Daily Dish 013119

WIPO Technology Trends – Artificial Intelligence [WIPO] This report is the first in a new series from WIPO tracking the development of technologies through the analysis of data on innovation activities. It reveals trends in patenting of artificial intelligence (AI) innovations, the top players in AI from industry and academia, and the geographical distribution of AI-related patent protection and scientific publications. Its findings are accompanied throughout by commentary and industry perspectives from more than 20 of the world’s leading experts in AI, making it of particular interest to business leaders, researchers and policymakers.

A.I. Could Worsen Health Disparities [NYT] In a health system riddled with inequity, we risk making dangerous biases automated and invisible.

Locast, a Free App Streaming Network TV, Would Love to Get Sued [NYT] “I’d give them a 50 percent chance for prevailing, only because they’ll have the money for the lawyers,” said Jessica Litman, an expert on copyright law and a professor at the University of Michigan law school. She considers Locast legal, but that may never be tested — that is, the broadcasters may be wary of giving Mr. Goodfriend’s start-up the spotlight of a big legal fight. “A loss for the networks is a lot more risky than a win would be,” Ms. Litman said.

Who Knows What, and When?: A Survey of the Privacy Policies Proffered by U.S. Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Companies[SSRN] Direct-to-consumer genetic testing (DTC-GT) companies have proliferated in the past several years. Based on an analysis of genetic material submitted by consumers, these companies offer a wide array of services, ranging from providing information about health and ancestry to identification of surreptitiously-gathered biological material sent in by suspicious spouses. Federal and state laws are ambiguous about the types of disclosures these companies must make about how the genetic information they obtained is collected, used, and shared. 

Is Alexa working?[ben-evans] There are a couple of obvious strands to think about. Alexa’s capability to control ‘smart home’ devices might expand to enable more delivery models (‘open the garage door automatically when an Amazon delivery robot arrives’, or more prosaically just ‘unlock the door for the Fedex delivery’, and send me a video of it happening), or more automated ordering (the washing machine can order more soap for itself, perhaps).

A Grand Re-opening of the Public Domain [youtube]  Co-hosted by the Internet Archive and Creative Commons, this celebration features keynote addresses by Lawrence Lessig and Cory Doctorow, lightning talks, and more to mark the “re-opening” of the public domain in the United States.

This is Your Brain Off Facebook – study offers glimpse of unplugging [NYT] So what happens if you actually do quit? A new study, the most comprehensive to date, offers a preview. Expect the consequences to be fairly immediate: More in-person time with friends and family. Less political knowledge, but also less partisan fever. A small bump in one’s daily moods and life satisfaction. And, for the average Facebook user, an extra hour a day of downtime.

Decoding Words from Brain Waves [livescience] The goal in all of these experiments is to one day make it possible for people who’ve lost the ability to speak (due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or similar conditions) to speak through a computer-to-brain interface. However, the science for that application isn’t there yet.

Intellectual, narcissistic, or Machiavellian? How Twitter users differ from Facebook-only users, why they use Twitter, and what they tweet about.[apa,org]  Twitter users (N = 255) were not only higher in openness than Facebook-only users (N = 248), but they were also more Machiavellian. In both studies, Twitter users who were higher in openness were more strongly motivated to use Twitter for career promotion, and in turn, they tweeted more frequently and most liked to read tweets about intellectual pursuits. Narcissists were more strongly motivated to use Twitter for career promotion, social connection, and attention-seeking, and in turn, they tweeted more frequently and most liked to read tweets about personal achievements and diet/exercise. On average, participants most liked to read tweets about intellectual pursuits and least liked tweets about diet/exercise.

Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results[FB]  Headcount was 35,587 as of December 31, 2018, an increase of 42% year-over-year. (That old slide with Craigslist revenue vs employ count comes to mind here – ed)  

The Baumans, Sellers of Really, Really Rare Books [NYT]

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Daily Dish 013019

Daily Dish Wednesday 30th January, MMXIX
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San Francisco proposal would ban government facial recognition use in the city [theverge] If approved, the ordinance would also create a blanket ban that stops those departments from purchasing or using facial recognition technology. The legislation, which would also apply to law enforcement, would represent a new step in the battle over the powerful tool. The proposal comes at a precarious time for facial recognition tech. Despite documented issues of error and bias, federal regulation of the technology has been elusive. Microsoft has called for a law to guide its use, and various experts have suggested what that regulation could look like. Those proposals have included an outright ban as well as lighter regulation that would attempt to curb potential abuse.

