msszczep + technology   454

Ethical OS
A guide to anticipating the future impact of today's technology, or: how not to regret the things you will build
ethics  tech  technology  computers  internet  future  philosophy 
9 weeks ago by msszczep
Black woman who helped create the GPS finally gets some recognition | AFROPUNK
Inspired by the re-telling of her sorority sister’s engineering success in the now classic film “Hidden Figures”, a Virginia woman named Gladys West is coming forward with her hidden history and involvement in created a technology most of us use everyday—GPS. As it turns out, like her sorority sister, West is also an important forgotten figure of technological advancement in the U.S. before and during the Civil Rights movement. This time, its West’s work on the modern day GPS system during her 42-year career at the Navy base in Dahlgren where her work was essential to her team which developed the Global Positioning System in the 1950s and 1960s.
tech  technology  black  history  inspiration  inspiring 
april 2018 by msszczep
The New Information Warfare
“Everyone focuses on the producers of media in shaping public opinion, but it’s really at the distribution level of information where the bottleneck has traditionally been,” adds Sienkiewicz. “This is what social media has fundamentally changed. There is a lot of focus on the ugly side, with respect to viral conspiracies and misinformation — but there is also reason to be optimistic, because many stories that would’ve been ignored before are now being heard.”

"Whereas the last World War was a clearly defined clash of nation-states with uniformed armies, our new era of tech-driven information warfare holds the potential to become so amorphous and all-encompassing that it could seep into every aspect of society, transforming the experience of both politics and war in the process."



The difference between Iran’s uprising and the leaderless revolutions of today is vast and points to one of the major pitfalls of internet activism. Online organizing and propaganda can be legitimately useful for destabilizing regimes, especially rigidly authoritarian ones that need to strictly control the flow of information. But because of the speed with which it can precipitate change, it is less useful for building up the networks and organizations needed to fill the gap created when old governments actually fall.

“When there is no single leader to focus a political movement — Khomeini, Mandela, Lenin — there may be more and faster revolutions than previously, but there are fewer revolutionary outcomes and scenarios,” Ullah writes. “So when a dictatorship – by definition and decree the sole and strongest institution in a country — is deposed by insurrections like the Arab Spring, what comes into the place of the power vacuum is not dictated by those who have created it.”


“The new technological environments generate the most pain among those least prepared to alter their old value structures,” he said, in a 1969 interview with Playboy Magazine. “When an individual or social group feels that its whole identity is jeopardized by social or psychic change, its natural reaction is to lash out in defensive fury.”

“But for all their lamentations, the revolution has already taken place.”
information  activism  protest  inspiration  parecon  war  tech  technology  internet  communication  communications  israel  palestine  book  books  revolution  revolt 
december 2017 by msszczep
André Staltz - The Web began dying in 2014, here's how
The internet will survive longer than the Web will. GOOG-FB-AMZN will still depend on submarine internet cables (the “Backbone”), because it is a technical success. That said, many aspects of the internet will lose their relevance, and the underlying infrastructure could be optimized only for GOOG traffic, FB traffic, and AMZN traffic. It wouldn’t conceptually be anymore a “network of networks”, but just a “network of three networks”, the Trinet, if you will. The concept of workplace network which gave birth to the internet infrastructure would migrate to a more abstract level: Facebook Groups, Google Hangouts, G Suite, and other competing services which can be acquired by a tech giant. Workplace networks are already today emulated in software as a service, not as traditional Local Area Networks. To improve user experience, the Trinet would be a technical evolution of the internet. These efforts are already happening today, at GOOG. In the long-term, supporting routing for the old internet and the old Web would be an overhead, so it could be beneficial to cut support for the diverse internet on the protocol and hardware level. Access to the old internet could be emulated on GOOG’s cloud accessed through the Trinet, much like how Windows 95 can be today emulated in your browser. ISPs would recognize the obsolence of the internet and support the Trinet only, driven by market demand for optimal user experience from GOOG-FB-AMZN.

