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DeepFakes: Ai-Generated Fakes Launch A Software Arms Race  [niemanlab] “Detecting AI-generated forgeries is not simply a new version of an old reporting challenge. No amount of journalistic ingenuity and doggedness will match the scale, speed, and accuracy at which they will be distributed in the coming years.”

Facial Rec: Taylor Swift tracked stalkers with facial recognition tech at her concert [theverge] Swift’s facial recognition system was built into a kiosk that displayed highlights of her rehearsals, which would secretly record onlookers’ faces.  Who owns those pictures of concertgoers and how long can they be kept on file? — the use of facial-recognition technology is on the rise at stadiums and arenas, and security is not the only goal.

Networks: The FCC Has Made the Same Mistake for Text Messaging That It Did for Net Neutrality [eff]

Networks: DoJ Indicts Five Men For Pre-Release Movie & TV Show Piracy  [pdf]

Space: Virgin Galactic to attempt flight to space this week [spacenews] The flight, launching from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, will attempt to reach an altitude of 50 miles above Earth’s surface.

Ethics: [recode] Ye Combinator’s Sam Altman and Recode’s Kara Swisher discuss tech ethics, addiction and Facebook

Ethics: Congress May Have Fallen for Facebook’s Trap, but You Don’t Have To [NYT] “It always has, and it probably always will.”

Infosec: Mathematical and Provable Security Aspects of Post-Quantum Cryptography [pdf]   By exploiting the peculiar properties of quantum particles, these computers can solve particular problems exponentially faster than their classical counterparts. Widely-deployed public key cryptosystems such as RSA and ECDH are vulnerable to quantum attacks.  (tl/dr in the quantum world all our current security methods fall to ash -ed) 

GTD:  How I became more productive in 2018 [ft] I created a vision board of my goals and aspirations for the year: a collage created by hand that has metaphorical images of what success means to you. I use this tool in my executive advisory business and have found it to be very effective. It accesses the selective filtering and value tagging systems of the brain that help us notice and seize opportunities that may otherwise pass us by

Business: The Friendship That Made Google Huge  [newyorker]

Music: Annie Lennox, Chrissie Hynde, others are not down with Brexit [music4eu] The UK music industry is uniting to call for an alternative to Brexit.

Privacy is power.

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Every moment of every day, mobile phone apps collect detailed location data.  [nyt] “We look to understand who a person is, based on where they’ve been and where they’re going, in order to influence what they’re going to do next,”

2018 on Netflix: To All The Shows and Movies We’ve Loved Before  [netlfix]

Movies Starring Women Earn More Than Male-Led Films, Study Finds [NYT] the top movies from 2014 to 2017 starring women earned more than male-led films, whether they were made for less than $10 million or for $100 million or more.

The Nielsen Total Audience Report: Q2 2018 and some strong analysis by Matthew Ball  Updated for (a brutal) Q2 2018: Decline in Pay TV usage (inc. OTA broadcast) by demo 18-24 down 59% (67 hrs/month)! 12-17 down 57% (59), 25-34 down 45% (58). Rate of decline not slowing If you’re under 50, you’re watching at least 23% less Pay TV than in 2010. Only 65+ is up.

Thomas Graham looks at what the age of the machine means for art. [BBC] The signature in the bottom right of the Obvious portrait is the Gan algorithm.

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Human [pew] Some 979 technology pioneers, innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists answered this question in a canvassing of experts conducted in the summer of 2018.

How Verizon’s $9bn media bet became virtually worthless [ft] Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said bankers could not stop a determined chief executive from doing a poor deal. “The days of bankers being powerful enough to dissuade a CEO from doing what the CEO wants to do are a historical footnote,” said Mr Gordon.  (footnote of fail -ed)

Written Testimony of Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer, Google and video/text transcript of testimony

Logitech:   When you use your Harmony product,  [logitech] our servers automatically receive and record information regarding the use of your product, including: Location information and IP address Data related to when you access our online software, such as the features you access and when you sync your remote Data related to the discovery of devices in your environment, and your use of product features, such as “help” button or “reboot” actions

Tencent Music Prices Its IPO at Bottom of Range  [wsj] Chinese music streamer set to debut Wednesday after a turbulent public-offering process.

