Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hacking Tinder To Sway UK Election

NYT: Hacking Tinder to sway the UK election:
[W]e designed a chatbot, a smart computer program that deployed an adaptable script. In the two days ahead of the election earlier this month, the chatbot struck up conversations with thousands of young people between 18 and 25 years old on Tinder. The chatbot talked about politics, with the aim of getting voters to help oust the Conservative government. The results were amazing. Over 30,000 messages reached young people in key constituencies.
You know we'll see something like this in the US very very soon.

Big Printer

"GE Plans World's Largest Laser-Powered 3D Printer":
The prototype Atlas printer, announced on Wednesday, can print objects up to one meter long using titanium, aluminum, and other metals instead of the plastics, resins, and filaments that many commercial and consumer 3D printers use. That means it could print an entire engine block for a car or truck, for example, replacing the specialized machines and tooling that are currently required to make those types of products in a factory.
(Via Rand Simberg.) 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual this upcoming week due to external obligations.

Friday, June 23, 2017

DIY Artifiical Pancreas

"This Woman Designed -- And Texts -- Her Own Pancreas"

Underappreciated Medical Inventions

"What Is the Most Underappreciated Medical Invention in History?"

DHS Or Eye Of Sauron?

"DHS Is Starting to Scan Americans’ Faces Before They Get on International Flights":
For certain international flights from Atlanta and New York, DHS has partnered with Delta to bring mandatory face recognition scans to the boarding gate. The Delta system checks a passenger is supposed to be on the plane by comparing her face, captured by a kiosk at the boarding gate, to passenger manifest photos from State Department databases. It also checks passengers’ citizenship or immigration status. Meanwhile, in Boston, DHS has partnered with JetBlue to roll out a voluntary face recognition system for travelers flying to Aruba. In JetBlue’s case, you can actually get your face scanned instead of using a physical ticket.

While these systems differ in details, they have two things in common. First, they are laying the groundwork for a much broader, mandatory deployment of Biometric Exit across the country. Second, they scan the faces of everyone -- including American citizens.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Typewriter Revival

"Typewriters attracting new generation of fans"

Tactile Map

"Inuit Tactile Maps of Greenland":
[T]hese maps represent the contours of the coastline in a continuous line up one side of the wood and down the other. The contours of the land are highly exaggerated, allowing users to navigate entirely by feel. The navigator would often carry them under his mittens and feel the contours with his fingers to discern patterns in the coastline. Being made of wood, they are buoyant, so they float if accidentally dropped and could be easily retrieved.

Interviewing Coders

"What if companies interviewed translators the way they interview coders?"

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tesla Fatality Update

"Tesla Driver In Fatal Florida Crash Got Numerous Warnings To Take Control Back From Autopilot"

AI Generated Metal Band Names

"Metal band names invented by neural network":
I gave the dataset to an open-source neural network framework that I’ve previously trained to generate recipes, Pokemon, knock-knock jokes, pick up lines, and D&D spells. As usual the instructions were only to learn what the dataset is like and try to make more of the same. With over 100,000 entries to chew on, the neural network managed to produce results that were… well, surprisingly metal.
I like the AI use of umlauts.

Falling Technique

"How to Fall Down"

Monday, June 19, 2017

AIs Learn Deception

"Facebook Let Its A.I. Negotiate, and the Lying Started Right Away"

Why Amazon Bought Whole Foods

"Why Amazon Bought Whole Foods".  Get used to the concept of the "life bundle":
After today’s announcement, several people on Twitter joked that between Prime and Whole Foods, Amazon may now account for a majority of some urban Millennials’ discretionary spending.

What’s not a joke, however, is that Amazon’s life bundle, like TV’s cable bundle, is fundamentally about the merchandizing of convenience, which is often indistinguishable from sheer human laziness. Driving to the movies and parking is a pain, and cable offered several cineplexes worth of video offerings on the couch.

Similarly, driving to the grocery store, finding parking, seeking out the produce section, and waiting several minutes in Line 6 is a pain. What’s not a pain? Lying on your couch, watching Downton Abbey on Prime Video, and shouting to your Amazon daemon, “Alexa, I need six heirloom tomatoes and a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil for tomorrow’s delivery.”

Changing NYC Street View

"How Google Street View documents a changing New York City"