point to about a third of the United States as merely some ‘hot spots.'”