gezi

Segway announces a new egg-shaped hover chair, because why not

What if you took Segway's standard self-balancing technology, but you didn't even have to stand on it?

That's basically the promise of the new Segway S-Pod, a "vision for the future of mobility" that the company announced at CES 2020. It was supposedly was inspired by the Gyrosphere from Jurassic World, but let's be real — we just got one step closer to the futuristic lethargy of Wall-E. 

From the press release:

The Segway S-Pod is a first-class smart transporting pod for enclosed campuses such as airports, theme parks and malls. It is a safe, self-balancing vehicle that is operated by an intuitive assistive navigation panel. With an adaptive center-of-gravity automatic control system, passengers can easily adjust the speed — up to 24 mph — by handling the knob to change the center of gravity in the pod. The S-Pod spins and rotates by the center smoothly for directional changes. The rider does not need to physically lean forward and back to accelerate or slow down.

I always figured that the Silicon Valley vision of the future would eventually bring us towards personalized robot car pods that are basically just trains with private seating. So at least this is a slight improvement on that?

No word on price yet.

Image via YouTube Read the rest

Twitter to add “conversation participants” setting to limit who can reply to your tweets

“Getting ratio’d, getting dunked on, the dynamics that happen that we think aren’t as healthy are definitely part of... our thinking about this.”

Ivanka Trump to provide excuse to boycott CES

Looking for a reason to finally power down that annual orgy of future high-tech landfill poisons? Here ya go.

From Variety:

It’s official: Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser, will be on the CES 2020 keynote stage next month in Las Vegas.

Ivanka Trump will join a keynote discussion on jobs and the future of work with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Assn., which produces CES (originally known as the Consumer Electronics Show). The talk is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 2 p.m. PT in the Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom. Trump and Shapiro will discuss “employer-led strategies to reskill workers, create apprenticeships and develop K-12 STEM education programs,” according to the CTA.

Read the rest.

[Image: Screen capture of Ivanka's address to the RNC, 2016] Read the rest

UK ISP Association, spies, censorship organsation jointly condemn Mozilla for supporting secure DNS because it breaks UK internet censorship rules

ISPs in the UK are required to censor a wide swathe of content: what began as a strictly limited, opt-in ban on depictions of the sexual abuse of children has been steadily expanded to a mandatory ban on "extreme" pornography, "terrorist content," copyright and trademark infringement, and then there's the on-again/off-again ban on all porn sites unless they keep a record of the identity of each user and the porn they request.. Read the rest

Hong Kong's #612strike uprising is alive to surveillance threats, but its countermeasures are woefully inadequate

The millions of Hong Kong people participating in the #612strike uprising are justifiably worried about state retaliation, given the violent crackdowns on earlier uprisings like the Umbrella Revolution and Occupy Central; they're also justifiably worried that they will be punished after the fact. Read the rest

Authoritarians used to be scared of social media, now they rule it

A new report from the Institute For the Future on "state-sponsored trolling" documents the rise and rise of government-backed troll armies who terrorize journalists and opposition figures with seemingly endless waves of individuals who bombard their targets with vile vitriol, from racial slurs to rape threats. Read the rest

Turkish dictator fires 15,000 more public workers, shuts down 375 more NGOs and 9 more news outlets

Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his massive, authoritarian purge of his country's public institutions, news media and civil society groups with a fresh wave of public-sector firings, bringing the total number of jettisoned public servants to 100,000. Read the rest

Bruce Sterling on the US election: the net is great at tearing down, terrible at building

Bruce Sterling's characteristically acerbic remarks on the US election gets to a really important point: internet-based movements have been amazing at tearing down corrupt establishment system, but have failed (so far) to create the kinds of stable governance structures that build up something better from the ruins. Read the rest

Turkish court fines bystander/tourist who sued police for shooting out his eye

Shavkatbek Saipov was vacationing in Turkey in 2013 when he was hit in the eye by a teargas cannister fired by police during the brutal crackdown on the Occupy Gezi protests; he lost the eye and sued the Turkish police. Read the rest

