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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ray Kurzweil Plans to Create a Mind at Google—and Have it Serve You | MIT Technology Review

Ray Kurzweil Plans to Create a Mind at Google—and Have it Serve You | MIT Technology Review

(via Instapaper)

Vampire reborn babies

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Vampire reborn babies

Spooky says: "Reborn baby dolls have been around for a few years now, and while some people love them so much they actually treat them like real babies, their ultra-realistic look creep a lot of people out. But one artist has managed to make these thing even creepier by making vampire reborn babies."

You Thought Reborn Babies Were Creepy? How About Vampire Reborn Babies?

January 26, 2013

January 26, 2013:


Friday, January 25, 2013

January 25, 2013

January 25, 2013:

Thanks again, everyone! Remember, every little bit makes the book better. There are already at least 10 exclusive comics going into it :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

When it comes to cloud data, Google tells the Feds to come back with a warrant

[This is really awesome news. -egg]
When it comes to cloud data, Google tells the Feds to come back with a warrant:

Google's latest transparency report reveals that the company has refused to turn over stored email to law enforcement unless a warrant is presented. The ancient Electronic Communications Privacy Act assumes that any file stored on a server for more than six months is abandoned and can be requested without a warrant, and Congress has refused to modernize this law for the age of Gmail and cloud storage (law enforcement agencies love the fact that most of your life can be fetched without having to show cause to a judge).

Google has refused to comply with warrantless requests for its users' stored cloud data, and instead demands that law enforcement officers get a warrant.

Google demands probable-cause, court-issued warrants to divulge the contents of Gmail and other cloud-stored documents to authorities in the United States — a startling revelation Wednesday that runs counter to federal law that does not always demand warrants.

The development surfaced as Google publicly announced that more than two-thirds of the user data Google forwards to government agencies across the United States is handed over without a probable-cause warrant.

A Google spokesman told Wired that the media giant demands that government agencies — from the locals to the feds — get a probable-cause warrant for content on its e-mail, Google Drive cloud storage and other platforms — despite the Electronic Communications Privacy Act allowing the government to access such customer data without a warrant if it’s stored on Google’s servers for more than 180 days.

“Google requires an ECPA search warrant for contents of Gmail and other services based on the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which prevents unreasonable search and seizure,” Chris Gaither, a Google spokesman, said.

I can't stress how exciting a development this is. Google has historically reserved the right to give docs to law enforcement without a warrant in its terms of service. Indeed, a group of authors asked the court to block the Google Books Settlement unless Google promised not to hand over your reading habits without a warrant. Google refused to do so. It would be wonderful to see Google enshrine "Come back with a warrant" in its terms of service, making it a promise and not just a habit.

Google Tells Cops to Get Warrants for User E-Mail, Cloud Data [Wired/David Kravets]

Random geotagged photo algo autoblogging for...

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Random geotagged photo algo autoblogging for...

Random geotagged photo algo autoblogging for

"Every day a PHP script picks a random spot on the land mass of Earth. The nearest photo to that spot is posted here."

Submitted by Kenny Mann

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Both the Left and the Right are at war with science

Both the Left and the Right are at war with science: Michael Shermer on why neither side of the American political spectrum gets a pass when it comes to acceptance of science. Includes this interesting (and often overlooked) detail from recent national polls — 41 percent of Democrats are young-Earth Creationists.

Gemma, a 1" diameter Arduino-compatible board for wearable electronics

Gemma, a 1" diameter Arduino-compatible board for wearable electronics:

Adafruit has announced "Gemma," a bite-sized, Arduino compatible board intended for use in wearable electronics projects. It measures 1" in diameter, and while it's not shipping yet, they're taking names for people who want to get 'em when they ship:

Powered by the ATtiny85 with 3 available I/O pins, one of which is also an analog input and two which can do PWM output*

Progammable over the micro USB connection*

Onboard 3.3v Regulator and power LED*

Reset button*

Works with our Flora NeoPixels (can drive about a dozen - not much RAM!)*

Super tiny design, only 1" (25mm) diameter & 4mm thick

Adafruit Gemma - Miniature wearable electronic platform

(Thanks, Matthew!)