Bot Sentinel  Bot Sentinel ( www.BotSentinel.com ) is a free service to help identify trollbot and untrustworthy Twitter accounts. Bot Sentinel uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to classify suspicious Twitter accounts, and then our browser extension and app displays a visible warning when viewing accounts with a high trollbot rating. Users can also manually check Twitter accounts and use our other free tools to help combat trollbots.

James Turrell Asks MoMA PS1 to Close Installation [NYT] MoMA PS1 has temporarily closed an installation by the artist James Turrell after construction nearby crept high enough to be visible when experiencing the work, which is meant to offer an uninterrupted view of the sky. (The super-tall buildings strike again -ed)

China : The FCCC’s annual survey of correspondent members is complete. The results are grim. Here’s a link to the full report,  Rapidly expanding surveillance and widespread government interference against reporting in the country’s far northwestern region of Xinjiang drove a significant deterioration in the work environment for foreign journalists in China in 2018.”

In March, a Much-Needed Streaming Service for Arthouse Films Will Launch [hyperallergic]  OVID, a recently announced partnership between academic documentary service Docuseek and six independent film distribution companies. Together, these partners — Bullfrog FilmsDistrib Films USGrasshopper FilmIcarus FilmsKimStim, and First Run Features — control the rights to thousands of different documentary, arthouse, independent, and international titles. OVID will be an on-demand subscription service offering selections from these various catalogues.

Apple is getting closer and closer to spelling out its TV strategy  [recode]  Apple is going to make it easy/possible to consume the video Apple makes and sells on other people’s hardware, like Samsung TV sets. Apple already lets people buy subscriptions to TV services like Hulu via its iTunes store. It’s going to do more of that, and Apple believes it will end up selling a bundle of those that will compete with traditional pay TV bundles — a goal Apple has been trying to achieve for more than a decadeApple is buying a lot of TV shows, and now movies, and also deals for … stuff with people like Oprah Winfrey.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Delusion of Consumer Consent [nyt op-ed] . But when we added in the results of the second set of questions about tracking people on that firm’s website, other websites and offline, the percentage that in the end decided they didn’t want tailoring ranged from 89 percent to 93 percent with political ads, 68 percent to 84 percent for commercial ads, 53 percent to 77 percent for discounts, and 64 percent to 83 percent for news.

Google Takes Its First Steps Toward Killing The URL [Wired] Google isn’t trying to induce chaos by eliminating URLs. Rather, it wants to make it harder for hackers to capitalize on user confusion about the identity of a website. Currently, the endless haze of complicated URLs gives attackers cover for effective scams

Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them [TechCrunch]  Onavo is back on iOS using Facebook’s Certificate to circumvent App Store review.  Tim Cook needs to revoke Facebook’s internal use-only enterprise certificate for sidestepping the App Store to distribute a policy-violating app to non-employees -ED  

A List of Useful Steganography Tools and Resources -. [github] Steganography is hiding a file or a message inside of another file , there are many fun steganography CTF challenges out there where the flag is hidden in an image , audio file or even other types of files. Here is a list of the most tools I use and some other useful resources.

H&M hires Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whisteblower, [Bloomberg] to help the fashion retailer with data analytics and artificial intelligence

My early morning surf, shared. One part judgement free dystopian change-log, one part media analysis, one part arts and cultural radar.  Privacy is Power. Published each morning before I seize the day!


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Daily Dish Tuesday 29th January, MMXIX
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Early Morning Final 

Is it possible to extract from behavioral data the implicit value of audio  and video signals that guide the viewer’s to identify socially interesting events in a scene?  [springer.com] We address the deployment of perceptual attention to social interactions as displayed in conversational clips, when relying on multimodal information (audio and video). A probabilistic modelling framework is proposed that goes beyond the classic saliency paradigm while integrating multiple information cues. Attentional allocation is determined not just by stimulus-driven selection but, importantly, by social value as modulating the selection history of relevant multimodal items. Thus, the construction of attentional priority is the result of a sampling procedure conditioned on the potential value dynamics of socially relevant objects emerging moment to moment within the scene. Preliminary experiments on a publicly available dataset are presented.

