Americans believe things


And those things aren't true, according to an Ipsos-Mori poll that put the USA second-from-the-top in the race to see who's the most ignorant, preceded only by Italians.

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Police in Brazil kill six people a day


So says a report from The Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, an NGO that singles out the Rio police for "abusive use of lethal force."

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Cyberwar's hidden victims: NGOs


A new report from the storied Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto documents the advanced, persistent threats levied against civil society groups and NGOs -- threats that rival those facing any government or Fortune 100 company, but whose targets are much less well-equipped to defend themselves.

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Reviews for a "Sexy PhD" costume

The reviews on the Delicious Women's Phd Darling Sexy Costume , some apparently from women with actual PhDs, are something of a remedy for the generally depressing fact of its existence: "Sleeves are too short & have no stripes. Costume does not feature a hood. This is a 'sexy BA' at best."

Harvard's amazing Copyright X online course taking applications


Nathaniel from Harvard's Berkman Center writes, "Copyright X -- AKA 'The MOOC the New Yorker actually liked' and 'the butt-kickingest free copyright class you didn't even know you'd love' -- is gearing up and taking applications for its third run."

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London, Tue night: Cory and Biella Coleman talk about "Hackers and Hoaxers: Inside Anonymous"


Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman (author of the brilliant Coding Freedom) spent years embedded with Anonymous and has written an indispensable account of the Anonymous phenomenon.

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Indispensable BBC/OU series on cybercrime starts tomorrow

Mike from the Open University sez, "The OU and the BBC have created a new six part series about cybercrime, presented by the technology journalist Ben Hammersley."

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Accessible, CC-licensed academic site comes to the US

Michael says, "'The Conversation' has been in Australia for a couple of years: writing by academics, for a lay audience, which aims to be readable and relevant. Their slogan is 'academic rigor, journalistic flair', and they've done pretty well at that so far."

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Mercilessly pricking the bubbles of AI, Big Data, machine learning


Michael I Jordan is an extremely accomplished computer scientist who is also deeply skeptical of claims made by Big Data advocates as well as people who believe that machine intelligence, AI and machine vision are solved, or nearly so.

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American cities, ranked by conservatism


A fascinating chart from Representation in Municipal Government, publishing in American Political Science Review and written by MIT political scientists Chris Tausanovitch and Christopher Warshaw. (via Bruce Sterling)

(Image: Carpintera city limit, Al Pavangkanan, CC-BY)

Why the Clarice/Hannibal scene works so well

Brilliant analysis that's part of Tony Zhou ongoing Every Frame a Painting series.

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If you think you've anonymized a data set, you're probably wrong

Using some clever computing, Atockar took the NYC Taxicab Dataset and not only calculated the annual income of every hack in New York, but also figured out who goes to strip clubs, what celebrities' home addresses were, and how they tipped.

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Jean Baudrillard predicted the Pumpkin Spice Latte

When a "seasonal" drink has no "seasonal" ingredients, including pumpkin, what can it be, but simulacrum?

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Gamergate as a hate-group


Jennifer Allaway is a social scientist who studies diversity in games. In the wake of being targeted by Gamergate trolls, she has written an analysis of the movement as a hate group, showing that it satisfies the formal requirements for such.

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"Copy Me" episode 3: "Early Copyright History"

Alex writes, "It features censorship, hangings, dissent and criticism, a whole bunch of state and church control, angry queens, sad Stationers, and, of course, our terrible culprit: the printing press."

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