1536 posts tagged with technology.
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I'm only happy when it...

Rainworks are positive messages and art that only appear when it rains. Peregrine Church watched a video showing off the properties of superhydrophobic coatings and got an idea uniquely suited to his environment: famously rainy Seattle.* Using a spray-on coating, he did a stencil at a bus stop. It's invisible in dry weather, but as rain hits it and the wet concrete darkens, the writing and art becomes clear. Since then, more have been added: tentacles, hopscotch grids, environmental messages, lily pads, and more. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Mar 21, 2015 - 35 comments

♫Do you want to scrape a website?♫

Did you ever just want a bunch of web data as painlessly as possible but don't know a thing about command-line webscrapers (curl, wget) or parsing libraries (BeautifulSoup, JSoup, pandas)?
import.io will try to auto-magically hash any website you give it into structured data. (Here's MetaFilter.)
Need a bit more control over those results?
Kimono gives you a point-and-click environment for choosing page elements and pagination indicators. (Requires a Chrome add-on or browser bookmarklet.)
posted by Going To Maine on Mar 17, 2015 - 36 comments

being unable to achieve the impossible: keeping everybody happy

Creating just online social spaces - Aria Stewart, Geek Feminism
"The last two months have seen two Slack chats start to support marginalized groups in the technology field, LGBTQ* Technology and Women in Technology, and we’ve had a lot of discussions about how to run the spaces effectively, not just being a place for those who it says on the tin, but to support, encourage and not be terrible to people who are marginalized in other ways than the one the particular group is trying to represent. "This is a sort of how-to guide for creating a social Slack that is inclusive and just, and a lot of of this will apply to other styles and mediums for interaction."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 16, 2015 - 4 comments

Disney's $1 Billion Bet on a Magical Wristband

If you want to imagine how the world will look in just a few years, once our cell phones become the keepers of both our money and identity, skip Silicon Valley and book a ticket to Orlando.
posted by ellieBOA on Mar 16, 2015 - 105 comments

Jetsons, 2017

Ever wanted to buy a flying car? You only have a couple more years to wait, says a company that has built prototypes that can both drive and fly. (CBC link)
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah on Mar 15, 2015 - 47 comments

What can we do better as a community in these cases?

Coding Like a Girl - sailor mercury at Medium:
"Apparently, presenting as feminine makes you look like a beginner. It is very frustrating that I will either look like not a programmer or look like a permanent beginner because I have programmed since age 8. I have basically always wanted to be a programmer. I received undergrad and grad degrees from MIT. I’ve worked as a visiting researcher in Honda’s humanoid robotics division on machine learning algorithms for ASIMO.

"I don’t think that any of these things make me a better programmer; I list them because I am pretty sure that if i were a white man with these credentials or even less than these credentials no one would doubt my programmer status."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 12, 2015 - 126 comments

How Silicon Valley (WANTS to) Shape(s) Our Future

These are the high priests of technocratic capitalism... [more inside]
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man on Mar 11, 2015 - 128 comments

Women working with music technology

There's somehow a notion out there that women don't make their own electronic music. In a recent interview with Bjork in Pitchfork, she brought up an instance of sexism she's dealt with for decades: journalists hardly ever credit her with composing and producing her own music. Since she's not being photographed in the studio working at her computer, the men she collaborates with end up getting all the credit. She cites MIA and Missy Elliott as other examples of this phenomenon. The tumblr female:pressure attempts to counteract this. "Here we offer a visual catalogue of female producers, DJ’s, media artists and electronic music Performers at work. These are not our press photos. This is a collective effort to demonstrate women and their use of technology in music and media production." It's also just a fantastic collection of electronic musicians, many of whom have been overlooked. Further discussion from Create Digital Music.
posted by naju on Mar 9, 2015 - 42 comments

"a tomb in miniature for our souls”

The death of writing – if James Joyce were alive today he’d be working for Google: [Guardian Books]
There’s hardly an instant of our lives that isn’t electronically documented. These days, it is software that maps our new experiences, our values and beliefs. How should a writer respond? Tom McCarthy on fiction in the age of data saturation.

posted by Fizz on Mar 7, 2015 - 11 comments

FCC votes for Net Neutrality

When President Obama appointed Tom Wheeler (a former top telecom lobbyist) as chairman of the FCC, he got a lot of grief for selling out his '07 pledge to protect Net Neutrality -- the founding principle long prized by open web activists that ISPs cannot privilege certain data over others, without which dire visions of a tiered and pay-for-play internet loomed. Earlier, weaker attempts at net neutrality had failed in court, and the new chairman looked set to fold. But after an unprecedented outcry following last year's trial balloon for ISP "fast lanes" -- including a viral appeal by John Oliver, a public urging by the president, and perhaps Wheeler's own history with the pre-web NABU Network -- the FCC yesterday voted along party lines to enact the toughest net neutrality rules in history, classifying ISPs as common carriers and clearing the way for municipal broadband. ISPs reacted with (Morse) venom, while congressional Republicans are divided over what they called "Obamacare for the internet."
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 27, 2015 - 127 comments

