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Silicon Valley: A Region High on Historical Amnesia - Los Angeles Review of Books
"The Code Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America By Margaret O’Mara Published 07.09.2019 Penguin Press 512 Pages"
book  review  silicon-valley  history  computer  technology  government 
4 weeks ago by tsuomela
Habeas Data » Melville House Books
"Habeas Data shows how the explosive growth of surveillance technology has outpaced our understanding of the ethics, mores, and laws of privacy. Award-winning tech reporter Cyrus Farivar makes the case by taking ten historic court decisions that defined our privacy rights and matching them against the capabilities of modern technology. It’s an approach that combines the charge of a legal thriller with the shock of the daily headlines. Chapters include: the 1960s prosecution of a bookie that established the “reasonable expectation of privacy” in nonpublic places beyond your home (but how does that ruling apply now, when police can chart your every move and hear your every conversation within your own home — without even having to enter it?); the 1970s case where the police monitored a lewd caller — the decision of which is now the linchpin of the NSA’s controversial metadata tracking program revealed by Edward Snowden; and a 2010 low-level burglary trial that revealed police had tracked a defendant’s past 12,898 locations before arrest — an invasion of privacy grossly out of proportion to the alleged crime, which showed how authorities are all too willing to take advantage of the ludicrous gap between the slow pace of legal reform and the rapid transformation of technology."
book  publisher  surveillance  big-data  computer  culture 
september 2018 by tsuomela
"Walk into any university lecture hall and you’re likely to see row upon row of students sitting behind glowing laptop screens. Laptops in class have been controversial, due mostly to the many opportunities for distraction that they provide (online shopping, browsing Reddit, or playing solitaire, just to name a few). But few studies have examined how effective laptops are for the students who diligently take notes. “Our new findings suggest that even when laptops are used as intended — and not for buying things on Amazon during class — they may still be harming academic performance,” says psychological scientist Pam Mueller of Princeton University, lead author of the study."
education  technology  technology-effects  computer  notetaking  writing 
april 2014 by tsuomela
Welcome to Google Island | Gadget Lab |
"I put the glasses back on, and took off my pants. We stood, naked, before each other with no secrets, no rules, and no shame. And I knew I never wanted to leave Google Island. Even if I could. "
google  online  internet  computer  technology  technology-effects  privacy  ethics  future  story 
october 2013 by tsuomela
[1308.5273] CrowdGrader: Crowdsourcing the Evaluation of Homework Assignments
"Crowdsourcing offers a practical method for ranking and scoring large amounts of items. To investigate the algorithms and incentives that can be used in crowdsourcing quality evaluations, we built CrowdGrader, a tool that lets students submit and collaboratively grade solutions to homework assignments. We present the algorithms and techniques used in CrowdGrader, and we describe our results and experience in using the tool for several computer-science assignments. CrowdGrader combines the student-provided grades into a consensus grade for each submission using a novel crowdsourcing algorithm that relies on a reputation system. The algorithm iterativerly refines inter-dependent estimates of the consensus grades, and of the grading accuracy of each student. On synthetic data, the algorithm performs better than alternatives not based on reputation. On our preliminary experimental data, the performance seems dependent on the nature of review errors, with errors that can be ascribed to the reviewer being more tractable than those arising from random external events. To provide an incentive for reviewers, the grade each student receives in an assignment is a combination of the consensus grade received by their submissions, and of a reviewing grade capturing their reviewing effort and accuracy. This incentive worked well in practice."
crowdsourcing  education  pedagogy  grading  automation  computer  academic 
september 2013 by tsuomela
First Trial of Crowdsourced Grading for Computer Science Homework | MIT Technology Review
"The latest online crowdsourcing tool allows students to grade their classmates’ homework and receive credit for the effort they put in."
crowdsourcing  education  pedagogy  grading  automation  computer  academic 
september 2013 by tsuomela
The Petabyte Age: Because More Isn't Just More — More Is Different
"Sensors everywhere. Infinite storage. Clouds of processors. Our ability to capture, warehouse, and understand massive amounts of data is changing science, medicine, business, and technology. As our collection of facts and figures grows, so will the opportunity to find answers to fundamental questions. Because in the era of big data, more isn't just more. More is different. "
