node created 2019/09/30
 2 days ago
 3 days ago

Totalitarianism? Yeah, there's an app for that.

Since its debut this year, Study the Great Nation has become the most downloaded app on Apple’s digital storefront in China, with the state news media saying it has more than 100 million registered users — a reach that would be the envy of any new app’s creators.

But those numbers are driven largely by the party, which ordered thousands of officials across China to ensure that the app penetrates the daily routines of as many citizens as possible, whether they like it or not.

Schools are shaming students with low app scores. Government offices are holding study sessions and forcing workers who fall behind to write reports criticizing themselves. Private companies, hoping to curry favor with party officials, are ranking employees based on their use of the app and awarding top performers the title of “star learner.”

Many employers now require workers to submit daily screenshots documenting how many points they have earned.
Starting this month, about 10,000 reporters and editors in Beijing will take part in a pilot test that is expected to extend nationwide, in which they will be tested on their knowledge of Xi Jinping Thought through the app.

The Propaganda Department’s media oversight office made it clear that only those who passed would get new press cards, which are required to work as a journalist in China.
 5 days ago

Cowardly Companies Present

Apple

Blizzard

Leica

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Marriot

Mercedes Benz

https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/df8qwy/apple_bows_to_china_by_censoring_taiwan_flag_emoji/f326vlq/

The above comment was removed by moderators, but click the link anyway, just to see the amount of awards and responses.

I could find an initial version of the comment here, but that comment was a LOT bigger than the archived version, it was a very long and detailed list, which is both why it was showered in awards by other users and why moderators removed it.
Business Hall of Bootlickers:
  • Blizzard: bans player for supporting Hong Kong democracy protest
  • Apple: censors Taiwan flag emoji in iOS in Hong Kong & Macau
  • Apple (partial entry): censored Hong Kong protest map from App Store. Relented after it turned into a PR mess, now letting the app into App Store.
  • Vans: censors pro-HK democracy design in its shoe design competition
  • NBA (partial entry): rebuked Rockets manager for his "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong" tweet, saying NBA was "extremely disappointed with Morey's inappropriate comment." Backpedalled after this turned into a PR nightmare, now saying they support Morey's freedom of speech.
  • ESPN: forbids any mention of Chinese politics when discussing Rockets manager's tweet supporting HK freedom. ESPN talking heads castigated Morey for sending the tweet & speculated about his sincerity, but they absolutely will not talk what causes the tweet: China's encroachment on HK and the resultant HK protest
After decades of opening up wide the US market to China while turning a blind eye to rampant Chinese IP thefts, forced tech transfers, and protectionism, we are looking at widespread control of US businesses by China. Businesses that are not under outright Chinese control are still kowtowing to China out of sheer fear.

This is just what we're seeing publicly. Imagine how bad it really is behind closed doors.
 6 days ago

first the one-button mouse, now this: Apple plain doesn't do ethics

https://twitter.com/DylanByers/status/1182133441267003392

"this app violates our guidelines and local law"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zfqw8nhUwA

"and that is why 1984 won't be like Nineteen-Eightyfour"
 1 week ago

The Tunnel Under The World

by Frederik Pohl
If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?
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 2 weeks ago

...

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We're preparing ourself now for the next big change in the industry.

Dornbracht is moving towards culturing life, a new claim for the brand's activities.

Why do we call it like this?

Maybe it's helps to understand when we look where we coming from, to understand that life is really a journey and everything is really a kind of an evolution [mumble mumble] process.

So in the 90s we started with culture in the bathroom.

We're focusing on the precise design, and Dornbracht with the help of Sieger design has come up with incredible iconic designs for the industry.

After that we have invited artists, philosophers, designers, people who really start thinking about how people behave, how do they interact with the products, and we understood: it's all about rituals.

So we called this movement ritual architecture.

The next part we were very much interested in was thinking about the water itself.

Water has this opportunity to rejuvenate yourself in a very different way, from hot to cold, from hard to soft.

We thought it was time to change the claim from culture in the bathroom to the spirit of water.

And now, the society, the industry, we're all facing an incredible new trend, it called digitalization.

