Sunday Paper, Rucksack, Magazine, Camera, Pocket Watch, Notebook, Leather, Range Finder Camera, Camera, Ruck
Facial Recognition Tech Straight Out of ‘Robocop’ Could Be a Real Threat to Civil Liberties (Reason.com)

Civil-liberties concerns have driven California lawmakers to consider Assembly Bill 1215, which would ban police agencies from using facial and biometric tracking devices as part of their body cameras.

“Having every patrol officer constantly scanning faces of everyone that walks into their field of view to identify people, run their records, and record their location and activities is positively Orwellian,” said ACLU attorney Peter Bibring.

This technology is creepy, especially when one considers the next step that’s under active development: Tying facial-recognition software into security cameras that are practically everywhere. The bill’s author, Assemblyman Phil Ting (D–San Francisco), points to an incident in China where the authorities used recognition software to grab someone from a crowd of 20,000 people during a concert.

Opponents of the ban naively insist that there’s no difference between using such software and looking at a mugshot—and that police are still required to follow the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment restraints on unreasonable searches. That’s nonsensical. Police admit that they want to use these cameras as part of wholesale dragnets, by scanning everyone at public events and not only those that they suspect of having committed a crime.

In its official opposition to the bill, the Riverside Sheriffs’ Association argues that, “Huge events…and scores of popular tourist attractions should have access to the best available security—including the use of body cameras and facial-recognition technology.” There you have it. The goal of police is to scan our faces at every event.

According to the Assembly analysis, the ACLU used such software to compare photos of all federal legislators and “incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress with people who had been arrested. The test disproportionately misidentified African-American and Latino members of Congress as the people in mug shots.” The company that produced the software disputed the ACLU’s approach, but this is disturbing, especially in terms of racial bias.

Some of the presidential hopefuls in the Democratic Party sound like front runners for the Communist Party. At what point will they start advocating to bring back slavery and indentured servitude?

The world doesn’t owe you a dream college or a dream house or a dream job. You have no right to someone else’s labor and time. If you want to attend free college, ask professors to offer you their lectures gratis or ask school administrators who run massive endowments to open their doors to everyone.Bernie Sanders’ #CancelStudentDebt Is a Dangerous Scam

Are you a geek or a nerd? Both? It’s ok to be both but know which one you are at any given moment.

I had an LOL moment last night watching Jimmy Fallon [a late-night talk show, for y’all in different countries]. Ex-gangsta-rapper and “Law and Order” detective Ice-T was on TV (it was broadcast here, anyway—I don’t watch often enough to know whether it was a rerun or not) with his extravagant wife Coco, and he pointed out that there’s a big difference between a nerd and a geek. Given any little area of enthusiasm, a nerd is a guy who knows all about it—and likes to talk about it and argue about it—and a geek is a guy who likes to do it. Whatever “it” is.

So I’m a darkroom geek but a Miata nerd. (Makin’ me laugh again*.)

I remember back when I occasionally participated in the often contentious forums of a certain high profile British digital camera review site. I got into it once with a guy who was evangelical about a certain brand of high-end professional DSLR and outspokenly critical of the competing brand’s flagship model. (I forget whether he loved C and hated N, or loved N and hated C…not that it really matters.) When I dug into it, it turned out that the fellow was a teenager who didn’t own a nice DSLR at all.

A goal for him to aspire to: geekhood!Geeks vs. Nerds by Mike at The Online Photographer

5G networks may be faster but less ubiquitous and more costly to build out.

Thousands of engineers and planners like Mr. Hubbard, along with diggers of trenches and installers of antennas, must coordinate to link more fiber-optic cable, in more places in the U.S. than ever before. All so we can do more stuff on mobile devices.

This is the paradox of 5G, the collection of technologies behind next-generation wireless networks: They require a gargantuan quantity of wires. This is because 5G requires many more small towers, all of which must be wired to the internet. The consequences of this unavoidable reality are myriad. The 5G build-out, which could take more than a decade, could disrupt our commutes, festoon nearly every city block with antennas, limit what cities can charge for renting spots on their infrastructure to carriers on which to place their antennas, and result in an unequal distribution of access to high-speed wireless, at least at first.

