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In news that will shock, er, actually a few of you, Amazon backs down in dispute with booksellers • The Register
"Booksellers from across the globe were incensed earlier this month when Amazon's AbeBook, an online souk for books, art and other valuables, informed its partners in four countries – Hungary, the Czech Republic, South Korea and Russia – that it was simply cutting them off at the end of November, citing a shift to a new payments processing company. (..)
But Amazon underestimated the camaraderie of fellow booksellers, and was surprised to find that within days of sending the notices, no less than 600 booksellers from nearly 30 countries had decided to take a "vacation" from the service – pulling more than three million titles. (..)
There is actually an "International League of Antiquarian Booksellers," and that organization's Latin motto "Amor librorum nos unit" – meaning "our love of books unites us" – was used to spirit a defense against the American corporate monster.
The president of the ILAB met AbeBook's CEO on Wednesday, and they agreed to extend the deadline to the end of the year after which Amazon promises to find an "indefinite" solution so the formerly cut-off booksellers can continue to sell through the service."
amazon  books  used  booksellers  abebooks  solidarity 
4 days ago
A groundswell of indie games is tackling issues AAA titles won't | WIRED UK
This article was first published in the September/October 2018 issue of WIRED magazine [UK]
ucla  gamelab  photo  me  wired  backpack 
4 days ago
Sessions realized too late that Whitaker was auditioning for his job - CNNPolitics
"When things were particularly bad between President Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, the attorney general's chief of staff, Matt Whitaker, would attend White House meetings in his place. But Sessions did not know that Whitaker at the same time was angling for a promotion. (..)

Soon, the sources say, top Justice officials convened on the 5th floor suite of offices for the attorney general. Eventually, there were two huddles in separate offices. Among those in Sessions' office was Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, his deputy Ed O'Callaghan, Solicitor General Noel Francisco and Steven Engel, who heads the Office of Legal Counsel.

A few yards away, Whitaker strategized with other aides, including Gary Barnett, now his chief of staff. (..)

Rosenstein and O'Callaghan, the highest-ranked officials handling day-to-day oversight of Mueller's investigation, urged Sessions to delay the effective date of his resignation."
trump  sessions  rosenstein  mueller  whitaker  us  politics  justice 
5 days ago
Made of Mars | Kickstarter
We are starting with volcanic basalt. Basalt is the most common rocks on Mars, covers the near side of the Moon and many asteroids. Basalt is also found across Earth. It makes up Hawaii, Iceland and covers the ocean floor and found on all the continents.
mars  basalt  material  fiber 
5 days ago
Make a flame thrower.
"Here's the candidate for modification. It's an Air Wick Fresh-Matic unit which has a motorised assembly that pushes the aerosol cans plunger down to release a measured dose of stinky stuff on a regular basis."
bigclive  project  flame  flamethrower  installation  wick  airfreshener 
5 days ago
Hackaday Supercon - Mike Szczys : State of the Hackaday
"We live in a society where you need to be scientifically literate, you need to have an idea how things work, even if that's not going to be your job, even if you're not going to be responsible for those things (..)"
"There should not be a separation between the people who understand how things work, and the people who make them work - and the people who use them. That's depressing: if you thing you have no power and no influence over the things that you are depending on and the things you want to use in your life. (..) That's one of the problems we're facing right now: People feel separated from their technology, even though they are so closely dependent on it. (..)"
[Slide: Diverse experience / True solutions demand multiple perspectives]
"We should be an inclusive community that welcomes people with skills across all levels"
"If people don't understand how things work, that takes on the mantle of magic (..) and having things be magic is really dangerous"
"We know difficult solutions are needed"
hackaday  supercon  engineer  engineering  science  society  keynote 
10 days ago
Make plastic printed circuits with a standard laser cutter - YouTube
"Have you tried acrylic or polycarb sheet instead of 3d prints for flat parts? (..) There is a UK company that has a process where they inkjet print catalyst, then electroless plate - a few years ago they did a transparent arduino. I wonder if there may be a way to pattern the catalyst to avoid needing a laser- screen-print perhaps?" / "Looking back now, it seems having this process work on thin, plain acrylic sheets would actually be pretty useful as well. (..) Inkjet printing the catalyst sounds pretty good. I was hoping the laser method would also eventually work on contoured parts (would require more movement axes in the laser cutter), and inkjet should work in this regard as well."
copper  plating  pcb 
11 days ago
Hackaday Supercon - Ben Krasnow : Depositing copper circuitry and optical displays - YouTube
Electroless copper plating: Chemicals can be gotten from Amazon
Spray on luminescence: Lumilor paint
High-speed EL display driver using a small & inexpensive transformer
hackaday  supercon  copper  pcb  process  plating 
11 days ago
Ross Store Explosion
"Cause of the 1985 Ross Store Explosion and Other Gas Ventings, Fairfax District, Los Angeles
by Douglas H. Hamilton and Richard L. Meehan

Late in the afternoon of March 24, 1985, methane gas that had been accumulating ignited in an auxiliary room of the Ross Dress-For-Less Department Store located on Third Street, in the Wilshire-Fairfax District of Los Angeles. The resulting explosion blew out the windows and partially collapsed the roof of the structure, reduced the store interior to a heap of twisted metal and resulted in injuries requiring hospital treatment of twenty-three people. Police closed off four blocks around an eerie scene of spouting gas flames that continued through the night.

