Web Curios 26/07/19

Web Curios 26/07/19
Let's play a game, shall we? Which newly-appointed Junior Minister was once told in no uncertain terms that they had to stop having an affair with M**o Y*********os due to the potential reputational damage that said affair could do to the Tories? Anyway, that's enough of the politics, it's all too awful. Let us instead revel momentarily in the JOY ...
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Image is everything: how AI understands visual data

Image is everything: how AI understands visual data Emre Can
Many of us frequently encounter a service called Recaptcha when filling in a web form. The service is promoted as being a security measure, to avoid bots automatically spamming forms – but it's much more than that. Consider the situation when Recaptcha offers up a 3x3 matrix of blurry images, some of which feature cars. To get through Recaptcha's c...
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The connected home: smart devices mature

The connected home: smart devices mature
The dream of the Internet of Things has not only came true, but is arguably most evident and valuable in the household, a traditionally difficult environment for technology to really penetrate since the advent of TV. A connected home goes far beyond the smart speakers that immediately spring to mind, such as Amazon's Alexa, the Google Hom...
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This year's reader survey

This year's reader survey Cory Doctorow, CC https://www.flickr.com/photos/37996580417@N01/15126029202
Each year, we run a reader survey to inform us how we're doing. This is a genuinely useful survey to us - we value the feedback of every reader. This year, we believe that we are pretty well informed as to how we're doing. Our view is that we don't publish long and interesting articles frequently enough, and that the vast majority of our traff...
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User research: turning good apps into great

User research: turning good apps into great
It is now unequivocally agreed that good user experience plays the most important role in building a great app. This is why doing extensive user research is more significant than ever before. Deep user research, leading to great UX benefits, can help to deliver a successful app.  Why doing user research is crucial for mobil...
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New work from James Bridle

New work from James Bridle
Se ti sabir is a new short film from James Bridle. Shot in a first-person perspective with James's rather beautiful voice narrating it, the film is about  ​"Just as we are learning more about the many different forms of intelligence that populate the world, we are also allowing computational systems to take over ever more of our cognitive and ...
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Instagram influencers: no, having 30,000 followers does not make you a celebrity

Instagram influencers: no, having 30,000 followers does not make you a celebrity
Claims that anyone with more than 30,000 social media followers is officially a celebrity have been circulating, following a recent ruling by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority, in which it decided that an ad for sleeping pills posted by Instagram influencer Sarah Willox Knott (a.k.a ThisMamaLife) counted as a "celebrity endorsement" of a med...
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French Kiss: when culture goes into reverse

French Kiss: when culture goes into reverse Still from the video of Lil Louis, “French Kiss”
Thirty years ago this week, a 12" single was released by a Detroit house DJ. On the face of it, there's nothing special in that; house music at the time had already been prevalent in the UK top ten pop charts. Indeed, three years previously,  ​Jack Your Body ​ by Steve Silk Hurley got to number 1. This track, however, was different. Not just f...
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Web Curios 19/07/19

Web Curios 19/07/19
Well, Donald might be a racist, but it looks like we're getting one of our own in next week so, well, let's not get too smug about how we're 'better than all that'. In less than seven days, barring some sort of miracle, we'll finally find out what the protocol is about moving one's mistress into No.10. GREAT! Let's not think about that, t...
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The late, Late Show

The late, Late Show
The quality of discourse which currently pervades many of our media channels seems to be inversely proportionate to the number of channels that we can now access. Where governments over time have equated choice with quality, we all now know that this clearly not the case. Analysis and criticism, particularly in arts and politics, have suffered at t...
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Manipulating the evidence with deepfake technology

Manipulating the evidence with deepfake technology Noah Siliman
I  remember seeing it for the first time. I was sitting on the sofa with my partner in our old flat watching TV. We were both occasionally glancing at our phones (like you do) when she turned to me and said "you've gotta see this". She held her phone out in front of us on selfie mode and told me to align my face on the screen with one of the t...
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Web Curios 12/07/19

Web Curios 12/07/19
Hi! Hi! How are you? How's it going? What's new? I'LL TELL YOU WHAT'S NEW IT'S THIS EDITION OF WEB CURIOS! New and FULL OF STUFF! I've neither the time nor inclination to wax lyrical about how banjaxed everything is this week - instead let me inform you that there are some CRACKING links in the following selection, that there's an honest-to-goodnes...
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Would your mobile phone be powerful enough to get you to the moon?

Would your mobile phone be powerful enough to get you to the moon? Apollo 11, US Department of State, CC/PDM 1.0
  Many people who are old enough to have experienced the first moon landing will vividly remember what it was like watching Neil Armstrong utter his famous quote: " That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. ". Half a century later, the event is still one of the top achievements of humankind. Despite the rapid technological a...
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Web Curios 05/07/19

Web Curios 05/07/19
HELLO EVERYONE! How are you? Happy? Well-rested and optimistic and full of vim and vigour and spunk? No, I thought not. You're either sitting grimly looking out of the window at the lovely weather you're not enjoying because of the ceaseless demands of the capitalist trap we've created for ourselves, or you're wishing you were back in a field boshi...
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Marina Otero Verzier: finding the beautiful in the malicious

Marina Otero Verzier: finding the beautiful in the malicious Artistic interpretation of
Marina Otero Verzier is one of the curators of ​ Malware: Symptoms of Viral Infection, an exhibition on the history and evolution of the computer virus being held at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. The exhibition has generated significant interest - not just in arts/tech circles but also in computer security. We asked Marina about the exhib...
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Berlin artist develops mock-future buildings, receives interest from developers

Berlin artist develops mock-future buildings, receives interest from developers
Berlin and Istanbul-based artist Dorothea Nold has developed a range of buildings for the future, with advertising to match installed around Berlin. Such is the supposed authenticity of her vision, though, that investors and developers have made genuine enquiries as to when the estates will be built. The hoardings, for  ​Princess Towers  ...
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Norway squanders anti-fake-news reputation through misguided PR stunt

Norway squanders anti-fake-news reputation through misguided PR stunt Sommarøy Arctic Hotel, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/sommaroy/36351408045
Norway is something of a world leader in the analysis of fake news. For example, its six largest media companies jointly produce a website which challenges fake and inaccurate reporting head-on. Can you imagine the Daily Mail working with the Express, Star, and Sun to do that in the UK? Exactly. The country’s reputation, however, has been...
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Web Curios 28/06/19

Web Curios 28/06/19
HELLO EVERYONE! I say ‘everyone’ - I imagine the vast majority of you are on Worthy Farm right now, washing last night’s MDMA out of your gums and wondering whether you might actually a bit too old for this now. I was slightly sad about not getting tickets this year - the weather’s going to be cracking, the lineup’s gr...
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Facebook’s libra has staggering potential – state control of money could end

Facebook’s libra has staggering potential – state control of money could end
The UN recognises 180 currencies worldwide as legal tender, all of them issued by nation states. It does not recognise cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in this way, even if communities of enthusiasts have been treating them as a means of exchange for over a decade now. Yet the latest addition to this group, Facebook's libra , threatens to do something...
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Fast transfers: the importance of latency

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Fibre-optic and copper wires help to deliver the Internet to our homes and offices. However, as we all require more and more of it - MOAR INTERNET - the pressures on bandwidth become all the more apparent. Consultants at Frost & Sullivan have produced a report which analyses some of these issues - particularly around the concept of edge co...
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