‘The Human Brain is Just Not Meant to Process This Much Extreme Change’

Welcome to Sick Days, a series documenting how jobs are changing during the coronavirus pandemic, as told by workers themselves. This week, we hear from an Amazon worker in one of the company’s many delivery stations, an out-of-work Waymo operator, a psychotherapist who has moved to telemedicine, and more. Read More >>

Now is the Time to Do the Dumb Stuff

Quarantine, shelter in place – whatever you’re calling it wherever you are – is horrifying. If hell is other people, being forced to keep all people outside a six-foot perimeter makes a strong case for purgatory-on-Earth. But in the fleeting moments where I’m feeling pollyannaish about this catastrophe, social isolation is also strangely liberating. Read More >>

Uber CEO Decides Driver Safety Isn’t His Problem

Gig workers pose a clear danger where the continued spread of covid-19 is concerned. As to the open question of how to responsibly address this massive vector of workers, who are often uninsured and can’t afford not to work in spite of the risks, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has apparently washed his hands. Read More >>

Leaked Documents Show TikTok Tried to Suppress ‘Ugly’ Users

Social video platform TikTok, already embroiled in a political skirmish over potential national security risks related to its Chinese owner, ByteDance, is now taking on a more familiar form of criticism: concerns over its highly opaque content moderation policies. Read More >>

Now Is a Good Time to Cancel Your Airbnb Stay

Perhaps you’ve heard of COVID-19, as it has likely caused the cancellation of many things you once enjoyed, like sports (all of them), having faith in our healthcare infrastructure, or spending time within arm’s length of other human beings. It’s easier than ever to stay home, do nothing, and feel lousy about it! Which is why now is also a great time to frictionlessly bail on any vacation plans you maybe thought you’d be enjoying in the near future. Read More >>

Amazon Cancels On-Site Job Interviews Over COVID-19 Concerns, Asks Workers to Avoid Travel

Following decisions to cancel event appearances and restrict travel, Amazon also appears to have put in-person job interviews on hold indefinitely, according to screenshots shared with Gizmodo. Read More >>

Amazon Manager Was Asked to Perform Racial Profiling, Lawsuit Alleges

Until recently, Lisa McCarrick was a loss prevention manager at Amazon, albeit one who alleges she was compensated significantly less than men who held her title prior, and her male subordinates. But in a wrongful termination lawsuit, filed yesterday in her home state of California, McCarrick references a pattern of superior-sanctioned profiling. Read More >>

Kickstarter Has Successfully Unionised

In a historic vote, crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has become the first major tech company to successfully form a union, with a narrow vote of 46 workers in favour and 37 against. Read More >>

Apple Probably Owes Some of Its Retail Employees a Lot of Money

The California Supreme Court sided with Apple Store employees in a ruling yesterday, stating that unpaid mandatory bag or iPhone searches at the end of retail workers’ shifts are a violation of state law. The class-action suit in question represents more than 12,000 workers employed at the company’s retail locations from mid-2009 onward. Read More >>

Amazon Warehouse in Texas Was More Dangerous Than Working in a Prison – and It’s Gotten Worse, Leaked Documents Show

Mandatory injury reports Amazon submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have thus far painted a broad picture of its operations as unusually dangerous, well above the warehousing industry average. New logs obtained by Gizmodo for one of the company’s oldest warehouses in Texas show a meaningful increase in the rate at which its workers are getting hurt, too. Read More >>

Rideshare Drivers From Around the World Are Coming Together, With Help From a Familiar Benefactor

As Uber, Lyft, and lesser-known transportation companies masquerading as tech firms have gradually squeezed savings out of their contingent workforces, those same contract drivers have gotten angry and organised. The first big mass action was a global strike in May of last year, kicked off by LA’s Rideshare Drivers United (RDU). Read More >>

Travellers to This Sleepy US Airport Have Voluntarily Thrown Away Nearly 40 Pounds of Weed

Who, the world collectively asked, would willingly throw out perfectly good weed? As it turns out – kind of a lot of people. Read More >>

Facebook Guy Confused About Lord of the Rings, Many Other Subjects

Getting answers is, in part, what journalism is about, so it gives me no pleasure to state upfront that I have none where Facebook hardware czar and resident loudmouth Andrew “Boz” Bosworth’s recent staff memo is concerned. Read More >>

What Are the Best Tweets of the Decade That Still Haven’t Been Deleted?

Over a decade in, the value proposition of Twitter as a medium is murky, not easily defined – though one area it undoubtedly excels is allowing important people to show every embarrassing contour of their entire arse to the rest of the world. Albeit buried under months or years of less interesting posts, miraculously, many of these public faceplants remain available to this very day. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Oh Good, the New Police Surveillance Vector Is Self-Driving Cars

Technologists have long speculated on the privacy implications of largely ungoverned, camera-enabled vehicle fleets roaming the roads. Now we’ve finally bumped up against the tip of that particularly worrying iceberg. Read More >>