Radios in museums

Do you like radios? And museums? Then you need the radiomuseum.org gazatteer of museums and historical places around the world where you can look at radios and associated technologies!
posted by carter on Feb 25, 2015 - 8 comments

“There’s pretty much no law on what you can do to a crime scene sample,”

Using DNA to Build a Face, and a Case by Andrew Pollack [New York Times]
The growing capability to determine physical characteristics from genetics can help the police, but it also raises questions of rights and profiling.

posted by Fizz on Feb 23, 2015 - 13 comments

YouTube Videos from the 90's about Computers

"How People Described the Internet in the 1990s Is Hilarious" A surprisingly rich listicle of some surprisingly deep (so much zeitgeist) revealing 90's videos and cliches pertaining to computers and the internet. Previously [more inside]
posted by aydeejones on Feb 17, 2015 - 63 comments

The Mars 100

From the initial 202,586 applicants, 100 hopefuls have been selected to proceed to the next round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process. The final 100 chosen come from around the world, with 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania. A total of 40 candidates will eventually be chosen to take part in a training programme and live in a copy of the Mars outpost on Earth. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 17, 2015 - 91 comments

Big Farma Fails

New High-Tech Farm Equipment Is a Nightmare for Farmers – Kyle Wiens of iFixit vs. the modern family farm tractor.
posted by cenoxo on Feb 12, 2015 - 52 comments

Tech Behind Bars: Inside the prison system’s illicit digital world

Jails and prisons are supposed to be technological dead zones. In all but the laxest minimum-security facilities, cell phones are banned for inmates, as are personal laptops, tablets, and other Internet-connected devices. Federal prisons have implemented CorrLinks or TRULINCS, e-mail systems that allow inmates to send monitored messages to pre-approved contacts. But the wider Internet remains off-limits. In many prisons, the most up-to-date device approved for ordinary inmate use is the pay-phone. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Feb 9, 2015 - 13 comments

A new face

Violet Pietrok was born with a Tessier Cleft, a skull defect. Surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital used 3-D prints of her skull to practice before cutting into Violet's own skull to repair the damage.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 27, 2015 - 9 comments

Bringing Boredom Back

Inspired by recent research on how boredom and mind-wandering contribute to creativity, public radio show New Tech City is launching a pro-boredom project. Bored and Brilliant invites participants to track how they use their phones to prevent moments of mental idleness, to try to reclaim free brain space and find oases of time, complete a week of creativity challenges, and contribute their responses to the conversation. BrainPickings' Maria Popova and artist Nina Katchadourian (who both joined the project's launch party to talk about how they"owe their careers" to boredom)and RadioLab's Jad Abumrad.
posted by Miko on Jan 25, 2015 - 21 comments

Dealing with the transition to the information age

BIG and BOT Policy Proposals (transcript) - "Many of our current economic policies originated during times of scarcity. But now, says investor Albert Wenger, we live in an era of 'digital abundance', when creating new products costs virtually nothing. To adapt to the resulting economic upheavals, we won't need just more tech, says Wenger, but some strong policies. Here he explores two: basic income guarantee and the right to be represented by a bot." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 23, 2015 - 14 comments

Death of Banks

The End of Banking: Money, Credit, and the Digital Revolution - "Unregulated banking with access to government guarantees is an enticing business model. It offers the profits of excessive risk-taking in good times, and allows passing on the inevitable losses to taxpayers in bad times." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 21, 2015 - 19 comments

An Innocuous Everyday Phrase Imbued With Sinister Meaning Due To Context

Next On “Black Mirror”
posted by Artw on Jan 20, 2015 - 184 comments

MOM, an inflatable incubator, and winner of the 2014 James Dyson Award

The annual James Dyson Award is open to current and recent design engineering students. The winner this year is James Roberts with his inflatable incubator MOM. The device costs around £250 compared to £30,000 for modern incubators and could prevent up to 75% of fatalities in premature birth cases in the developing world.
posted by shimmerbug on Jan 19, 2015 - 13 comments

Runs smiling face infinitely looped

We Know How You Feel Computers are learning to read emotion, and the business world can’t wait.
posted by infini on Jan 18, 2015 - 61 comments

"...we are alive and they are not."

'Are we becoming too reliant on computers?' by Nicholas Carr [The Guardian]
posted by Fizz on Jan 17, 2015 - 59 comments

A sudden urge overtakes her to help mankind.