Perhaps a future with great user experience in AR, VR, hands-free commerce and knowledge sharing could evoke an optimistic perspective for what these tech giants are building. But 25 years of the Web has gotten us used to foundational freedoms that we take for granted. We forget how useful it has been to remain anonymous and control what we share, or how easy it was to start an internet startup with its own independent servers operating with the same rights GOOG servers have. On the Trinet, if you are permanently banned from GOOG or FB, you would have no alternative. You could even be restricted from creating a new account. As private businesses, GOOG, FB, and AMZN don’t need to guarantee you access to their networks. You do not have a legal right to an account in their servers, and as societies we aren’t demanding for these rights as vehemently as we could, to counter the strategies that tech giants are putting forward.

The Web and the internet have represented freedom: efficient and unsupervised exchange of information between people of all nations. In the Trinet, we will have even more vivid exchange of information between people, but we will sacrifice freedom. Many of us will wake up to the tragedy of this tradeoff only once it is reality.
amazon  google  facebook  web  internet  tech  technology  corporate  corporations  market  markets 
october 2017 by msszczep
@20 (Ftrain.com)
"20 years is arbitrary nonsense. A blip. Our software is bullshit, our literary essays are too long, the good editors all quit or got fired, hardly anyone is experimenting with form in a way that wakes me up, the IDEs haven't caught up with the 1970s, the R&D budgets are weak, the little zines are badly edited, the tweets are poor, the short stories make no sense, people still care too much about magazines, the Facebook posts are nightmares, LinkedIn has ruined capitalism, and the big tech companies that have arisen are exhausting, lumbering gold-thirsty kraken that swim around with sour looks on their face wondering why we won't just give them all our gold and save the time. With every flap of their terrible fins they squash another good idea in the interest of consolidating pablum into a single database, the better to jam it down our mental baby duck feeding tubes in order to make even more of the cognitive paté that Silicon Valley is at pains to proclaim a delicacy. Social media is veal calves being served tasty veal. In the spirit of this thing I won't be editing this paragraph."
culture  internet  socialmedia  tech  technology  communications 
october 2017 by msszczep
Tech's push to teach coding isn't about kids' success – it's about cutting wages | Technology | The Guardian
Today’s hi-tech wages threaten Silicon Valley’s bottom line. What better way to drive down coders’ pay than by investing in a new generation of cheap labor?
code  software  programming  tech  technology  education  school  schools  capitalism  labor  market  markets 
september 2017 by msszczep
There's Blood In The Water In Silicon Valley
The industry has had a remarkable run. The companies at its center — Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple are the defining brands — are beloved by consumers, truly global, dominant in the markets. They have also been able to coast on their popularity and their amazing products while largely getting a pass on politics at its higher levels. They spend scads on lobbying — Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has risen to become a top lobbying spender in recent years — to keep the tax collectors and communications regulators at bay, but they’ve never had to fight for their identity against political tides that have defined other major American industries. It’s easy to forget that oil prospectors and junk-bond traders had their moments of glory too; now Wall Street and the oil industries are resigned to a defensive crouch.

