MED 8.4.18

Traceability on the Internet   (By Vinton G. Cerf  acm.org)

This suggests to me that the notion of traceability under (internationally?) agreed circumstances (that is, differential traceability) might be a fruitful concept to explore. In most societies today, it is accepted that we must be identifiable to appropriate authorities under certain conditions (consider border crossings, traffic violation stops as examples). While there are conditions under which apparent anonymity is desirable and even justifiable (whistle-blowing, for example) absolute anonymity is actually quite difficult to achieve (another point made at the Ditchley workshop) and might not be absolutely desirable given the misbehaviors apparent anonymity invites. I expect this is a controversial conclusion and I look forward to subsequent discussion.

(Disagree with many of VC position. Clearly no one at the Ditchley workshop has been on the other side of surveillance capitalism – ed)

Broken art: Ai Weiwei’s Beijing studio faces wrecking ball [AFP/Yahoo]

Hours earlier, Ai, who now lives in Berlin, had posted videos on Instagram showing several men looking on from inside the hollowed-out brick and concrete building as a backhoe went to work.  “Farewell,” Ai wrote in English, saying the demolition had begun without notice.

Firefox removes RSS support [GHacks]

After careful consideration of various options (which also included doing nothing, or investing heavily in updating the code), we’ve decided to go ahead and remove builtin feed support from Firefox.

Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not [Wired]

Lots of powerful people (in other words, mostly white men) in the West are publicly expressing their fears about the potential power of robots to rule humans, driving the public narrative. Yet many of the same people wringing their hands are also racing to build robots powerful enough to do that—and, of course, underwriting research to try to keep control of the machines they’re inventing, although this time it doesn’t involved Christianizing robots … yet.

Related: Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro  lifelike robot child, which is supposed to be around 10 years old. Its name is Ibuki.  [YouTube video]

Spotify DFPR Data

Tried the GDPR data export from Spotify. By default, you get like 6 JSON files with almost nothing. After many emails and complaining and a month of waiting, I got a 250MB archive with basically EVERY INTERACTION I ever did with any Spotify client, all my searches. Everything.

Photography by Bill Cunningham at the New York Historical Society [FT]

 At night, Cunningham got back on his bike and made the rounds of benefit dinners and museum openings. Socialites would jostle for position before his lens. Brooke Astor preened for him, and Anna Wintour declared, “We all get dressed for Bill.” Yet he cared more for the outfits than for the celebrities who wore them. Tough to awe and equally comfortable on the lowest and highest rungs of the city’s social ladder, he gave some friends the impression that he’d been born into New England aristocracy. Swinging from the Plaza to the piers, from the subway to the steps of the Metropolitan Museum, he was a man of the people spreading the democracy of fashion.

Silicon Valley: Big Tech prepares for its second act  [FT]

 

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