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The future of the burger

I knew Burger King had started trying out meatless burgers but didn't know McDonalds had jumped on the bandwagon too. This was the most astounded thing in the article though:

Beef-eating crashed along with the U.S. economy starting in 2008, but has picked up fitfully year by year and is back up to the equivalent of 229 burgers a year, or 4.4 burgers a week
US Agriculture Department

Imagine what your body must feel like after eating 4.4 burgers a week. Even just replacing one of them with a vegan or vegetarian alternative has got to be a lot better for you. Or, you know, vary your diet some more.

Posted 10th May 2019 @ 12:40

It's time to break up Facebook

Facebook co-founder, Chris Hughes:

Mark is a good, kind person. But I'm angry that his focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks.

Not sure 'kind' is the right word to use to describe a person that wields this kind of power, unopposed and unapologetically. Facebook's biggest friends are those that are abusing it's reach and platforms.

Facebook engineers write algorithms that select which users' comments or experiences end up displayed in the News Feeds of friends and family. These rules are proprietary and so complex that many Facebook employees themselves don't understand them.

In 2014, the rules favored curiosity-inducing “clickbait” headlines. In 2016, they enabled the spread of fringe political views and fake news, which made it easier for Russian actors to manipulate the American electorate. In January 2018, Mark announced that the algorithms would favor non-news content shared by friends and news from “trustworthy” sources, which his engineers interpreted — to the confusion of many — as a boost for anything in the category of “politics, crime, tragedy.”

Curation is hard, but it should be up to the user to curate by following or unfollowing the people and topics that interest them, not the platform. These algorithm driven timelines are a menace.

Posted 10th May 2019 @ 10:00

The instruction manual used during the first Moon landing is up for auction

“No more significant document of space exploration history is ever likely to be created, because future manned missions will be more fully digitised and not leave a comparable human trace.”

Posted 9th May 2019 @ 15:22

What Apple, Facebook and Google each mean by 'privacy'

Privacy has been a nice benefit of being in the Apple ecosystem and if I had to pick the strategy that makes me feel the most comfortable, it's Apple's.

For all of Facebook's bad news, they're not really tackling the right issues, are they?

Yes, but: Facebook's approach to privacy barely acknowledges the complaint from users and critics that they're most concerned about how much Facebook itself knows and shares about them — and what they most want is privacy from Facebook.

For Google and Facebook 'we' are the product. If either of them pivoted away from that way of thinking, it would be a big win for our rights but would likely put a dent in their profits. I can't see it happening anytime soon.

Meanwhile, when Pichai argues that "privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services," he is looking straight at Apple.

I saw this earlier in the week as part of coverage from Google's 2019 O/I conference and thought it was odd then. Either Google is selling at cost (or a loss), it's now cheaper to produce the Pixel 3a than it was the Pixel 3 or the difference is made up by selling our digital profile for ads.

Posted 9th May 2019 @ 13:59

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