When speakers are all ears: Understanding when smart speakers mistakenly record conversations – Mon(IoT)r Research Group
The main goals of our research are to detect if, how, when, and why smart speakers are unexpectedly recording audio from their environment (we call this activation). We are also interested in whether there are trends based on certain non-wake words, type of conversation, location, and other factors.
iot  voice  computing  smart  google  amazon  alexa  television 
3 hours ago
Printing money – Neal Agarwal
Another evocative visual by Neal Agarwal; dollars scroll by at different speed, going from Minimum Wage ($7.25/hr) to Amazon Revenue ($32m/hr) to U.S. Deficit Increase ($125 mil/hr).
economics  money 
3 hours ago
Reuters uses AI to prototype first ever automated video reports – Forbes
Developed in collaboration with London-based AI startup Synthesia, the new system harnesses AI in order to synthesize pre-recorded footage of a news presenter into entirely new reports. It works in a similar way to deepfake videos, although its current prototype combines with incoming data on English Premier League football matches to report on things that have actually happened. [...]

In other words, having pre-filmed a presenter say the name of every Premier League football team, every player, and pretty much every possible action that could happen in a game, Reuters can now generate an indefinite number of synthesized match reports using his image. These reports are barely indistinguishable from the real thing, and Cohen reports that early witnesses to the system (mostly Reuters' clients) have been dutifully impressed.
ai  news  journalism  fake  sports 
4 hours ago
Vintage Leap Day postcards – Postcrossing
2020 is a Leap Year, so how about a look at some old postcards illustrating one of the best-known Leap Day traditions? If you’ve never heard of this, the tradition is that on Leap Day (and only on Leap Day!) women can propose to men.
postcards  illustration  drawing  humour  vintage 
4 hours ago
Pitch drop experiment – Wikipedia
The best known version[1] of the experiment was started in 1927 by Professor Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, to demonstrate to students that some substances which appear solid are actually highly viscous fluids. Parnell poured a heated sample of pitch into a sealed funnel and allowed it to settle for three years. In 1930, the seal at the neck of the funnel was cut, allowing the pitch to start flowing. A glass dome covers the funnel and it is placed on display outside a lecture theatre.[2] Large droplets form and fall over a period of about a decade.

The eighth drop fell on 28 November 2000,
3 days ago
Watch the rare, awesome spectacle as Mercury passes between the Earth and Sun | Aeon Videos
Although Mercury orbits the Sun once every 88 Earth days, the three bodies align only about 13 times a century due to the planets’ relative orbital planes. One such ‘Mercury transit’ occurred on 11 November 2019.
3 days ago
The Most Annoying Corporate Buzzwords – The Atlantic
From a more cynical perspective, buzzwords are useful when office workers need to dress up their otherwise pointless tasks with fancier phrases—you know, for the optics. Coal miners and doctors and tennis instructors have specific jargon they use to get their points across, but “all-purpose business language is the language you use when you aren’t really doing anything.”
language  languages  langauge  words  work 
3 days ago
UK art schools begin 14-day strike action – The Art Newspaper
The action is the latest move in the Four Fights dispute between the University and College Union (UCU) and the Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association (universities’ governing body); the four grievances are zero-hours contracts, pay devaluation, rising workloads and the gender and ethnicity pay gap. Some colleges are also taking action against changes to pension payments after UCU members saw their contributions rise from an 8% share of their salaries to 9.6%.
universities  money 
3 days ago
An app can be a home-cooked meal – Robin Sloan
I made a messaging app for, and with, my family. It is ruthlessly simple; we love it; no one else will ever use it. I wanted to jot down some notes about how and why I made it, both to (a) offer a nudge to anyone else out there considering a similar project and (b) suggest something a little larger about software.
app  programming  socialmedia  messaging 
3 days ago
Z Flip and Razr: Folding screens bubble and scratch, tests find – BBC News
It follows the troubled release of Samsung's first foldable phone one year ago, leading some analysts to question whether foldable screen technology is ready for mainstream release.