Backslash: a toolkit for protesters facing hyper-militarized, surveillance-heavy police

Backslash -- an "art/design" project from NYU Interactive Technology Program researchers Xuedi Chen and Pedro G. C. Oliveira -- is a set of high-tech tools for protesters facing down a "hyper-militarized," surviellance-heavy state adversary, including a device to help protesters keep clear of police kettles; a jammer to foil Stingray mobile-phone surveillance; a mesh-networking router; a "personal cloud" that tries to mirror photos and videos from a protest to an offsite location; and tools for covertly signalling situational reports to other protesters. Read the rest

At least Turkey's tragic politics gives material to comics artists

Today, Firstsecond publishes Ozge Samanci's Dare to Disappoint, a graphic novel memoir of growing up in Turkey. Ms Samanci has favored us with an essay describing the tumultuous relationship between Turkey's authoritarian, thin-skinned president and her fellow cartoonists.

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future

Economist Paul Mason's blockbuster manifesto Postcapitalism suggests that markets just can't organize products whose major input isn't labor or material, but information, and that means that, for the first time in history, it's conceivable that we can have a society based on abundance.

1,000-room palace for Turkey's President Erdogan will cost twice initial $615M pricetag

The White Palace in Ankara has 1.6m square feet of floorspace, and features thousands of trees imported from Italy at a cost of up to $10,000 each; the taxpayer-footed electricity bill from the palace will run $313K/month. Read the rest

Videoing police violence is the new "See something, say something"

It's practically a civic duty in the age of #Ferguson, #Gezi, #Occupy and more. Read the rest

Blogging History: Turkish cops shoot down protester's drone; Life and death of Neda; Mobile antenna/church crucifix

One year ago today Turkish cops shoot a protester's drone out of the sky: Footage of a protester's quadcopter in Gezi Park getting shot down by the Turkish Police, and footage of police violence the drone had been capturing.

Five years ago today

Iran: More on the life and death of Neda Agha-Soltan: Her death, documented on cellphone video and spread online, has become a potent spiritual emblem for the popular uprising in Iran.

Ten years ago today

Mobile phone antenna disguised as a churchtop crucifix: One firm is now manufacturing an antenna disguised as a crucifix, intended to go on the steeples of churches where they need really good mobile reception. Read the rest

Blogging History: Gezi crackdown; EFF kills stupid Internet patent; Daily Show on Ashcroft v Congress

One year ago today

Brutal crackdown on Turkish protests: People are gassed here non stop, in all central Istanbul areas. Tens of thousands of people are out in the streets.

Five years ago today EFF kills another stupid internet patent: EFF's patent-busting project has put another notch in its belt: today they killed a truly outrageous patent on the use of subdomains for navigation and content management, as with jwz.livejournal.com. Can you believe that the patent office granted that patent in 2004, based on a 1999 application? Can you believe that the people who filed the patent claimed (with a straight face) that they didn't know of any other prior art that made this invalid?

Ten years ago today Daily Show on Ashcroft's Contempt of Congress: Lisa Rein has posted some Daily Show clips from June including the stunning segment on Ashcroft's weaselling on torture before Congress. Watching Ashcroft spin and dodge and weave around Contempt of Congress is astonishing -- why isn't this man in jail RIGHT NOW?

timemachine Read the rest

This Day in Blogging History: Teargas football in Gezi; Carpet sample contest; Amazon's plogs

One year ago today

Protester kicking away teargas cannister: Uncredited photo of a woman in at the Turkish anti-government/pro-democracy protests kicking away a tear-gas cannister.

Five years ago today

What shall we do with a carpet sample? A contest to see who could come up with the coolest uses for carpet samples, and the winners came up with some jim-dandy ideas.

Ten years ago today Amazon Says Get Your Plog On: After a visit to Amazon today, I see that they are beta testing plogs (Personalized webLOGS) on their main page. Read the rest

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