In a Syrian Town, People Started Shouting: ‘Chemicals! Chemicals!’

In a Syrian Town, People Started Shouting: ‘Chemicals! Chemicals!’ Photo A picture said to show victims of the chemical attack on the Damascus suburb of Douma. Credit Emad Aldin/EPA, via Shutterstock BEIRUT, Lebanon — For two days and a night, the computer science student had been huddling with his family in the basement of their apartment building as pro-government forces rained bombs down on their rebel-held Syrian town.
After night fell, they heard the whirring of helicopter blades followed by the whistling sounds of objects falling from the sky. Soon, a strange smell wafted down the stairs.
“People started shouting in the streets, ‘Chemicals! Chemicals!’” the student, Mohammed al-Hanash, 25, said by phone from Syria.
The attack in the Syrian town of Douma on Saturday, which witnesses and medical workers said used chemical weapons, has resonated far beyond the war-scarred community’s destroyed buildings, ratcheting up tensions among world powers and threatening to escalate Syria’s m..

Zuckerberg Faces Hostile Congress as Calls for Regulation Mount

Zuckerberg Faces Hostile Congress as Calls for Regulation Mount Video Zuckerberg Faces Tough Questions From the House Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee pressed Facebook’s chief executive on data privacy, security and political bias on the social media platform.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. Photo by Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press. Watch in Times Video » embed WASHINGTON — After two days and more than 10 hours of questioning of Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, there was widespread consensus among lawmakers that social media technology — and its potential for abuse — had far outpaced Washington and that Congress should step in to close the gap.
But the agreement largely ended there. For lawmakers, the calculus is tricky: They do not want to infringe on First Amendment rights or hurt Silicon Valley innovation but are also unsure how to regulate this new breed of company, which wields enormous power by collecting vast amounts of private data from billions of consume..

The Shift: Facebook Is Complicated. That Shouldn’t Stop Lawmakers.

Facebook Is Complicated. That Shouldn’t Stop Lawmakers. Photo Members of Congress had a mixed bag of concerns for Mark Zuckerberg this week, including points about Facebook’s privacy and data collection policies. Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times WASHINGTON — When it comes to regulating Facebook, Congress is in over its head. But does that matter?
This week’s marathon testimony by Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s chief executive, revealed the limited understanding many lawmakers have of what Facebook is and how it works. Members of Congress came with a mixed bag of concerns for Mr. Zuckerberg, including a few incisive points about Facebook’s privacy and data collection policies and a lot of off-topic ramblings about how computers work, but these questions never amounted to a unified theory of Facebook’s troubles, or suggestions of how they might be solved.
It’s tempting to claim that technological illiteracy is the problem — that some older and tech-phobic lawmakers ..

Automation: A third of London jobs to be taken by robots within 20 years, says report

Brexit could accelerate the adoption of new technologies to replace human labour, according to Centre for London
Almost a third of jobs in London have high potential to be done by machines within the next 20 years, a new study has found.
Automation could be accelerated if immigration policy tightens after Brexit, causing labour shortages, think tank the Centre for London said.
It estimates that around one in five jobs have medium potential for automation, while 48 per cent have low potential.
Read more Automation will ‘improve our lives’, says Dyson founder People in low- and medium-skilled jobs are reportedly likely to bare the brunt of the impact from increased use of AI and other technologies.
The wholesale, retail, transportation, storage, accommodation and food sectors – which employ a million people in the capital – will be particularly hard hit.
These are also some of the sectors which are most dependent on migrant labour: 32 per cent of construction workers, and 35 pe..

Economists Say U.S. Tariffs Are Wrong Move on a Valid Issue

Economists Say U.S. Tariffs Are Wrong Move on a Valid Issue Photo A shipment of soybeans at the Chinese port of Nantong. Many economists say the use of tariffs to address trade grievances with China will backfire on the United States, raising costs to its businesses and consumers and inviting retaliation against its exporters. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images WASHINGTON — President Trump’s economic advisers insist that the economics profession is solidly behind the administration’s threat to impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports. Many top economists say, no, they’re not.
Across the ideological spectrum, trade experts and former top economic advisers to presidents say Mr. Trump is right to highlight issues on which China is widely viewed as an offender, such as intellectual-property theft and access to its domestic market. But many of those experts say that Mr. Trump’s planned tariffs would backfire — by raising costs to American businesses and c..

Tech Fix: I Downloaded the Information That Facebook Has on Me. Yikes.

I Downloaded the Information That Facebook Has on Me. Yikes. Video Does Facebook Know You Better Than You Do? What makes you tick, whom you know, where you go, even where you might end up. The information you share in your profile is a mere snippet of what Facebook and its partners really know about you. Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The Times, explains.
By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER, ROBIN STEIN and KEVIN ROOSE on Publish Date April 9, 2018. . Watch in Times Video » embed When I downloaded a copy of my Facebook data last week, I didn’t expect to see much. My profile is sparse, I rarely post anything on the site, and I seldom click on ads. (I’m what some call a Facebook “lurker.”)
But when I opened my file, it was like opening Pandora’s box.
With a few clicks, I learned that about 500 advertisers — many that I had never heard of, like Bad Dad, a motorcycle parts store, and Space Jesus, an electronica band — had my contact information, which could include my email address, phone num..