Leo Mirani, Quartz

Leo Mirani


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Past articles by Leo:

You can thank this mid-century cat photographer for your favorite cat memes

“Fashion has Helmut Newton, architecture has Julius Shulman, and cat photography has Walter Chandoha." → Read More

How Uber hires drivers where background checks are impossible

A month after an Uber driver in Delhi was charged with the rape of a female passenger, Uber beefed up its background checks for prospective drivers in India. This is unlikely to help. Outside of the developed West, few countries have centralized criminal records databases. Nor are certificates of good character worth much. And clean background checks are easy... → Read More

India has lifted its online porn ban—but ISPs are going to keep blocking it anyway

Usually a divided country, India came together in its outrage over the latest ban. On Monday, Aug 4, India woke up to discover that the government had blocked 857 pornographic websites. But unlike neighboring China, where bans are watertight and strictly enforced, India's porn ban was in shambles from the word go. As many, including Quartz, noted, there are more... → Read More

There are now more than 24,000 different Android devices

For the past four years, London startup OpenSignal, which tracks networks and sensors, has released an annual report on fragmentation in the Android ecosystem. Where Apple produces fewer models of its iPhone than you have fingers on one hand, Android has long has a vast diversity. How vast? This year, OpenSignal counted more than 24,000 unique Android devices—both smartphones and... → Read More

In Facebook’s world, you can agree with Mark Zuckerberg now or you can agree with him later

What would you do if you ran an advertising platform with the power to reach 1.4 billion people? Would you take a public policy defeat in your stride, and accept that a noisy group of activists in one market may have scuppered your plans? Or would you use your immense power to persuade, influence, and reiterate your... → Read More

Why three German car makers just bought a mapping company from Nokia

Last year, some 17 million cars rolled off production lines with navigation systems built into them. That's about one in four of all cars sold worldwide and more than all the cars sold in the US in 2014. That number will only grow as vehicles become increasingly autonomous. For cars to be able to do things on their... → Read More

The end of China’s ban on video game consoles won’t change anything

This week, China said it will lift a ban on selling video game consoles and games in the country, the latest in a series of rules aimed at loosening restrictions on sales. But despite the nice-sounding sentiment that China is opening up, the fact is that not much has changed. And not much will change. China has "lifted the ban" before—notably in January 2014,... → Read More

There’s an app to listen to silent TVs in public places—and it might just help TV take on the web

It seems obvious in retrospect. We can watch television on our phones, so why not listen to television on our phones? In airport terminals, at gyms, bars and coffeeshops, hospital waiting rooms, and elsewhere, there are typically televisions tuned to the news, sports events or music videos, but with the sound turned off. You can rectify that with... → Read More

Qualcomm is now the latest US tech company under European antitrust investigation

In the past three months alone, Europe's antitrust enforcer, Margether Vestager, has filed formal charges against Google, opened an investigation into Google's Android operating system, and started an investigation into Amazon's e-books business. Today, the Competition Commission announced two more investigations, both looking at the same tech company: Qualcomm, a California-based chip-maker… → Read More

Online ad-blockers can reduce data consumption by up to 40%

Even free services come with a cost. On the web, where things often are free because advertisers are willing to pay to target specific users based on their data, the cost to the user is privacy. But there is a financial cost, too, as researchers at Canada's Simon Fraser University discovered. According to a study (pdf) conducted at... → Read More

Twitter isn’t being sold, despite what this well-crafted, fake Bloomberg webpage says

Nevermind what this very realistic-looking Bloomberg webpage says. Twitter is not, in fact, "working closely with bankers after receiving an offer to be bought out for $31 billion." A Bloomberg spokesperson has clarified that both the story and the the website reporting the sale are fake. Still, the story convinced enough people, for enough time, to do this to... → Read More

500 million people are watching videos of video games

Felix Kjellberg is a 25-year-old Swedish man who made $7 million last year playing video games. Known on YouTube at PewDiePie, Kjellberg records videos of himself playing video games and uploads them to his channel, which has nearly 38 million subscribers. By contrast, Taylor Swift's YouTube channel has 15 million. Kanye West's has fewer than 2 million. http://atlas.qz.com/charts/EkpKA4vd... → Read More

In Norway, one in three new cars is electric. In the US, it’s one in 100

In the first three months of this year, Norwegians registered 8,112 plug-in electric vehicles, up 40% from the 5,775 registered in the same period last year. http://atlas.qz.com/charts/416Aa1IO That's far fewer than America's nearly 15,000. But it represents the highest proportion of electric car registrations in the world—by a long margin. According to IHS Automotive, a research firm, 33.1%... → Read More

The BBC is getting back into the computer business

Thirty-three years after the BBC introduced the Micro, a rather un-micro computing device that used cassette tapes as input media, the British national broadcaster has released the final design for the BBC Micro Bit, a credit-card-sized computer that will be distributed to 1 million 11- and 12-year-old British school children later this year. Today, like in the 1980s, digital literacy is an… → Read More

Samsung finally made a phone people wanted—but it didn’t make enough

Samsung warned this morning that its second quarter results would fail to live up to expectations, with profits declining slightly to 6.9 trillion won ($6.13 billion), down from 7.1 trillion won in the same period last year. Though it is Samsung's strongest performance in the past year, it also marks the seventh straight quarter of decline for Samsung's operating income.… → Read More

The life-saving “undo send” feature is now an official part of Gmail

It works by delaying the sending of an email for a pre-set amount of time. → Read More

A brief guide to the fantastic, wondrous creatures of tech industry jargon

Unicorns, decacorns, centaurs, dragons and even ponies. → Read More

Porsche now makes more money for Volkswagen than the VW brand itself

When Volkswagen acquired Porsche in 2012, the Wolfsburg-based automaker had reason to feel smug. The acquisition marked the end of a multi-year battle for control, with both German firms trying to acquire the other. Volkswagen won in the end (paywall). This is not to say that the marriage has been a happy one. Indeed, earlier this year Ferdinand... → Read More

Prepare yourself for a world of constant surveillance by insurance companies

Nest, a connected-appliance company owned by Google, announced yesterday that it has partnered with insurance companies to offer discounts to customers willing to share data generated by Nest's smoke detector. According to Quartz reporter Alice Truong, who attended the Nest launch event, the data shared with insurance companies is just to make sure that Wi-Fi, batteries, and sensors are working… → Read More

Robots are like immigrants: The more you know them, the better you like them

People who use robots are more likely to have a positive view of them than those who do not use them. → Read More