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Weekend Roundup: The End Of (Human) History

Francis Fukuyama famously declared that the triumph of liberal democracy and free markets after the Cold War heralded “ the end of history .” Yuval Noah Harari  now predicts the end of human history as post-Promethean science grants us godlike powers to redesign our own species and create a new one in the form of artificial intelligence. Only time will tell if his vision of the future is closer to the mark than Fukuyama’s, and if humans as we know ourselves today will even be around to witness it. As the Israeli historian says in a WorldPost interview, “Human history began when men created gods. It will end when men become gods.” Harari contends that a new mythic authority ― “dataism” ― is being born and that the algorithm is its patron saint. “Authority came down from the clouds, moved to the human heart and now authority is shifting back to the Google cloud and the Microsoft cloud,” he provocatively quips

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Weekend Roundup: The End Of (Human) History

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Uber Grounds Self-Driving Car Fleet After Serious Arizona Crash

Uber is suspending its entire self-driving car program while it investigates a serious crash of one of its vehicles in Arizona. Uber confirmed the accident after a photo was posted on Twitter showing an Uber SUV Volvo on its side next to another dented car with broken windows. The crash occurred in Tempe, but Uber offered few other details. A spokeswoman told Tech Crunch that Uber’s autonomous car program — currently being tested in Arizona, Pittsburgh and just recently again in San Francisco — has been suspended pending an investigation.

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Uber Grounds Self-Driving Car Fleet After Serious Arizona Crash

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Flying Taxis Could Soon Be Coming To A Sky Near You

Flying taxis and other futuristic passenger vehicles are about to take a giant leap out of science fiction and into reality. It’s not exactly the vision of the “ Back To The Future ” film trilogy, which predicted that by 2015 we’d fill the skies with flying cars and get around on personal anti-gravity hoverboards. But it turns out the movies may have just been a few years off. Singapore plans to have airborne cabs taking flight by 2030, according to the island city-state’s  Business Times  daily newspaper.

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Flying Taxis Could Soon Be Coming To A Sky Near You

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The Hidden Breakthrough In Apple’s New Video App

By Margaret Rhodes for WIRED . You may be tempted to compare Clips, Apple’s new mobile video app, to Snapchat and Instagram. When it appears in the App Store next month, the slick new app will feature filters, stickers, and a press-to-record UI that makes it easy to capture, edit, and share snippets of video. But Clips is no mere Snapchat clone.

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The Hidden Breakthrough In Apple’s New Video App

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Google Boycott Expands After “Ad Scandal”

Major UK firms have pulled advertising from Google’s YouTube platform after discovering their brands were appearing alongside videos promoting terrorism and other inappropriate content. The decision by Sky, Vodafone, HSBC, Lloyds, and the Royal Bank of Scotland to suspend their ads follows the same action last week by other brands including L’Oreal, Audi, Sainsbury’s, the BBC, and The Guardian. Advertisers are rightfully aggrieved. Ads for The Guardian’s membership scheme have been placed alongside extremist material after an agency acting on the media group’s behalf used AdX, a Google-owned programmatic trading platform. Programmatic advertising is an efficient way to reach specific audiences online, but it can also risk some ads inadvertently appearing next to undesirable content if proper safety checks, such as whitelists or blacklists, are not put in place by both the ad platform and the ad buyer. Brands Unwittingly Funding Extremists Brand ads appearing on inappropriate places online is not a new phenomenon. The issue was pushed into the spotlight after an investigation by The Times  in February found several big brand ads, including Mercedes-Benz, Waitrose and Marie Curie, appeared on hate sites and YouTube videos created by supporters of terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Combat 18, a violent pro-Nazi faction

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Google Boycott Expands After “Ad Scandal”

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Social Sidekick 4/9-4/15: Social Holidays, Themes, and Noteworthy Events

Why is this Sidekick different from all other Sidekicks? Because this week marks the celebration… Read More

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Social Sidekick 4/9-4/15: Social Holidays, Themes, and Noteworthy Events

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Airline Electronics Ban Probably Based On Legitimate Threats, Experts Say

The  ban on electronics larger than a cellphone on incoming flights to the United States and the United Kingdom from a handful of airports in the Middle East and North Africa was announced Tuesday without much information to back it up. But the action was probably based on credible terrorist threats against air travel, experts said. The link between terror and aviation isn’t new, and the fact that other countries are implementing versions of an electronics ban points to the legitimacy of the threats. Still, the rollout of the ban in the U.S. lacked transparency and will likely cause confusion and apprehension on the part of many travelers. The Department of Homeland Security released a fact sheet on Tuesday that leaves unanswered many questions about the ban ― like why laptops or tablets are any more dangerous than cellphones.

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Airline Electronics Ban Probably Based On Legitimate Threats, Experts Say

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The Importance of Content, Authenticity, and Credibility

For digital media and publishing companies, content is their business. Magazines create must-read articles just… Read More

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The Importance of Content, Authenticity, and Credibility

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