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Wearing a mask at a riot is now a crime - Canada - CBC News

Wearing a mask at a riot is now a crime - Canada - CBC News | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The bill that bans the wearing of masks or disguises during a riot or unlawful assembly became one of Canada's newest laws today.
Artur Alves's insight:

There is an unhealthy dose of doublespeak in this particular bill. Doubtlessly, bills such as these go hand in hand facial recognition technology - another example of a sociotechnical system being put together to counter emerging practices of dissent.

 

"Richards argues that his bill will actually help protect the legitimate right to protest because it will help prevent illegitimate protesters from infiltrating a peaceful event and causing trouble. He also said police told him the existing Criminal Code provision about disguises is more geared toward armed robbery offences and is difficult to apply in protest situations."

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Scholars' open debate paper on the World Health Organization ICD-11 Gaming Disorder proposal

Scholars' open debate paper on the World Health Organization ICD-11 Gaming Disorder proposal | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Scholars' open debate paper on the World Health Organization ICD-11 Gaming Disorder proposal on ResearchGate.
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The Deep Space of Digital Reading - Issue 47: Consciousness - Nautilus

The Deep Space of Digital Reading - Issue 47: Consciousness - Nautilus | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
In A History of Reading, the Canadian novelist and essayist Alberto Manguel describes a remarkable transformation of human consciousness,…
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First They Got Sick, Then They Moved Into a Virtual Utopia

First They Got Sick, Then They Moved Into a Virtual Utopia | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
One afternoon in November, Fran Serenade led me and her daughter Barbie down a steep section of the Appalachian trail. The sun was high and Fran hiked briskly, ducking the blue-green diagonals of fir…
Artur Alves's insight:
«
Today, Second Life is mostly forgotten by the broader public. An estimated 800,000 users are active on a monthly basis, according to Second Life parent company Linden Lab. That’s tiny compared to the 1.86 billion users who are active on Facebook each month. Yet some communities have quietly continued to thrive in the virtual world. One of these is the disability community, a sundry group whose members include people who are blind or deaf, people with emotional handicaps such as autism and PTSD, and people with conditions that limit their mobility, such as Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis. There are no official tallies of their numbers, but Wagner James Au, who has written extensively about Second Life, estimates they may account for roughly 20 percent of users. Some active members estimate the number higher — at as much as 50 percent
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World Energy Hits a Turning Point: Solar That's Cheaper Than Wind

World Energy Hits a Turning Point: Solar That's Cheaper Than Wind | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Emerging markets are leapfrogging the developed world thanks to cheap panels.
Artur Alves's insight:
«[U]nsubsidized solar is beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects, according to fresh data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. «
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The high-tech war on science fraud

The high-tech war on science fraud | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The Long Read: The problem of fake data may go far deeper than scientists admit. Now a team of researchers has a controversial plan to root out the perpetrators
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The Data That Turned the World Upside Down

Psychologist Michal Kosinski developed a method to analyze people in minute detail based on their Facebook activity. Did a similar tool help propel Donald Trump to victory?
Artur Alves's insight:
The trivial assertion that correlation does not equate causation breaks down when it becomes possible to establish hundreds, or even thousands, of correlations pertaining to a single subject or group. The political consequences are yet to be fully seen.

«The approach that Kosinski and his colleagues developed over the next few years was actually quite simple. First, they provided test subjects with a questionnaire in the form of an online quiz. From their responses, the psychologists calculated the personal Big Five values of respondents. Kosinski’s team then compared the results with all sorts of other online data from the subjects: what they “liked," shared or posted on Facebook, or what gender, age, place of residence they specified, for example. This enabled the researchers to connect the dots and make correlations. Remarkably reliable deductions could be drawn from simple online actions. For example, men who “liked” the cosmetics brand MAC were slightly more likely to be gay; one of the best indicators for heterosexuality was “liking” Wu-Tang Clan. Followers of Lady Gaga were most probably extroverts, while those who “liked” philosophy tended to be introverts. While each piece of such information is too weak to produce a reliable prediction, when tens, hundreds, or thousands of individual data points are combined, the resulting predictions become really accurate. «
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Students Have 'Dismaying' Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds

