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First POST: All Against All

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, November 24 2014

All Against All

  • Sharing economy critic Tom Slee explains why Uber represents "a future," not "the future" and goes into great detail why Canada, his home country, should reject the kind of jobs, accessibility and city its model would bring if adopted. Most critically, he details how Uber has vastly overstated the earnings of its drivers, and argues that if Canadian cities like Toronto bless Uber's entrance into their market, they will also be also allowing "bad labour practices to intrude further and further into Canada's workplaces."

  • For the opposite point of view, here's venture capitalist Mark Suster of Los Angeles explaining why he loves Uber (IN CAPS). In addition to solving his professional need for faster taxi pickups, he writes, "It's a Hobbesian world out there…Powerful countries & companies act powerful because they can. And others have to fit in around them no matter how much we don't like that. Uber is no more aggressive than our industry's finest."

  • Is this the tech industry's moral center? To celebrate the "war of all against all" that Hobbes predicted?

  • Related: Uber deleted its "Ride of Glory" blogpost detailing how the service's data collection could be used to discern which men were using it to visit prostitutes or have one-night stands, but it's still available on the Internet Archive's Wayback machine.

  • Here's the text of an excellent speech Emily Bell, the director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, gave Friday at the Reuters Institute in Oxford. The problem facing the journalism world, she says, is existential: "The fourth estate, which liked to think that it operated in splendid isolation from other systems of money and power, has slipped suddenly and conclusively into a world where it no longer owns the means of production, or controls the routes to distribution….The language of news is shaped now by engineering protocols, not by newsrooms norms and on the whole the world is a better place for it….If there is a free press, journalists are no longer in charge of it.

  • In the San Francisco Chronicle, tech mogul Sean Parker's eclectic political donations get a going-over by Joe Garofoli.

  • On Medium, Code for America Brigade captain Emma Burnett rips into Parker not just for appropriating CFA's "Brigade" name, but for "pissing off everyone else who works in the civic tech field." She also criticizes the start-up for claiming to be diverse while only employing eight women out of 51 employees.

  • Net neutrality has to wait until 2015, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler says, because "the big dogs are going to sue, regardless of what comes out," and thus his agency wants to make its open Internet ruling as "sustainable" as possible, Alex Hern reports for The Guardian.

  • Researchers at computer security firm Symantec say they have discovered a powerful new piece of malware with an "extensive range of capabilities" that was likely created by a government agency, reports Arik Hesseldahl for Re/Code.

  • In the New Yorker, Jerome Groopman explores how 3-D printing "is revolutionizing medicine."