Daily Dish 072818



Welcome to the Quiet Skies  [Boston Globe]

Already under Quiet Skies, thousands of unsuspecting Americans have been subjected to targeted airport and inflight surveillance, carried out by small teams of armed, undercover air marshals, government documents show. The teams document whether passengers fidget, use a computer, have a “jump” in their Adam’s apple or a “cold penetrating stare,” among other behaviors, according to the records.  Air marshals note these observations — minute-by-minute — in two separate reports and send this information back to the TSA.

‘The discourse is unhinged’: how the media gets AI alarmingly wrong [Guardian]

What Lipton finds most troubling, though, is not technical illiteracy among journalists, but how social media has allowed self-proclaimed “AI influencers” who do nothing more than paraphrase Elon Musk on their Medium blogs to cash in on this hype with low-quality, TED-style puff pieces. “Making real progress in AI requires a public discourse that is sober and informed,” Lipton says. “Right now, the discourse is so completely unhinged it’s impossible to tell what’s important and what’s not.”

The Google Funded Astroturf Group that Hacked The EU Copyright Vote (In Pictures) [thetrichordist.com]

So what does OpenMedia do?  They fight aggressively against any sort of regulation that would harm Google and Silicon Valley’s bottom line. SOPA, Net Neutrality, DMCA Takedown Staydown and the EU copyright directive.

Instagram Flop accounts [Atlantic]

Flop accounts bring attention to bad things or bad people that people should be aware of. We also post cringeworthy content for entertainment purposes,” said Alma, a 13-year-old admin on the flop account @nonstopflops.

According to teens, flop accounts began as a way to make fun of celebrities and popular YouTubers, but sometime over the past year they’ve morphed into something more substantive: a crucial way to share and discuss opinions online.

2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey [pdf]

This year’s survey shows a dramatic, negative shift in millennials’ feelings about business’ motivations and ethics. Respondents are disappointed that business leaders’ priorities don’t seem to align with their own—but where matches exist, the perception is that those companies are more successful, have more stimulating work environments and do a better job of developing talent.

Gallery Notes 1, 2, & 3: Dealers, Connoisseurship, Exhibitions [Artnews]

Dealers, save yourselves

Forget gallery walks. Dealers, visit other galleries. Regularly. Put your cell number on the gallery door and stay in the neighborhood. If we don’t see each other’s shows, how can we expect others to see our shows? Take your friends/artists/collectors with you. Introduce them to your colleagues. Show them what you like in other dealers’ dens. Tell them why. Discuss how what you like outside your gallery relates to your program and where we’re going (collectively). Become an art adviser (two jobs pay better than one). Knowledgeable dealers can be the best art advisers. Sell other galleries’ art to your people and collect a commission. Advocate sustaining reciprocity. All parties will benefit.

Tales from the storage unit: inside a booming industry [FT]

For Frederic de Ryckman de Betz, who owns Attic Storage in London, self-storage reveals something about human nature. “We have this human condition called hoarding that we can’t seem to get away from,” he says. “If you have a studio flat, you will run out of space. And if you have a four-bedroom house, you will come to a point where you run out of space.”   [its all a hedge against death-ed]

Recto / Verso: Art Publishing in Practice [Hauser & Wirth ]

Co-presented by Hauser & Wirth Publishers and Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Bookstore
This August, Hauser & Wirth Publishers and Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Bookstore are delighted to co-present Recto / Verso: Art Publishing in Practice, a month-long event series exploring the creative processes and ecosystems in the art publishing communities of New York. Bringing together a range of voices and participants, Recto / Verso features local small presses and zine collectives, as well as digital, nonprofit, and institutional publishers.

Paper: Spiking neural networks for computer vision  [nih.gov]

State-of-the-art computer vision systems use frame-based cameras that sample the visual scene as a series of high-resolution images. These are then processed using convolutional neural networks using neurons with continuous outputs. Biological vision systems use a quite different approach, where the eyes (cameras) sample the visual scene continuously, often with a non-uniform resolution, and generate neural spike events in response to changes in the scene. … Event-based vision sensors, and event-based processing exemplified by the SpiNNaker (Spiking Neural Network Architecture) machine, can be used to model the biological vision pathway at various levels of detail. Here we use this approach to explore structural synaptic plasticity as a possible mechanism whereby biological vision systems may learn the statistics of their inputs without supervision, pointing the way to engineered vision systems with similar online learning capabilities.

Mellite [github.io]

Mellite is an environment for creating experimental computer-based music and sound art. This system has been developed since 2012 by its author, Hanns Holger Rutz, and is made available under the GNU GPL open source license.

Two info-sec papers :

How Tracking Companies Circumvented Ad Blockers Using WebSockets’   [PDF]

Diffusion of User Tracking Data in the Online Advertising Ecosystem  [pdf] [ieee-security.org]

Abstract—In this study of 100,000 websites, we document how Advertising and Analytics (A&A) companies have used WebSockets to bypass ad blocking, exfiltrate user tracking data, and deliver advertisements. Specifically, we leverage a long- standing bug in Chrome (the world’s most popular browser) in the chrome.webRequest API that prevented blocking ex- tensions from being able to interpose on WebSocket connections. We conducted large-scale crawls of top publishers before and after this bug was patched in April 2017 to examine which A&A companies were using WebSockets, what information was being transferred, and whether companies altered their behavior after the patch. We find that a small but persistent group of A&A companies use WebSockets, and that several of them are engaging in troubling behavior, such as browser fingerprinting, exfiltrating the DOM, and serving advertisements, that would have circumvented blocking due to the Chrome bug.

Farnam Street (FS)

The Best Of What Other People Have Already Figured Out

a world full of noise, Farnam Street is a place where you can step back and think about time-tested ideas while asking yourself questions that lead to meaningful understanding. We cover ideas from science and the humanities that will not only expand your intellectual horizons but also help you connect ideas, think in multidisciplinary ways, and explore meaning.

Collection of Facebook related reports from the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sports committee. 

CCTV: “ethics committees” without powers, without budget and sometimes without activity [Le Monde]

Who monitors video surveillance? In the case Benalla , video 1 st -May on the Place de la Contrescarpe, in the 5 th district of Paris, filmed by a police headquarters camera, have not only been preserved in unclear circumstances, but were sent to Alexandre Benalla, who said they have given them to the Elysee , before they appear online on a Twitter account campaigning for the Republic in motion (LRM).

That’s not what the law says. The legal framework surrounding video surveillance in France is strict. Images can only be kept for thirty days, excluding inquiry; anyone can request access to the images that concern them; only authorized agents can consult them , and a number of conditions must be respected, such as not filming the interiors of buildings. But the control mechanisms are limited.


The WSJ  ongoing mens fashion series that will get you laughed at or beat up. Todays example.