In the following days, a drill rig brought to the site was used to test for possible gas accumulations in the alluvial soil beneath the store. A "pocket" of pressurized gas was encountered at a depth of 42 feet beneath the parking lot between the store building and Third Street. Gas was also encountered in several other borings at the site in smaller quantities and at lower pressures. Pressure gauges, control valves, and, on the hole where the high pressure pocket was encountered, a valved flare pipe, were installed. Following a brief period during which gas was flared and bled off into the air, the anomalous gas condition at the Ross Store site gradually declined to the normal gas concentrations characteristic of the local area. In 1989 another venting incident occurred, this time at several sites on the north side of Third Street. This second venting fortunately was detected in time, and did not ignite. In this case, water and silt were ejected from outdoor vents along with the gas, in addition to accumulation of dangerous levels of gas in several buildings. A blow-out crater several feet deep, from which dirt and small stones were ejected several feet into the air was formed during this episode which lasted about 24 hours.

The setting of the accident -- an old-world Levantine market place a few miles from Hollywood; the famed tarry graveyard of the sabre-toothed tigers; pillars of fire dancing in the darkened streets -- these biblical images attracted attention of the press, the bar, and local politicians. And yet, three months later when a hastily convened panel of experts announced that the event was caused by digestive rumblings of an ancient and invisible swamp the whole thing had been mostly forgotten, the explanation accepted as yet another production of Los Angeles' quirky environment. Outside of a lawsuit that was settled quietly in 1990, the possibility that the accident was caused by the knowing agency of Los Angeles' lesser known industry or that the official report of the experts, rather than being a serious statement of the scientific community, was a heavily edited script with a happily blameless ending, was not made known to the public, as we shall proceed to do here.

Excerpt from: Engineering Geology Practice in Southern California, Association of Engineering Geologists, Special Publication No. 4, 1992.

[from elsewhere:]
The gas seeped between the floor slab and foundation walls of the store into a basement room that lacked ventilation. Annexed to the room was the store’s employee lounge, and at 4:47 p.m. on March 24, 1985, a worker punched the time clock there. Then all hell broke loose."
la  gas  thegrove  grove  ross  dressforless  explosion  ninasarnelle  1985  oil 
18 days ago
4 Oil Wells Hidden in Plain Sight in L.A. Los Angeles Magazine
"Built in 1967, what looks like a windowless beige office building along Pico in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood hides 52 oil and gas wells owned by Sentinel Peak Resources. A derrick on tracks moves from well head to well head within the roofless structure (..)
The Pico-Robertson neighborhood has been a Jewish enclave since the end of World War II, so it makes sense that then-owner Occidental Petroleum disguised this drilling site at Pico and Cardiff as a synagogue in 1966. Rebuilt in 2001, the pseudo-shul (now the property of Pacific Coast Energy) is home to 40 wells, which are accessed by a movable derrick that taps the same oil field as the Tower of Hope."
la  pico  oil  architecture  ninasarnelle  synagogue  faux  fake  facade 
18 days ago
Peace Love Linux
The Photos taken April 2001 for a campaign beginning September 2001 Now, only two years on and it’s a retro thing as the world has moved on, technology shares have plummeted, internet start ups hve collapsed and the brave new world has faltered.
ibm  linux  2001  advertising  photos  opensource  freesoftware 
18 days ago
Angewandte gründet Peter-Weibel-Forschungsinstitut - Wiener Zeitung Online
"Heute ist ein historischer Moment, der 1974 begonnen hat", scherzte Peter Weibel am Mittwochvormittag im Rahmen der Vorstellung des neuen "Peter-Weibel-Forschungsinstituts für digitale Medienkulturen" an der Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien. Die neue Einrichtung basiert auf einer 1.150 Exponate umfassenden Schenkung des 73-jährigen Medienkünstlers und nimmt ihre Arbeit ab sofort auf.

Finanziert wird das neue Institut, das sich in der Hinteren Zollamtsstraße 17, direkt neben dem im Frühling 2018 entstehenden Institut für Digitale Medienkunst sowie der neuen Abteilung für "Cross-Disciplinary Strategies" befindet, vom Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Wirtschaft. Für die Jahre 2017 und 2018 wurde ein Gesamtbetrag von 480.000 Euro zur Verfügung gestellt, in den kommenden Budgetverhandlungen soll das Institut in der Leistungsvereinbarung berücksichtigt werden. "Das Institut ist langfristig gesichert", unterstrich Rektor Gerald Bast. Wissenschaftsminister Harald Mahrer (ÖVP) würdigte Weibel als "Visionär, Pionier und Vordenker". (..)