The Samsung phone costs nearly £1,300 in the UK ($1,380 US), sim-free; while the Motorola is only available locked to a two-year, £94+ per month contract.
gadgets  phones  technology 
4 days ago
An anti-smartphone with a rotary designed and built by space engineer Justine Haupt – Colossal
Justine Haupt, a developer of astronomy instrumentation at Brookhaven National Laboratory, spent the last three years developing a device that strips away all of the non-phone functions of modern smartphones. The Portable Wireless Electronic Digital Rotary Telephone (aka Rotary Cellphone) does not have a touchscreen, menus, or other superfluous features. It fits in Haupt’s pocket, and it makes calls.
phones  gadgets  technology 
4 days ago
Google's users in the UK will no longer be protected by Europe's strict privacy regulations – Business Insider
Sources told Reuters that British user accounts will be shifted to US jurisdiction, and will be subject to significantly weaker privacy protections than those offered by Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). British authorities will now need to negotiate with the US rather than the EU should they need access to Google's British user data during the course of any investigations. The move was prompted by uncertainty surrounding Brexit, according to the sources.
dataprotection  gdpr  europe  google  brexit 
4 days ago
In his new book, Daniel Kehlmann says hello to a cruel world – The New York Times
“In a way, it’s a serious literary experiment in trying to imagine what the world was like before the Enlightenment,” he says, “what was it really like to live in a world before Voltaire, Newton and all these people. It’s great to write about, but of course you wouldn’t want to spend even an hour in this world.”
books  bookreviews  germany 
4 days ago
Banksy: what happens when someone vandalises graffiti – and who owns it anyway?
Where graffiti has been applied to the wall of a property, that physical piece of “art” belongs to the owners of the property, who may choose to lawfully remove it or to protect it. If the property is rented – as is reportedly the case for the Valentine’s mural – the graffiti becomes part of the fabric of that building and belongs to the property owner, not the tenants. Ownership of the intangible rights to the artwork (the copyright), however, will remain the property of Banksy as the artist.
banksy  graffiti  art  streetart  painting  law 
4 days ago
RIP Barbara Remington, illustrator of 60s paperback editions of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” – Boing Boing
“Ballantine was in a hurry to get these books out right away,” she said in an interview for the literary journal Andwerve. “When they commissioned me to do the artwork, I didn’t have the chance to see either book, though I tried to get a copy through my friends. So I didn’t know what they were about,” she continued. “I tried finding people that had read them, but the books were not readily available in the states, and so I had sketchy information at best.”
art  illustration  books  painting 
4 days ago
Leaked draft of EU paper stirs Parthenon Marbles dispute – The Art Newspaper
While Greece has stepped up its campaign for the return of the Marbles in the Brexit era, it appears unlikely the EU will take up its two-century-old cause as a bargaining chip in a 21st-century trade deal. The clause probably refers more broadly to a desire that Britain should continue to abide by legislation such as the 2019 regulation on the import of cultural goods, designed to prevent the contemporary illicit trade in antiquities, says Alexander Herman, the assistant director of the Institute for Art and Law.
europe  art  sculpture  greece  antiques 
4 days ago
Forms – Memo Akten
Rather than focusing on observable trajectories, it explores techniques of extrapolation to sculpt abstract forms, visualizing unseen relationships – power, balance, grace and conflict – between the body and its surroundings.
art  animation  video 
5 days ago
The side effects of an unfinished internet
Let’s do a thought experiment. We’ll go back in time and find someone from 1990. Let’s pull them aside and tell them everything about the internet in the modern day - about instant messages, email, blogs, Amazon, Wikipedia. About how everyone carries a smartphone in their pocket. About how everyone can talk to anyone and look up anything. Let’s then ask them how they’d expect such a technology to affect society. What would they predict?
internet  web  webdesign 
5 days ago
Fujifilm dropped a top street photographer, but did he cross a line?
The uproar began almost as soon as the video was posted online. “I cannot blame [people] for reacting very emotionally,” says Hamburg-based street photographer Samuel Lintaro Hopf. “They have probably never seen or understood the concept of street photography before, and now they are seeing a very aggressive type of street photography that does not represent all of street photography.” Fujifilm quickly and unceremoniously removed the clip from its YouTube channel, and a few days later, Suzuki was no longer listed on the company’s page of sponsored photographers.
6 days ago
Tinkersynth is an experimental art project. Create unique designs by manipulating whimsical machines and making serendipitous discoveries.
generative  art  design  graphics 
7 days ago
Artificial Intelligence Songwriter – These Lyrics Do Not Exist
This website generates completely original lyrics for various topics, uses state of the art AI to generate an original chorus and original verses.
ai  lyrics  music  fun 
7 days ago
Large screen phones: a challenge for UX design (and human hands) – Imaginary Cloud
Each OS version ends up having their own UX animations but at the end of the day, the truth is, many navigation elements are still situated at the top part of the screen, with emphasis on the top left corner. Where are these giant handed UX designers? Can’t we solve that?
phones  design  ux  smartphones 
7 days ago
Same HTML, Different CSS
I stumbled upon a project called “Evolution of Web Design”, which shows a web page about Nasa and space. The interesting thing is that there is a slider mimics how the design looked for each year (1993 - 2015). The idea is so inspiring and it challenged me to do the same, which is to get a component or a web page and try to do multiple designs for it without touching the HTML content.
css  html  web  design 
7 days ago
Digital Wanderlust: On Wim Wenders’s Until the End of the World | Filmmaker Magazine
Halfway through the film, the road movie transitions into a pioneer-town narrative as the travelers arrive in the Australian outback. It is home to the lab of a scientist played by Max von Sydow, who experiments with recorded digital images in order to restore the eyesight of his wife, played by Jeanne Moreau. The end result of these experiments is a technology that can be used to record people’s dreams. These images, with heatmaps, artifacts and glitch, give the film a final form as a long, moody, narrative digital art piece. Such dazzling visuals call to mind work by artists fascinated with the digital image like Lynn Hershman Leeson or Hito Steyerl (who was Wenders’s assistant director on the film.) The characters in the film become addicted to the cyber-dreams, drawn to the recesses of their minds like Narcissus at the water’s edge. One is tempted to draw a parallel here with contemporary conditions like “digital addiction,” but there’s nothing on our internet nearly as exquisite and serene as the recordings that hypnotize the characters in Until the End of the World.
8 days ago
Rubbish mixtape: fan reunited with cassette 25 years after losing it
Stella Wedell was 12 when she took the tape on a Spanish holiday to listen to songs by the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Shaggy and Bob Marley on her Walkman.

