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2 Notes

Milky Chance
If you haven’t heard Sadnecessary, the debut studio album by German alternative pop folk rock duo Milky Chance, fire up Spotify and check them out. Right now.
Amazing.

Milky Chance

If you haven’t heard Sadnecessary, the debut studio album by German alternative pop folk rock duo Milky Chance, fire up Spotify and check them out. Right now.

Amazing.

3 Notes

Bird Ballerina: JR’s Stunning new work

Check out renowned street artist JR’s latest work, not painted on bare walls but shipping containers.

Called Bird Ballerina, the beautiful piece was wheat pasted by a team of people at the Port of Le Havre in France. In contrast to the bright green and red colours of the shipping containers, the black-and-white work stands out because of its quiet beauty. Behind her own set of bars the ballerina is like a caged bird, sitting solemnly alone, waiting to be freed.

More the artists site.

1 Notes

Pac-Man mapped: how to stay away from the ghosts and win
Data scientist Seth Kadish has created this map showing how many moves would be required from any point on the game map to make the nearest intersection where Pac-Man could escape the ghosts trying to catch him.
Those familiar with the seminal video game, first released 34 years ago, will get that the numbers in purple font show where a dot is for the protagonist to eat while the bits in bold are where the energisers are that allow Pac-Man to turn the tables on the ghosts.
Who made this? Seth Kadish of Vizual Statistix.
Via The Guardian.

Pac-Man mapped: how to stay away from the ghosts and win

Data scientist Seth Kadish has created this map showing how many moves would be required from any point on the game map to make the nearest intersection where Pac-Man could escape the ghosts trying to catch him.

Those familiar with the seminal video game, first released 34 years ago, will get that the numbers in purple font show where a dot is for the protagonist to eat while the bits in bold are where the energisers are that allow Pac-Man to turn the tables on the ghosts.

Who made this? Seth Kadish of Vizual Statistix.

Via The Guardian.

Notes

Facebook’s emotion experiment: too far or just a social network norm?
Facebook’s recently disclosed experiment that altered the tone of what its users saw in their newsfeed has brought it plenty of negative publicity.
The social networks methodology raises serious ethical questions and the team may have bent research standards too far, possibly overstepping criteria enshrined in law and human rights declarations.

"If you are exposing people to something that causes changes in psychological status, that’s experimentation.
"This is the kind of thing that would require informed consent."
- James Grimmelmann, professor of technology and the law at the University of Maryland

But given that Facebook has over half a billion users, is it not a foregone conclusion that every change that they make to the news feed - or any other part of its websites - induces a change in millions of people’s emotions? Yet nobody seems to complain about this reality, presumably because, when you put it this way, it seems kind of silly to suggest that a company whose business model is predicated on getting its users to use its product more would do anything other than try to manipulate its users into, you know, using its product more.
Haranguing Facebook and other companies for publicly disclosing scientifically interesting results of experiments that it is already constantly conducting – and that are directly responsible for many of the positive aspects of the user experience – is not likely to accomplish anything useful. If anything, it will only ensure that all of Facebook’s experimental research is done in the dark, where nobody outside the company can ever find out about it.

Facebook’s emotion experiment: too far or just a social network norm?

Facebook’s recently disclosed experiment that altered the tone of what its users saw in their newsfeed has brought it plenty of negative publicity.

The social networks methodology raises serious ethical questions and the team may have bent research standards too far, possibly overstepping criteria enshrined in law and human rights declarations.

"If you are exposing people to something that causes changes in psychological status, that’s experimentation.

"This is the kind of thing that would require informed consent."

- James Grimmelmann, professor of technology and the law at the University of Maryland

But given that Facebook has over half a billion users, is it not a foregone conclusion that every change that they make to the news feed - or any other part of its websites - induces a change in millions of people’s emotions? Yet nobody seems to complain about this reality, presumably because, when you put it this way, it seems kind of silly to suggest that a company whose business model is predicated on getting its users to use its product more would do anything other than try to manipulate its users into, you know, using its product more.

Haranguing Facebook and other companies for publicly disclosing scientifically interesting results of experiments that it is already constantly conducting – and that are directly responsible for many of the positive aspects of the user experience – is not likely to accomplish anything useful. If anything, it will only ensure that all of Facebook’s experimental research is done in the dark, where nobody outside the company can ever find out about it.

1 Notes

The great Glastonbury clean up

Festival goers head home as volunteers begin the massive task of clearing up after 180,000 people at Glastonbury festival…

Full gallery on The Guardian.

2 Notes

Never before seen photographs from WWI

From the bizarre to the sobering: never before seen photographs from WWI have been released from a private collection.

More on The Telegraph.

7 Notes

ISSpresso: espresso in space
In a story that’s sure to bring to the surface the long-debunked myth of an over-elaborate NASA quest to create a pen to operate in space, Wired reports that the coffee situation aboard the International Space Station is set to improve.
The station will be getting a 20kg, custom designed Lavazza espresso machine, to be delivered along with Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
Among other differences from terrestrial espresso machines, the resulting beverage must be pumped into a straw-friendly bag rather than a cup.
All this means that I can finally head into space! Now where do I buy my spaceship?

ISSpresso: espresso in space

In a story that’s sure to bring to the surface the long-debunked myth of an over-elaborate NASA quest to create a pen to operate in space, Wired reports that the coffee situation aboard the International Space Station is set to improve.