Das nunmehrige Peter-Weibel-Forschungsinstitut soll "die Ausweitung des künstlerischen Medienbegriffes durch die Implementierung neuester Technologien (u.a. Artificial Intelligence und Genetic Engineering) in den künstlerischen Prozess und die Analyse der gesellschaftlichen Wirkungspotenziale dieser neuen Kunstform unterstützen", heißt es in der Unterlagen. Weibels unter anderem aus Fotos, Textcollagen, Videos, Installationen und Skulpturen bestehendes Archiv wird in das Institut eingebracht, angestellte Doktoranden werden sich der wissenschaftlichen und künstlerischen Forschung widmen."
peterweibel  uniak  phd 
19 days ago
Wie "Medienrebell" Peter Weibel lernte, Automaten zu lieben - 30 Jahre STANDARD - › 30 Jahre STANDARD
"[I]m kommenden Jahr kehrt er nach Wien zurück (..) Ich treffe ihn in den neuen Räumlichkeiten des 2017 gegründeten "Peter Weibel – Forschungsinstituts für digitale Kulturen" in Erdberg. Dort ist alles frisch renoviert. (..) Wenn sein Vertrag mit dem ZKM 2019 ausläuft, will er nach Wien zurückkehren und einen zwölfstöckigen Containerturm inmitten seiner Bibliothek bewohnen. Zusammen mit dem Forschungsinstitut ist das sein Altersexperiment in einem turbulenten Leben.

Weibels Familiengeschichte ist eine der generationenübergreifenden Migration von Deutschland nach Zentralasien, vom dortigen Alma-Ata nach Bessarabien (heute Republik Moldau) wo die Mutter geboren ist. Sie übersiedelte während des Zweiten Weltkriegs nach Odessa, wo Peter 1944 zur Welt kam. Das Kriegsende war keine gute Zeit für Russlanddeutsche. Als die Großmutter erschossen wurde, floh die Mutter mit dem Kind über Polen nach Oberösterreich – als Displaced Person ohne Pass oder Papiere. "Meine Mutter fürchtete, dass sie nach Russland zurückmusste", erzählt Weibel. "Da hat sie zwei Leute gefunden, die sagten, dass sie meine Taufpaten in Polen gewesen wären. Ein polnisches Kind durfte man nicht nach Russland schicken, auch nicht die Mutter. Und weil uns der evangelische Pfarrer einen Taufschein gab, konnten wir bleiben." In Ried im Innkreis arbeitete die Mutter als Stiegenputzerin und wurde dann Kellnerin. "Ich bin in einem Lager aufgewachsen und war bis zum 16. Lebensjahr in wechselnden Internaten", sagt Weibel. Lesen hatte er sich schon vor der Schule selbst beigebracht. Im American Information Center am Rieder Hauptplatz schaute er Propagandafilme, entdeckte Mickey Mouse, verschlang Bücher, entwickelte einen "wahnsinnigen Wissensdrang". Mit dem Geld, das er bei einem Kreuzworträtselwettbewerb gewann, leistete er sich im Alter von 14 ein Abo der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung". Und er hatte den Traum, nach Paris zu gehen: "Als ich 18 war, bin ich in den Zug gestiegen und dorthin gefahren. Ohne Geld, mit gar nichts." Wie er an die Kunst geraten ist? "Angefangen habe ich mit 14 als Dichter. Dann wurde ich bis zur Matura moderner Dichter und in Frankreich ein noch modernerer Dichter." In Paris angekommen, rief er die Witwe von Paul Valéry – "damals und bis heute mein Lieblingsdichter" – an, so oft, bis sie ihn empfing. "Ich habe alle Berühmtheiten abgeklappert", bis hin zu Lotte H. Eisner, der legendären Filmautorin und Chefkonservatorin der Cinémathèque française. Sie schenkte ihm 1963 eine Dauerfreikarte für das Filmmuseum: "Dort habe ich meine erste Medienausbildung genossen." So modern wie die Wiener Ein Jahr lang studierte er französische Literatur, dann reiste der "noch modernere Dichter" zurück nach Wien, wo er entdeckte, dass andere dort genauso modern waren: "Ich habe Lesungen von Friederike Mayröcker, Ernst Jandl und der Wiener Gruppe besucht und mich vorgestellt." Und er fand heraus, dass er durch die Lektüren während seines Parisaufenthalts in puncto Theorie weiter war als die Wiener. "Ich konnte besser als andere erklären, was die machten. Da hat man mich – als 19-Jährigen – eingeladen, ich soll vor den Lesungen Reden halten." Er inskribierte Medizin, wollte sich auf Neurologie spezialisieren und später zur Mathematik wechseln. Aber nach drei Jahren hatte er genug von der Heilkunde und studierte gleich "mathematische Logik", die damals "Logistik" hieß, die heutige Informatik. Zur Medienkunst kam er über die Dichtung: "Alle machten Dichtung auf der syntaktischen und semantischen Ebene, aber keiner Arbeiten auf der pragmatischen Ebene – mit Beziehung zum Publikum. Und ich habe gedacht, damit ich einen Schritt weiter gehe, muss ich etwas tun, was das Publikum einbindet." Also mussten die Zuhörer während seiner Lesungen Sätze vorlesen. (..)

