US says no iPods for Kim Jung Il

For the first time in history, the United States is using trade policy to personally aggravate a foreign leader.

According to the Secretary of Commerce, the plan was "carefully considered and carefully targeted" to piss North Korean dictator Kim Jung Il: no iPods, no plasma TVs, no cognac, and no Segway scooters.

It's far from clear what good these one-man sanctions are going to do.

It's also a sad commentary on the economy of North Korea that there's exactly one person in the whole country who can afford an iPod.

[Crooks and Liars]

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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