This sort of political change happens slowly until it happens fast. Uber provided a new model for a transformative tech giant to crash through with a dark, negative brand. The company’s toxic internal culture and rogue business practices were pure extensions of Silicon Valley’s clichés, not particularly different from things Microsoft was once admired for, or Amazon’s more openly rapacious early years. But the narrative had changed — inequality and misogyny were central American concerns, not as easily brushed past.
code  software  market  markets  tech  technology  siliconvalley  corporate  corporations  amazon  google  apple  facebook 
september 2017 by msszczep
Moment data shows that your apps are making you unhappy — Quartz
It may be common knowledge that spending too much time on social media leads to disappointment with yourself, but according to data from Moment, an iPhone app that tracks app usage, there isn’t a single app that makes you feel good for spending more, rather than less, time on it. Not even Spotify.
Weekly, Moment asks users whether they’re happy with the time spent on each of their apps. The ratings are then used to compare the amount of time that “happy” users and “unhappy” users spend on each app. Apps for which “happy” users spend more time on than “unhappy” users meet the criteria for “time well spent.”
Moment publishes the list of apps that make the cut each week. It usually includes things like Google Calendar, Podcasts, Spotify, or Reminders—apps that help users stay organized, focused, or informed. But an analysis of app ratings aggregated over 2017 shows that, ultimately, no app that received 1,000 ratings or more actually made the time-well-spent criteria. In other words, all apps have diminishing returns over the long run.
app  apps  apple  tech  technology  psychology  happy  happiness 
september 2017 by msszczep
What is AI? Not even the experts agree on the answer — Quartz
It therefore might be worth our while to apply a bit more effort when referring to “AI”-ish subjects. At the very least, we might want to avoid the word “intelligence” when referring to software, because nobody really knows what it means. For example, Google’s Go-playing computer system was “smart” enough to beat the world’s best human players—but if you try to get it to generalize what it “learned” about Go to any other domain, you’ll find it’s dumber than a houseplant. Even Alan Turing, the genius who mathematically defined what a computer is, considered the question of defining intelligence too hard; his eponymous Turing test dodges it, essentially saying “intelligence is as intelligence does.”
So what should we call “AI”, if not that? Orwell suggests that the cure for words that cloud our thinking is better words: simpler ones, crisper ones. Some commentators suggest merely using “software”; personally, I think “automation” does the trick. Instead of priming our minds with visions of inchoate software-spirits possessed of strange powers and inscrutable intentions, being more conscious of the words we choose might allow us to more clearly grasp the technologies around us.
ai  code  software  philosophy  philosophyofmind  tech  technology  machinelearning  deeplearning 
september 2017 by msszczep
The Invisible Poems in St. Catherine’s Monastery, on the Sinai Peninsula - The Atlantic
Over five years, the researchers gathered 30 terabytes of images from 74 palimpsests—totaling 6,800 pages. In some cases, the erased texts have increased the known vocabulary of a language by up to 50 percent, giving new hope to linguists trying to decipher them. One of the languages to reemerge from the parchments is Caucasian Albanian, which was spoken by a Christian kingdom in what is now modern day Azerbaijan. Almost all written records from the kingdom were lost in the 8th and 9th century when its churches were destroyed.

“There are two palimpsests here that have Caucasian Albanian text in the erased layer,” says Michael Phelps, the director of the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library and leader of the project. “They are the only two texts that survive in this language ... We were sitting with one of the scholars and he was adding to the language as we were processing the images. In real time he was saying ‘now we have the word for net’ and ‘now the word for fish.’”
linguistics  language  archaeology  history  tech  technology  religion 
september 2017 by msszczep
Uber partners with Girls Who Code to fight for greater diversity in tech - The Verge
Uber is announcing today a multi-year partnership with the nonprofit Girls Who Code. As part of the deal, Uber is donating $1.2 million to Girls Who Code over the next three years. The money will go towards growing more after school and immersion programs for young girls to learn tech at an earlier age and the organization estimates that 60,000 more girls will gain access to these programs as a result of the deal.
sexism  women  feminism  tech  technology  uber  pr 
august 2017 by msszczep
The Computational Propaganda Project | Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
"Since 2012, we have been investigating the use of algorithms, automation and computational propaganda in public life. Political bots are manipulating public opinion over major social networking applications. This project enables a new team of social and information scientists to investigate the impact of automated scripts, commonly called bots, on social media."
facebook  twitter  socialmedia  research  propaganda  politics  online  media  tech  technology  code  software 
august 2017 by msszczep
The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think
Level 3 = 5% of Adult Population

This is what this most-skilled group of people can do: “At this level, tasks typically require the use of both generic and more specific technology applications. Some navigation across pages and applications is required to solve the problem. The use of tools (e.g. a sort function) is required to make progress towards the solution. The task may involve multiple steps and operators. The goal of the problem may have to be defined by the respondent, and the criteria to be met may or may not be explicit. There are typically high monitoring demands. Unexpected outcomes and impasses are likely to occur. The task may require evaluating the relevance and reliability of information in order to discard distractors. Integration and inferential reasoning may be needed to a large extent.”

