Some ways to keep the power on in California’s fire season
PG&E cut power to more than 700,000 people and businesses last week in Northern California cities as a way to prevent fires from sparking in dry, windy weather. But is a chaotic blackout the best solution? Marketplace’s Ben Bradford tells host Amy Scott that there are alternatives that could prevent this kind of disruption in the future.
Can an app make the call on baseball umpires?
With the World Series just around the corner, we’re hearing a lot about players’ stats. But another issue is when an umpire gets a call wrong. Major League Baseball is trying to make those instances less frequent. Over the summer, robot umpires helped officiate a minor league game. The goal is not only to improve accuracy of the calls, but to speed up the game and get more butts in the seats. But Boston University finance professor Mark Williams thinks there’s a way to use an app to make human umpires better at their jobs before we turn the reins over to the bots. We talk with him about the idea behind it.
Do fake images need to look convincing to be convincing?
Christye Sisson, a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, is working with the Department of Defense to help build a sophisticated tool that can identify fake images. She and her students act like the bad guys — doing painstaking work to develop the most convincing fake images they can. They’ve learned a lot about what it takes to fool people, including that maybe they don’t need to work so hard, at least on social media.
Amazon wants the public to know its warehouses are fun enough for the Girl Scouts
Amazon warehouses are key to the company’s operations. Items arrive, get sorted and are packaged and shipped off. But they don’t have a reputation for being great places to work. For example, last year, there were those reports about employees urinating in bottles at a U.K. warehouse to avoid taking bathroom breaks. Now Amazon is offering more public tours of its warehouses. The company says it wants to be transparent about how it operates and to inspire kids. We tagged along with a bunch of Girl Scouts on a tour.
Does encryption help with privacy, or does it violate public safety?
Law enforcement officials in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, including U.S. Attorney General William Barr, wrote an open letter to Facebook last week . That kicked off a heated debate about privacy and public safety.