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New Net Neutrality Rules Could Threaten Popular Services

New Net Neutrality Rules Could Threaten Popular ServicesNet neutrality regulations have been dead for years. They should stay that way. Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has moved to reopen and relitigate the issue. Net neutrality boosters believe we need strict laws to keep internet service providers (ISPs) from prioritizing, slowing down, or blocking specific types of content, such as an application or a website. Such rules were enacted in 2016, under the Obama administration. They were removed after Donald Trump’s FCC chair, Ajit Pai, brokered a 2017 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to address potential harms caused by ISPs while simultaneously repealing strict net neutrality laws. This was a good outcome. The FCC would serve as the expert on broadband, and the FTC would bring cases when consumers were harmed. Consumers got protection, and the FCC was prevented from adding another layer of bureaucracy (and from grabbing…

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Starbucks asks SCOTUS to level playing field with NLRB

Starbucks asks SCOTUS to level playing field with NLRBStarbucks — facing a growing push for unionization across the nation — is asking the Supreme Court to review how the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) files injunctions after a judge forced the company to rehire Memphis workers tied to unionizing efforts. The company argues that some federal courts make it easier for the labor board to obtain an injunction, such as the one that handled the case in Memphis. Under the National Labor Relations Act, the labor board is allowed to seek “temporary injunctions against employers and unions in federal courts to stop serious unfair labor practices while a case moves through the Board’s process.” “Starbucks is asking the Supreme Court to level the playing field for Starbucks and all U.S. employers by ensuring that the same, correct standard is applied before federal district courts grant the NLRB extraordinary injunctions in…

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How We Got ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’

How We Got ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’I should not have been surprised, but I still marveled at just how little it took to get under the skin of President Donald Trump and his allies. By February 2019, I had been the executive editor of The Washington Post for six years. That month, the newspaper aired a one-minute Super Bowl ad, with a voice-over by Tom Hanks, championing the role of a free press, commemorating journalists killed and captured, and concluding with the Post’s logo and the message “Democracy dies in darkness.” The ad highlighted the strong and often courageous work done by journalists at the Post and elsewhere—including by Fox News’s Bret Baier—because we were striving to signal that this wasn’t just about us and wasn’t a political statement.“There’s someone to gather the facts,” Hanks said in the ad. “To bring you the story. No matter the cost. Because knowing…

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These 183,000 Books Are Fueling the Biggest Fight in Publishing and Tech

These 183,000 Books Are Fueling the Biggest Fight in Publishing and TechEditor’s note: This searchable database is part of The Atlantic’s series on Books3. You can read about the origins of the database here, and an analysis of what’s in it here.This summer, I acquired a data set of more than 191,000 books that were used without permission to train generative-AI systems by Meta, Bloomberg, and others. I wrote in The Atlantic about how the data set, known as “Books3,” was based on a collection of pirated ebooks, most of them published in the past 20 years. Since then, I’ve done a deep analysis of what’s actually in the data set, which is now at the center of several lawsuits brought against Meta by writers such as Sarah Silverman, Michael Chabon, and Paul Tremblay, who claim that its use in training generative AI amounts to copyright infringement.Since my article appeared,…

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Dianne Feinstein and the Politics of Mortality

Dianne Feinstein and the Politics of MortalityThere is a phenomenon in politics whereby if someone is old and infirm but remains alive for a while in a diminished state, they can almost persuade people that they are immune to death. So it was with John McCain, who died at 81 from a vicious brain cancer that left no hope of recovery, but whose actual death still sent a deep shudder through the political world. So, too, was it with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose death at 87 after multiple battles with cancer shattered her admirers and pitched the Supreme Court rightward. And so it was this week with Dianne Feinstein, the 90-year-old California senator who suffered from shingles, injuries from a tumble at home and apparent memory loss, but whose death still managed to startle much of Washington. There is nothing truly surprising about life coming to an end for someone…

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Bill Richardson’s Love of the Game

Bill Richardson’s Love of the GameEvery so often, someone asks me who my favorite politicians to write about over the years have been. I always place Bill Richardson, the longtime congressman and former governor of New Mexico, near the top of my list. I once mentioned this to Richardson himself.“How high on the list?” he immediately wanted to know. “Top 10? Top three? I get competitive, you know.”Richardson died in his sleep on Friday, at age 75. I will miss covering this man, the two-term Democratic governor, seven-term congressman, United Nations ambassador, energy secretary, crisis diplomat, occasional mischief magnet, and freelance hostage negotiator who even holds the Guinness World Record for the politician who’s shaken the most hands—13,392—in an eight-hour period.“Make sure you mention that Guinness World Record thing,” Richardson urged me the first time I wrote about him, in 2003. “The handshake record is important to me.”Why? I asked….

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