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Bezos' $10B Climate Fund, Bluetooth Bugs, and More News

Bezos' $10B Climate Fund, Bluetooth Bugs, and More News

A $10 billion climate fund has been proposed and bluetooth devices are exposed, but first: a cartoon about a modern day Lion King. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

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Today’s News

With a $10 billion fund, Jeff Bezos can control the planet’s future

In an Instagram post this week, the world’s richest man committed $10 billion of his personal fortune to set up the new Bezos Earth Fund, which will support “scientists, activists, NGOs—any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.” While it’s not clear exactly how the money will be spent, the amount easily dwarfs the $4 billion that 29 philanthropic organizations pledged to fight climate change in 2018—the largest investment of its kind at the time—and it could end up shaping

Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet

Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet

The site’s innovations have always been cultural rather than computational. It was created using existing technology. This remains the single most underestimated and misunderstood aspect of the project: its emotional architecture. Wikipedia is built on the personal interests and idiosyncrasies of its contributors; in fact, without getting gooey, you could even say it is built on love. Editors’ passions can drive the site deep into inconsequential territory—exhaustive detailing of dozens of different kinds of embroidery software, lists dedicated to bespectacled baseball players, a brief but moving biographical sketch of Khanzir, the only pig in Afghanistan. No knowledge is truly useless, but at its best, Wikipedia weds this ranging interest to the kind of pertinence where Larry David’s “Pretty, pretty good!” is given as an example of rhetorical epizeuxis. At these moments, it can feel like one of the few parts of the internet that is improving.

One challenge in seeing

The DOJ Asks Startup Investors: Are Tech Giants Too Powerful?

The DOJ Asks Startup Investors: Are Tech Giants Too Powerful?

Whether the largest tech companies have too much power has become a common question in Washington, DC. The House Antitrust subcommittee and Federal Trade Commission both have active investigations on the topic. On Wednesday, the Department of Justice took the matter of big tech’s power and what—if anything—to do about it to the industry’s heart, in Silicon Valley.

The department’s antitrust division joined with Stanford Law School to host a day-long workshop on antitrust and venture capital at the campus that spawned many major tech companies, including Google. Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general for antitrust, described it as a fact-finding mission. He wanted to know whether investors believe it’s likely or even possible for new entrants to disrupt dominant technology companies. “Are investors not willing to develop technology that challenges those platforms?” he asked.

Some investors present said they were not—and signaled openness to government action to make it easier

Sony Envisions an AI-Fueled World, From Kitchen Bots to Games

Sony Envisions an AI-Fueled World, From Kitchen Bots to Games

In 1997, Hiroaki Kitano, a research scientist at Sony, helped organize the first Robocup, a robot soccer tournament that attracted teams of robotics and artificial intelligence researchers to compete in the picturesque city of Nagoya, Japan.

At the start of the first day, two teams of robots took to the pitch. As the machines twitched and surveyed their surroundings, a reporter asked Kitano when the match would begin. “I told him it started five minutes ago!” he says with a laugh.

Such was the state of AI and robotics at the time. It took a machine minutes to interpret its situation and work out what to do next. But much has changed, with AI increasingly helping machines, from self-driving cars to surveillance cameras, perceive and behave in clever ways.

Kitano now leads a new effort at Sony, announced in November, to infuse cutting-edge AI across the company. The Japanese giant

Why Are We Polarized? Don't Blame Social Media, Says Ezra Klein

Why Are We Polarized? Don't Blame Social Media, Says Ezra Klein

NT: Andreessen may have decided that it was grim, too, because he’s put his bullhorn on the shelf and decreased his Twitter activity by roughly 99 percent over the last two years. (And if he starts up again, please let me know! As far as I can tell, he is the only person on the service who has blocked me.)

Anyhow, you have an interesting line related to this, roughly halfway through the book, where you say, “The more political media you consume, the more warped your perspective of the other side becomes.” And then, shortly after that, you point out that following a few people of different beliefs is actually poison, not an antidote. It makes one more partisan. Explain why that is.

EK: I just looked and I’m blocked by Marc, too. Weird! At any rate: In the section you’re quoting from, I describe a study called “The