Be My Eyes is an app which connects blind people needing assistance with a sighted person who can help them by providing a description of what they're seeing. You can be Amelie!
posted by kaibutsu on Jan 15, 2015 - 12 comments

Traditional Japanese Wood Construction and Framing Techniques

Some short videos from a Japanese construction shop that practices traditional joinery techniques. The tools are modern, but the components and joinery techniques are traditional. For instance, joining two beams end-to-end. [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 12, 2015 - 35 comments

What's floating in cyberspace?

Just about everything. On January 8, 1995, a reporter from the Dallas Morning News wrote that 1994 was the "Year of the 'Net, the turning point where everyone with anything to say, sing or display raced to stake a claim in cyberspace." Take a few minutes out of your Friday and enjoy this blast from the past.
posted by naturalog on Jan 9, 2015 - 64 comments

GIS: coming up with solutions for the problems no one asked!

Mitch Hedberg and GIS Disproving “La Quinta” is Spanish for “next to Denny’s.”
posted by anastasiav on Jan 8, 2015 - 34 comments

Intel Includes

Intel Wants Diversity in the Workplace, Puts $300 Million Where Their Mouth Is - Also they have a cool stabby spider dress.
posted by Artw on Jan 7, 2015 - 77 comments

In the 2000s, there will be only answers.

"We will have screens everywhere, in the kitchen, in the restrooms, in the office, in the streets." Marguerite Duras was asked in 1985 what she thought the future would be like. [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband on Jan 6, 2015 - 43 comments

Brothas and sistas, there's an App for THAT

Worried about being pulled over for Driving while black? No worries, there's an App for that coming, checkout the official site with video demo.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 11, 2014 - 13 comments

Hey! My paper got accepted by the Jour--D'oh!

ABSTRACT: The Ethernet must work. In this paper, we confirm the improvement of e-commerce. WEKAU, our new methodology for forward-error correction, is the solution to all of these challenges.

A scientific paper by Maggie Simpson and Edna Krabappel was accepted by two scientific journals. Of course, none of these fictional characters actually wrote the paper, titled "Fuzzy, Homogeneous Configurations" [PDF], Rather, it's a nonsensical text, submitted by engineer Alex Smolyanitsky in an effort to expose a pair of scientific journals — the Journal of Computational Intelligence and Electronic Systems and the comic sans-loving Aperito Journal of NanoScience Technology.
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 8, 2014 - 51 comments

Humankind has been stagnant for 40 years.

Michael Hanlon on the lack of true invention like what we saw between 1945 and 1971. Technology is booming, but it seems we are basically just making smaller and faster versions of things that were already invented 40 years ago. Most of what is happening in medicine, technology, civil rights, etc. seems to be expansion rather than innovation.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper on Dec 4, 2014 - 98 comments

Meet incredible engineers and learn about their achievements

#TechTuesday – 5 Amazing Female Engineers That Time Forgot - "There have always been extraordinary women in STEM… it just wasn’t called that in the 1800s." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 2, 2014 - 13 comments

The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure

The harsh environments of our neighboring planets will require proper attire, with 3D-printed, biological fashions that, in the words of the designer Neri Oxman, "blur the boundary between the environment and ourselves." Oxman's other recent work explores similar lines of utility with her organic, post-industrial aesthetic: some of it disturbing and some sublime.
posted by a lungful of dragon on Nov 25, 2014 - 20 comments

Internet culture puts trolling on a pedestal

Developer Randi Harper came up with a simple solution to help people deal with the harassing tweets they've been receiving from Gamergators: the GG Autoblocker, a perl script that identifies likely GGers and adds them to an ever-evolving block list. This has been a popular move in some circles, and an unpopular one in others. In response to some of the "feedback" she's been receiving, Harper has written Still Here, a two-part post on being a woman in tech: A Memoir, Call To Arms
posted by Going To Maine on Nov 24, 2014 - 414 comments

So What, Who Cares? Email Newsletter

So What, Who Cares? by Lisa Schmeiser - What is news or pop culture without context? Every day, I'll point out three to five things that you might like to know, explaining why they matter (So what?) and who they affect (Who cares?). Archives here.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Nov 20, 2014 - 13 comments

Muscle Robot

The Ecce Robot is an attempt to create a robot that not only mimics human movement and form, but also musculature and body construction. There are more videos at the project's site. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Nov 18, 2014 - 23 comments

A startup reports from the marketing frontier

“The home runs have really been anything we can do to target our actual users,” Budman reflects. “You want to get as narrow as possible. If we can find Mac software developers in the Mission or in Brooklyn, it’s awesome.” Fast-growing online backup company Backblaze tried all kinds of marketing ploys to get new customers, from Adwords to an appearance on Ellen Degeneres: here's what worked and what didn't. (Previously)
posted by shivohum on Nov 18, 2014 - 14 comments

Nice startup you have there...

