Clive Thompson

Wired Magazine / New York Times Magazine

Guest

Clive Thompson on KCRW

The features that make up your face are unique to you, just like your fingerprints. Think of it as your "faceprint."

Facial Recognition and Loss of Anonymity

The features that make up your face are unique to you, just like your fingerprints. Think of it as your "faceprint."

from To the Point

Facebook and Google aren’t the only companies using Face Recognition technology. It’s a tool of law enforcement, commercial enterprises—and even churches.

Facial Recognition and Loss of Anonymity

Facebook and Google aren’t the only companies using Face Recognition technology. It’s a tool of law enforcement, commercial enterprises—and even churches.

from To the Point

Wearable devices to monitor bodily functions now constitute a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Fitness Tracking: The Benefits and Unintended Consequences

Wearable devices to monitor bodily functions now constitute a multi-billion-dollar industry.

from To the Point

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Three shootings in the span of one week in California, Texas, and Ohio have community members and political leaders speaking out against gun violence and hateful rhetoric toward the…

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California’s relentless clean-air enforcer, Mary Nichols, has divided the automobile industry. After weeks of secret negotiations, the Chair of the State’s Air Resources Board has announced that Ford, Honda VW and BMW of America won’t go along with President Trump’s rollback of Barack Obama’s fuel-economy standards. Nichols claims it’s an “olive branch,” giving car makers the “flexibility” to clean up the air at the same time they continue to market vehicles that make the most money. Brady Dennis of the Washington Post calls it a “big deal,” even if Toyota, GM and 11 other companies revert to Trump’s new federal standards--at least for the moment. Alan Baum is a consultant for both the industry and environmental organizations. He says the four who made the deal with California have a slight lead on their competitors in developing the technology of the future, with China currently far ahead of them all. He says the western car makers are doing a poor job of educating consumers about the benefits of hybrids and electrics. Nichols’s history with the Air Resources Board goes back to the 1970’s. She was named Chair by Republican Governor Arnold Schwartenegger and reappointed by Democrats Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom. She made an international name for herself for years ago when she blew the whistle on Volkswagen for faking emissions tests on the diesel cars it sold for decades all over the world.

from To the Point

Author and University of Michigan professor Alexandra Minna Stern traces the origins of America's burgeoning white nationalist movement.

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In Redding, California, firefighters are still battling the large Mountain Fire that broke out late Thursday morning.

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President Trump says negative economic forecasts are fake news, but he’s also making nervous calls to his friends in the business world to ask if they’re true.

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Your questions about impeachment, and more

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“We can’t recycle our way out of this crisis.” That’s according to California’s Democratic State Senator Ben Allen-- just one of many politicians around the country proposing to ban all straws, bags and other single-use plastics. At the overwhelmed Recycling Center in Burbank, California, Kreigh Hample says, “Our packaging has gone up exponentially in just the last few decades… it’s a sad story in the way we eat, the way we dispose of things and the way that we’re living.” A throwaway culture may be convenient, but the costs include cleaning it up with taxpayer money--not to mention worldwide pollution. China now requires recycled products so pure that the bottom’s gone out of the market, but the plastics industry is bigger than ever. Former EPA official Judith Judith Enck says half the world’s plastics have been produced in the past 13 years. One new process has developed from coal fracking, and development is being encouraged by President Trump with support from the fossil fuel industry. But just 9% of the plastic produced is getting recycled. Some goes to landfills, but the rest turns into worldwide pollution. Images of plastic waste floating by the acre in the Pacific Ocean are all too familiar; microplastics are turning up from the depths of the seas to the remotest parts of the Arctic. In Texas and other states, it’s illegal to ban plastic products. But, in Sacramento, Allen says it’s time to hold the plastics industry accountable. California is big enough to influence the nation’s economy, so his efforts are being scrutinized by politicians and advocates around the country.

from To the Point