Boing Boing 

First-ever photo of light behaving as a wave and particle


Nicholas writes, "Since Einstein's day, scientists have been trying to directly observe the wave- and particle- aspects of light at the same time. Now, scientists at a Swiss lab have succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of this dual behavior."

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Fair use: a guide for artists

Pat from American University's Center for Media and Social Impact writes, "Can an artist use images from Facebook in her collage? Can an art teacher show pictures he took at an exhibition in class? Can a museum put a collection online?"

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Police questioning techniques make it easy to elicit false accusations


Horrified psychologists discontinued a study into how police interrogation tactics can create unshakable false memories of crimes; but it turns out that police questioning tactics are even better at elicting false accusations of crimes that never even occurred.

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Security researcher releases 10 million username and password combinations


Security researcher Mark Burnett has released 10,000,000 username/password combos he's downloaded from well-publicized hacks, citing the prosecution of Barrett Brown and the looming Obama administration crackdown on security researchers as impetus to do this before it became legally impossible.

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The Haunted Mansion was almost the Tiki Room


Another outstanding photo-essay on the Long Forgotten Haunted Mansion blog shows how many of the original Rolly Crump concepts for a walk-through Haunted Mansion at Disneyland eventually made their way into the Enchanted Tiki Room, with effects based on Cocteau's 1946 movie La Belle et la BĂȘte.

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15-20% of Xmas gifts are crap


"The Deadweight Loss of Christmas," published in American Economic Review (Joel Waldfogel, UMN) estimates that "on average, the waste attributable to poorly chosen seasonal gifts was between 15 and 20 per cent of the purchase price of the gift" ($10B/year in the US alone!).

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Sock-puppet- and traffic-analysis-resistant group conversation protocol

Dissent implements the Dining Cryptographers and Verifiable Shuffling algorithms to produce a group-conversation system that is resistant to traffic analysis. Feels like we're entering the second golden age of cypherpunk.

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37K sentiment-analysis words associated with emotion scores

Hosted on github, Depeche Mood is a lexicon of 37,000 emotional terms, part of the research work in DepecheMood: a Lexicon for Emotion Analysis from Crowd-Annotated News [PDF]. (via O'Reilly Radar)

(Image: rageface_sad_crying, Meme TN, CC-BY)

Lecture on zombies, art, and death

Zombie artist George Pfau sends us, "Zombies Identified: A slideshow-lecture performed for BAASICS 5:Monsters, a free event at ODC Theater in San Francisco."

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Why it matters whether or not torture works


Part of the debate about the CIA Torture Report is whether torture works as a means of gathering useful intelligence; scholarly work has long held that it doesn't.

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Toys are more gendered now than they were 50 years ago


Before Reagan's FCC deregulated kids' TV and allowed toy-makers to produce 22-minute commercials disguised as cartoons, there had been major strides in de-gendering toys, grouping them by interest, rather than by constraining who was "supposed" to play with them.

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LISTEN: Systems thinking and medicine -- brilliant lecture on systemic problem-solving

The lecturer for the BBC's 2014 Reith lectures is Dr Atul Gawande, a celebrated author and MD whose book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right is a classic on how to think about systemic problem solving (which pays attention to how different people and activities come together to make and solve problems).

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Fellowships available in security usability

The Open Technology Fund and Simply Secure are offering fellowships to researchers who seek funding to work on usability in privacy and security technology.

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Nature makes all its papers free to view


The premiere science publisher will make shareable "read-only" links to its all papers stretching back to 1869, using technology from a startup that its parent company, Macmillan, has invested in.

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A neural "off-switch" for pain documented

In Endogenous adenosine A3 receptor activation selectively alleviates persistent pain states, a paper in Brain by researchers led from the St Louis University Medical School, scientists document their work in switching off neural pain pathways by activating an adenosine receptor.

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Analysis of leaked logs from Syria's censoring national firewall


Syria's brutal Assad government uses censorware from California's Blue Coat System as part of its systematic suppression of dissent and to help it spy on dissidents; 600GB of 2011 logs from Syria's seven SG-9000 internet proxies were leaked by hacktivist group Telecomix and then analyzed by University College London's Emiliano De Cristofaro.

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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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