Wedell, from Berlin, lost the tape either on the Costa Brava or in Mallorca and was astounded when she spotted it a quarter of a century later in an exhibition by the British artist and photographer Mandy Barker, who specialises in creating pieces out of plastic marine debris.
9 days ago
V2. Escape From Hell may be the first vertically shot blockbuster — Quartz
What if movies were taller and thinner?

That’s the question posed by Russian director Timur Bekmambetov, who is developing “the first vertical format blockbuster,” according to Deadline. Based on the true story of a Soviet fighter pilot who led an escape out of a Nazi concentration camp in World War II, the film, titled V2. Escape From Hell, will be shot and released entirely in vertical mode, rather than in the traditional horizontal format moviegoers are accustomed to.
movies  phones  technology  culture 
9 days ago
Dynamic array formulas in Excel – Exceljet
Dynamic Arrays are the biggest change to Excel formulas in years. Maybe the biggest change ever. This is because Dynamic Arrays let you easily work with multiple values at the same time in a formula. For many users, it will be the first time they understand and use array formulas.
excel  spreadsheets 
10 days ago
Latest Foxconn worker deaths build case for Apple to move operations from China – Forbes
These deaths once again shine a light on Foxconn's harsh working conditions, in which poor factory workers are paid measly wages and forced to work overtime -- sometimes 14 hours a day, seven days a week -- to build Apple products that are then sold at high prices to consumers.
apple  china 
10 days ago
What Michael Bloomberg’s $11 million Super Bowl ad would cost you on your budget – Washington Post
Very few of us can comprehend what it’s like to be uber-wealthy like Mike Bloomberg, one of the richest people in the world and a Democratic presidential candidate. For example, the former New York mayor spent $11 million of his own money on a 60-second Super Bowl ad. How much money would that mean to you? Let’s put the finances of the ultra-rich into the context of everyday life.
economics  money  wealth  politics 
10 days ago
Jeff Bezos bought the most expensive property in LA with an eighth of a percent of his net worth – The Verge
It is literally impossible to imagine just how rich the wealthiest people on the planet are. The difference between their bank accounts and yours — yes, you, the person reading this — is that they can spend the monthly interest on their holdings and buy things like airplanes and islands. It is probably important to note here that Amazon paid zero dollars in federal income tax on $11 billion in before-tax profit in 2018; this year, it will pay out $162 million on $13.3 billion in profit — a whopping 1.2 percent effective tax rate.
money  amazon  housing  wealth 
10 days ago
Jeff Bezos sets record with $165 million Beverly Hills home purchase – Bloomberg
The property designed for Hollywood film titan Jack Warner in the 1930s was described by Architectural Digest in 1992 as the “archetypal studio mogul’s estate,” built in Georgian style with expansive terraces and its own nine-hole golf course.
money  amazon  housing  wealth 
10 days ago
Poundland sells 40,000 engagement rings ahead of Valentine's Day – BBC News
The £1 "Bling Rings" and "Man Bands" are meant to be used as "placeholders" for proper rings, it said. But one analyst described such promotions as "increasingly desperate".
commerce  shopping 
10 days ago
Name a cockroach after your ex and watch an animal eat it on Valentine's Day – CNN
For just $5, zoo staff will name a cockroach after your former lover and feed it to an animal at their "Cry Me a Cockroach" event on Valentine's Day. And if your ex-boo was an especially snakey one, pay $20 more to have them name a rat and feed it to a reptile instead.
zoo  animals  valentines  humour 
10 days ago
Enduring love: how greetings cards are surviving the smartphone era – The Guardian
“The British send more cards per capita than any other nation,” says Fergusson (who has held on to her first ever Valentine’s card, featuring a Snoopy design, for decades). I meet her at Spring Fair, an industry trade show in Birmingham where business seems to be booming – row after row of sellers showcase cards to potential retailers and brokers. There is an almost impossible amount of variety, from black cards featuring rude stick men (“You hear stories of 80-year-old ladies buying them to impress their grandkids,” says their creator Dominique Miranda) to quaint illustrations with stuck-on miniature wooden plant pots (plastic embellishments are now unpopular because of environmental concerns, explains the designer Laura Sherratt). How can it be that as stores struggle with high-street footfall, and the fate of Clintons seems sealed, so many new designs flood the market? Why are young people buying so many cards, and how did we become a nation of envelope-lickers in the first place?
writing  cards  paper 
10 days ago
Grab a pen. It’s time to revive the love letter. – The Lily
Unlike digital messages, they’re concrete; we can feel their weight in our hands. (“Will we ever glow when we open an email folder?” Simon Garfield writes in a book celebrating letter writing. “Emails are a poke, but letters are a caress, and letters stick around to be newly discovered.”) Months, years, decades in the future, they prove we lived and loved, savored and felt sorrow. They allow us to grasp at immortality.
writing  paper 
10 days ago
Valentine’s Day art in Bristol confirmed by Banksy as his work – The Guardian
Banksy confirmed the piece by posting two images of it on his official Instagram account and website in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.
banksy  art  streetart  flowers  bristol 
10 days ago
Say it with Banksy? Valentine’s gift catapults house to street art fame – The Guardian
She said: “We really want to preserve it, but he’s given us a bit of a headache. First thing’s first is to maybe get some Perspex to preserve it so everyone can enjoy it and then try to get some professional advice. It has been a crazy day, with lots of people being able to come and enjoy it and we want people to be able to continue doing that.