The meeting room task described above requires level-3 skills. Another example of level-3 task is “You want to know what percentage of the emails sent by John Smith last month were about sustainability.”
skills  demographics  design  computer  computers  tech  technology 
december 2016 by msszczep
we are the virus of the new world disorder | MetaFilter
CyberFeminism in the 90s and An Oral History of the First Cyberfeminists chronicle a wave of multimedia art that spun out of Australia's VNS Matrix, creators of the CyberFeminist Manifesto and All New Gen, a CD ROM game where "Female ‹cybersluts› and ‹guerrillas,› ‹anarcho cyber-terrorists› infiltrate cyberspace and hack into the controls and databanks of Big Daddy Mainframe, the Oedipal man".
internet  web  feminism  history  tech  technology  women  woman  politics  political  australia 
november 2016 by msszczep
IK Prize | Tate
The IK Prize is presented annually by Tate for an idea that uses digital technology to innovate the way we discover, explore and enjoy British art in the Tate collection.

The 2016 IK Prize, in partnership with Microsoft, challenged digital creatives to use artificial intelligence to explore, investigate or ‘understand’ British art in the Tate collection. The IK Prize is presented annually by Tate for an idea that uses digital technology to innovate the way we discover, explore and enjoy British art in the Tate collection.
art  digitial  tech  technology  computer  computers  uk 
november 2016 by msszczep
Privacy Tools - Encryption against global mass surveillance 🔒
You are being watched. Private and state-sponsored organizations are monitoring and recording your online activities. privacytools.io provides knowledge and tools to protect your privacy against global mass surveillance.
privacy  security  surveillance  reference  tools  list  lists  browser  tech  technology  internet 
november 2016 by msszczep
The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Issue a Press Release
I believe we need to recognize that predicting the future is a form of evangelism as well. Sure gets couched in terms of science, it is underwritten by global capitalism. But it’s a story – a story that then takes on these mythic proportions, insisting that it is unassailable, unverifiable, but true.

The best way to invent the future is to issue a press release. The best way to resist this future is to recognize that, once you poke at the methodology and the ideology that underpins it, a press release is all that it is.
prediction  future  technology  education  history  tech  internet  science  capitalism 
november 2016 by msszczep
Robotic Telescope - SMU A/P People & Resources - The World's First Twitter-Controlled Observatory
The Burke-Gaffney Observatory at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia will take your astronomical observation requests via Twitter.
astronomy  astrophysics  space  science  twitter  neat  idea  tech  technology  research 
november 2016 by msszczep
NYTimes.com - Pentagon: Artificial Intelligence Terminator
Today’s software has its limits, though. Computers spot patterns far faster than any human can. But the ability to handle uncertainty and unpredictability remain uniquely human virtues, for now.

Bringing the two complementary skill sets together is the Pentagon’s goal with centaur warfighting.

Mr. Work, 63, first proposed the concept when he led a Washington think tank, the Center for a New American Security. His inspiration, he said, was not found in typical sources of military strategy — Sun Tzu or Clausewitz, for instance — but in the work of Tyler Cowen, a blogger and economist at George Mason University.

In his 2013 book, “Average Is Over,” Mr. Cowen briefly mentioned how two average human chess players, working with three regular computers, were able to beat both human chess champions and chess-playing supercomputers.

It was a revelation for Mr. Work. You could “use the tactical ingenuity of the computer to improve the strategic ingenuity of the human,” he said.

Mr. Work believes a lesson learned in chess can be applied to the battlefield, and he envisions a military supercharged by artificial intelligence. Brilliant computers would transform ordinary commanders into master tacticians. American soldiers would effectively become superhuman, fighting alongside — or even inside — robots.
ai  tech  technology  robots  machinelearning  chess 
november 2016 by msszczep
Why the next 20 years will see a lot less technological disruption than the past 20 - Vox
Most of the problems in people's lives nowadays aren't ones that can be fixed by technology.

