Get the Weekly Brief straight in your inbox: Over the past few years, six police forces around the UK (including the MET) have been trialling facial recognition tech. It is estimated that Facewatch, the fast-track crime-reporting platform that heavily utilises facial recognition, will have 5000 cameras across the UK by 2022. The public is divided. […]
So, let’s weigh in with ours. We think that if you have nothing to hide, you have no reason to worry about Facial Recognition Tech (in the UK anyway… China is a completely different story). But if you are a wanted criminal then you should be very worried! You will not be able to evade the law (or it’ll at least be more difficult). The CEO of Facewatch notes success in this regard in Brazil, where it was used to catch the number two on Interpol’s most-wanted South America list (a drug baron), and a murderer who had been on the run for years. And, as well as identifying criminals and deterring crime, facial recognition tech could be leveraged to find missing persons, which could be transformative! If the tech is in the law’s hands then we don’t care so much about our privacy – I mean, let’s be real, we waved goodbye to privacy when we bought smartphones (which track your location, your friends, your conversations and what you buy) – we care more about being safe. Let us know on our Twitter if you disagree?
Get the Weekly Brief straight in your inbox: Gretta Thunberg’s rousing and emotional speech at the United Nations last week has been hailed by some as “the most powerful speech” they have ever seen (and you should watch it if you haven’t yet!). Others have a different opinion, with no punches pulled by the likes […]
Gretta Thunberg’s rousing and emotional speech at the United Nations last week has been hailed by some as “the most powerful speech” they have ever seen (and you should watch it if you haven’t yet!). Others have a different opinion, with no punches pulled by the likes of Jeremy Clarkson (no surprises there hey?), who branded her a “spoilt brat” and told her “to go back to school”. Putin has also weighed in – dismissing her as a “poorly informed teenager”. In my opinion, Greta Thunberg is nothing short of an inspiration. She has spurred a global climate change movement which is pushing communities, nations and corporations to act before it is too late.
Over the course of a week, Greta’s Instagram following has risen from 2 to 7 million. Twitter has exploded. Thousands upon thousands have taken to the streets demanding government action. Opponents, in a bid to seize control of the narrative, have torn apart her appearance, her state of mind and her family. The list goes on. Greta is gaining traction and the world (I hope) is waking up.
So, what can you do to combat climate change?
Support GreenTech startups (search for jobs in them, subscribe to their services etc.). Work in Startups is proud to have a number on our site – for example:
Wear your wooly jumper instead of turning your central heating up
Think Smart… Politically
Research your MPs views and policies on climate change
Pay careful attention to government policy and think how your vote can make a difference
Post On Social Media
Raising awareness is key. If you care, then tell your mum, sister, heck, even your grandfather about what is happening – humanity is truly facing an existential threat
Technology is only part of the solution. Whenever GreenTech startups post on Work in Startups it’s exciting! But more needs to be done – we (allegedly!) only have 8 years to stop irreversible climate change, so if there was ever any time to act – it’s now!
Act NOW on climate change and act NOW on your future. Check out this weeks hottest jobs:
This week we’re bringing you a piece about Google! Google has just won a landmark ‘Right to be Forgotten’ case and it’s all we’re thinking about! Plus, we’re bringing you all the hottest jobs of the week. Enjoy! […]
Anyhow, onto the interesting stuff… in 2016 the French Privacy Regulator CNIL fined Google €100,000 💲 for point blank refusing to de-list sensitive information from search results globally upon request. Google fought back 👊 and took its case to the European Court of Justice! Search engines, Google argued, should not censor search results for people in other parts of the world where the Right to be Forgotten is not enshrined. Were the Right to be Forgotten applied outside the EU, it could (potentially!) be abused by authoritarian regimes to censor human rights abuses. Essentially, Europe ruled that it is not Europe’s place to apply the Right to be Forgotten globally!
So what actually happened this week? Well Google WON the landmark case and (for now!) the Right to be Forgotten only applies within the EU. So try not to do anything too embarrassing when you’re outside of Europe…
You May Request to be Forgotten…. But Don’t Forget This Week’s Hottest Startup Jobs:
When people typically think of the smoking industry, the first images that come to mind are of massive tobacco companies dominating the market. The latter half of this decade, however, has seen the rise of an unexpected challenger: e-cigarette startups. While e-cigarettes themselves have been around for much of the 2000s, the past few years […]
The Rise (and Potential Fall) of JUUL Labs and Vaping Startups
When people typically think of the smoking industry, the first images that come to mind are of massive tobacco companies dominating the market. The latter half of this decade, however, has seen the rise of an unexpected challenger: e-cigarette startups. While e-cigarettes themselves have been around for much of the 2000s, the past few years have seen the explosion of vaping, thanks, in large part, to the emergence of JUUL Labs. Between 2015 and 2019, JUUL Labs has transformed from a little-known vaping startup into the third biggest unicorn startup of 2019 – experiencing experiencing year-over-year growth of around 700%. Valued at $50bn, it is currently the largest retail e-cigarette brand in the US and has a market share of over 75%.
What has JUUL done that Big Tobacco hasn’t been able to before?
Image. JUUL presents itself sleeker, sexier and more discreet than other vapes on the market
Variety of flavours. Wide-ranging fruity and “exotic” flavours appeal to the younger audience
The success of this new approach to e-cigarettes has prompted the rise of a number of e-cigarette startups mimicking JUUL’s design, branding and usability. NJOY and Blu are now dominant players in the market, with NJOY currently seeking a valuation of $5bn and using sales to compete with JUUL. And there are many more in both the US and, excitingly, the UK.
