Cleveland baseball fans stand against racism by #DeChiefing their gear
In the past few months, debate surrounding the use of racial caricatures as pro sports mascots has reached a fever pitch. Just ask the Washington Redskins, who’ve endured significant backlash for both their refusal to change their name and their half-assed attempts to placate their critics.
But a few miles west, fans of the MLB’s Cleveland Indians are taking a stand. In a motion of solidarity, a small but growing number have been “de-Chiefing” their paraphernalia by removing the offensive “Chief Wahoo” mascot from caps and jerseys that bear its likeness.
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I like this a LOT. I don’t know who else can make these teams change at this point other than their own fans.
(Source: policymic, via trans-venus)
• 22 April 2014 • 25,811 notes • View comments
But who, if anyone, is going to fix the failing institutions that continue to have an enormous impact on the everyday lives of everyone, regardless of their opinions about how corrupt, unpopular or even illegitimate these institutions are? Especially given how tedious, tiring, unexciting organization-building can be, compared with humorous, energized, adrenaline-filled efforts such as protests and occupations?
New media certainly enables even the coalitions of ordinary citizens to realize impressive logistics. I am amazed at the energy and creativity I’ve witnessed in country after country, as citizens organize everything from election monitoring to disaster aid. They do not lack in numbers, talent or creativity, and they have an impressive array of new tools. It’s not that the protesters are shying away from sacrifice or hard work, and it’s not that they are preferring online over offline—the Gezi Park protest thoroughly mixed online and offline, as had Occupy Wall Street. And yet, these new movements keep failing to mount a successful — or even credible — electoral challenge, and they have not yet found a way to impact institutions which hold great sway and influence over our lives.
— Zeynep Tufekci: What If the Feature Is the Bug? Election monitoring, new power of social media and old power of structural power
• 22 April 2014 • View comments
Introducing AISight: The slightly scary CCTV network completely run by AI
BRS Labs’ AISight is different because it doesn’t rely on a human programmer to tell it what behaviour is suspicious. It learns that all by itself.
The system enables a machine to monitor is environment, and build up a detailed profile of what can be considered “normal” behaviour. The AI can then determine what kind of behaviour is abnormal, without human pre-programing.
What’s more, AISight permanently learns and registers when changes in normal behaviour occur, so no ongoing programing is required from human operators. In order to do this, it employs a technology known as “artificial neural networks”, which mimics the function of the human brain.
• 22 April 2014 • View comments
'Ignore sat-nav' sign (by rowanC82)
A council has put up a sign warning lorry drivers to ignore their satellite navigation systems after faulty sat-nav directions caused traffic chaos in Wales. Vale of Glamorgan Council in South Wales is the first in the UK to use visual signs warning drivers not to believe sat-nav advice after once peaceful villages were reduced to bedlam when heavy-goods lorries got stuck in tiny country lanes. Now a sign aimed largely at foreign drivers has been put up on the outskirts of the village of St Hilary. “The proliferation of satellite navigation aids used in heavy goods vehicles, and their over-reliance, especially by overseas drivers, has presented itself as a problem within the Vale of Glamorgan,” a spokesman for the council’s highways department said.
'Ignore sat-nav' sign posted to protect village - Telegraph
• 22 April 2014 • 87 notes • View comments
“The rise of Reddit as a tastemaker and source for journalists is the worst thing to happen to journalism since the sinking of The Maine. It’s as if an energy drink-addled college sophomore who has issues with women became the internet’s assignment editor. I used to rigorously comb Reddit for stories and I’m ashamed of the role I played in this state of affairs. Luckily Reddit has become increasingly self-obsessed and less useful as a source. Hopefully it will be completely irrelevant in a couple of years.”
— Adrien Chen on Reddit
• 21 April 2014 • View comments
“A quick tangent: I have a fun game/exercise that I play with my rhetoric classes. I pick a seemingly innocuous phrase that is (over-)used in mass media, then I ask the class to explain what it means. No matter what they say, I either pretend not to understand, or ask “no, but what does it mean?” The students think it’s frustrating, then funny, then, frustrating again. A favorite phrase for this game is “senseless violence.”
