August 29, 2014
npr:

Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.
The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers.
The UCLA researchers studied two groups of sixth-graders from a Southern California public school. One group was sent to the Pali Institute, an outdoor education camp in Running Springs, Calif., where the kids had no access to electronic devices. For the other group, it was life as usual.
Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?
Illustration credit: LA Johnson/NPR

npr:

Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers.

The UCLA researchers studied two groups of sixth-graders from a Southern California public school. One group was sent to the Pali Institute, an outdoor education camp in Running Springs, Calif., where the kids had no access to electronic devices. For the other group, it was life as usual.

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?

Illustration credit: LA Johnson/NPR

August 29, 2014

(Source: shyamagolden.com, via iraffiruse)

August 27, 2014
Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’
BY KEITH HAMPTON, LEE RAINIE, WEIXU LU, MARIA DWYER, INYOUNG SHIN ANDKRISTEN PURCELL

Summary of Findings
"A major insight into human behavior from pre-internet era studies of communication is the tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in public—or among their family, friends, and work colleagues—when they believe their own point of view is not widely shared. This tendency is called the “spiral of silence.”1
Some social media creators and supporters have hoped that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter might produce different enough discussion venues that those with minority views might feel freer to express their opinions, thus broadening public discourse and adding new perspectives to everyday discussion of political issues.
We set out to study this by conducting a survey of 1,801 adults.2 It focused on one important public issue: Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations of widespread government surveillance of Americans’ phone and email records. We selected this issue because other surveys by the Pew Research Center at the time we were fielding this poll showed thatAmericans were divided over whether the NSA contractor’s leaks about surveillance were justified and whether the surveillance policy itself was a good or bad idea. For instance, Pew Research found in one survey that 44% say the release of classified information harms the public interest while 49% said it serves the public interest.
The survey reported in this report sought people’s opinions about the Snowden leaks, their willingness to talk about the revelations in various in-person and online settings, and their perceptions of the views of those around them in a variety of online and off-line contexts.
This survey’s findings produced several major insights:
People were less willing to discuss the Snowden-NSA story in social media than they were in person. 86% of Americans were willing to have an in-person conversation about the surveillance program, but just 42% of Facebook and Twitter users were willing to post about it on those platforms.
Social media did not provide an alternative discussion platform for those who were not willing to discuss the Snowden-NSA story. Of the 14% of Americans unwilling to discuss the Snowden-NSA story in person with others, only 0.3% were willing to post about it on social media.
In both personal settings and online settings, people were more willing to share their views if they thought their audience agreed with them. For instance, at work, those who felt their coworkers agreed with their opinion were about three times more likely to say they would join a workplace conversation about the Snowden-NSA situation.
Previous ‘spiral of silence’ findings as to people’s willingness to speak up in various settings also apply to social media users. Those who use Facebook were more willing to share their views if they thought their followers agreed with them. If a person felt that people in their Facebook network agreed with their opinion about the Snowden-NSA issue, they were about twice as likely to join a discussion on Facebook about this issue.
Facebook and Twitter users were also less likely to share their opinions in many face-to-face settings. This was especially true if they did not feel that their Facebook friends or Twitter followers agreed with their point of view. For instance, the average Facebook user (someone who uses the site a few times per day) was half as likely as other people to say they would be willing to voice their opinion with friends at a restaurant. If they felt that their online Facebook network agreed with their views on this issue, their willingness to speak out in a face-to-face discussion with friends was higher, although they were still only 0.74 times as likely to voice their opinion as other people.
Overall, the findings indicate that in the Snowden case, social media did not provide new forums for those who might otherwise remain silent to express their opinions and debate issues. Further, if people thought their friends and followers in social media disagreed with them, they were less likely to say they would state their views on the Snowden-NSA story online and in other contexts, such as gatherings of friends, neighbors, or co-workers. This suggests a spiral of silence might spill over from online contexts to in-person contexts, though our data cannot definitively demonstrate this causation. It also might mean that the broad awareness social media users have of their networks might make them more hesitant to speak up because they are especially tuned into the opinions of those around them…”

Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’

Summary of Findings

"A major insight into human behavior from pre-internet era studies of communication is the tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in public—or among their family, friends, and work colleagues—when they believe their own point of view is not widely shared. This tendency is called the “spiral of silence.”1

Some social media creators and supporters have hoped that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter might produce different enough discussion venues that those with minority views might feel freer to express their opinions, thus broadening public discourse and adding new perspectives to everyday discussion of political issues.

