For much of the 20th century the automobile was American’s sweetheart lifestyle product. In the last 10 years though, driving rates–especially among teens–have been on the decline. One of the main factors in that decline, according to a recent report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, is that driving isn’t the cool, fun, hip pastime it once was. It’s become drudgery. advertisement advertisement Smartphones have replaced cars as the object of our collective identities. But now GM thinks cars can regain the “cool” mantle–or at least share it–by getting into the software business. If You Can’t Beat The Smartphone, Join It GM wants its cars to be part of a platform. So last month it announced it’s launching an API and app store which it believes will be home to a whole new segment of the 21st century software business. I asked GM’s Greg Ross if it bothered him that cars can’t fall back on the … [Read more...] about How GM Got Religion And Released An API
Preventive maintenance software
In the past, police officers on neighborhood beats might be able to rattle off some names if you asked them who is most likely to be involved in a future shooting. But today in Chicago, this is now a computer’s job. advertisement advertisement Since 2013, computer software has crunched crime data to spit out what is known as Chicago’s “strategic subject list,” now a list of 1,500 people who are most likely to either be assailants or victims in a shooting. The Chicago Police Department’s goal is to have both police and social workers visit people on the list to try to prevent tragedies before they happen. This seems laudable on the surface, but it also raises many questions for civil rights, civil liberties, and technology policy groups, who issued a statement and report calling out the flaws with these kinds of “predictive policing” programs. Some programs, like Chicago’s pinpoint people, others are meant to target hotspot … [Read more...] about Civil Rights Groups Say Predictive Policing Isn’t Doing Much Predicting Or Policing
Nostalgia and pride are powerful motivators for philanthropy, which are how college endowments at the nation’s elite universities got as large as they are today. While thinking back fondly of your alma mater is common enough, now an ambitious new fundraising initiative is testing whether the same attitudes be harnessed to raise money for an institution that needs the cash even more: the New York City housing projects. advertisement advertisement “I take great pride in the fact that I’m a wonderful American dream story,” says Jeff Levine, a wealthy real estate developer who lives on Long Island with his wife and kids–a far cry from where he grew up. Recently, he got to take his children on a field trip to his stomping grounds as a child: his old apartment at Linden Houses in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood. Public housing is very different today than it was in the late 1950s and early 1960s when Levine resided there. At the time, … [Read more...] about Will Housing Project “Alumni” Give Back To A Crumbling System?
Tenants in the Atlantic Plaza Towers apartment complex in New York’s Brownsville neighborhood were fighting to prevent their landlord, Nelson Management Group, from installing facial recognition technology to open the front door to their buildings, calling it an intrusion of their privacy. This week, they succeeded—the group reversed the decision. advertisement advertisement More than 300 residents filed a complaint with the state to block the application in January, voicing fears that the proposed installation is a result of the pressures of gentrification in Brooklyn, with landlords hoping to attract higher-income, white tenants to the majority-black building that contains affordable housing units. The Atlantic Plaza Towers tenants’ success could have wider implications for landlords across the city experimenting with facial recognition technology in their buildings. San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban government agencies and police from using … [Read more...] about How we fought our landlord’s secretive plan for facial recognition—and won