Preserving the Contents of the New York Public Library in a Teaspoon of Protein [phys.org] Cafferty’s chemical tool might not replace the cloud. But the filing system offers an enticing alternative to biological storage tools like DNA. Recently, scientists discovered how to manipulate our loyal guardian of genetic information to encode more than just eye color. Researchers can now synthesize DNA strands to record any information, including cat videos, diet trends, and cooking tutorials (whether they should is another question)
How Spotify’s algorithms are ruining music: [ft] Forget the clickbait headline – 3 Books on music are reviewed: – — noting one – —- The theme of Krukowski’s slim and compelling book is that the changes in the way the music industry works have been about controlling and eliminating excess noise. That’s in a literal sense — digital technology eliminated the crackles and pops of analogue vinyl — and in a metaphorical one, too. Streaming has stripped music of context, pared it back to being just about the song and the moment. But part of what made pop great was the excess noise, literal and metaphorical, that enhanced the signal, the thing we were meant to be listening to. “The real difference,” he writes, “is between a world enriched by noise and a world that strives towards signal only.
In defence of disorder [aeon] Since order and disorder benefit human beings, it’s worth re-examining why we divide everything into polar opposites
Fine-Grained Visual Categorization Workshop [google/ai] …competition topics, each highlighting unique challenges of fine-grained visual categorization, including an updated iNaturalist challenge, fashion & products, wildlife camera traps, food, butterflies & moths, fashion design, and cassava leaf disease. We are also delighted to introduce two new partnerships with world class institutions—The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the iMet Collection challenge and the New York Botanical Garden for the Herbarium challenge.
Tension between people + surveillance software will continue until the social harms from urban data is addressed.
Brownsville tenants file opposition against landlord’s plans for biometric security system with state agency [amny] In a nearly 40-page memo submitted Wednesday to Homes and Community Renewal, the state agency overseeing rent regulations, attorneys representing 134 tenants at Atlantic Plaza Towers argued that adding the new facial recognition equipment would not enhance the existing security setup. Rather, they said, the tool would curtail residents’ rights by deterring some from remaining in their homes and scaring off guests.
Phone and laptop searches at US border ‘quadruple‘ [bbc] There were 33,295 searches of travellers’ devices in the 2018 financial year. The government cannot use the pretext of the ‘border’ to make an end run around the Constitution,” the ACLU said in a statement.
The Algorithmic Accountability Act (pdf) sponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), with a House equivalent sponsored by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY). Would direct the Federal Trade Commission to require entities that use, store, or share personal information to conduct automated decision system impact assessments and data protection impact assessments.
The Myth of the Impartial Machine –machine learning models reproduce the inequalities that shape the data they’re fed. Can programmers free their models from prejudice?