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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Zuckerberg ditches annual challenges, but needs cynics to fix 2030

Mark Zuckerberg won’t be spending 2020 focused on wearing ties, learning Mandarin or just fixing Facebook. “Rather than having year-to-year challenges, I’ve tried to think about what I hope the world and my life will look in 2030,” he wrote today on Facebook. As you might have guessed, though, Zuckerberg’s vision for an improved planet involves a lot more of Facebook’s family of apps.

His biggest proclamations in today’s notes include that:

  • AR – Phones will remain the primary computing platform for most of the decade but augmented reality could get devices out from between us so we can be present together — Facebook is building AR glasses
  • VR – Better virtual reality technology could address the housing crisis by letting people work from anywhere — Facebook is building Oculus
  • Privacy – The internet has created a global community where people find it hard to establish themselves as unique, so smaller online groups could make people feel special again — Facebook is building more private groups and messaging options
  • Regulation – The big questions facing technology are too thorny for private companies to address by themselves, and governments must step in around elections, content moderation, data portability and privacy — Facebook is trying to self-regulate on these and everywhere else to deter overly onerous lawmaking

Zuckerberg Elections

These are all reasonable predictions and suggestions. However, Zuckerberg’s post does little to address how the broadening of Facebook’s services in the 2010s also contributed to a lot of the problems he presents:

  • Isolation – Constant passive feed scrolling on Facebook and Instagram has created a way to seem like you’re being social without having true back-and-forth interaction with friends
  • Gentrification – Facebook’s shuttled employees have driven up rents in cities around the world, especially the Bay Area
  • Envy – Facebook’s algorithms can make anyone without a glamorous, Instagram-worthy life look less important, while hackers can steal accounts and its moderation systems can accidentally suspend profiles with little recourse for most users
  • Negligence – The growth-first mentality led Facebook’s policies and safety to lag behind its impact, creating the kind of democracy, content, anti-competition and privacy questions it’s now asking the government to answer for it

Noticeably absent from Zuckerberg’s post are explicit mentions of some of Facebook’s more controversial products and initiatives. He writes about “decentralizing opportunity” by giving small businesses commerce tools, but never mentions cryptocurrency, blockchain or Libra directly. Instead he seems to suggest that Instagram store fronts, Messenger customer support and WhatsApp remittance might be sufficient. He also largely leaves out Portal, Facebook’s smart screen that could help distant families stay closer, but that some see as a surveillance and data collection tool.

I’m glad Zuckerberg is taking his role as a public figure and the steward of one of humanity’s fundamental utilities more seriously. His willingness to even think about some of these long-term issues instead of just quarterly profits is important. Optimism is necessary to create what doesn’t exist.

Still, if Zuckerberg wants 2030 to look better for the world, and for the world to look more kindly on Facebook, he may need to hire more skeptics and cynics that see a dystopic future instead — people who understand human impulses toward greed and vanity. Their foresight on where societal problems could arise from Facebook’s products could help temper Zuckerberg’s team of idealists to create a company that balances the potential of the future with the risks to the present.

Every new year of the last decade I set a personal challenge. My goal was to grow in new ways outside my day-to-day work…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, January 9, 2020

For more on why Facebook can’t succeed on idealism alone, read:

 


Source: TechCrunch

Do LEDs Cause Orange Presidents?

It’s true that different light sources can alter colors. But Trump’s science is off on this one.
Source: Wired

Congratulations 23andMe users, your genes are finally helping the company make drugs

All of that genetic material that 23andMe has been collecting is finally being used for commercial drug development — specifically dermatological drugs.

The company inked an agreement with Spanish pharmaceutical developer Almirall, which concentrates on medical dermatology treatments, for the development of dermatological treatments based on an antibody developed by 23andMe.

The monoclonal antibodies that 23andMe has identified from research it conducted on the genetic material of its customers block small proteins known as IL-36 cytokines, which are linked to skin conditions including psoriasis and lupus, and other inflammatory conditions like ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease.

As part of the agreement (whose financial terms were undisclosed), Almirall secured the rights to develop and commercialize the antibody for use in treatments worldwide.

Roughly 80% of the 10 million people who have signed up for the 23andMe service have consented to have their genetic material used for drug discovery, according to the company. And 23andMe claims that it has the largest set of genotypic information paired with phenotypic data points contributed by customers. Basically… it’s got a lot of genetic material from wealthy folks around the world.

“Working with Almirall, we’re pleased to be furthering 23andMe’s mission of helping people benefit from genetic insights,” said Kenneth Hillan, M.B., Ch.B., Head of Therapeutics at 23andMe, in a statement. “As a leader in medical dermatology, we felt Almirall was the best company to take this program forward and ultimately develop an effective therapy for patients.”

Almirall said it will continue to develop the antibody all the way through clinical trials in humans and onto the market.

The deal with Amirall marks the first successful licensing agreement between 23andMe and a drug developer and is a huge step forward for the company in its efforts to prove that it can make money beyond simply selling genealogical information to people willing to part with their entire biological identity to get it.


Source: TechCrunch

Iranian Hackers Have Been ‘Password-Spraying’ the US Grid

A state-sponsored group called Magnallium has been probing American electric utilities for the past year.
Source: Wired

The Asus Chakram was the best mouse of CES 2020 — and the most interesting

The Asus Chakram is one of the most intriguing mice we’ve ever seen and it’s the best at CES 2020. With a detachable joystick that lets you fly planes in all axis, it’s a unique wireless rodent.
Source: Digital trends

5G laptops finally made their big splash at CES 2020. But will it matter?

Today’s mobile workforce is about to gain an unprecedented value: Thanks to 5G, laptops will connect to the internet at Wi-Fi speeds, making it possible to work and play wherever you go.
Source: Digital trends

Windows 10X was a no-show at CES 2020, and that’s a problem

We’ve seen tons of concepts at CES 2020, but there’s one key thing missing. Most of these concept devices are running Windows 10. Laptop makers, and even Intel, have not at all showcased the specialized version of Windows — known as Windows 10X.
Source: Digital trends

The Graduate screenwriter, Get Smart co-creator Buck Henry dies at 89 – CNET

The legendary screenwriter, director and actor left his mark on Hollywood for over five decades.
Source: CNET

Faraday Future FF 91 prototype quick drive review: Betting the farm – Roadshow

There’s a lot riding on Faraday Future’s first car, so we took it for a spin to see if it’s worth the (long) wait.
Source: CNET

The Nissan Rogue is getting old but it's still worth considering – Roadshow

This compact crossover is Nissan’s best seller in America even though it’s been around in its current form since about 2014.
Source: CNET

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