"Defensive patent aggregator" RPX have a new line of business: selling patent troll insurance to startups.
posted by Artw on Nov 11, 2014 - 23 comments

The Issue Formally Known As Privacy

Should you be terrified of your new TV? With the release of Amazon Echo (or Jibo for the kids), passive monitoring devices are about to go mainstream. Meanwhile, Is Privacy Becoming a Luxury Good?
posted by gwint on Nov 6, 2014 - 87 comments

Painting with feet

The pointe shoe in ballet is a piece of technology critical to the performance of dance. While mechanically tough, its design is simple and flexible enough for personal modification and tailoring to the individual dancer's needs. Spanish artist Lesia Trubat has taken the pointe shoe into the 21st century, sewing in LilyPad Arduino controllers and sensors and integrating their operation with iOS, allowing the dancer to turn pressure and motion into a dynamic and novel expression of this centuries-old art form.
posted by a lungful of dragon on Nov 5, 2014 - 5 comments

tech punditry: stage-managed gobbledygook with an undercurrent of sexism

The Dads of Tech – by Astra Taylor and Joanne McNeil, The Baffler
"The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house," Audre Lorde famously said, but let Clay Shirky mansplain. It "always struck me as a strange observation — even the metaphor isn't true," the tech consultant and bestselling author said at the New Yorker Festival last autumn in a debate with the novelist Jonathan Franzen. "Get ahold of the master’s hammer," and you can dismantle anything. Just consider all the people "flipping on the 'I'm gay' light on Facebook" to signal their support for marriage equality — there, Shirky declared, is a prime example of the master’s tools put to good use.

"Shirky invented the Internet and Franzen wants to shut it down," panel moderator Henry Finder mused with an air of sophisticated hyperbole. Finder said he was merely paraphrasing a festival attendee he'd overheard outside — and joked that for once in his New Yorker editing career, he didn't need fact-checkers to determine whether the story was true. He then announced with a wink that it was "maybe a little true." Heh.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 4, 2014 - 41 comments

ⓓⓘⓥⓔⓡⓢⓘⓣⓨ

2015: The Year of Emoji Diversity - The Unicode Consortium has released a technical report detailing a new method for handling the representation of multi-ethnic groups in emoji that may work its way into Unicode 8.0 [more inside]
posted by a lungful of dragon on Nov 4, 2014 - 34 comments

To #Hashtag or Not To #Hashtag

The #Hashtag debate continues and it seems as though the only ones debating it are the ones who don't completely understand it.
posted by ourt on Oct 14, 2014 - 107 comments

Why I Refuse to Let Technology Control Me.

Prince Ea "Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?" [slyt] [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Oct 4, 2014 - 35 comments

Cookies, caches and cows

Translating technological terms throws up some peculiar challenges
Ibrahima Sarr, a Senegalese coder, led the translation of Firefox into Fulah, which is spoken by 20m people from Senegal to Nigeria. “Crash” became hookii (a cow falling over but not dying); “timeout” became a honaama (your fish has got away). “Aspect ratio” became jeendondiral, a rebuke from elders when a fishing net is wrongly woven. In Malawi’s Chichewa language, which has 10m speakers, “cached pages” became mfutso wa tsamba, or bits of leftover food. The windowless houses of the 440,000 speakers of Zapotec, a family of indigenous languages in Mexico, meant that computer “windows” became “eyes”.

posted by infini on Sep 26, 2014 - 23 comments

Who is really listening?

An international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) is a unique number, usually fifteen digits, associated with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users. An IMSI catcher is a device, used by the NSA drone program, the police, criminals, Chinese spammers and spies all around Washington DC and the world to spoof the identity of a GSM cell tower and intercept cellular voice and data communication. They come in all sizes and flavors, from tiny or body-worn professional surveillance devices, to easy to order off the shelf solutions, to Chinese DIY (links in Chinese) and have spawned efforts to retaliate with an IMSI-catcher-catcher. IMSI-catcher technology has become increasingly widespread, with far-reaching constitutional and technical implications.
posted by T.D. Strange on Sep 22, 2014 - 13 comments

“Oh, this is where the science I like is.”

How Long Does It Take to Get to Tatooine? [The New Yorker] "We use much more brainpower on subjects that interest us."
posted by Fizz on Sep 20, 2014 - 17 comments

The Social Construction of Money (Wealth/Capital in the 21st Century)*

The political economy of a universal basic income: "your view of what is feasible should not be backwards looking. The normalization of gay marriage and legalization of marijuana seemed utopian and politically impossible until very recently. Yet in fact those developments are happening, and their expansion is almost inevitable given the demographics of ideology... UBI — defined precisely as periodic transfers of identical fixed dollar amounts to all citizens of the polity — is by far the most probable and politically achievable among policies that might effectively address problems of inequality, socioeconomic fragmentation, and economic stagnation." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 19, 2014 - 62 comments

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