CNN: The hard lesson of Dr. Deborah Birx

CNN: The hard lesson of Dr. Deborah Birx. “She, like many of us, had no idea how badly his administration would distort, ignore and deny science and the truth during the pandemic. Although she said she took the job out of a sense of obligation (‘That’s what a civil servant is supposed to do,’ she said a year later), Birx became inextricably tied to the harmful decisions of her negligent, disastrously ignorant boss.”

The Daily: Social media and the pandemic have re-envisioned my 20s

The Daily: Social media and the pandemic have re-envisioned my 20s. “I think our 20s will be like waking up from a very long nap. I imagine that turning 20 will be like turning 16 or 21, but instead of a driver’s license or a bottle of vodka, I’ll be re-handed a semblance of social life as I once knew it. I imagine that the years following will be super quirky, but gradual and cautious. I’ll want to step back into familiarity, but it won’t be the same. I’ll still need to be thoughtful about where I travel and which populations I might put at risk, because many people will still be immunocompromised or unvaccinated in this time of transition.”

SUPERJUMP: An Appeal Through the Nostalgia Glasses

SUPERJUMP: An Appeal Through the Nostalgia Glasses. “Any perusal through social media will show you that gaming’s appreciation goes far beyond whatever the most recent release is. Gamers love to talk about old games, and not through a fond ‘do you remember when’ anecdotal sense, but through a ‘I just played this very real game on my very real PlayStation 2 last week’ sense. It can be expensive for companies to leave their servers live and allow gamers to buy games that are ten, fifteen, twenty years old, but maybe this finally needs to be accepted as a sacrifice for the historical curation of the medium — or, maybe, we need to figure out a better way to make virtual consoles and re-releases viable that go beyond a complete obliteration every couple of console cycles. “

Medium: Building a Better Search Engine

Medium: Building a Better Search Engine. “To take it back a step, when was the last time you ever looked past the first page of Google? If I’m doing that, I almost instantly know I’ve used the wrong search terms…. In the end, we decided that the most interesting search engine is one that gives you more control, not less. One that lets you decide if you want to see ads, if you want to see 1.6 billion results or 5.”

Brookings Institution: How to increase transparency for political ads on social media

Brookings Institution: How to increase transparency for political ads on social media. “As we set out to research the impact of the platform political ad bans, we quickly realized that there were holes in the available data that made it difficult to assess the policy intervention. In a brief recently published by the Center on Science & Technology Policy at Duke University, we identify three significant impediments to assessing the impact of the recent political ad bans.”

The Guardian: Facebook’s long-awaited content ‘supreme court’ has arrived. It’s a clever sham

The Guardian: Facebook’s long-awaited content ‘supreme court’ has arrived. It’s a clever sham. “Facebook faces a problem of two-sided economic incentives: dangerous and socially objectionable content is genuinely valuable to its bottom line, but so is the public perception that it’s proactively committed to maintaining a socially responsible and safe community. It designed the oversight board to escape this double-bind. Oversight by a legalistic body with the appearance of neutrality earns Facebook public goodwill and deflects blame for lax content moderation. But in designing the structure of the body itself, Facebook has virtually ensured certain financially beneficial outcomes: maximum content, even the dangerous and harmful, left online. The result is a win-win for Facebook.”

University of Texas at Austin: We Need to Give More Credence to Personal Data as the Asset That It Is

University of Texas at Austin: We Need to Give More Credence to Personal Data as the Asset That It Is. “Consumers are in a tough spot. Whether someone has access to the internet is the modern-day version of the haves and have-nots. Consumers must also ‘Click to Accept’ to rules and policies not typically in their best interests. And if they say ‘No’ to these rules and policies, these internet users are banished to the have-nots. Consumers need a public policy to establish and exercise their digital rights. We deserve a digital Bill of Rights making possible a fair, transparent and empowering internet.”

The Next Web: We need more AI product owners, not data scientists

The Next Web: We need more AI product owners, not data scientists. “In this article, I share my perspective on the importance and required skills of AI POs [AI Product Owner]. Instead of staffing AI Product development teams only with Data Scientists, AI POs increase the chances of successfully developing AI Products. The article describes how to build successful AI Product Teams, the role of an AI PO, and study resources to become one. First, let’s analyze the roles of a traditional Product Owner and an AI Product Owner.”

TechCrunch: 4 signs your product is not as accessible as you think

TechCrunch: 4 signs your product is not as accessible as you think. “For too many companies, accessibility wasn’t baked into their products from the start, meaning they now find themselves trying to figure out how to inject it retrospectively. But bringing decades-long legacy code and design into the future isn’t easy (or cheap). Businesses have to overcome the fear and uncertainty about how to do such retrofitting, address the lack of education to launch such projects, and balance the scope of these iterations while still maintaining other production work.”

Wired: Big Music Needs to Be Broken Up to Save the Industry

Wired: Big Music Needs to Be Broken Up to Save the Industry. “THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has shattered the music industry. By taking away live music for what will likely be 18 months or more, Covid has ended the revenue stream that animated an entire music ecosystem. This is particularly true for independent artists with few other means of making a living in today’s industry. Musicians lost two-thirds of their typical income in 2020. Live music revenue fell 85 percent. The Save Our Stages bill, passed in December as part of the second round of pandemic relief, has offered a lifeline. But even after it’s again safe to see a live gig, the underlying driver of the music industry’s deep inequity will persist.”

New York Times: The Pandemic and the Future City

New York Times: The Pandemic and the Future City. “In 1957 Isaac Asimov published ‘The Naked Sun,’ a science-fiction novel about a society in which people live on isolated estates, their needs provided by robots and they interact only by video. The plot hinges on the way this lack of face-to-face contact stunts and warps their personalities. After a year in which those of us who could worked from home — albeit served by less fortunate humans rather than robots — that sounds about right. But how will we live once the pandemic subsides?”

Brookings Institution: Lessons for online platform regulation from Australia vs. Facebook

Brookings Institution: Lessons for online platform regulation from Australia vs. Facebook. “To be clear, the Australian approach is a limited way to deal with tech monopoly power and the crisis in news production. It does not stop Facebook from dropping news sources again if it does not like the arbitrator’s commercial arrangements. Moreover, as media scholar and others have pointed out, public funds and infrastructure for local journalism will be needed in addition to subsidizing established national news outlets. But the Australian approach is a start.”

Poll: Black Marylanders embrace COVID-19 vaccine; rate discrepancies persist | COMMENTARY (Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore Sun: Poll: Black Marylanders embrace COVID-19 vaccine; rate discrepancies persist | COMMENTARY. “Vaccine hesitancy among Black Marylanders has plummeted. Sixty percent of Black residents say they will either get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can or indicate they’ve already received at least one dose, according to the most recent Goucher College Poll. That’s the same percentage who said they would not get such a vaccine just five months ago. The causes and public health implications of this dramatic shift are worth considering, as are some potential blind spots of the data.”

Economists: Biden’s $1,400 Covid-19 Checks May be Great Politics, but it’s Questionable Economics (Route Fifty)

Route Fifty: Economists: Biden’s $1,400 Covid-19 Checks May be Great Politics, but it’s Questionable Economics. “The coronavirus package contains a lot of provisions that will help struggling Americans, and we understand why the checks are so popular – with 78% support among adults in a recent survey. No one turns down extra money, after all. But as economists, we also believe that these direct payments make little economic sense – even with the lower income threshold. And this is true whether you think the purpose of the checks is relief or stimulus.”