Wishing all my readers a happy Easter/Passover/weekend. (Circle all that apply.)
Raheem founder Brandon Anderson speaking at TED2019. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED
With no national oversight or unified data to rely on, police accountability groups are trying to create their own data systems to document use of force by law enforcement.
Why it matters: Police forces increasingly tap into location data, sensors and facial recognition to do their jobs. Now the groups who police the police are increasingly trying to use technology to empower citizens on the other side of the interaction.
A pair of talks at this week's TED conference highlighted two nonprofit efforts being made to improve accountability.
"This country is increasingly becoming monitored by police. I’m absolutely interested in using this technology to oversee the people who surveil us."— Raheem founder Brandon Anderson
The big picture: Communities of color have come under particular scrutiny both historically and as the new generation of surveillance technology has emerged.
How it works: By offering hard data, these groups shift the conversation from accusations to specific behaviors.
What's next: Raheem is looking to expand its use of technology to better inform and protect people in real time during their interactions with police, in addition to documenting what happens.
The Center for Policing Equity is now aiming to expand its work to the state level. Goff said that 21 states collect at least some data on police interactions, mostly traffic stops.
Yes, but: Nonprofits in this realm face an uphill battle. Big data is a lot easier to deploy on behalf of big companies and big governments than relatively small communities or individual citizens.
News that the Mueller report would be delivered on CD-ROMs led to a flurry of jokes and reminiscences within the tech industry.
What's happening: There were references to AOL, which was famous for bundling its CD-ROMs with everything from magazines to cereal boxes, and jokes about floppy disks, an even older storage technology.
That was followed by interest in other niche technologies, including those for scanning, uploading and parsing documents.
Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky even sent the PDF to Kinko's to get his own hard copy, because, well, that's Steven.
Flashback: Last week it was hard drives in the news, as the group behind the Black Hole photograph used physical storage transported on a plane to bring back the massive amounts of telescope data needed to create the photo.
The bottom line: People not only have fond memories of older technologies, but also sometimes find new uses for it. Even the telegraph was used until very recently. (Western Union sent its last telegram in the U.S. in 2006. India continued to use telegraphs until 2013.)
Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
Uber on Thursday night confirmed that it has raised $1 billion for its autonomous driving unit at a post-money valuation of $7.25 billion, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
Why it matters: Uber is preparing to go public next month, and this deal could soothe some investor concerns about the self-driving project's high R&D costs.
Existing Uber shareholders SoftBank Vision Fund and Toyota were joined by Japanese auto parts maker Denso.
Go deeper: Uber files for its long-awaited IPO
IBM said Thursday it will host a "Code for Notre Dame" hackathon in hopes of seeing if the tech industry can help with the rebuilding effort for the fire-ravaged French landmark.
The May hackathon will take place in France in partnership with the government and local universities, and comes on top of a 1 million euro donation from IBM.
Why it matters: Cash is pouring in from lots of corners, but this could also lead to some novel ideas or approaches to rebuilding.
Police attend the scene of shooting of journalist and author Lyra McKee. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
She was young, fearless and brilliant. Lyra McKee was a journalist who brought her whole being into everything she did, including her work. Yesterday, she was killed in Derry, Northern Island while covering a riot in what police are calling a terrorist attack.
McKee, 29, was an editor at Techmeme sister site Mediagazer and an up-and-coming investigative journalist working on a book due out next year. She was a proud member of the LGBTQ community and an even prouder aunt.
Among Lyra McKee's many works was this inspirational short film, "Letter to my 14-year-old self."