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Interview with former Groupon CEO and founder Andrew Mason on how he built and scaled the company, passed on Yahoo and Google acquisition offers, and…

Alex Blumberg / New York Magazine : Interview with former Groupon CEO and founder Andrew Mason on how he built and scaled the company, passed on Yahoo and Google acquisition offers, and got fired   —  Andrew Mason started Groupon ten years ago.  He was a graduate student in his mid-20s, making money on the side by building websites.

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Researchers: 60% of Americans of European descent can be identified via public DNA databases, regardless of whether they’ve submitted their own DNA…

Megan Molteni / Wired : Researchers: 60% of Americans of European descent can be identified via public DNA databases, regardless of whether they've submitted their own DNA data or not   —  IN 2013, A young computational biologist named Yaniv Erlich shocked the research world by showing it was possible to unmask …

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Egyptian law enforcement is using the country’s new law against "fake news" to imprison women who share their sexual harassment experiences…

Rossalyn Warren / WIRED UK : Egyptian law enforcement is using the country's new law against “fake news” to imprison women who share their sexual harassment experiences on social platforms   —  Social media accelerated Egypt's revolution.  Now those same services have become a tool of control for a repressive regime

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How Uber’s team of economists tests new features and incentives, writes highly-cited academic papers, and provides talking points for public policy…

Alison Griswold / Quartz : How Uber's team of economists tests new features and incentives, writes highly-cited academic papers, and provides talking points for public policy initiatives   —  It's hard to explain just how much economists love Uber.  —  Economists love Uber like a mother loves her child.

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At what point do we admit that geoengineering is an option?

In 1883, Krakatoa erupted , spewing volcanic ash and gas into the stratosphere, making clouds more reflective and cooling the entire planet by roughly 1° C that year. In 2018, the UN reported that human activity has already raised Earth’s temperature by 1°, and if we don’t do something drastic soon, the results will be catastrophic. The optimal solution is staring us in the face, of course; reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately this optimal solution is politically untenable and extremely expensive. A decade ago McKinsey estimated it would cost $1 trillion just to halve the growth of carbon emissions … in India alone. That’s still less than the cost of doing nothing — estimated at $20 trillion by Nature , which doesn’t include its toll on human lives — but it’s a cost which seems to make the necessary political decisions impossible. The analysts … concluded that it was just human nature and you couldn’t fix it, and so they went for a quick cheap technical fix Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash There is another option. The root problem we face is not carbon concentrations but atmospheric temperature. There are other negative side effects of carbon emissions, like ocean acidification, but the temperature is the big one. We already know how to cool the planet without reducing carbon. The solution is so simple it’s almost laughable: just make our clouds a little more reflective , so they reflect more of the sun’s light, and thus reduce our heat. Volcanoes like Krakatoa do it all the time : When Mount Tambora erupted in Indonesia in 1815 and spewed sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, farmers in New England recorded a summer so chilly that their fields frosted over in July.

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Echo Plus 2nd-gen review: best choice if you want an Alexa-enabled speaker with a smart home hub built-in, but expensive and hard to recommend for…

Molly Price / CNET : Echo Plus 2nd-gen review: best choice if you want an Alexa-enabled speaker with a smart home hub built-in, but expensive and hard to recommend for anything else   —  Smart speakers and voice assistants are everywhere these days.  We're practically drowning in all the devices announced by major manufacturers in recent months.

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Second-gen Echo Plus review: best Alexa speaker with a Zigbee hub and the temperature sensor is a great addition but its audio quality lags behind the…

Molly Price / CNET : Second-gen Echo Plus review: best Alexa speaker with a Zigbee hub and the temperature sensor is a great addition but its audio quality lags behind the Sonos One   —  Smart speakers and voice assistants are everywhere these days.  We're practically drowning in all the devices announced by major manufacturers in recent months.

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