Geneva Police Confiscate Euro Bills Clogging Up Toilets

Swiss prosecutors are trying to figure out why someone apparently attempted to flush tens of thousands of euros down the toilet at a Geneva branch of UBS Group AG.
economy 
yesterday
A pile of trash in the ocean has grown to the size of France—and some people want it recognized as a nation

Now with former US vice president Al Gore signing up as the country’s first citizen and more than 100,000 signing the petition to be granted citizenship, the campaign has submitted its application earlier this month to the United Nations to recognize the Trash Isles as the world’s 196th country.
islands 
yesterday
Represión (Manuel Castells)
La insoportable levedad de la democracia española.
politics  spain  catalunya 
4 days ago
Irma rompe la ejemplar Defensa Civil cubana contra los huracanes
En los últimos 20 años apenas han muerto cubanos en los 19 huracanes que han sacudido la isla.
climate  politics 
9 days ago
Explained Simply: How DeepMind taught AI to play video games
How a neural network learnt to play Atari games by itself using Reinforcement Learning.
AI  gaming 
15 days ago
5 Reasons the UN Is Jumping on the Blockchain Bandwagon
Distributing aid, trading of greenhouse gases, identity, remittances, smart contracts.
blockchain 
16 days ago
The Mysterious Erdstalls Tunnels
Two thousand "goblin holes" across Europe, mostly Bavaria and Austria.
17 days ago
The French Film Critic Who Saw Jerry Lewis’s Infamous Holocaust Movie—and Loved It

It’s not pretending to be realistic at all. Instead, it has a very obvious fairy-tale feeling… There are no fairies here, but there details like in the Grimm brothers
cinema 
18 days ago
Bomb shelter business booms as Trump and North Korea posture

“I think of myself as a modern-day Henry Ford, coming out with a shelter that everyone can afford,” Hubbard said.
war 
19 days ago
Everything you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

In 2011 it was estimated that over 5,500 unexploded bombs or weapons including shells, grenades, mines, and ammunition from the Second World War that need to be defused are uncovered each year. The daily average is 15, most of them aerial bombs.
war 
19 days ago
Philip K. Dick: A Visionary Among the Charlatans
Stanislaw Lem on Dick's world of preestablished disharmony.
literature  sci-fi 
26 days ago
Ellen Pao: This Is How Sexism Works in Silicon Valley
If you had the opportunity to have workers who were overeducated, underpaid, and highly experienced, whom you could dump all the menial tasks you didn’t want to do on, whom you could get to clean up all the problems, and whom you could create a second class out of, wouldn’t you want them to stay?
sexism 
28 days ago
"Un buen vino hace el mejor sermón": esto sale cuando las máquinas crean refranes

Aunque muchas combinaciones de palabras no tengan un sentido, parece que la máquina entendió el armazón exterior que tienen muchos refranes
ai  language 
28 days ago
Ahorro del hogar
A principis de l'any 1959, tot just set anys després de la desaparició de les cartilles de racionament, l'empresa Compañía Española de Propaganda Comercial posava en marxa les llibretes de l'Ahorro del hogar a Barcelona i València […] Els comerços adherits incentivaven els seus clients regalant-los cupons per un valor que estava en funció de la despesa realitzada.
fb 
28 days ago
Por qué el archienemigo de los drones repartidores es el hombre del tiempo

Actualmente, los informes del tiempo para la aviación se realizan en áreas cercanas a los aeropuertos y respecto a las altas altitudes por las que suelen moverse los aviones. Una información que de nada servirá a los futuros drones que volarán en ciudades y a alturas que no sobrepasarán los 20 metros.
weather  robots 
5 weeks ago
Cómo consiguió Minotauro El Señor de los Anillos
<bockquote>Los Muchnik habían publicado <i>El Hobbit</i>, pero tuvo escasa repercusión y por problemas económicos nunca pudieron ponerse manos a la obra y editar <i>El señor de los anillos</i>, por lo que se les esfumó el plazo de tenencia de los derechos sin poder sacarlo a la luz. Fue una llamada providencial, porque Porrúa ofreció sobre la marcha 1.500 dólares por los tres volúmenes y se los quedó en el acto. Si hubiera tardado dos horas más, los habría perdido […]
literature  Tolkien 
5 weeks ago
El paper de la violència en la Transició

