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Posted 27 April 2018 - 06:29 PM

Don't forget about all the pipes and wires...



Posted 20 March 2018 - 02:07 AM


Defensive architecture is an option. It can be weaponized as well. Imagine a school shaped like this: 
Only the 'cell' space would be classroom size.
A large open space contains this form:
Expand the idea further and take a look at a community:
Would you feel safe having your children learn in this environment?




Posted 12 March 2018 - 02:46 PM

The next stop on the road to revolution is ambient intelligence


Digital technologies now surround us, with many people having multiple devices for business and personal use. When combined with the Internet of Things and its assortment of embedded sensors and connected devices in the home, the enterprise and the world at large, we will have created a digital intelligence network that transcends all that has gone before. Some have referred to this as a “third wave” of computing, where technology gains the ability to sense, predict and respond to our needs and is being integrated into our natural behaviors.

Ambient is generally defined as “surrounding on all sides.” Ambient intelligence is born of digital interconnectedness to produce information and services that enhance our lives. This is enabled by the dynamic combination of mobile computing platforms, the cloud and big data, neural networks and deep learning using graphics processing units (GPUs) to produce artificial intelligence (AI).

An example travel scenario set 10-15 years into the future outlined in Information Week describes arriving in San Francisco. Upon exiting the plane, a traveler will get a message that says, “Welcome to San Francisco. Please go to the curb after picking up your bag.” When at the curb, a self-driving car will meet them and, once inside, advise that the destination is the Marriott hotel.

A recent story notes that computing is on its way to becoming a sea of background data processing that bears little or no relation to the familiar world of PCs and servers. “We will talk, and the world will answer.” We have more than a hint of this with current implementations of Siri, Cortana and Echo. Using natural language processing and AI, these devices understand what we are asking and supply us with useful information.

Much of AI is built upon the voluminous amount of data — so-called big data — being collected through search, apps and the Internet of Things. These data provide the opportunity for neural networks to learn what people do, how they respond and their interests, providing the basis for deep learning-derived personalized information and services based on increasingly educated guesses within any given context.

In Shots of Awe, philosopher and technologist Jason Silva says AI is simply the outsourcing of cognition to machines, amplifying the most powerful force in the universe, which is intelligence. He adds there’s no reason to fear this, it’s just evolution.

What is clear is that our AI-powered assistants will increasingly manage our digital activities and address increasingly complex questions and situations. We don’t know what devices are coming, whether lapel pins, augmented reality visors or something else, but we know they’re coming. We are fully within the rainbow of digitally driven change. Will these make life better or somehow easier? We will definitely be more guided by the technology, relegating mundane tasks to ambient intelligence.


Posted 11 March 2018 - 02:39 PM

An interesting graphic mapping the movements inside a home:



Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:20 PM

FBI Has Been Paying Geek Squad To Spy On Customers For Over A Decade
For over a decade, the FBI had been paying employees of Best Buy's Geek Squad to pass on information about illegal materials on customer devices sent in for repair, according to records obtained through the Freedom of Information lawsuit filed last year. 
Records posted Tuesday by the Electronic Frontier Foundation reveal that federal agents from the FBI's Louisville division had been paying Geek Squad informants for information that might kick off investigations related to their "Computer Intrusion and Cyber Crime" program, according to the documents. 
The documents released to EFF show that Best Buy officials have enjoyed a particularly close relationship with the agency for at least 10 years. For example, an FBI memo from September 2008 details how Best Buy hosted a meeting of the agency’s “Cyber Working Group” at the company’s Kentucky repair facility.
After several years of coordinating efforts, the FBI developed a process for following up on Geek Squad leads. After an employee had identified material thought to be illegal, the FBI would show up, review the suspected content, seize the computer or hard drive, and send it to another FBI field office close to where the owner of the device lived. From that point, field agents would then investigate further, and in some cases, attempt to obtain a warrant to search the device (after the device had been searched). 
Some of these reports indicate that the FBI treated Geek Squad employees as informants, identifying them as “CHS,” which is shorthand for confidential human sources. In other cases, the FBI identifies the initial calls as coming from Best Buy employees, raising questions as to whether certain employees had different relationships with the FBI.
In the case of the investigation into Rettenmaier’s computers, the documents released to EFF do not appear to have been made public in that prosecution. These raise additional questions about the level of cooperation between the company and law enforcement. -EFF

Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:08 PM

The School As A Panopticon? 
One of the angles being fore fronted appears to make it a case of private schools. Parents are complaining that private schools fleece money and don’t provide adequate safety and services. While this could be true or false, none of these schools forced the parents to get their children admitted there. They could have opted for nearby government school but they don’t. Why? Because ‘educational standard’ of these government schools are not good, they may say. But how did they know that? Parents in general have scanty idea of what constitutes ‘educational standards’ beyond board results. Schools are simply status symbol for the middle class. They opt for such ‘high class’ schools not because they have any clear evidence of the quality of education or other services they provide. They get their child admitted by any means just going by the name, fame, building and the ‘status’ of school. In such a case, complaining about them is like a drunkard diagnosed with liver cirrhosis blaming the nearby wine shop.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is India’s largest education board, has issued an advisory about safety and security in schools on September 12. The circular has asked schools to carry out a security audit and report back on its website within two months. Interestingly, a similar circular was issued on 23rd February, 2017 focusing on ‘Safety of school children in the school bus’. The February circular fixed the responsibility on the school management in following CBSE guidelines, adhering to by-laws and other circulars issued by them from time to time. The February circular also exhorts parents and says, ‘parents are equally responsible for the safety of their children during school journeys’. One wonders if the responsibilities of a body like CBSE ends by issuing such circulars and advisories and fix responsibilities for others? Don’t regulatory bodies have mechanisms of regular checking or inspections to ensure that those who don’t comply with such norms may be punished? Or else it is like police pasting the IPC regulation for theft or other crimes in each mohalla telling them about the provision of punishment and fixing everyone to be responsible for their own safety and rest in peace!
The CBSE directive had asked the schools to install CCTV cameras at all vulnerable points within the school premises and ensure that the cameras are functional. It is important to note that the bathroom where the child was killed had the CCTV installed, albeit it was not working. But who will look into all the CCTV camera feed all the time? What will happen to the huge amount of data generated every day? Who will decide which are vulnerable areas? Is a classroom vulnerable? Some say each of the classes too will have CCTV cameras. This will transform the school into a space of indiscriminate surveillance and tracking where everyone is seen as a potential criminal. It will no longer remain a school but a dragnet. Christopher Slobogin, a Vanderbilt University law professor, argues that surveillance dragnets are inherently unfair. By definition, they capture the innocent and the guilty indiscriminately. In doing so, they create a culture of fear. Schools, thus, will become a prototype of ‘Panopticon’, a prison design proposed by Jeremy Bentham in 1787 and popularized by Michel Foucault where inmates would be living under ‘ever anxious awareness of being observed’. Is that what we want our schools to be?

Posted 15 February 2018 - 05:24 PM


Posted 15 February 2018 - 04:49 PM


Remember the Panopticon?
Academics of a certain age will remember when you couldn’t take a seminar without hearing about Foucault and the Panopticon. The panopticon was Jeremy Bentham’s design, intended for a prison. 
Although Foucault liked to discuss what he called the “capillaries of power,” the panopticon was still an easily located, centralized thing. It was a tool of a single central authority. The jail would deploy surveillance to control the inmates. You knew who was in charge of the tower, even if you didn’t know if it was being used at any given time
In the age of camera phones, though, you don’t know who’s doing the watching. Lenses are everywhere, rather than in the middle, and control has been, well, decentered. In the age of social media, someone in the back row can isolate a single statement -- heard correctly or incorrectly -- and loose it upon a world with multiple and conflicting agendas.
But awareness of the possibility of that kind of surveillance also rewards a certain blandness, grounded in a warranted paranoia. If you don’t know when you’re being watched, you start to watch yourself. Error avoidance can easily become risk avoidance.  From there, it’s a short step to stagnation and decline. Innovation is messy. We need some tolerance for messiness if we want it to thrive. Candor is sometimes awkward and halting; subjecting it to too much scrutiny at an early stage can kill it.  If every decision is premised on “how would this look if…,” we’ll die of caution. That’s not an inspiring way to go.




Remember the Panopticon?




Extend that framework to a community or a city based level and George Orwell is made real.



I see a similar design here...






Defensive architecture is an option. It can be weaponized as well. Imagine a school shaped like this: 
Only the 'cell' space would be classroom size.
A large open space contains this form:
Expand the idea further and take a look at a community:
Would you feel safe having your children learn in this environment?

Posted 11 February 2018 - 08:09 PM

Tucker Carlson reacts to Sean Parker's comments about the negative consequences of Facebook and social media addiction. 
It's not like this technology will ever be taken down. It's too big and the Zuckericebergs are not really the ones who get to control the whole machine. They're just in on it. Besides, control of information at this magnitude is weapon unto itself. And the world wide industrial complex would not allow any deviation from its own plans of social conformity.  

Posted 11 February 2018 - 06:25 PM

Silicon Valley’s surveillance capitalism has resulted in Big Tech killing off human privacy
by Steve Hilton - Fox News
Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive responsible for growing the social network’s user base, recently argued that Silicon Valley had “created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
His comments are in line with another huge figure in tech, early Facebook investor Sean Parker, who blasted the addictive properties of Silicon Valley’s technology: “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Parker argued that Facebook “literally changes your relationship with society” and “probably interferes with productivity in weird ways.”
Parker said that because the whole point of Facebook is to keep people using it. He said “the thought process … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’” That’s why the inventors of tech services like Facebook give their users “a little dopamine hit every once in a while,” for example through ‘likes’ and comments: “It’s a social-validation feedback loop ... exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”
Parker went on to say that the men who designed and built these social media platforms, like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram’s Kevin Systrom, “understood consciously” what they were doing. “And we did it anyway.”
Who owns all this data and what will happen to it? Quite apart from the sheer creepiness of tech companies wanting to invade your brain, we know from recent experience that literally everything can be hacked – whether by criminals or foreign governments like China that hacked our own government and stole millions of Americans’ most personal data.
Silicon Valley’s surveillance capitalism has killed off human privacy. Did anyone ask them to do that? They say people want the convenience of data-enabled services – but for most people, there’s no alternative. If everyone else is on Facebook you have to be there too, and you can only do that if you tick the box that signs away your privacy forever.
Artificial intelligence, of course, is not just about invading your privacy: it’s assaulting our economy too. Studies predict that huge swaths of jobs will be destroyed by Big Tech as it advances into new areas of economic activity and automates jobs from truck driving to accounting.
Silicon Valley’s only response to the economic devastation it’s about to unleash on American workers is to push forward the idea of a “Universal Basic Income” – a government wage regardless of whether you work.

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