Thursday, January 19, 2017

AI’s transformative potential and what’s next … | News Center

AI’s transformative potential and what’s next … | News Center



Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, spoke at Future Forum in Beijing, China. This week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared how Microsoft is democratizing AI for everyone at DLD in Munich, Germany, and at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
 
Microsoft’s focus is on Democratizing AI.  

Facebook’s Zuckerberg sues to force land sales | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Facebook’s Zuckerberg sues to force land sales | Honolulu Star-Advertiser



When Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg paid around $100 million for
700 acres of rural beachfront land on Kauai two years ago to create what
Forbes magazine described as a secluded family sanctuary, he actually
acquired a not-so-secluded property.



Close to a dozen small parcels within Zuckerberg’s Kauai estate are
owned by kamaaina families who have rights to traverse the billionaire’s
otherwise private domain.

Who is Anna-Senpai, the Mirai Worm Author? — Krebs on Security

Who is Anna-Senpai, the Mirai Worm Author? — Krebs on Security



On September 22, 2016, this site was forced offline for nearly four days after it was hit with “Mirai,”
a malware strain that enslaves poorly secured Internet of Things (IoT)
devices like wireless routers and security cameras into a botnet for use
in large cyberattacks. Roughly a week after that assault, the
individual(s) who launched that attack — using the name “Anna Senpai” — released the source code for Mirai, spawning dozens of copycat attack armies online.

The White House imported Silicon Valley’s best to transform government. Will Trump undo it all?

The Final Days of Obama’s Tech Surge

The Problem with Video Game Luck

The Problem with Video Game Luck



"Fairness is the unspoken promise of most video games. Controlled by an
omniscient and omnipotent designer, a video game has the capacity to be
ultimately just, and players expect that it will be so.” In the
following piece, Simon Parkin examines the way in which video game
developers craft the perfect balance between luck and fairness.

The True Story of the Fugitive Drug Smuggler Who Became an Environmental Hero | Outside Online

The True Story of the Fugitive Drug Smuggler Who Became an Environmental Hero | Outside Online



When Raymond Stansel was
busted in 1974, he was one of Florida’s biggest pot smugglers. Facing
trial and years in prison, he jumped bail, changed his name, and holed
up in a remote Australian outpost. Even more remarkable than that? His
second life as an environmental hero.

What technology issues should you know about? The editors at the MIT Press have narrowed it down to 10

From MIT Press: 10 Topics Every 21st Century Citizen Should Know About | CommonHealth



the “Essential Knowledge” series published by MIT Press.





The Technological Singularity
Whether in 15, 50, or 500 years, the advent of true artificial
intelligence and the resulting rapid acceleration of technological
advancement will present a range of practical and philosophical
conundrums. When fiction becomes fact, how will humanity decide to write
the next chapter in the story of our species?

Open Access
Creators
of all kinds (authors, musicians, academics, artists) make their work
freely available, prioritizing the potential for greater impact over the
presumed loss of profit. Open access, however, is differential; it
takes different forms for different creators and can bring different
concerns about the future of copyright, intellectual property, and
payments for creative works.
 
Self-Tracking
More
and more technologies aim to monitor the data we produce in our daily
lives: what and how much we eat, how fast and how long we run, what
times of day we work best. But how we (and others) utilize the data
gathered through our self-tracking is a question that blurs the lines
between surveillance/empowerment and control/play.
 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Mind of an Octopus - Scientific American

Deep-sea thinkers



  • Octopuses and their kin (cuttlefish and squid) stand apart from
    other invertebrates, having evolved with much larger nervous systems and
    greater cognitive complexity.
  • The majority of neurons in an octopus are found in the arms, which
    can independently taste and touch and also control basic motions without
    input from the brain.
  • Octopus brains and vertebrate brains have no common anatomy but
    support a variety of similar features, including forms of short- and
    long-term memory, versions of sleep, and the capacities to recognize
    individual people and explore objects through play.




The Mind of an Octopus - Scientific American



Adapted from Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea and the Deep Origins of Consciousness,
by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Copyright © 2016 by Peter Godfrey-Smith.
Published by arrangement with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC (U.S.),
HarperCollins (U.K.)


Monday, January 16, 2017

Ask a Librarian: What’s the Strangest Thing You’ve Found in a Library Book? | Tin House

Ask a Librarian: What’s the Strangest Thing You’ve Found in a Library Book? | Tin House



Librarians answer the question, “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found in a book?” (Tin House)

The Mysterious Death of a Muslim Marine Recruit

The Mysterious Death of a Muslim Marine Recruit



Raheel Siddiqui signed up for the Marine Corps in July 2015. Less than
two weeks into his basic training, however, the 20-year-old Muslim
experienced a mysterious and fatal fall. While the Marines claim he
committed suicide, others suspect his death may have been the result of
more sinister forces.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Westworld Bits: A Deep Dive Into the Maze, Hideo Kojima's Praise, and that Yul Brynner "Cameo" - /Film