We set out to study this by conducting a survey of 1,801 adults.2 It focused on one important public issue: Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations of widespread government surveillance of Americans’ phone and email records. We selected this issue because other surveys by the Pew Research Center at the time we were fielding this poll showed thatAmericans were divided over whether the NSA contractor’s leaks about surveillance were justified and whether the surveillance policy itself was a good or bad idea. For instance, Pew Research found in one survey that 44% say the release of classified information harms the public interest while 49% said it serves the public interest.

The survey reported in this report sought people’s opinions about the Snowden leaks, their willingness to talk about the revelations in various in-person and online settings, and their perceptions of the views of those around them in a variety of online and off-line contexts.

This survey’s findings produced several major insights:

Overall, the findings indicate that in the Snowden case, social media did not provide new forums for those who might otherwise remain silent to express their opinions and debate issues. Further, if people thought their friends and followers in social media disagreed with them, they were less likely to say they would state their views on the Snowden-NSA story online and in other contexts, such as gatherings of friends, neighbors, or co-workers. This suggests a spiral of silence might spill over from online contexts to in-person contexts, though our data cannot definitively demonstrate this causation. It also might mean that the broad awareness social media users have of their networks might make them more hesitant to speak up because they are especially tuned into the opinions of those around them…”

August 25, 2014
NEWS

The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google
By Ryan Gallagher25 Aug 2014, 1:09 PM EDT30


"The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.
The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.
ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Earlier revelations sourced to the Snowden documents have exposed a multitude of NSA programs for collecting large volumes of communications. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy…”

NEWS

The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google

By 25 Aug 2014, 1:09 PM EDT30

"The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.

ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Earlier revelations sourced to the Snowden documents have exposed a multitude of NSA programs for collecting large volumes of communications. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy…”

August 17, 2014
Being Suicidal: What It Feels Like to Want to Kill Yourself
By Jesse Bering | October 20, 2010 

“One of the more fascinating psychotic conditions in the medical literature is known as Cotard’s syndrome, a rare disorder, usually recoverable, in which the primary symptom is a “delusion of negation.” According to researchers David Cohen and Angèle Consoli of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, many patients with Cotard’s syndrome are absolutely convinced, without even the slimmest of doubts, that they are already dead…”

Being Suicidal: What It Feels Like to Want to Kill Yourself

August 17, 2014
How to delete and disable your Google location history

August 7, 2014
Route Planning For The Happiest Walk, Not The Quickest

"A new way to plan daily routes balances the desire to get places on time with actually experiencing the city in new and interesting ways…"

Route Planning For The Happiest Walk, Not The Quickest

"A new way to plan daily routes balances the desire to get places on time with actually experiencing the city in new and interesting ways…"

August 6, 2014

Kishi Bashi - Atticus, In The Desert

(Source: youtube.com)

August 5, 2014
realityshifting:

Take a walk in the shoes of the visually impaired…
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
Developed in India, the Lachal smartshoe has a built in Bluetooth device which works in combination with Google maps in order to help the visually impaired find their way around. The device works by vibrating to indicate which direction the user should turn. The device syncs with a Google Maps app in order to help individuals navigate their chosen route, but thats not all these shoes can do. According to an article entitled “Going the distance with a smart shoe made in India" by Sarah Buhr, the device also keeps track of the number of steps taken and the calories burned by the wearer.  
While this is not the first smart shoe ever to be developed, it is the first to work as a navigation system. As such, the device certainly has potential to help individuals with visual impairments navigate their way through the world. With the added bonus of a reasonable retail price, the smartshoes are not only functional, but affordable.  

realityshifting:

Take a walk in the shoes of the visually impaired…

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

Developed in India, the Lachal smartshoe has a built in Bluetooth device which works in combination with Google maps in order to help the visually impaired find their way around. The device works by vibrating to indicate which direction the user should turn. The device syncs with a Google Maps app in order to help individuals navigate their chosen route, but thats not all these shoes can do. According to an article entitled “Going the distance with a smart shoe made in India" by Sarah Buhr, the device also keeps track of the number of steps taken and the calories burned by the wearer.  

While this is not the first smart shoe ever to be developed, it is the first to work as a navigation system. As such, the device certainly has potential to help individuals with visual impairments navigate their way through the world. With the added bonus of a reasonable retail price, the smartshoes are not only functional, but affordable.  

August 3, 2014
Stop Sneaky Online Tracking with EFF’s Privacy Badger





Add-On for Firefox and Chrome Prevents Spying by Ads, Social Widgets, and Hidden Trackers






"San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a beta version of Privacy Badger, a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome that detects and blocks online advertising and other embedded content that tracks you without your permission.
Privacy Badger was launched in an alpha version less than three months ago, and already more than 150,000 users have installed the extension. Today’s beta release includes a feature that automatically limits the tracking function of social media widgets, like the Facebook “Like” button, replacing them with a stand-in version that allows you to “like” something but prevents the social media tool from tracking your reading habits…”

Stop Sneaky Online Tracking with EFF’s Privacy Badger

Add-On for Firefox and Chrome Prevents Spying by Ads, Social Widgets, and Hidden Trackers

"San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a beta version of Privacy Badger, a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome that detects and blocks online advertising and other embedded content that tracks you without your permission.

