Monthly Archives: August 2015

Amazon’s disposable white-collar employees

At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are “unreasonably high.” The internal phone directory instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to […]

NSA domestic spying helped by telecom giant AT&T

The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/us/politics/att-helped-nsa-spy-on-an-array-of-internet-traffic.html?ref=us&_r=0 While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show […]

US and Turkey failing to aid ISIL opponents

“There are promises of air cover and support for the fighters on the ground, but we have grown tired of these promises,” said Mustafa Birru, the head of a prominent rebel group in Aleppo Province. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/world/middleeast/us-and-turkey-face-questions-in-anti-isis-effort.html?ref=world&_r=0 Internationally, the decision by Turkey and the United States to work together to clear the Islamic State from a […]

Robots that learn how to build better robots

Engineers have developed a robotic system that can evolve and improve its performance. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33867941 A robot arm builds “babies” that get progressively better at moving without any human intervention. The ultimate aim of the research project is to develop robots that adapt to their surroundings. The work by teams in Cambridge and Zurich has been […]

Police connect face recognition with all surveillance

Facial recognition software, which American military and intelligence agencies used for years in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify potential terrorists, is being eagerly adopted by dozens of police departments around the country to target criminal suspects.  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/13/us/facial-recognition-software-moves-from-overseas-wars-to-local-police.html?emc=edit_th_20150813&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=24074060&_r=0  But because it is being used with few guidelines and with little oversight or public disclosure, it is […]

US EPA pollutes Animas River in Colorado

The Animas River in southwestern Colorado has been grievously polluted with toxic water spilled from one of the many abandoned mines that pockmark the region and the Environmental Protection Agency has claimed responsibility, saying it accidentally breached a store of chemical-laced water. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/us/durango-colorado-mine-spill-environmental-protection-agency.html?ref=us&_r=0 On Sunday, anger over the spill boiled over after the agency announced […]

Two charged for reporting from Ferguson McDonald’s

Two reporters who were arrested while covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo., last August, were charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer, their outlets said on Monday.  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/us/arrested-in-ferguson-2014-washington-post-reporter-wesley-lowery-is-charged.html?_r=0 The reporters, Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post, were arrested at a McDonald’s restaurant while covering nightly […]