Weekend Cooking

Some of the most fun I have in the kitchen is when I have focus, or purpose. This may come from concocting something from ingredients I want to use up in the pantry or fridge, or when I have a specific audience to cook for.

Bananas, so many bananas

I had never ordered bananas from Fresh Direct before but had placed a large grocery order in anticipation of my nephew’s stay over his Spring Break.  Of course, I ended up guessing at what he would like and ordered breakfast goods across the spectrum–yogurts, breads, granola and fruit.  And as for fruit, I figured bananas would be a safe bet.

The price for a single order was about $2 so I figured I would get about 3-4 bananas but what arrived was a bunch of over a dozen!  The week came and went. I was left with more than ten bananas.

I had a bag of vegan chocolate chips so decided to look up plant-based baked goods using bananas and chocolate chips and decided upon a recipe by Chloe Coscarelli. The recipe originally was for bread but I decided to make it into a bundt cake.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bundt Cake

So that used about three bananas.  I froze the rest of them to use in smoothies in the future. The vegan banana chocolate chip bundt was tasty but far too much to keep and so made some gift packages for friends.

Brownie cravings

The chocolate chips kindled a craving for more chocolate, specifically a chewy brownie. Instead of making the usual small tray, I decided to make mini bites.

Mini-Brownie Bites

These brownie bites are convenient as single bites but also easy to halve and spread a healthy layer of ice cream.  I have always loved ice cream with cake crumbs or in this case, brownie chunks. I prefer the larger cake crumbles to grainy cookie crumbs, sort of like the difference between panko to old-school sandy breadcrumbs. The texture is completely different!

Cooking lunch for the boys

Our friends’ sons were on their own for a few days and we got the call that they come do lunch on Saturday.  Of course, in high school time, lunch happens at 4:30pm.

I thought a bento favorite, chicken katsu would be easy, tasty and filling.  The usual accompaniment would be steamed broccoli but decided to roast them instead.  This, along with some Tamaki rice (my favorite brand) and a big bottle of bulldog tonkatsu sauce, completed lunch.  

Chicken Katsu

Brisk days

Spring has been struggling to emerge, and many days are still brisk and cold.  An easy go-to lunch soup is creamless tomato. I made a big batch to enjoy and to freeze for another chilly day, which would no doubt be far off.

Creamless Tomato Soup

Understanding the distance between characters

DSK: “Data protection compliant operation of a [Facebook] fan page is not possible.” [datenschutzzentrum.de] (End of day for ‘fan pages’ perhaps., -ED) Translated Among other things, the ECJ emphasized that “the fanpages maintained on Facebook can also be visited by people who are not Facebook users and therefore do not have a user account on this social network. In this case, the responsibility of the operator of the fan page with regard to the processing of personal data of these persons appears even higher, since the mere access of the fan page by visitors automatically triggers the processing of their personal data. “

Facebook Bends to EU Pressure on ‘Misleading’ Fine Print [WSJ/30] , Facebook will spell out for users how it makes money by using personal information about them to sell targeted advertising, and clarify that it can be held liable for misuse of user data when it “has not acted with due professional diligence.”

Old-school printed books may be better than e-books for teaching kids to read [cbc.ca/20]in a recent issue of the journal Pediatrics, Munzer said parents and toddlers chatted less about what was happening in the story when reading an e-book together. With an electronic story, more of the dialogue focused on swiping the page, tapping, or struggles over who was in control of the tablet, Munzer said.

This is why we can’t have nice things [digitstodollars.com/3] However, for the majority of the industry, the hard, cold reality is that handset profits are non-existent. And the only way for these companies to remain viable is to sell out their users. The foundations of Surveillance Capitalism are built on this. And the only way out of this is to change the underlying economics of handsets. It is not clear how that would come about. Certainly, the rise in phone prices seen in recent years may help. But those phones are only viable for a small segment of the population.

Counting the Countless – Why data science is a profound threat for queer people [realifemag/2] As with administrative violence, we have to ask, Who does this harm the most? The people caught in this trap are disproportionately likely to be already marginalized, already marked — the poor, immigrants, people of color. The system’s integration with things like apps for discounts and coupons renders people without smartphones invisible.