“I just kept like squealing and I’ve not stopped smiling all day. It’s just so special. They are calling it the Valentine’s Day Banksy."
banksy  art  streetart  flowers  bristol 
10 days ago
October 2018 – susansenglish
In the afternoon we looked at the Horsforth Quadrants and placed our exam students into the respective quadrants, which from a ‘knowing your class’ perspective was hugely valuable and then we had a broad discussion about the specific strategies that we could use with students in each of the quadrants.
education  schools  teaching 
10 days ago
But/and – Robin Sloan
“And” is the continuation, fine as far as is goes; “but” is the negation, even if you pretend it’s not; “but/and” is the turn, the twist, the resonance, the perfect fifth.
language  words  writing 
10 days ago
Behold the invisible swoosh and swirl of athletic movement in digital art – Aeon
Forms is a collaboration between the London-based visual artists Memo Akten and Davide Quayolas, and it generates dynamic digital art from the bodies of world-class athletes at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Inspired by modernist and early photographic interrogations of bodies in motion, such as Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No 2 (1912), the project, in Akten’s words, plays with ‘abstract forms, visualising unseen relationships – power, balance, grace and conflict – between the body and its surroundings’.
art  video  sport  animation  graphics 
11 days ago
How BlackBerry went from controlling the smartphone market to a phone of the past – Business Insider
At one time, BlackBerry controlled 50% of the smartphone market in the US and 20% globally. In the mid-aughts, BlackBerry phones were everywhere. But demand rapidly declined, and in 2016, BlackBerry stopped manufacturing its own phones. So, what happened?
phones  technology  blackberry  gadgets 
11 days ago
BlackBerry trumps iOS in U.S. mobile web wars for the first time – TechCrunch
Based on aggregate data that the company says it has collected on a sample exceeding 15 billion page views per month, StatCounter claims BlackBerry OS last month, at 34.3 percent, effectively trumped Apple’s iOS, which recorded 33 percent in November.
blackberry  apple  phones  mobile  technology  gadgets 
11 days ago
Len Solomon and his amazing DIY musical contraptions – The Kid Should See This
Making instruments can be as simple as adding different amounts of water to a row of bottles or as elaborate as creating your own pipe organ-style instruments from any object that suits a musical vision. That’s what Len Solomon does. For over 30 years, he’s invented instruments by “filing and sawing” parts like “old vacuum cleaner tubes and plastic bottles, hardware supplies like PVC pipes and copper tees, and specialty items he makes himself like rubber squeeze balls and fipples.”
music  craft  design  instruments 
11 days ago
The coronavirus is the first true social-media “infodemic” – MIT Technology Review
On February 2, the World Health Organization dubbed the new coronavirus “a massive ‘infodemic,’” referring to ”an overabundance of information—some accurate and some not—that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.” It’s a distinction that sets the coronavirus apart from previous viral outbreaks. While SARS, MERS, and Zika all caused global panic, fears around the coronavirus have been especially amplified by social media. It has allowed disinformation to spread and flourish at unprecedented speeds, creating an environment of heightened uncertainty that has fueled anxiety and racism in person and online.
socialmedia  health  china  science 
11 days ago
A ray of hope in the coronavirus curve – The Economist
Trying to forecast the trajectory of a new virus is complex, with scant initial information about how infectious it is. Several scientists made valiant attempts based on early data from China. Some warned that it might not peak until May, but that was before China implemented strict containment measures. The more pessimistic ones now look too gloomy. Cheng-Chih Hsu, a chemist at National Taiwan University, plugged different scenarios into a simple model for estimating the spread of epidemics (the incidence of daily infections typically resemble bell curves, with slightly fatter tails as transmissions peter out). The tally of confirmed cases so far closely fits a seemingly optimistic forecast by Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese respiratory expert, who said on January 28th that transmissions would peak within two weeks.
chart  science  health  china 
11 days ago
Stupid Cupid: Valentine’s Day disasters, as seen by waiters – The Guardian
While some of us make too much effort on Valentine’s Day, others haven’t even mastered the first rule of dating: don’t perv on someone who is not your partner. Stephenson-Roberts observes that “wandering eyes” are a common feature of the evening. Digital flirting isn’t unheard of, either. Peppe Corallo, bar manager at London’s Kitchen at Holmes, remembers one woman who suddenly started screaming at her boyfriend during dinner. Why? He had been checking Tinder at the table. She hurled her champagne in his face before storming out. Unsurprisingly, her sodden lover soon paid up and left too. “I felt bad for him in some ways, but at the same time, don’t put your phone on the table where your girlfriend can see,” Corallo advises.
society  valentines  restaurants  dating 
11 days ago
All the germs on your phone, and everything else in your pockets – Dollar Shave Club
Each square inch of your cell phone contains roughly 25,000 germs, which is way more than the number of germs found on, say, a toilet seat (1,201) or kitchen counter (1,736), since both of those are washed regularly (we hope). Gerba says that since we use our phones frequently, they remain warm, creating the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. “With the advent of touchscreen phones, the same part of the phone you touch with your fingertips is pressed right up against your face and mouth, upping your chances of infection,” he adds.
health  money  phones  germs  science 
11 days ago
Graphic designer Han Gao uses text and reading as the main method for creating – It's Nice That
The Shanghai-based creative explains why it is ideas, and not beauty, that comes first in his thoughtful practice.
art  design  china 
11 days ago
Ghosts in color – Futility Closet
I was surprised, and agreeably amused, with the following experiment.
11 days ago
The rude, cruel, and insulting 'Vinegar Valentines' of the Victorian era – Atlas Obscura
In the 1840s, hopeful American and British lovers sent lacy valentines with cursive flourishes and lofty poems by the thousands. But what to do if you didn’t love the person who had set their eyes on you?

