硅谷的耻辱与悲哀

(20:34:30 更新)作恶的 Uber、抄袭的 Facebook,硅谷的公司们无视这些指控,继续前进,Nick Bilton 断言:Is the Silicon Valley Dynasty Coming to an End?

When you zoom out of that 50-square-mile area of Silicon Valley, it becomes obvious that big businesses can get shamed into doing the right thing. When it was discovered that Volkswagen lied about emissions outputs, the company’s C.E.O. was forced to resign. The same was true for the chief of Wells Fargo, who was embroiled in a financial scandal. In the wake of it's recent public scandal, United recently knocked its C.E.O. down a peg. Even Fox News, one of the most bizarrely unrepentant media outlet in America, pushed out two of the most important people at the network over allegations of sexual harassment. (Bill O'Reilly has said that claims against him are “unfounded”; Roger Ailes has vociferously denied allegations of sexual harassment.) Even Wall Street can (sometimes) be forced to be more ethical. Yet Elizabeth Holmes is still C.E.O. of Theranos. Travis Kalanick is still going to make billions of dollars as the chief of Uber when the company eventually goes public. The list goes on and on.

In many respects, this is simply the D.N.A. of Silicon Valley. The tech bubble of the mid-90s was inflated by lies that sent the NASDAQ on a vertiginous downward spike that eviscerated the life savings of thousands of retirees and Americans who believed in the hype. This time around, it seems that some of these business may be real, but the people running them are still as tone deaf regarding how their actions affect other people. Silicon Valley has indeed created some amazing things. One can only hope these people don't erase it with their hubris.

「Like」按钮如何成为互联网标配?

(17:52:31 更新)这篇名为*How the Like Button Took Over the Internet*的文章系统地回顾了「Like」按钮是如何产生:

In February 2009, the Like button was launched. Pearlman wrote the initial blog post. “Your friends, and their photos, notes, statuses and more are what make Facebook great,” she wrote. “When your friends share something great, let them know you like it.”

以及如何进一步发展起来:

Like’s growth is a result of both design decisions and the human craving to be, well, liked. Originally, the button appeared to the right of the “Comment” option below posts. Now it’s left-aligned right below the content of a post, serving as a “mental roadblock” that users must consider before moving on to the next status update, Kuang notes. Facebook added the ability to Like comments in 2010 (my quip “All these liking options on Facebook are approaching an Xzibit level of absurdity” got four Likes). 2013 saw the debut of nested comments, which can also be Liked.

盗亦无道的 Facebook

(17:42:09 更新)本周 FB 的开发者大会上,Facebook 推出面向 AR 的相机平台(我会在接下来一期会员通讯里做详细分析,欢迎加入「I/O」会员服务获取独家分析),而这个平台部分意义上「借鉴」了 Snap 的创意,事实上,这并非 FB 第一次面临这样的指责,早在 2011 年,FB 就抄袭了 Google + 的分组功能,通过 Smart List 来帮助用户实现对好友的管理,这篇 2011 年的旧文详细回顾了这个过程,并在文章末尾对于硅谷的盗亦有道做了一段论述:

Silicon Valley has a grudging respect for aggressive assimilation. In a famous 1994 interview, Steve Jobs quoted Picasso: "Good artists copy. Great artists steal." Jobs elaborated, "It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done. And then try to bring those things in to what you're doing. ... We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

Stealing, as Jobs defined it, has become much more difficult over the years. Tech companies are accustomed to patenting everything they come up with, and they hire lots of lawyers to protect those patents. That's why all the companies that make mobile phones and tablets are now suing one another. They've all made gadgets that (necessarily) crib one another's inventions, but they're obliged, by their attorneys, to protect their patents. Nowadays Jobs feels differently about copying: "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it," he said in a statement in March 2010, announcing Apple's decision to sue HTC.”

亚马逊人工智能的「冰山」之下

(17:30:42更新)本周,贝佐斯一年一度的致股东公开信发布,Quartz 这篇解读的结构比较清晰,整个公开信里有大量关于人工智能的论述:

Artificial intelligence isn’t all drones and virtual assistants—Bezos says that a lot of the AI work within the company happens under the hood of its core business, e-commerce. The company uses artificial intelligence to predict product demand, power search rankings, create and recommend deals, detect fraud, and translate the site into other languages.“Though less visible, much of the impact of machine learning will be of this type – quietly but meaningfully improving core operations,” Bezos says.