Andrew Brampton (@TheBramp) is a technical lead at Genesys Labs, a company that enables communication between our clients and their consumers. Specifically Andrew is responsible for maintaining numerous platforms related to (SMS/MMS) messaging, and mobile web.
Before Genesys, Andrew was a researcher at Lancaster University, teaching, and researching the area of distributed systems. In his free time Andrew can be found kernel hacking, contributing to open source, and playing around with new technologies. Check out his blog bramp.net or follow him at github.com/bramp
What happens when we create an interface: 1 mind builds a way for other minds to interact with a thing - Reichenstein http://t.co/MctJaSIk7H— Stowe Boyd (@stoweboyd)September 2, 2014
Oliver Reichenstein(via stoweboyd)
Social media is controlled by algorithms – a mathematical formula that dictates what you see and when. In the past week, people have noticed something curious about the way these algorithms have filtered news about protests in Ferguson, Mo., over the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
The fundamental differences between the two platforms help explain the disparity.
“Because of its brevity, and the ease with which updates can be shared, Twitter is a much more rapid-fire experience than Facebook, and that makes it well suited for quick blasts of information during a breaking-news event like Ferguson,” Mathew Ingram of Gigaom pointed out. The non-newsy content that clutters the platform also makes it ill-suited for following breaking news, he added.
Another huge difference? Algorithms. Your Twitter feed isn’t controlled by an algorithm. You see the tweets of people you follow in real time. But Facebook uses a complicated algorithm to determine what ends up in your news feed. They won’t reveal exactly how it works, but the company has said it ranks the content based in part on what you’ve liked, clicked or shared in the past.
Ars Technica’s Casey Johnson suggested Facebook’s algorithm also weeds out controversial content — racially charged protests, perhaps? — from users’ news feeds: “There is a reason that the content users see tends to be agreeable to a general audience: sites like [BuzzFeed, Elite Daily, Upworthy, and their ilk] are constantly honing their ability to surface stuff with universal appeal. Content that causes dissension and tension can provide short-term rewards to Facebook in the form of heated debates, but content that creates accord and harmony is what keeps people coming back.”
Johnson backed up her theory with a Georgia Institute of Technology study of how political content affects users’ perceptions of Facebook. She summed up the findings: “The study found that, because Facebook friend networks are often composed of ‘weak ties’ where the threshold for friending someone is low, users were often negatively surprised to see their acquaintances express political opinions different from their own. This felt alienating and, overall, made everyone less likely to speak up on political matters (and therefore, create content for Facebook).”
For University of North Carolina sociologist Zeynep Tufekci, this sort of “algorithmic filtering” is more than a matter of technical differences. Last Wednesday, when there was rioting in Ferguson and journalists were being arrested, the events in Ferguson unfolded in real time on her Twitter feed. But on Facebook, where she follows a similar composition of friends, posts about Ferguson didn’t appear in her feed until the next morning. “Would Ferguson be buried in algorithmic censorship?” she wrote on Medium..
If so, that’s bad. “How the internet is run, governed and filtered is a human rights issue,” she wrote.
Source: Washington Post
… the domains aren’t property and don’t belong to the countries they point to, ICANN said. Instead, they’re more like postal codes, “simply the provision of routing and administrative services for the domain names registered within that ccTLD,” which are what let users go to websites and send to email addresses under those domains, ICANN wrote. If ICANN stepped in and reassigned the domains on its own, that would disrupt everyone who uses a domain name that ends in those codes, including individuals, businesses and charitable organizations, the group said.
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.
Technology isn’t a section in the newspaper any more. It’s the culture.
A radical breakthrough in engine design:
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.
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)