In the Victorian era, there was no better way to let someone know they were unwanted than with the ultimate insult: the vinegar valentine. Also called “comic valentines,”* these unwelcome notes were sometimes crass and always a bit emotionally damaging in the anti-spirit of Valentine’s Day.
society  valentines  dating  humour 
11 days ago
Image of two mice tussling wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year – New Scientist
Aptly named “Station Squabble” photographer Sam Rowley was rewarded with this fleeting sight after patiently lying in wait on the platform, where mice can often be seen scurrying about in search for delicacies dropped by the millions of commuters that use the underground each day.
wildlife  nature  photography 
11 days ago
Binge and purge: The rise of extreme film criticism – LA Review of Books
For example, in April 2018, AMC theaters offered a promotion in which they screened 12 Marvel movies in succession leading up to the release of the latest entry, Avengers: Infinity War. Who would willingly undergo such punishment? Hundreds of super-fans, and at least two esteemed film critics. IndieWire critic David Ehrlich and The New York Times’s Jason Bailey both attended the marathon in Times Square, where they joined Marvel fans in a 31-hour test of focus, sleep deprivation, intestinal fortitude, and nasal courage. Bailey wrote that many viewers chose to eat their breakfast in the lobby because, after 18 hours, the theater smelled like “day-old body odor, stale popcorn and old socks.” [...]

