You Love Pinterest. Find Out Why The Police Do, Too : All Tech Considered : NPR, via Will W.

Eight hours after posting on his department’s Facebook, Twitter — and the Pinterest page the agency launched in February — Stahler received information from not one but three people who helped identify the owner of the bracelet. That alone would be a good story — but when you learn that the jewelry was actually a mother’s keepsake engraved with the names and birth dates of her children and stolen during a residential burglary in 1983, well, it’s sweeter than all the red velvet cupcake recipes on Pinterest combined.

You Love Pinterest. Find Out Why The Police Do, Too : All Tech Considered : NPR, via Will W.

Eight hours after posting on his department’s Facebook, Twitter — and the Pinterest page the agency launched in February — Stahler received information from not one but three people who helped identify the owner of the bracelet. That alone would be a good story — but when you learn that the jewelry was actually a mother’s keepsake engraved with the names and birth dates of her children and stolen during a residential burglary in 1983, well, it’s sweeter than all the red velvet cupcake recipes on Pinterest combined.

NPR

Twitter / MakingOfs: “Green ninjas help shampoo and hair dye commercial actresses do their hair swing.”

Twitter / MakingOfs: “Green ninjas help shampoo and hair dye commercial actresses do their hair swing.”

Lights, Cameras, Revolution: The Toronto Raptors, SportVu Cameras, NBA Analytics

The future of the NBA, at least in one place, looks like this: That’s Jason Kidd hitting a 3-pointer off a Carmelo Anthony pick-and-roll in the first quarter of Toronto’s February 22 home win over the Knicks; the Knicks are in blue, passing the little yellow ball around, and the Toronto players are colored white. It looks simple, but the process of getting there took a bunch of people, including three Toronto front-office employees, more than a half-decade of work. In simple terms: The Raptors’ analytics team wrote insanely complex code that turned all those X-Y coordinates from every second of every recorded game into playable video files. The code can recognize everything — when a pick-and-roll occurred, where it occurred, whether the pick actually hit a defender, and the position of all 10 players on the floor as the play unfolded. The team also factored in the individual skill set of every NBA player, so the program understands that Chris Paul is much more dangerous from midrange than Rajon Rondo, and that Roy Hibbert is taller than Al Horford.

How One Woman Hid Her Pregnancy From Big Data

For the past nine months, Janet Vertesi, assistant professor of sociology at Princeton University, tried to hide from the Internet the fact that she’s pregnant — and it wasn’t easy. Pregnant women are incredibly valuable to marketers. For example, if a woman decides between Huggies and Pampers diapers, that’s a valuable, long-term decision that establishes a consumption pattern. According to Vertesi, the average person’s marketing data is worth 10 cents; a pregnant woman’s data skyrockets to $1.50. And once targeted advertising finds a pregnant woman, it won’t let up. […] First, Vertesi made sure there were absolutely no mentions of her pregnancy on social media, which is one of the biggest ways marketers collect information. She called and emailed family directly to tell them the good news, while also asking them not to put anything on Facebook. She even unfriended her uncle after he sent a congratulatory Facebook message. She also made sure to only use cash when buying anything related to her pregnancy, so no information could be shared through her credit cards or store-loyalty cards. For items she did want to buy online, Vertesi created an Amazon account linked to an email address on a personal server, had all packages delivered to a local locker and made sure only to use Amazon gift cards she bought with cash. […] Genius, right? But not exactly foolproof. Vertesi said that by dodging advertising and traditional forms of consumerism, her activity raised a lot of red flags. When her husband tried to buy $500 worth of Amazon gift cards with cash in order to get a stroller, a notice at the Rite Aid counter said the company had a legal obligation to report excessive transactions to the authorities. “Those kinds of activities, when you take them in the aggregate … are exactly the kinds of things that tag you as likely engaging in criminal activity, as opposed to just having a baby,” she said.

Official Google Blog: The latest chapter for the self-driving car: mastering city street driving, via @jackson_mart

As it turns out, what looks chaotic and random on a city street to the human eye is actually fairly predictable to a computer. As we’ve encountered thousands of different situations, we’ve built software models of what to expect, from the likely (a car stopping at a red light) to the unlikely (blowing through it). We still have lots of problems to solve, including teaching the car to drive more streets in Mountain View before we tackle another town, but thousands of situations on city streets that would have stumped us two years ago can now be navigated autonomously.
turkopticon.

Turkopticon helps the people in the ‘crowd’ of crowdsourcing watch out for each other—because nobody else seems to be.[…]

Turkopticon adds functionality to Amazon Mechanical Turk as you browse for HITs and review status of work you’ve done. As you browse HITs, Turkopticon places a button next to each requester and highlights requesters for whom there are reviews from other workers. Bad reviews let you avoid shady employers and good reviews help you find fair ones. You can view reports made against requesters with a quick click.

turkopticon.