Er kannte alle Programmierer und Medienkünstler in den USA und konnte sie zu seiner Ars nach Linz einladen."
peterweibel  uniak  bio 
19 days ago
Michael Kohn - java grinder
"Java Grinder is a tool that gives the ability to write programs in Java to run natively on microcontrollers, game consoles, and computers. Java Grinder is not a JVM, but instead translates byte-code from Java .class files into native assembly code much like a JIT or an "ahead of time" compiler. On the microcontrollers, there is a Java API to take advantage of the I/O ports, UART, SPI, and more. On the game console / computer side, there are Java API's to manipulate the graphics and sound chips."
java  compiler  port  processing  retrocomputing 
19 days ago
Anatomy of an AI System
"An anatomical case study of the Amazon echo as a [sic] artificial intelligence system made of human labor"
diagram  ai  machinelearning  infrastructure  system  labor 
19 days ago
Code Of Ethics
"Readers can also interpret this document as a primer on the world-view of the SQLite Founder, to help them better understand "where he is coming from".

1.1. Instruments of Good Works

The founder of SQLite, and all of the current developers at the time when this document was composed, have pledged to govern their interactions with each other, with their clients, and with the larger SQLite user community in accordance with the "instruments of good works" from chapter 4 of The Rule of St. Benedict (hereafter: "The Rule"). This code of ethics has proven its mettle in thousands of diverse communities for over 1,500 years, and has served as a baseline for many civil law codes since the time of Charlemagne."
opensource  freesoftware  sqlite  coc  benedict  christian  ethics 
19 days ago
Are Index Funds Communist? - Bloomberg
"In a note titled "The Silent Road to Serfdom: Why Passive Investing is Worse Than Marxism," a team led by Head of Global Quantitative and European Equity Strategy Inigo Fraser-Jenkins, says that politicians and regulators need to be cognizant of the social case for active management in the investment industry. "A supposedly capitalist economy where the only investment is passive is worse than either a centrally planned economy or an economy with active market led capital management," they write.

The basic idea is straightforward. The function of the capital markets is to allocate capital. Good companies' stock prices should go up, so they can raise money and expand. Bad companies should go bankrupt, so that their resources can be re-allocated to more productive purposes. Analysts should be constantly thinking about whether companies are over- or underpriced, so that they can buy the underpriced ones and sell the overpriced ones and keep capital flowing to its best possible uses.

But when those thoughtful active analysts are replaced with passive index funds, the market stops serving that function. Whatever the biggest company is today will remain the biggest company tomorrow, and capital will never be allocated from bad uses to good ones. Indexing is cheaper, yes, but that's because active management has positive externalities, and if no one will pay for it, those benefits will disappear. (..)

I like to quote Nevsky Capital's final investor letter:

In such a world dominated by index and algorithmic funds historically logical correlations between different asset classes can remain in place long after they have ceased to be logical."
economics  indexfunds  capital  investing 
19 days ago
Linux-Kernel Archive: Linux 4.19
"I've been giving my "How the kernel is developed" talk all around the
world for over a decade now. After the first year or so, I was amazed
that it kept needing to be given as surely everyone knew how we did this
type of thing, right? But my wife, someone much smarter than I, then
told me, "Every year there is a new kindergarten class."

And we all need to remember that, every year new people enter our
community with the goal, or requirement, to get stuff done for their
job, their hobby, or just because they want to help contribute to the
tool that has taken over the world and enabled everyone to have a solid
operating system base on which to build their dreams.

And when they come into our community, they don't have the built-in
knowledge of years of experience that thousands of us already do.
Without that experience they make mistakes and fumble and have to learn
how this all works. Part of learning how things work is dealing with
the interaction between people, and trying to understand the basic
social norms and goals that we all share. By providing a document in
the kernel source tree that shows that all people, developers and
maintainers alike, will be treated with respect and dignity while
working together, we help to create a more welcome community to those
newcomers, which our very future depends on if we all wish to see this
project succeed at its goals.

And that goal we all share is the key here. We _ALL_ want to create the
best kernel that we possibly can. We can disagree on lots of different
things in other parts of our lives, but we do share this one thing. And
we should focus on that shared goal as it has pulled us all together in
a way that has enabled us to create something that no other company or
group of people has ever been able to accomplish."
linux  lkml  gregkh  politics  coc  freesoftware  opensource  goals 
19 days ago
Announcing the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines
"In August, a discussion started among GNU package maintainers about
the problem that GNU development often pushes women away.[1] Clearly this is
not a good thing.[2]

Some maintainers advocated adopting a "code of conduct" with strict
rules. Some other free software projects have done this, generating
some resistance.3 Several GNU package maintainers responded that they
would quit immediately. I myself did not like the punitive spirit of
that approach, and decided against it.

