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WireGuard for iOS – now in the App Store  WireGuard is a fast, modern, and secure VPN tunnel. This app allows users to manage and use WireGuard tunnels. The app can import new tunnels from archives and files, from QR codes, or you can create one from scratch.

Suicide Prediction Technology is Revolutionary. It Badly Needs Oversight. Facebook also helps pinpoint users’ locations so first responders can find them. In the past 12 months, the company initiated 3,500 of these “wellness checks,” contacting police about 10 times per day, Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global safety, said in a recent interview with NPR.

Fortnite Keeps Stealing Dances — And No One Knows If It’s Illegal But the claims are more complicated when it comes to dances. Epic took a dance Ferguson popularized, turned into a visual asset with motion graphics, and then made it into a reward for playing a lot of Fortnite. So the first question would be whether a dance move can be protected by copyright at all.

Why using human ‘super recognizers’ to identify criminals can be bad The results also make the case for matching super recognizers to different tasks depending on their strengths. For example, people with strong face-matching abilities would be better at matching suspects or missing persons across different photographic or video examples. Those with strong face memory skills would be better at selecting potential repeat offenders from lots of archival images.

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on signing of the Agriculture Improvement Act and the agency’s regulation of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds  we recognize the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer and acknowledge the significant interest in these possibilities. We’re committed to pursuing an efficient regulatory framework for allowing product developers that meet the requirements under our authorities to lawfully market these types of products.  (why this took 50 years and opioids were approved and protected in a year one heals one kills – wtf – ed)

Five facts about smell writeup

MED 122018



The Vulnerable World Hypothesis  [pdf]  A new working paper from Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford university. This paper introduces the concept of a ​vulnerable world​: roughly, one in which there is some level of technological development at which civilization almost certainly gets devastated by default, i.e. unless it has exited the “semi-anarchic default condition”. Several counterfactual historical and speculative future vulnerabilities are analyzed and arranged into a typology.

GroupM State of Video 2018 report “The young may yet return to the main screen. They are already saturated with smartphones, and screen size is a binding constraint. Big screens encourage viewing, particularly for SVOD, YouTube and sports.”

MediaDeals – Our predictions for 2019 It’s that time of the year. Inevitably, this is a blend of deals that will (almost) definitely happen and those that might or should. See you in 2019.

Data Protection Commission announces statutory inquiry into Twitter [dataprotection] In November, the Data Protection Commission opened a statutory inquiry into Twitter’s compliance with the relevant provisions of the GDPR following receipt of a number of breach notifications  from the company since the introduction of the GDPR.

Amazon error allowed Alexa user to eavesdrop on another home [reuters] The customer had asked to listen back to recordings of his own activities made by Alexa but he was also able to access 1,700 audio files from a stranger when Amazon sent him a link, German trade publication c’t reported.

Manhole Covers Serve as Antennas Expanding Wireless Network Coverage [] vodafone engineers believe this could be a solution for future 5G networks as well. “The manholes do provide an opportunity to deliver solutions in dense urban environments,”

Common-Knowledge Attacks on Democracy – Berkman Klein Center Research Publication No. 2018-7 These differences are associated with notably different attack surfaces and threat models. Specifically, democracies are vulnerable to measures that “flood” public debate and disrupt shared decentralized understandings of actors and coalitions, in ways that autocracies are not.

Privacy is Power

MED 121918


in production / busy week

LibreRouter: Powering community networks with free and open hardware [apnic] Community networks have become vital in enabling unserved or underserved communities to access the online information and services they need. Typically, community network infrastructure is built on consumer grade off-the-shelf hardware, which has its firmware flashed, hacked and modified to serve the needs of a community network.

Face Recognition Is Now Being Used In Schools, But It Won’t Stop Mass Shootings [intercept]

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants   [nyt] Internal documents show that the social network gave Microsoft, Amazon, Spotify and others far greater access to people’s data than it has disclosed.

