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Kaila Colbin

Member since July 2007Contact Kaila

Articles by Kaila All articles by Kaila

  • Security And Privacy Concerns Not Just A Yahoo Problem  in Online Spin on 10/21/2016

    Yahoo: Time of death, oh about a week ago," said the headline in the IT Professionals newsletter I just got. The reason? The hacking that compromised up to a billion accounts. The secret backdoor access so the company could scan every email coming through the system, looking for certain keywords flagged by the Feds. The general "aimless wandering" of the company. These reasons certainly seem legitimate, and create a tempting opportunity for those who care about Internet security and privacy to get up on our high horses and sneer derisively about how far one of the original titans of the Web has fallen. But to do so, I believe, would be missing the point. The point is not that Yahoo is terrible, or that it's past its prime. The point is not actually about Yahoo at all.

  • Theranos & Hampton Creek: Two Stories Too Good To Be True in Online Spin on 09/30/2016

    Venture capitalists love a feel-good backstory. But two recent high-profile Valley implosions would make it seem that the feelgood-ness of the story is more important than whether it's, yaknow, true.

  • Facebook's Censorship Of Napalm Girl Is History Repeating  in Online Spin on 09/16/2016

    She's known as the "Napalm Girl," and she appears in a photograph called "The Terror of War," taken by Nick Ut. In it, she is young, naked and clearly terrified. Ut won the Pulitzer Prize for the photo in 1973, which is credited with turning the tide of public opinion and leading to the end of the Vietnam War. This picture -- this image of unfathomably vast historical importance, of undeniably significant social commentary -- was removed from Facebook last week, when the social network's algorithms detected the nudity and deleted it from the account of the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, which had posted the image.

  • Why The SpaceX Explosion Won't Hold Elon Musk Back in Online Spin on 09/02/2016

    To be an entrepreneur, you basically have to be comfortable with everyone you know thinking you're a nutjob. Which brings us to Elon Musk.

  • What Skills Do Your Kids Need For The Future? Try This in Online Spin on 08/19/2016

    I don't know what the jobs of the future look like. There may not even be jobs. But regardless, there are some things the world needs people to study urgently: things like philosophy, ethics, behavioral science, psychology and the like. We urgently need to better understand why we do what we do, and what our moral frameworks are. It's not that we shouldn't teach technology. Technology is, in fact, the very reason we need more kids to study philosophy and ethics.

  • Well, *Obviously* People Are Changing Their Minds About Self-Driving Cars  in Online Spin on 08/05/2016

    "Self-driving cars are coming but most people don't want one," wrote MediaPost writer Chuck Martin back in March, citing a study of people 15 to 90 years old. Two weeks later, he followed it up with this final stat: 63% of kids aged 8 to 18 "would prefer to do the driving rather than letting the vehicle handle the task." Really? People are resistant to new technology? What a surprise. Surely if a poll says people don't want a new thing, it won't happen, right?

  • Political Awareness In The Facebook Age  in Online Spin on 07/22/2016

    We're just finished one presidential convention, heading toward another -- and it's not my job to discuss the candidates or their positions. Instead, I want to discuss the way we come to conclusions about the candidates and their positions: the quality of our data, the depth of our knowledge, the level of our ability to make informed decisions.

  • 137 Million Reasons We Should Be Terrified Of Technological Unemployment in Online Spin on 07/08/2016

    In May, the COO of the World Bank noted that, "For the first time in history, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%." Surely a graph of change in incomes over time will reflect these positive trends - right?

  • Waze, Google, Facebook: The Observer Effect And Our Interconnected, Co-Created Reality in Online Spin on 06/24/2016

    In science, the "observer effect" describes the impact of measurement on behavior. To measure voltage, for example, you have to stick something in the current, and that something will in turn modify the voltage. The photons used to measure electrons affect their paths; a thermometer exchanges heat with the object whose temperature it is taking. As a metaphor, the concept can be easily extrapolated. Our society, our economy, our politics, our impact on the planet -- all co-created in a complex feedback loop of which each of us is an integral part.

  • What Apple Really Bought With Its Billion-Dollar Bet On Didi  in Online Spin on 06/10/2016

    A month ago, Apple invested a billion dollars in Chinese ride-sharing business Didi Chuxing. Not an AI play. Not a chatbot play. Not a wearable, VR, music or a telecommunications play. Chinese ride-sharing. Which begged the question: "Um, why?"

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