This tool could act as an early warning system for harmful conspiracy theories

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The automated approach can detect the telltale signs of a baseless conspiracy theory as it begins to turn into a narrative on social media. The audio on the otherwise shaky body camera footage is unusually clear. As police officers search a handcuffed man who moments before had fired a shot inside a pizza parlor, an officer asks him why he was there. The man says to investigate a pedophile ring. Incredulous, the officer asks again. Another officer chimes in, “Pizzagate. He’s talking about Pizzagate.” Read Full Story

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How co-living could replace the human connection that we’ve lost in the pandemic

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A strategic adviser to a co-living pioneer outlines how the sector could play a transformational role in a post-pandemic world. A profound lesson of the COVID-19 crisis is just how deeply humans care about connecting with each other. While quarantines, lockdowns, and social distancing rules have been introduced to keep people apart to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, these restrictions have also challenged us to discover new ways to interact. Read Full Story

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Ring’s new end-to-end encryption is a big step toward better privacy

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The Amazon-owned maker of smart doorbells and other security devices is adding a much-needed feature that ensures that even it can’t spy on your video. Amazon subsidiary Ring has announced that it is beginning to roll out end-to-end encryption to many of the products in its lineup of smart home security devices. It’s a welcome move for the company, which previously has been called out for its cozy partnerships with police as well as other privacy and security concerns. And it’s a first among the big brand names in connected security cameras and related gear. Read Full Story

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This robot exoskeleton could protect workers from injuries

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Guardian has been running trials for its robot exoskeleton with Delta Air Lines and the U.S. military. Even as unemployment climbed during the pandemic, industries that relied heavily on manual labor, such as construction and e-commerce logistics, faced worker shortages; manufacturing alone is expecting a deficit of 2.4 million workers by 2028. Enter the Guardian XO: a complex humanoid robot that’s not setting out to replace humans but instead to amplify their strength as they perform physically demanding (and often repetitive) tasks. Read Full Story

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This interactive map shows police violence during protests

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The tool, from human rights organization Amnesty International, is an effort to illustrate how police violence is widespread and systemic. Amnesty International has documented the “most heinous” instances of police violence across the country during the Black Lives Matter protests and is today launching an interactive map of those acts. Read Full Story

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The self-defeating flaw at the core of gig companies like Uber and DoorDash

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The founder of TaskRabbit explains why it’s so important to consider the people who power these services as primary customers—not as afterthoughts. When Airbnb went public on the NASDAQ, its founders eschewed the traditional bell ringing and asked the company’s hosts around the world to ring their doorbells instead . The move was a poignant acknowledgement that roughly four million hosts worldwide helped the company reach a milestone that few startups achieve. It also served as a reminder that, while all businesses are reliant on people for growth, some companies owe the very foundations of their business models to the humans involved. Read Full Story

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These drawings replace the police with other public service workers who truly ‘serve and protect’

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Meet the workers of the new Department of Food Security and Department of Crime Deduction. When we picture the cops responding to calls, we have an archetypal image of what that looks like—even if it doesn’t turn out that way in practice. As activists push for the defunding of police and the investing of funds into other city departments that can build up communities, it can be hard to imagine how those different services will act differently. A list of alternatives to the police is easy, but getting people to picture who comes when you call for help is more complicated. Read Full Story

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Police conducted a ‘planned assault’ on protesters, according to a new visual investigation

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Human Rights Watch and SITU Research use 3D modeling and video analysis to show how the New York Police Department tried to suppress a peaceful protest in June. When about 300 people gathered on the streets of the Bronx for a peaceful march one evening in early June, the New York Police Department was ready for them. According to a new report and video evidence collected from members of the public and analyzed by a team of human rights advocates and architects, officers deliberately trapped protesters using a tactic that resulted in violence and hundreds of arrests. Read Full Story

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Now Microsoft is banning police from using its facial recognition tech, too

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Microsoft wants “a national law in place ground in human rights” to govern the use of facial recognition tech before it will sell such technology to the police. This week has been a big one for facial recognition news. First, IBM announced they will be getting out of the facial recognition tools game altogether, and then Amazon announced it is placing a moratorium on selling its facial recognition tools to police for one year. Both moves were sparked by the resurgent Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of white police officers. Facial recognition technology has frequently been found to be racially biased . Read Full Story

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