Top Ten Most Challenged Books Top Eleven for 2018 #2 book on the list is a spoof of Mike Pence. ‘A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo’ by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG KellerReasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content, and for political and religious viewpoints


Database: Acoustic + meta features of albums and songs on the Billboard 200 [componants.one/2] A database containing the following tables: 574,000 rows containing all albums in the Billboard 200 from 1/5/1963 to 1/19/2019. Each row contains the album’s place in the charts, the week of the chart, album name, artist name, and where available from Spotify and not null in the table, the number of tracks, and length of the album in milliseconds. This table is titled “albums”.

Public Sans – A strong, neutral typeface for text or display [digital.gov]

Repeater Data Dump [bandcamp] Love the format of this release —Some folders will be labeled by the name of contributor and others regarding its content, others may be more cryptic! You can expect to find: A mix tape of music recorded and produced during the residency. Interviews, jpegs, videos, mp3s, Html, PDFs and etc etc

Ethical Alternatives & Resources [ethical.net]

Online Harms + Duty of Care

Media + Tech

UK Online Harms White Paper sets out the government’s plans for a world-leading package of online safety measures that also supports innovation and a thriving digital economy. This package comprises legislative and non-legislative measures and will make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups.

Online Harms White Paper – Executive summary
Online Harms White Paper – PDF, 968KB, 102 pages (pdf)

When you hear the term ‘Duty of Care’ – – A statutory duty of care would be created to make companies take responsibility for the safety of their users and take reasonable action to tackle harm caused by content they carry

Screens, Teens, and Psychological Well-Being: Evidence From Three Time-Use-Diary Studies [sagepub /2] We found little evidence for substantial negative associations between digital-screen engagement—measured throughout the day or particularly before bedtime—and adolescent well-being.

“The Measure of Everyday Life” – Screen Time and Teens [libsyn]

Indeed, it seems that Google IS forgetting the old Web [zona-m/0] XML pioneer and early blogger Tim Bray says that Google maybe suffers of deliberate memory loss. I may have found more evidence that this is the case. Bray writes that: “I think Google has stopped in­dex­ing the old­er parts of the We­b. I think I can prove it. Google’s com­pe­ti­tion is do­ing bet­ter.”

Artificial intelligence: Commission takes forward its work on ethics guidelines (pdf) The Commission is taking a three-step approach: setting-out the key requirements for trustworthy AI, launching a large scale pilot phase for feedback from stakeholders, and working on international consensus building for human-centric AI.


Amazon Wants You to Use Alexa to Track Health Care [WSJ/39/paywall] Amazon Inc. is positioning Alexa to track consumers’ prescriptions and relay personal health information—– Five companies, including insurer Cigna Corp. , diabetes-management company Livongo Health Inc. and major hospital systems, said they developed new Alexa features for consumers using the federal protocol. Amazon and health-care providers will also collect some data to improve voice recognition and track how consumers use the services.

Inside the Dystopian Reality of China’s Livestreaming Craze [sixone/6] “People’s Republic of Desire,” a deeply dystopian documentary that explores the people behind China’s craze for online livestreaming — a market that might be worth 112 billion yuan ($16.7 billion) by 2020, according to online statistics portal Statista. The industry continues to boom despite a pair of scandals in 2017 that saw several companies investigated for underreporting taxes and broadcasting pornographic material.

To catch a drug thief, hospital secretly recorded births, women’s surgeries [ars technica / 25] In its response, Sharp readily admits to installing hidden, motion-activated cameras in its three labor and delivery operating rooms for the purpose of surreptitious filming

Residents concerned about DNA-for-cash transactions in Louisville [wave3.com /4] People are giving DNA samples to a guy in a white van for $20.

Children’s data and privacy online Growing up in a digital age [lse.ac.uk /2] This project led by Professor Sonia Livingstone seeks to address questions and evidence gaps concerning children’s conception of privacy online, their capacity to consent, their functional skills (e.g. in understanding terms and conditions or managing privacy settings online), and their deeper critical understanding of the online environment, including both its interpersonal and, especially, its commercial dimensions (including its business models, uses of data and algorithms, forms of redress, commercial interests, systems of trust and governance). For the launch presentation, see here (PDF)

Weekend Edition

The Battle for the Last Unconquered Screen—The One in Your Car [WSJ /33] The average American driver spends 51 minutes a day in the car —  Volkswagen declared internally it would fast-forward efforts to combat Silicon Valley’s encroachment into cars after a private meeting in 2016 between Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai and Mr. Diess, then chief for the VW brand, according to people familiar with the matter.  — Mr. Diess was concerned about the privacy of this information and walked away convinced that Google would be more a competitor than partner, the people said.

