UK public broadcaster Channel 4 sparked a presswide panic with a story: "Potentially deadly bomb ingredients are 'frequently bought together' on Amazon."
As the US government ramps up its insistence that visitors (and US citizens) unlock their devices and provide their social media accounts, the solution have run the gamut from extreme technological caution, abandoning mobile devices while traveling, or asking the government to rethink its policy. — Read the rest
Maciej Cegłowski (previously) gave this talk, "Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People," at Web Camp Zagreb last October, spending 45 minutes delving into the origin of the idea that computers are going to become apocalyptic, self-programming, superintelligent basilisks that end all live on Earth (and variations on this theme) and then explaining why this fundamentally evidence-free, fuzzy idea has colonized so many otherwise brilliant people — including people like Stephen Hawking — and why it's an irrational and potentially harmful belief system.
Maciej Cegłowski's (previously) speech at the Library of Congress, "Deep-Fried Data," describes the way that data begs to be analyzed and how machine learning is like a deep-fat fryer — a fryer makes anything you put in it "kind of" delicious, and machine learning "kind of" finds insights in your data-set.
Maciej Cegłowski (previously) keynoted the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics conference with a characteristically brilliant speech about the "moral economy of tech" — that is, the way that treating social problems like software problems allows techies to absolve themselves of the moral consequences of their actions and the harms that result.
Maciej Ceglowski (previously) spoke to a O'Reilly's Strata Big Data conference this month about the toxicity of data — the fact that data collected is likely to leak, and that data-leaks resemble nuclear leaks in that even the "dilute" data (metadata or lightly contaminated boiler suits and tools) are still deadly when enough of them leak out (I've been using this metaphor since 2008).
Maciej Cegłowski's posted another of his barn-burning speeches about the Internet's problems, their origins and their solutions (previously), a talk from the Fremtidens Internet conference in Copenhagen called "What Happens Next Will Amaze You."
Maciej Cegłowski's "Web Design: The First 100 Years" is a characteristically provocative riff on the past and future of "progress" that asks the question, if aviation stopped producing faster, more powerful aircraft in the 1970s, will the IT industry do the same?
Polish-American software developer Maciej Cegłowski decided to take a holiday in Yemen's capital city of Sana'a, home to breathtaking, 600-year-old skyscrapers that look like gingerbread houses.
Maciej Cegłowski's latest talk, The Internet With A Human Face, is a perfect companion to both his Our Comrade the Electron and Peter Watts's Scorched Earth Society: A Suicide Bomber's Guide to Online Privacy: a narrative that explains how the Internet of liberation became the Internet of inhuman and total surveillance. — Read the rest
Glenn Fleishman heads to Portland for the second XOXO festival, where a maker's heart can leave the body, be shared among kindred spirits, and know that it will be cared for.
After a close friend committed suicide, Maciej Cegłowski discovered that a company called Legacy.com provides the back-end for almost every US paper's death notices, and that this company uses deceptive practices to get money from vulnerable, grieving people:
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In other words, the site takes money from bereaved people without disclosing what it's billing them, gambling on the fact that they're probably too preoccupied to care.
Maciej has posted an audioblogging manifesto that is really a hell of a thing.
Side-splittingly funny account of a Polish expat who returned to Warsaw and got (very incompetently) mugged, then flagged down a vanload of completely bonkers cops who ran around the city, stopping trams and pointing at nuns, businessmen and other improbables and saying, "are these the kids who mugged you?" — Read the rest
US air-travel security is becoming more and more of a performance of the absurd, as this very good blog-post on Idle Words, inspired by the new "No queueing up for the in-flight pissoir rule" points out:
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How is this measure in any way enforceable?
Maciej sez "This is a page of wacky/disturbing Polish wall posters from the early 1950's. The posters have been reissued in Poland as a campy, popular kind of retro calendar; I've scanned in some of the stranger ones, with translated captions." — Read the rest