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Submission + - How IT Costs More Jobs than It Creates - Technolog (

wjousts writes: Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the Center for Digital Business at MIT's Sloan School of Management, and Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at the center argue in their new book "Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy". That advances in IT have cost more jobs than it has created and has enabled CEOs and other leaders to earn outsized incomes.

Is there some truth to it? Or is it Ludditism?


Submission + - The Freedom Box Alternative to Facebook (

wjousts writes:

“The human race has a susceptibility to harm, but Mr. Zuckerberg has attained an unenviable record. He has done more harm to the human race than anybody else his age. Because he harnessed ‘Friday Night,’ that is, ‘Everybody needs to get laid,’ and he turned it into a structure for degenerating the integrity of human personality. And he has to a remarkable extent succeeded with a very poor deal, namely ‘I will give you free Web hosting and some PHP doodads and you get spying for free all the time.’ ”

These are the provocative words of Columbia University law professor Eben Moglen and begins IEEE Spectrum's interview with the Software Freedom Law Center's James Vasile, one of the minds (along with Moglen) behind the idea of the Freedom Box.


Submission + - Smart phones not replacing other media for news ac (

wjousts writes: Despite the fears of traditional media, a new report suggests that smart phones might not be replacing other media for news access, but instead are complementing it. As reported by ScienceDaily:

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers found that mobile media technologies such as smart phones aren't taking people away from relying on traditional media sources such as newspapers or television.

Instead, mobile media are filling the spaces in people's daily routine in which other media sources are either unavailable or inconvenient to use.


Submission + - Stealing $3.8 Million One Toner-ink Cartridge Orde (

wjousts writes: IEEE Spectrum has a story about several recent scams involving technology. One story is of a receiving clerk at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC who ordered toner-ink cartridges in bulk before diverting their delivery and selling them on the side. He made enough to snag an apartment in a Trump high rise and a new BMW before he was caught.

Another tale recounts thefts from Indian ATMs which was eventually traced to a former employee of a company that loads money into ATMs. It turned out that 14 ATMs of different banks all used the same security password.

The final story documents 4 copiers purchased for about $300 each by CBS which were found to still contains thousands of documents on their hard drives, including medical records from Affinity Health Plan.


Submission + - IEEE Spectrum: Ray Kurzweil's Slippery Futurism (

wjousts writes: Well-known futurist Ray Kurzweil has made many predictions about the future in his books The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990), The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999) and The Singularity is near (2005), but how well have his predictions held up now that we live "in the future"? IEEE Spectrum has a piece questioning the Kurzweil's (self proclaimed) accuracy.


Therein lie the frustrations of Kurzweil's brand of tech punditry. On close examination, his clearest and most successful predictions often lack originality or profundity. And most of his predictions come with so many loopholes that they border on the unfalsifiable. Yet he continues to be taken seriously enough as an oracle of technology to command very impressive speaker fees at pricey conferences, to author best-selling books, and to have cofounded Singularity University, where executives and others are paying quite handsomely to learn how to plan for the not-too-distant day when those disappearing computers will make humans both obsolete and immortal.

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