kevan + illusions   175

Automated book-culling software drives librarians to create fake patrons to "check out" endangered titles / Boing Boing
"Instead of being a tool, the data becomes a straightjacket: in order to get the system to admit the professional judgment of librarians, the librarians have to manufacture data to put their thumbs on its scales."
libraries  books  computers  illusions 
17 days ago by kevan
Pietra Paesina’s Ruined Facades | Dataisnature
"The patterns of fractured light and dark within these rocks gives the impression of ruined cubist cityscapes, disjointed mountainous terrains with foliage and vividly etched tautozonal landscapes near the moment of sunset."
stone  cities  illusions 
10 weeks ago by kevan
Wild monkeys throw curve at stone-tool making's origins | Science News
"Without the intention of making a stone tool, and with the right rock types, capuchins produce objects that are shaped like stone tools. [The capuchins] did not use fractured pieces of sharp stone to cut, scrape or dig up anything."
monkeys  stone  history  illusions 
october 2016 by kevan
Antisocial network: how self-deprecation is taking over the internet | Technology | The Guardian
"...in a world of constantly switched-on, ostentatious displays of popularity and people having an ostensibly TOTALLY AWESOME TIME, perhaps it isn't surprising that things would start to pitch in the opposite direction (known as JOMO, joy of missing out)."
society  internet  illusions 
may 2016 by kevan
University ban on mortarboard throwing: 'We'll Photoshop them in' | Education | The Guardian
"...students were told that images of the headwear will be digitally added afterwards if they simply mime the act when photographs are being taken."
clothing  illusions 
may 2016 by kevan
Princeton University - Video-gaming fish play out the advantages of groups
"The researchers projected the simulated prey — which appeared as small reddish dots — onto one side of a tank containing the famously ravenous bluegill sunfish."
games  fish  simulations  illusions  emergence 
april 2016 by kevan
A Chindogu Clock for Procrastinators - Dave Seah
"It's guaranteed to be up to 15 minutes fast. However, it also speeds up and slows down in an unpredictable manner so you can’t be sure how fast it really is."
time  illusions 
march 2016 by kevan
This Spider Makes Fake Spiders. But Why? | WIRED
"The decoy was about the size of a half-dollar, constructed from debris and food carcasses, with eight legs radiating from its bulky center."
spiders  illusions 
september 2015 by kevan
BPS Research Digest: Weird things start to happen when you stare into someone's eyes for 10 minutes
"On the strange-face questionnaire, 90 per cent of the eye-staring group agreed that they'd seen some deformed facial traits, 75 per cent said they'd seen a monster, 50 per cent said they saw aspects of their own face in their partner's face, and 15 per cent said they'd seen a relative's face."
eyes  illusions  faces  monsters 
august 2015 by kevan
How High Def Is Changing Your Brain—and Driving the Prop Master Crazy
"We used to say, if it’s not bigger than a two-inch circle, you’re not going to see it on film. [...] Now, with high def, it’s down to an eighth of an inch."
films  illusions  via:alex 
july 2015 by kevan
Research Blog: Inceptionism: Going Deeper into Neural Networks
"This creates a feedback loop: if a cloud looks a little bit like a bird, the network will make it look more like a bird. This in turn will make the network recognize the bird even more strongly on the next pass and so forth, until a highly detailed bird appears, seemingly out of nowhere."
illusions  technology  emergence 
june 2015 by kevan
Lots of Cases of Synesthesia Are Based on Alphabet Magnets
"The study finds that more than 6 percent of American synesthetes have color associations that match a particular Fisher-Price fridge magnet set."
toys  illusions  brains  via:james 
march 2015 by kevan
The Land of the Free: How Virtual Fences Will Transform Rural America - The Atlantic
"Well, you can get on your laptop, right then and there, and program the polygon that contains your cows to move spatially and temporally over the landscape to this 'better location'."
cows  gps  illusions 
august 2014 by kevan
Stanford researcher: Hallucinatory 'voices' shaped by local culture
"The striking difference was that while many of the African and Indian subjects registered predominantly positive experiences with their voices, not one American did."