Library of Congress National Film Registry – The  2018 Additions to the Registry Have Been Announced

Comixify : Transform Video Into A Comics [pdf]


Privacy is power.

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Australia data encryption laws explained  [bbc] This or versions of this will make it’s way around the world. Be very afraid, they are removing your ability to negotiate. Privacy is power.

Tech’s invasion of our privacy made us more paranoid in 2018 [cnet] When they say you need damages to file a grievance – this is that for everyone under the unknown, knowing eyes.

Facebook and Apple Embody New Tech Divide [barrons]   This graphic on ad-supported dependent networks.

TSA’s Roadmap for Airport Surveillance Moves in a Dangerous Direction The Transportation Security Administration has set out an alarming vision of pervasive biometric surveillance at airports, which cuts against the right to privacy, the “right to travel,” and the right to anonymous association with others.

Russian accounts fuel French outrage online [thetimes]  (“… Same as it ever was Look where my hand was ” talking heads lyric -ED)

Two nice datasets one on gender one on diversity that you can contribute to

The Misgendering Machines: Trans/HCI Implications of Automatic Gender Recognition  [pdf]

Adding Diversity to Images with Open Images Extended [google ai blog]

The deepest problem with deep learning [GaryMarcus]

List of all named GANs [github]

Convolutional Neural Networks Deceived by Visual Illusions [arxiv]

Music publishing starts to hit the right notes [ft]

How Artificial Intelligence is Making Inroads in the Music Industry [insidescience]

2019 in public domain [wikipedia] A big year for public domain works.

Orbital Reflector – Nevada Museum of Art [orbitalreflector] Look up and gaze back from the mirror in the sky before it self destructs.

Editors note: publishing last week and some of next week will be infrequent as my full focus is needed elsewhere.

Privacy is power.

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These three – report, paper and blog post all say beware unchecked roll out of facial recognization at very least a notice-and-consent framework put in place.

AI Now 2018 Report [ainow]
Summary of 2018’s Most Important AI Papers [topbots]
Facial recognition: It’s time for action  [msft]

All of them are well worth reading through.

Speaking of important implementations taking place at scale with out significant due diligence we might want to slow the race to the 2020 5G technologies roll out.  The Honorable Bendan Carr FCC Commissioner thinks everything is safe and good to go.

“Federal law actually says that state and local governments can’t take [radiofrequency] concerns into account given how much work has gone into this issue at the federal level…Both at the FCC and other expert health agencies in Washington. they stay very much up to speed on these issues and have reached the determination that these are safe.”

This is about a acceptable level of radiation.  “Wireless radiation has biological effects. Period.”    What does that mean.  For example the closer you live to a cell tower the higher your blood glucose levels.

A type 1 diabetic male reports multiple instances when his blood glucose was dramatically elevated by the presence of microwave radiation from wirelesstechnology and plummeted when the radiation exposure ended. In one instance, his body temperature elevated in addition to his blood glucose.May 19, 2017 . Radiation from wireless technology elevates blood glucose and body …[pubmed]

We need to understand our exposure per person, per day from the impact of EMF’s.  EMF’s can also be mental as well as physical

Among the more commonly reported changes are sleep disturbance/insomnia, headache,  depression/depressive symptoms, fatigue/tiredness, dysesthesia, concentration/attention dysfunction, memory changes, dizziness, irritability, loss of appetite/body weight, restlessness /anxiety, nausea, skin burning/tingling/dermographism … Environmental Health Trust » Blog Archive Brain Development, Cell  [ehtrust]

Why this is being rolled out – a massive mesh network that radiates dangerous level EMF’s without proper vetting or understanding what exactly is taking place.  Two decades after cellphones launched we have a report from a non bias 3rd party saying beware – instead of looking closer at the dangers we are moving to more dangerous levels.


Year end round-ups

YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind

Your 2018 Wrapped – The Spotify Community

Google Year in Search 2018 (not up yet)

Online “Best of 2018” Book Lists



Privacy is Power.


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SpaceX  rocket carrying art  launch today Today. The satellite will deploy into orbit roughly an hour and 32 minutes after liftoff.  The launch will be webcast 

AlphaFold: Using AI for scientific discovery  [deepmind] excited to share DeepMind’s first significant milestone in demonstrating how artificial intelligence research can drive and accelerate new scientific discoveries. With a strongly interdisciplinary approach to our work, DeepMind has brought together experts from the fields of structural biology, physics, and machine learning to apply cutting-edge techniques to predict the 3D structure of a protein based solely on its genetic sequence.