Les xifres de morts més consensuades oscil·len entre 600 i 700 assassinats en 2.000-3.000 accions violentes entre 1973-1982. A tall d’exemple, la guerra d’independència Eslovena de 1991 suposà 62 morts. Un període com el conegut historiogràficament a l’estat com el “pistolerisme” representà, entre 1917 i 1923, no més de 500 víctimes. No té cap sentit, si no és per motivacions propagandístiques, titllar de “pacífic” i “exemplar” el procés en què una dictadura totalitària esdevingué l’actual democràcia espanyola. Ara bé, i aquí arriba la novetat, Casals considera que, si bé la violència tenia una motivació clara de desestabilitzar l’estat (ja fos per fer-lo involucionar, ja fos per redirigir-lo cap a la ruptura radical amb el franquisme), es produí la paradoxa que ajudà a consolidar la democràcia més o menys dissenyada per franquistes i opositors disposats a transigir. La pressió de les armes, en un moment delicat de canvi històric i social, a parer de l’historiador feu guanyar partidaris del sistema democràtic. El fet que cada setmana es produïssin morts, enterraments, trets o bombes, lluny de buscar sortides radicals va empènyer una opinió pública en procés de formació i modernització a abjurar de la solució armada, a emancipar-se d’una història que, com repetien els manuals escolars d’història, semblava destinada a la tragèdia. I, el fet cert és que l’estat, amb el pas dels anys i la consolidació de les institucions, va passar a esdevenir un dels estats amb menor taxes d’homicidi del món.
spain  politics 
6 weeks ago
Catalunya: ¿patria o muerte? (Manuel Castells)

Y así fue como se fue gestando, por agravio y humillación, un amplio movimiento social independentista que desbordó el tibio nacionalismo de CiU hasta soñar con un nuevo país que superara las miserias de la crisis económica y política en España. Como analizó Marina Subirats, ante la esperanza que en el resto de España representaron el 15-M y otros movimientos sociales, en Catalunya fue el independentismo, ampliamente mayoritario entre los jóvenes, el que alumbró la llama de otra vida posible, por utópico que fuera ese proyecto.
spain  catalunya  politics 
6 weeks ago
Breastfeeding rates are a marker of social class in the US

Breast milk has become a luxury good, another example of what the sociologist Elizabeth Currid-Halkett calls inconspicuous consumption: the investments in intangibles like health and education that increase social capital for the modern wealthy. And because these costs are largely invisible, it’s easy to frame breastfeeding as a free good equally available to all. The truth is much more complicated.
sociology  health 
6 weeks ago
Es fácil encontrar tu rastro en el laberinto de datos 'anónimos' de las tecnológicas

La comunicadora Svea Eckert y el experto en análisis de datos Andreas Dewes obtuvieron los datos de búsquedas, supuestamente anónimos, de más de tres millones de teutones. Los estudiaron hasta sacar pistas sobre la vida de sus dueños: desde las preferencias pornográficas de un juez a la medicación utilizada por un político.
surveillance  privacy 
6 weeks ago
SS Richard Montgomery: The Thames’ Ticking Time Bomb
On 20 August 1944, an American ship carrying huge amount of explosives ran aground on a sandbank in the Thames Estuary […] One analysis suggest that spontaneous detonation of the entire cargo would hurl a column of water and debris 3 km into the air, and send a tsunami up the Thames.
war 
7 weeks ago
No, Facebook Did Not Panic and Shut Down an AI Program That Was Getting Dangerously Smart

