Placemeter | Making your city better
Imagine never having to guess how busy your favorite restaurant is or waiting in line at the grocery store. Placemeter is making it possible, one sensor at a time. Be smarter about your time—and help your neighbors do the same—by becoming a Meter.
Startup wants to use your old phone taped to your window to track how busy locations are.
Previously posted, without knowing the source of the imagery: video of Placemeter’s algorithmic output.
Video of Placemeter’s pitch at Websummit: “Many of you look at this video and see Times Square. But I have 20 years of computer vision experience, and I see a data mine here.”
This is the first picture I was given of my unborn son
Right Mastcam, Sol 540
"Stereoscopic wiggle GIFs of Mars from Curiosity Rover, animated from MSL raw imagery by brownpau"
Can Twitter Predict Major Events Such as Mass Protests? | MIT Technology Review
Today, Nathan Kallus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge says he has developed a way to predict crowd behaviour using statements made on Twitter. In particular, he has analysed the tweets associated with the 2013 coup d’état in Egypt and says that the civil unrest associated with this event was clearly predictable days in advance. […] First, Kallus defines a significant protest as one that receives much more mainstream media coverage than usual. He then analyses the mainstream coverage to see when significant protests actually occur and looks for activity in the Twitter feed that precedes the protests. If these are the predictive indicators, then it is possible to look for similar types of activity and assume that this is predictive too. Kallus tests this idea by studying the tweets associated with the 2013 coup d’état in Egypt, which was centered around the anniversary of President Morsi’s rule, triggering significant protests during which he was removed from power by the Egyptian army. Kallus says that evidence of the protests was clearly visible in the Twitter feed well in advance, as were the advanced protests that occurred before the anniversary. What’s more, the social media content predicted that the protests would go on for weeks beyond the anniversary. Kallus’s conclusion that tweets can accurately predict significant protests in advance is an interesting one. There’s no question that the evidence is there to be found in the social media in retrospect. There is no shortage of people who make these kinds of predictions about historical events using historical data. The bigger question is whether it’s possible to pick out this evidence in advance. In other words, is possible to make predictions before the events actually occur?
Art Of The Bush School | greg.org: the making of, by greg allen
This is as good a time as any to point out that Bush painted his portraits, not just from photographs—a common enough practice as well as a long-established conceptual strategy, though I think only the former pertains here—but from the top search result on Google Images. Many photos were taken from the subject’s Wikipedia entry. Bush based his paintings on the literally first-to-surface, easiest-to-find photos of his subjects. Is this meaningful in any way? If he had one, it would mean Bush’s studio assistant is very, very lazy. But in all his discussion of it, Bush’s painting practice appears to be a solitary one. He apparently did not tap the enormous archive of photos, taken by the professionals who followed him every day for eight years, which are contained in his giant library. Instead, it seems, he Googled the world leaders he made such impactful relationships with himself, and took the first straight-on headshot he saw. […] The point is, once again, art matters. Art has surfaced in the most dire circumstances, at a crucial moment in our society’s history, produced by someone whose actions and moral standing confound our engagement with it. And culturally speaking, we don’t care; we’d rather see Bush’s folksy pictures from the internet. Every news story about Bush’s paintings represents ten reports not filed about Bush’s torture. In the art world, meanwhile, we’d rather not see it at all. Better to condemn and dismiss it quickly. Snark and move on. Stoke the indignance that keeps us and our practices unsullied. Ward off any engagement with cowering incantations of connoisseurship and facture. This is how art appears in our society today. Art works, as they say, and this is what it does: it absolves and redeems and defuses and deflects. Ultimately, George Bush’s paintings are important less for what they show, than for what they obscure. And the art world’s critical structures seem unable or unwilling to meet the challenge posed by the art of the torture & terrorism school.
Unlike a rusting highway bridge, digital infrastructure does not betray the effects of age. And, unlike roads and bridges, large portions of the software infrastructure of the Internet are built and maintained by volunteers, who get little reward when their code works well but are blamed, and sometimes savagely derided, when it fails. To some degree, this is beginning to change: venture-capital firms have made substantial investments in code-infrastructure projects, like GitHub and the Node Package Manager. But money and support still tend to flow to the newest and sexiest projects, while boring but essential elements like OpenSSL limp along as volunteer efforts. It’s easy to take open-source software for granted, and to forget that the Internet we use every day depends in part on the freely donated work of thousands of programmers. If open-source software is at the heart of the Internet, then we might need to examine it from time to time to make sure it’s not bleeding. — The Internet’s Telltale Heartbleed : The New Yorker
Walking West is a walking art perfomance by Conor McGarrigle. April 11 2014, Colfax Avenue Denver.
Walking West seeks to inscribe the virtual on the physical as it combines the physical act of walking with the ephemeral digital traces of its GPS track and the invisible actions of a satellite 400-miles above capturing the scene.
The path will be marked with a physical line as a GPS device simultaneously traces a virtual digital line along the route, the route will be captured from space by a commissioned satellite photograph. — Walking West -Colfax Ave
Brick Lane, London
via Brady B.
The simple way Google Maps could side-step its Crimea controversy
Now that Crimea has joined the “gray areas” of the world – the disputed territories that no one seems quite sure how to portray on a map – its cartographic status is suddenly a matter of importance. National Geographic recently got into a little bit of controversy for suggesting that it wouldn’t portray the area as part of Ukraine, for example. The situation might seem especially problematic for a service like Google Maps, which is not only one of the most high-profile mapping services in the world, but also incorporates crowd-sourcing into its mapping process (which has resulted in quite a few awkward moments over the years). Russian politicians are keeping an eye on what the mapping company is doing, with one State Duma deputy reportedly asking authorities to check with Google as to why they hadn’t portrayed Crimea as part of Russia yet. Google is smart about these things, however, and I suspect it will be able to sidestep any controversy here. Why? Because it does it all the time already. For an example of how that happens, take a look at the disputed border between China and India. Following a controversy over the status of Arunachal Pradesh (which is claimed by China but administered by India), Google took up a rather novel approach: showing China one thing, and India another.
Computers dethrone humans in European stock trading | Reuters
Last year, European investors put 51 percent of their orders through computers directly connected to the stock exchange or by using algorithms, or algos, to find a counterparty, a study by consultants TABB showed. In 2012, the share was 46 percent.
“IT professionals routinely use the same kind of technology as Google’s Street View cars did to collect packet data in order to secure company networks,” the company writes. “And unlike Google, which never used the payload data it collected, security professionals also parse and analyze the data collected from wired and wireless networks, including networks operated by other persons or entities, to identify vulnerabilities in and potential attacks on the networks they protect.”
Google Takes Wi-Fi Snooping Scandal to the Supreme Court | Threat Level | WIRED
How a Chinese Company 3D-Printed Ten Houses In a Single Day
"If these claims are true, WinSun is printing an inexpensive, sturdy home in mere hours for very little money. The company says the process would be perfect for fabricating homes for the impoverished and displaced—a major issue in some Chinese cities. In my eyes, that’s far closer to the early dream of architectural 3D printing buildings: To harness rapid prototyping to build housing that’s cheap, fast, and in the words of WinSun, "dignified." The concept of spending three years and millions of dollars to print a 13-room home out of plastic, by comparison, feels like nothing more than a gimmick."