How a phone glitch sparked a teenage riot

How a phone glitch sparked a teenage riot Aftonbladet
On  a Friday night in September 1982, teenagers poured out of the Fridhemsplan metro station. First just a few dozen, then hundreds, and soon more than a thousand of them filled the station's hall, the sidewalk, and the road outside. Eventually, they walked three blocks south to Rålambshovsparken, entering the grassy Stockholm park via a concr...
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Ars Electronica launches European AI lab and call for residency

Ars Electronica launches European AI lab and call for residency Ars Electronica
Ars Electronica has partnered with twelve other art and culture organisations across the globe to create the European ARTificial Intelligence Lab. The thirteen organisations will offer artists the opportunity to develop and realise ideas which combine neuroscience, AI, and digital art. A jury comprised of members from each organisation will ev...
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Decentralised effects: how blockchain offers new possibilities in society

Decentralised effects: how blockchain offers new possibilities in society
Ignota is a new publishing house from Verso‘s communications director Sarah Shin, and the Serpentine‘s Ben Vickers. Themes covered by Ignota will include - and we quote - esoterica, thoughtforms, poetry, witchcraft, advanced technology, astrology, altered states, mysticism, gnosticism, ritual, speculation, psychedelics, metaphysics, yoga, the ...
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“No-one is at the controls“: how Facebook, Amazon, and others are turning life into a horrific Bradbury novel

“No-one is at the controls“: how Facebook, Amazon, and others are turning life into a horrific Bradbury novel
Back in the early 1970s, America was on the precipice of a new and unprecedented technological epoch. A small, square piece of plastic called the floppy disc was about to hit the market. Intel was perfecting the first microprocessors. Engineers were developing a prototype of a cell phone, the DynaTAC. Notably, a once fantastical subdivision of comp...
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A vision of the dark future of advertising

A vision of the dark future of advertising
It's obvious that in 50 years the amount of data collected about us will be much, much larger than it is now. By the middle of the century, all of us will leave a comprehensive, high-definition, information-rich digital exhaust everywhere we go. As the cost of adding computer chips to objects falls, our baby monitors, coffee machines, Fitbits, ener...
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Tech giants need to take more responsibility for the advertising that makes them billions

Tech giants need to take more responsibility for the advertising that makes them billions
Last week I was followed around the Internet by a pair of shoes. I had looked at them online as a gift for my father-in-law, but he didn't like them, and neither did I. Yet no matter what site I visited, there they were, staring at me in their full moccasin glory. Digital advertising can be really annoying, but it can also be dangerous. It has rece...
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Facebook tracks you, even if you don't have a Facebook account

Facebook tracks you, even if you don't have a Facebook account Frederike Kaltheuner, Christopher Weatherhead
At the 35th Chaos Computer Club conference (35C3) in Berlin , Frederike Kaltheuner and Christopher Weatherhead of Privacy International demonstrated that by offering integration into Facebook, 61% of Android apps share data with FB - whether you like it or not. Through FB's Business Tools  offering of APIs and analytics services, dev...
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I used to write for "Sports Illustrated". Now I deliver packages for Amazon

I used to write for "Sports Illustrated". Now I deliver packages for Amazon Prakash Maru
Holiday parties were right around the corner, and I needed a cover story. I didn't feel like admitting to casual acquaintances, or even to some good friends, that I drive a van for Amazon. I decided to tell them, if asked, that I consult for Amazon, which is loosely true: I spend my days consulting a Rabbit, the handheld Android device loaded with ...
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How much of the Internet is fake? Turns out, a lot of it, actually

How much of the Internet is fake? Turns out, a lot of it, actually
In late November, the Justice Department unsealed indictments against eight people accused of fleecing advertisers of $36 million in two of the largest digital ad-fraud operations ever uncovered. Digital advertisers tend to want two things: people to look at their ads and "premium" websites — i.e., established and legitimate publications — on which...
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James Bridle: How can we break the Brexit deadlock? Ask ancient Athens

James Bridle: How can we break the Brexit deadlock? Ask ancient Athens
In the central marketplace of ancient Athens, around 350BC, there stood a machine called the kleroterion. This was a six-foot-high slab of stone that had a series of slots on the front, and a long tube bored down from the top to the base. Those up for selection for the various offices of state would insert metal ID tags, called pinakia, into the sl...
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Ray Kurzweil's predictions for 2019: how accurate will they be?