The station will be getting a 20kg, custom designed Lavazza espresso machine, to be delivered along with Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.

Among other differences from terrestrial espresso machines, the resulting beverage must be pumped into a straw-friendly bag rather than a cup.

All this means that I can finally head into space! Now where do I buy my spaceship?

4 Notes

GoPro, circa 1960
We have it so easy today. Back in the day, you just tied your cameraman right to the car -

F1 driver Jackie Stewart wore this stills-only proto-GoPro at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1966 (though not during the actual race) -

Stewart is also the chap in the photo at the head of this post. For some reason neither of his contraptions are recognised by Wikipedia as being the first documented helmet cam, which is instead attributed to a motorcycle race in 1986 -

Here’s another early use of a helmet cam, this time from the world of skydiving, circa 1961 -

GoPro, circa 1960

We have it so easy today. Back in the day, you just tied your cameraman right to the car -

F1 driver Jackie Stewart wore this stills-only proto-GoPro at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1966 (though not during the actual race) -

Stewart is also the chap in the photo at the head of this post. For some reason neither of his contraptions are recognised by Wikipedia as being the first documented helmet cam, which is instead attributed to a motorcycle race in 1986 -

Here’s another early use of a helmet cam, this time from the world of skydiving, circa 1961 -

2 Notes

This is what it sounds like in Brasil when Brasil score

This video was taken by Claus Wahlers in Moema, São Paulo, during the opening game Brasil x Croatia. And no, those are not gunshots, just regular Brasilian fireworks.

Awesome.

Notes

This is what the Internet sounds like

The first thing you notice is how loud it is - a shrill, almost metallic buzz that fills your head. Given access to one of the world’s largest and most secure data centres, Timo Arnall shows us that the “cloud” is not ethereal, but big, hulking and incredibly loud.

Internet Machine is a six-minute, multi-screen film shot inside one of Telefonica’s data centres in in Alcalá, Spain. You can watch the trailer above. Listen to all the whirring and throbbing of the Internet’s hidden physical parts. The white noise it produces is not pleasant, at least at first; but having worked extensively in these environments I can tell you that there is a kind of hypnotic comfort in the consistency of the sound, much like the experience of absolute silence.

In this film I wanted to look beyond the childish myth of ‘the cloud’, to investigate what the infrastructures of the internet actually look like

It felt important to be able to see and hear the energy that goes into powering these machines, and the associated systems for securing, cooling and maintaining them.”

The cloud is made of machines, and the machines are loud.

Notes

Check out Richard Swarbrick’s fabulous watercolour animations

On the eve of the World Cup, check out these lovely watercolour-style illustrations, brought to life by artist and filmmaker Richard Swarbrick.

Via @jeanylucky.

9 Notes

These images of cities from space are not what they seem

These high-quality images may look like photographs of world cities taken from the International Space Station at night, but they are painstakingly constructed from public map data and finessed by artist Marc Khachfe.

Khachfe saw the stunning photographs of cities from space taken by astronauts on board the ISS and wanted to blow them up for his office wall. When he tried he found that they weren’t of high enough quality to work in large format, so he set about creating his own high-quality versions.

Khachfe finds Open Street Map data on roads, buildings, waterways and coastlines for each city, then uses his skills as a compositor to layer the information with CGI tricks to mimic the glow of streets and buildings.

He has tried to get New York right six times but has never been happy with the result -

“The building data is so vast that my machine struggles with it. If I try to cut corners, I’m not happy with the result. I’m a perfectionist.”

Khachfe is exhibiting at Raw London on 1 May.

Notes

San Francisco dashcam: a trip down market street, circa 1906

San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, Market Street, is a hive of activity in 1906, as can be seen in this dashcam footage from the time. The trip was filmed from the front of a cable car, and shows horse drawn and motorised traffic weaving between the cable cars & horse drawn trams, often narrowly missing pedestrians by mere inches.

The downtown area pictured here was all but destroyed by the infamous 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires.

Notes

The reality show
Schizophrenics used to see demons and spirits. Now they talk about actors and hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense.
How technology and modern entertainment has paralleled paranoia.
One to read.

The reality show

Schizophrenics used to see demons and spirits. Now they talk about actors and hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense.

How technology and modern entertainment has paralleled paranoia.

One to read.

9 Notes

Computer becomes first to pass Turing Test in artificial intelligence milestone
Eugene Goostman, a computer program pretending to be a young Ukrainian boy, successfully duped enough humans to pass the iconic test.
The Turing Test - which requires that computers are indistinguishable from humans - is considered a landmark in the development of artificial intelligence, but academics have warned that the technology could be used for cybercrime.
Computing pioneer Alan Turing said that a computer could be understood to be thinking if it passed the test, which requires that a computer dupes 30 per cent of human interrogators in five-minute text conversations.
Full story on The Independent.

Computer becomes first to pass Turing Test in artificial intelligence milestone

Eugene Goostman, a computer program pretending to be a young Ukrainian boy, successfully duped enough humans to pass the iconic test.

The Turing Test - which requires that computers are indistinguishable from humans - is considered a landmark in the development of artificial intelligence, but academics have warned that the technology could be used for cybercrime.

Computing pioneer Alan Turing said that a computer could be understood to be thinking if it passed the test, which requires that a computer dupes 30 per cent of human interrogators in five-minute text conversations.

Full story on The Independent.