Quayside, in Toronto, was supposed to be the leading proof of concept for smart cities in the Western world.

Google's parent company planned to invest almost $1B in autonomous garbage collection, self-driving taxis, and an extensive data collection layer - from bench occupation, to pedestrian crossing monitoring, to public transport live usage data.

The problem is that Alphabet failed to address all the concerns of the locals about privacy and data governance - and in many cases it even actively dismissed or derided them. The local government even mentioned several episodes of arrogance shown by Alphabet's representatives. So, two years and a half after its start, the project has been officially terminated.

This is a good example of how citizens can push back on surveillance capitalism. Smart cities have plenty of potential to improve lives. Collecting more accurate live data leads to better understanding of the problems and therefore better governance. But the collected data is extremely valuable, and it shouldn't solely lay in the hands of a private corporation. Especially if that corporation dismisses valid concerns about user privacy and data gatekeeping as technophobia.

These technologies should be controlled by elected officials, because they are the ones accountable (through the democratic process) for their correct usage. Representatives that misuse the data, or sell private citizens' data to 3rd-parties, are likely to be voted out. You can't say the same about Alphabet. Nobody voted for them, nobody can vote them out if they misuse the data, they aren't accountable to anyone other than their shareholders, and therefore they are not eligible for handling something as precious as the data flows of our cities.

And there's also a disturbing lesson to be learned here: companies like Google would rather kill billion-dollar projects and not improve our cities, rather than losing control over the data, or even just starting a conversation about data usage and accountability. Their interest is not to make the world a better place: it's to maximize profit. Improving things sometimes comes as an aftermath of their profit-seeking strategies, but sometimes it doesn't.


We love free software. With much thanks to the talented @SachaChua for illustrating the reasons. See sachachua.com/blog/ for emacs news and more!

soft. ware.

basically hacker news went down yesterday and in this screenshot someone chimes in talking about it saying that they had a batch of SSDs manufactured by SanDisk all get bricked after exactly 40,000 hours (4.5 years) uptime because it overflowed an internal counter and corrupted the SSD's internal state.

someone from hackernews replies and says that the SSDs HN was hosted on were in fact SanDisk Optimus Lightning IIs and almost exactly 4.5 years old.

never trust a firmware

Tried out the terminal multiplexer. Had a problem/question. Seems the community is only on . After unsuccessfully looking for alternative forums gave up and registered a discord account. Verified mail. Verified mobile number. Captcha'd half dozen of times. Tried joining the zellij discord. Flicker. Website goes in reload loop. Account is now disabled because "We've found your account to be in violation of our Terms of Service or Community Guidelines." Fuck you, !

And pretty please, free software projects, don't have your community in proprietary walled gardens like or you have no control over. You're doing your users a disservice. Use or or whatever. There are enough free alternatives.

Thanks for listening.

Please join us and #GiveUpGitHub by visiting GiveUpGitHub.org/ and while you are still on #GitHub, adding information to your README that you do not agree with GitHub's policies and monopolized place in our community.

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RT @QuinnyPig@twitter.com


web1: You are the audience
web2: You are the product
web3: You are the victim

🐦🔗: twitter.com/QuinnyPig/status/1

i read a thing recently that blew my mind a little.
went something like:

people can imagine time travel to the past and one little act making massive differences in the timeline

but in their present they think even the greatest effort they can put in will not make any difference to the future

Tired of replying to email? Apparently, Iceland has a solution: outhorse your emails! visiticeland.com/outhorse-your

Britisches Gericht kippt Auslieferungsverbot für #Assange

Der Umgang mit dem „Fall Julian Assange“ durch Justizbehörden in Schweden u UK stärkt nicht das Vertrauen in den #Rechtsstaat

#Whistleblower als Verräter und #Journalisten als Kriminelle einzustufen unterminiert unser Verständnis von Menschenrechten

Was hilft? Öffentliche Diskussion solcher Missstände und Anprangern von staatlichem Fehlverhalten

Mit einfachen Mitteln können Android- und iOS-Nutzer Werbung, Tracker und Co. systemweit (in allen Apps) loswerden.

Bitte teilen. 🧙‍♂️

#Android #iOS #Tracking #Werbung


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