A month later someone is still scanning the internet and playing YouTube videos to exposed Chromecast, [casthack] Google Home and Samsung TVs – they’re at about 72K devices so far

Major iPhone FaceTime bug lets you hear the audio of the person you are calling … before they pick up [9t05mac] To do this, you simply start a FaceTime video call with someone in your contacts, swipe up from the bottom and choose “Add Person.” Then, add your own phone number, which starts a Group FaceTime with you and the person you originally called, even if they didn’t accept the call. Thus, you can hear the audio of the person you called, even if they didn’t answer, and they can’t tell that you can hear them.  Apple says it has taken Group FaceTime offline in attempt to resolve calling exploit

How Google And Facebook Are Slowly Strangling Their Digital Offspring [VF]  The conventional wisdom used to be that digital natives were the only journalism businesses that would thrive. But big layoffs at BuzzFeed and HuffPost show that the Web’s dominant companies can’t be trusted to build a news business on.

Penelope [penelope.vub.be]Penelope is a cloud-based, open and modular platform that consists of tools and techniques for mapping landscapes of opinions expressed in online (social) media.  The platform is used for analysing the opinions that dominate the debate on certain crucial social issues, such as immigration, climate change and national identity.

When seeing is no longer believing : Inside the Pentagon’s race against deepfake videos [CNN] The Department of Defense, through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has commissioned researchers across the United States to begin developing ways to detect when a video is a deepfake. CNN spoke to some of those working on the project for a special report.

Colleges Mine Data on Their Applicants [WSJ]  Enrollment officers at institutions including Seton Hall University, Quinnipiac University and Dickinson College know down to the second when prospective students opened an email from the school, how long they spent reading it and whether they clicked through to any links. Boston University knows if prospective students RSVP’d online to an event–and then didn’t show.  Schools use this information to help determine what they call  “demonstrated interest,” or how much consideration an applicant is giving their school. Demonstrated interest is becoming increasingly  important as colleges face a rising number of applications and want to protect or improve their yields–the percentage of accepted applicants who enroll.

Is Surveillance the Future of Service? [BOF] An abbreviated list of the technologies being used includes:

  • Thermal imaging technology that determines patterns in customer movement through space, showing areas of dense movement versus sparse movement
  • Device-based tracking keys into our mobile device’s unique identifier to track individual consumers through a retail space
  • Computer vision monitors which specific items are being removed from shelves by consumers, as well as which items are put back
  • Wi-Fi that, by simply logging in, shares the users unique MAC (media access control) address with the provider. Use a social login like Facebook and personal information can also be captured
  • Floor sensors measures footpath and engagement time by location
  • Apps such as mobile payment software, which geographically and temporally identify customers and their buying patterns
  • Radio frequency identification transmitters attached to products detect their movement and location (garments moving from a rack to the fitting room, for example)
  • Emotional capture technology used to determine the emotional or cognitive state of shoppers by analysing facial expressions

Broadcast TV Transition: What to Watch For  [FCC]  TV Rescan Decision Tree. Cable or Satellite: no action required. Antenna: rescan your TV.
Some local TV stations in cities across the U.S. will be changing their over-the-air broadcast frequencies between now and July 2020.  People who watch free over-the-air television with an antenna will need to rescan their TV set each time a station moves to continue receiving the local channel. It’s the same scan that you did to find your local channels when you set up your TV or converter box for the first time. Except in rare circumstances, no new equipment or services are required.

GAN visuals for Massive Attack shows.  [Mario Klingemann‏]

Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa broke the world record for the highest wave ever surfed (82 feet), during a session in Nazare, Portugal. [Twitter]

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Daily Dish Monday 28th January, MMXIX
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The Privacy Engineer’s Manifesto [springer.com]
Global Cyberlaw Tracker [unctad]
EU Commission – It’s Your Data – Take Control   [eucommision]
FB Marking Data Privacy Day 2019 [fb newsroom]
Where We Work  [privacyinternational]

Google’s Sidewalk Labs Plans To Package And Sell Location Data On Millions Of Cellphones [theintercept] The program, known as Replica, offers planning agencies the ability to model an entire city’s patterns of movement. Like “SimCity,” Replica’s “user-friendly” tool deploys statistical simulations to give a comprehensive view of how, when, and where people travel in urban areas. It’s an appealing prospect for planners making critical decisions about transportation and land use. In recent months, transportation authorities in Kansas City, Portland, and the Chicago area have signed up to glean its insights. The only catch: They’re not completely sure where the data is coming from.

