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The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.


In OneZero. More on Medium.

It’s not the word you’d expect — and it appears in this very sentence

“Shakespeare”, by Ungry Young Man

Macbeth is a creepy play.

Actors have long been superstitious about acting in it. That’s partly because performances have been riddled with accidents and fatalities; indeed, actors consider it bad luck to even utter the name of the play. (They call it “The Scottish Tragedy”.) …

Facebook Data Portability Is a False Promise

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Well over a decade’s worth of posts, photos, likes, groups, and comments. That’s my Facebook data, which, as of today, I have even more options for collecting and transferring to other platforms.

I imagine myself downloading it all, piling it onto a rickety wooden cart, hitching it to my trusty…

Protecting our personal info is a lifestyle choice many of us aren’t making

Image: peterhowell/Getty Images

“I am currently reading an article titled ‘10 Ways to Keep Sweaty Hands From Holding You Back,’” a man shouts from a toilet cubicle in Apple’s latest iPhone video. The ad is about a new feature in iOS 14 that blocks tracking cookies: bits of code that follow you across…

Like all things that are good for you, backing up stinks

Photo: Andrew Balcombe/EyeEm/Getty Images

Every few years I have a panic about losing everything, and in a flurry of activity, I buy hard drives, blank DVDs, and subscriptions to cloud storage services. Then, because I am a geek, I concoct incomprehensible command-line scripts to perform backups. …

The data set’s ripple effects are immeasurable

Photo illustration. Source: Tetiana Lazunova/Getty Images

Night after night, Fien de Meulder sat in front of her Linux computer flagging names of people, places, and organizations in sentences pulled from Reuters newswire articles. De Meulder and her colleague, Erik Tjong Kim Sang, worked in language technology at the University of Antwerp. It was 2003, and a…

A major data breach shows genetic information is vulnerable to attack

Photo: Tek Image/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

On the morning of July 19, hackers accessed the online DNA database GEDmatch and temporarily allowed police to search the profiles of more than 1 million users that were previously not accessible to law enforcement. …

Advertisers can’t quit Facebook

Photo: SOPA Images/Getty Images

On June 19, with the seemingly bold claim “We’re in,” outdoors brand The North Face lent powerful corporate backing to the Stop Hate for Profit movement.

Except there’s a problem. Instead of “We’re in!,” The North Face’s tweet perhaps should have read, “We’re in! Kinda!”

Stop Hate for Profit…

But you can do something about it

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images

On June 9th, 2020 at 2:13 pm, I paid $13.87 to have bubble tea delivered to my house via the popular food delivery service Doordash. I can’t say I’m especially proud of this decision.

When I made the purchase, I expected that my little indulgence would remain between me and…

What Google searches reveal that governments won’t

A healthcare worker talks to people in line at a United Memorial Medical Center Covid-19 testing site in Houston, Texas, June 25, 2020. Photo: Mark Felix/Getty Images

Anosmia — the inability to smell — is an indicator of Covid-19 infection.

According to data from 2.5 …

Harvard lecturer and ‘Think for Yourself’ author Vikram Mansharamani explains his strategies for strengthening common sense in a time ruled by big tech

Photo by Tayler Smith. Prop Styling by Caroline Dorn

Between 2011 and 2017, at least 259 people died while trying to frame the perfect selfie. They fell off cliffs or down waterfalls or out high-rise windows while trying to snap the ideal shot for social media. These tragic deaths come amid rising cases of “death by GPS” and the…


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