I did not, however, wish to make that an excuse to ignore the problem.
So I decided to try a different approach: to guide participants to
encourage and help each other to avoid harsh patterns of
communication. I identified various patterns of our conversation
(which is almost entirely textual, not vocal) that seem likely to
chase women away -- and some men, too.

[1] I read that the fraction of women in the free software community
overall is around 3%, whereas in the software field overall it is over

[2] I disagree with making "diversity" a goal. If the developers in a
specific free software project do not include demographic D, I don't
think that the lack of them as a problem that requires action; there
is no need to scramble desperately to recruit some Ds. Rather, the
problem is that if we make demographic D feel unwelcome, we lose out
on possible contributors. And very likely also others that are not in
demographic D."
rms  stallman  gnu  freesoftware  coc  diversity 
19 days ago
The One Place in the US Google Earth Stopped Mapping - Motherboard
"We were interested in the mechanism used in the censorship. Was it a physical component of the satellite itself that prevented it from taking a photo? A direct order from the federal government to the satellite company that we could FOIA? Or something quieter, harder to track? So we began to research the history of commercial satellite imaging. In 1992, 32 years after the first classified US reconnaissance satellite was placed in orbit, the US Land Remote Sensing Policy Act made it legal for commercial satellite imagery vendors to sell to civilian entities. The politics of this were, and remain, a compromise between the two predominant neoliberal concerns of national security and capital. If anyone could purchase satellite images, a certain tactical advantage would be lost by US military/security forces.

However, as former CIA Senior Executive Intelligence Officer Michele Brunngraber wrote in a paper for the National War College [pdf], "the argument was that it would be better to have U.S. contractors dominate the industry," where the industry-standard resolution and other points of concern could be regulated by federal law. Still, the tension between the concerns of capital and national security continues to the present day. In 2016 Walter Scott, the founder of DigitalGlobe, an industry-leading commercial satellite imagery vendor, pleaded for the unleashing of the “power of the U.S. commercial remote sensing industry.”

This close relationship between the private sector and the government allows the federal government to censor satellite imagery officially and unofficially. The official censorship method is known as "Formal Interruption of Normal Commercial Operations," also known as "Modified Operations" or "Shutter Control” [pdf]. This occurs when the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the Department of the Navy, the Department of Commerce, or another government agency invokes national security and declares the sale of certain imagery as off-limits for the commercial satellite imagery market or demands commercial satellite image resellers/providers reduce the image resolution of said imagery. Shutter control proved highly controversial as a concept, at least until 9/11 occurred and First Amendment rights began to be routinely sacrificed en masse for nebulous security gains.

But shutter control has never been officially invoked. Bureaucracy may have something to do with this, as the Secretary of State, Commerce, or Defense would have to sign such an order personally. Instead, the federal agency in question practices what is known as "checkbook shutter control" or "buy-to-deny," purchasing the exclusive rights to imagery from commercial satellite vendors and then sitting on said rights. According to various media sources, buy-to-deny was used in conjunction with US operations in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002. An NGA spokesperson, however, told us in an email that there is no such policy and that "given the number of vendors and capabilities in the current commercial remote sensing marketplace, it would not be practical nor effective to take this approach." This year, Walter Scott confirmed to Wired that there is an "exclusivity arrangement" between DigitalGlobe and "US government customers.""
us  googleearth  satellite  imagery  secret  nevada  shuttercontrol 
19 days ago
Let’s talk about PAKE – A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering
"The first rule of PAKE is: nobody ever wants to talk about PAKE. The second rule of passwordPAKE is that this is a shame, because PAKE — which stands for Password Authenticated Key Exchange — is actually one of the most useful technologies that (almost) never gets used. It should be deployed everywhere, and yet it isn’t. (..)
Regardless of the approach you take, all of these solutions have a single achilles heel: When the user comes back to log into your website, they will still need to send over their (cleartext) password, since this is required in order for the server to do the check. (..)
[I]t does demand a better solution: one where the user’s password never has to go to the server in cleartext. The cryptographic tool that can give this to us is PAKE, and in particular a new protocol called OPAQUE, which I’ll get to at the end of this post."
web  security  passwords  hashing  cleartext 
19 days ago
Alzheimer's disease: mounting evidence that herpes virus is a cause
"More than 30m people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia. Unfortunately, there is no cure, only drugs to ease the symptoms. (..) I found the strongest evidence yet that the herpes virus is a cause of Alzheimer’s, suggesting that effective and safe antiviral drugs might be able to treat the disease. (..)
We discovered in 1991 that in many elderly people HSV1 [herpes simplex virus type 1] is also present in the brain. And in 1997 we showed that it confers a strong risk of Alzheimer’s disease when present in the brain of people who have a specific gene known as APOE4. The virus can become active in the brain, perhaps repeatedly, and this probably causes cumulative damage. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease is 12 times greater for APOE4 carriers who have HSV1 in the brain than for those with neither factor. Later, we and others found that HSV1 infection of cell cultures causes beta-amyloid and abnormal tau proteins to accumulate. An accumulation of these proteins in the brain is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease."
alzheimer  herpes  apoe4  health 
19 days ago
How three French students used borrowed code to put the first AI portrait in Christie’s - The Verge
"On Thursday, October 25th, Christie’s will conduct a very unusual sale. As part of a three-day Prints & Multiples event, it’s auctioning off the Portrait of Edmond Belamy, a canvas in a gold frame that shows the smudged figure of what looks like an 18th century gentleman. It’s expected to fetch a modest price, somewhere between $7,000 and $10,000, but the artwork’s distinguishing feature is that it was “created by an artificial intelligence,” says Christie’s. (..)
The print was created by Obvious, a trio of 25-year-old French students whose goal is to “explain and democratize” AI through art. Over the past year, they’ve made a series of portraits depicting members of the fictional Belamy family, amplifying their work through attention-grabbing press releases. But insiders say the code used to generate these prints is mostly the work of another artist and programmer: 19-year-old Robbie Barrat, a recent high school graduate who shared his algorithms online via an open-source license."
art  christie  auction  machinelearning  gan  opensource  github 
19 days ago
Numbers game - Wikipedia
"The numbers game, also known as the numbers racket, the policy racket, the Italian lottery, the policy game, or the daily number, is a form of illegal gambling or illegal lottery played mostly in poor and working class neighborhoods in the United States, wherein a bettor attempts to pick three digits to match those that will be randomly drawn the following day. For many years the "number" has been the last three digits of "the handle", the amount race track bettors placed on race day at a major racetrack, published in racing journals and major newspapers in New York.

