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Monday December 17, 2018. 06:02 PM
Google's Sidewalk Labs convinced Toronto to let it build an all-surveilling 'smart city' on a small patch of lakefront and then promptly shenaniganized things, breaking all its privacy and transparency promises and prompting a mass exodus of its advisory board members and...
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Kiwibots are autonomous transport robots that quickly deliver food, usually to hungry college students. But over the weekend, students at UC Berkeley found one of these robots rolling along in flames. Via The Verge: Kiwi, the startup that makes and manages the one...
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A roundup from Lithub of the best cover art on books from this year, with commentary. There's a strong trend toward in-camera or handmade graphics and natural media, with computers only showing up to do things that you don't need computers to do. I think this is a good...
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The Alien Chestburster Christmas Ornament is just the thing to finish your nerdmas tree; it's from Pittsburgh's Creature Replicas, who will also sell you a life-size 'burster, a fossil Tremors graboid, or some damned fine Aliens magnets. (via Creepbay)
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More outstanding paleocomputing Christmas cheer from Paleotronics (previously): a trove of 55 Christmas covers of classic computer magazines, include lamented bygones like Creative Computing.
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Wired Magazine has just published a package of eight sf writers visions of 'The Future of Work,' including some of our favorite authors like Laurie Penny (previously), Charlie Jane Anders (previously), Nisi Shawl (previously), Ken Liu (previously) and others -- eight in all. ...
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Despite taking pages of handwritten notes each day, my handwriting is hot garbage. After deciding that I wanted to improve the look of my penmanship, I set out to find a few ways to do it that wouldn't eat up a lot of my day. This video, featuring Nan Jay Barchowsky, is one...
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The fight against surveillance capitalism and mass state surveillance has reached a tipping point, the peak-indifference moment, when new privacy advocates are self-radicalizing as they witness firsthand the undeniable risks of overcollection, over-retention, and secret...
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Saeb Erekat is a Palestinian negotiator. The Palestinians and Jared Kushner, Trump son-in-law and ostensibly the man charged with attaining middle-east peace, have apparently not been talking much lately. Erekat explains why: “This White House needs giant statesmen, not...
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Bahnhof is the Swedish free-speech-oriented ISP that was finally forced to block access to Sci-Hub (a site providing principled access to paywalled scientific literature) retaliated against science publishing giant Elsevier and the Swedish Patent and Market Court by blocking ...
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Last week, Viktor Orban's authoritarian government rammed through a pair of massively unpopular laws: the 'slave labor' law (employers can require up to 400 hours/year of overtime, and take up to three years to pay for it); and a law creating a parallel system of...
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Since protests over changes to Nicaragua's social security system began last April, over 300 people have been killed and, at a minimum, 500 people have been incarcerated for their part in calling out Presidential Daniel Ortega's corrupt self-serving bullshit. There's a lot...
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Scottish Limited Partnerships are notorious financial secrecy tools that have been used to launder an estimated $100 billion on behalf of ex-Soviet gangster-oligarchs. An explosive set of court rulings, regulatory warnings, official warnings from other nations (America,...
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To quote Kashana Cauney, in the future everyone will be canceled for 15 minutes. Jered 'Threatin' Eames is a mediocre singer-songwriter who booked a European tour by buying a fake following on social media, establishing fake promoters and labels, and hiring some cool kids to ...
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People in Soho, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square are being told by the London Metropolitan Police to submit to a trial of the force's notoriously inaccurate, racially biased facial recognition system, which clocks in an impressive error-rate of 98% (the system has...
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Saturday night was the tenth annual Mid-Century Supper Club's holiday potluck and, as is customary, photos from it have been flooding my feeds since it ended. Once again, there were lots of great creations (and costumes, whoa boy) but I was particularly gobsmacked by this...
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This weekend's viral load was significantly boosted by the appearance of Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller on a current affairs show. No-one knows what he said because: What's that on his normally-bald head? For those who have difficulty seeing what's wrong there, I have ...
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'Aw yeah it's time for cookies,' writes AI ringmaster Janelle Shane (previously at BB). One neural network I use, called textgenrnn, tries its best to imitate any kind of text you give it. I’ve given them paint colors, band names, and even guinea pig names and in each case ...
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Previously: A bicycle snob takes on an e-bike; The great e-bike experiment: the data) We're moving along now, and are so close to wrapping this whole thing up. Last time, we saw that an e-bike could be an equalizer if you commute in a lot of traffic, or up and down a lot of...
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Peter Sobot, an engineer at Spotify, noticed something unsettling about his Brother label maker. Though apparently high-tech, under the laptop-style case they still use old-timey printing ribbons that retain an image of everything they ever spit out. Don't discard: destroy!...
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