Tag: Politics

12
Oct
2020
Posted in computer

Archive, 13 October1965: computer lessons for politicians: | Politics

On Monday some 75 MPs, peers, and party officials will begin a three day course on computer appreciation and introductory programming.

This snatching after technological literacy is being organised by Elliott Automation, which, with the blessing of the three whips, the late speaker, and the serjeant-at-arms in the House of Commons.

The three day course looks rather like escalation in reverse. Is not Mr Marples, as Opposition spokesman on technology, now completing a sabbatical year’s study of automation and computers in this country, the United States, and Japan? Is not Mr Cousins, the minister of technology, now spending eight days reviewing American developments in technology and automation?

Programming
At least Mr Marples and Mr Cousins will not have it all their own way in future debates on automation in the House, nor can they expect a silent and subservient audience.

During the three day course the 75 politicians, split into groups of six under a tutor, will be told what computers do and will be taught programming. On Monday they will write a programme on the cost of buying and running a car, hire purchase expenses included. On Tuesday they will write a programme from statistics on wages. The last day they will work out the percentage poll from figures for 50 constituencies and place the percentages in ascending order.

A National-Elliot 803 computer being loaded onto a customised Austin 32 cwt van at the Boreham Wood factory of Elliott-Automation, bound for Moscow.



A National-Elliot 803 computer being loaded onto a customised Austin 32 cwt van at the Boreham Wood factory of Elliott-Automation, bound for Moscow. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images

Second generation
No one at Elliott Automation pretends that the politicians will become experts, but they should gain an understanding of computers, which, as Mr RE Giles, head of the company’s education department, says, “are at the heart of automation.”

Their instructors, all aged between 18 and 30, are members of the booming

11
Oct
2020
Posted in website

Florida Judge Denies Motion to Extend Voter Registration Deadline After Website Crashes | Politics

A federal judge on Friday struck down a motion to extend voter registration in Florida by three days after a technical problem on the state’s website that might have prevented as many as thousands of people from casting their votes in the election next month.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker in his ruling called the decision “an incredibly close call” but said the state’s interest in preventing chaos in its already precarious – and perennially chaotic – election outweighs the substantial burden imposed on the right to vote.”

Cartoons on the 2020 Election

Walker said the court “is not persuaded that an injunction … would not be adverse to the public interest,” adding that the “court is mindful of the potential for voter confusion that could result” from extending the registration deadline.

Despite his ruling, Walker’s decision was filled with criticism of the state.

“This court notes that every man who has stepped foot on the moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly – a task simpler than rocket science,” Walker said.

The decision comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the state’s voter registration deadline through 7 p.m. on Tuesday after the state’s website crashed on Monday, the initial deadline. While the deadline was extended, the “cure had at least one major flaw,” Walker said: People weren’t given enough notice of the extension.

Florida’s chief information officer, James Grant, told The Associated Press that the servers for Florida’s voting system “were configured in a way that reduced its capacity to a fraction of a fraction of what it was capable of.”

The secretary of state’s office told AP the system was overloaded by approximately 1.1 million requests per hour. During the peak of

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Coinbase Workers Rattled by Politics Ban and Fear Being Muzzled

(Bloomberg) — Coinbase Inc.’s clampdown on discussing politics and activism at work — and the offer of severance packages to employees who don’t want to comply — continues to ripple through the cryptocurrency exchange and Silicon Valley.



a group of people standing in a living room: Inside the Coinbase Inc. office in San Francisco, California, U.S., in 2017.


© Bloomberg
Inside the Coinbase Inc. office in San Francisco, California, U.S., in 2017.

Many employees were shocked by Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong’s blog post imposing the rules Sunday, and some are concerned that he is trying to stymie discourse that should be happening, according to two people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified. Neither knew of anyone taking an exit package from the San Francisco-based company, but employees have until Oct. 7 to apply.

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Jack Dorsey, Twitter Inc.’s CEO and a noted Bitcoin advocate, criticized Armstrong’s ban on politics, saying late Wednesday the change runs counter to the core principles of cryptocurrencies. Other veterans of the digital-asset industry suggested Armstrong’s stance represents a broader shift taking place in a sector that was founded by computer hackers and libertarian-leaning programmers.

Twitter’s former CEO, Dick Costolo, also weighed in, tweeting that “me-first capitalists who think you can separate society from business are going to be the first people lined up against the wall and shot in the revolution.”

Read more: Coinbase’s no-politics stance rankles Silicon Valley

The polarizing 2020 campaign, epitomized by the chaotic debate this week between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, has left many companies struggling with how to stay above the fray. But the cryptocurrency industry, built on iconoclastic ideas, faces its own challenges.

“This is highlighting an evolution in crypto culture,” said Adam Draper, a venture capitalist who was an early investor in Coinbase. “Crypto is about the innovation in finance and connecting the world’s financial infrastructure. The culture of

01
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Coinbase and Silicon Valley’s Losing War Against Politics

Illustration for article titled Silicon Valley Is Fighting a Losing War Against Politics

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Vanity Fair (Getty Images)

You’d be excused for not following the recent brouhaha associated with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s announcement that the company would no longer play politics. The statement, posted to Medium on Sunday, is a doozy.

“In short, I want Coinbase to be laser focused on achieving its mission, because I believe that this is the way that we can have the biggest impact on the world. We will do this by playing as a championship team, focus on building, and being transparent about what our mission is and isn’t,” Armstrong wrote.

He rattled off a number of examples of this, culminating in something that gave many pause: “We don’t engage here when issues are unrelated to our core mission, because we believe impact only comes with focus.”

Armstrong’s post is a direct reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, the pandemic, the election, and the civil unrest that has become a focal point in a extraordinarily tumultuous year. In June, Coinbase employees clamored for Armstrong to vocally support BLM, which he finally did on Twitter. The reaction from so-called CryptoTwitter, a loose association of weirdos and anti-goldbugs who basically pump and dump tokens all day, was swift and angry.

“I want to say unequivocally fuck coinbase,” wrote one “trader.”

Armstrong, for his part, tapped into a growing movement inside Silicon Valley, a movement that basically says, “Fuck your feelings.” Based on his statement on Medium, Armstrong believes, probably incorrectly, that his army of coders wants nothing more than to produce clean, usable products for the cryptocurrency community.

There are three types of crypto users who love Armstrong’s argument. In order of odiousness, we begin with the bored coder who once