Choire Sicha on "The New Way We Make Web Headlines Now"

[this is hilarious and awesome and a bit sad. -egg]

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Choire Sicha on "The New Way We Make Web Headlines Now"

At The Awl, veteran headline-writer Choire Sicha deconstructs how headline-writing has been transformed by the search for SEO-optimized traffic boostfulness.

How Doctors Die

[This would be more compelling to me if he'd included some supporting data, but still interesting. -egg]

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How Doctors Die

Photo: patrick.ward04.

Ken Murray, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at USC, writes about his experience of how his peers in medicine tend to handle end-of-life issues.

It's not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don't die like the rest of us. What's unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently.

Zócalo Public Square :: How Doctors Die.

The hobbit reimagined as a Golden Book

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The hobbit reimagined as a Golden Book

Rosemary says: "At school we are all busy putting together our portfolios to apply for co op placements this summer and one of my teachers keeps talking about 'making art you want to get hired to do'. Well I would love to be hired to illustrate a kids book one day and man would I ever love to work on a Tolkien adaptation!"

A Little Tokien Book

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

“The world is fundamentally changing; the economic...

[This is pretty much my perspective. "Since there simply won’t be enough job slots for the entire population, we’re going to have to account for the shortfall, and recognize that work, as we currently conceive it, will no longer be the average person’s principal contribution to society. If we’re intent on maintaining a capitalist economy, there’s going to have to be a basic allowance allotted to citizens that’s untethered to the labor market—because pretty soon, the numbers just won’t add up. There won’t be any realistic route to full employment when robots become cheap, efficient, and flexible enough." -egg]
“The world is fundamentally changing; the economic...:

“The world is fundamentally changing; the economic assumptions that currently gird our society will be meaningless in as soon as a few decades. And we’d better get ready to prepare for that shift—if we don’t adjust the current socio-economic structure, we’re going to have mass joblessness, and society-wide chaos. We’re going to need to fundamentally reform not just our policies but our attitudes towards work. We’re going to need to re-engineer the social safety net from the ground up to account for the fact that robots are taking over on the labor front.”
Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon Are Worth $1 Trillion, but Only Create 150,000 Jobs. It’s Time to Reassess the Future of Work | Motherboard

Kids should learn programming as well as reading and writing

Kids should learn programming as well as reading and writing:

Here's Mitch Resnick of the MIT Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten Group (whence the kids' programming language Scratch comes) doing a TedX talk about the role of programming in education, arguing that kids should learn to code so that they can use code to learn:

Most people view computer coding as a narrow technical skill. Not Mitch Resnick. He argues that the ability to code, like the ability to read and write, is becoming essential for full participation in today's society. And he demonstrates how Scratch programming software from the MIT Media Lab makes coding accessible and appealing to everyone -- from elementary-school children to his 83-year-old mom.

As director of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, Mitch Resnick designs new technologies that, in the spirit of the blocks and finger paint of kindergarten, engage people of all ages in creative learning experiences.

Reading, Writing, and Programming: Mitch Resnick at TEDxBeaconStreet

(Thanks, Mitch!)

3D printed house to emerge

3D printed house to emerge:

A Dutch architecture firm plans on using a D-Shape 3D printer to output a house in the shape of a Mobius strip, a project they estimate will take 18 months:

Dutch architecture studio Universe Architecture is planning to construct a house with a 3D printer for the first time.

The Landscape House will be printed in sections using the giant D-Shape printer, which can produce sections of up to 6 x 9 metres using a mixture of sand and a binding agent.

Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture will collaborate with Italian inventor Enrico Dini, who developed the D-Shape printer, to build the house, which has a looping form based on a Möbius strip.

Dutch architects to use 3D printer to print a house

(via Beyond the Beyond)