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Why Nobody Cares About the Surveillance State | Foreign Policy

Why Nobody Cares About the Surveillance State | Foreign Policy | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

When you've been groped by the TSA, what's a little NSA spying?

 

On their face, Edward Snowden's revelations about the National Security Agency's secret mass electronic data surveillance system should have created a political firestorm for the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress. Not only have PRISM and related programs been used systematically to collect information about Americans with the cooperation of most major Internet and telephone companies, but when news of the program leaked, government officials first insisted that the programs had only tangential domestic implications because they targeted foreigners outside the United States -- reassurances that were quickly undone by further revelations. In other words, the government outright lied to the public and was caught in its own lies. ...

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The Programmable City
How is the city translated into software and data, and how does software reshape the city?
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Beware the rise of the digital oligarchy | Guardian

Beware the rise of the digital oligarchy | Guardian | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Powerful algorithms and the concentration of data in the hands means we need better models of data-ownership
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The Real Smart City | Core 77

The Real Smart City | Core 77 | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The Smart City is a huge, vague and ubiquitous idea. The phrase—so insistent yet so slippery—suggests a way we can understand how cities work and how we might get them to work better.  But deep down it raises serious questions of what we think cities are and what they could or should be. And the idea that it suggests—of the relationship between the physical and digital attributes of the city—is far too important to outsource to corporate providers.

 

Every age has its own idealized image of the city. From the ancient Athenian polis that invented the notion that we are citizens of a political and social framework, through the 19th-century vision of the city-as-body that gave us the “circulation” of traffic as if it were blood, to the 20th-century conception of the city as fabric of the welfare state, these ideas and metaphors have shaped, first, how we understand the city, and then helped make the city in that image.

 

The Smart City is our own era’s idealized image of the city. It imagines the city as an ecosystem of data, nature and culture. The image it suggests is of information gently collected as we cycle through a park, the soft whirr of a sensory device embedded in the fabric of the city tracking us. Smartness suggests the city itself gaining a kind of intelligence, an intelligence that is responsive and interactive with its citizens. ...

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Fogs, logs and cogs: The newer, bigger shape of big data in the Internet of Things | The Big Data Hub

As we transition to a world where clouds penetrate every facet of our lives, we need to wrap our heads around the thought that every edge node, no matter how resource-constrained, can be interconnected, intelligent and integral to the performance of the whole.

 

What I’m sketching out is the vision of a world in which the Internet of Things (IoT) increasingly drives the evolution of cloud computing architectures. In an IoT-centric world, nobody needs to know that your cloud’s processing, storage and other functions have been virtualized to endpoints of every size, configuration and capability. ....

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Make your own Internet of Things devices with ARM and IBM's IoT Starter Kit | CIO

Make your own Internet of Things devices with ARM and IBM's IoT Starter Kit | CIO | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
ARM and IBM want hobbyists and small businesses alike to create their own Internet of Things applications and devices in a matter of minutes with a new development kit.
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Finally, a decent use for big data: Weeding out crooked City traders | The Register

Finally, a decent use for big data: Weeding out crooked City traders | The Register | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Financial institutions in London could use "big data" technology to pinpoint malpractice by City traders in future, a panel advising the Bank of England has said.

 

The Market Practitioner Panel (MPP) said existing methods of monitoring for illegal trading practices, such as "key word surveillance", were flawed and that deploying big data technology is a "possible longer-term solution" to uncovering malpractice. ...

 

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How To Sell Off a City: Chicago, the privatized metropolis of the future | In These Times

How To Sell Off a City: Chicago, the privatized metropolis of the future | In These Times | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

In June of 2013, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a new appointment to the city’s seven-member school board to replace billionaire heiress Penny Pritzker, who’d decamped to run President Barack Obama’s Department of Commerce. The appointee, Deborah H. Quazzo, is a founder of an investment firm called GSV Advisors, a business whose goal—her cofounder has been paraphrased by Reuters as saying—is to drum up venture capital for “an education revolution in which public schools outsource to private vendors such critical tasks as teaching math, educating disabled students, even writing report cards.”