When Facebook directed two of these semi-intelligent bots to talk to each other, FastCo reported, the programmers realized they had made an error by not incentivizing the chatbots to communicate according to human-comprehensible rules of the English language. In their attempts to learn from each other, the bots thus began chatting back and forth in a derived shorthand—but while it might look creepy, that’s all it was.
bots  AI 
7 weeks ago
When Will AI Be Better Than Humans at Everything? 352 AI Experts Answer
Aggregate forecast: 50% chance that unaided machines can accomplish every task better and more cheaply than human workers within 45 years.
AI  robots 
7 weeks ago
The Tech World Is Convinced 2021 Is Going to Be the Best Year Ever
You’ll be eating lab-grown chicken nuggets in your autonomous car and thanking your lucky stars for male birth control.
technology 
8 weeks ago
Keyboards are overrated. Cursive is back and it’s making us smarter
Brain scans during the two activities also show that forming words by hand as opposed to on a keyboard leads to increased brain activity (pdf). Scientific studies of children and adults show that wielding a pen when taking notes, rather than typing, is associated with improved long-term information retention, better thought organization, and increased ability to generate ideas.
writing  education 
8 weeks ago
11 Proposed Hyperloop Routes That Aren't NYC-DC
640 miles from Dallas to Austin in 19.5 minutes, etc.
8 weeks ago
How a Group of '70s Radicals Tried (and Failed) to Invade Disneyland
On August 6, 1970, Disneyland abruptly shut down about five hours early. Around 30,000 visitors were kicked out of the park, and it wasn’t due to a national crisis. The motivating factor was a group of about 300 young “Yippies,” who entered the park with grand plans of capturing Tom Sawyer Island, liberating Minnie Mouse, and cooking Porky Pig (who is not even a Disney character).
8 weeks ago
You’re Not the Customer; You’re the Product
The full history of this quote. Richard Serra, 1973:
…In commercial broadcasting the viewer pays for the privilege of having himself sold. It is the consumer who is consumed. You are the product of t.v. You are delivered to the advertiser who is the customer…
<b>Wether you pay or not</b>, you are the product.
internet  tv 
8 weeks ago
The Original Monopoly Was Deeply Anti-Landlord
The game was actually intended as a lesson on wealth inequality.
economy  games 
8 weeks ago
Liah Greenfeld: "Todos somos nacionalistas"
El marco mental que te inyecta identidad es la nación. Es una forma de conciencia: antes lo fueron la casta o la religión, pero eso cambió en la Inglaterra del siglo XVI.
history 
8 weeks ago
The Bank of England printed a flirtatious lie on its new Jane Austen banknote
The Bank based its design on an 1870 etching based on a purportedly more realistic portrait of Austen drawn by her sister Cassandra. The unfinished pencil-and-watercolor sketch currently displayed at London’s National Portrait Gallery depicts Austen with bags under her eyes, a pointy nose and a receding chin.
However, the portrait that’s been printed on millions of banknotes shows a prettier version, with Austen’s features softened and idealized.
literature  women  gender 
9 weeks ago
Handmaid's Tale: The Strange History of “Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum”
The key to unlocking this phrase's origins might be in its final word.
literature 
9 weeks ago
Hi, Robot
A report from the future-focused Vienna Biennale 2017.
robots 
9 weeks ago
Oversized Helmet Eliminates Noise, Dignity
Helmfon creates personal space anywhere and lets you fully concentrate.
9 weeks ago
First Object Teleported From Earth To Orbit
Quantum entanglement. Photon teleported from ground to satellite 500 km above.
science  light 
10 weeks ago
Dark web, entre el mite i la promesa de l’anonimat
Dos pols oposats: activitats il·legítimes i activisme polític.
web  privacy 
10 weeks ago
Per què hi ha tanta escola concertada?
De la Llei Moyano (1857) al Concordat (1979).
history  education  fb 
10 weeks ago
The Rise of the Thought Leader
How the superrich have funded a new class of intellectual.
politics  fb 
11 weeks ago
La universitat és un robatori
Per què matrícula gratuïta en altres països europeus i ací no?
university  education  economy  fb 
11 weeks ago
Geoengineering: Journey into geopoetry
Review: The Planet Remade, by Oliver Morton. Climate crisis cannot be solved, but could be managed.
His hope is embodied in the beauty of elegant engineering and joy in a world of thriving life: “a reimagining of how humans and nature can intermingle, a new consciousness of what can be done for the planet rather than a blind deference to what are claimed to be its limits”. He sees the future as creating “a we ... that can set a better course”
earth  science 
12 weeks ago
A Guide for Resisting Edtech: the Case against Turnitin
Supplanting good teaching with the use of inferior technology.
