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Kaila Colbin

Member since July 2007Contact Kaila

Articles by Kaila All articles by Kaila

  • Under Science-Unfriendly Administration, Internet And Its Data Are In Your Hands  in Online Spin on 01/20/2017

    In the final days of 2016, the website of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources got a bit of a refresh. Unless you were paying close attention, you might have missed it. After all, most people don't regularly visit the Wisconsin DNR. But the changes were caught by a website-monitoring service and shared on some blogs, starting with a guy named James Rowen. Turns out the changes are kind of important -- IF you think climate change is kind of important.

  • As World Gets More Automated, We Have A Bigger Problem Than Losing Our Jobs in Online Spin on 01/06/2017

    I attended a funeral today. I knew him casually. We frequented many of the same social and business circles, and had had more than one good chat about our social and political environment. But we had never graduated to the category of close friendship. So it was wonderful to hear from his father, from his sister, from his daughter, from his childhood friends. Over an hour and a half, I got to know him better. I got to know how successful he was. How loved and respected he was. How tortured he was. He had taken his own life. He was 44 years old

  • All I Want For Christmas Is A Minimum Basic Income in Online Spin on 12/23/2016

    Merry Christmas. Or Chanukah. Or Kwanzaa. Whatever you celebrate, I hope you got a year-end bonus -- because the robots are coming for your job. They're coming whether you're a taxi driver or a truck driver. They're coming whether you're a doctor or a lawyer. If your job involves repetition, or information processing, or data analysis, you're at risk.

  • Forget Facebook And The Macedonians: Is Google Responsible For the Post-Truth Era?  in Online Spin on 12/09/2016

    The ad started showing up in my Facebook feed in the past weeks: "Subscribe to the New York Times," it said. "Fact-based reporting." In our current post-truth era, fact-based is now a unique value proposition.

  • The One Essential Skill You Need In The Facebook Era  in Online Spin on 11/18/2016

    "If I were to run, I'd run as a Republican. They're the dumbest group of voters in the country... I could lie and they'd still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific," said Donald Trump in a 1998 People magazine interview. Except, of course, he didn't.

  • For The Love Of Pete, Vote in Online Spin on 11/04/2016

    November 7, 2000. Election night. Ken and I are wandering through the French Quarter of New Orleans, popping in and out of bars and taking in the sights. I haven't voted. I'm not at home, and the absentee ballot, quite frankly, seemed like kind of a pain in the ass -- especially since my vote wouldn't really make much difference. Why bother?

  • 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.

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