Westworld Bits: A Deep Dive Into the Maze, Hideo Kojima's Praise, and that Yul Brynner "Cameo" - /Film

Accelerando: The Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Year's Best Science Fiction

Accelerando



"Lobsters" introduces us
to the permanently wired Manfred Macx, a youthful, self-assured (and
self-doubting) cultural purveyor, the world's first "Venture Altruist,"
out to prove the validity of Win-Win synergistic scenarios while
engaging in exotic drugs and sexual experimentation against a near
future socio-political backdrop. Fleeing his dominatrix ex-wife,
shifting world economies, trading his image on the "reputations market,"
and inventing extropianistic technologies are all in a day's work.
Nebula Award Nominee, Hugo Award Nominee

WHAT SCIENTIFIC TERM OR CONCEPT OUGHT TO BE MORE WIDELY KNOWN? | Edge.org

WHAT SCIENTIFIC TERM OR CONCEPT OUGHT TO BE MORE WIDELY KNOWN? | Edge.org



Many people, even many scientists, have traditionally had a narrow view
of science as controlled, replicated experiments performed in the
laboratory—and as consisting quintessentially of physics, chemistry, and
molecular biology. The essence of science is conveyed by its Latin
etymology: scientia, meaning knowledge.

Best of 2016 : Longreads

Best of 2016 : Longreads

When reading a magazine becomes a communal event.

Aspen, Pop-Up, and the Multimedia Magazine - Media - Utne Reader



"A magazine is defined less by the nature of its contents than by its
function as a container. The fact that this repository happened to take
the form of a set of bound pages for several hundred years is not
necessarily, therefore, a natural or innate feature of the magazine." 



"By unbinding our magazine, letting it run free in its box,
there’s no end to our three-dimensional ideas. In short, you don’t
simply read 
Aspen ... you hear it, hang it, feel it, fly it, even sniff it!"

— Advertisement for Aspen magazine, 1968





"Pop-Up Magazine is a live magazine, created for a stage, a
screen, and a live audience. Nothing will arrive in your mailbox.
Nothing will go online. Nothing will be filmed or recorded. An issue
exists for one night, in one place."


—    PopUpMagazine.com, 2013

Inside LAX's New Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Unit - The Atlantic

Inside LAX's New Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Unit - The Atlantic



In 2014, Los Angeles World Airports hired Anthony McGinty and Michelle
Sosa to take charge of a new classified intelligence unit located on the
West Coast. With two years in the books, the unit’s global scope and
analytic capabilities are on their way to rivaling the agencies of a
small nation state.



At GQ, Geoff Manaugh writes about the airport’s experimental team in a report that also includes several fictional scenarios.

How Netflix Is Deepening Our Cultural Echo Chambers - The New York Times

How Netflix Is Deepening Our Cultural Echo Chambers - The New York Times



There was a lot to criticize about broadcast TV, but it brought the nation together. Streaming services are doing the opposite.

Neanderthals Were People, Too - The New York Times

Neanderthals Were People, Too - The New York Times



New research shows they shared many behaviors that we long
believed to be uniquely human. Why did science get them so wrong?

Finding a voice | The Economist

Finding a voice | The Economist



Computers have got much better at translation, voice recognition and
speech synthesis, says Lane Greene. But they still don’t understand the
meaning of language

Nothing To Be Done – Medium

Nothing To Be Done – Medium



Each of these arrows represents a design culture: a group of designers who thought of people and considered human systems in a particular way. It’s this shared vision which gave birth to institutions.
So
what blocks the creation of new institutions? It’s not the greed of the
powerful; it’s not some physics of balancing incentives.

six views above were responsible for most of our modern institutions

If you think of people in terms of their beliefs, then you imagine sexual harassment comes from wrong ideas.

If you come from a preference culture, you’ll be less optimistic. You might imagine that some people just have a taste for sexual harassment.

If you’re a goal-culture designer, you’d imagine these people just have a normal goal — to connect, to make friends, or to have sex.

What about a status-culture
designer? They’re going to see this as a much harder problem. They’ll
have an idea that sexual harassment is a product of a toxic, macho rape culture.

what if you are a designer from a culture that emphasizes social standing?
This is going to be a bit of a conundrum for you: one the one hand,
people who sexually harass may come from a lower social class.

will be similarly tolerant if you’re from an experience-culture, but for different reasons: people who sexually harass have probably had rough experiences.

Morocco Said to Ban Sale of Burqas, Citing Security Concerns - The New York Times

Morocco Said to Ban Sale of Burqas, Citing Security Concerns - The New York Times



According to local reports, the government has banned the burqa,
or full body veil. Although the government hasn’t confirmed the ban,
vendors and merchants were notified this week that they would no longer
be allowed to sell the religious garment.

