Such are the perverse rewards we reap when we permit tech culture to become our culture. The profits and power flow to the platform owners and their political sponsors. We get the surveillance, the data mining, the soaring inequality, and the canned pep talks from bosses who have been upsold on analytics software. Without Gchat, Twitter, and Facebook—the great release valves of workaday ennui—the roofs of metropolitan skyscrapers would surely be filled with pallid young faces, wondering about the quickest way down. — World Processor (via azspot)
Technology has been instrumental in bringing human relationships into the realm of “services,” just as it has brought deeper and more obscure pieces of the earth into the realm of goods. For example, the technology of the phonograph and radio helped turn music from something people made for themselves into something they paid for. Storage and transportation technologies have done the same for food processing. In general, the fine division of labor that accompanies technology has made us dependent on strangers for most of the things we use, and makes it unlikely that our neighbors depend on us for anything we produce. Economic ties thus become divorced from social ties, leaving us with little to offer our neighbors and little occasion to know them. — Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics)
8pen http://t.co/Idi56dcyJ2 A new form of handwriting, like Gregg shorthand, for touch devices (and maybe for paper as well?)— Stowe Boyd (@stoweboyd)July 16, 2014
I want 8pen.(via stoweboyd)
There’s a meaty region south of syntax and north of mathematics that we don’t have a good name for, and that’s what we learn when we learn to program. — Sarah Mei » Programming Is Not Math (via femmebot)
Technology isn’t a section in the newspaper any more. It’s the culture. —
Ben Smith, cited by Maureen Dowd in Who Do We Think We Are?(via stoweboyd)
A radical breakthrough in engine design:
Jason Cammisa, No crankshaft, no problem: Toyota’s free piston engine is brilliant
Electrically driven cars are the future. But until we have cheap, 1000-mile batteries, we still need range-extending fossil-fuel engines. Those devices don’t need to turn wheels, just generate juice. The simple solution is to strap a generator to a piston engine, as BMW did with the two-cylinder range extender in its i3 EV. But if the engine never turns a wheel, there’s no need for it to rotate anything. Why not cut out the middleman and use the piston’s reciprocating motion to generate electricity? That obviates camshafts and most other rotating parts, too.
Toyota recently showed a prototype engine that does just that. It’s called the Free Piston Engine Linear Generator (FPEG). “Free” refers to the fact that the piston isn’t attached to a crankshaft; instead, as the piston is forced downward during its power stroke, it passes through windings in the cylinder to generate a burst of three-phase AC electricity. The FPEG operates like a two-stroke engine but adds direct gasoline injection and electrically operated valves. It can also be run like a diesel, using compression rather than a spark plug to ignite its fuel mixture.
Toyota says this mechanically simple engine achieves a claimed thermal-efficiency rating of 42 percent in continuous use. Only the best, most complicated, and most expensive of today’s gas engines can come close to that number, and only in specific circumstances.
Build powerfully simple browser apps.
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Scientists at Facebook have published a paper showing that they manipulated the content seen by more than 600,000 users in an attempt to determine whether this would affect their emotional state. The paper, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” was published in The Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. It shows how Facebook data scientists tweaked the algorithm that determines which posts appear on users’ news feeds—specifically, researchers skewed the number of positive or negative terms seen by randomly selected users. Facebook then analyzed the future postings of those users over the course of a week to see if people responded with increased positivity or negativity of their own, thus answering the question of whether emotional states can be transmitted across a social network. Result: They can! Which is great news for Facebook data scientists hoping to prove a point about modern psychology. It’s less great for the people having their emotions secretly manipulated — Facebook tinkered with users’ feeds for a massive psychology experiment (via buzz)
Robots are always part of the future. Little bits of that future break off and become part of the present, but when that happens, those bits cease to be “robots.” In 1945, a modern dishwasher would have been a miracle, as exotic as the space-age appliances in The Jetsons. But now, it’s just a dishwasher —
Mike Loukides, The Future Is All Robots. But Will We Even Notice?(via stoweboyd)
From the outside, littleBits seems like Legos for electrical engineers, but we’re like a Wikipedia for electronics, an open-source, user-friendly array of electronic components that can be built into virtually anything. —
Seriously, Facebook?! -
Facebook just announced a creepy new tracking system that watches you even when you’re not on Facebook. Click here to opt out and say NO!
We’ve done a lot together to win real victories against government surveillance, now it’s time to address the big elephant in the room: companies…
(Source: fight4future, via notational)
(Source: celiabasto, via theworldatallangles)
Google sees you as a user, Amazon sees you as a consumer, Microsoft sees you as an employee (though they’re trying to change that).
Apple sees you as a person, but one at leisure who doesn’t want to be using a computer in the first place.