There was a time when filmmakers would be rather coy about what their films meant. It was the job of the critic to decipher and analyze, to tell us what the films meant and how. Franchise films and interconnected cinematic universes make this type of work irrelevant. Looking through Avengers: Endgame for subtext is a meaningless experience. Instead, superfans and bloggers hunt for Easter eggs — empty callbacks to previous films and hidden references to potential future plot lines — to show off their discoveries on Twitter. It puts the power with the fans, and the critics are forced to follow suit with hastily written blog posts with titles like “31 Details You Might Have Missed in ‘Avengers: Endgame’.” This endless cycle of speculation and circumscribed analysis makes the experience of being trapped in a room with comic book fans for 31 hours feel like a distillation of the job rather than an aberration.
movies  criticism 
12 days ago
Macaulay Culkin is not like you – Esquire
Before the shot, when no one else is around, he says to me, quietly, “This is not really my cup of tea. These are all lovely people, but the poking, the prodding—honestly, it’s part of why I don’t do this anymore. Any of it.”
culture  celebrity  fame  movies 
12 days ago
Awesome Demos Roundup #13 – Codrops
A fresh selection of the most interesting demos and web experiments from the past weeks.
web  design 
12 days ago
Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge: how to make it a reality
The world’s longest sea bridge, the Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macao link in China, is 55km in total including a main bridge, a subsea tunnel and two link roads, crossing a body of water up to 120 metres deep. The Irish Sea is between 100 and 200 metres deep, which would make inserting bridge piles into the sea bed very difficult, and constructing a tunnel underneath it prohibitively expensive. So the problem of linking Scotland and Northern Ireland presents an exciting construction challenge for bridge builders.
12 days ago
Beaufort's Dyke: the weapons dump between Scotland and Northern Ireland - and why it could scupper the 'Boris Bridge' - The Scotsman
The gash in the seabed is between 700-1000ft in depth and it's this, paired with its proximity to Cairnryan Military Port, which saw it utilised as a munitions dump after the Second World War.

It's estimated that in total there are one million tonnes of weapons discarded in the sea trench, including artillery weapons containing phosgene, and two tons of metal drums filled with radioactive waste which was dumped there during the 1950s.
12 days ago
In December 2019, cases of severe respiratory illness began to be reported across the city of Wuhan in China. These were caused by a new type of coronavirus, now commonly referred to as 2019-nCoV. The number of nCoV cases started to escalate more quickly in mid-January and the virus soon spread beyond China's borders. This story has been rapidly evolving ever since, and each day we are faced by new, worrying headlines regarding the current state of the outbreak.

In isolation, these headlines can be hard to interpret. How fast is the virus spreading? Are efforts to control the disease working? How does the situation compare with previous epidemics? This site is updated daily based on the number of confirmed cases reported by the WHO. By looking beyond the daily headlines, we hope it is possible to get a deeper understanding of this unfolding epidemic.
science  health  china  maps 
12 days ago
Coronavirus outbreak: a new mapping tool that lets you scroll through timeline – The Conversation
Our hope is that this tool will provide more context to the daily headlines and a fresh perspective on key turning points in the disease’s history. For instance, by tracing the course of the outbreak, it is clear that the last week of January was pivotal for the international spread of the virus. In the space of a few days, the number of affected countries increased from seven to 20, while the number of confirmed cases outside China increased almost tenfold (from 11 to 106).

On the other hand, confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported in just four new countries since the start of February – a testament to the rapid, coordinated international response to this new threat.
science  health  china  maps 
12 days ago
Old Book Illustrations
Old Book Illustrations was born of the desire to share illustrations from a modest collection of books, which we set out to scan and publish. With the wealth of resources available online, it became increasingly difficult to resist the temptation to explore other collections and include these images along with our own. [...]

