Emerging Market Software Blog

A moral failure in tech

The fall of MIT Media Lab
published on 2019/09/07

The M.I.T. Media Lab, which has been embroiled in a scandal over accepting donations from the financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, had a deeper fund-raising relationship with Epstein than it has previously acknowledged, and it attempted to conceal the extent of its contacts with him. Dozens of pages of e-mails and other documents obtained by The New Yorker reveal that, although Epstein was listed as “disqualified” in M.I.T.’s official donor database, the Media Lab continued to accept gifts from him, consulted him about the use of the funds, and, by marking his contributions as anonymous, avoided disclosing their full extent, both publicly and within the university. Perhaps most notably, Epstein appeared to serve as an intermediary between the lab and other wealthy donors, soliciting millions of dollars in donations from individuals and organizations, including the technologist and philanthropist Bill Gates and the investor Leon Black. According to the records obtained by The New Yorker and accounts from current and former faculty and staff of the media lab, Epstein was credited with securing at least $7.5 million in donations for the lab, including two million dollars from Gates and $5.5 million from Black, gifts the e-mails describe as “directed” by Epstein or made at his behest. The effort to conceal the lab’s contact with Epstein was so widely known that some staff in the office of the lab’s director, Joi Ito, referred to Epstein as Voldemort or “he who must not be named.”

New Yorker

Technology is an integral part of day to day life of people and societies. There are grey areas where the benefits and harms of a particular technology or practice can be debated. However the moral case of accepting money from a convicted paedophile financier is pretty black and white. You simply don't accept any money or investment nor do any business with such individual.

It is a disservice to the victims of Epstein's crimes that MIT Media Lab accepted money from Einstein and a grave failure of imagination and moral rectitude for the illustrious institution.


The Crisis

published on 2019/08/24

Brazil has seen a record number of fires in 2019, Brazilian space agency data suggests.

The National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) says its satellite data shows an 85% increase on the same period in 2018.

BBC

There is only one Earth. Let's not make in unlivable for the next generation.

This New Yorker cartoon is a poignant reminder

New Yorker Cartoon “Yes, the planet got destroyed. But for a beautiful moment in time we created a lot of value for shareholders.”


Maybe there's a method in this insanity, maybe not

published on 2019/08/09

Uber set two dubious quarterly records on Thursday as it reported its results: its largest-ever loss, exceeding $5 billion, and its slowest-ever revenue growth.

The double whammy immediately renewed questions about the prospects for the company, the world’s biggest ride-hailing business. Uber has been dogged by concerns about sluggish sales and whether it can make money, worries that were compounded by a disappointing initial public offering in May.

NY Times

A cab hailing service is by nature a local business. A smaller business focusing on a specific locality will be able to compete and be profitable.

Uber investors are probably waiting for the advent of autonomous vehicle to arrive so they can get rid of the human driver component of the service and be finally able to achieve profitability.


A promising new language for the BEAM platform

published on 2019/08/04

Gleam is a young statically typed programming language that compiles to Erlang. Languages targeting the BEAM VM such as Erlang and Elixir are dynamically typed. They have been used successfully in many projects throughout the years. However static typings provide many appealing advantages over dynamic typing languages.


ASP.NET Core 3.0 is now production ready

published on 2019/07/26

The latest update to ASP.NET Core 3.0 (preview 7) mark an important progress in the development of this version of the framework. This version is now production ready.

SilverKey has an active greenfield development in ASP.NET Core 3.0 (using Blazor) at the moment and shortly will migrate our existings ASP.NET Core 2.2 systems to ASP.NET Core 3.0.

Our popular ASP.NET Core Samples projects have extensive samples ready for the new version including Blazor Web Assembly and Blazor Server Side.