"new aesthetic"

New Ways of Seeing: James Bridle's BBC radio show about networked digital tools in our "image-soaked culture"

James "New Aesthetic" Bridle (previously) is several kinds of provocateur and artist (who can forget his autonomous vehicle trap, to say nothing of his groundbreaking research on the violent Youtube Kids spammers who came to dominate the platform with hour+ long cartoons depicting cartoon characters barfing and murdering all over each other?). Read the rest

It's January, so it's time to settle in with the annual WELL State of the Union address, with special guest James Bridle!

For decades, the WELL has rung in the new year with a weeks-long public discussion led by Jon Lebkowsky and Bruce Sterling (2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2005, etc). Read the rest

Bruce Sterling on architecture, design, science fiction, futurism and involuntary parks

In 1918, there was plenty of speculation about 2018; in 2018, no one is talking about 2118. Bruce Sterling discusses the relationship of industrial design to science fiction; the New Aesthetic and Turinese architecture; and many other subjects with Benjamin Bratton. (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest

Photographers document India's wondrous and weird church architecture

Postcolonial Enlightenment is an exhibition of churches and movie theatres that were built in the wake of independence in 1947, with a bold new aesthetic in mind. As the curators describe: Read the rest

#Elsagate: a subreddit that's sleuthing out the weird videos of Youtube Kids

Last month, James "New Aesthetic" Bridle published an influential essay exploring the prolific and disturbing video-spam that had come to dominate Youtube Kids, in which seemingly algorithmically generated videos endlessly recombined a handful of Disney characters and assorted others engaged in violent, abusive and even psychosexual conduct, over a soundtrack of a few repeated public-domain kids' songs, with all sorts of trickery designed to uprank them in Youtube's play-next, recommendation and search results -- keyword stuffing, duration-stretching and more. Read the rest

Youtube Kids spammers rack up billions of views on disturbing, violent, seemingly algorithmic videos

James Bridle takes a deep dive into the weird world of Youtube Kids videos, whose popular (think: millions and millions of views) genres and channels include endless series of videos of children being vomited on by family members and machinima-like music videos in which stock cartoon characters meet gory, violent ends. Read the rest

A confusatorium for self-driving cars

James "New Aesthetics" Bridle (previously) wants to confuse your autonomous vehicle, so he's designed this Autonomous Trap 001, a sequencing scheme with lots of room for growth. Read the rest

Read: The End of Big Data: space weapons, UN inspectors and personal data

James "New Aesthetic" Bridle writes, "I wrote an SF short story about satellites, space weapons, UN inspectors, and the end of personal data! I hope you like it." Read the rest

NYC taxi data visualized

Todd W. Schneider analyzed 1.1 Billion NYC taxi and Uber trips "with a Vengeance", teasing straightfoward visualizations from an absolutely enormous dataset.

Taken as a whole, the detailed trip-level data is more than just a vast list of taxi pickup and drop off coordinates: it’s a story of New York. How bad is the rush hour traffic from Midtown to JFK? Where does the Bridge and Tunnel crowd hang out on Saturday nights? What time do investment bankers get to work? How has Uber changed the landscape for taxis? And could Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson have made it from 72nd and Broadway to Wall Street in less than 30 minutes? The dataset addresses all of these questions and many more.

Remember the scene from Die Hard: With a Vengeance where Bruce Willis is given 30 minutes to drive from the Upper West Side to Wall Street to prevent a bombing? The writer knew New York very well, it turns out. The median journey time for that trip is 29.8 minutes.

Traveler protip: don't take a car to JFK on weekday afternoons. Just never do that.

[via The New Aesthetic] Read the rest

Ads could use ultrasound to secretly link your gadgets

Researchers are warning that ads could play coded sounds outside the range of human hearing to secretly communicate with other gadgets within earshot.

The technique, which several companies are reportedly working on, would allow marketers to associate devices with one another and paint a privacy-cracking picture of the owner's interests and behaviors.

Dan Goodin reports that cross-device tracking is already in use:

Cross-device tracking raises important privacy concerns, the Center for Democracy and Technology wrote in recently filed comments to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has scheduled a workshop on Monday to discuss the technology. Often, people use as many as five connected devices throughout a given day—a phone, computer, tablet, wearable health device, and an RFID-enabled access fob. Until now, there hasn't been an easy way to track activity on one and tie it to another.

"As a person goes about her business, her activity on each device generates different data streams about her preferences and behavior that are siloed in these devices and services that mediate them," CDT officials wrote. "Cross-device tracking allows marketers to combine these streams by linking them to the same individual, enhancing the granularity of what they know about that person."

The trick hasn't been seen in the wild, but all the pieces are in place: we all know our smartphones and laptops might end up under someone else's control, but did you know television sets now default to collecting and sending data on what you watch?

[via The New Aesthetic] Read the rest

Glitchlife: Gallery of public Blue Screens of Death, including a world-beater

This gallery of public Blue Screen of Death crashes on screens is a great reminder that, as Vice's Rachel Pick says, "life is a farce." Read the rest

Dandelion

She broke the silence, “Jared went in last week.”

“Where?” I knew, but I was being difficult.

“You know where: the clinic.”

“Oh.”

Our living room was always small, but today it felt particularly cramped. We sat on opposite sides of the white microfiber couch. I stared at the TV.

“Is he good?” I asked.

“Yup. Got the dose yesterday. He’s recovering at home.”

When we got tested, I watched them take her blood. She was calm; I was a fucking wreck. The one thing our species wants and it comes down to a genetic lottery: if your mitochondria objects, get in line for the grave; if not, you’ve got a lot of living to do. Read the rest

Teaching image-recognition algorithms to produce nightmarish hellscapes

In "Inceptionism," scientists at Google Research describe their work training neural nets with sets of images, then tweaking the "layers" of neural net nodes to produce weird outcomes. Read the rest

Short film: 'Discovery' (Valeris)

Director: Maxime Dardenne. Read the rest

Silkpunk - playing engineer in an imaginary world

How I ended up with bamboo-and-silk airships that compress and expand their gasbags to change the amount of lift.

Saga Volume 4

Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples's high weird, perved-out, freaked out space opera comic Saga is the best visual sf since Transmetropolitan, and the long-awaited volume 4 is a feast of politics, betrayal, gore, revolution, decadence, and Huxleyesque social control through amusement technology. Cory Doctorow blew his mind with it, and is back to tell the tale.

Artistic scanner-photos taken on a coral-reef

Nathaniel Stern straps modified document scanners to his body and then walks around, producing beautiful, glitched out art-images. Now he's taken his scanners to the bottom of the ocean. Read the rest

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