 

GSV Advisors has a sister firm, GSV Capital, that holds ownership stakes in education technology companies like “Knewton,” which sells software that replaces the functions of flesh-and-blood teachers. Since joining the school board, Quazzo has invested her own money in companies that sell curricular materials to public schools in 11 states on a subscription basis.

 

In other words, a key decision-maker for Chicago’s public schools makes money when school boards decide to sell off the functions of public schools.

 

She’s not alone. .....

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Making emotive games from open data | Ars Technica

Microsoft researcher Kati London's aim is "to try to get people to think of data in terms of personalities, relationships and emotions", she told the audience at the Story Festival in London on Friday. Through Project Sentient Data, she uses her background in games development to create fun but meaningful experiences that bridge online interactions and things that are happening in the real world.

 

ne such experience invited children to play against the real-time flow of London traffic through an online game called the Code of Everand. The aim was to test the road safety knowledge of children between the ages of 9-11 and "make alertness something that kids valued....

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What will happen when the internet of things becomes artificially intelligent? The Guardian

What will happen when the internet of things becomes artificially intelligent? The Guardian | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
From Stephen Hawking to Spike Jonze, the existential threat posed by the onset of the ‘conscious web’ is fuelling much debate – but should we be afraid?
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Laurent RUEL's curator insight, February 26, 10:00 AM

not yet on this point... bht we never know.

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Bringing Big Data to the Fight Against Benefits Fraud | NY Times

Bringing Big Data to the Fight Against Benefits Fraud | NY Times | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
To detect possible abuse of programs or benefits, state and local governments are turning to data-mining techniques long used by financial services companies.
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Data is the New “___”: Metaphors of Big Data by Sara M. Watson | DIS Magazine

Data is the New “___”: Metaphors of Big Data by Sara M. Watson | DIS Magazine | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Dissecting the industry-centric bias at the core of our cultural understanding of data.

 

Can you fathom the depths of big data? The word fathom is a measurement of depth of the ocean, but it has also come to mean the ability to understand something. Fathom comes from faethm, meaning ‘the two arms outstretched.’ It’s 6 feet or 1.8 meters measurement is based on a standard human scale. The length of rope dropped overboard is handily measured across the span of a sailor’s armspread. The term makes the metaphorical jump to describe concepts that we are able to get our arms around; ideas are things to be grasped. As James Geary describes in his book on metaphor, “This is the primary purpose of metaphor: to carry over existing names or descriptions to things that are either so new that they haven’t been named or so abstract that they cannot be otherwise explained.”

 

Data has become so big it is difficult to fathom. As a technocratic, scientistically-oriented culture, we are in the midst of understanding computing on a new and ever-evolving scale. While we continue to take data for granted, designated as something that is “given,” data that began as embodied observation has become further and further removed from our lived experience. At the same time, data to which these metaphors refer are becoming ubiquitous in our lives—as the trace of our digital transactions, our bodies, and homes—making it all the more important to have an appropriate contextual model to frame our relationship to it. ....

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ToKTutor's curator insight, February 19, 5:45 AM

Title 3: Using data from different areas of knowledge isn't enough to provide a common groundwork of explanation - some data needs to be framed in the language of metaphor to make sense of it.  Does this limit or enhance the possibility of bias?

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Cities join forces to retrofit districts | Youris.com

Cities join forces to retrofit districts | Youris.com | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
All over Europe cities and towns strive to become climate smart. They revamp their energy districts, step-by-step, while looking across borders to learn from best practices.
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Continuous Geosurveillance in the “Smart City” | DIS Magazine

Continuous Geosurveillance in the “Smart City” | DIS Magazine | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

New forms of governance in the era of ubiquitous computing.

 

For the past couple of decades there has been a steady stream of analysis that has documented the ways in which the rollout of new digital and networked technologies have enabled increasingly pervasive and extensive forms of state and corporate surveillance. Such technologies have the capability to capture and communicate data about their use; simultaneously a wealth of sophisticated software has been developed that processes and acts on such data in automated, autonomous, and automatic ways. Importantly, the use of embedded GPS, sensors, and digital cameras are enabling location and movement to be tracked, facilitating extensive geosurveillance of people and places.