A Discussion with Nick Clegg Live video stream from this mornings webcast Facebook Brussels (Deepfakes mention)

Netflix Flexes [stratechery]  Netflix has shows it owns completely, shows it own first-run rights to, hybrid shows like Hastings described, second-run shows — it runs the gamut. Critically, while some models are more profitable than others, all make the service more attractive to Netflix’s customers. This will be a particular challenge for a company like Disney: the company is staking a good portion of its future on its own streaming service driven by its own IP, but has not suggested a willingness to scale supply like Netflix has. That, by definition, will limit the company’s upside when it comes to consumer reach and also long-term pricing power.

A new study says Amazon facial-detection technology often misidentifies women as men, particularly when they have darker skin. [mit/medium] In the study, published last Thursday, Rekognition made no errors in recognizing the gender of lighter-skinned men. But it misclassified women as men 19 percent of the time, the researchers said, and mistook darker-skinned women for men 31 percent of the time. Microsoft’s technology mistook darker-skinned women for men just 1.5 percent of the time.

FaceForensics++: Learning to Detect Manipulated Facial Images [@MattNiessnerNew deep learning methods to automatically detect face manipulations; including data on DeepFakes, Face2Face, FaceSwap.   

Journalism is the conversation. The conversation is journalism.   [Jeff Jarvis] I am sorely disappointed in The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo, CNN’s Brian Stelter, and other journalists who these days are announcing to the world, using the powerful platforms they have, that they think journalists should “disengage” from the platform for everyone else, Twitter.

Random links, learnings

#AMLD2019  [Twitter]
Misinformation & Disinformation in Online Games: [washington.edu]
elementary intro to the geometry of quantum states w/a picture book [arxiv]
HTTP/3: From root to tip [cloudfare]
The MIT License, Line by Line (2016) [kemitchell]

privacy is power

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Daily Dish Sat 26th January, MMXIX Dispute The Text

In the papers

FCC accused by the Chair of the House Commerce of colluding with Big Cable to game 5G legal challenge [TheRegister] Chair of the House Commerce chair, Frank Pallone, has sent a letter to FCC chair Ajit Pai asking for copies of communications between the FCC and the big telcos regarding legal challenges to the regulator’s 5G order, which forces local governments to charge a flat fee for installing new base stations.  In the letter [PDF], Pallone strongly implies that the committee has heard from a whistleblower.

Weekend long reads  a dark age of surveillance capitalism  [FT]  In this logic, surveillance capitalism poaches our behaviour for surplus and leaves behind all the meaning lodged in our bodies, our brains and our beating hearts. You are not “the product” but rather the abandoned carcass. The “product” derives from the surplus data ripped from your life.

German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Katarina Barley of the center-left Social Democrats responds to Zuckerberg in an op-ed [zeit.de] It also hardly helps those who are the targets of such abuse. It is the responsibility of each social-media platform to ensure that actionable content is immediately deleted and not further disseminated. To ensure that happens, Germany passed the Network Enforcement Act. The law requires social networks, including Facebook, to act more forcefully on criminal content.  EFF also speaks to the tone deaf op-ed here. [EFF]

Undercover Operatives Target Citizen Lab [NYT] Citizen Lab, based out of the Munk School at the University of Toronto, has for years played a leading role in exposing state-backed hackers operating in places as far afield as Tibet , Ethiopia and Syria . Lately the group has drawn attention for its repeated exposés of an Israeli surveillance software vendor called the NSO Group, a firm whose wares have been used by governments to target journalists in Mexico , opposition figures in Panama and human rights activists in the Middle East .


The second coming of Linder — the punk artist on her erotic feminist fantasy  [FT] So why does she shy away from found digital images? “I have this love for the printed image,” she confesses, adding that she loves her old magazines for their “tears, rips and stains — I don’t inquire too closely! — that are the markers of humanity”.

