Karen Hao, MIT Technology Review:
In 2017, Chris Cox, Facebook’s longtime chief product officer, formed a new task force to understand whether maximizing user engagement on Facebook was contributing to political polarization. It found that there was indeed a correlation, and that reducing polarization would mean taking a hit on engagement. In a mid-2018 document reviewed by the Journal, the task force proposed several potential fixes, such as tweaking the recommendation algorithms to suggest a more diverse range of groups for people to join. But it acknowledged that some of the ideas were “antigrowth.” Most of the proposals didn’t move forward, and the task force disbanded.
The metrics a business chooses to measure its success drive decisions and define its product. You can use all the marketing words in the world to frame your work in a different light, but eventually, it‘s always about what you measure.
If you‘re optimising user engagement to make people watch episode after episode of a TV series, then you’re selling TV shows. If your product automates brokering loans to small businesses, you’re in finance. If you’re building a product that optimises engagement, so users see and click more ads, then you’re in advertising. You‘re not building communities or bring the world closer together. And you surely aren’t making the world a better place.
I published a new release of Leaflet.Deflate. Leaflet.Deflate is a plugin for the web-mapping library Leaflet. It improves the readability of feature-heavy maps by converting features to markers on smaller zoom levels.
Version 2.0 includes a breaking change and a couple of more minor improvements:
- Following a previous release that introduced a new way to inject layers to control how deflated features are displayed, I removed options
markerClusterOptions from the API. This change will affect you if you are using Leaflet.Markercluster to group markers. To upgrade to the new API, initialise a
MarkerClusterGroup and inject it via the
markerLayer option. Follow the example code to see how it’s done.
- The unpacked size of the package is now 42.8 kB — down from 10.9 MB. I removed the examples and other files which are not necessary to install and run the library. All examples can still be accessed via the repository.
- According to NPM’s download statistics, a significant number of developers still run older versions, including the now four-and-a-half year old 0.3. I have updated the README to make it easier to find and access documentation for older releases. You really should upgrade to a later version, though, if you’re still using 0.3.
When location data is linked with other data about people and the world we live in, we can gain important insights and create new services that greatly improve how we live, work and travel. With these new data applications and opportunities, there are emerging privacy and ethical considerations. So that we can continue to benefit from widespread use of location data, it is important that data is used in a way that mitigates concerns and retains public confidence.
Sounds like the government is helping businesses to understand how much location data they can collect and cross-link with other personal information without pushing it too far. Shouldn’t the government instead work on legislation to protect citizen’s personal information from the claws of international corporations?
The project’s oversight group includes, among others, representatives from Telefónica and Mastercard. Both companies don’t need location data—other than the data they already have—to be successful. To provide their service, Telefónica need to know how many people connect to a cell tower at any given time and how much bandwidth these people require. Telefónica doesn’t need to know where I drink my beer and what transport I use to get there. Likewise, the only information Mastercard need to worry about is whether I pay back my credit card debt but not if I get my suit from Savile Row or my local Marks & Spencer.
My former colleagues at University College London, Artemis Skarlatidou and Muki Haklay, have edited and published a new book:
Geographic Citizen Science Design takes an anthropological and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) stance to provide the theoretical and methodological foundations to support the design, development and evaluation of citizen science projects and their user-friendly applications. Through a careful selection of case studies in the urban and non-urban contexts of the Global North and South, the chapters provide insights into the design and interaction barriers, as well as on the lessons learned from the engagement of a diverse set of participants; for example, literate and non-literate people with a range of technical skills, and with different cultural backgrounds.
Looking at the field through the lenses of specific case studies, the book captures the current state of the art in research and development of geographic citizen science and provides critical insight to inform technological innovation and future research in this area.
The PDF is open access and free to download.
There’s also an online book launch event on Tuesday, 23 March 2021 at 5pm (GMT).
I published a new release of
netlify-plugin-html-validate. 1.0 looks like a big release; only it is not.
There is only one significant change included in this release: An upgrade of
html-validate from 2.23 to 4.6 to include new validation rule sets. The upgrade introduces a potential breaking change.
html-validate’s config will no longer automatically extend
html-validate:recommended. As a result, you may need to update custom configurations of
html-validate’s release notes contain full information and upgrade guides.
Thanks to Chris Buckley for contributing to this release.
This release is not yet available on Netlify’s plugin directory for installation via the Netlify UI. Netlify’s plugin system cannot handle breaking changes to plugins gracefully at this point. Their engineers are actively working on a solution. You can add the latest release to your build using file-based plugin configuration.
Follow the pull request to update netlify-plugin-html-validate for updates on the matter.