The driving force behind this enormous build-out is that 5G networks don’t work like previous wireless cellular networks. Where 2G, 3G and even 4G rely on large towers with powerful antennas that can cover many square miles, the shorter-range, higher-frequency radio waves used by 5G networks—essential to their ability to deliver the 10- to 100-times faster speeds they promise—mean that 5G networks must have small cells placed much closer together.The Downside of 5G: Overwhelmed Cities, Torn-Up Streets, a Decade Until Completion by Christopher Mims in the Wall Street Journal

What exactly does it mean to be mentally tired? What’s actually happening in your brain? Proposing an answer to these riddles is the challenge that a new paper in Sports Medicine, from a team at the University of Canberra led by Kristy Martin, takes on.

The basic hypothesis that Martin and her colleagues present (drawing on a suggestion from 2014) is that mental fatigue results from the accumulation of a brain chemical called adenosine. In this picture, sustained cognitive activity burns up glucose, particularly in certain regions of the brain associated with “effortful mental processes,” such as the anterior cingulate cortex. This temporary and localized fuel shortage triggers a rise in adenosine levels, which in turn blocks the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine. The result is a rise in perception of effort and a decrease in motivation—in other words, a feeling of mental fatigue.Here’s What We Know About Mental Fatigue by Alex Hutchinson

Social media algorithms are limiting creativity and subliminally controlling your world view (Ming Thein | Photographer)

First things first: there’s no image of any sort in this post, which is rare for me. It’s a silent protest against the fact that whether this link and thus its contents get disseminated to people who subscribe to my social media feeds (FB, IG, Twitter) and read or not is almost entirely down to some self-curating algorithms. The alarmist and provocative title are deliberate attempts to play the game (explained further on). It has nothing to do with whether you subscribed to my feeds or not. Only a small portion of the total population of posts or images published by people you follow actually shows up on your feed. This has been verified by several people and a simulation account I set up and subscribed to several sources; sure enough, at the start, you see a lot of posts from your ‘new friend’, but not long after – they virtually disappear. It isn’t because they haven’t been making content, it’s much more sinister than that.

The algorithms keep changing, though. They have to: again, to maintain popularity, relevancy and ultimately user base (necessary to justify ad rates to corporate spenders) – you have to keep the content diverse enough to grow the audience. You can’t keep showing the same stuff again and again even if it’s popular; the algorithm must allow for some genetic diversification to avoid the visual equivalent of inbreeding. But since we’re not at the point of programs sentient enough to determine if we find something wildly different interesting or not (or at least controversial enough to drive viewership) there still has to be human interaction in the coding. That human interaction reflects the biases of the creator – it must, because it’s impossible for any of us to be entirely objective or even objective relative to a larger audience. As a result, the algorithmically curated feeds now show what’s currently popular to the home base where the majority of the algorithm’s code is written. Unsurprisingly, this is remarkably US-West Coast-centric.

What a surprise. The digital nomadic lifestyle has consequences but not for those living it.

The appeal is obvious. Digital nomads present selective pieces of themselves on Instagram, YouTube, and personal blogs. Everything they do is alluring. If you only looked at social media, you’d think they were paid to chill on the beach. Of course, those looking to replicate their lifestyle only see what digital nomads want them to see. Who doesn’t want to show their most appealing self online?

But selective presentation covers up— or completely ignores — the less appealing aspects of calling your MacBook your office. Many digital nomads had significant privilege before pursuing such a lifestyle, privilege that allows them to avoid the potentially negative aspects of location independence.
..
Digital nomads look for locales that are inexpensive (by Western standards), where they can easily outspend residents to maintain a quality of life that would be difficult to achieve on local salaries. Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Bali are some of the leading destinations for those seeking a location-independent lifestyle. Predictably, developers in these areas begin to chase Western money.Digital Nomads Are Not the Future by Paris Marx in Medium

Former Republican federal prosecutors discuss how if President Trump were anyone else, he would have been charged with obstruction of justice based off the information released in the Mueller Report.