No, silly, not the digital sweatshops you're thinking of. MIT's Technology Review looks at a survey refuting claims that Amazon's Mechanical Turk is responsible for screwing its pieceworkers, who have little to no recourse to go after employers who order up tasks then walk away.
The article looks at a sample questionnaire asking Turkers to either rate the integrity and honesty of employers on the Mechanical Turk or in their own labor market. Its findings were that they're very similar. We've heard Aaron Koblin is among the most benevolent commissioners in the Turk network.
Whether your avidly writing code or not, this list of lessons learned contains many thought-provoking chestnuts for people working in and around technology, like "software is never finished" and "Set a duration of how long you think it should take to solve a problem."
One of our favorite bloggers, the artist behind mildly-NSFW (occasional artsy nudes) photoblog Tokyo Undressed unveiled his latest work the other day, a large-scale (20x30 meter) ASCII piece on the side of Tokyo's Institute of Education and Child Development in Mejiro, Tokyo. The piece is ased on one of Rikki Kasso's own works, a photo called "The Future Starts Now."
Early Internet star Jaron Lanier has a new book out, about the degradation of intellectual property and the moral downgrade we've all suffered as a result of what he terms "digital Maoism." While it's sure to be debated, it seems like Lanier will be be floating better informed arguments than Andrew Keen. Read up on Lanier's premise at the NYT.