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last minute tech news from around the net

Thursday, Dec 05th

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DiGiorno and Stouffer's bring plant-based 'meat' to frozen Italian food

Nestle is expanding its plant-based 'meat' offerings to a category seldom covered in the meatless world: the frozen Italian food you buy when you'd rather not order in or start from scratch. It's introducing both a DiGiorno pizza (the Rising Crust M...

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Second wave Algorithmic Accountability: from "What should algorithms do?" to "Should we use an algorithm?"

For ten years, activists and theorists have been developing a critique of "algorithms" (which have undergone numerous renamings over the same time, e.g. "filter bubbles"), with the early critiques focusing on the way that these can misfire with dreadful (or sometimes humorous) consequences, from discrimination in which employment and financial ads get served to the "dark patterns" that "maximized engagement" with services that occupied your attention but didn't bring you pleasure. Today, a new wave of critiques is emerging, one that doesn't merely ask "What are the problems with how this algorithm does its job?" but also asks, "Should an algorithm do this job?" The canonical example of this is bias in facial recognition: it's well-understood that facial recognition tools perform worse when asked to identify women and people with darker skin, a circumstance that is very plausibly attributed to the male, white developers of these tools who trained them on people who looked like themselves. The first-order critique of this is "Garbage In, Garbage Out": the lack of representation and the bias in tech hiring ripples out beyond the workplace and into the products, reproducing discrimination everywhere the products land. But the second-order critique is more nuanced: "Given that a major application for facial recognition is totalitarian surveillance and control, maybe we should be thinking about limiting facial recognition altogether, rather than ensuring that it is equally good at destroying the lives of women and brown people." This is a point that was really well articulated by Cindy Cohn at last year's launch party for the EFF/McSweeney's book on privacy. Read the rest

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It looks like BMW will drop its Apple CarPlay fees

For years BMW has charged customers for access to Apple CarPlay. Initially, the automaker charged a $300 lifetime fee, but this summer, it introduced a yearly subscription model at $80 per year. That didn't go over well with drivers, especially becau...

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Pinterest and The Knot pressured to stop romanticizing former slave plantations as "romantic" wedding venues

Until now, Pinterest and The Knot (an online wedding-planning platform) actively promoted former slave plantations as great places to get married. It took pressure from a civil rights advocacy group called Color of Change to convince them to stop. From Buzzfeed News: The Knot Worldwide, which owns the Knot and WeddingWire, is currently working on new guidelines to ensure wedding vendors on their websites don’t use language that glorifies, celebrates, or romanticizes Southern plantation history, chief marketing officer Dhanusha Sivajee told BuzzFeed News. Although plantations will still be able to list themselves as venues, Sivajee said the new guidelines are meant to ensure that wedding vendors aren’t referring to plantations using language such as “elegant" or “charming." From a letter sent by Color of Change to The Knot: The decision to glorify plantations as nostalgic sites of celebration is not an empowering one for the Black women and justice-minded people who use your site/ Plantations are physical reminders of one of the most horrific human rights abuses the world has ever seen. The wedding industry routinely denies the violent conditions Black people faced under chattel slavery by promoting plantations as romantic places to marry. Read the rest

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Kubernetes reality check: 3 takeaways from KubeCon

EnterprisersProject: What's the state of Kubernetes?

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Qualcomm's first CPU with integrated 5G is made for midrange phones

Yesterday, Qualcomm gave us a preview of the array of chips it's announcing at its Tech Summit event this week, including the new flagship Snapdragon 865 which is sure to feature in many of 2020's most prominent phones. But it also teased a pair of 7...

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The Snapdragon 865 will amp up camera performance early next year

It's time once again for Qualcomm to unleash a slew of new chips from its annual Tech Summit in Hawaii, and after we got a quick preview yesterday of what to expect, we're now getting the details of the latest Snapdragon products. In addition to unve...

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