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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Your favorite calendar apps can also get spam. Here’s how to block or report it

Your favorite calendar apps can also be affected by spam. Calendar spam is a form of phishing that can show up as odd calendar events. Here’s how to protect yourself from them on Google Calendar and on iCloud.
Source: Digital trends

'David Makes Man' Invents a Doorway to a New Kind of TV

The show rebels against a genre of television-making that has historically cast out the stories of black teen boys.
Source: Wired

Tesla promises up to 30% lower rates with new car insurance play

Tesla said Wednesday it has launched an insurance product, promising owners of its electric vehicles to deliver rates 20% and even as high as 30% lower than other insurance providers.

For now, the product known as Tesla Insurance, will only be available to owners in California. The business will expand to additional U.S. states in the future, Tesla said, without naming where or providing a timeline.

The announcement follows Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s promise back in April that the company would launch an insurance product “in about a month.” At the time, he said it would be “much more compelling than anything else out there.”

The company argues that Tesla Insurance will be able provide insurance at a lower cost by leveraging the “advanced technology, safety, and serviceability of our cars.” In short, Tesla is saying that its deep insight and familiarity with its own vehicles gives it a better understanding of the technology and repair costs. This helps eliminate fees taken by traditional insurance carriers.

Tesla says the cost of each policy will be based on an individual’s driving record and “other factors that can typically impact a person’s insurance rates.” The company says it won’t use or record vehicle data, such as GPS or vehicle camera footage, when pricing insurance. However, the company said it will use anonymized data taken from Tesla’s global fleet to help determine rates.

Musk made comments during a first-quarter earnings call with analysts in April that seemed to imply rates might be based on even more specific data, although he didn’t provide details. He said Tesla has an “information arbitrage opportunity,” explaining that it’s able to capture driving data, giving the company direct knowledge of the risk profile of the driver and car.

If customers want to buy Tesla insurance, they might have to agree to “not drive the car in a crazy way,� Musk said at the time. He later added that they can drive crazy, they’ll just have a higher insurance rate.

Tesla insurance won’t cover commercial services such as using the vehicle for ride-hailing or car-sharing services.

Owners looking to insure multiple Tesla vehicles may also be eligible for further discounts, the company said,

Existing Tesla customers in California, and eventually owners in other states, are able to purchase a policy through a dedicated web page. Customers ordering new vehicles can request a quote prior to delivery once a VIN has been assigned to their Tesla Account, according to the company.


Source: TechCrunch

Meet the subversive startup that’s fighting mass surveillance with t-shirts

Adversarial Fashion is a new fashion line which sells t-shirts, hoodies and other items designed to confuse license plate-reading cameras. Here’s why its creator is fighting the good fight.
Source: Digital trends

Behold the Firenado's Twisting, Infernal Column of Flames

Call them fire tornadoes or fire whirls, these spinning conflagrations can tear roofs off houses and spread flames unpredictably. Here’s how they work.
Source: Wired

‘Behind the Screen’ illuminates the invisible, indispensable content moderation industry

The moderators who sift through the toxic detritus of social media have gained the spotlight recently, but they’ve been important for far longer — longer than internet giants would like you to know. In her new book “Behind the Screen,” UCLA’s Sarah Roberts illuminates the history of this scrupulously hidden workforce and the many forms the job takes.

It is after all people who look at every heinous image, racist diatribe and porn clip that gets uploaded to Facebook, YouTube and every other platform — people who are often paid like dirt, treated like parts, then disposed of like trash when worn out. And they’ve been doing it for a long time.

True to her academic roots, Roberts lays out the thesis of the book clearly in the introduction, explaining that although content moderators or the companies that employ them may occasionally surface in discussions, the job has been systematically obscured from sight:

The work they do, the conditions under which they do it, and for whose benefit are largely imperceptible to the users of the platforms who pay for and rely upon this labor. In fact, this invisibility is by design.

Roberts, an assistant professor of information studies at UCLA, has been looking into this industry for the better part of a decade, and this book is the culmination of her efforts to document it. While it is not the final word on the topic — no academic would suggest their work was — it is an eye-opening account, engagingly written and not at all the tour of horrors you may reasonably expect it to be.

After reading the book, I talked with Roberts about the process of researching and writing it. As an academic and tech outsider, she was not writing from personal experience or even commenting on the tech itself, but found that she had to essentially invent a new area of research from scratch spanning tech, global labor and sociocultural norms.

“Opacity, obfuscation, and general unwillingness”

“To take you back to 2010 when I started this work, there was literally no academic research on this topic,” Roberts said. “That’s unusual for a grad student, and actually something that made me feel insecure — like maybe this isn’t a thing, maybe no one cares.”

That turned out not to be the case, of course. But the practices we read about with horror, of low-wage workers grinding through endless queues of content from child abuse to terrorist attacks, while they’ve been in place for years and years, have been successfully moderated out of existence by the companies that employ them. But recent events have changed that.

“A number of factors are coalescing to make the public more receptive to this kind of work,” she explained. “Average social media users, just regular people, are becoming more sophisticated about their use, and questioning the integration of those kinds of tools and media in their everyday life. And certainly there were a few key political situations where social media was implicated. Those were a driving force behind the people asking, do I actually know what I’m using? Do I know whether or how I’m being manipulated? How do the things I see on my screen actually get there?”

A handful of reports over the years, like Casey Newton’s in the Verge recently, also pierced the curtain behind which tech firms carefully and repeatedly hid this unrewarding yet essential work. At some point the cat was simply out of the bag. But few people recognized it for what it was.


Source: TechCrunch

Netflix Can Kill *The OA*, But It Can't Kill a Movement

The effort to save the beloved but little-watched sci-fi show is one that understands the stakes of the streaming wars.
Source: Wired

What if Windows XP had launched in 2019? Here’s what it would look like

A YouTube new video out this week explores a pressing question: What if Windows XP was reworked to show off circa-2019 design and functionality elements?
Source: Digital trends

Snag this 10-inch Lenovo Tab 4 for $130 on Amazon ahead of Labor Day

The Lenovo Tab 4 is fast, has a great battery life and is affordable. Get it ahead of Labor Day for $130 on Amazon.
Source: Digital trends

Who's Burning the Amazon? Rampant Capitalism

Market forces and the administration of Jair Bolsonaro are supercharging the deforestation that’s imperiling the world’s biggest tropical rainforest.
Source: Wired

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