Kader Attia on why we need art to overcome ‘the dark times we live in’  [FT] Attia puts it this way: the artists who “scream, scratch, paint with blood” have been excluded from the arts scene. “The left has given up the field of emotion,” he says. Now art must “reappropriate what has been hijacked by politics”. Describing himself as an activist, he aims to “open up the eyes” of his audience — “maybe not 95 per cent of them. But if you can open up the mind of 5 per cent, it’s the beginning of a victory,” he says.

On the High Line, Oliver Jeffers Wants You to Know What It’s Like to See Earth from the Moon  [WSJ] The artist’s ‘The Moon, The Earth and Us’ installation opens on New York City’s High Line. In the passage between 15th and 16th Streets, Earthbound humans can walk among to-scale renderings of the moon and our planet, inspiration for which Jeffers cribbed from a 1968 photo from Apollo 8. An accompanying show of his space-themed paintings is on display at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery through February 16.

Around the web

Pelosi Statement on Special Counsel Indictment and Arrest of Trump Campaign Advisor Roger Stone [speaker.gov] “In the face of 37 indictments, the President’s continued actions to undermine the Special Counsel investigation raise the questions: what does Putin have on the President, politically, personally or financially? Why has the Trump Administration continued to discuss pulling the U.S. out of NATO, which would be a massive victory for Putin?

Continuing our work to improve recommendations on YouTube [googleblog] . This change relies on a combination of machine learning and real people. We work with human evaluators and experts from all over the United States to help train the machine learning systems that generate recommendations. These evaluators are trained using public guidelines and provide critical input on the quality of a video.  (You know that taking point that won’t stop about humans working with AI’s and having a role/job going forward…that the human job here is outsourced and temporal, once the machine learns…. -ED)

Infographic GDPR compliance, enforcement and awareness of the new rules in numbers [PDF] [ec.europa.eu] tl/dr The total number of complaints made in Europe is now more than 95000. up

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Daily Dish Friday 25th January, MMXIX
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Microsoft welcomes regulation on facial recognition technology: Nadella  [reuters] “welcome regulation that will help the marketplace not be a race to the bottom.”

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty: AI Will Impact All Jobs [wsj] video.

Can we make artificial intelligence ethical? [wapo]  Stephen A. Schwarzman is chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, an investment firm. “AI will reshape the world in ways we can’t imagine,”

George Soros Davos speech [bloomberg] He continued: “I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes. I’ll focus on China, where Xi Jinping wants a one-party state to reign supreme.”

Oh hai telcoms about selling location data [pdf]  Letter from 15 senators calling on the FTC and FCC to fully investigate AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint selling phone location data to bounty hunters.

The Facts About Facebook [wsj] Zuck op-ed in today journal – laughable how misguided this op-ed is.  All that data we are collecting it is for your safety. “There’s no question that we collect some information for ads—but that information is generally important for security and operating our services as well.”  

AlphaStar: Mastering the Real-Time Strategy Game StarCraft II [deepmind] To evaluate AlphaStar’s performance, we initially tested our agents against TLO: a top professional Zerg player and a GrandMaster level Protoss player. AlphaStar won the match 5-0, using a wide variety of units and build orders. “I was surprised by how strong the agent was,” he said. “AlphaStar takes well-known strategies and turns them on their head. The agent demonstrated strategies I hadn’t thought of before, which means there may still be new ways of playing the game that we haven’t fully explored yet.” ( I watched these matches real-time on Twitch it was impressive -ED)

Google Search Operators: The Complete List  [ahrefs] . Right now these operators are still keys to information access for all. It’s how you use them that matters.


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Daily Dish Thursday 24th January, MMXIX
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China Appears to Block Microsoft’s Bing as Censorship Intensifies [nyt] “it would suggest that Western companies can do little to persuade China to give them access to … the world’s largest internet market.” 