illusions  sound  society  psychology 
july 2014 by kevan
Facebook Manipulated 689,003 Users' Emotions For Science
"The experiment ran for a week — January 11–18, 2012 — during which the hundreds of thousands of Facebook users unknowingly participating may have felt either happier or more depressed than usual."
psychology  facebook  illusions  secrets  depression 
june 2014 by kevan
Plagiarius | Innovation contra Imitation
A yearly product plagiarism award, with a museum of 300 item pairs in Germany. "The trophy of the black gnome with the golden nose is a symbol for the exorbitant earnings product pirates collect at the cost of innovative companies."
illusions  lies  mutation  museums 
april 2014 by kevan
The Badger Herald - UW student researches ways to make robots more human - The Badger Herald
"If interactive robots were able to pause during conversation and take a moment to gaze off into the distance as if pondering what the user was saying, research suggests this small change could make them seem less robotic."
robots  illusions  eyes 
march 2014 by kevan
The Rise and Fall of the Indian Rope Trick (pdf)
"When we measured the relationship between the amount of time between seeing and recalling the trick, and how impressive the trick sounded, the result was a significant positive correlation."
magic  illusions  memory 
march 2014 by kevan
StarCityGames.com - Counterfeit Cards
"Based on the current Magic [the Gathering] economy, I cannot name a single thing in the entire world that is as easy to counterfeit as a Magic card that would provide a higher rate of return."
games  cards  illusions  crime  china 
january 2014 by kevan
Change the size of food and your appetite with AR system from Tokyo U. - DigInfo TV
"When food was magnified 1.5 times, the amount eaten decreased by about 10%. When it was made to look two-thirds its actual size, the amount eaten increased by about 15%."
food  illusions  simulations 
january 2014 by kevan
Almost Human: The Surreal, Cyborg Future of Telemarketing - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic
"The first contains the more scripted bits of salesmanship, which, in CallAssistant technology, are mapped to the number keys. The second set of sounds are the little conversational asides that help make the conversation feel more natural. Hit 'L,' for example, and the voice laughs. Hit the equals sign, and the voice says, 'Exactly.'"
advertising  illusions  sound  camrad  via:danielle 
december 2013 by kevan
Cadbury Dairy Milk: why rounded chunks of chocolate taste sweeter | Life and style | theguardian.com
"[People] will match the sweeter taste of milk chocolate with rounder shapes, while matching the more bitter taste of dark chocolate with shapes that are more angular."
food  illusions 
october 2013 by kevan
TV's Pace and the Ads Increase as Time Goes By - New York Times
From 1989. "The machines are also used to create an artificial level of enthusiasm among game show contestants and actors in commercials by speeding up the motion while keeping voices at a normal pitch."
television  time  illusions 
september 2013 by kevan
Dragon*Con Carpet Cosplayers Copyright | The Mary Sue
"At DragonCon last month, a couple of cosplayers decided to sidestep the usual fare of superheroes and cartoon characters in favor of dressing up as the carpet at the Marriott hotel where the con takes place."
illusions  clothes  furniture 
september 2013 by kevan
FakeTV - The Burglar Deterrent
"FakeTV is a small electronic device that produces exactly the same sort of light a real television makes. From outside after dusk, it looks like someone must be home watching TV."
television  illusions  crime 
august 2013 by kevan
Habit Fields - An A List Apart Article
"The more we repeat the same activity around an object, the stronger its habit field gets. And the stronger its habit field gets, the easier it is for us to effortlessly fall into that mode of behavior the next time we’re around the object."
psychology  work  illusions  via:simon 
july 2013 by kevan
GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians' communications at G20 summits | UK news | The Guardian
"Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic."
surveillance  illusions  politics  email 
june 2013 by kevan
Fake shops used to make towns neater for G8 - RTÉ News
"Local councils in Northern Ireland have painted fake shop fronts and covered derelict buildings with huge billboards to hide the economic hardship being felt in towns and villages near the golf resort where G8 leaders will meet this month."
architecture  illusions  ireland 
june 2013 by kevan
Google Is Alive, It Has Eyes, and This Is What It Sees | Raw File | Wired.com
"Goggles is the image search feature in the Google mobile app, and by layering the app’s best attempts to match his photos, Bland has created an artistic view of the world as seen through Google’s eyes."