The Machines That Will Read Your Mind [WSJ/41] The Saturday Essay – “If the kinks can be worked out, crimes of the future may be solved by a ‘reverse lineup’ to determine if a suspect recognizes the victim.” —-“It may become possible to ‘eavesdrop’ on a person’s internal dialogue.”

Making a ‘deepfake’: How creating our own synthetic video helped us learn to spot one [Reuters/13] Post from The global head of UGC newsgathering at Reuters. smartly points out that they are –“acutely aware that this technology is continually evolving and the red flags we identified may not be there in later iterations. We must track how these programmes develop.”

Apple Music Overtakes Spotify in Paid U.S. Subscribers [wsj/41] Key word in this headline is US – Spotify remains far ahead of Apple globally. As of December, Spotify said it had 207 million active users around the world, 96 million of whom are paying subscribers or in a trial period leading to a subscription. The rest of Spotify’s active users have opted for a free, ad-supported version of the service. Apple, which doesn’t offer a free, ad-supported option, has more than 50 million paying subscribers.

James Lavelle: living with contemporary art [ft/9] Mo’Wax and Uncle founders crib – “I’m a huge collector,” he says as he stands opposite a row of 70cm-high painted plastic bears from the Bearbrick range by the Japanese manufacturer Medicom. One is decorated as an astronaut in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Writing Docs at Amazon [usejournal/2] Recently, Ben Bashaw published a good article about the way that Amazon (almost uniquely) uses written documents to make decisions. This was posted to Hacker News and a lively discussion ensued. While I was at Amazon, I wrote or contributed to dozens of documents that were presented to Jeff Bezos. In the HN discussion, I was asked for some clarity on the do’s and don’ts of these documents, so I figured I’d write something up in longer form than a comment.

Asia Pay-TV Heads for Consolidation as Growth Falters (Report) [Variety/45] The Media Partners Asia report, which covers 13 major pay-TV network groups, showed that Asia Pacific revenues grew by just 1% in 2018 to reach $4.9 billion and that pre-tax earnings fell by 5%. Leaving out Star India and Sony India, sector earnings would have dropped 8% last year.

Music Deals for Bytedance’s TikTok and Douyin Are Close to Expiring [WSJ/41] Bytedance Ltd.’s TikTok and Douyin apps allow users to add snippets of music to their own videos—a process that depends on licenses from the three major music companies that collectively control about 80% of music globally. Those licenses are set to expire as early as in the next two weeks, and the people familiar with the negotiations say seven-year-old Bytedance and the labels remain far apart on deal terms.

How 3D printing is transforming our relationship with cultural heritage [theconversation/3 ]  Interestingly, it seems that some of the “no-touch” qualities of the original artefacts have been inherited by the replicas. In these cases, clear guidance, thoughtful design and audience motivation should make the replicas and the environments in which they are displayed as inviting as possible for visitors to interact with.

The Secret Trust Scores Companies Use to Judge Us All [wsj/41] “Sometimes your best customers and your worst customers look the same,” says Jacqueline Hart, head of trust and safety at Patreon, a service for supporting artists and creators, which uses Sift to screen transactions on its site. “You can have someone come in and say I want to pledge $10,000 and they’re either a fraudster or an amazing patron of the arts,” she adds.

Live stream UK National Archives. Annual Digital Lecture:  Algorithms of Oppression

Residents concerned about DNA-for-cash transactions in Louisville  [wave3/12] People are giving DNA samples to a guy in a white van for $20. It’s been happening in some of Louisville’s poorest neighborhoods. However, the offer is only available to Passport customers.  —- “When you do your homework on it, you come to a dead end,” said David, a man who gave his DNA after the car came to his street for at least two days in a row.

