Saturday, April 4, 2020

Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign is officially over

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s longshot presidential bid is over. Gabbard’s decision to drop out, announced March 19, was long in the works. She had consistently averaged around 1 to 2 percent in national polls and performed poorly in primaries; her candidacy largely served as a single-issue protest run against American military adventurism rather than a serious bid for the presidency. Her most notable moment, a devastating attack on California Sen. Kamala Harris’s record as a prosecutor in the CNN’s July debate, didn’t move the dial much in her favor. So on Thursday, March 19, she dropped out and endorsed Joe...

Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T could be facing big fines for...

Your mobile phone company might be on the hook for fines from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for selling your real-time location data. According to the Wall Street Journal, the FCC wants AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon to pay hundreds of millions in fines. (The report did not specify an exact amount.) The agency has already told the companies it will issue notices of liability asking for the fines. The notices are not final settlements, and the companies they’re issued to can (and likely will) fight them. The notices appear to be the result of an...

This pandemic will expose who we are as a country

As the coronavirus sweeps across the US, a term you’ve probably heard a lot is “social distancing”: a way to flatten the epidemic curve by asking people to stay home and limit their nonessential travel. While social distancing is our best tool for slowing the spread of this virus, it’s also likely to create what my Vox colleague Ezra Klein has called a “loneliness epidemic.” In a fragmented society like ours, asking people to isolate themselves for an extended period will be hard on vulnerable populations, like older people and those with disabilities and existing medical conditions. To reduce...

Gender stereotypes have been banned from British ads. What does that...

Playing off gender stereotypes to sell stuff is now explicitly against the law for advertisers in the UK. Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority announced the ban in December, with a six-month buffer period before it went into effect. And that announcement came shortly after the ASA published a 64-page report on how gender stereotypes in ads “can lead to unequal gender outcomes in public and private aspects of people’s lives,” citing public opinion and various experts. The report was prompted by a series of widely reviled ads in the UK, including those for a Protein World weight loss drink marketed...

Democrats have subpoenaed the White House in the next phase of...

House Democrats subpoenaed the White House for a slew of documents Friday, after the administration refused to voluntarily hand over information related to President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine. The move is part of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into whether Trump jeopardized national security and used the office of the presidency for personal political gain by asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Democrats are examining both this potential interference into the 2020 election as well as the administration’s alleged efforts to cover up...

Forever 21 is filing for bankruptcy. What does that actually mean?

Forever 21 is filing for bankruptcy, the company announced Sunday night. The fast-fashion retailer — which operates around 800 stores worldwide with more than $3 billion in estimated annual sales — had faced months-long speculation about its plan to pursue a Chapter 11 filing. The company was reportedly in talks with advisers and lenders to restructure its debt in June. It will reportedly close up to 178 stores in the US and up to 350 overall, according to the New York Times, and cease operations in 40 countries. Forever 21 said it’s planning a global restructuring strategy and has...

Wuhan coronavirus outbreak: News and updates

Contributors: Vox Staff Tens of of people have been sickened by a new coronavirus, called 2019-nCoV, in at least 25 countries, including the US. Coronaviruses attack the respiratory system, sometimes targeting the cells deep within the lungs. Only seven, including 2019-nCoV, SARS, and MERS, have evolved to infect humans. The outbreak was first reported to the World Health Organization by Chinese officials on December 31 in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in Hubei province. By mid-January, it had begun spreading rapidly. On...

AI poses risks, but the White House says regulators shouldn’t “needlessly...

Artificial intelligence is here, and it’s impacting our lives in real ways — whether it’s the Alexa smart speaker on our nightstand, online customer service chatbots, or the smart replies Google drafts for our emails. But so far, the tech’s development has outpaced regulation. Now, government agencies are increasingly encountering AI-based tools, and they must figure out how to evaluate them. Take the Food and Drug Administration, which greenlights new medical products: It needs to review and approve new health care products that boast AI-capabilities — like this one that promises to detect eye...

Tenants sounded the alarm on facial recognition in their buildings. Lawmakers...

Lawmakers want to press pause on deploying facial recognition and other biometric technology in public housing. Though it’s not clear the extent to which the technology is already being used in public housing (or other categories of government-supported and -regulated housing), lawmakers say facial recognition raises privacy concerns, and point to its known inaccuracies, especially when applied to people of color and women (among other minority groups). There’s no law regulating facial recognition at the federal level yet. But complementary legislation introduced in the House and the Senate — the “No Biometric Barriers to...

8 winners and 5 losers from the topsy-turvy 2019 Emmy Awards

Heading into the 2019 Emmys, the conventional wisdom had it that not only would Game of Thrones win Outstanding Drama Series, but it would smash its previous record for most Emmys won by any TV show in a single season. Conventional wisdom also held that the Outstanding Comedy Series category was a dogfight between The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Veep, the most recent two shows to win that category. And it held that Outstanding Limited Series was a race between Chernobyl and When They See Us, with an outside shot for Fosse/Verdon. The actual Emmys, as they so often do,...