photography  illusions 
may 2013 by kevan
Cellphone Towers Disguised as Trees Are a Puzzling Attempt at Aesthetics | Raw File | Wired.com
"South African photographer Dillon Marsh‘s compact photo series (all 12 Invasive Species images featured here) is a meditation on the weird, and small, variations of design in tree cellphone towers."
trees  phones  illusions 
april 2013 by kevan
Daily Dot | TEDxSummerisle sounds real but isn't
"Gamification incentivises ritual. And ritual binds healthy communities together."
writing  illusions  twitter 
march 2013 by kevan
Dummy cursors keep your passwords safe from prying eyes - DigInfo TV
"Currently, the system uses five cursors, and the failure rate for password peeping is about 50%. If there are 20 cursors, 99% of onlookers will fail to see what the password is."
design  illusions 
march 2013 by kevan
Black Hornet: The $195,000 Spy Plane That Fits in the Palm of Your Hand
"Dubbed the Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Aircraft System by its designer, Prox Dynamics of Norway, this micro-UAV measures 4 inches long and 1 inch tall with a 4-inch rotor span."
robots  surveillance  secrets  illusions 
february 2013 by kevan
ReadWrite – Augmented Reality Game Gets Player Busted: The First Of Many?
From the original thread: "Apparently sitting near a police station for about 5 minutes with a GPS view of the surrounding area with little blue blips on the screen is a red flag."
games  gps  illusions  police 
january 2013 by kevan
Why Are Dead People Liking Stuff On Facebook?
"If nobody tells Facebook that the account-holder is dead, Facebook just keeps operating on the assumption the person is alive. In that case, someone’s “likes” from months and months ago can still keep surfacing in the news feeds of their friends, since Facebook recycles “likes” long after they first occur."
facebook  illusions  death 
december 2012 by kevan
Hypnotic delusion - All In The Mind - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"When we recorded this hypnotised patient we showed the patient to a neuropsychologist who had seen two genuine brain-damaged patients and she said oh, you’ve got another brain-damaged patient. [...] I think these are genuine recreations of delusions in the laboratory."
delusions  illusions  science 
november 2012 by kevan
Texting error leads to lockdowns at West Hall middle, high schools
"The text, saying "gunman be at west hall today," was received and reported to police around 11:30 a.m. But after police tracked the number, they learned the auto correct feature on the new cellphone changed "gunna" to "gunman.""
phones  language  mutation  illusions 
september 2012 by kevan
Man dressed as Bigfoot killed trying to provoke sightings - Telegraph
"He was trying to make people think he was Sasquatch so people would call in a Sasquatch sighting. [...] Obviously, his [ghillie] suit made it difficult for people to see him."
monsters  illusions  delusions  death 
august 2012 by kevan
Peregrine Andrews on the Sound of Sport: What is Real?
"Senior UK sports sound supervisor Bill Whiston explained that in UK horse-racing TV coverage, it is standard practice to run a galloping horses loop (actually a slowed-down buffalo charge) over the shots rather than mic up the whole course."
sport  sound  illusions 
july 2012 by kevan
Chatbot auto-tweets replies to climate change arguments
"A software developer has created a "chatbot" program for Twitter to automatically detect set phrases associated with arguments put forward by those skeptical of anthropogenic global warming, and to send automated replies of set phrases debunking their arguments." From 2010. Account now suspended.
twitter  illusions 
june 2012 by kevan
SimCity Social is an insidious spam machine. Sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts - PCGamesN
"SimCity Social tricks you into believing that other players are playing the game when they are not - and then it invites you to spam them with messages."
games  spam  illusions  via:zarba 
june 2012 by kevan
Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" | Video on TED.com
"And what it turned out was going on was that Facebook was looking at which links I clicked on, and it was noticing that, actually, I was clicking more on my liberal friends' links than on my conservative friends' links. And without consulting me about it, it had edited them out. They disappeared."