We are not the only image collection on the web, neither will we ever be the largest one. We hope however to be a destination of choice for visitors more particularly interested in Victorian and French Romantic illustrations—we understand French Romanticism in its broadest sense and draw its final line, at least in the realm of book illustration, at the death of Gustave Doré.
art  books  free  illustration  stock 
12 days ago
Database of old book illustrations - Kottke
Here’s an enormous library of thousands of old book illustrations, with searchable name, artist, source, date, which book it was in, etc. There are also a number of collections to browse through, and each are tagged with multiple keywords so you can also get lost in there in that manner.
archive  art  books  illustration 
12 days ago
Brexit could be about to totally mess up the UK’s time zones – Wired UK
In March 2019 the European Parliament approved a proposal that spelled the end of clock changes within the EU. From 2021, EU member states will have to choose whether to stick to summer or winter time for good, with no more springing forward or falling back. [...]

Although the government has made it clear that it doesn’t want to follow the EU’s example, it hasn’t been exactly forthcoming on what will happen if when we fall out of step with the rest of the EU. In an effort to prod them into action, the House of Lords has released a report analysing what will happen if the UK opts to keep the clock change – with the potential for chaos on the Northern Ireland border and trade with Europe.
time  europe 
13 days ago
These modded scanners let you play techno using barcodes – The Verge
Honestly, regardless of how the barcode scanners work, I adore old repurposed tech, and perhaps even more, Wada’s description of the project. “In the future, barcode readers will be connected not only to cash registers but also to speakers,” he writes. “DJs with daytime cash register and barcode at night. The next level of cash register!”
technology  music  sound  techno 
13 days ago
The WIRED guide to the Internet of Things – Wired
What you need to know about the promise (and peril) of networked lightbulbs, ovens, cameras, speakers and, well … everything. 
internet  iot  technology 
13 days ago
Billionaire’s spending scaled to your net worth – FlowingData
We hear about billionaires spending millions of dollars on ads, acquisitions, etc. It seems like a ridiculous amount of money, but that’s partially because us common folk think of the millions of dollars in the context of our own net worth. When Jeff Bezos spends a few multiples of what we will never make in a lifetime, it seems like a lot.
money  data  datavisualisation 
13 days ago
Universities condemn ‘catastrophic’ plan to link fees to graduate pay – The Guardian
Dr Jason Scott-Warren, a lecturer in English at Cambridge University, says: “The idea of measuring the success of degrees by graduate earnings is despicable and we can only hope that future governments will abandon this market logic.”
education  money  universities  standards 
13 days ago
Alarm at Ofsted-style plan to rank universities by graduate earnings – The Guardian
Controversially, graduate earnings are expected to be the bar by which the government will judge courses. Higher education experts warn this would damage the arts and humanities, where starting salaries are typically much lower than in disciplines such as medicine or law.
education  money  universities  standards 
13 days ago
How your laptop ruined your life – The Atlantic
As laptops have kept improving, and Wi-Fi has continued to reach ever further into the crevices of American life, however, the reality of laptops’ potential stopped looking quite so rosy. Instead of liberating white-collar and “knowledge” workers from their office, laptops turned many people’s whole life into an office. Smartphones might require you to read an after-hours email or check in on the office-communication platform Slack before you started your commute, but portable computers gave workers 24-hour access to the sophisticated, expensive applications—Salesforce CRM, Oracle ERP, Adobe Photoshop—that made their full range of duties possible.
business  technology  computing 
13 days ago
Design of the Abatron 803 calculator replicated in CSS – Sarah Fossheim
Recently I came across the design of the Abatron 803, a calculator from 1975. I thought it looked really good, so I decided to recreate the design in HTML/CSS.
css  design  html  camera  webdesign 
13 days ago
How I recreated a Polaroid camera with CSS gradients only – Sarah Fossheim
Earlier I remade the design of an old calculator entirely in CSS. I had a lot of fun making it, so I decided to do the same with a Polaroid camera this time.
css  design  html  camera  webdesign 
13 days ago
Collectable Hieronymus Bosch figurines – Dangerous Minds
I’m not a big knickknack person. I like to keep my home sparse in the “tiny objects” departament. But I must admit I really do dig these Hieronymus Bosch figurines. They’re kinda cool-looking in their own obviously weird way. I especially like the ones from Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights.
art  painting  sculpture  statues  bosch 
13 days ago
Boeing's colossal 777X is unlike any plane that's gone before – Wired UK
Regardless of the speed they’re moving, the aviation sector has had a particular goal in mind for decades. According to Lone: “We want to get to a point where aircraft wings are like bird wings.”

