The Markup is a new journalism venture to examine technology through data

Founded by Sue Gardner, the former head of the Wikimedia Foundation and Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson, journalists formerly for ProPublica, The Markup will aim to use data to help non-experts better understand everyday technologies that often go unchecked.

When Angwin and Larson worked together at ProPublica, their data-driven investigations included exposing discriminatory advertising practices at Facebook, bias in software that is used in criminal sentencing and algorithms that result in unfair car insurance pricing. They also uncovered evidence of domestic surveillance practices in the Snowden archives and revealed technology vulnerabilities at the President’s Mar-A-Lago country club.

“I’m excited to build a team with deep expertise that can really scale up and advance the work Jeff and I began at ProPublica,” Angwin said. “We see The Markup as a new kind of news organization, staffed with journalists who know how to investigate the uses of new technologies and make their effects understandable to non-experts.”

“People know that these new technologies are important and want to better understand their societal effects. We will help them do that,” said Larson. “The Markup will hold the powerful to account, raise the cost of bad behavior, and spur reforms.”

The venture is primarily backed by a $20 million donation from Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and $2 million from the Knight Foundation. Amazing.

Looking forward to this.

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Tech generations, as seen through video source, music players, and internet access

In a fun piece by Reuben Fischer-Baum, reporting for The Washington Post:

In the past three decades, the United States has seen staggering technological changes. In 1984, just 8 percent of households had a personal computer, the World Wide Web was still five years away, and cell phones were enormous. Americans born that year are only 33 years old.

Here’s how some key parts of our technological lives have shifted, split loosely into early, middle and current stages.

There will always be a place in my heart that longs for the good ol’ days of my Walkman, modem sounds, and the phone-less outdoors. Tear.

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Technology sector, share of market over time

Technology sector over time

Here's a straightforward stacked area chart from the Economist that shows shifting market share in the technology sector. It highlights the quick shrinkage of IBM in the 1990s, Microsoft reign soon after, and the apple surge mid-2000s. Be sure to look at the nominal and real views too, because even though relative dominance shifted, the sector as a whole is up and up.

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