Audio recordings usually include a low-level background noise caused by electrical equipment. The hum contains small frequency fluctuations which are propagated consistently over entire power grids. By storing the pattern of grid-wide fluctuations in a database forensics experts are able to use the hum as a watermark. This can determine when the recording was made, where it was made and whether it was recorded in a single edit. [more inside]
Mat Honan of Wired has a covetableTwitter username (@mat). Recently hackers tore his digital world apart in an attempt to commandeer it. Now he reflects: The age of the password has come to an end; we just haven’t realized it yet. And no one has figured out what will take its place. What we can say for sure is this: Access to our data can no longer hinge on secrets—a string of characters, 10 strings of characters, the answers to 50 questions—that only we’re supposed to know. The Internet doesn’t do secrets. Everyone is a few clicks away from knowing everything.
We only wanted one thing from Jonah Lehrer: a story. He told it so well that we forgave him almost everything.
Caught on camera: engineering in action 'The winning entries of the 2012 Photography Competition at the Department of Engineering[Cambridge], sponsored by Carl Zeiss, provide a stunning visual insight into the ways in which engineering makes a vital contribution to our lives.' [more inside]
"Zhang Yue, founder and chairman of Broad Sustainable Building, is not a particularly humble man. A humble man would not have erected, on his firm’s corporate campus in the Chinese province of Hunan, a classical palace and a 130-foot replica of an Egyptian pyramid. A humble man, for that matter, would not have redirected Broad from its core business—manufacturing industrial air-conditioning units—to invent a new method of building skyscrapers. And a humble man certainly wouldn’t be putting up those skyscrapers at a pace never achieved in history." [Meet the Man Who Built a 30-Story Building in 15 Days]
"If you’re not getting it wrong really a lot when you’re creating imaginary futures, then you’re just not doing it enough."
Wired talks to William Gibson: on Why Sci-Fi Writers Are (Thankfully) Almost Always Wrong, on Twitter, Antique Watches and Internet Obsessions, and and on Punk Rock, Internet Memes, and ‘Gangnam Style’.
'While they never met, they had some things in common. Both were Army captains, engaged in important work for the nation, their costly educations paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Ian Morrison, 26, returned to Fort Hood, Texas, last December after nine months flying 70 combat missions over Iraq. Dr. Michael McCaddon, 37, was an ob-gyn resident at Hawaii’s Tripler Army Medical Center. The pilot and the doctor shared one other thing: they found themselves in a darkening, soul-sucking funnel that has trapped some 2,500 military personnel since 9/11. Like them, each died, at his own hand, on March 21, nearly 4,000 miles apart.' [more inside]
WIRED has been running a fascinating series: Olympic Physics: Can Runners Benefit From Drafting?, Scoring the Decathlon, New [Swimming] Platform Is No Chip Off The Old Block [more inside]
Ladies and Gentlemen, tired of the usual vacation spot? Want to get away from crowded beaches and cluttered national forests? Why not visit new-and-improved locations like: Permian Basin, Texas! Or Bull Shoals Dam, in Arkansas. Try a less-well-known section of Virginia Beach! Drive up to see the glaciers at Glacier National Park. [more inside]
Officers in the United States Marine Corps face a long and rigorous selection and training process. First, Officer Candidate School, where they receive their commissions. Then The Basic School, where they are taught the credo: 'Every Marine A Rifleman.' Then, for those who choose and are selected for the infantry, the Infantry Officer's Course. With the 'front lines' of modern combat blurred at best, the United States Marine Corps will begin accepting women for the infantry in September, enrolling them in the Infantry Officer's Course. [more inside]
"When Art, Apple and the Secret Service Collide: ‘People Staring at Computers’ ": A year ago (previously on MetaFilter), Kyle McDonald created an art project that landed him in some trouble with Apple and the attention of the US Secret Service. He writes about it for WIRED. [more inside]
Last year, Wired reported that 'The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”' (previously) The FBI pledged reform, but the materials appeared to be deeply embedded. After the President ordered a review, the FBI 'purged' the documents from training materials. Earlier this year Wired reported that 'U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam.' [more inside]
Al Jazeera: 'US admits ops in Yemen and Somalia: White House formally acknowledges "direct action", believed to mean drone strikes, against al-Qaeda and its affiliates.' [more inside]
Wired Magazine has rereleased their inaugural issue for free in their iPad application. [more inside]
In 2007, Google project manager Dan Siroker took a leave of absence from Google, moved to Chicago, and joined up with Obama’s campaign as a digital adviser.
