Tech’s underdeveloped moral compass is threatening our democracy

Many of us are shocked and appalled by the violence that caused the U.S. Capitol to go into lockdown last week. We should be appalled, but not necessarily surprised. This is, after all, what any regular day on the Internet looks like—with information unregulated and manipulated to communicate skewed views and fake news, more often than not encouraging political fury and violence. What we are seeing now is the consequence of years of unchecked growth in the technology industry. 

Today, the Internet and social networks influence all the information we consume, the opinions we form, the misinformation we believe. Yesterday’s events underscore our new reality. The physical world is becoming more like the Internet: dysfunctional, angry, lawless, and a complete banana republic.

As the CEO of a software company and member of the technology community, I am proud of the many good things my industry has achieved, including technologies that … Read the rest

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Six firms propose Rs 1500 crore investment as Karnataka bets big on Koppal toy cluster

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa performed the ground-breaking at the site, on Saturday, for the toy cluster being developed by Aequs Group, promoted by Aravind Melligeri, an entrepreneur hailing from the region. Melligeri is a co-founder of Quest Global, a multinational conglomerate which runs its SEZ in aerospace manufacturing in Belgavi district.

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What Biden’s Cabinet picks say about how he plans to govern

Joe Biden promised that his presidency would mean a return to normalcy. His Cabinet picks help demonstrate how he plans to deliver.

The president-elect announced his final nominees this past week, completing a diverse team of two dozen people. He noted Friday that this will be the “first Cabinet ever” to reach gender parity and include a majority of people of color, notable given earlier concerns that he was leaning largely on white men.

Some nominees have decades of experience in their respective agencies. Many held prominent roles in the Obama administration. Many have already begun meeting with interest groups and advocacy organizations, and his transition team has had what’s been described as an “open-door policy” toward advocacy groups for months.

It’s a sharp contrast to President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, which was dominated largely by white men with little experience in Washington. Biden’s aides say that was one of the … Read the rest

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Chidambaram expresses concern over crony capitalism, says nation needs not just 5 but 500 biz houses

Giving his advice to the government for the revival of economy, the former finance minister said there is an immediate set of things that has to be done, including significant cash transfers must be made to bottom one-third of the population.

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Big Tobacco stands down as Colorado and Oregon hike cigarette taxes

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Big Tobacco did something unusual in Marlboro Country last fall: It stood aside while Colorado voters approved the state’s first tobacco tax hike in 16 years.

The industry, led by Altria Group, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, has spent exorbitantly in the past to kill similar state ballot initiatives. In 2018, Altria’s lobbying arm spent more than $17 million to help defeat Montana’s tobacco tax ballot initiative. That same year, it spent around $6 million to help defeat South Dakota’s similar measure.

And four years ago, Altria was the leading funder in a successful $16 million campaign to quash Colorado’s previous proposed tobacco tax increase.

In November, by contrast, Altria didn’t spend a penny in opposition and Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved the tax with two-thirds support. … Read the rest

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Twitter permanently suspends Donald Trump due to risk of inciting violence

Twitter banned President Donald Trump’s account Friday, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.”

The social platform has been under growing pressure to take further action against Trump following Wednesday’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Twitter initially suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.

Twitter’s move deprives Trump of a potent tool he has used to communicate directly with the American people for more than a decade. He has used Twitter to announce policy changes, challenge opponents, insult enemies, praise his allies (and himself), and to spread misinformation.

Twitter has long given Trump and other world leaders broad exemptions from its rules against personal attacks, hate speech and other behaviors. But in a lengthy explanation posted on its blog Friday, the company said recent Trump tweets amounted to glorification … Read the rest

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