Turkopticon helps the people in the ‘crowd’ of crowdsourcing watch out for each other—because nobody else seems to be.[…] Turkopticon adds functionality to Amazon Mechanical Turk as you browse for HITs and review status of work you’ve done. As you browse HITs, Turkopticon places a button next to each requester and highlights requesters for whom there are reviews from other workers. Bad reviews let you avoid shady employers and good reviews help you find fair ones. You can view reports made against requesters with a quick click.

Renault Kwid concept - A new vision tailored for new market needs (by Renault), via Tom A.

Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic
In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sent a civilian aircraft* over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality. Compton residents weren’t told about the spying, which happened in 2012. “We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people,” Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting, which unearthed and did the first reporting on this important story. The technology he’s trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours. Like Google Earth, it enables police to zoom in on certain areas. And like TiVo, it permits them to rewind, so that they can look back and see what happened anywhere they weren’t watching in real time. If it’s adopted, Americans can be policed like Iraqis and Afghanis under occupation–and at bargain prices.
Persistence Surveillance Systems is the company behind the technology, as previously featured on One Visible Future.

Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic

In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sent a civilian aircraft* over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality. Compton residents weren’t told about the spying, which happened in 2012. “We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people,” Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting, which unearthed and did the first reporting on this important story. The technology he’s trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours. Like Google Earth, it enables police to zoom in on certain areas. And like TiVo, it permits them to rewind, so that they can look back and see what happened anywhere they weren’t watching in real time. If it’s adopted, Americans can be policed like Iraqis and Afghanis under occupation–and at bargain prices.

Persistence Surveillance Systems is the company behind the technology, as previously featured on One Visible Future.

How the Oculus Rift helped Roberta Firstenberg battle cancer
By the end of 2013, Roberta Firstenberg was losing her battle with cancer. After several months of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, she was told that the treatments were no longer effective. It was around this time that her granddaughter, Priscilla Firstenberg – a 2D and 3D video game artist – moved in to help take care of her. Pri would come home after work each night and sit with her grandma. The two would talk long into the evening until Roberta fell asleep. It was during this time that Pri decided to record her grandma’s most cherished memories and stories. One night, Roberta revealed an usual dream she’d had, where a future, time travelling version of Pri and her sister came to visit. They promised to take Roberta back into the future and cure her cancer, using a time travelling chair that would also enable her to explore and see the world once again. Roberta remarked how she missed the outside world, in particular how she could no longer step into her own yard. Her favourite pastime was caring for the garden.
[The Oculus Rift support team sent Priscilla and Roberta a development kit. Subsequently, Priscilla discovered her grandmother had also been photographed by a Google car, and appeared in Google Street View - the screenshot above, in the Oculus version.]
That night, Pri loaded up Street View and handed the Rift headset to her grandma. “I could see her smile really wide as she looked around. She smiled as she looked herself up and down, but then it started to fade as she remarked: I look so healthy there…” Standing behind Roberta is Spec, her dog who had died just months earlier. “Look how young Spec is,” Roberta said, then asked Pri to stop the feed. As she wiped away a tear it was obvious she’d had enough for the day.
Full story, including video, via above link.

How the Oculus Rift helped Roberta Firstenberg battle cancer

By the end of 2013, Roberta Firstenberg was losing her battle with cancer. After several months of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, she was told that the treatments were no longer effective. It was around this time that her granddaughter, Priscilla Firstenberg – a 2D and 3D video game artist – moved in to help take care of her. Pri would come home after work each night and sit with her grandma. The two would talk long into the evening until Roberta fell asleep. It was during this time that Pri decided to record her grandma’s most cherished memories and stories. One night, Roberta revealed an usual dream she’d had, where a future, time travelling version of Pri and her sister came to visit. They promised to take Roberta back into the future and cure her cancer, using a time travelling chair that would also enable her to explore and see the world once again. Roberta remarked how she missed the outside world, in particular how she could no longer step into her own yard. Her favourite pastime was caring for the garden.

[The Oculus Rift support team sent Priscilla and Roberta a development kit. Subsequently, Priscilla discovered her grandmother had also been photographed by a Google car, and appeared in Google Street View - the screenshot above, in the Oculus version.]

That night, Pri loaded up Street View and handed the Rift headset to her grandma. “I could see her smile really wide as she looked around. She smiled as she looked herself up and down, but then it started to fade as she remarked: I look so healthy there…” Standing behind Roberta is Spec, her dog who had died just months earlier. “Look how young Spec is,” Roberta said, then asked Pri to stop the feed. As she wiped away a tear it was obvious she’d had enough for the day.

Full story, including video, via above link.