The Yoda of Silicon Valley: [nyt] “We are now writing algorithms we cannot read. That makes this a unique moment in history, in that we are subject to ideas and actions and efforts by a set of physics that have human origins without human comprehension.”

The universal decay of collective memory and attention [nature] Our results reveal that biographies remain in our communicative memory the longest (20–30 years) and music the shortest (about 5.6 years). These findings show that the average attention received by cultural products decays following a universal biexponential function.

How Russia used the Internet to perfect its dark arts [wapo]

2018 Briefings are available online. Find whitepapers and slides beneath the individual session abstract

MED 121818



Changes to my quiet west village neighborhood with the Google moving in.  Some renderings of the blocks.  NYC turns inside out every week. So many spaces that define this city close every day. Chelsea’s Half King Pub Will Close After 18 Years in New York.

Reports for the Senate Intelligence Committee released Monday.

  • The IRA and Political Polarization in the United Statest: Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project + Graphika.[]
  • The Disinformation Report by social media research firm New Knowledge, Columbia University and Canfield Research.[newknowledge]
  • Sandberg wrote. “We take this incredibly seriously, as demonstrated by the investments we’ve made in safety and security.” [nbc]

    And, she added, “We need to do more.” 

    (pffffftttt.. the above reports categorized the response as “bare minimum possible” -ed)


SpaceX to launch U.S. spy satellite in first national security mission [reuters] first of 32 satellites in production by Lockheed for the Air Force’s GPS III program.

It’s the end of an era for the POES program, which launched 16 satellites, provided four decades of climate and weather data, 


AI technology realizes ultra-accurate singing voice synthesis ~ “Virtual singer’s singing voice to an era where it can not be distinguished from people”  ~Techno-Speech, Inc.  A.I. voice software produces vocals 

Data opt-out list


Privacy is Power

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The State of UX in 2019 : annual report is a holistic analysis of UX Design as a discipline: [uxdesign]  “Micro-trend for 2019: blue people in illustrations. ”  Related read in the Harvard Business Review – Why Design Thinking Works  [hbr]

Best TV Shows of 2018  [nyt]

Netflix’s Movie Blitz Takes Aim at Hollywood’s Heart . Mr. Stuber’s operation is set up to supply 55 original films a year, including some with budgets as high as $200 million. Add in documentaries and animated movies, handled by other divisions, and the number of annual Netflix film releases climbs to about 90. To compare, Universal, one of Hollywood’s most prolific traditional studios, releases roughly 30 movies a year.

Facebook Renews Four Original Series Including ‘Sorry for Your Loss,’ Claims 75 Million Daily ‘Watch’ Viewers.  On a daily basis, over 75 million Facebook users spend at least one minute on Watch, and on average they spend more than 20 minutes streaming video on Facebook Watch, according to the company. (These are Facebook-reported numbers, which aren’t independently verified.)

Bloomberg Beta Investment Documents We believe transparency is the most effective way to build trust. It permeates every aspect of how we operate, including how we think about our thesis, what we look for in a company, and how we make decisions. We see publishing templates for our investment documents as a natural extension of this transparency. We hope they will give you a better sense of how we structure deals, which terms we care about, and a true-to-life taste of what it’s like working with us.

AI Index 2018 Report  (pdf)  [Stanford]

Remove Image Background

PyText  A natural language modeling framework based on PyTorch  Facebook open-sources PyText NLP framework

Google Hudson Square: our expanded New York campus : [google] The over 1.7 million square-foot campus is a result of lease agreements at 315 and 345 Hudson Street and a signed letter of intent at 550 Washington Street.

New report on Russian disinformation, prepared for the Senate, shows the operation’s scale and sweep [wapo] Facebook, for example, provided the Senate with copies of posts from 81 Facebook pages and information on 76 accounts used to purchase ads, but it did not share posts from other user accounts run by the IRA, the report says.

Op-ed:  When the response to Senate Intelligence Committee investigating an attack on our country and democracy is categorized as “bare minimum possible” you are doing it wrong. 

Top of page image grid : Neo Rauch 

Privacy is power.

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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.

MED 121218


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.