"new aesthetic"

Rosa Parks's papers and photos online at the Library of Congress

The Howard Buffet Foundation owns 7,500 manuscripts and 2,500 photos of civil rights hero Rosa Parks. They've loaned them to the Library of Congress, who've digitized them and posted them online. Read the rest

Anti-Beyonce rally a flop

The only people who turned up to the much-hyped Anti-Beyonce rally in New York? Fans, one of whom waved a placard asking "Where yall at?"

New York magazine's The Cut reported a grand total of three anti-Beyonce protesters, including a man named Ariel Kohane who told reporters he thought the song "Formation" was a call for violence against police.

Early Tuesday a tweet from "Proud of the Blues" account called on protesters to attend.

Conservatives tried to organize the event, at NFL headquarters, to protest Beyonce's recent performance at the Super Bowl. Featuring black-clad dancers in vaguely-military outfits (and followed-up by a music video portraying police violence against minorities) it led to complaints she was being "divisive" and "the real racist."

But so few turned up to support the complaints yesterday that it's became an embarrassment to those who had promoted the event online.

Here's Saturday Night Live poking fun at white folks dealing badly with getting woke by the new song:

The above photo was taken by Miss Al Boogie on Twitter. Read the rest

Cushy plea deal for Maryland Judge who had defendant tortured in court

Maryland Judge Robert Nalley pleaded guilty Monday to ordering deputies to shock a defendant with a 50,000-volt charge. Nalley, who presided over Charles County Circuit Court, reportedly agreed to a plea deal whereby he receives a year of probation.

It's not Nalley's first trouble, either: In 2010, he pleaded guilty to tampering with a vehicle after deflating the tires of a cleaning woman's car, to punish her for parking in his space. For that, he was suspended for five days without pay.

CBS News reports that he was charged with violating the victim's rights in the July 2014 stun cuff incident. The maximum sentence is a year in jail and a fine of $100,000.

During jury selection, the defendant, reading from a prepared statement, objected to Nalley's authority to conduct the proceedings. After the man repeatedly ignored Nalley's questions and his commands to stop speaking, Nalley ordered a deputy sheriff to activate a "stun-cuff" the defendant was wearing.

"Do it. Use it," Nalley said.

The defendant stopped speaking when the deputy sheriff approached him and activated the device, which administered an electric shock for about five seconds. The defendant fell to the ground and screamed and Nalley then recessed the proceedings, according to the plea deal's statement of facts.

Ars Technica's David Kravets reports that stun cuffs are the hot new thing.

[Victim/defendant Delvon L.] King eventually agreed to serve two years after withdrawing a motion for a new trial. In that motion, he said he could not adequately represent himself out of fear of being shocked again.

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

Martin Luther King, socialist: "capitalism has outlived its usefulness"

In the great tradition of political heroes, Martin Luther King's legacy has been sanitized and purged of its most radical and urgent notions, watered down to a kind of meek pacifism that omits his beliefs in radical political change as a necessary condition of attaining real justice. 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

50th anniversary of the Watts Riots: @wattsriots50's real-time history feed

Yosi Sergant says,

This week marks the one year anniversary of the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson. It is also the 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots.

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

Annotated "Eyes on the Prize"

Glen Chiacchieri's produced a heavily annotated version of Eyes on the Prize, the brilliant video documentary series on the history of the Civil Rights movement that was rescued from copyright oblivion by a civil disobedience campaign. 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.

LISTEN: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1964 conversation with Robert Penn Warren

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s soaring oration has come to define how many think of him, so it's interesting to hear Dr. King speaking conversationally in 1964 with Robert Penn Warren, almost in the relaxed feel of a podcast. Read the rest

Rare photos from a 1965 Selma March participant's POV

To celebrate the film Selma and its two Oscar nominations today, here's a rare collection of Selma March photos by participant James Barker. The Smithsonian has Barker's back story: Read the rest

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.

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