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    Innovation no fix for urban transport ills

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 03/07/2018

    » Urban transportation is undergoing a revolution. Offerings such as Uber and Lyft, as well as car- and bike-sharing services are widely believed to reduce congestion and generally make urban dwellers more mobile; driverless cars are expected to provide further benefits. Yet the notion that these innovations always make things better is far from a given: The new services are a net good only if they complement traditional public transportation systems rather than compete with them.


    Putin, Trump have nothing to talk about

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 29/06/2018

    » The Singapore meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un made for a great propaganda film for North Korean TV, with swelling music, a swooning commentator and swanky pageantry. The planned summit between Mr Trump and President Vladimir Putin won't even produce that; it will be a pure waste of time for everyone involved.


    Merkel joins US on trade 'low road'

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 15/06/2018

    » After failing to persuade President Donald Trump that punitive tariffs on European imports aren't a good idea, Chancellor Angela Merkel has apparently decided to fight back by taking a page from his playbook and manipulating facts.


    EU privacy rules risk giving Google even more power

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 03/05/2018

    » The disingenuous way companies are attempting to comply with the letter, not the spirit, of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is only part of the problem with the new privacy rule, which goes into effect on May 25. For publishers already forced to accept Google's near monopoly on programmatic advertising on their sites, the new regulation could make things worse.


    Google breakup would fit the EU's logic

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 24/04/2018

    » On Thursday, the European Parliament backed the idea of breaking up Google. It doesn't have the power to do it, but the legislators' decision is a notable part of a backlash against the remedial action Google took after the European Commission fined it US$2.95 billion for abusing its dominant position in shopping search. That backlash could lead to dire consequences for the search giant.


    Cambridge Analytica's business simply isn't data

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 23/03/2018

    » As the Cambridge Analytica scandal unfolds, the Western world is meeting a little-known part of its political industry, the one that has operated in developing nations since at least the 1990s. CA's methods as revealed by Britain's Channel 4 News, whose reporter posed as a potential Sri Lankan client, may be a bit extreme -- but for the most part, the consultancy has been one of many firms that have brought Western-style electioneering to lawless environments in which it has been blatantly abused.


    The Cambridge Analytica red herring

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 21/03/2018

    » Facebook is being hammered for allowing the data firm Cambridge Analytica to acquire 50 million user profiles in the US, which it may or may not have used to help the Trump campaign. But the outrage misses the target: There's nothing Cambridge Analytica could have done that Facebook itself doesn't offer political clients.


    Secretive Russian billionaire vents to US conservatives

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 13/03/2018

    » It's not every day that a Russian billionaire submits a op-ed piece to the Daily Caller, the conservative US website. When the billionaire in question is as media-shy as Oleg Deripaska, something extraordinary is going on. As the unfortunate recipient of an oversized role in the "Trump-Russia" scandal, he has had enough and is not quite sure how to defend himself.


    MeToo camp hits a wall in Russia

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 09/03/2018

    » The #MeToo movement has finally reached Russia. Unfortunately, it's sad and astonishing for the women involved and for anyone who supports them. Russia's current atmosphere is conducive to all sorts of power abuses, and the scandal in its parliament proves that nothing's about to change.


    US-EU trade imbalance does need fix

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 08/03/2018

    » In response to US President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs on European imports such as steel, aluminium and cars, the European Union (EU) is threatening to slap a 25% duty on jeans, cosmetics, bourbon and Harley Davidson motorcycles. This is an intentionally cartoonish list of US staples designed to portray Mr Trump's attempt at a trade war as a farce.

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