This story is part of The 2010s: A Decade in Review, a series on the memes, people, products, movies and so much more that have influenced the 2010s. A Pew survey conducted in 2014 for the World Wide Web's 25th anniversary reflected an overall warmth for the internet: 76% of people believed that the internet was "good" for society and that the online social climate was "mostly kind." That didn't last much longer.By 2018, Pew found that 62% of people saw online harassment as a "major problem" and that 79% believed tech companies needed to fix it. The sharp reversal in public opinion was in part thanks to the nonstop, coordinated harassment campaigns that began in the video game world earlier in the decade. Some of the angry trolls who thrived during GamerGate shared the techniques they'd learned and spread their attacks to the broader entertainment industry, politics and more.The span from 2014 to 2016 were Silicon Valley's final years of relative innocence. And … [Read more...] about GamerGate, Theranos, Galaxy Note 7 fires: Tech scandals, 2014-16
Pirates of silicon valley
"Dopamine fasting" may be Silicon Valley's latest wellness trend — but does this sciency-sounding fad actually have evidence to back it up? During a so-called dopamine fast, extreme practitioners abstain from any experience that brings them pleasure, including but not limited to sex, food, exercise, social media, video games and talking, according to Vox. Some people go so far as to avoid making eye contact, chatting with friends or even performing moderately-fast movements, all in an effort to avoid stimulation, the New York Times reported. By taking a break from sins and small pleasures, fasters attempt to "reset" the brain's reward system, a network wired, in part, by a chemical called dopamine. After a fast, they report feeling more focused and finding more joy in the activities they'd avoided, according to Business Insider. Despite its supposed benefits and good intentions, dopamine fasting has stirred up controversy. Dr. Cameron Sepah, a … [Read more...] about Is There Actually Science Behind ‘Dopamine Fasting’?
In advance of the Nov. 12 season two premiere of NatGeo's Mars, we sat down withStephen Petranek, a co-executive producer and author of How We'll Live on Mars, on which the series is based; and Sammi Rotibi, who stars on screen as Dr. Robert Foucault, mechanical engineer and roboticist. Mars, which premiered in November 2016 on the National Geographic Channel and also counts Brian Grazer and Ron Howard as producers, is an interesting TV hybrid. Spliced into the scripted drama is documentary-style talking head commentary from the likes of Elon Musk, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, and former NASA chief Ellen Stofan, who discuss space travel developments like asteroid mining and their Earth analog equivalents (North Sea oil drilling). Mars season 1 was set in the not-too-distant future of 2033. The fictional Daedalus spacecraft took off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center with an international crew and landed six months later on the Red Planet. Season two takes place several … [Read more...] about NatGeo Goes (Back) Into Space for Mars Season 2
Online-only banks have become a viable option for many people who would have traditionally used a brick-and-mortar bank but are now looking for more flexible, potentially cheaper ways to handle their monthly incoming and outgoing finances, their savings and loans, and their payment cards. That maxim has also extended to the world of business, and today a startup that has built a business-focused challenger bank, specifically for startups like itself, is announcing a round of funding as starts its growth in earnest. Mercury, which describes itself as a bank for startups, has banked $20 million of its own in funding, a Series A that is being led by CRV with support also from Andreessen Horowitz, the VC that led its investor-heavy $6 million seed round earlier this year. The company, I understand, has a post-money valuation now of $100 million. And by investor-heavy, I mean that on two counts: it featured a lot of heavyweights, and there were nearly 40 individuals and firms chipping in. … [Read more...] about Mercury banks $20M for its banking service aimed at startups
Tech addiction is a growing issue that's often centered around children and teens, but adults are plenty susceptible to problematic behaviors and overuse when it comes to smartphone and social media use. Pew Research Center surveyed teens ages 13 to 17 and their parents. It found that both groups have plenty of trouble unplugging. Of the teens surveyed, 54 percent said they spend too much time on their smartphones, compared with 36 percent of parents. An even higher percentage of teens, 72 percent, said they check messages and notifications as soon as they wake up. As cultural norms continue to shift toward a reality where people never truly "log off," 57 percent of parents said they do the same. Related The Endless Scroll: How to Tell if You're a Tech Addict The Endless Scroll: How to Tell if You're a Tech Addict Silicon Valley Reckons With Responsibility for Tech Addiction Silicon Valley Reckons With Responsibility for Tech Addiction Tech Addiction By the Numbers: How … [Read more...] about Smartphone Addiction Affects Teens and Parents Alike