Sociologist and radio/TV presenter Aleks Krotoski's debut book Untangling the Web consolidates and presents a decade's worth of social science related to the Internet, conducted by Krotoski and other social scientists around the world. Structured as a series of brief, topical vignettes, each of which summarises the best research on the way that the Internet is changing the way we relate to each other and ourselves, Untangling the Web is a calm, measured and engaging answer to the hysterical tech scare stories about kids in peril, online extremism, the Internet making us stupid, and the general, Daily Mailish tendency to blame every social ill on the Internet.
Krotoski's prodigious work as a popular TV/radio presenter, along with her academic credentials, makes her uniquely qualified to write this book. She tackles her subjects seriously, but without any eye-watering academic jargon, and with enough brevity that the book doesn't bog down. This isn't a comprehensive guide to the impact of the net on society. Rather, it's a kind of charming index to the smartest thinking and research. Krotoski isn't wholly optimistic about the power of the net to improve our lives, but she makes a convincing case that on balance, it is a force for good, and provides the data to back it up.
Untangling the Web
The Stormtrooper Decanter is on back-order, but you can pre-order one from the next batch for £22 — it’s based on Andrew Ainsworth’s original movie helmet moulds from 1976, and will provide endless opportunities to point to lowball glasses and say things like “aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper drink?” (via Bonnie Burton)
Yahoo has released a machine-learning model called open_nsfw that is designed to distinguish not-safe-for-work images from worksafe ones. By tweaking the model and combining it with places-CNN, MIT’s scene-recognition model, Gabriel Goh created a bunch of machine-generated scenes that score high for both models — things that aren’t porn, but look porny.
I dote on fidget gadgets — soothing gizmos intended to give your hands something to keep busy with, like modern worry-beads — and while you can’t buy Chris Bathgate’s amazing machined sliders, and the Fidget Cube Kickstarter just closed, there’s still Thinkgeek’s new Jumbo Noah Fidget Toy, which looks like a lot of fun and […]
Nothing is more frustrating than needing to edit or sign a PDF and not having access to the original document. That’s why PDFpenPRO is a must-have app in our books.With this extremely useful app, you can merge, markup, and create PDF documents without ever having to convert your PDFs into word processor file formats. Type directly onto […]
From self-driving cars to stock market predicting software to the recommendations you get on Amazon and Netflix, machine learning is at the core of modern technology. You could find yourself building technology that is literally changing the world with the skills you’ll learn in The Complete Machine Learning Bundle. This bundle of 10 courses includes 406 lessons that will teach […]
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