The Covington Scissor   [NYT] Welcome to another controversy algorithmically designed to tear America apart…..In a short story published last October, “Sort by Controversial,” Scott Alexander imagines a Silicon Valley company that accidentally comes up with an algorithm to generate what it calls a “Scissor.” The scissor is a statement, an idea or a scenario that’s somehow perfectly calibrated to tear people apart — not just by generating disagreement, but by generating total incredulity that somebody could possibly disagree with your interpretation of the controversy, followed by escalating fur y and paranoia and polarization, until the debate seems like a completely existential, win-or-perish fight.

Placemaking ” [wikipedia] is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well being. It is political due to the nature of place identity. Placemaking is both a process and a philosophy that makes use of urban design principles. It can be either official and government led, or community driven grass roots tactical urbanism

US government shutdown shuts down Trevor Paglen’s space sculpture [theartnewspaper] As we went to press, the Nevada Museum of Art, which has commissioned the work, a diamond-shaped balloon contained in a brick-sized satellite—one of 64 aboard the rocket—released a mission update through its Kickstarter campaign. “The unprecedented #SSOA launch and prolonged government shutdown present some mission challenges, which we are working to overcome,”

The Chain of Implicit Trust: An Analysis of the Web Third-party Resources Loading [PDF]  [arxiv] .  paper has explored dependency chains in the web ecosystem. Inspired by the lack of prior work focusing on how resources are loaded, we found that over 40% of websites do rely on implicit trust. Although the majority (84.91%) of websites have short chains (with levels of dependencies below 3), we found first-party web- sites with chains exceeding 30 levels. Of course, the most com- monly implicitly trusted third-parties are well known operators (e.g., doubleclick.net), but we also observed various less known  implicit third-parties. We hypothesised that this might create no- table attack surfaces. To confirm this, we classified the third-parties using VirusTotal to find that 1.2% of third-parties are classified as potentially malicious. Worryingly, our confidence in the clas- sification actually increases for implicitly trusted resources (i.e., trust level2), where 78% of JavaScripts have a VTscore > 52. These resources have remarkable reach 

Inside Google’s Team Fighting to Keep Your Data Safe From Hackers [WSJ] “Google probably has the most useful data set available to any private company for tracking state adversaries and intelligence services,” said Alex Stamos, former chief security officer at Facebook and now an adjunct professor at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute. He likens Google’s efforts to those of a small intelligence agency. “You put that all together, and they are probably second only to the intelligence community” in terms of useful data, he said.

On Air: Lightning-Powered Data Broadcasts From Space [Blockstream] Today we announce the launch of the Blockstream Satellite API Beta, offering anyone the chance to broadcast data via our satellite network. Fees are paid using Lightning testnet (yes, that means free broadcasts!) and after a period of successful testing, the satellite API will switch to mainnet to become one of the world’s first bitcoin-powered satellite services!

 I Mentored Mark Zuckerberg. I Loved Facebook. But I Can’t Stay Silent About What’s Happening. [time]  ROGER MCNAMEE January 17, 2019
I am really sad about Facebook.,,,

Live Streams

Sundance Film Festival 2019 Live live stream link >> (link: https://watchonlivetv.de/FilmFestival/) watchonlivetv.de/FilmFestival/

Davos streams   today The Science of Healthy Ageing  (panels for the 1%)

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Daily Dish Wednesday 23rd January, MMXIX
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Viacom Acquires Video-Streaming Service Pluto TV  [WSJ] The ad-supported video-streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million in cash, a move that gives the pay-television giant another entrée to the realm of online video.

Did Australia Poke a Hole in Your Phone’s Security?  [NYT] “This may be an encryption back door for the U.S.,” said Sharon Bradford Franklin, director of surveillance and cybersecurity policy for the New America think tank’s Open Technology Institute. “A back door to an encryption back door.”

Digial walls; Condé Nast to Put All Titles Behind Paywalls by Year-End. [wsj] Matt Lindsay, president of the consulting firm Mather Economics LLC, said that approximately 91% of digital readers consume four or fewer articles each month from the same magazine, and that this group accounts for 55% of all digital article pages read.

China ‘launches an app that tells you if you are within 500 yards of someone in debt’ [DailyMail]  It also shows the exact location of the debtor, although it is not clear whether it displays any personal information. Aimed at getting citizens to keep an eye on people in debt, it is not clear how much debt a person must be in to be featured. (slander of character over social media sounds like a proper business model -ed)

Family says hacked Nest camera warned them of North Korean missile attack [WAPO] In December, a Houston family reported hearing a stranger’s voice spewing “sexual expletives” through a baby monitor in their infant’s room. When the family turned on the lights, however, their Nest security camera activated, and the voice told them to turn the lights back off before threatening to kidnap the baby.

