Angry Robot

Back to the future: Google’s vision for Toronto is straight out of the 19th century

Even if the negotiations fall apart thanks to Google’s demands or the city’s recalcitrance, there’s still good news: the most important parts of Sidewalk’s plans, the parts that would most determine whether the city’s eastern waterfront becomes a livable, green place that could accommodate Toronto’s burgeoning growth, don’t require Google’s impressive piles of money at all. The city could do it on its own — if it actually wants to.

There’s also this article from John Lorinc. The conclusion I’m coming to is that the plans aren’t bad – it’s Google’s involvement that makes them dodgy.

Toronto’s ‘city of the future’ is being built next to a relic of our past

Notes From An Emergency

Speaking of Maciej Cegłowski, here is the text of a recent talk. Lots here on the rise of the nationalist right and its use of tech, the “feudal internet” of huge tech companies that dominate our online lives, and what can be done about it.

How Congress dismantled federal Internet privacy rules

After lobbying from nice organizations like the major telecoms, advertisers, Facebook and Google, while everyone else was distracted by the Trump shitshow, Republicans gutted Obama-era laws preventing ISPs from selling your browsing history. Because clearly what the world needs is more creepy microtargeted psychometric manipulation

I’m no big fan of Google these days but I have to admit their AI stuff looks pretty impressive.

Spammy Google Home spouts audio ads without warning – now throw yours in the trash • The Register

Never before have we witnessed a technology giant destroy a product with such precision-engineered idiocy. Don’t be evil? Do us a favor.

YouTube, the world’s biggest video site, wants to sell you TV for $35 a month

Includes main US broadcast networks plus the cable channels they own, so Fox News, ESPN and Bravo, but no CNN, AMC, HBO. Also includes “A cloud DVR with unlimited storage space”.