 

Continuous geosurveillance relies on the production of spatial big data, and in particular the notion of the “smart city” takes center stage, that is, urban landscapes that can be monitored, managed and regulated in real-time using ICT infrastructure and ubiquitous computing. Such instrumented cities are promoted as providing enhanced and more efficient and effective city services, ensuring safety and security, and providing resilience to economic and environmental shocks, but they also seriously infringe upon citizen’s privacy and are being used to profile and socially sort people, enact forms of anticipatory governance, and enable control creep, that is re-appropriation for uses beyond their initial design. ...

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Global Mayors and Smart Cities | Joining Dots

Global Mayors and Smart Cities | Joining Dots | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

What are the challenges facing large cities over the next 50 years, how will cities becomes 'smarter', what risks do digital technologies introduce, and can a global parliament of mayors help or hinder?

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2030: How 4 smart cities are gearing up for the future | Mashable

2030: How 4 smart cities are gearing up for the future | Mashable | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Malmo, New York, Masdar and Songdo all show us what our cities will look like in the future.  While the future (as a whole) is very much unwritten, the future of what our urban centers will look like is less uncertain.  Here's a glimpse of what green design, smart technologies and sustainable architecture will look like in four cities by 2030. ...

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Smart Cities: Big Data and Resiliency | WIRED Insights

Smart Cities: Big Data and Resiliency | WIRED Insights | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Smart city discussions are almost always based on technology and how that technology can be used to improve the systems that make urban areas work. Efficiency, however, isn’t the only factor that needs to be considered. Dr. Simone Sala (@hereissimone), the Associate Director of the Sensemaking Fellowship based at the Swansea University Network Science Research Center, reminds us that resiliency, especially in the emerging world, is as important as efficiency. ...

 
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A brief history of big data | World Economic Forum

A brief history of big data | World Economic Forum | The Programmable City | Scoop.it
Bernard Marr looks at the history of thought and innovation which has led us to the big data age.
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The Terrifying "Smart" City of the Future | Alternet

So-called "smart cities" are being heralded as the way of the future, but they have scary social and political consequences.

 

Imagine a world without waste. A place where the train always comes on time, where streets are plowed before snow even stops falling, and watchful surveillance cameras have sent rates of petty crime plunging. Never again will you worry about remembering your keys because your front door has an iris recognition system that won’t allow strangers to enter. To some people, this kind of uber-efficient urban living sounds like a utopian dream. But to a growing number of critics, the promise of the “smart city” is starting to seem like the stuff of nightmare. ...

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Three questions about India’s "smart cities" | World Economic Forum

Three questions about India’s "smart cities" | World Economic Forum | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

India wants to build 100 "smart cities". Nobody really knows what it means - but Jon Kher Kaw says it's the ambition that counts; the detail can come later. ...

 

 

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Smart-Cities Look to Fix Japan's Broken-Up Grid with Microgrids | Motherboard

Smart-Cities Look to Fix Japan's Broken-Up Grid with Microgrids | Motherboard | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Grids make sense. They really do. The notion, popular enough among techno-libertarian types, that every single power-consuming unit (house, factory, bunker) might be better off generating its own power off-the-grid is mostly absurd. Some things make sense (are more efficient) to do together, particularly when those things are more or less consumed in the same ways by basically everyone. Like electricity.

 

But maybe there's something in between. Enter microgrids. As detailed on IEEE Spectrum's grid blog, post-Fukushima Japan has seen a boom in the development of relatively small-scale localized grids. At first, the point was largely to boost grid efficiency, but the focus has grown more and more to include local power generation. This has residential applications, but one of the strongest examples is Toyota's F-Grid....

 

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Why the Internet of Things is about the data, not the 'Thing' | Firebrand

Why the Internet of Things is about the data, not the 'Thing' | Firebrand | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The thing about the Internet of Things is that it is not about the Thing! It’s actually about how the data collected by the collective Things can be analysed to provide outstanding goodness, whether that be personal or business goodness.

 

Let me explain by using a Fitness Band as an example of a Thing and its data ...