The point of the exercise is to examine some of the contradictions or confusion we use in everyday language. I feel this way about the phrase “faith in humanity,” and especially “restore [my/your/anyone’s] faith in humanity.” What is humanity, what does it mean to have faith in it, and why does the faith need to be restored? I assume that humanity means something close to “the goodness of human nature,” and not “the essential or unifying nature of personhood,” but I’m really not sure. At the very least the repeated recycling of this phrase should serve as a reminder of the Sisyphean task of restoring faith in humanity, whatever it may mean. Humanity is always already in doubt; our faith must endlessly be restored.”
— Life Sentences: The Grammar of Clickbait! by Michael Reid Roberts (via mikerugnetta)
• 21 April 2014 • 1,191 notes • View comments
U.S. Promotes Network to Foil Digital Spying:
The mesh network blankets areas of town including the main street, the weekly market, the town hall and the train station, and users have access to a local server containing Wikipedia in French and Arabic, town street maps, 2,500 free books in French, and an app for secure chatting and file sharing. The mesh is not linked to the wider Internet, Professor Kerkeni says — a point in his favor when he invites families to connect in this Muslim community. “Some parents ask me if it is safe to connect to the server,” he said. “They don’t allow their little children to connect to the Internet. I say, ‘I know it’s safe.’ ”
—Do we really want a ton of fractured intranets that don’t connect to one another? That sounds like North Korea.
• 21 April 2014 • View comments
Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City
Compton residents weren’t told about the spying, which happened in 2012. “We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people,” Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting. The technology he’s trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours. Like Google Earth, it enables police to zoom in on certain areas. And like TiVo, it permits them to rewind, so that they can look back and see what happened anywhere they weren’t watching in real time. “Our whole system costs less than the price of a single police helicopter and costs less for an hour to operate than a police helicopter,” McNutt said. “But at the same time, it watches 10,000 times the area that a police helicopter could watch.”
• 21 April 2014 • View comments
Sentry® Portal - American Science & Engineering
YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN FAST AND THOROUGH. At crowded seaports, border crossings, and security checkpoints, high throughput is critical. So is high-quality imaging. The Sentry Portal system offers both—while ensuring safe drive-through operation with robust technology to avoid scanning the cab and driver. This compact drive-through system utilizes high-energy transmission X-rays—capable of penetrating up to 300 mm (11.8 in) of steel—to detect hidden threats and contraband in cargo containers, tankers, and large vehicles. The Sentry Portal system scans containers at a rate of up to 150 trucks per hour.
• 19 April 2014 • 15 notes • View comments
To scale Predator Drone on Treat between 18th and 17th in the Mission, SF. Show opens tomorrow!
• 18 April 2014 • 10 notes • View comments
First-to-market biometric payment system scans your hand of it’s vein layout to identify the customer and their account.
To those unfamiliar with vein biometrics, the way your veins are structured around your body are more unique than a fingerprint, therefore considered a far more accurate form of personal identification - video from the University of Lund, Sweden below:
Paying for a coffee or lunch by simply scanning your palm still sounds like science fiction to most of us. However, an engineering student at Lund University in Sweden has made it happen - making his the first known company in the world to install the vein scanning technique in stores and coffee shops.
Link to Quixter’s website can be found here
• 17 April 2014 • 1,741 notes • View comments
Death From Above: How American Drone Strikes Are Devastating Yemen
The people of Yemen can hear destruction before it arrives. In cities, towns and villages across this country, which hangs off the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, the air buzzes with the sound of American drones flying overhead. The sound is a constant and terrible reminder: a robot plane, acting on secret intelligence, may calculate that the man across from you at the coffee shop, or the acquaintance with whom you’ve shared a passing word on the street, is an Al Qaeda operative. This intelligence may be accurate or it may not, but it doesn’t matter. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, the chaotic buzzing above sharpens into the death-herald of an incoming missile.
• 15 April 2014 • View comments