Ray Kurzweil's predictions for 2019: how accurate will they be? JD Lasica, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdlasica/271056457
In 1999’s The Age of Spiritual Machines, Ray Kurzweil predicted technological achievements which would be commonly available within first-world societies every ten years. Kurzweil’s predictions go up to 2099, so as it’s coming up to a year with a 9 at the end, now is time to revisit his predictions for 2019, and to see where we are with them a...
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Machine politics: The rise of the internet and a new age of authoritarianism

Machine politics: The rise of the internet and a new age of authoritarianism
"The Goliath of totalitarianism will be brought down by the David of the microchip," Ronald Reagan said in 1989. He was speaking to a thousand British notables in London's historic Guildhall, several months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Reagan proclaimed that the world was on the precipice of "a new era in human history," one that would bring...
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The end of the ad-supported web

The end of the ad-supported web Aus, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/auz/4511786504
For the last 20 years, every consumer-oriented application, service or content platform used "ads" as its default business model. Like always, the road to hell has been paved with good intentions: we assumed that the mostly innocuous billboards could be transposed to the web… but these banner ads quickly became endless trojan horses into our privac...
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What AIs teach us about organisational culture

What AIs teach us about organisational culture
One of the fascinating features of artificial intelligence is how much it tells us about ourselves, but it is the way we train AIs in rules-based systems that can teach us the most about organisational culture. Victoria Krakovna, a research scientist at DeepMind has put together a master list of AI "specification gaming" examples — AI training expe...
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Memes are taking the alt-right’s message of hate mainstream

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Think of an internet meme and you'll probably smile. The most memorable viral images are usually funny, from Distracted Boyfriend to classics like Grumpy Cat. But some memes have a much more sinister meaning. They might look as innocuous as a frog, but are in fact symbols of hate. And as memes have become more political, these hateful examples have...
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Web Curios 14/12/18

Web Curios 14/12/18
 YOU HAVE TO LAUGH, DON'T YOU, EH? EH??? You know what? Fcuk it, neither you nor I want to read anything about the news or the state of the world right now. It's almost Christmas, and I am  tired . I imagine you are too.  This is the last Web Curios of 2018 - in a rare moment of genuine sincerity, I'd like to say thanks to everyone w...
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Lucie Greene: things to come

Lucie Greene: things to come
JWT's Future 100 report, released late in November, gave a comprehensive insight into the trends of the near-future. While some may be easily understandable - a widespread social media backlash and the rise of the meat-free diet, for example - others are perhaps more left-field, such as lichen becoming one of the in-vogue foods of the next year. Un...
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Mark Fisher's K-Punk and the futures that have never arrived

Mark Fisher's K-Punk and the futures that have never arrived
Mark Fisher was a writer and academic from the English Midlands who, in the early two-thousands, felt at odds with many of the institutions around him. Fisher, then in his mid-thirties, had devoted himself to theories of capitalism and Internet culture that few people in his immediate vicinity appeared to care about. He was zealous about obscure mu...
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Your apps know where you were last night, and they're not keeping it secret

Your apps know where you were last night, and they're not keeping it secret
The millions of dots on the map trace highways, side streets and bike trails — each one following the path of an anonymous cellphone user. One path tracks someone from a home outside Newark to a nearby Planned Parenthood, remaining there for more than an hour. Another represents a person who travels with the mayor of New York during the day and ret...
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DCMS publishes a guide to personal data mobility

DCMS publishes a guide to personal data mobility
The UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has worked with innovation agency Ctrl-Shift to produce a new report entitled Data Mobility:  The personal data  portability growth  opportunity for the  UK economy. It promises that the management of personal data presents "significant growth opportunities with economic ...
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