"samantha cole"

A pair of musicians recorded every possible MIDI melody just to get around copyright law

Motherboard has an interesting new piece about musical copyright law, and the fact that there are only so many musical sequences using half-step frequencies possible. What happens when they're all used up, and the copyright trolls take everyone to court for any song that even remotely resembles another one, just by virtue of the fact that it relies on the same music theory?

Think about Lana Del Rey accidentally ripping off of Radiohead, who had accidentally ripped off of the Hollies. It's not crazy to write a song that goes from the I to the extra tension of a Chromatic Mediant III before resolving on a IV, which then walks down to a minor iv and returns to the tonic.

(Or, in simpler terms, as Motherboard puts it: Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" ripping off of Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down")

To get around the potential future copyright trolls, Damien Riehl and Noah Rubin developed a MIDI algorithm to automatically generate a series of melodies, then released those datasets into the public domain using a Creative Commons Zero license. The method for achieving this is pretty neat:

To determine the finite nature of melodies, Riehl and Rubin developed an algorithm that recorded every possible 8-note, 12-beat melody combo. This used the same basic tactic some hackers use to guess passwords: Churning through every possible combination of notes until none remained. Riehl says this algorithm works at a rate of 300,000 melodies per second.

Once a work is committed to a tangible format, it's considered copyrighted.

Read the rest

Family puts Ring camera in children's room, discovers that hacker is watching their kids 24/7, taunting them through the speaker

A family in DeSoto County, Mississippi, bought a Ring security camera so they could keep an eye on their three young girls in their bedroom. Four days later, they learned that a hacker had broken into the camera and subjected their children to continuous bedroom surveillance, taunting the children through the camera's built-in speaker. Read the rest

Art pranksters upload Mark Zuckerberg deepfake to Instagram to test Facebook's non-removal policy

We knew it was a matter of time before someone tested Facebook's claim they won't remove so-called 'deepfakes,' aka convincingly real faked videos like that recently viral clip of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, edited to appear 'drunk'. Read the rest

Amazon's facial recognition fear crusade ramps up: now they're paying Facebook to show you pictures of suspected criminals to scare you into getting a surveillance doorbell

Amazon's Ring doorbells are surveillance devices that conduct round-the-clock video surveillance of your neighborhood, automatically flagging "suspicious" faces and bombarding you and your neighbors with alerts using an app called "Neighbors"; it's a marriage of Amazon's Internet of Things platform with its "Rekognition" facial recognition tool, which it has marketed aggressively to cities, law enforcement, ICE, businesses and everyday customers as a security measure that can help ID bad guys, despite the absence of a database identifying which faces belong to good people and which faces belong to bad people. Read the rest

Watch an AI-generated human face become monstrous as its neural network decays

"What I saw before the darkness" shows a human face created by a generative adversarial network, next to the neural memory map representing it. Neurons are removed, and as they go the face loses detail, becomes vague, and finally decays to something that may speak ill of the machine and the mankind that made it.

Memories disappear unwitnessed. Images gradually fade away Until one day there is nothing left But a vague feeling of loss…

Here's the project page: AI Told Me.

Vice's Samantha Cole:

"The inspiration behind the project is rooted in contemplation of human perception," the creator said. "Everything we see is the brain’s interpretation of the surrounding world. A person has no access to the outside reality except for this constructed image."

She compared this to how Claude Monet's paintings shifted to blurred, muddled greens and yellows as he aged: Our eyes and brains and the networks that connect them undergo changes and deterioration that we might barely notice as it’s happening.

Read the rest

Republican Arizona lawmaker revives doomed "porn tax" to fund Trump's doomed border-wall

Anti-porn troll Chris Sevier (previously) has built his career by convincing grandstanding Republican state lawmakers to introduce doomed, unconstitutional porn-tax laws that would require in-state ISPs to implement default-on censorship of "adult sites" (or, more specifically, "sites appearing an an arbitrary, unaccountable secret blacklist of allegedly adult material") and then charge $20/subscriber to turn off the filters. Read the rest

Before Tumblr switched off access to NSFW blogs, it blocked archivists who were trying to preserve them

When Tumblr announced its plan to purge "female-presenting nipples from its service, the volunteer Archive Team leapt into action, working furiously to preserve years of material before Tumblr tore a huge hole in the internet's historical record. Read the rest