web  illusions  via:zarba 
june 2012 by kevan
Wildlife confused by polarised light pollution - environment - 08 January 2009 - New Scientist
"To animals tuned to distinguish polarised light and use it as an environmental cue, "these objects look more like water than water," he says. "Even when given the choice between water and human-made surfaces, some insects prefer to lay their eggs on – and settle near – the latter.""
light  pollution  insects  illusions 
may 2012 by kevan
The Zombie Network: Beware 'Free Public WiFi' : NPR
"When a computer running an older version of XP can't find any of its "favorite" wireless networks, it will automatically create an ad hoc network with the same name as the last one it connected to -– in this case, "Free Public WiFi." Other computers within range of that new ad hoc network can see it, luring other users to connect."
computers  illusions 
may 2012 by kevan
The Beauty of Twitter's Unfollow Bug - Megan McArdle - Technology - The Atlantic
"Polite evasion is an underrated principle of social interaction and it's nice to see Twitter arrive at it by accident."
society  illusions 
may 2012 by kevan
ClueDB: Write shorter email
"People don't like to receive one-word email replies, but will forgive you when you are on a Blackberry or iPhone or whatever. So add 'sent from my iPhone' to your desktop email program, and people will forgive you."
email  illusions  lies 
february 2012 by kevan
CCTV police officer 'chased himself' after being mistaken for burglar - Telegraph
"[The CCTV] operator radioed that he had seen someone “acting suspiciously” in the area. But he failed to realise that it was actually the plain-clothed officer he was watching on the screen."
surveillance  illusions 
february 2012 by kevan
TrackMeNot
"TrackMeNot runs in Firefox as a low-priority background process that periodically issues randomized search-queries to popular search engines. [...] It hides users' actual search trails in a cloud of 'ghost' queries, significantly increasing the difficulty of aggregating such data into accurate or identifying user profiles."
web  surveillance  illusions  via:zarba 
january 2012 by kevan
VIDEO: OWS Occupies Movie-Set Replica Of Itself, for Real | Mother Jones
"A few hours after television producers set up a replica of Occupy Wall Street for the filming of a new episode of Law and Order Special Victims Unit, the real Occupy Wall Street announced plans to occupy the fake one."
society  illusions  television  via:waxy 
december 2011 by kevan
More Mixed Language Scams Making the Rounds on Facebook - Softpedia
"The first window has the purpose of training the user to click on 'Jaa' which means 'share' in Finnish, but also 'yes' in informal English. The second window is a real Facebook share dialog intentionally displayed in Finnish to confuse users about its true purpose."
language  scams  illusions 
december 2011 by kevan
540 - "Sham Paris": An Entire City’s Stunt Double | Strange Maps | Big Think
"The capital’s topography was to be transplanted onto the existing villages of Maisons-Laffitte, Sartrouville, Montigny-les-Cormeilles, Herblay, Conflans-Ste-Honorine, Beauchamp and Pierrelaye."
maps  illusions  paris 
november 2011 by kevan
The Dangerous Politics of Internet Humor in China - NYTimes.com
"[Censorship] forces people to invent indirect ways to get their meaning across, and humor works as a natural form of encryption."
china  humour  surveillance  illusions 
november 2011 by kevan
Socialbot Network finds it easy to harvest data from Facebook users | Naked Security
"Once the socialbots had befriended one person, they would then attempt to become Facebook friends with their friend's friends, and so on. As they became more embedded within friend networks, the acceptance rate of friend request reached 60%."
simulation  society  illusions 
november 2011 by kevan
The Associated Press: Wildlife officials use robo-deer to catch poachers
"Once a plan is in place, authorities put the mechanical deer near a road where it can be seen by passing cars. Then they hide nearby and keep watch, waiting for someone to take the bait, occasionally using the remote control to move the decoy's head and tail."
robots  mammals  weapons  illusions  crime  via:blech 
october 2011 by kevan
Are you listening, Steve Jobs? « BirdAbroad
A fake Apple Store in China. "We struck up some conversation with these salespeople who, hand to God, all genuinely think they work for Apple."
