Machine logic: our lives are ruled by big tech’s ‘decisions by data’

 

Crawford says there are very practical reasons why tech companies have become so powerful. “We’re trying to put so much responsibility on to individuals to step away from the ‘evil platforms’, whereas in reality, there are so many reasons why people can’t. The opportunity costs to employment, to their friends, to their families, are so high” she says. But there’s now an additional and deeply pernicious dimension. Even if you did manage to avoid using Facebook, Gmail or an iPhone, we are all part of a “broader tracking universe”, she says.

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Virtual reality for the masses is here. But do the masses want VR?

 

Both the PSVR and the new lower-minimum Oculus do offer that magic – the moment when the view on-screen and your actions in the real world merge so perfectly that you feel transported into the virtual reality presented to you. That said, they still have their flaws. The dreaded VR nausea is there too often, for too many people, and there’s still somewhat of a content drought, reflecting the chicken-and-egg situation the technology faces. These will be improved in time, but it’s time the platform doesn’t have, lest it be relegated to the same “yesterday’s tomorrow” position of similar techs like 3D TVs and motion-controlled video games. The line between short-lived novelty and transformational new technology is thinner than many give it credit, and VR needs to leap over it soon.

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Who is Louise Delage? New Instagram influencer not what she seems

 

The campaign was created for Addict Aide, an organisation that seeks to raise awareness of alcoholism among young people. Stéphane Xiberras, creative director and president of BETC Paris, told AdFreak that the agency had been struck by “the difficulty of detecting the addiction of someone close to you”. The fake Instagram account aimed to show “a person people would meet every day but whom we’d never suspect of being an addict”.

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Stella McCartney’s flashmob finale ditches strutting for dancing

 

McCartney’s fashion week raison d’être has always been about more than aesthetics. Her pioneering anti-fur and anti-leather stance, widely considered the hippy eccentricity of a Beatles daughter when she launched her label 15 years ago, has since been adopted by Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Giorgio Armani. Last week, her brand released its first annual environmental profit and loss accounts, examining the environmental impact of the business from raw material to retail. This focus on sustainability reflects a nascent change across the industry, as fashion responds to a new generation of millennial consumers who expect their clothes to reflect their values.

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H&M’s diverse advert mirrors the real world. Shame the ad industry doesn’t

Diversity is so hot right now. Take H&M’s new television advert for its autumn/winter 2016 collection, for example, which features a range of women including: • Black women with natural hair • Women with shaved heads • A muscular woman • Action shots of women’s wobbly bits wobbling • A thin woman eating french fries without a side of guilt • Armpit hair • A septuagenarian • An ethnically ambiguous high-powered female business executive • A trans woman • Lesbians

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Old book, new look: why the classics are flying off the shelves

 

This autumn, though, they’re offering something new: a range of hardbacks offering “unique content” – a collection of an author’s works that hasn’t been presented this way before, or a new translation of a classic. Their design is flamboyantly simple: no dust jacket but a cloth binding, a cream background on which title and author are printed vertically with a single tiny image on the top. Gothic Tales by Arthur Conan Doyle features a descending crow, Homer’s Odyssey shows an image of Odysseus dwarfed by the cyclops Polyphemus, Poems of the First World War offers a soldier’s helmet. They look fantastic – but who are they for? “We’re working a lot with the production team to make them look very collectible and tactile, to appeal to the gift market,” says Gough.

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Tighten your safety briefing: Air New Zealand rebuked over flippant videos

Air New Zealand has been rebuked by the country’s aviation watchdog for burying life-saving messages in amongst celebrity cameos in its pre-flight safety videos. The airline is infamous for its elaborate star-studded clips in which celebrities like Richard Simmons, Bear Grylls and Betty White tell passengers how to respond in an aviation emergency. But an email published by One News on Wednesday revealed that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had criticised the airline for including “extraneous material” in one of its clips – and indicated that the agency had communicated similar concerns in the past. “As we have commented previously, the video diverges materially from the ‘safety message’ at times, and whilst I appreciate the need to engage the viewers, the extraneous material detracts from the scope and direction of the safety message

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