MED 8.2.18

Link:  Google Maps Says ‘the East Cut’ Is a Real Place. Locals Aren’t So Sure. [NYT]

SAN FRANCISCO — For decades, the district south of downtown and alongside San Francisco Bay here was known as either Rincon Hill, South Beach or South of Market. This spring, it was suddenly rebranded on Google Maps to a name few had heard:the East Cut.

Infosec:  Data’s day of reckoning [Oreilly]

Data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and related technologies are now facing a day of reckoning. It is time for us to take responsibility for our creations. What does it mean to take responsibility for building, maintaining, and managing data, technologies, and services? Responsibility is inevitably tangled with the complex incentives that surround the creation of any product. These incentives have been front and center in the conversations around the roles that social networks have played in the 2016 U.S. elections, recruitment of terrorists, and online harassment. It has become very clear that the incentives of the organizations that build and own data products haven’t aligned with the good of the people using those products.

Art/Censorship:  Russian Authorities Order the Destruction of a Digital Artwork [hyperallergic]

The condemned work, entitled “9 Stages in the Decomposition of the Leader,” is a print of nine time-lapse digital images showing an official portrait of the Russian president over a seed box, with each image documenting the disintegration of Putin’s portrait as grass grows through. A framed print was carried by artist and activist Varya Mikhailova when she and a group of opposition and LGBTQ activists joined a trade union march last May Day on Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg.

Art/Censorship  Tretyakov clamps down on ‘illegal’ tours by banning visitors from discussing works of  art [ArtNewspaper]

Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery has aimed its crosshairs at “illegal” tours and said only certified guides with special badges are allowed to talk about the exhibits. As a result, security guards have been reprimanding ordinary groups of people discussing the art amongst themselves.

NYC:   Snøhetta plans nixed as Philip Johnson’s AT&T Building gains landmark status [Dezeen]

I spent a decade in the corner of the 24th floor of this masterpiece.  The proposed design changes were sacrilege. The designation protects the exterior of the reddish-toned stone building, preventing the Oslo and New York-based architecture firm’s controversial proposal to replace part of its base with glass. Snøhetta is now revising its scheme to update the vacant building’s public, retail and office spaces, and any changes intended for the exterior will require an LPC review and an LPC permit.

Infosec: We had a security incident. Here’s what you need to know.  [Reddit]

On June 19, we learned that between June 14 and June 18, an attacker compromised a few of our employees’ accounts with our cloud and source code hosting providers. Already having our primary access points for code and infrastructure behind strong authentication requiring two factor authentication (2FA), we learned that SMS-based authentication is not nearly as secure as we would hope, and the main attack was via SMS intercept. We point this out to encourage everyone here to move to token-based 2FA.


Tool: Your Friendly Guide to Colors in Data Visualisation

Tool: Jason’s Machine Learning 101 (



Editors Note:

A Goldfinch moved
into pink begonias
in a cobalt blue
pot on the porch.

Each morning I draw
her a fresh water bath
place it near.