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Amazon Pushes Fast Shipping but Avoids Responsibility for the Human Cost

This article is co-published with ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative newsroom.When she added Gabrielle’s name to the chart in her kitchen, Judy Kennedy could picture the annual ritual. At birthdays she would ask her newest grandchild to stand up straight, heels against the door frame, so she could mark Gabrielle’s height beside that of her other granddaughter in the Maine house the family has lived in since the 1800s.But there are no lines for Gabrielle.In January, the 9-month-old was killed when a driver delivering Amazon.com packages crashed a 26-foot rented box truck into the back of her mother’s Jeep. The baby was strapped into a car seat in…

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When the A.I. Professor Leaves, Students Suffer, Study Says

SAN FRANCISCO — For years, big tech companies have used huge salaries, bonuses and stock packages to lure artificial intelligence experts out of academia. Now, a study released on Friday says that migration has hurt the post-college prospects of students.The study, the first of its kind, was conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester. They found that over the last 15 years, 153 artificial intelligence professors in North American universities left their posts for industry. An additional 68 moved into industry while retaining part-time roles with their universities.This migration has greatly increased in recent years, the study said. From 2004 to 2009, 26 university professors moved…

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New Google and Facebook Inquiries Show Big Tech Scrutiny Is Rare Bipartisan Act

There is a major force uniting America’s fiercely partisan politicians: big technology companies. Democrats and Republicans at the federal and state levels are coming together to scrutinize the power of the Silicon Valley giants and, potentially, to rein them in.Letitia James, the Democratic attorney general of New York, announced on Friday that attorneys general in eight states — four Democrats and four Republicans — and the District of Columbia had begun an antitrust investigation of Facebook.Next up for state regulators is Google. A similarly bipartisan group led by eight attorneys general is set to announce on Monday a separate but comparable investigation. The search giant is expected…

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New York State Suspects Vitamin E May Have Played a Role in Vaping Illnesses

Health officials in New York State said on Thursday that they are investigating a possible cause of a recent surge in severe vaping-related illnesses: a compound called vitamin E acetate. The state Department of Health said in a news release that “very high levels” of the compound had been found in 13 samples from eight of 34 patients who have gotten ill in New York. The samples were analyzed as part of an investigation by the Wadsworth Center, a state laboratory. This finding by no means ends the search for what is causing the illnesses, particularly given that vitamin E acetate has not been confirmed as a…

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Jeffrey Epstein’s Donations Create a Schism at M.I.T.’s Revered Media Lab

Joichi Ito gave himself some advice in 2008: “Reminder to self,” he wrote on Twitter. “Don’t invest with or take money from creeps,” although he used an earthier term.Then, over the next decade, he accepted about $1.7 million from Jeffrey Epstein.That money from Mr. Epstein, the disgraced financier who killed himself in jail last month while facing federal sex-trafficking charges, was split between Mr. Ito’s own investment funds and the prestigious center he leads at M.I.T., the Media Lab. His apology last month prompted two academics to announce plans to leave and led to calls for Mr. Ito to step down from the lab, an institution that…

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In a Tight Labor Market, a Disability May Not Be a Barrier

ROUND ROCK, Tex. — When Kate Cosway completed her master’s degree in 2014, her résumé drew plenty of interest, but she rarely advanced far in the hiring process. She was pretty sure she knew why: She is on the autism spectrum and struggles in traditional interviews.Her luck finally turned this summer when she landed a 12-week internship at Dell Technologies, which this month will turn into a full-time job working on automation in the company’s audit department.A year ago, Ms. Cosway probably wouldn’t have been hired at Dell, either. But last year, the Texas company started a program aimed at hiring people with autism.For Dell, the effort…

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