Since the violence escalated on July 7, there have been 209 Palestinian casualties to a single Israeli killed by mortar shrapnel. (The Palestinian equivalent to something like Red Alert would make your phone vibrate consistently but softly—enough that it can’t be ignored, but at a volume inaudible to everyone around you.)
None of this is meant to detract from the danger that the rockets pose to Israelis who live within firing range, as their fear is real. For the Israeli families in Sderot, Ashkelon, or Be’er Sheva (where I once lived), Red Alert is palliative.
But Red Alert commodifies the pain of war, and helps render invisible its toll on Palestinians. It turns the conflict into a monetized app, with Google-powered ads scrolling at the top of the screen and furious, scattershot comments crowding at the bottom. Red Alert, in addition to assisting Israelis on the ground and gathering advertising dollars, serves the purpose of a government that has the privilege of being able to sufficiently protect its citizens. The people of Gaza have no such luxury. — Conflict Apps - The Awl (via Tim M)
How Street Maps Can Be Sexist | Co.Exist | ideas impact
OpenStreetMap is a massive free map of the world, editable by anyone. Companies like Flickr, Foursquare, and Craigslist all use it in their products. But unlike Google Maps, which rigorously chronicles every address, gas station, and shop on the ground, OpenStreetMap’s perspective on the world is skewed by its contributors. “When data is being contributed to OpenStreetMap, there is a specific bias because people contribute data they are interested in and familiar with. If they’re all male, maybe they forget to put in day care centers,” says Pickle. There are far more male contributors than female contributors to OpenStreetMap, though female contributions have been increasing, according to Pickle, who still works for Boundless in the role of chief revenue officer. “Anecdotally, there’s more info [on OpenStreetMap] on strip clubs than day care centers,” he says.
Yo messaging app used to alert Israelis about incoming rocket attacks - Gadgets and Tech - Life and Style - The Independent
As the exchange of missiles between Israeli and Hamas intensifies, Israeli programmers have created an update for the Yo mobile app that alerts users when a rocket strike is imminent. The Silicon Valley messaging app lets users exchange only a single word (“Yo”) and has been hailed as both “downright idiotic” and “unrivalled genius” after receiving more than $1 million in funding last month. According to the Times of Israel, the new use for the app was created by local coders to complement their iOS and Android app Red Alert – a free download that use information from the Israeli Defense Force and Homefront Command to deliver the location and time of predicted rocket strikes. Yo users in Israel and abroad can now add the user name REDALERTISRAEL on the app to receive push notifications on their smartphones whenever a rocket is inbound.
“The Camera In The Mirror”, a blog by Mario Santamaria, via It’s Nice That.
Welcome to the Future of Air Conditioning, says a poster at Venice airport, straight after passport control. Next to the words is an image of a composite Shanghai/Dubai-like city, made of sealed towers of the kind that would be impossible without artificial air. Any association with this year’s Rolex-sponsored Venice Biennale of Architecture is coincidental, but the poster is an eloquent exhibit of the event’s main theme. This is: thousands of years of architectural history are being changed utterly by modern techniques of constructing and servicing buildings which, predetermined by technical considerations, make architects marginal to their making. If, for example, a fireplace was once an occasion for social gathering and ornamental embellishment, there are now sensors that can track an individual and provide heating specific to that one person. The provision of heat becomes a solitary, dematerialised and invisible affair. — 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale review: put yourself in their space… | Art and design | The Observer
“I’ve made a bot that ‘likes’ everything on Facebook,” said Julien Deswaef […]
While it sounds an easy project to execute, it turns out that Facebook has its own scripts programmed to penalise ruthless automation. Because of this, Julien has had to mimic the sporadic interactions of humans to keep the bot under the radar. The artist has also had to forfeit his own Facebook account to the bot — you could interpret this as performance art, but Julien calls it software art. Many of his friends instantly complained about having everything liked by him. I follow him/it on Facebook, and yes it’s frustrating, but it is only irritating because it holds up a mirror of how pathetic your Facebook life really is; the bot likes every single mundane trace you leave on the site. — Popular Protest | Grafik
Twitter / dwr:: Wal-Mart is now selling ASIC bitcoin miners.
In fact, it’s all about the butts. Because players see their avatars from a third-person perspective from behind, men are confronted with whether they want to stare at a guy’s butt or a girl’s butt for 20 hours a week. Or as the study authors put it in more academic prose, gender-switching men “prefer the esthetics of watching a female avatar form.” This means that gender-switching men somehow end up adopting a few female speech patterns even though they had no intention of pretending to be a woman. — World of Warcraft gender switching: Why men choose female avatars. (via jomc)
Twitter / xor: “Whoops: cops pull over a woman, guns drawn, and force her to her knees—over ALPR mistake. 9Ct opinion today”
Wade Guyton May Be Torpedoing His Own Sales — Vulture
Wade Guyton’s smallish but beautiful black, blue, and red Untitled is estimated to sell for between $2.5 and $3.5 million tonight, and rumor has it that there’s a guarantee of $4 million. Guyton makes his art on inkjet printers and photocopiers, and last week, he began printing scores of new paintings from the same 2005 file that produced this one, perhaps an attempt to erase the singularity of this painting and torpedo its price. He took pictures of this process and posted them on Instagram. You can go to his account (@burningbridges38) and see copies of the painting rolling out of his printer and spread out all over his studio floor. These images have gone viral. Suddenly the piece at Christie’s is identical to dozens of others. The uniqueness has gone away.
A Hong Kong VC fund has just appointed an algorithm to its board.
Deep Knowledge Ventures, a firm that focuses on age-related disease drugs and regenerative medicine projects, says the program, called VITAL, can make investment recommendations about life sciences firms by poring over large amounts of data.
Just like other members of the board, the algorithm gets to vote on whether the firm makes an investment in a specific company or not. The program will be the sixth member of DKV’s board. — VITAL Named To Board - Business Insider
Long-Exposure Spy Cameras Will Capture Berlin’s Growth For The Next 100 Years - PSFK, via Dan W.
Artist Jonathon Keats has designed a surveillance unit that has a century-long exposure time, so it can capture the gradual change of a city over the years. Working with the Team Titanic gallery, the unauthorized urban project will see 100 of these Century Cameras hidden all across Berlin next week. The cameras serve not only as a way to uniquely document the passing of time, but also as a way to hold present-day Berliners accountable for their city’s future. “The first people to see these photos will be children who haven’t yet been conceived. They’re impacted by every decision we make, but they’re powerless. If anyone has the right to spy on us, it’s our descendants.”