“When you look at the research and development projects from Boeing, Airbus, Nasa, all the technologies we are developing now, including this fold, are the initial steps towards what we call a bird-flight model,” he says. “We want a solution that’s similar to nature’s millions of years of evolution.”
aviation  transport  engineering 
14 days ago
UX 101: Norman Doors – UX Collective
It was named after Don Norman, the author of “The Design of Everyday Things” book which explored the phenomenon. Norman argues that if anything in life should be easy, it should be doors. “A door poses only two essential questions,” he writes. “In which direction does it move? On which side should one work it? The answers should be given by design, without any need for words or symbols, certainly without any need for trial and error.” And yet, as Norman notices, there are numerous confusing doors.
14 days ago
A visit to London's Antique Breadboard Museum – London Life With Liz
To the uninitiated, breadboards might not seem the most appealing objects to collect. And yet, they are rich in history, each unique in its workmanship. The oldest existing breadboards in this country date back to the early 19th century – and it’s unlikely that this is a coincidence. The Corn Laws (1815-46) imposed tariffs on foreign wheat, causing British wheat producers to drive up prices – making bread unaffordable for all but the rich. Suddenly, bread was a status symbol, explaining why the earliest breadboards were platters, rather than cutting boards, designed to show off the bread.
history  food  london  museum 
14 days ago
"When the Neighborhood's Not Looking" by photographer Billy Cress – Booooooom
A selection of images from “When the Neighborhood’s Not Looking”, a series and subsequent photobook by Philadelphia, PA-based photographer Billy Cress. A self-described “self-taught art photography hobbyist”, Cress’ work ranges from street photography to still life. He’s interested in quiet moments, and uses photography as “a lens to give prosaic subjects artistic merit”. Taken throughout Delaware, Philadelphia, Camden and Cape May Counties, Cress’ quirky photographs make evident his eye for the humor and humanity in the everyday.
14 days ago
Inhumans Of Late Capitalism Facebook page posts pics that show the dark side of consumerism – Design You Trust
“Recording the slow collapse of humanity”—that’s how the Inhumans of Late Capitalism Facebook page explains its mission in life. The page documents just how bizarrely inhumane and immoral life in modern capitalist societies can be by collecting depressingly hilarious pictures from all over the internet.
consumerism  humour  capitalism 
14 days ago
8 things we do that really confuse our dogs - The Conversation
4. We like to hug
How humans use their forelimbs contrasts sharply with how dogs do. We may use them to carry large objects a dog would have to drag, but also to grasp each other and express affection.

Dogs grasp each other loosely when play-wrestling, and also when mating and fighting. Being pinned by another dog hinders a quick escape. How are puppies to know what a hug from a human means, when that behaviour from a dog might be threatening?
dogs  pets 
15 days ago
What's expected of us - Nature
By now you've probably seen a Predictor; millions of them have been sold by the time you're reading this. For those who haven't seen one, it's a small device, like a remote for opening your car door. Its only features are a button and a big green LED. The light flashes if you press the button. Specifically, the light flashes one second before you press the button.
scifi  time  fiction  future 
15 days ago
Marius Constant: The Twilight Zone, end title - second season - Oannes
On this date, 7/2, the French-Romanian composer Marius Constant was born [1925-2004]. He composed a large number of works mainly for the ballet, most of the them commissioned for Roland Petit and Maurice Bejart. He is, however, best known for the theme of Rod Serling’ s The Twilight Zone. Here’s one of its various edits, and with it, music that Rene Garriguenc wrote for an episode of the classic series [“The Fever”]
jazz  music  television  theme 
16 days ago
The dark shadow in the injunction to ‘do what you love’ – Aeon
A burning question, left unresolved in management discussions of the hierarchy of needs, was the extent to which all jobs could offer scope for self-actualisation. The hierarchy of needs does admit a range of differences among individuals and organisations, suggesting that, for some people, work is just a paycheck. Some experiments in redesigning jobs did seek to address all levels of the corporate hierarchy, from janitorial work to executive work, but many substituted rhetoric for real change. One management thinker, the American psychologist Frederick Herzberg, used the hierarchy of needs to argue in The Motivation to Work (1959) that companies needn’t provide better benefits to workers, because better benefits had only made workers entitled, rather than increased productivity. Such is the dark side of motivation. [...]

My argument is not that work shouldn’t be meaningful, or that pleasure cannot be found in work; my point is that we should think carefully before accepting managerial ideas of fulfilment through work, because they risk detracting from the economic and social structures that govern work. Work is work – no matter how many beer fridges or meditation seminars modern workplaces offer, and no matter how many well-intentioned trainers show slides of pyramids.
work  productivity  organisations  management 
17 days ago
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