Temple

Russians face new scrutiny in Silicon Valley; registering voters by text; and more.


  • Life in Facebookistan: Mark Zuckerberg has apologized for his insensitive virtual reality demonstration that used disaster-stricken Puerto Rico as a backdrop, Lucas Matney reports for TechCrunch.

  • Axios has announced an interview series on Facebook, starting with an interview with COO Sheryl Sandberg at 9am on Thursday.

  • Dave Karpf engages in some “speculative academic fan fiction,” asking how three books on digital politics would have been different if they had been written after the 2016 election. “The surprising Trump presidency will not just alter the course of political scholarship in the years to come, but will also guide the future development of political networks and political technologies,” Karpf writes.

  • ICYMI: A Russian investor is rethinking his idea to name a Catholic-church-turned-hacker-space “Hack Temple” because he can’t shake the specter of being a Russian in Silicon Valley, Nellie Bowles reports for The New York Times. Other investors says that the companies they meet with are scared off by their Russian accent. Other Russians find their resumes have been given a boost by their newfound hacker reputation. “A lot of clients are trying to find ways to hire those Russian hackers and at the same time instituting heightened security protocols internally,” one lawyer told Bowles. “They’re isolating source code so you don’t have access to the main tree.”

  • Google has also found evidence that Russians bought election-related ads in the run-up to the 2016 election, Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for The New York Times. Accounts believed to be connected to the government spent less that $5,000 on advertising, but an additional $53,000 was spent on ads by users in Russia that don’t have a traceable connection to the government.

  • Using peer-to-peer texting, Vote.org registered 26,000 hard-to-reach-voters at the low cost of $10 per registration form, less than traditional site-based registration.

  • There’s a rising tide of cooperative regional tech incubators, and a number of apps have been created to support them. Worth checking out!

  • Social media matters: A “save or later” option is coming to Twitter, Dani Deahl reports for The Verge.

  • Internet of Shit: Google accidentally sent a tech journalist a product that recorded him almost constantly, Artem Russakovskii writes for Android Police.

  • Your moment of zen.