Apple's new parental control: Daily Stormer is in, sex-ed is out

The new parental controls in Ios 12 have all the same problems that all parental controls have: they overblock legit material (with a bias for sex-ed, especially sex-ed targeted at girls and queer kids, including Teen Vogue) and underblock all kinds of other material (neo-Nazi publications like The Daily Stormer and Reddit's pornographic /r/Gonewild are not blocked). Read the rest

Use VR to travel through a duck's amazing vagina

The internet is perpetually amused and fascinated by the crazy, corkscrewing duck penis, but commonsense dictates that if fella ducks have crazy willies, then lady ducks will have equally amazing hoo-hahs. Read the rest

People are getting their blocks off with LEGO porn

Agalmatophilia, a sexual attraction to dolls and other human figures, is nothing new: people have been attracted to and humping dolls for as long as there have been locks on doors – not that the practice needs to be kept a secret. Human sexuality is a weird attic to stumble around in. If your kink hurts no one and leans towards watching wee plastic people get it on, I say it's fair game. Apparently so do a lot of other folks.

From Motherboard: The longer you look for Lego porn, the more you see, and the more you see, the more have you wonder what the odds are that someone near and dear to you is consuming Lego-themed fetishism as their kink. There’s a subreddit dedicated to Lego porn with 725 subscribers, and only 15 posts over five years, but it’s quality over quantity—which makes me think a lot more people are consuming than making Lego porn.

There’s the Big Lego Porn Album, a glorious repository of some of the greatest Lego porn, from New Yorker style cartoons of Lego sex workers to tentacle-Lego crossovers. Several of the images are watermarked with drew.corrupt.net, which now redirects to a Japanese-language blog about someone’s toddler, and definitely not hardcore brick fucking. This album has more than 34,000 views.

r/legoporn features a few crossposts from r/bdsm with bricks, which are actually quite artful. Another crossover fandom: Harry Potter.

Motherboard's Samantha Cole spent a good chunk of time researching the smutty-stop-motion underworld of LEGO pornography, those that make it and the folks that consume it. Read the rest

Big Bang: the "stupid patent" on teledildonics has expired

Twenty years ago, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted patent number 6,368,268: "Method and device for interactive virtual control of sexual aids using digital computer networks," a minor classic of a majorly fucked-up genre, the bullshit tech patent that simply adds "with a computer" to some absolutely obvious and existing technology or technique. Read the rest

Venmo's "public by default" transactions reveal drug deals, breakups, more

Because Venmo defaults to making all payments public, privacy researcher Hang Do Thi Duc was able to download and analyze 208,000,000 transactions, whose notes and other metadata revealed a wealth of personal, compromising information, including drug deals and breakups. Read the rest

The upside of big tech is Russia vs Telegram, but the downside is Cloudflare vs SESTA

Yesterday, I wrote about the way that tech-sector concentration was making it nearly impossible for Russia to block the encrypted messaging service Telegram: because Telegram can serve its traffic through giant cloud providers like Amazon, Russia can only block Telegram by blocking everyone else who uses Amazon. Read the rest

Reddit shuts down Deepfakes subreddit, home to faceswapped pornography (and some other stuff)

Reddit has shut down /r/deepfakes, the subreddit where people collaborate to produce incredibly disturbing faceswapped pornography that uses machine-learning to put the faces of famous people who aren't pornography performers onto the bodies of people having sex in pornographic videos. Read the rest

Deepfakes has democratized the creation of extremely realistic video faceswapping, especially in porn

Late last year, a redditor called Deepfakes gained notoriety for the extremely convincing face-swap porn videos he was making, in which the faces of mainstream Hollywood actors and rockstars were convincingly overlaid on the bodies of performers in pornography. Read the rest

Man, cops sure do love calling their surveillance programs "Skynet"

The Solano County Sheriff's Office wants to spend $2M on a network of vehicle surveillance cameras, a program it calls "Project Skynet." Read the rest

These computer-generated rocks look incredibly real

Digital artist Rens de Boer traveled to the island of Fuerteventura a couple times this year and took photos of rocks to "test equipment, workflows and develop new content."

Samantha Cole of Motherboard writes:

It took him five days to photograph and capture the landscapes he wanted to render, and another several weeks to rebuild them in video game making tool Unreal Engine with a process called photogrammetry, which works by compiling a host of images taken from various angles and using them to create realistic depth...

Graphic card maker Nvidia provided de Boer with the GPUs that rendered these photorealistic rocks, two Geforce 1080 Tis, to be exact...

(digg) Read the rest

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