Like it or not, there’s a Secret Language of Domesticity. In technology terms, it’s the equivalent of “viewing source”: it’s not intentionally secret, it’s just easy to ignore if you’re not interested or don’t understand it. It’s the thing that creates the persistent rhythms of the home, and it’s passed down – by and large – from mother to daughter. — Domestic Folklore, or Washing Machines for Men | fabric of things
If you don’t listen to Google’s robot car, it will yell at you. I’m not kidding: I learned that on my test-drive at a Stanford conference on vehicle automation a couple weeks ago. The car wanted its human driver to retake the wheel, since this particular model wasn’t designed to merge lanes. If we ignored its command a third time, I wondered, would it pull over and start beating us like an angry dad from the front seat? Better to not find out. — The Ethics of Saving Lives With Autonomous Cars Are Far Murkier Than You Think | Wired Opinion | Wired.com (via iamdanw)
Density is a device and iOS app. The sensor is about the size of a deck of cards. Once plugged into an outlet, it will immediately count the number of people in a room. Installation takes fewer than 5 minutes.
Density is a MAC address sniffing device, akin to the London spy bins, according to its pitch video. Other cases of MAC address sniffing:
For discussion, see this Hacker News thread. SpoofMAC is an OSX, Windows, Linux tool for changing your MAC address.
Most visited website per Country, weighted by Internet Population. Google is Red, Facebook is Blue.
Via Twitter / markpinc: “The new risk board. Clearly late in the game. Down to two players unless someone flips the board.”
Twitter / flightradar24: RT @kaanyazgan: “AtlasJet KKK8003 Back to Istanbul.Simferopol airport was occupied by people in military uniform”
"I consider what has happened to be an armed invasion and occupation in violation of all international agreements and norms," Mr Avakov said on his Facebook page. — BBC News - Ukraine crisis: ‘Russians occupy’ Crimea airports
Sexually explicit webcam material proved to be a particular problem for GCHQ, as one document delicately put it: “Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person. Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography.”
The document estimates that between 3% and 11% of the Yahoo webcam imagery harvested by GCHQ contains “undesirable nudity”. Discussing efforts to make the interface “safer to use”, it noted that current “naïve” pornography detectors assessed the amount of flesh in any given shot, and so attracted lots of false positives by incorrectly tagging shots of people’s faces as pornography.
Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ | World news | theguardian.com
A startup is developing machine-learning technology that mimics the way the ear works, which it believes will make it easier for smartphones and wearable devices to constantly listen for sounds of danger.
One Llama will show some of its capabilities in an app called Audio Aware, which is meant to alert hard-of-hearing smartphone users and “distracted walkers” (an issue previously explored in “Safe Texting While Walking? Soon There May be an App for That”). The app, planned for release in March, will run in the background on an Android smartphone, detecting sounds like screeching tires and wailing sirens and alerting you to them by interrupting the music you’re listening to, for instance. The app will arrive with knowledge of a number of perilous sounds, and users will be able to add their own sounds to the app and share them with other people. — Startup One Llama has an App That Recognizes Dangerous Sounds | MIT Technology Review
Our choice is not between “regulation” and “no regulation.” The code regulates. It implements values, or not. It enables freedoms, or disables them. It protects privacy, or promotes monitoring. People choose how the code does these things. People write the code. Thus the choice is not whether people will decide how cyberspace regulates. People—coders—will. The only choice is whether we collectively will have a role in their choice—and thus in determining how these values regulate—or whether collectively we will allow the coders to select our values for us. — Lawrence Lessig on the increasing regulation of cyberspace | Harvard Magazine Jan-Feb 2000
Detail from jenny odell • satellite landscapes
"Much of the strangest architecture associated with humanity is infrastructural. We have vast arrays of rusting cylinders, oil rigs dotting wastelands like lonely insects, and jewel-toned, rhomboid ponds of chemical waste. We have gray and terraced landfills, 5-story tall wastewater digester eggs, and striped areas of the desert that look as though they rendered incorrectly until we realize that the lines are made of thousands of solar panels. Massive cooling towers of power plants slope away from dense, unidentifiable networks on the ground and are obscured in their own ominous fog. If there is something unsettling about these structures, it might be that they are deeply, fully human at the same time that they are unrecognizably technological. These mammoth devices unblinkingly process our waste, accept our trash, distribute our electricity. They are our prostheses. They keep us alive and able, for a minute, to forget the precariousness of our existence here and of our total biological dependence on a series of machines, wires, and tubes, humming loudly in some far off place."
The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense. Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has catalogued computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), based in New York. Both publishers, which were privately informed by Labbé, say that they are now removing the papers.
Among the works were, for example, a paper published as a proceeding from the 2013 International Conference on Quality, Reliability, Risk, Maintenance, and Safety Engineering, held in Chengdu, China. (The conference website says that all manuscripts are “reviewed for merits and contents”.) The authors of the paper, entitled ‘TIC: a methodology for the construction of e-commerce’, write in the abstract that they “concentrate our efforts on disproving that spreadsheets can be made knowledge-based, empathic, and compact”. (Nature News has attempted to contact the conference organizers and named authors of the paper but received no reply; however at least some of the names belong to real people. The IEEE has now removed the paper). — Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers : Nature News & Comment
Long years have passed.
I think of goodbye.
Locked tight in the night
I think of passion;
Drawn to for blue, the night
During the page
My shattered pieces of life
watching the joy
shattered pieces of love
My shattered pieces of love
gone stale. — "Long years have passed", current leader in "Most human-like computer poems" on Leaderboard | bot or not, “a Turing test for poetry. You, the judge, have to guess whether the poem you’re reading is written by a human or by a computer”, via @goto80