copyright  education 
12 weeks ago
Should Uber’s next CEO be a robot?
The killer business app for AI may turn out to be the algorithmic CEO.
AI 
june 2017
The Remarkable Reinvention of Very Short Fiction
Robert Shapard, 2012. These stories weren't a renaissance of ancient forms. They were attempts to reinvent fiction.
literature 
june 2017
Standard Ebooks
Lovingly formatted, free public domain ebooks. Volunteer driven, not-for-profit.
ebooks 
june 2017
Gramsci, Corbyn y la larga batalla contra las élites
El sentido común de los últimos 30 años ya no está vigente.
politics  fb 
june 2017
American Guano
The Guano Islands Act made it legal to claim unoccupied land in the name of the US.
islands  history 
june 2017
Why printers add secret tracking dots
Encoded timestamp and hardware serial number.
surveillance 
june 2017
The blockchain revolution: will universities use it, or abuse it?
Open portfolios of courses assembled as a cohesive curriculum by an enabling partner organisation, such as the Open University.
education  blockchain 
june 2017
Facial recognition tech makes it official: There is no privacy anymore
Electronic billboards in restaurants and shops record consumer's response.
privacy  surveillance  AI 
june 2017
Block Bills – 64 banknotes generated from the Bitcoin Blockchain
Created by Matthias Dörfelt, 'Block Bills' is a series of 64 banknotes generated from the Bitcoin Blockchain. Each banknote represents one block in the chain
art  bitcoin  blockchain 
june 2017
Eerie underwater scenes of lost ship and aircraft wrecks
"Exhilarating and spectacular" and "sombre and sad".
war  sea 
june 2017
Confessional technologies of the self: From Seneca to social media
Norm Friesen. Based on Foucault's definition: reflected and voluntary practices by which men not only fix rules of conduct for themselves but seek to transform themselves, to change themselves in their particular being, and to make their life an oeuvre.
socialnetworks 
june 2017
Orígenes del patriarcado
Los esqueletos antiguos pueden aportar pistas sobre la aparición de la dominación masculina en la sociedad.
history  war  gender  science 
may 2017
Notes From An Emergency
The danger facing us is not Orwell, but Huxley. The combo of data collection and machine learning is too good at catering to human nature, seducing us and appealing to our worst instincts. We have to put controls on it. The algorithms are amoral; to make them behave morally will require active intervention.
internet  socialnetworks  privacy 
may 2017
Damien Hirst: Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable
Venetian extravaganza. Storytelling, invention and humour in a post-truth world.
art  fb 
may 2017
The inevitable future of Slack is your boss using it to spy on you
Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge. Employers can buy access even to private channels and messages. Slack is working on a manager bot that uses AI to track progress on projects and remind employees about work that's due.
privacy  AI 
may 2017
People around the world have been emailing trees in Melbourne to confess their love
The idea was residents could use these emails to report trees that had been vandalised or were in a severe state of decline. But people began writing love letters to their favourite trees.
love  fb  email 
may 2017
Facebook's internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence
Leaked policies guiding moderators on what content to allow: more than 100 training manuals, spreadsheets and flowcharts.
facebook 
may 2017
I Don’t Believe in Blockchain
An over­pro­mot­ed niche sideshow?
blockchain 
may 2017
JSON Feed
Pragmatic syndication format like RSS and Atom. But JSON instead of XML.
standards 
may 2017
The robot paradox
…the argument that computers are going to bring extreme unemployment in coming decades — an argument that was also popular in both the 1950s and the 1990s, it’s worth remembering — sounds increasingly dubious. It runs counter to the facts. Anyone making the argument today needs to provide a lucid and rational explanation of why, despite years of rapid advances in robotics, computer power, network connectivity, and artificial intelligence techniques, we have yet to see any sign of a broad loss of jobs in the economy.
robots  economy 
may 2017
The Blockchain Revolution and Higher Education
A platform for a disaggregated global network of higher learning?
blockchain  education 
may 2017
Macron y el apocalipsis de los partidos (o cómo Napster destruyó al PSOE)
El proceso del debate político es idéntico al que ha vivido la educación superior en España desde que es pública: la media de calidad y rendimiento de las aulas desciende respecto a los sistemas elitistas, pero el sistema abierto y gratuito, el procesamiento de estudiantes al por mayor, multiplica en todo caso la capacidad del parque universitario para proveer titulados excelentes.
politics 
may 2017
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