Gamblers place bets with a bookmaker ("bookie") at a tavern, bar, barber shop, social club, or any other semi-private place that acts as an illegal betting parlor. Runners carry the money and betting slips between the betting parlors and the headquarters, called a numbers bank or policy bank. The name "policy" is based on the similarity to cheap insurance, which is also a gamble on the future."
lottery  illegal  workingclass  us  thomasturnbull  nyc 
19 days ago
Trump moves to quit 144-year-old postal treaty - BBC News
"The US has announced plans to withdraw from a 144-year-old postal treaty, which the White House says lets China ship goods at unfairly low prices. Under the treaty, a UN body sets lower international rates for packages from certain countries, a move originally designed to support poorer nations. (..)
International mailing rates are governed by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a unit of the United Nations that traces its roots back to the 1870s. It subsidises shipments from developing countries while setting higher rates for wealthier nations, including the US. The US wants changes to the postal treaty to allow countries to set their own rates for parcels weighing under 2kg (4.4lbs). They are already allowed to do so for bigger packages. The rise of international online shopping has led to a huge increase in the number of small parcels being sent via the postal system."
china  mail  shipping  us 
19 days ago
It's time to own your email
Introducing the Helm Personal Server
email  server  personal  device  snowden  design 
19 days ago
ASMR With Cardi B
Award-winning artist and noted #ASMR enthusiast Cardi B whipsers about her chart-topping song 'Bodak Yellow' and motherhood while stroking a shag rug.
cardib  asmr  interview 
19 days ago
Former CIA Chief Explains How Spies Use Disguises | WIRED - YouTube
This is a series of photographs of when I met George W. H. Bush in the oval office, and reveiled to him that I was briefing him wearing the mask.
video  disguise  face  mask  bush  briefing  whitehouse  cia  missionimpossible 
19 days ago
Get Real-Time Crime and Safety Alerts With the Neighbors App | Ring
"The Neighbors App is the new neighborhood watch that brings your community together to help create safer neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Alert
Suspicious Man
32nd Street