Students Have 'Dismaying' Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Stanford researchers assessed students from middle school to college and found they struggled to distinguish ads from articles, neutral sources from biased ones and fake accounts from real ones.
Artur Alves's insight:
«Middle school, high school and college students in 12 states were asked to evaluate the information presented in tweets, comments and articles. More than 7,800 student responses were collected. In exercise after exercise, the researchers were "shocked" — their word, not ours — by how many students failed to effectively evaluate the credibility of that information. The students displayed a "stunning and dismaying consistency" in their responses, the researchers wrote, getting duped again and again. They weren't looking for high-level analysis of data but just a "reasonable bar" of, for instance, telling fake accounts from real ones, activist groups from neutral sources and ads from articles.«
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CRISPR gene-editing tested in a person for the first time

CRISPR gene-editing tested in a person for the first time | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The move by Chinese scientists could spark a biomedical duel between China and the United States.
Artur Alves's insight:
«Lu’s trial received ethical approval from a hospital review board in July. Injections into participants were supposed to begin in August but the date was pushed back, Lu says, because culturing and amplifying the cells took longer than expected and then the team ran into China’s October holidays.
The researchers removed immune cells from the recipient’s blood and then disabled a gene in them using CRISPR–Cas9, which combines a DNA-cutting enzyme with a molecular guide that can be programmed to tell the enzyme precisely where to cut. The disabled gene codes for the protein PD-1, which normally puts the brakes on a cell’s immune response: cancers take advantage of that function to proliferate. Lu’s team then cultured the edited cells, increasing their number, and injected them back into the patient, who has metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. The hope is that, without PD-1, the edited cells will attack and defeat the cancer.»
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Twitter Rolls Out New And Long-Awaited Anti-Harassment Tools

Twitter Rolls Out New And Long-Awaited Anti-Harassment Tools | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

At a pivotal moment, the company is introducing a mute filter, muted conversation threads, and user report infrastructure

Artur Alves's insight:
After major criticism of Twitter's inaction on hate speech and harassment, the company is rolling out ways to filter out the timelines.

"Twitter’s new mute tool will go a step further, allowing users to mute entire conversation threads. This will allow users to stop receiving notifications from a specific Twitter thread without removing the thread from your timeline or blocking any users. And according to Twitter, you’ll only be able to mute conversations that relate to a tweet you’re included in (where your handle is mentioned)."
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How Technology Is Destroying Jobs

How Technology Is Destroying Jobs | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Automation is reducing the need for people in many jobs. Are we facing a future of stagnant income and worsening inequality?
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What Exactly Is Internet Governance? It’s Complicated.

What Exactly Is Internet Governance? It’s Complicated. | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Artur Alves's insight:
A gentle introduction to the ins and outs of Internet Governance
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Computer Scientists Doubt Facebook's Trending Algorithm Can Stop Fake News

Computer Scientists Doubt Facebook's Trending Algorithm Can Stop Fake News | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The Trending product has repeatedly promoted false news, and experts say it may get worse as the company scales Trendin
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From the Institute: Populism and Digital Democracy | Berggruen Insights

From the Institute: Populism and Digital Democracy | Berggruen Insights | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
New technologies offer the reality of much wider access to political information and conversation, and the potential for greater governmental transparency and citizen participation . They also enable money to buy attention, simplistic mass messages to displace more sophisticated information an
Artur Alves's insight:
"We live in an era we might call the after-party. Conventional political parties still exist, but have lost much of their capacity to organize political competition and compromises. They are prime examples of the institutional deficit that shapes media and politics today. In their place are a variety of mechanisms for channeling money into media and a variety of mini-movements that find it hard to gain realistic purchase on practical problems. Something good could be developed to replace political parties. But in the meantime, we are in a bit of the situation of late-night revelers who want to keep going after the formally organized parties close. There can be some great moments for a range of individuals and small groups. There is likely to be a lot of risk-taking. And there will probably be some real stupidity. "
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Live and death: Facebook sorely needs a reality check about video