"At first he wasn’t sure how he could help. But he recalled something else Obama had said to the Googlers: “I am a big believer in reason and facts and evidence and science and feedback—everything that allows you to do what you do. That’s what we should be doing in our government.” And so Siroker decided he would introduce Obama’s campaign to a crucial technique—almost a governing ethos—that Google relies on in developing and refining its products. He showed them how to A/B test."[more inside]
LiveHoods: Using Social Media and Machine-Learning to Study Cities [via mefi projects] [more inside]
"Samuel Arbesman is a senior scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and author of the forthcoming book 'The Half-Life of Facts'. His research and essays explore how to quantify all aspects of society." [more inside]
This is a strange thing. This is a look, a style, a pattern that didn’t previously exist in the real world. It’s something that’s come out of digital.
"Above all, the New Aesthetic is telling the truth. There truly are many forms of imagery nowadays that are modern, and unique to this period. We’re surrounded by systems, devices and machineries generating heaps of raw graphic novelty. We built them, we programmed them, we set them loose for a variety of motives, but they do some unexpected and provocative things." Bruce Sterling (Previously) writes about the New Aesthetic movement in Wired magazine. [more inside]
How One Response to a Reddit Query Became a Big Budget Flick: "Now, in response to The_Quiet_Earth’s question about time-traveling marines, Erwin started typing. He posted his answer in a series of comments in the thread. Within an hour, he was an online celebrity. Within three hours, a film producer had reached out to him. Within two weeks, he was offered a deal to write a movie based on his Reddit comments. Within two months, he had taken a leave from his job to become a full-time Hollywood screenwriter." [more inside]
Flowcharts explain it all. Here is a flowchart guide. You dropped food on the floor - do you eat it? Should you have a cookie or a drink? Can you cook? (via) Look, a coffee pot! Playing D&D or WoW? Sex-act morality? Internet anger? Panflute? Which social search site should you use? Are you a cat or dog person? Are you a horse? Species identification. Are you happy? Should your band cover this song? Which Mahler symphony did you hear? Should you shave your legs?
"...Obama isn’t just lying about his identity. He’s lying about his military service record, too. While his political opponents in 2008 attacked him for never serving, in truth, he was concealing his participation in a hidden CIA intergalactic program hosted at a California community college in 1980."
"Here at GeekDad we review a lot of products — books, toys, gadgets, software — and I know it’s impossible for most parents to actually afford all of the cool stuff that gets written up... [W]hile we love telling you about all the cool stuff that’s out there, I understand that as parents we all have limited budgets and we sometimes need help narrowing down our wishlists. So to help you out, I’ve worked really hard to narrow down this list to five items that no kid should be without. All five should fit easily within any budget, and are appropriate for a wide age range so you get the most play out of each one. These are time-tested and kid-approved!"
Danger Room, the tech magazine Wired's section for covering military and security matters, have compiled The Worst War Movies Ever, From Delta Force to The Empire Strikes Back for your Friday list viewing pleasure.
Wired takes a look at some pop culture legends that elude fans and collectors.