Stay Ahead of Local Crime

Safer Neighborhoods Start With You

Reduce Crime in Your Community"
security  us  app  ring  vision  neighborhood  community  amazon 
19 days ago
Duo Arrested In Murder of Clerk | Venice, CA Patch
Two men have been arrested and charged with the shooting death of a gas station clerk during a robbery in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles, authorities said Wednesday.
Young Yooun, 29, and Courtney Campbell, 28, both of Los Angeles, are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 23 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom in connection with the July 3 slaying of Akram Hanna, 52, of Los Angeles. (..)
Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against the two men, who allegedly went into a gas station at Venice and Hauser boulevards and forced Hanna to lay on the ground while they stole lottery tickets the morning of July 3.
Yooun allegedly shot the clerk before leaving the business. Hanna -- who had worked at the Shell gas station mini-mart for about eight years -- was pronounced dead at the scene.
Yooun was arrested July 9 by investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department's West Bureau Homicide near the 1100 block of South Harvard Boulevard, and Campbell was taken into custody July 16 by the FBI-LAPD Fugitive Task Force near the 1900 block of Curson Avenue, police said.
la  midcity  gasstation  murder 
19 days ago
Google drops plans for Berlin campus after protests - BBC News
Google has dropped plans to open a large campus in a trendy district of Berlin that were strongly opposed by local campaigners. The US tech giant planned to set up an incubator for start-ups in Kreuzberg, but on Wednesday said the site would go to two local charities.
berlin  google  kreuzberg  protest  gentrification 
19 days ago
Campbell–Stokes recorder - Wikipedia
The Campbell–Stokes recorder (sometimes called a Stokes sphere) is a kind of sunshine recorder. It was invented by John Francis Campbell in 1853 and modified in 1879 by Sir George Gabriel Stokes. The original design by Campbell consisted of a glass sphere set into a wooden bowl with the sun burning a trace on the bowl. Stokes's refinement was to make the housing out of metal and to have a card holder set behind the sphere.
The unit is designed to record the hours of bright sunshine which will burn a hole through the card.
This basic unit is still in use today with very little change.
sunshine  sun  recorder  measure  device 
25 days ago
Through the fog of the city peer into the private lives of eight diverse New Yorkers from your fire escape to discover suspicion and deception—all unfolding in real time. Set against a shadowy backdrop of contemporary gentrification where disenfranchised tenants become twisted in a string of dark mysteries and a murder.
indiecade  indiecade2018  vr  nyc  voyeur  passive 
4 weeks ago
Cobra Club HD by Robert Yang
Cobra Club HD is a free photo studio game about body image, privacy, and dick pics.
robertyang  indiegame  game  dick  dickpick  simulator  homoerotic  twitter 
4 weeks ago
'Rinse and Repeat' is a queer, indie game about sex, masculinity, and loneliness
Rinse and Repeat opens with the player standing in a communal shower, staring into a corner while other gym members bathe themselves just out of the periphery of your vision. Moving the cursor around reveals a simple locker room filled with lockers, a bulletin board, and a muscular, naked man wearing aviators. This man is the reason you're here. This game is about trying to seduce him.
robertyang  indiegame  game  shower  gym  homoerotic  realtime 
4 weeks ago
He said, she squirmed: The pickup artist game that is the talk of IndieCade and may help us communicate better - Los Angeles Times
"“The Game: The Game,” for instance, exposes the manipulative seduction tactics of many men, and reveals how daily life can suddenly make someone feel as if they are trapped forever in a psychological horror film.

But “The Game: The Game,” created by Angela Washko, an artist and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, is not just a condemnation of the so-called “pickup artist” community. It also illustrates how every conversation between the sexes can suddenly devolve into a mess of he said/ she said/ he didn’t listen/ why is he still not listening."
indiecade  indiecade2018  thegame  pickup  bar  cmu 
4 weeks ago
Facebook rolls out 3D photos that use AI to simulate depth | TechCrunch
"What if you could peek behind what’s in your photos, like you’re moving your head to see what’s inside a window? That’s the futuristic promise of Facebook 3D photos."
facebook  webdesign  parallax  3d  photo  iphone  depth  depthmap 
4 weeks ago
Mold-A-Rama - Wikipedia
"Mold-A-Rama is a brand name for a type of vending machine that makes injection molded plastic figurines. Mold-A-Rama machines debuted in late 1962 and grew in prominence at the 1964 New York World's Fair." [Field Museum, Chicago; Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago; Wills Tower, Chicago]
plastic  injectionmolding  toy  mold  novelty  manufacturing  chicago 
4 weeks ago
Mailbag (incl Kevin Darrah's Trigboard) Part 1 (Shelly, Sonoff, RFID, Raspberry) - YouTube
TPS737xx: LDR 1A, 130mV dropout voltage, < 20nA in shutdown
TPL5111: Nano-Power System Timer for Power Gating, 100ms to 7200s, < 35 nA
electronics  power  energy  lowpower 
5 weeks ago
CNN Doomsday Video Leaked by Former Intern - YouTube
"A CNN doomsday video has been leaked by a former intern for the network. The video, reportedly commissioned by CNN founder Ted Turner, was created under the threat of nuclear apocalypse with the intention of having a final video segment for the end of the world. The video, which includes a rendition of “Nearer My God, to Thee”, was meant to be the last thing CNN played before they signed off. The video was titled “TURNER DOOMSDAY VIDEO,” with a note: “HFR (Hold For Release) till end of the world confirmed.”"
cnn  doomsday  nuclear  war  tape  music  titanic 
5 weeks ago
McConnell calls opposition to Kavanaugh a ‘great political gift’ to Republicans - The Washington Post
"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he never considered urging the White House to withdraw Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court and called opposition to the judge a “great political gift” for Republicans ahead of next month’s midterm elections. (..)
“It’s been a great political gift for us. The tactics have energized our base,” he said, adding: “I want to thank the mob, because they’ve done the one thing we were having trouble doing, which was energizing our base.”"
kavanaugh  us  politics  midterms  democrats  metoo 
5 weeks ago
Fefes Blog
"Oh ja, das Marketing (also nicht deren Marketing jetzt, sondern das in der Branche allgemein!) hat vor ner Weile die Begriffe umbelegt. Machine Learning bedeutet heute, was man früher unter Statistik führte. Wenn du Machine Learning im früheren Sinn meinst, sagst du heute Deep Learning. (..)
Crypto steht heute für Bitcoin und Blockchain. Wenn du echte Crypto meinst, heißt das heute Cyber."
machinelearning  deeplearning  statistics  crypto  cyber  language  inflation  marketing  fefe 
5 weeks ago
I have worked in card payment industry. We would be getting products from China ... | Hacker News
"I have worked in card payment industry. We would be getting products from China with added boards to beam credit card information. This wasn't state-sponsored attack. Devices were modified while on production line (most likely by bribed employees) as once they were closed they would have anti-tampering mechanism activated so that later it would not be possible to open the device without setting the tamper flag.
Once this was noticed we started weighing the terminals because we could not open the devices (once opened they become useless).