New Satellites Will Hunt Pirates, and Maybe Terrorists SpaceX is set to launch three toaster oven-size vehicles this weekend that will scan the globe for telltale radio signals of dark ships.

NYC May Pull The Plug On Cashless Restaurants, Retailers While unbanked people lack bank accounts entirely, the underbanked may maintain them, but rely primarily on other modes of financial transaction (cash, for example). According to the 2017 Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, over 14 million adults qualified as unbanked and nearly 49 million qualified as underbanked nationwide.

 Amazon takes machine learning to the masses . [ft] DeepRacer, a one-18th scale model car that developers can teach to drive using machine learning models and compete against other cars in a newly created autonomous racing league. The toy car, which Amazon is selling online for $399,

Adversarial Examples that Fool both Computer Vision and Time-Limited Humans [arxiv] Machine learning models are vulnerable to adversarial examples: small changes to images can cause computer vision models to make mistakes such as identifying a school bus as an ostrich. However, it is still an open question whether humans are prone to similar mistakes. Here, we address this question by leveraging recent techniques that transfer adversarial examples from computer vision models with known parameters and architecture to other models with unknown parameters and architecture, and by matching the initial processing of the human visual system. We find that adversarial examples that strongly transfer across computer vision models influence the classifications made by time-limited human observers.



Privacy is Power.

Reading: Nonhuman Photography

Reading this weekend : 

Nonhuman Photography

All-encompassing in the workings of traffic control cameras, smart phones, and Google Earth, photography can therefore be described as a technology of life: it not only represents life but also shapes and regulates it—while also documenting or even envisioning its demise.

Thanks to the proliferation of digital and portable media as well as broadband connectivity, photography has become pervasive and ubiquitous: we could go so far as to say that our very sense of existence is now shaped by it.

In the words of Susan Sontag, “To live is to be photographed, to have a record of one’s life, and therefore to go on with one’s life oblivious, or claiming to be oblivious, to the camera’s nonstop attentions.”2 This altered role and agency of the photographic medium calls for a new understanding of photography,

I suggest, beyond its traditional humanist frameworks and perceptions. Nonhuman Photography analyzes this new ontological—and political—conjuncture, as well as possible ways of negotiating it, while also refusing to submit to the conventional “human vs. machine” narrative.

Through this, it outlines a posthumanist philosophy of photography, anchored in the sensibility of what has become known as “the nonhuman turn.”

Early in the book this work is referenced:   Richard Whitlock the street video 

The Street is a ‘moving photograph’ of a street in Thessaloniki, in Greece, in which the familiar perspective of the camera lens is replaced by the parallel projection used in technical drawing. The vehicles in the street stay the same size as they recede into the distance, and the far buildings are the same size as those in the foreground, though they are a mile away. In this projection the spectator’s eye is positioned everywhere, down in the street, opposite the balconies of the buildings, high and low, left and right, in an extension of vision that painters have employed since antiquity.  (intv)

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The godfather of fake news [BBC] Meet one of the world’s most prolific writers of disinformation..  “The mission with the trolling first and foremost is we pull them into the comments [section underneath each fake article],” he says. It’s then that he starts on the offensive. The faker becomes the exposer, weeding out and reporting the most extreme users among his fans.

Videos from the conference on human rights and technology on 24 July 2018 in Sydney.

The Arcane Algorithm Archive  The Arcane Algorithm Archive is a collaborative effort to create a guide for all important algorithms in all languages

The Genesis of Library Genesis: The Birth of a Global Scholarly Shadow Library RuNet, the Russian segment of the internet is now the home of the most comprehensive scientific pirate libraries on the net.  These sites offer free access to hundreds of thousands of books and millions of journal articles. In this contribution we try to understand the factors that led to the development of these sites, and the sociocultural and legal conditions that enable them to operate under hostile legal and political conditions.

