Big Tech &
Google hit with largest GDPR fine to date over lack of data and ad transparency (1 minute read)
Google was fined €50 million by France's privacy regulator over "lack of transparency, inadequate information, and lack of valid consent regarding the ads personalization." Specifically, they didn't disclose how long they keep user information, and they didn't provide an explicit enough opt-in for advertising during Android account signups. This is the largest GDPR fine so far (though GDPR fines can be up to 4% of worldwide revenue).
Spotify will soon let you mute and block artists (1 minute read)
Spotify is rolling out a new feature that lets you mute artists you don't want to hear from. This way, the artist's music will never be played from any library, playlist, or radio station on Spotify. The feature will be in the next iOS app release, no word on when it will come to Android.
AI is sending people to jail—and getting it wrong (3 minute read)
The US imprisons 2.2 million adults and has 4.5 million more in correctional facilities (that's 1 in 38 adult Americans). To reduce prison numbers without increasing crime, they are trying to use AI to predict who to let out, where to police, and how to identify suspects. Unfortunately, the AI is based on historical data and mostly targets low-income and minority communities and marks them as having high recidivism scores. Over 100 civil rights groups signed a statement against their use, but more states including California are adopting this tech.
Mega-storms the size of England on the rise in North Africa (2 minute read)
Huge megastorms the size of England are creating powerful winds and torrential rain in parts of Africa near the Sahara up to 16km tall. They are increasing in number due to climate change, as the Sahara warms more quickly than neighboring areas, the temperature difference widens causing megastorms to form. During wet season there are storms every day. The region is also plagued by poverty, irregular migration, smuggling and terrorist groups.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Programming Fonts (Web Tool)
This is a tool that lets you demo over 50 free to download fonts for your terminal. They're all fixed-width, designed for programming, and were optimized while writing C or C++.
Kubernetes Failure Stories (GitHub Repo)
Interesting concept, this is a collection of things going terribly wrong with Kubernetes, so you can learn from other peoples' mistakes without having to make them yourself!
Dutch surgeon wins landmark 'right to be forgotten' case (1 minute read)
A Dutch surgeon won a case that forced Google to remove mentions of her medical negligence from their search results. The judge said that while information about her 2014 negligence on a web forum was correct, it had her name on a blacklist suggesting she was unfit to treat people, which was not what the disciplinary panel said (she only had a minor disciplinary action). About 3 million Europeans have asked to have links removed from search engines under the EU's "right to be forgotten" law.