The Rationalization of the Attention Market (blogs.harvard.edu) When it comes meaning in media, we are confronted with an unpalatable choice. Either stable meaning imposed through deliberative control by the few (as tyranny) or the autonomous, impersonal and invisible hand of the attention market, which, in the end, results in the “liquidation of meaning” (Baudrillard 84). Any point in between is an unstable equilibrium. And one can at least negotiate with a tyrant. {recommended long read)

Some U.S. police departments dump body-camera programs amid high costs   [WashingtonPost] Most departments that have ended body-camera programs are in smaller jurisdictions; Axon, a body-camera manufacturer, said every one of its clients that have canceled contracts cited costs (money or people -ed)

Apple’s Security Expert Joined the ACLU to Tackle ‘Authoritarian Fever’ [Motherboard] But after realizing there’s a limit to the privacy and surveillance issues technology companies can address, Callas decided to tackle the issues from the policy side, accepting a two-year position as senior technology fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union. Callas spoke to Motherboard about government backdoors, the need for tech expertise in policymaking, and what he considers the biggest challenge for the security industry.

Earlier in the week thats worth noting….

AI for Social Good Impact Challenge [Google]

World Economic Forum [Livestream] Streams and updates can also be found here

The Week in Tech: How Google and Facebook Spawned Surveillance Capitalism [NYT]

Don’t Doubt What You Saw With Your Own Eyes [Deadspin]

‘The industry can’t say it hasn’t been warned’: Media execs react to Google’s GDPR fine [DIGIDAY]

(Ed note I don’t start each day thinking I should publish a dystopian change log – it just renders that way)

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Daily Dish Friday 18th January, MMXIX
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Artificial intelligence could be our saviour, according to the CEO of Google [WEF] “AI is probably the most important thing humanity has ever worked on. I think of it as something more profound than electricity or fire,” he said. “Any time you work with technology, you need to learn to harness the benefits while minimising the downsides.”

Stanford Researchers Launch Free TV Service To Improve Video Streaming [thestreamable]  Live TV Streaming Service website called Puffer. It’s part of a nonprofit academic research study in the computer science department at Stanford University, working to use AI to improve Internet transmission and video-streaming algorithms. Stream live TV in your browser. There’s no charge. You can watch U.S. TV stations affiliated with the NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, FOX, and Univision networks

Desnapify —  is a deep convolutional generative adversarial network (DCGAN) trained to remove Snapchat filters from selfie images. It is based on the excellent pix2pix project by Isola et al., and specifically the Keras implementation by Thibault de Boissiere.

Netflix’s New Hit Is International [WSJ]  Netflix one-third of users watched “Bird Box” within a week of its debut. Added 7.3 million international users in the fourth quarter, a 42% increase over the same period last year.

Count the people around you by monitoring wifi signals [github] Calculates the number of people in the vicinity using the approximate number of smartphones as a proxy-  cellphone is determined to be in proximity to the computer based on sniffing WiFi probe requests. Possible uses of howmanypeoplearearound include: monitoring foot traffic in your house with Raspberry Pis, seeing if your roommates are home, etc.    =- It may be illegal to monitor networks for MAC addresses, especially on networks that you do not own. Please check your country’s laws  (for US Section 18 U.S. Code § 2511) – discussion.

Study  Nature Human Behaviour (A. Orben and A. K. Przybylski Nature Hum. Behav. 2019) Here we address these methodological challenges by applying specification curve analysis (SCA) across three large-scale social datasets (total n = 355,358) to rigorously examine correlational evidence for the effects of digital technology on adolescents. The association we find between digital technology use and adolescent well-being is negative but small, explaining at most 0.4% of the variation in well-being. Taking the broader context of the data into account suggests that these effects are too small to warrant policy change.

