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‘Deep Fakes’ in a Deeper Context

In the video Op-Ed above, Claire Wardle responds to growing alarm around “deepfakes” — seemingly realistic videos generated by artificial intelligence. First seen on Reddit with pornographic videos doctored to feature the faces of female celebrities, deepfakes were made popular in 2018 by a fake public service announcement featuring former President Barack Obama. Words and…

Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace Conditions

One reads that God, hearing the grumblings of the ancient Israelite community, once fed that people: 11 The LORD said to Moses: 12 I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them: In the evening twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will have your fill of bread, and then you will know that I,…

Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious

If there’s ever been an economic con, it’s Foxconn in Wisconsin. The Financial Times describes two key aspects of Foxconn’s character, in a story, Foxconn shifts focus to ‘smart manufacturing.’ Automation, Not Jobs. The new reporting tells us that Foxconn’s working for “automating other manufacturers’ processes.”  Of course they are: they’ve a whole business producing robots…

Foxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All

Lauly Li, Cheng Ting-Fang, and Gen Nakamura report Foxconn opts to make smaller displays at Wisconsin plant: OSAKA/TAIPEI — Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn Technology Group, is considering producing small to midsized displays for Apple, automakers and others at its $10 billion factory planned for the U.S. state of Wisconsin, people familiar with the…

For Mr. Trump, It’s STEM, Schwem, Whatever…

Embed from Getty Images In response to a question about whether state-sponsored hacking against an American political party should go unpunished, Donald Trump grew expansive, giving his typically thoughtful perspective on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and (even) epistemology: “I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very…

Goodbye, VCR

Embed from Getty Images There’s a story over at Quartz about the end of videocassette-recorder production. Ananya Bhattacharya writes that Japan’s Funai Electronics, which makes its own electronics, in addition to supplying companies like Sanyo, will produce the last batch of VCR units by July 30, Nikkei reported (link in Japanese). The company cites difficulty…

So What’s Pokémon Go?

It’s two things: a game one plays with one’s smartphone (as CNET explains in the video embedded above), and a reworking of an old set of characters in a new format.  The original characters were interesting to millions before, and remain interesting, making their revival in a new format a good bet.  If the characters…

NASA Tests New Rocket Engine

NASA enjoyed a successful test of a heavy rocket, and both the federal agency and private enterprise are pushing ahead with rockets powerful enough to support a mission to Mars. A booster for the most powerful rocket in the world, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), successfully fired up Tuesday for its second qualification ground test…