The Future Of DEMOCRACIES Depends On How We Deal With PRIVACY TODAY Interview With Enrique Dans (by Borja Moya) [archive.org/0] A conversation with Enrique Dans where we talk about why countries are becoming control freaks, and why the key to the future is privacy. We dive deep into what makes privacy a human right and analyze the scope of the current landscape by understanding Facebook. Finally, Enrique  explains why education is the solution to most of our problems.

Week Ending Links

U.S. blocks Amazon efforts to stop shareholder votes on facial recognition [Reuters/13] Decisions including one on Wednesday by officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) followed an unusual appeal by Amazon to block the non-binding proposals from being voted on at the company’s upcoming annual meeting. One proposal would require Amazon to cease offering facial recognition to governments unless the company’s board determined sales did not violate civil liberties. A second would call for an audit to examine the harm to rights and privacy, if any, that might result from the service, known as Rekognition.

Motel 6 to pay $12 million after sharing guest info with ICE [ksdk/29] Motel 6 will pay $12 million in restitution after voluntarily providing guest lists to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement without the guests’ knowledge or consent. “It was a methodical approach to turn over guests’ names, even without a warrant, essentially no questions asked,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday. (Motel Snitch -ed)

What AI Can Tell From Listening to You [wsj] But emotion AI must overcome a big hurdle before it goes mainstream: People are uncomfortable with it. In survey findings released last year, Gartner reported that 52% of more than 4,000 respondents in the U.S. and U.K. said they didn’t want their facial expressions to be analyzed by AI. And 63% said they didn’t want AI to be constantly listening to get to know them.“Voicesense is one of the speech-based AI systems that says it can make applicant screening more effective.”

Australia passes social media law penalising platforms for violent content [theguardian/15] Labor supports legislation in response to Christchurch shooting that threatens jail for executives, despite media companies’ concerns

Nam June Paik at the Whitney: A Work of Dizzying Complexity [NYT/24] These animations are all from Paik’s most extensively used visual and aural source: Kraftwerk’s 1986 music video for “Musique Non Stop,” a pioneering early example of computer-generated animation by Rebecca Allen. (Her name appears in part of the piece, as does that of Paul Garrin, who, as Paik’s assistant, was responsible for the variations on the female nude.) “Musique Non Stop” also supplies the main soundtrack; its mechanized sound and distorted voices, like its animation, are of a piece with Kraftwerk’s robot aesthetic.

How China Turned A City Into A Prison  [nyt/20]

Camera Above the Classroom – Chinese schools are using facial recognition on students. But should they? [sixthtone/5]

Facebook’s Ad Algorithm Is A Race And Gender Stereotyping Machine, New Study Suggests [theintercept./0] Critically, we observe significant skew in delivery along gender and racial lines for “real” ads for employment and housing opportunities despite neutral targeting parameters. Our results demonstrate previously unknown mechanisms that can lead to potentially discriminatory ad delivery, even when advertisers set their targeting parameters to be highly inclusive.

Ad Industry Critiques Cannes Lions’ Choice of Cambridge Analytica CEO as Featured Speaker [adweek/25] This seems like the conference version of clickbait: a session that is purposefully engineered to stir outrage,” said Ana Milicevic, principal and co-founder of marketing-focused consultancy Sparrow Advisers. “There’s no shortage of experts focused on the intersection of data, politics and ethics. It’s high time the advertising industry approaches this topic not as a carnival sideshow where the opinions of demonstrably bad actors are welcomed with open arms but as a serious discipline that’s integral to our relevance and future.”

Small stickers on the ground trick Tesla autopilot into steering into opposing traffic lane [boingboing/26] Researchers from Tencent Keen Security Lab have published a report detailing their successful attacks on Tesla firmware, including remote control over the steering, and an adversarial example attack on the autopilot that confuses the car into driving into the oncoming traffic lane.

Is Your Model 3 Watching You [livingtesla/17] You may or may not have noticed a small little camera positioned just above the rear view mirror of the Tesla Model 3. Every Model 3 produced has this camera. 

Americans Hate Social Media but Can’t Give It Up, WSJ/NBC News Poll Finds [wsj/37] saying they regard services such as Facebook FB -0.14% to be divisive and a threat to privacy but continue to use them daily.

Privacy is Power