petabyte  big-data  pundits  computer  computer-science  future  science 
july 2013 by tsuomela
No to NoUI – Timo Arnall
On the reasons for/against an 'invisible interface'
computer  design  interface  visibility  ux  usability 
march 2013 by tsuomela
On Security Awareness Training - Dark Reading
"The whole concept of security awareness training demonstrates how the computer industry has failed. We should be designing systems that won't let users choose lousy passwords and don't care what links a user clicks on. We should be designing systems that conform to their folk beliefs of security, rather than forcing them to learn new ones. "
computer  education  security  training  expertise  novice  awareness 
march 2013 by tsuomela
Google Blocks | OxCERT's blog
Story from Oxford on phishing attacks using Google Docs.
security  computer  network  google  spam 
february 2013 by tsuomela
Loper OS » Engelbart’s Violin
In the mind of today’s technological entrepreneur, the ideal user (and employee) is semi-skilled – or unskilled entirely.  The ideal user interface for such a person never rewards learning or experience when doing so would come at the cost of immediate accessibility to the neophyte.  This design philosophy is a mistake – a catastrophic, civilization-level mistake.  There is a place in the world for the violin as well as the kazoo.  Modern computer engineering is kazoo-only, and keyboards are only the most banal example of this fact. 
computer-science  computer  design  interface  input-device  keyboards  technology  professional  tools 
may 2012 by tsuomela
The New Aesthetic Needs to Get Weirder - Ian Bogost - Technology - The Atlantic
"A really new aesthetics might work differently: instead of concerning itself with the way we humans see our world differently when we begin to see it through and with computer media that themselves "see" the world in various ways, what if we asked how computers and bonobos and toaster pastries and Boeing 787 Dreamliners develop their own aesthetics. The perception and experience of other beings remains outside our grasp, yet available to speculation thanks to evidence that emanates from their withdrawn cores like radiation around the event horizon of a black hole. The aesthetics of other beings remain likewise inaccessible to knowledge, but not to speculation--even to art. "
art  modern  contemporary  technology  computer  visual  graphics  new-aesthetic  mediation  digital  aesthetics 
april 2012 by tsuomela
"Human-Centered Informatics (HCI) is the intersection of the cultural, the social, the cognitive, and the aesthetic with computing and information technology. It encompasses a huge range of issues, theories, technologies, designs, tools, environments and human experiences in knowledge work, recreation and leisure activity, teaching and learning, and the potpourri of everyday life. The series will publish state-of-the-art syntheses, case studies, and tutorials in key areas. It will share the focus of leading international conferences in HCI."
book  publisher  series  hci  human  computer  interaction  technology  design 
april 2012 by tsuomela
A Manifesto For Creativity In The Modern Era | Techdirt
"What I love most about this is how inclusive it is, and how much of it is about recognizing and embracing what an amazingly creative time this is for artists. All too often, we hear of artists who decry such things, who complain about the fact that their club doesn't feel as exclusive any more. For artists and an art exhibit to not just embrace, but joyfully celebrate the way creativity works today, while recognizing how these tools mean that anyone and everyone are creating art all the time, is really wonderful to see."
manifesto  creativity  modern  internet  computer  technology  mashup  appropriation  art  optimism 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Just Because It's Now Cheaper And Easier To Spy On Everyone All The Time, Doesn't Mean Governments Should Do It | Techdirt
"Today, thanks to our networked lives and the plummeting cost of hardware, national governments can monitor everything we do online for the same outlay as the much more limited surveillance of yesteryear. So what is really being preserved is not some supposedly circumscribed spying capability, but the orders-of-magnitude cost. By keeping that cost constant, governments can increase the scope of their spying hugely.
But just because the technology makes it possible, and the economics makes it feasible, doesn't mean governments ought to go ahead and do it. They may claim that they are simply "compensating for technical developments", but really they are trying to exploit those developments to go way beyond what was agreed before as socially acceptable, and to do so without any consultation on how much online surveillance should be permitted in a free society."
spying  government  surveillance  computer  capabilities 
april 2012 by tsuomela
An Essay on the New Aesthetic | Beyond The Beyond |
"Valorizing machine-generated imagery is like valorizing the unconscious mind. Like Surrealist imagery, it is cool, weird, provocative, suggestive, otherworldly, but it is also impoverished.

