9 great reads from CNET this week

Anti-racism measures are forcing a rethink of tech terms like "master" and "slave," livestreaming might be warping our vantage point and privacy advocates worry about police body cameras at protests.

CNET News staff
2 min read

It's been another week of protests against police brutality and racial injustice, and the tech industry continues to scrutinize its own role in creating and perpetuating inequities.

For example, Amazon and Microsoft this week said they won't let police use their facial recognition systems and IBM said it's pulling out of the facial recognition market altogether --  in the name of protecting civil liberties. Police use of social media and body cameras has also been called into question.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization warned that the coronavirus pandemic is "worsening" and, while supporting the "global movement against racism," encouraged protesters to do so safely. On Thursday, the US hit 2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Here are the week's stories you don't want to miss:

Facial recognition has always troubled people of color. Everyone should listen

Black and brown communities are often the first to warn about surveillance tech and the last to get recognized for it.

Sundance Institute

Amazon made this injured warehouse worker sit 10 hours a day doing nothing

David Gallagher, who is on workers' comp, tried to get approval for a leave. He was denied twice over the course of a month.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

'Master' and 'slave': Tech terms face scrutiny amid anti-racism efforts

During Black Lives Matter protests, a movement grows to update terms used with hard drives, camera flashes and databases.

A camera flash shows a switch to change between master and slave modes.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Police body cameras at protests raise privacy concerns

They were supposed to add accountability to the police. But critics say they're backfiring and could cause a chilling effect on free speech at protests.

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Reddit's long history of tolerating racism is coming back to haunt it

CEO Steve Huffman believes Reddit's "values are clear." But you could forgive people for thinking otherwise.

Reddit logo American flag
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

SpaceX rockets fly with software you can find on your Android phone

Programmers detail the software that makes the Falcon rockets, Dragon capsules and Starlink satellites tick. And yes, they play Kerbal Space Program.


Police use of social media is under a microscope amid protests

A breakdown of trust is affecting how people respond to social media posts by police.

Getty Images

Livestreaming protests provides a raw, unfiltered and possibly warped viewpoint

From Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter, livestreaming is an intimate window into activism.


The phones we use today nearly didn't happen

Even into the first decade of the 2000s, some experts doubted whether device convergence was possible and others questioned whether we needed it at all.

Angela Lang/CNET