'Ignore sat-nav' sign (by rowanC82)

A council has put up a sign warning lorry drivers to ignore their satellite navigation systems after faulty sat-nav directions caused traffic chaos in Wales. Vale of Glamorgan Council in South Wales is the first in the UK to use visual signs warning drivers not to believe sat-nav advice after once peaceful villages were reduced to bedlam when heavy-goods lorries got stuck in tiny country lanes. Now a sign aimed largely at foreign drivers has been put up on the outskirts of the village of St Hilary. “The proliferation of satellite navigation aids used in heavy goods vehicles, and their over-reliance, especially by overseas drivers, has presented itself as a problem within the Vale of Glamorgan,” a spokesman for the council’s highways department said.

'Ignore sat-nav' sign posted to protect village - Telegraph

'Ignore sat-nav' sign (by rowanC82)

A council has put up a sign warning lorry drivers to ignore their satellite navigation systems after faulty sat-nav directions caused traffic chaos in Wales. Vale of Glamorgan Council in South Wales is the first in the UK to use visual signs warning drivers not to believe sat-nav advice after once peaceful villages were reduced to bedlam when heavy-goods lorries got stuck in tiny country lanes. Now a sign aimed largely at foreign drivers has been put up on the outskirts of the village of St Hilary. “The proliferation of satellite navigation aids used in heavy goods vehicles, and their over-reliance, especially by overseas drivers, has presented itself as a problem within the Vale of Glamorgan,” a spokesman for the council’s highways department said.

'Ignore sat-nav' sign posted to protect village - Telegraph

Fitbit Is Now Officially Profiting From Users’ Health Data | Betabeat

Fitbit has started to sell its trackers by the thousands to employers along with “sophisticated tracking software,” says a new report from Forbes. With employees’ permission, employers can then track their workers’ health, see how active individual employees are and foster a little healthy competition. Wiring up companies so that employers can monitor workers’ health is becoming “one of the fastest growing parts of Fitbit’s business,” Fitbit CEO James Park told Forbes.

Fitbit Is Now Officially Profiting From Users’ Health Data | Betabeat

Fitbit has started to sell its trackers by the thousands to employers along with “sophisticated tracking software,” says a new report from Forbes. With employees’ permission, employers can then track their workers’ health, see how active individual employees are and foster a little healthy competition. Wiring up companies so that employers can monitor workers’ health is becoming “one of the fastest growing parts of Fitbit’s business,” Fitbit CEO James Park told Forbes.
Soccer Fans Protesting E-Ticketing System Clash With Police in Turkey, via Adam H.

International soccer matches have a reputation for occasionally rowdy fans, but on Sunday Police in Turkey were dealing with a fan uprising not related to the outcome of a game but to a new e-ticketing system.

Fans of the Fenerbahce, Besiktas and Galatasaray soccer clubs took to the streets to protest a new e-ticketing system called Passolig that allows the operator of the system to view the ticket holder’s private data, including their national identity data and banking information.

Police used tear gas and water cannons in an attempt to disperse hundreds of protesters on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul, according to a report in the Hurriyet Daily News.

Soccer Fans Protesting E-Ticketing System Clash With Police in Turkey, via Adam H.

International soccer matches have a reputation for occasionally rowdy fans, but on Sunday Police in Turkey were dealing with a fan uprising not related to the outcome of a game but to a new e-ticketing system. Fans of the Fenerbahce, Besiktas and Galatasaray soccer clubs took to the streets to protest a new e-ticketing system called Passolig that allows the operator of the system to view the ticket holder’s private data, including their national identity data and banking information. Police used tear gas and water cannons in an attempt to disperse hundreds of protesters on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul, according to a report in the Hurriyet Daily News.

Boeing test flights (Superbowl celebrations, 747-8, 787 Dreamliner), via FlightAware.

X-Ray Scan Reveals 513 Migrants in 2 Trucks - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com

When police ran X-ray scanners over two cargo trucks at a checkpoint in southeastern Mexico on Tuesday, they made a surprising discovery: Inside the trailer were the ghostly shadows of 513 migrants — some suffering from dehydration — packed together in near-suffocating conditions. The police released an image of the harrowing scan, which shows how migrants sat in tight bundles or stood clutching cargo straps for hours of clandestine travel from beyond Mexico’s border with Guatemala.)

X-Ray Scan Reveals 513 Migrants in 2 Trucks - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com

When police ran X-ray scanners over two cargo trucks at a checkpoint in southeastern Mexico on Tuesday, they made a surprising discovery: Inside the trailer were the ghostly shadows of 513 migrants — some suffering from dehydration — packed together in near-suffocating conditions. The police released an image of the harrowing scan, which shows how migrants sat in tight bundles or stood clutching cargo straps for hours of clandestine travel from beyond Mexico’s border with Guatemala.
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