They have learned of this so they started scraping non-essential plastic from inside the device to offset the weight of the added board.

We have ended up measuring angular momentum on a special fixture. There are very expensive laboratory tables to measure angular momentum [actually: moment of inertia]. I have created a fixture where the device could be placed in two separate positions. The theory is that if the weight and all possible angular momentums match then the devices have to be identical. We could not measure all possible angular momentums but it was possible to measure one or two that would not be known to the attacker."
technology  trust  scam  scale  china  tampering  supplychain 
6 weeks ago
Our new blog is designed to radically reduce the energy use associated with accessing our content.
web  webdesign  ecology  energy  lowtech  dithering 
6 weeks ago
Cloudflare goes InterPlanetary - Introducing Cloudflare’s IPFS Gateway
Today we’re excited to introduce Cloudflare’s IPFS Gateway, an easy way to access content from the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) that doesn’t require installing and running any special software on your computer. We hope that our gateway, hosted at, will serve as the platform for many new highly-reliable and security-enhanced web applications.
ipfs  cloudflare  gateway  distributed  dweb 
7 weeks ago
Is There A Revolution Brewing In Puerto Rico? | Foreign Correspondent - YouTube
"You guys are making it seem like all the children in Puerto Rico need to be well-versed in technology. And that is not the case. What they need to be well-versed in is agriculture."

[tech bro] "All all these people have such good intentions, but you don't know that yet, and I am not asking you to trust them ... they have such good intentions, and they are going to make something beautiful happen, and you are going to be a part of it, whether you like it or not [sic]."

"You guys didn't have any interest in Puerto Rico till the tax breaks came"
blockchain  entrepreneurship  puertorico  disaster  technology  dweb  video 
8 weeks ago
‘Searching’ turns a computer screen into compelling cinema
"The idea of watching a movie told entirely through computer screens sounds like a gimmick. Unfriended gave us a taste of that. It was a horror movie told through Skype video chats in what producer Timur Bekmambetov calls Screenlife, his movement to tell more stories through screens. Unfriended was a hit, but it was also a first stab at a new style of storytelling. Searching, on the other hand, the new thriller starring John Cho and directed by Aneesh Chaganty, deftly shows how Screenlife films can be genuinely cinematic."
movie  screen  drama  truecrime 
8 weeks ago
Web Design Museum
The museum exhibits over 900 carefully selected and sorted web sites that show web design trends between the years 1995 and 2005.
web  design  history  webdesign 
8 weeks ago PetChatz HD PawCall: Digital Daycare two-way premium audio/HD video pet treat camera w/DOGTV, sound/motion triggered video recording, calming aromatherapy (as seen on The Today Show): Pet Supplies
"To keep your dog mentally stimulated throughout the day, we developed PawCall. PawCall allows your pet to contact you and play games during the day. On prescheduled times, your pet presses PawCall. You will then be notified that they want to chat."
communication  dog  phone  pets  animal  us 
8 weeks ago
Ex-Trump Lawyer Told Mueller That Trump Is Too Dumb to Testify | Vanity Fair
"More surprising is what reportedly happened next: Dowd and Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, “went to Mueller's office and re-enacted the mock interview” with the hope of convincing Mueller that Trump couldn’t testify because he is a pathological liar. “He just made something up. That’s his nature,” Dowd reportedly told Mueller. (..)

"Dowd then explained to Mueller and Quarles why he was trying to keep the president from testifying: “I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot. And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, ‘I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?’ ”
“John, I understand,” Mueller replied, according to Woodward."

Here we have the president’s legal counsel arguing not only that Trump is too mendacious to testify, but that he would look so moronic if the transcript ever leaked that it would constitute a national-security crisis."
trump  mueller  interview 
8 weeks ago
Emotion API - Emotion Detector | Microsoft Azure
"The Emotion API takes a facial expression in an image as an input, and returns the confidence across a set of emotions for each face in the image, as well as bounding box for the face, using the Face API. (..)
The emotions detected are anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, neutral, sadness, and surprise. These emotions are understood to be cross-culturally and universally communicated with particular facial expressions."
microsoft  api  imagerecognition  emotions 
august 2018
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