Live and death: Facebook sorely needs a reality check about video | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Facebook Live was meant to be part of the social network’s optimistic vision. But in the wake of two violent crimes, its response has been woefully inadequate
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Even good bots fight: The case of Wikipedia

Even good bots fight: The case of Wikipedia | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
In recent years, there has been a huge increase in the number of bots online, varying from Web crawlers for search engines, to chatbots for online customer service, spambots on social media, and content-editing bots in online collaboration communities. The online world has turned into an ecosystem of bots. However, our knowledge of how these automated agents are interacting with each other is rather poor. Bots are predictable automatons that do not have the capacity for emotions, meaning-making, creativity, and sociality and it is hence natural to expect interactions between bots to be relatively predictable and uneventful. In this article, we analyze the interactions between bots that edit articles on Wikipedia. We track the extent to which bots undid each other’s edits over the period 2001–2010, model how pairs of bots interact over time, and identify different types of interaction trajectories. We find that, although Wikipedia bots are intended to support the encyclopedia, they often undo each other’s edits and these sterile “fights” may sometimes continue for years. Unlike humans on Wikipedia, bots’ interactions tend to occur over longer periods of time and to be more reciprocated. Yet, just like humans, bots in different cultural environments may behave differently. Our research suggests that even relatively “dumb” bots may give rise to complex interactions, and this carries important implications for Artificial Intelligence research. Understanding what affects bot-bot interactions is crucial for managing social media well, providing adequate cyber-security, and designing well functioning autonomous vehicles.
Artur Alves's insight:
«[B]ots interact over time, and identify different types of interaction trajectories. We find that, although Wikipedia bots are intended to support the encyclopedia, they often undo each other’s edits and these sterile “fights” may sometimes continue for years. Unlike humans on Wikipedia, bots’ interactions tend to occur over longer periods of time and to be more reciprocated. Yet, just like humans, bots in different cultural environments may behave differently. Our research suggests that even relatively “dumb” bots may give rise to complex interactions, and this carries important implications for Artificial Intelligence research. Understanding what affects bot-bot interactions is crucial for managing social media well, providing adequate cyber-security, and designing well functioning autonomous vehicles.»
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Migrants with mobiles: Phones are now indispensable for refugees | The Economist

Migrants with mobiles: Phones are now indispensable for refugees | The Economist | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
SOMETIMES Hekmatullah, a 32-year-old Afghan, has to choose between food and connectivity. “I need to stay in touch with my wife back home,” he says, sitting in a grubby tent in the Oinofyta migrant camp, near Athens. Because Wi-Fi rarely works there, he has to buy mobile-phone credit.
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Symbolic dots, style link 38,000-year-old engraving to other famous cave art finds

Symbolic dots, style link 38,000-year-old engraving to other famous cave art finds | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Stone Age engraving helps to illuminate European travels of an ancient human culture.
Artur Alves's insight:
«The rock art is similar to some engravings and drawings found at other French and German sites, including the famous Chauvet Cave (SN: 6/30/12, p. 12), and attributed to the Aurignacian culture, which dates to between 43,000 and 33,000 years ago. Like the new find, that art includes rows of dots, depictions of aurochs and various animals shown in profile with a single horn and a long, thin muzzle. Within a few thousand years of arriving in Europe from Africa, Aurignacian groups developed regional styles of artwork based on images that had deep meaning for all of them, proposes anthropologist and study coauthor Randall White of New York University, who directed the excavation.«
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Hybrid zoo: Introducing pig–human embryos and a rat–mouse

Hybrid zoo: Introducing pig–human embryos and a rat–mouse | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Chimaeras could pave the way for growing human organs in other animals.
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What is Facebook’s mission? It’s time to decide.