--

"The world inhabited by a typical American family in 1900 looked radically different from today’s world. Automobiles were expensive toys for the wealthy. Traveling from New York to Los Angeles required a train and took several days.

Washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners were still in the future, making housework a back-breaking full-time job. Electric lighting was out of reach for most families, so they had to rely on dim and dangerous candles or kerosene lamps — and most simply didn’t try to do very much after dark.

Most homes lacked running water and flush toilets, leading to recurrent sanitation problems. And with no antibiotics and few vaccines, it was common for families to lose young children to infectious diseases.

By 1960, in contrast, a typical American family enjoyed a lifestyle that would be familiar to us today. Running water, flush toilets, electric lighting, cars, refrigerators, and washing machines were all commonplace. Deaths from infectious diseases like influenza, pneumonia, and polio were plunging. Ubiquitous cars and newly developed freeways meant that you could drive across town about as quickly as you can today (maybe faster at rush hour), and newly invented passenger jets could fly from New York to Los Angeles in five hours.

The rapid progress of the early 20th century depended on two factors. One was a series of technical breakthroughs in science, engineering, and medicine. But the other was the fact that in 1900, the human race had a bunch of big problems — dimly lit homes, slow transportation options, deadly diseases, a lot of tedious housework — that could be solved with new technologies."
productivity  technology  life  success  tech  internet  startup  startups  business  parecon 
october 2016 by msszczep
America Doesn't Have Time For More Tech-Challenged Politicians | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
With technology tightly entwined with business, transportation, and government, lawmakers need to work closely with the tech community.
tech  technology  politics  political  usa  america  computers  computer 
october 2016 by msszczep
Do we really want to fuse our brains together? | Aeon Essays
New research puts us on the cusp of brain-to-brain communication. Could the next step spell the end of individual minds?
brain  mind  psychology  neurology  neuroscience  ai  tech  technology  computer  internet  biology  biotech 
september 2016 by msszczep
Outernet
"Open Educational Resources & Health Content Broadcasting from Space, No Internet Required"
internet  tech  technology  education  health  information  satellite  library  online 
august 2016 by msszczep
Museum Of Obsolete Media
Welcome to the Museum Of Obsolete Media, the home for current and obsolete physical media formats, including audio, video, film and data storage.

The Museum now covers over 380 formats, to assist with their identification and preservation.
archive  history  audio  computer  video  media  reference  tech  technology 
may 2016 by msszczep
The Xenofeminism Manifesto
A feminist manifesto (an excellent one by the way!) that makes reference to Scheme and Lisp. Pinch me.
feminism  gender  women  men  parecon  activism  inspiration  manifesto  future  tech  technology  politics 
may 2016 by msszczep
NAB Show Leaves Radio in Shadows – DIYmedia.net
Meanwhile, the radio industry’s been rocked back on its heels by a slew of bad fiscal news. iHeartMedia, for now, has managed to stave off several billion dollars’ worth of its debt being called in early by angry bond-holders, but the company’s effectively now engaged in increasingly nasty legal maneuvering to decide its debt end-game sooner rather than later. #2 conglomerate Cumulus Media’s still squeezing its broadcast properties also in hopes of keeping bankruptcy at bay. Emmis faces delisting by NASDAQ in early June. Even the relatively fiscally-sound CBS has announced its intent to spin off its entire radio division into a separate company, selling it also seems to be an open option.
This has sparked a flurry of commentary about whether we stand on the verge of a sea-change in how the radio industry does business. Some are calling for the wholesale breakup of the radio conglomerates (good luck with that). Others hope that the “natural” collapse of the conglomerates will reinvigorate radio’s most innovative elements. As audio consumption patterns and platforms change over generations, radio as we’ve known it has no choice but to evolve — which just might involve a significant amount of dying.
radio  future  media  technology  concentration  collapse 
may 2016 by msszczep
Cloudcraft – Draw AWS diagrams
Visualize your cloud architecture like a pro
Create smart AWS diagrams
charts  documentation  visualization  amazon  aws  tech  technology  internet  architecture 
april 2016 by msszczep
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