Limitless Worker Surveillance [ssrn] In this Article, we examine the effectiveness of the law as a check on worker surveillance, given recent technological innovations. In particular, we focus on two popular trends in worker tracking – productivity apps and worker wellness programs – to argue that current legal constraints are insufficient and may leave American workers at the mercy of 24/7 employer monitoring. We then propose a new comprehensive framework for worker privacy protections that should withstand current and future trends.

This live view of Twitter is the  best way to use the service . If you are logged-in to the web version just hit the link and view it the same way.

Why we stopped trusting elites [guardian] The problem today is that, across a number of crucial areas of public life, the basic intuitions of populists have been repeatedly verified. One of the main contributors to this has been the spread of digital technology, creating vast data trails with the latent potential to contradict public statements, and even undermine entire public institutions. Whereas it is impossible to conclusively prove that a politician is morally innocent or that a news report is undistorted, it is far easier to demonstrate the opposite


Richard Prince’s New, Late Style Is One of His Best [nyt] With a little scrutiny, it becomes clear that the artist has not abandoned appropriation or the camera as much as taken them into much messier territory. And now he’s appropriating from himself: Most of the figures in the paintings can be traced to the nearby “Hippie Drawings.” This is a smart move, given the frequency with which he has been sued for using other people’s photographs.

Reproducing Paintings with 3D Printing [mit/youtube] Warning the music is dangerous.

2018 Miami Art Week Cheat Sheet  A concise guide to 12 art fairs taking place in Miami during the first week of December,

Just links:

[5GP] 5G-PPP working group on 5G architecture  [PDF]

Comparing privacy laws: GDPR v. CCPA [PDF] [FPF.ORG]



Privacy is Power.

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Life, Autocompleted [John May] when contemplating the consciousness of system designers—all of the electrical engineers, computer scientists, and ergonomists whose singular focus is a “running program” between user and interface. From within that mindset, so many technical activities appear as concerted attempts to automate thought.

The Digital Maginot Line [Renee DiResta] The Maginot Line was, in its time, believed to be a significant innovation in national defense; foreign leaders came from all over to tour it. It was a series of fortresses and railroads, resistant to all known forms of artillery, built using the latest technology.

Americans are streaming 8 billion hours of video per month [Nielsen]  In fact, Americans collectively spend nearly 8 billion hours per month consuming content on connected TV devices—such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire (1).

In China, your car could be talking to the government [ap]  (In the US our cars talk to data brokers who then re-sell it or provide it to goverment for free depending on use case -ed)

Marriott hack hits 500M guests []  Everyone exposed should get a free weeks stay -ed

Two Celebrities Charged With Unlawfully Touting Coin Offerings [] e Securities and Exchange Commission today announced settled charges against professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and music producer Khaled Khaled, known as DJ Khaled, for failing to disclose payments they received for promoting investments in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). These are the SEC’s first cases to charge touting violations involving ICOs.

DHS/USSS/PIA-024 Facial Recognition Pilot

Don’t buy online DNA ancestry tests. You are the real product [Irish Times]  (In case this was not clear – do not do this – do not pay for people to exploit your bio metrics against your and your family -ed)

WarnerMedia Streaming Platform to Launch With Three Tiers of Service, Emphasis on Movies

You Say Data, I Say System The next time you read a story with the word data in the headline, swap it out with data system. When you see a data visualization, think of it instead as a data system visualization

Home Routers Under Attack : What to Do  You should do is factory-reset your router, disable UPnP, then check for firmware updates, since some companies have patched the vulnerability out. This won’t fix any other compromised systems, but it’s a necessary first step. [toms guide]
Privacy is Power.

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Disrupt Berlin2018 . Nov 29 – 30, 2018   Live stream  [techcrunch]

Tech veterans bring back the original optimism of the internet [ft] While making me coffee, Prof Shawe-Taylor agonises over the destruction the internet is wreaking. “Machine learning has enabled this technology,” he says. “We created it. It all seemed positive, a real brave new world. And look what’s happened — the fake news, the privacy problems, the insecure data. So, yes, I now feel we have to take responsibility for what we made.

It’s Almost 2019. Do You Know Where Your Photos Are? [NYT] The problem of what to do with ballooning digital photo collections, on the other hand, is perhaps the great unsolved tech support question of the last 30 years. In retrospect, well-intentioned guidance reads like a manual for the obliteration of memory.