What is Facebook’s mission? It’s time to decide. | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
At this point, it's more than a social network.
Artur Alves's insight:
In all fairness, the real question seems to be: how much of its vision of itself as a clearing-house for targeted advertising and its strategy of centralization of media content would Facebook be willing to forgo in order to reinforce its useful image as a company that focuses on human networking?

«In the current kerfuffle over whether the fake news and misinformation that proliferated on the site might have influenced the outcome of the 2016 election, Facebook’s difficulty in acknowledging whether it’s simply a provider of pleasant connections or a public utility with real obligations has come to the fore. The criticisms have illuminated Facebook’s crisis of mission: profitable lifestyle platform or force for common good? More than a decade after its launch, its creator is still trying to figure out what it’s supposed to be — but it’s frankly irresponsible to remain undecided for much longer.«
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Former Trending News Writer Slams Facebook: 'They Treated Us Like Garbage'

Former Trending News Writer Slams Facebook: 'They Treated Us Like Garbage' | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
On Monday, a woman identifying herself as a former writer for Facebook’s trending section took to Twitter to criticize the social media giant, saying the solution to the site’s current fake news problem is the editorial team it fired with “no...
Artur Alves's insight:
« Sampathkumar had similarly harsh words for Gizmodo, which she blamed for the “hack job” that led, in part, to Facebook firing the entire trending news team. In May, Gizmodo published a story revealing that the trending section was operated by human curators (not an algorithm, as the company had previously claimed) with one worker claiming that they saw colleagues regularly suppressing conservative news. “Instead of fact checking and letting the news team full of real reporters do our job, they cowed to right-wing pressure and advertisers,” wrote Sampathkumar. “They believed the hack job, false Gizmodo stories instead of their own reporters and their own algorithm which tracked everything we did. Result was rampant proliferation of fake news. It could have easily been avoided had they treated their human team of writers...as humans.” »
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Facebook isn't looking out for your privacy. It wants your data for itself

Facebook isn't looking out for your privacy. It wants your data for itself | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Don’t be fooled by the social network’s hostile response to Admiral’s plan to price car insurance based on posts
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We Need to Stop Taking Facebook's Word For It 

We Need to Stop Taking Facebook's Word For It  | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
In the days since the election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has finally started publicly confronting Facebook’s fake news problem.
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Campaign to Halve Europe’s Food Waste

Campaign to Halve Europe’s Food Waste | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The Sustainable Food Trust has recently backed a new campaign to halve food waste in Europe. Martin Bowman, campaigner for This Is Rubbish talks more about how you can get involved.
Artur Alves's insight:
"Now an incredible movement is beginning to mobilise around Europe to call for action. Already 19 organisations from across Europe have backed our statement calling on the European Parliament to cut Europe’s food waste in half. They range from Feedback, the organisation Tristram Stuart founded, Europe-wide environmental organisations like Friends of the Earth Europe and national groups like Stop Food Wasting Movement Denmark, to think tanks and consultancy firms like the New Economics Foundation and Orbisa. We’re pleased to say that the Sustainable Food Trust is now also a member of this group. This is already an unprecedented coalition of organisations linking food waste movements across the continent, and support is growing all the time."
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Playing with History in 'Civilization' : What Sid Meier’s Video Game Empire Got Right and wrong

Playing with History in 'Civilization' : What Sid Meier’s Video Game Empire Got Right and wrong | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Twenty-five years ago, Meier turned human history into a video game, and sold 33 million copies along the way. With the launch of Civilization VI, Kanishk Tharoor takes a closer look at its impact.
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Social Media’s Dial-Up Ancestor: The Bulletin Board System

Social Media’s Dial-Up Ancestor: The Bulletin Board System | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The history of the BBS shows that pre-Internet social media was pretty great
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