Gambia's President Jammeh vows 'to stay until election ruling' - BBC News

Gambia's President Jammeh vows 'to stay until election ruling' - BBC News



Since the Supreme Court will not make a decision on Gambia’s disputed elections until May,
there is no reason for President Yahya Jammeh to start packing. Sure,
President-elect Adama Barrow says he will be inaugurated next week, but
Jammeh won’t budge. Nigeria and other regional mediators continue to
urge Jammeh to accept defeat but he continues to double down on his
promise to not leave. In a nationwide TV broadcast, he dismissed any
attempts to support a transition of power as “foreign interference” and
part of a smear campaign that highlights his human rights abuses since
he first took power in 1994.

Friday, January 13, 2017

On Campus| What's In Store For Libraries On College Campuses?

On Campus| What's In Store For Libraries On College Campuses?



College libraries throughout the country are undergoing similar
transformations -- upgrading their facilities and creating more
comfortable, flexible spaces where students can work alone or in groups.



When students are accessing information through a Google search, Bourg
says librarians are now more needed than ever to help them distinguish
between what’s fake and what’s real. According to a recent Stanford University study, students – even at the college level -- do not possess that skill.

Still, Bourg says, despite all these changes, some things will remain the same: Libraries
-- especially ones with valuable collections and manuscripts (think
Harvard’s Widener library) -- will still have books, far into the
future.

Monday, January 09, 2017

What the Aztecs can teach us about happiness and the good life | Aeon Ideas

What the Aztecs can teach us about happiness and the good life | Aeon Ideas



‘How many of you want to be happy in life?’ I ask. Everyone
raises a hand. Always. ‘How many of you are planning to have children?’
Almost everyone raises their hand again.

Then I lay out the evidence
that having kids makes most people more miserable, and that their sense
of wellbeing returns to its former levels only after the last child has
left the house. ‘How many of you still want children?’ I say. Maybe
it’s just obstinacy, but the same people who wanted to be happy still
put their hands up.

Minimum pay of $100,000 annually to every employee taken to US under the H1-B visa

Nasscom to counter H1-B visa bill - IndUS Business JournalIndUS Business Journal

PM urges diaspora to take Indian citizen card soon

PM urges diaspora to take Indian citizen card soon - IndUS Business JournalIndUS Business Journal



Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday told PIOs to obtain Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards by June 30.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

BBC Radio 4 - Incarnations: India in 50 Lives

BBC Radio 4 - Incarnations: India in 50 Lives

Incarnations: India in 50 Lives by Sunil Khilnani – review | Books | The Guardian





Incarnations: Indian in 50 Lives is published by Allen Lane (£30)

‘Midnight’s Furies,’ by Nisid Hajari - The New York Times

‘Midnight’s Furies,’ by Nisid Hajari - The New York Times



Hajari answers this question with a dramatization of the violent year
that preceded partition. The dramatis personae are introduced, as per
conventions established by Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi.” There is the
“famously handsome” Jawaharlal Nehru with his “high, aristocratic
cheekbones and eyes that were deep pools — irresistible to his many
female admirers”; there is the “mystical, septuagenarian” Mahatma
Gandhi; there is the monocled, slightly sinister Mohammad Ali Jinnah,
“cheekbones jutted out of his cadaverous face like the edges of a
diamond”; and, lastly, there is Lord Louis Mountbatten, “tall and
tanned,” the “Hollywood version of a British prince.”

Friday, January 06, 2017

Brontosaurs Whistling in the Dark | Lapham’s Quarterly

Brontosaurs Whistling in the Dark | Lapham’s Quarterly



August 31, 2015, when Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, said “Wir schaffen das,”
I wanted to go immediately to Germany. At the time, what the chancellor
meant seemed limited: “We will do it”—meaning Germany would accommodate
the 100,000 migrants from the Middle East who had just been stopped at
the Hungarian border by a wire fence. But the intention in those words
quickly spread throughout the world’s entire liberal humanitarian
community. At one point, the European Union was considering whether
there should be a “penalty” for any member state that failed to
accommodate its assigned share of migrants.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Germany's Advice To Survive Winter: Walk Like A Penguin

Walk like a penguin to avoid slipping on ice, German doctors advise | World news | The Guardian



During the colder months of 2014, over 750 Berlin residents suffered
bone fractures. Worried that these injuries had something to do with icy
conditions, the German Society of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery published some shaky advice:
walk like a penguin. The technique requires non-birds to lean
their torsos forward so that their center of gravity is always on the
front leg. The result is sure to make Germans look just as awkward and
wobbly as their penguin friends, and if the technique proves successful,
pretty soon they might be sliding to work on their bellies. It’s a
slippery slope.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Meet Henry Orenstein, the Man Who Changed How the World Plays

Meet Henry Orenstein, the Man Who Changed How the World Plays



“I’ve been driving Henry for 24 years, since I retired from my regular
job as a manager for Sears,” he says. “I managed the toy department
there. When the Transformers came out, we used to talk about it.” That’s
because Orenstein was the man who saw the potential for Transformers in
America. They made him a very rich man. Again.