GAN Dissection: Visualizing and Understanding Generative Adversarial Networks

More Amazon services announced
Amazon Timestream – Fast, scalable, fully managed time series database
Amazon Textract  – Easily extract text and data from virtually any document

Generating Classical Music with Neural Networks

Decentralized network 42: a big dynamic VPN []

Christopher Wylie: can fashion save the world? [FT]

Senator Blumenthal Faults FTC For Cambridge Analytica Debacle


Privacy is Power.

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Big Tech Expands Footprint in Health [wsj]  Amazon’s move into analyzing patient records is the latest by a technology company to tap the health-care market.

Sennheiser Headset Software Could Allow Man-In-the-Middle SSL Attacks [] When users have been installing Sennheiser’s HeadSetup software, little did they know that the software was also installing a root certificate into the Trusted Root CA Certificate store.  To make matters worse, the software was also installing an encrypted version of the certificate’s private key that was not as secure as the developers may have thought.  (First BOSE tracking via your playlists now we have headphones that provide an attack vector – This is fine – ED)

How Surveillance Inhibits Freedom of Expression [] ..- In my book Data and Goliath, I write about the value of privacy. I talk about how it is essential for political liberty and justice, and for commercial fairness and equality. I talk about how it increases personal freedom and individual autonomy, and how the lack of it makes us all less secure. But this is probably the most important argument as to why society as a whole must protect privacy: it allows society to progress

The spread of low-credibility content by social bots [nature]  Humans are vulnerable to this manipulation, resharing content posted by bots. Successful low-credibility sources are heavily supported by social bots. These results suggest that curbing social bots may be an effective strategy for mitigating the spread of online misinformation.

YouTube Exits Scripted Development, Focuses On Unscripted Fare As It Leaves SVOD Space For Ad-Supported Content   Is it me or is there a significant scaling back of scripted dev. from valley co’s

Police facial recognition ‘needs considerable investment’ [bbc] It was first used in the city centre at the Champions League final in June 2017, but it led to more than 2,000 people being wrongly matched with possible criminals.  

Amazon Web Services launches AWS Ground Station, a cloud service for satellite operators [amazon] AWS Ground Station. Amazon EC2 made compute power accessible on a cost-effective, pay-as-you-go basis. AWS Ground Station does the same for satellite ground stations. Instead of building your own ground station or entering in to a long-term contract, you can make use of AWS Ground Station on an as-needed, pay-as-you-go basis.

Is neuroscience a bigger threat than artificial intelligence? Cognitive scientists have extracted the theory of mind from conscious introspection and elaborated it in a flow chart, a  “boxology” of how the mind works. There’s what cognitive scientists call a ‘desire box’ and a ‘belief box’ inside our heads, one “containing” statements describing the goal or aims, and the other statements about facts relevant to their attainment, information about means.

Deep Learning cheatsheets for Stanford’s CS 230   repository aims at summing up in the same place all the important notions that are covered in Stanford’s CS 230 Deep Learning course, and include: Cheatsheets detailing everything about convolutional neural networks, recurrent neural networks, as well as the tips and tricks to have in mind when training a deep learning model. All elements of the above combined in an ultimate compilation of concepts, to have with you at all times!

Dropping Acid [logicmag] In the 1980s, musicians in Chicago built a new genre out of obsolete machinery. Listeners lost their mind

3x3x6, the new project representing Taiwan at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019.  Using as inspiration ten historical and contemporary cases of imprisonment due to gender, sexual, and racial nonconformity, 3x3x6 questions how legal and visual regimes shape sexual and gender norms over time. The title, 3x3x6, refers to the new architectural model of industrial prisons developed globally: a 9-square-meter cell constantly monitored by 6 cameras. Combining physical space with a surveillance program, the project speaks about the new conditions of freedom and control within contemporary democratic societies

A Market of the Senses: Sara Cwynar Finds Truths and Untruths in Advertising [artnews] Advertisers are engaged in a similar process, of course, passing along various biases and assumptions as they try to peddle things—Cezanne, for instance, borrows the name of a French Impressionist to sell whiteness to their consumers, many of whom are not white. It all makes one wonder who is ultimately in charge of shaping and transmitting such artificial ideals. “This is one of the reasons I make art,” Cwynar said. “It’s a way of controlling the world.” 

Privacy is Power.