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December 20, 2017

Denise Young Smith

Cornell Tech today announced that Denise Young Smith, Apple's Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity, will be the new Executive-in-Residence at Cornell Tech, beginning her role in January 2018.

One of the most prominent African-American female executives in Silicon Valley, Smith's 20-year career at Apple includes leading Human Resources and most recently overseeing the company's global effort for an inclusive and embracing culture and workforce. As the Executivein-Residence, Smith will work with students to build an early career-stage awareness of the criticality of inclusive leadership and a diverse talent imperative.

I'm taking on this project because it will allow me to address the deep sense of urgency I feel to help evolve the thinking of our current and future tech leaders," said Denise Young Smith. "By instilling the value of true diversity and inclusion into Cornell Tech's unique base of students and faculty, we will not only make an impact on the institution but also and most important, to the next generation of leaders as they go out into the world."

This past September, Cornell Tech welcomed Smith for this year's first "Conversations in the Studio" session, a confidential conversation with renowned leaders who share their thoughts and insights with a collected group of students.

December 19, 2017

Bicycle lanes are crowdsourced big data

1 TWG / Coruscation home-brew
2 NYC DOT official
3 NYC Bikemaps

4 Medium NYU Urban Science data Geoff P
5 Lanepotter ~~~~~
6 OuvosTech Ouvos.
7 Alex Morgan 'Springsteen' Bell: image classifyier


Others of interest:

  1. Spiderbikemap's Spiderbikemaps' new_york_with_background [PDF]

  2. cyclinguk.org/guide/make-tube-map-cycle-network

December 15, 2017

Cycling bibs vs shorts, refreshed for modern engineered shorts ?

Cycling: wear bibs-vs-shorts, refreshed for modern engineered shorts ?

Bibs are like shorts with builtin suspenders.

December 13, 2017

Traversee du lac Saint Jean

Cycling Magazine on Traversee du lac Saint Jean, the ultimate-canadian-winter-cycling-adventure.

December 12, 2017

Formula E

Formula E is sanctioned by the Paris-based Fédération internationale de l'automobile, which also governs F1. The FIA also works to promote highway safety and sustainable transport around the world.

Formula E, featuring all-electric single-seater cars, was conceived in 2012 as a means to showcase the potential of sustainable mobility. As such, ePrix are meant to be held where the electrification of transport is needed most -- in dense, urban areas, and not on traditional race tracks.

As of Monday evening, Montreal still was listed on the 2018 calendar among 11 host cities. Zurich and Rome are among the latest additions, joining the likes of New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Mexico City.

December 8, 2017

Ito World bikeshare data feed

Dedicated to mobilising complex mobility data, Ito World, have launched a global bike sharing data feed - the first product that provides a commercially available, global bike-sharing data set as a single feed.

December 7, 2017

Facebook's feed is run by Facebook

Facebook had made a small but devastating change. Posts made by "pages" -- including those of organizations like mine -- had been removed from the regular News Feed, the default screen users see when they log on to the social media site. They were now segregated into a separate section called Explore Feed that users have to select before they can see our stories. (Unsurprisingly, this didn't apply to paid posts.)

It wasn't just in Serbia that Facebook decided to try this experiment with keeping pages off the News Feed. Other small countries that seldom appear in Western headlines -- Guatemala, Slovakia, Bolivia and Cambodia -- were also chosen by Facebook for the trial.

-- Hey, Mark Zuckerberg: My Democracy Isn't Your Laboratory. Stevan Dojcinovic (@stevanoccrp) editor in chief of KRIK.

December 6, 2017

Dezeen on design

Dezeen is the best new find in 2017 design reading.

December 4, 2017

What living on $100,000 a year looks like

NPR on what what living on $100,000 a year looks like: more struggle than comfortable middle class.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro spoke to a variety of people in different cities about what their lives look like on $100,000 a year. On paper, that kind of salary is considered well-off. But as we heard from many, it often takes just one major expense for that to not feel like enough: student loans, health care, childcare or housing costs.

December 2, 2017

Content moderation for user-generated content

Lurking inside every website or app that relies on "user-generated content"--so, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, among others--there is a hidden kind of labor, without which these sites would not be viable businesses. Content moderation was once generally a volunteer activity, something people took on because they were embedded in communities that they wanted to maintain.

But as social media grew up, so did moderation. It became what the University of California, Los Angeles, scholar Sarah T. Roberts calls, "commercial content moderation," a form of paid labor that requires people to review posts--pictures, videos, text--very quickly and at scale.

Roberts has been studying the labor of content moderation for most of a decade, ever since she saw a newspaper clipping about a small company in the Midwest that took on outsourced moderation work.

-- Sarah T. Roberts

One panel directly explored those costs. It paired two people who had been content moderators: Rasalyn Bowden, who became a content-review trainer and supervisor at Myspace, and Rochelle LaPlante, who works on Amazon Mechanical Turk and is the cofounder of an organizing platform for people who work on that platform, MTurkCrowd.com. They were interviewed by Roberts and a fellow academic, the University of Southern California's Safiya Noble.

Bowden described the early days of Myspace's popularity when suddenly, the company was overwhelmed with inappropriate images, or at least images they thought might be inappropriate. It was hard to say what should be on the platform because there were no actual rules. Bowden helped create those rules and she held up a notebook to the crowd, which was where those guidelines were stored.

"The workers may be structurally removed from those firms, as well, via outsourcing companies who take on CCM contracts and then hire the workers under their auspices, in call-center (often called BPO, or business-process outsourcing) environments," Roberts has written. "Such outsourcing firms may also recruit CCM workers using digital piecework sites such as Amazon Mechanical Turk or Upwork, in which the relationships between the social-media firms, the outsourcing company, and the CCM worker can be as ephemeral as one review."

Each of these distancing steps pushes responsibility away from the technology company and into the minds of individual moderators.