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A look back at the best tech ads of the last 35 years

apple 1984 ad woman running - A look back at the best tech ads of the last 35 years

Last week the Association of Independent Commercial Producers announced the winners of its annual awards honoring the best moving image marketing of the year and Apple’s “Welcome Home” ad took home the prize for Advertising Excellence in the single commercial category. Directed by Spike Jonze, the person behind movies like Her and Being John Malkovich, […]

The techlash

Whiplash - The techlash

People hate hubris and hypocrisy more than they hate evil, which is, I think, why we’re seeing the beginnings of a bipartisan cultural backlash against the tech industry. A backlash which is wrongly conceived and wrongly targeted … but not entirely unfounded. It’s hard to shake the sense that, as an industry, we are currently […]

Gaming leans into diversity at E3, but not hard

ccc - Gaming leans into diversity at E3, but not hard

To say the gaming community is not known for its friendliness to women and minority groups is something of an understatement. But we’re starting to see developers abandon the usual excuses of tradition, demographics, and the most absurd of all, “realism,” in favor of making gaming more inclusive. Kind of. This has been an ongoing […]

The piggyback problem

piggyback - The piggyback problem

I wanted to write about scooter startups this week, but, alas, I failed to care enough about them to muster any opinion at all. The problem is that they are pure piggyback startups, and pure piggyback startups are boring because they have no chance of being genuinely transformative. Let me explain. Many, or even most, […]

Apple’s Create ML is a nice feature with an unclear purpose

ml create wwdc 150x150 - Apple’s Create ML is a nice feature with an unclear purpose

Apple announced a new feature for developers today called Create ML. Since machine learning is a commonly used tool in the developer kit these days, it makes sense that Apple would want to improve the process. But what it has here, essentially local training, doesn’t seem particularly useful. The most important step in the creation […]

Whither VR/AR?

augmented 150x150 - Whither VR/AR?

“Despite many pronouncements that 2016 was the year of VR, a more apt word for virtual reality might be absence,” The Economist observed caustically last summer, noting that during that year forecasts of combined sales of VR hardware and software dropped from $5.1bn to $3.6bn to the harsh reality of $1.8bn. But hey, one rough […]

It’s OK to leave Facebook

fbexitwide 150x150 - It’s OK to leave Facebook

The slow-motion privacy train wreck that is Facebook has many users, perhaps you, thinking about leaving or at least changing the way you use the social network. Fortunately for everyone but Mark Zuckerberg, it’s not nearly has hard to leave as it once was. The main thing to remember is that social media is for […]

Facebook’s policy on white supremacy plays right into a racist agenda

gettyimages 830755838 150x150 - Facebook’s policy on white supremacy plays right into a racist agenda

In an ongoing series over at Motherboard, we’re learning quite a bit about how Facebook polices hate speech and hate organizations on its platform. Historically, the company has been far less than transparent about its often inconsistent censorship practices, even as white supremacist content — and plenty of other forms of hate targeted at marginalized […]

Pornography and the butterfly effect

butterfly effect 150x150 - Pornography and the butterfly effect

“Whatever happens to musicians happens to everybody,” said Bruce Sterling years ago, referring to the effects of free downloadable music on their industry; and so it has come to pass for pornographers, as depicted by the great Jon Ronson in his equal parts charming and spellbinding podcast series “The Butterfly Effect.” Pornography, however, is much […]

Elon Musk has a very bad idea for a website rating journalists

gettyimages 550613963 150x150 - Elon Musk has a very bad idea for a website rating journalists

Elon Musk has, as I imagine he often does during meetings or long car rides, come up with an idea for a new thing. Unlike the HyperLoop, which was cool, and various space-related ideas, which we know he’s at least partly expert about, this one is just plain bad. It’s basically Yelp But For Journalism. […]

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