This week — Wikipedia, Greece's extreme far right party, facial recognition technology, and the world's plastic problem.
If you only read one thing — Hillary Mantel on Margaret Pole and Tudor England's politics is worth the time.
How do we know her? | The London Review of Books | History
Hillary Mantel displays her trademark historical insight, deftness of touch, and ability to create a sense of immediacy in this review of a 2017 book about the wealthy and influential 16th century noblewoman Margaret Pole.
Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet | Wired | Society
A look at the utopian vision of Wikipedia, the only not for profit in the top ten most visited sites on the web, and a journey through some of the tricky challenges inherent in creating any encyclopaedia, let alone an online one that is crowdsourced. Wikipedia is now so integrated into the web that its data arm powers all sorts of other services; a sign of its maturity to be sure, though also occasionally resulting in blips, such as when Apple's Siri voice assistant "briefly thought Bulgaria's national anthem was “Despacito”.
Golden Dawn: the rise and fall of Greece’s neo-Nazis | The Guardian | Politics
The alarming story of a party with overtly far right beliefs that won seats in successive Greek elections between 2012 and 2015, all while being accused of criminality of various sorts, for which many of their senior members are now on trial.
Clearview AI Says Its Facial Recognition Software Identified A Terrorism Suspect. The Cops Say That's Not True. | Buzzfeed News | Technology
Clearview AI's offering to police forces of facial recognition using images scraped from social profiles and elsewhere across the web is either a dystopian vision of a surveillance state, or next generation policing tool, depending on your perspective. This story suggests the company's pitch may be out of sync with the reality.
Planet Plastic | Rolling Stone | Business
"Since 1950, the world has created 6.3 trillion kilograms of plastic waste — and 91 percent has never been recycled even once" This is one of many damning statistics quoted in this expose on the plastics industry.
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