Privacy Badger was launched in an alpha version less than three months ago, and already more than 150,000 users have installed the extension. Today’s beta release includes a feature that automatically limits the tracking function of social media widgets, like the Facebook “Like” button, replacing them with a stand-in version that allows you to “like” something but prevents the social media tool from tracking your reading habits…”

August 1, 2014
future-drama:

"The new teacher has 137 microchips, an infrared sensor, and little rubber wheels"
General Dynamics, Dec 1989

future-drama:

"The new teacher has 137 microchips, an infrared sensor, and little rubber wheels"

General Dynamics, Dec 1989

July 27, 2014
How to Invent a Person Online
Is it possible to be truly anonymous in the digital world?
CURTIS WALLENJUL 23 2014, 6:31 AM ET

“Is it even possible to hide from corporate and government feelers online? While my attempt to do so was an intensely interesting challenge, it ultimately left me a bit disappointed. It is essentially impossible to achieve anonymity online. It requires a complete operational posture that extends from the digital to the physical. Downloading a secure messaging app and using Tor won’t all of a sudden make you “NSA-proof.” And doing it right is really, really hard.

Weighing these trade-offs in my day-to-day life led to a few behavioral changes, but I have a mostly normal relationship with the Internet—I deleted my Facebook account, I encrypt my emails whenever I can, and I use a handful of privacy minded browser extensions. But even those are steps many people are unwilling, or unable, to take. And therein lies the major disappointment for me: privacy shouldn’t require elaborate precautions.
No one likes being subliminally influenced, discriminated against, or taken advantage of, yet these are all legitimate concerns that come with surveillance. These concerns are heightened as we increasingly live online. Digital surveillance is pervasive and relatively cheap. It is fundamentally different than anything we’ve faced before, and we’re still figuring out what what the boundaries should be…”

How to Invent a Person Online

Is it possible to be truly anonymous in the digital world?

July 27, 2014
The Rich See a Different Internet Than the Poor
Ninety-nine percent of us live on the wrong side of a one-way mirror
Jan 15, 2013 |By Michael Fertik


“
Imagine an Internet where unseen hands curate your entire experience. Where third parties predetermine the news, products and prices you see—even the people you meet. A world where you think you are making choices, but in reality, your options are narrowed and refined until you are left with merely the illusion of control.
This is not far from what is happening today. Thanks to technology that enables Google, Facebook and others to gather information about us and use it to tailor the user experience to our own personal tastes, habits and income, the Internet has become a different place for the rich and for the poor. Most of us have become unwitting actors in an unfolding drama about the tale of two Internets. There is yours and mine, theirs and ours…”

The Rich See a Different Internet Than the Poor

Ninety-nine percent of us live on the wrong side of a one-way mirror

Imagine an Internet where unseen hands curate your entire experience. Where third parties predetermine the news, products and prices you see—even the people you meet. A world where you think you are making choices, but in reality, your options are narrowed and refined until you are left with merely the illusion of control.

This is not far from what is happening today. Thanks to technology that enables Google, Facebook and others to gather information about us and use it to tailor the user experience to our own personal tastes, habits and income, the Internet has become a different place for the rich and for the poor. Most of us have become unwitting actors in an unfolding drama about the tale of two Internets. There is yours and mine, theirs and ours…”

July 10, 2014
designersofthings:

Samsung and Oculus Teaming Up to Create VR Headset
Samsung already has your wrist covered when it comes to wearables with a watch and an activity tracker in the market but it looks like they want to get on your face too. An exclusive report from SamMobile confirmed rumors that Samsung is indeed getting into the virtual reality headset space with a collaborative product with Oculus Rift called Gear VR.
Read More

designersofthings:

Samsung and Oculus Teaming Up to Create VR Headset

Samsung already has your wrist covered when it comes to wearables with a watch and an activity tracker in the market but it looks like they want to get on your face too. An exclusive report from SamMobile confirmed rumors that Samsung is indeed getting into the virtual reality headset space with a collaborative product with Oculus Rift called Gear VR.

Read More

July 10, 2014
newyorker:

A cartoon by Farley Katz. For more cartoons from the magazine this week: http://nyr.kr/1qcNPgA

newyorker:

A cartoon by Farley Katz. For more cartoons from the magazine this week: http://nyr.kr/1qcNPgA

(Source: newyorker.com, via npr)