Does 2019/2020 spell the downfall of JUUL?
Once viewed as the ‘safe alternative’ to cigarettes, e-cigarettes are now coming under fire for a multitude of things:
Safety. As of yet, little is known about vaping’s health impacts, especially long-term. However, increasing evidence suggests that vaping is actually very bad for you. A 2019 study by the Stanford School of Medicine found that the e-liquids in JUULs could radically increase a person’s risk of heart disease because they destroy the endothelial cells that line the interior of blood vessels. The Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute Dr. Joseph Wu notes that “this study clearly shows that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes”. This finding appears to be supported by the jump in vaping-related illnesses. To date, there have been at least 450 reported cases of vaping-related respiratory illnesses and 7 deaths
Encouraging young people to smoke. Increasing research is finding that there is a ‘vaping epidemic’ amongst teenagers, perhaps spurred because the exotic, differently flavoured vaping fluids appeal to high schooler’s unused to tobacco’s harsh taste. Many of these teenagers have never smoked before and, through JUULing, are becoming addicted to nicotine. The danger is that these teenagers then turn to smoking
This week we’re bringing you a piece on how to promote accessibility and inclusion in tech. Specifically voice recognition technology and how some big names are creating products for all. As usual we have a roundup of this week’s hottest jobs (too)! […]
Voice-recognition software and smart assistants are becoming life (and energy) savers, but not all of us get as great an experience as others. Particularly those for whom English is a second language, who have speech impediments, or just plain mumble! Here in blighty, the good ol’ BBC is looking to uphold our weird and wonderful accents in a field largely catered toward ‘American English’ (whatever that is!) They plan to launch a rival smart assistant (‘Beeb’) that will supposedly understand even the most tricky regional British accent and obscurest patter. And this is not as out-of-the-blue as it may seem – YouGov reported that smart speakers are two-thirds less accurate for those who are not “white and male”. This is partly because speakers are largely developed by men (diversity in tech rears its ugly head yet again) and partly because AI finds deeper vocal tones easier to understand. Luckily Mozilla has a pretty cool solution for this: a crowd sourced data set of diverse voices. Common Voice aims to revitalise voice-recognition tech with entries from a diverse range of contributors. Feel free to contribute yourself (remember to add your demographic data), we certainly did! Maybe you’ll hear the dulcet tones of the Work in Startups team in your exploration?
This week on the weekly brief we are discussing sweaty sensors, mind control and smart gloves. We’re exploring the interesting developments in the tech behind sensors. Plus: giving you a shortlist of our favourite startup jobs from the site this week! […]
Move over Elon Musk, you’re not the only one who wants to read minds!
Facebook unveiled their Brain API Beta at F8, aiming to “integrate people’s thoughts into the next generation of apps”. Given the less-than-discreet reputation Facebook has earned, this is understandably putting some noses out of joint (would you trust them with your thoughts?) But putting privacy or morality to one side (*fingers firmly in ears*), we instead want to look at the awesome tech behind the project. Their team of scientists and developers are treading new ground in both BioTech implants and “neural machine learning”. Thinking as positively as possible, the tech could completely revolutionise treatment plans for neurological disorders. Seems a noble enough cause?
Another group using sensors to potentially tackle the way we treat debilitating disease (and pick up weapons in VR video games) are the team behind the ‘Stretch-Sensing Soft Glove.’ This glove accurately captures intricate hand movements without the need for optical tracking (watch them show off the product and absolutely slam their competitors below!) Meanwhile teams at UC Berkeley and Stanford have both developed similarly thin sensors to track even more biometric data about us “glamorously” through our sweat! Shows just how versatile and open this field is. So, whether you’re prepared to deal with the ickier privacy concerns of neural implants, or just want your sensors to be plain sticky, it looks like this tech will be a major part of future wellness and health. Really it’s just common sense(or)!
Here is a write up of this weeks newsletter. Today we were looking at potential banana extinction and how BioTech, AI and CRISPR can be used to help! As always you can get this content straight to your inbox on our weekly newsletter – we always try to include some fun and interesting tech news! Go bananas! […]
How can artificial intelligence save the world’s favourite fruit?
Tropical Race 4 – don’t worry we aren’t talking about that purple hurricane game every kid seem to be playing this summer! Better yet: crop destroying fungus. Fusarium Oxysporum has come to public attention after it hit land in Colombia. Short banana PSA: a different strain of Fusarium almost obliterated bananas as we knew them 30 years ago, leaving the more resistant ‘Cavendish’ as top banana. This strain is already present in Asia and can survive dormant in the soil for many years. It is expected to sweep through Latin America, where 99% of the world’s crop is grown, decimating bananas left and right. But all is not lost! An international team is using AI to detect diseases in bananas, developing tech that could be deployed on an international scale to contain and control the epidemic. Opening up the GMO debate, CRISPR and BioTech options have also been suggested to modify bananas (or even the disease itself) to sidestep a potential biological catastrophe. Without getting all Swedish child environmentalist on you, it seems like a good time to think about how to promote biodiversity within the confines of practical and ecological production needs. Thankfully BioTech is positioned to lead this attack and protect our precious bananas! Let the fights in offices across the nation continue over (objectively) the best fruit.