Michael Grothaus
Michael Grothaus
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‘Gawker’ is coming back from the dead

‘Gawker’ is coming back from the dead

advertisementadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementOver the weekend The New York Times an interesting read by Ben Smith on the rise of Substack and its effect on the publishing industry. Yet buried deep in the piece was another little gem: The legendary blog Gawker is being revived. As Smith wrote:advertisementadvertisement(Speaking of that spirit: Bustle Digital Group confirmed to me that it’s reviving the legendary blog Gawker under a former Gawker writer, Leah Finnegan.)Leah Finnegan herself then confirmed the news on Twitter.the rumors are true..— Leah Finnegan...

Apr 12
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China is about to achieve a historic e-commerce milestone—and no other country comes close

China is about to achieve a historic e-commerce milestone—and no other country comes close

advertisementadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementChina is set to become the first country in history that will see a majority of its retail sales conducted online instead of via traditional brick-and-mortar stores. That’s according to a new report from digital marketing research firm eMarketer. “China will take a step in its digital transformation this year that once would have seemed almost unthinkable,” the firm’s research note explains. “For the first time anywhere, a majority of retail sales for an entire country will transact online.”advertisementSpecifically, China is...

Feb 17
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Facebook takes out full-page ads attacking Apple privacy features

Facebook takes out full-page ads attacking Apple privacy features

advertisementadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementFacebook has taken out full-page ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post attacking Apple’s upcoming privacy feature in iOS that will allow users to opt out of letting apps track their activity for advertising purposes, Bloomberg . The ads position Facebook, one of the largest companies on the planet that built its wealth through the monetization of user data, as standing up for the little guy with the headline: “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.”advertisementThe...

Dec 16
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Andrew Yang proposes that your digital data be considered personal property

Andrew Yang proposes that your digital data be considered personal property

advertisementadvertisement2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang may not be at the top of the race when it comes to polling (Politico has him ranked as the 7th most-popular Democratic contender), but his policies, including support for universal basic income, have made him popular among a subset of young, liberal-leaning, tech-savvy voters. Yang’s latest proposal, too, is sure to strike a chord with them.advertisementThe presidential candidate today: to treat data as a property right. Announcing the proposal on his website, Yang lamented how our data is collected, used, and...

October 1, 2019
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Elon Musk Warns that 'Advanced AI' Will Soon Manipulate Social Media Platforms

Elon Musk Warns that 'Advanced AI' Will Soon Manipulate Social Media Platforms

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO has taken to social media to warn that social media will soon be manipulated by advanced AIs—if it hasn’t been already. Musk made the alarming warning in two tweets in the early hours on Thursday. In the first tweet, Musk warned that anonymous bot swarms deserved closer attention. Bots are autonomous programs that often attempt to game social media, either by retweeting a specific tweet to promote it across the platform, or to sow disinformation across the platform by making it look like thousands of people are tweeting about the same bit of (fake) news. Musk says...

September 26, 2019
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Elon Musk’s SpaceX bans employees from using Zoom over ‘significant privacy and security concerns’

Elon Musk’s SpaceX bans employees from using Zoom over ‘significant privacy and security concerns’

If there’s one tech company that got a boost from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s Zoom. The remote communications company has seen its usage soar as millions across the planet have switched to remotely working from home. Matter of fact, as the companies listed on major stock markets saw trillions wiped from their value in recent weeks, Zoom has seen its share price shoot up as much as 134% this year. But recently the company has come under scrutiny for its privacy practices—or lack thereof. Earlier this week The Intercept reported that Zoom calls aren’t end-to-end encrypted despite Zoom’s...

April 2, 2020
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Shake Shack returns $10 million PPP loan meant for coronavirus-hit small businesses

Shake Shack returns $10 million PPP loan meant for coronavirus-hit small businesses

UPDATES: advertisementadvertisementShake Shack, the fast-food burger chain worth over $1.6 billion, has decided to return the $10 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan that it was awarded after it applied for emergency funds that were aimed at helping small businesses through the economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PPP program originally set out $349 billion for small businesses, but .Shake Shack founder and chairman Danny Meyer and CEO Randy Garutti posted announcing the company was returning the funds. In that letter the pair explained why Shake Shack applied for the...

April 20, 2020
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Google is forcing all Nest users to use two-factor authentication—and that’s a good thing

Google is forcing all Nest users to use two-factor authentication—and that’s a good thing

UPDATES: advertisementadvertisementIf you’re a Nest user who doesn’t already use two-factor authentication on your account, Google is about to force you to. But that’s a good thing.Two-factor authentication, or 2FA for short, is a type of authentication procedure where a user needs to enter two types of information when logging in to an account. This information usually includes their password as well as a separate code emailed or texted to them, or one generated from an authentication app.The idea behind 2FA is it makes it virtually impossible for someone to log in to your account, even if...

May 5, 2020
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