And through the digitalization we understand that beside the design and beside the architecture is very much important to understand how the self works, what are my personal needs.

And so we thought it's necessary to claim it in the way culturing life for the next generation and the people who are already facing with their smartphones these incredible technological revolution where they start and configurate actually, uhm, their smartphones, and so as well later on the whole smart homes where we live in.

When everything becomes digital you understand easily that the bathroom goes digital, too, as well the kitchen.

And this is a core for kind of a smarter product, let's say the products for the near future has to become intelligent.

Dornbracht will call this smart water.

So smart water actually defines the vision, actually defines the answer to this enormous change we're experiencing right now with digitalization.

And with smart water we need intelligent products.

And we will call those products smart tools.

So the smart tools will enable our vision of smart water.

We thought it needs a very simple communication, a very simple core message to explain the complexity behind the idea of smart water and it's smart tools to the customers.

So we thought it makes completely sense to find a claim which is based on a evolutionary development, within the [??] market.

And it says: "hot, cold and click".

So if we have the core message for the smart water idea "hot, cold and click", we'd like to keep the same structure, finding three words, to make it easy for the customer to remember.

So we thought that within the bathroom it makes sense to call it "aesthetics, beauty and care".

Here are the main interests for the customers as well, for their personal needs.

We know aesthetics is a kind of a core value for Dornbracht in general, everything looks just simply precise, iconic.

Beauty becomes more and more important and so as well care, because we spend more and more time in the bathroom to take care of our health, to rejuvenate, because we have to perform.

And that's why the area of the bathroom is simply the place where we all can fulfill that.

So Dornbracht bathroom, "aesthetics, beauty and care".

And for the kitchen we thought, again based on three words, it makes complete sense to say Dornbracht kitchen: "eat, drink and think".

Eat and drink of course is what we mainly do in the kitchen, we prepare we a dish, we have a good wine.

But nevertheless think is interesting as well in terms of everything becomes a little smarter.

And nowadays we know how important is to develop sustainable products and at the same time to take care about what you eat, so talking about the healthness within the kitchen area.

When we take everything into consideration what we just heard, then we know that the next decade is actually really about the unique human being with its individual needs within its individual spaces.

And Dornbracht will take care of that.

 2 weeks ago

The Autumn of the Multitaskers

[..] certain studies find that multitasking boosts the level of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and wears down our systems through biochemical friction, prematurely aging us. In the short term, the confusion, fatigue, and chaos merely hamper our ability to focus and analyze, but in the long term, they may cause it to atrophy. The next generation, presumably, is the hardest-hit. [..] They’re the ones whose still-maturing brains are being shaped to process information rather than understand or even remember it. This is the great irony of multitasking—that its overall goal, getting more done in less time, turns out to be chimerical. In reality, multitasking slows our thinking.
 2 weeks ago

First they came for the children... but "think of the children" was a meme, so I didn't.

In the facility’s standard cages, there is no soap or showering for the kids. Though 72 hours is the longest a minor can be legally confined in such a facility, some had been there almost a month.

[..]

As agents brought in the children she requested, Sevier said, the smell of sweat and soiled clothing filled the room. They had not been allowed to bathe or change since crossing the Rio Grande and turning themselves over to officials. Sevier found that about two-thirds of the kids she examined had symptoms of respiratory infection. The guards wore surgical masks, but the detainees breathed the air unfiltered.

[..]

At Ursula, however, the children Sevier examined—like the panting 2-year-old—were “totally fearful, but then entirely subdued,” she told me. She could read the fear in their faces, but they were perfectly submissive to her authority. “I can only explain it by trauma, because that is such an unusual behavior,” she said. Sevier had brought along Mickey Mouse toys to break the ice, and the kids seem to enjoy playing with them. Yet none resisted, she said, when she took them away at the end of the exam. “At some point,” Sevier mused, “you’re broken and you stop fighting.”
“They’re not death camps—not yet,” she said. “But the death camps that have existed throughout history often don’t start that way. They start being places where people who are targeted because of their race or status are put into isolated places and denied due process. The characterization is accurate.”