Counterfactuals are perilous. Adam Sandler take notice.

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Here’s the misleading headline and opening from Dan Reilly’s article about movies in Fortune magazine: Netflix’s ‘Murder Mystery’ Would’ve Killed With a $120 Million Opening Weekend—If the Adam Sandler Comedy Ran in Theaters If Adam Sandler’s new Netflix movie Murder Mystery drew the same U.S. box office numbers as it did via streaming, it would have made … Continued

Google CEO says YouTube is too big to fix. So what’s reasonable to expect?

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on CNN that YouTube will never be free of offensive content. Fine. But let’s get some appropriate principles for content in place. Here’s some of what Pichai said: We’ve gotten much better at using a combination of machines and humans. . . . So it’s one of those things, let’s … Continued

Are rising wages really bad news?

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There’s no shortage of news these days that will make your blood boil. But what really got me going was an article in USA Today about the next big threat to the economy: rising wages. I am no economist, but I’ve been reading business and economic news and analyzing the future of whole industries for … Continued

Facebook is caught in the Nancy Pelosi video trap

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Facebook’s under fire for allowing the posting of altered videos of Nancy Pelosi. One of those videos makes her appear drunk. For reasons that may not be clear at first, this is an existential crisis for Facebook. First, let’s clear up some confusion. There are at least two Pelosi videos under discussion right now. One, … Continued

49 million Instagram influencers hacked. (Are there really that many?)

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Somebody posted a database of 49 million Instagram influencers where anyone could see it. This event says more about the stupidity of the term “influencer” than it does about breaches and leaks. According to TechCrunch, the database originated with Mumbai-based Chtrbox, a marketing firm that pays influencers to post things. Each record included the number … Continued

Facebook, AI, evil, and human creativity

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The intersection of human evil and Facebook algorithms has created the evil-amplifying social networks we now share. Facebook says AI can solve the problem. So far, it can’t. If it ever does, heaven help us. The New York Times published a revealing profile of Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s CTO. He’s the man whom Mark Zuckerberg has … Continued

The IAB’s incoherent position on “Do-Not-Track”

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), an industry group for advertisers and publishers, understands that data privacy regulation may actually happen. Rather than oppose it, they’re fine with it . . . so long as the government does things their way. Today, I deconstruct a statement by IAB executives Randall Rothenberg and Dave Grimaldi on regulation. … Continued