shops  illusions  delusions  via:waxy 
july 2011 by kevan
513 - Then We Take Berlin: When East Ate West | Strange Maps | Big Think
"This resulted in numerous so-called Geisterbahnhöfe (ghost stations), abandoned as the Wall went up (and projected downward) on 13th August, 1961, particularly on two U-Bahn lines and one S-Bahn line connecting different areas of West Berlin."
transport  history  maps  illusions 
may 2011 by kevan
Fun and Games with Cognitive Biases - Less Wrong
"Caution: Dark Arts! Explicit discussion of how to exploit bugs in human reasoning may lead to discomfort. You have been warned."
psychology  illusions  hacking  brains 
march 2011 by kevan
Fuel to the fire | Media Standards Trust
Chris Atkins on churnalism. "It was both a powerful and terrifying feeling, knowing that I could bash out some gibberish text and hours later have it appear verbatim in Britain’s largest selling newspaper."
news  illusions  via:tomscott 
march 2011 by kevan
Placebo Buttons « You Are Not So Smart
"In many offices and cubicle farms, the thermostat on the wall isn’t connected to anything. Landlords, engineers and HVAC specialists have installed dummy thermostats for decades to keep people from costing companies money by constantly adjusting the temperature."
design  illusions  psychology 
august 2010 by kevan
IanVisits » London Underground’s “secret” tube station
"[West Ashfield] is a fully fitted out fake tube station built by London Underground on the 3rd floor of an office block in West Kensington and is used to teach new employees what goes where and when."
tube  illusions  simulation  via:james 
july 2010 by kevan
Researchers develop “HoneyBot”, Social Engineer IRC Users automatically | IRC-Junkie.org – IRC News
Terrifying prototype IRC spambot that talks to two people at once, getting its half of the conversation from the other person and, after a while, dropping its own links into the dialogue. "To make the users talk about a certain topic, Honeybot can insert probing questions into the conversation." TinyURL links were the most commonly clicked.
spam  illusions  camrad  via:zarba 
june 2010 by kevan
Maps - the new rock’n’roll - Telegraph
"[There] is manipulation, selection and omission in the making of [Google] maps, which are composites of satellite images supplied by different countries and agencies. The Dutch blur out their royal palace, while the Swiss colour in Switzerland much greener that it already is to make it look nicer."
maps  illusions  via:blech 
may 2010 by kevan
Action Half-Life: The 5 a.m. | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
"Looking away from the monitor it was with no small amount of gut-terror that I realised something was very wrong and turned back to type a message to my friends. [...] Our real worlds had turned monochrome. Some optical trick involving those red and white tiles had broken our eyes, and we could only see in pea green, sickly yellow and all the shades in between."
games  design  illusions  eyes  light  colour  puzzles  via:weir 
april 2010 by kevan
Into The Abyss: Teal and Orange - Hollywood, Please Stop the Madness
"So, since people (flesh-tones) exist in almost every frame of every movie ever made, what could be better than applying complementary color theory to make people seem to 'pop' from the background. I mean, people are really important, aren't they?"
films  colour  illusions  via:minkette 
april 2010 by kevan
Time doesn’t really freeze when you’re freaked - Behavior- msnbc.com
"This watch-like device flickered numbers on its screen [that] were too fast to see. If the brain sped up when in danger, the researchers theorized numbers on the perceptual chronometers would appear slow enough to read while volunteers fell [from 150ft]. Instead, the scientists found that volunteers could not read the numbers at faster-than-normal speeds."
time  illusions  delusions  science 
october 2009 by kevan
Destination: Argleton! Visiting an imaginary place « Walking Home to 50
Visiting a possible trap street town on Google Maps. "Various software packages use Google's geographical information, and Argleton seems to have primary claim on the surrounding postcodes - one can rent property there, or read inspection reports for its nurseries, at least according to the internet."
maps  illusions  lies  via:qwghlm 
september 2009 by kevan
Winners wear red: How colour twists your mind - life - 28 August 2009 - New Scientist
"[Sports psychologists] showed video clips of [taekwondo] bouts to 42 experienced referees. They then played the same clips again, digitally manipulated so that the clothing colours were swapped round. [In close matches] red competitors awarded an average of 13 per cent more points than when they were dressed in blue." Maybe I should start picking red more often in board games.