"IBM is proud to announce a product you may have a personal interest in. It's a tool that could soon be on your desk, in your home or in your child's schoolroom. It can make a surprising difference in the way you work, learn or otherwise approach the complexities (and some of the the simple pleasures) of living." [more inside]
On the heels of the newest volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and the recent completion of the controversial Neonomicon, which Moore suggests may be his last non-League comics work), Alan Moore (previously) gives Wired a lengthy interview that includes his thoughts on DC Comics' upcoming reboot (also previously) and the dilemma of the fan-turned-writer.
Anthrax Redux. Wired's gripping account of the FBI's investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks.
Cracking the Scratchie. With cheating and money laundering and statistics, this story seems like it should be about something more exciting than scratch-off lottery tickets. But it isn't.
Journalistic flamewar erupts over secret chat logs. It's a disagreement between Salon's Glenn Greenwald and Wired.com's Kevin Poulsen over the proper use of IM chat logs between Bradley Manning and Adrian Lamo. Revelant links within. [more inside]
"Places like Picher are why Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980—better known as the Superfund bill." - Wired Magazine on the most toxic town in America, Picher, OK , and the people who still live there
This Summer’s Sexiest Images From Saturn. From a billion miles away, the Cassini spacecraft continues to send spectacular images of Saturn and its moons. Cassini has been flying since 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004 after flybys of Earth, Venus and Jupiter. Its mission was originally slated to end in 2008, but it got its first 27 month extension to witness Saturn’s equinox. This year, it was given another life extension until 2017 to keep exploring until Saturn’s northern hemisphere summer solstice. [previously] [more inside]
Choice blindness occurs when subjects are unaware that the choice they made is opposite their previously stated preferences. In this recent paper, subject preferences were reversed between tastes of jam and scents of tea. Overall, only a third of all the manipulated trials were detected by subjects whose preferences had been switched by the experimenters. [more inside]
And how did DVDs get commentary tracks? Let Bob tell you: You have to understand how much of this stuff is accidental. I knew the guy who was the curator of films at the LA County Museum of Art, and I brought him to New York to oversee color correction. He’s telling us all these amazing stories, particularly about King Kong, because it’s his favorite film. Someone said, “Gee, we’ve got this extra sound track on the LaserDisc, why don’t you tell these stories?” He was horrified at the idea, but we promised we’d get him super stoned if he did, and he gave this amazing discussion about the making of King Kong, which we released as the second sound track.... [via snarkmarket] [more inside]
Editors of the pop-culture magazine Wired provided the title "iPhone 4’s ‘Retina’ Display Claims Are False Marketing" to a highly critical article about the new iPhone's high-resolution "Retina" display, so-called as the human eye cannot resolve individual pixels when viewing it. A technician who worked on the Hubble telescope disagreed with the Wired editors' choice of rhetoric in very strong technical terms and issued less stringent disagreement with Raymond Soneira, the writer of the piece. Neuroscientist and photographer Bryan Jones published his own highly readable technical analysis of the display's pixel arrangement, that helped him decide whether Apple's claims were truthful or not.
Offering up a bass track, a guitar track, and a drum track as the common fodder, Wired.com invites remixes from its readers and runs a crowdsourced music experiment. Note for those producing solo in their hovels/studies/caves/garrets/cubicles, and those looking for new sports through which to sell concert tickets and t-shirts: the artists of the future are inclined to organize into teams.
Wired.com takes a look back at these charming machines and visits three Bay Area workshops whose proprietors keep hearse-colored Remingtons and Underwoods from disappearing into the grave. (Typewriters previously)
More than 30 years after it was written, the Pentagon has released a memorandum detailing its involvement in the CIA’s infamous Cold War mind-control experiments. The entire document, as linked to in the article, is available as a pdf.
The New York World’s Fair of 1939 and 1940 promised visitors they would be looking at the “World of Tomorrow”. (second link is similar to the second one here)
Wired Reread: "In the fast paced world of tech, we often lure ourselves into believing that everything is different now, and old rules don’t apply. Well, quite often they do (if not always) and checking out our collective tech-past can help us get a perspective on the present."