That’s the big problem, as I see it: the New Aesthetic is trying to hack a modern aesthetic, instead of thinking hard enough and working hard enough to build one. That’s the case so far, anyhow. No reason that the New Aesthetic has to stop where it stands at this moment, after such a promising start. I rather imagine it’s bound to do otherwise. Somebody somewhere will, anyhow."
art  aesthetics  modern  contemporary  computer  technology  movement  new-aesthetic  commentary  review 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Contrary Brin: People Who Don't "Get" Transparency or Positive Sum Games
"The Enlightenment's core discovery was the positive-sum game... ways that democracy, markets and science can "float all boats," so that even those who aren't top-winners can still see things get better, overall, year after year -- leading to the diamond-shaped social structure we discussed in an earlier post (last week), with a vibrant and creative middle class outnumbering the poor."
technology  computer  security  programming  intellectual-property  law  enlightenment  positive  games 
october 2011 by tsuomela
New Statesman - The suburb that changed the world
"In Sofia Coppola's 2006 film of the life of Marie Antoinette, there is a scene where an entourage of palace jeunes filles sweeps through a ball at which the set and costumes are period, but the music and manners are straight out of a modern dance club. The proposition seems to be that an elite few were able to put a toe into the future to experience what is ordinary today.

Something like that went on in the Silicon Valley I knew in the 1980s. The debates and dilemmas that occupy a generation today appeared in miniature before there was an internet. We took our anticipation of the internet deadly seriously, to the point where it seemed already real. Thus I have experienced the internet age twice."
internet  history  computer  technology  1980s 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Twitter Engineering: A Storm is coming: more details and plans for release
"Here's a recap of the three broad use cases for Storm:

Stream processing: Storm can be used to process a stream of new data and update databases in realtime. Unlike the standard approach of doing stream processing with a network of queues and workers, Storm is fault-tolerant and scalable.
Continuous computation: Storm can do a continuous query and stream the results to clients in realtime. An example is streaming trending topics on Twitter into browsers. The browsers will have a realtime view on what the trending topics are as they happen.
Distributed RPC: Storm can be used to parallelize an intense query on the fly. The idea is that your Storm topology is a distributed function that waits for invocation messages. When it receives an invocation, it computes the query and sends back the results. Examples of Distributed RPC are parallelizing search queries or doing set operations on large numbers of large sets."
computer-science  computer  programming  stream  data-processing 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Rate This Article: What’s Wrong with the Culture of Critique | Magazine
"Technoculture critic and former Wired contributor Erik Davis is concerned about the proliferation of reviews, too. “Our culture is afflicted with knowingness,” he says. “We exalt in being able to know as much as possible. And that’s great on many levels. But we’re forgetting the pleasures of not knowing. I’m no Luddite, but we’ve started replacing actual experience with someone else’s already digested knowledge.”"
technology  computer  online  culture  reviews  knowledge  opinion  filtering 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Glass House Conversations : Can we see the effect of CAD yet in contemporary buildings? Other than the obvious and largely well-received example of Frank Gehry, what architecture can we point to as evidence of the positives? What are the hidden costs of d
"Do you think the effect of CAD is discernable yet in the built environment of the last ten years? Hand drawing is now barely part of an architect's education, and totally absent from practice. For all its advantages of convenience this technology will change the end result of form in architecture in ways that are hard to predict."
architecture  technology  technology-effects  design  computer  cad  via:askpang 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Phoebe's Home Page
I'm a computer scientist and cultural theorist at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany. This is my home page.

Work: I work in the areas of media research and artificial intelligence, complementing technical work with cultural analysis of technology.
people  media  technology  computer  art 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Special report: What triggered oil's greatest rout | Reuters
"Oil just doesn't fall by 10 percent in the course of a normal day, though. In commodities markets, oil is king, and its daily contract turnover, typically around $200 billion, is usually able to absorb even large inflows or outflows of investment.

The rare moves of $10 a barrel usually are set off by dramatic events -- the outbreak of the first Gulf War in 1991, or the collapse in 2008 of Lehman Bros bank, which both led to recessions.

Of course, there was major news last week. But the daring Pakistan raid that killed Osama bin Laden had done little to shift the balance of oil markets on Monday.

In interviews with more than two dozen fund managers, bankers and traders, no clear cause emerged for the plunge in price. Market players were unable to identify any single bank or fund orchestrating a massive sale to liquidate positions, not even an errant trade that triggered panic selling, as seen in the equities flash crash last May."
economics  markets  computer  financial-engineering  interview  business  trends 
may 2011 by tsuomela
Radical Culture in Ruby: The Gender, Fetish and Race of Programming « Shanley's Place to Share Things
"This a thought experiment in examining programming communities as cultural, semiotic and socioeconomic artifacts. The main goal is to explore the analysis of emerging languages outside of technical criteria, which while imperative, often fail to explain the complex causes and consequences of trends in our sector. It focuses on Ruby as an example of radical culture functioning as a constructive agent of code. "
computer  programming  objects  sts  gender 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Smoke Signals | the human network
When all four of these design principles are embodied in a work, another design principle emerges: resilience. Something that is distributed, transport independent, secure and open is very, very difficult to subvert, shut down, or block. It will survive all sorts of disasters. Including warfare.
design  computer  technology  freedom  open-source  privacy  transparency  social-media  graphs  social-networks  manifesto  internet  future  social  facebook  commerce 
march 2011 by tsuomela
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