AI is like a magic trick: amazing until it goes wrong, then revealed as a cheap and brittle effect

I used to be on the program committee for the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conferences; one year we decided to make the theme "magic" -- all the ways that new technologies were doing things that baffled us and blew us away. Read the rest

Beyond lockpicking: learn about the class-breaks for doors, locks, hinges and other physical security measures

Deviant Ollam runs a physical security penetration testing company called The Core Group; in a flat-out amazing, riveting presentation from the 2017 Wild West Hackin' Fest, Ollam -- a master lockpicker -- describes how lockpicking is a last resort for the desperate, while the wily and knowledgeable gain access by attacking doors and locks with tools that quickly and undetectably open them. Read the rest

Psychology's reproducibility crisis: why statisticians are publicly calling out social scientists

Princeton University psych prof Susan Fiske published an open letter denouncing the practice of using social media to call out statistical errors in psychology research, describing the people who do this as "terrorists" and arguing that this was toxic because of the structure of social science scholarship, having an outsized effect on careers. Read the rest