I took a photo in Tokyo 20 years ago and left it as an easter egg on my website   Yesterday it was found and rendered anew  by  Matt Dennebaum

Think we will see more legal actions like this … Austria privacy activists file suit against streaming sites  NOYB, a non-profit organisation whose name means None Of Your Business, said it had filed a complaint with Austria’s Data Protection Authority against services including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime and Spotify.

San Diego’s Smart Streetlights Yield a Firehose of Data [IEEE] San Diego’s network of smart streetlights, which has been rolling out since early 2018, continues to grow. To date, some 2,000 of the sensor-laden devices have begun gathering pictures, sounds, and other data.


Privacy is Power

Daily Dish 011619

Daily Dish Thursday 17th January, MMXIX
Dispute The Text

You Deserve Privacy Online. Here’s How You Could Actually Get It  [Time]  But laws alone aren’t enough to ensure that individuals can make use of their privacy rights. We also need to give people tools that they can use to take action. To that end, here’s an idea that could make a real difference

Vimeo ‘Fined’ €8.5m for Failure to Remove Copyrighted TV Content [torrentfreak] Importantly, the Court determined that service providers who play an “active role” including “cataloging, indexing and commissioning” content cannot benefit from the safe harbor exemptions offered by the Electronic Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC.

Hack Brief: An Astonishing 773 Million Records Exposed In Monster Breach [wired] (change your passwords -ed) The data set was first reported by security researcher Troy Hunt, who maintains Have I Been Pwned, a way to search whether your own email or password has been compromised by a breach at any point. (Trick question: It has.) The so-called Collection #1 is the largest breach in Hunt’s menagerie, and it’s not particularly close.

Electric Scooters Taken Prisoner in the New Class War [dailybeast] In San Francisco, which is experiencing soaring income inequality as Silicon Valley companies and low-income locals compete for limited space, vandals cracked into a Bird and exposed the valuable motherboard inside, Makezine reported last year. Tech blogger Jamie Zawinski estimated the interior electronics were worth about $70, and argued that, due to a city ruling against the scooter companies, it was legal for San Franciscans to gut the vehicles for parts. “Maybe you can re-purpose this parasitic, Commons-destroying litter into something fun,” he wrote.

Desktop music player focused on streaming from free sources [Nuclear] Stream from any free source on the internet. Supports Youtube and Soundcloud out of the box, with a plugin system allowing for easy addition of more.  Supports scrobbling to last.fm and updating the now playing status.  Nuclear is developed on Github under Affero GPL, with the “GNU/Linux first” mindset. This means it respects your freedom, and we’re giving you full access to source code, so you can modify it and contribute to the project.

NYC Kiosks Invite Artists to Pay Nearly $1,000 to Show Their Work – (It is no secret that I think these things are illegal and the furthest thing from a community bulletin board anyone who lives in a city can imagine- ed)  Artwashing like only the surveillance economy can… by asking artists to pay AND then co-opted  @LinkNYC we see your normalization plan and reject it.  (Author takes the long way around to get to the right conclusions -ed)

How To Find Hidden Cameras & Spy Gear Like a Professional: The Definitive Guide [senteltechsecurity] This is without a doubt most thorough guide to detecting hidden cameras and covert spy gear that is online

How Secrecy Fuels Facebook Paranoia [nyt] The company is at least capable of knowing how a piece of content found its way from one user to thousands or how a gilets jaunes group functions on the social platform. Far more than any outside researchers, Facebook is capable of answering questions about the Internet Research Agency in 2016

Palantir Posted Nearly $1 Billion in 2018 Sales, Executive Says[Bloomberg] Roughly half of last year’s revenue came from government agencies, such as the U.S. Defense Department, and the other half from corporate customers, including Airbus SE, Merck KGaA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV,

Yelp version history on last app update. ‘had trained a neural net to eliminate all the bugs in the app and it deleted everything.’

They Own the System’: Amazon Rewrites Book Industry by Marching Into Publishing [wsj] Amazon commands some 72% of adult new book sales online, and 49% of all new book sales by units, according to book-industry research firm Codex Group LLC.

Hilton Als on Giving James Baldwin Back His Body  [NewYorker] It really began with the photographer James Welling and early photographs he made that were an experiment with color and texture. He was interested in how to make the color black, and thinking about Welling’s work started me thinking about Baldwin’s body and how the body has sort of been taken away from him.