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Big data without Big Brother: emerging issues in smart transport in Milton Keynes - Open Research Online

MK:Smart is a £16m smart city initiative taking place in Milton Keynes between 2014 and 2016. The project involves the deployment of infrastructure for sensing and managing “big data” relevant to city systems, with experts from industry and academia developing applications in several domains (e.g., energy, water, transport). This paper has been written from the perspective of the transport work package, but most of the issues discussed here are relevant to other work packages (e.g., energy, water) and to other smart city projects.

To explore issues around big data systems for transport, a specific application is being developed. This is the “MotionMap”, a city-wide transport information service that will continuously sense and describe the real-time movements of people and vehicles across the city. Transport applications will make use of this data to enable smarter spontaneous transport decisions and to permit the development of new products and services such as cyclist way-finding or trip sharing by car users......

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Why Singapore is on the cusp of becoming a big data utopia | Tech in Asia

Why Singapore is on the cusp of becoming a big data utopia | Tech in Asia | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The Singapore government has begun building its own Skynet. No, not the killer AI that wrecked havoc on humankind in The Terminator, but an eye in the sky which will know in real-time where all the cars are in the country, round-the-clock.

 

The reason for that, at least on the surface, is mundane: it wants to improve traffic by charging drivers for using congested roads. Singapore’s existing Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system uses physical gantries that charges drivers for going past it. But it has been criticized for being ineffective.

 

A new version of the ERP will use satellite positioning technology to pinpoint the exact location of a vehicle, find out its distance traveled along a congested road, and charge users according to that. Its development is well underway. The government conducted a trial and found it feasible, and three companies are vying for the contract to develop it. ....

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AnalyticsInnovations's curator insight, February 19, 6:11 AM

Yikes!  They have to know how Google works on discerning traffic jam. It is common for people to wonder how Google predicts traffic jam and incorrectly implicate satellites watching in real time.  But coming from a smart country like Singapore, and it super smart bureaucrats!  May be it is the media that got it wrong.  Hi folks. let us build a machine learning center of excellence,... Singapore... Are you ready?

Alexandru GROSU's curator insight, February 20, 10:51 AM

Singapore invests 20 percent of its GDP in education. The results are worthy..

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EU ministers hold Big Meeting on Big Data: Poxy citizens, always slowing us down | The Register

EU ministers hold Big Meeting on Big Data: Poxy citizens, always slowing us down | The Register | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

Europe’s Industry and Internal Market Ministers have been told to have a good long think about Big Data before showing up to their next meeting in Brussels on 2 March.

 

The “theme” of the next Competitiveness council meeting is “Unlocking Europe's digital potential: faster and wider innovation through open, networked and data-intensive research”.

 

The Presidency of the council has asked ministers to consider what their main priorities are for data-driven innovation in research. It also asks if Big Data challenges are sufficiently addressed at national level and how coordination at the EU level could be improved. ...

 

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Pivotal Doubles Down on Open Source in a Sign of a Changing Software World | WIRED

Pivotal Doubles Down on Open Source in a Sign of a Changing Software World | WIRED | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

The business world continues its move to open source software.

 

Pivotal—the rather ambitious business software outfit spun off from big-name tech companies EMC and VMware—is open sourcing three of its key products, sharing the underlying software code with the world at large.

 

Today, the San Francisco-based company announced that in the coming year, it will open source GemFire, HAWQ, and GreenplumDB, three “big data” tools designed to help businesses analyze large amounts of digital information. “Our customers are starting to look to open source, and they’re looking to projects that have communities around them,” says Pivotal’s Sunny Madra, who oversees the company’s data work. “Customers want a say in the direction of software.”....

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BSI to set data standards for smart cities | UKAuthority.com

BSI to set data standards for smart cities | UKAuthority.com | The Programmable City | Scoop.it

e-Standards Committee begins work programme to harness the internet of things.  The British Standards Institute (BSI) has kicked off a programme to develop data standards for smart cities.

 

It follows the development of the PAS 182 data concept model for smart cities, and will focus on developing more detailed standards around how data from the internet of things could be used to develop smart cities. ...

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