psychology  colour  sport  illusions 
august 2009 by kevan
IDEO Labs » Amazing 3D immersion technology
"IR-sensitive cameras use [markers on 3D polarised glasses] to determine the precise location of each eye within the room. From those positions, stereo images for each projector are calculated and rendered on the fly, and the result is absolutely amazing."
eyes  illusions  technology  via:waxy 
may 2009 by kevan
Life Lessons: Don’t Make Eye Contact with Gorillas | GOOD
A Rotterdam zoo issues enclosure visitors with pinhole cardboard glasses that show eyes looking to one side, to stop eye contact from distressing the gorillas.
apes  eyes  illusions  paper  via:amuchmoreexotic 
april 2009 by kevan
Urban Camouflage
Sinister ghillie suits made from dishcloths, shopping bags and cardboard boxes.
illusions  art  monsters  via:holly 
march 2009 by kevan
YouTube - Richard Dawkins interviews Derren Brown
Uncut hour-long version of an interview about cold-reading and connected subjects, from the Enemies of Reason documentary.
dawkins  psychology  delusions  illusions 
december 2008 by kevan
Dragonfly trick makes missiles harder to dodge - 28 June 2003 - New Scientist
"Insects that use this technique sneak up on their prey in a way that makes them seem stationary even though they are in fact moving closer. They do this by keeping themselves positioned between a fixed point in the landscape and their prey."
insects  illusions  war  weapons  technology 
december 2008 by kevan
julianoliver.com - LevelHead
"LevelHead deploys three small (5x5x5cm) plastic cubes with a unique image (marker) on each face. [Software] on the host computer is trained to recognise the marker such that it can overlay 3D content on a per-face basis."
games  illusions  via:waxy 
october 2008 by kevan
Ballardian: the World of J.G. Ballard » Indexed out of existence...
"Whether in fact this man was a returning astronaut suffering from amnesia, the figment of an ill-organized advertising campaign, or, as some have suggested, the second coming of Christ, is anyone's guess."
books  ballard  illusions  advertising 
may 2008 by kevan
Whispers of War - The British World War II rumour campaign by Lee Richards
"The rumour he submitted to the UPC was sent for clearance to the Inter-Services Security Board (ISSB) who were responsible for clearing rumours and had power of veto over any of a military nature which might inadvertently be a real security risk."
war  history  lies  illusions  psychology  memetics 
april 2008 by kevan
Living Dolls - Gaby Wood
Vaucanson's Duck through to the Mechanical Turk, and beyond. Good background reading, but it tries a bit too hard to be philosophical about any glimmer of possible metaphor.
booklog  technology  robots  chess  birds  illusions  hoaxes  via:holly 
march 2008 by kevan
Observations on film art and FILM ART : This is your brain on movies, maybe
"He posits that in general, when we reread a novel or rewatch a film, our cognitive system doesn’t apply its prior knowledge of what will happen." [...] "Our moment-by-moment processes evolved in response to the brute fact of nonrepetition."
films  psychology  illusions  via:webb 
february 2008 by kevan
Gamasutra - The Watery Pachinko Machine of Doom: Project Horseshoe's Thoughts On Story
Some nice fragments. "Giving AI's knowledge of player's existing social graph in order to inform NPC decisions. [...] The AI is ultimately playing a strategy game that involves manipulating and cultivating the social graph of the player community."
games  design  society  illusions  narrative 
january 2008 by kevan
DVD, Blu-ray & HD-DVD Review - Blade Runner: The Final Cut - All Versions
"Harrison Ford was unavailable due to scheduling issues, so his son Ben was brought in correct this [with] the same chin scar (via make-up) that his father has, saying the correct lines. His mouth was digitally inserted over his father's seamlessly."
films  technology  illusions  hacking  via:lmg 
december 2007 by kevan
Studies Report Inducing Out-of-Body Experience - New York Times
"In another variation, Dr. Blanke projected a 'rubber body' - a cheap [mannequin] and dressed in the same clothes as the subject - into the virtual-reality goggles. With synchronous strokes of the stick, people's sense of self drifted into the mannequin."
brains  illusions  simulations  via:collision 
august 2007 by kevan
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