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How Revenge Porn Goes Viral

Posted by admin on Apr 18, 2016 in news, technology

RevengePornviral

When Annmarie Chiarini’s ex decided to post nude pictures of her online, there weren’t any laws prohibiting “revenge porn.” Since 2010, great strides have been made to punish those like Annmarie’s ex who post the pics—but for victims like her, that’s often beside the point: Once nude pics are on the internet, they’re often there to stay.

When nude photos are uploaded online to a forum or website they can be copied by third-party web scraping tools. Think of these as virtual robotic spiders with the ability to search the source code of a website and download its content, including images. Many of these tools are free to use. Once the images have been captured by another individual, they can be republished on multiple websites, Patrick Ambron, CEO of BrandYourself, an online reputation management company, told Vocativ. Photos, including revenge porn images, can also be manually downloaded by individuals for republication elsewhere.

Ambron’s services help clients clean up their Google search results of everything from police mugshots to party photos. But, he acknowledges, revenge porn is especially complicated to remove because its spread can be viral. “It starts by someone posting [a revenge porn image] anonymously on a forum,” he explained. Then, either web bots or individuals can crawl the content and store it in multiple locations.

When a website gets taken down, the images that have been archived by web bots or simply downloaded by users will often resurface on different blogs. The re-uploads can be accomplished automatically or manually, he said. Eventually, a nude image can be broadcast across so many websites that its origin stops being relevant. Trying to individually request the removal of revenge porn images from each site is a game of whack-a-mole.

Around 5 percent of Ambron’s business is from revenge porn victims. According to him, that’s around 25,000 people since he started his company in 2012. And these are particularly difficult cases. “We can’t take it down as fast as it’s posted,” he says. Because digital copies of a revenge porn image can spread so quickly, it’s nearly impossible to remove them all, so Ambron focuses on the next best thing. His protection processes involve issuing photo takedown requests and creating other, non-revenge porn-related content associated with the victim’s name in order to push incriminating images to the third page of Google search results. This work is done manually. And, often, it’s not enough. Revenge porn victims can live for years under the threat of their photos surfacing yet again. Read more…

 
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The Maker Movement Is Taking Over America By Doing The Opposite of What’s Smart

Posted by admin on Apr 18, 2016 in opinion, technology

maker media dale

I didn’t mean to drink the maker movement Kool-Aid. It happened by mistake. I was swept away by how impressive Maker Media is, and how it’s succeeded by taking the opposite route from other media enterprises.

Today Maker Media is a multipurpose machine. The company publishes a number of magazines and books each year, have a robust web presence, a large YouTube presence, and sell products online on Maker Shed. And they host Maker Faires, festivals that celebrate the “DIY mindset,” showcased through art, electronics, and craft projects. The first was held in 2006. There are now 151 worldwide.

For reference, the 2015 Maker Faires had over 1.1 million visitors — the same audience size as Taylor Swift’s 1989 world tour.

Maker Media holds a number of additional events a year; free to attend Maker Camps designed to inspire children, and MakerCon’s, which give professionals the tools they need to run full-time maker businesses.

I went to Make: Magazine’s pop-up Christmas store in San Francisco to meet Dale Dougherty, the founder of Maker Media. He founded Make: Magazine a decade ago, and unwittingly godfathered a movement that’s spread across America, culminating in a Maker Faire held on The White House lawn last year.

The definition of a maker is someone who creates or produces things, and this can be anything: tech startups, crafting, robots, woodworking. Basically, it’s participating in a hobby that’s proactive, instead of reactive. Building an LED dragon vs. watching The Real Housewives. Read more…

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Explaining Ebola for Children

Posted by admin on Oct 13, 2014 in news, opinion, technology

There’s a lot of hyperbole about ebola at the moment. This makes sense; it’s a scary disease with no vaccination and people are concerned. But that’s no reason for misinformation, or for people to run around making wild claims and confusing the issue. Most of us aren’t biochem majors and can’t break down complex details about drug interaction/ virus systems etc, but we do have questions we want answered.

An explainer:

I was recently trying to explain Ebola to a ten year old who was very frightened and was thinking about how best to help them. I like to go with something visual, it’s easier to take in, seems more accessible and breaks down the subject matter. A number of places have created useful Ebola guides but I felt they had something missing. The fun angle. I’m not making light about the serious of the virus, but want to put it in context and the humor (hopefully) means people and kids won’t turn off when it gets a little heavy. hey, if Miley Cyrus and Unicorns can help, why not? (watch for this to be explained).

You can see what other outlets have done below, and do let me know how you think mine holds up.

The Cartoon Network

Read more…

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Stupid Technology That You Don’t Want or Need: Instagram sunglasses and a GIF taking camera

Posted by admin on May 20, 2014 in geekery, lists, opinion, technology

TENS_FILT´R

The world is full of great and amazing inventions, things that wow the mind and blow the senses. And then come the not so amazing, those that give pause, make one think ‘eh, and simply seem like a wonderful way to blow a lot of resources. That’s what I’m celebrating now, the many odd and surreal parts of technology that we really *might* have been better off without.

The Ten Lens

What is it: Think of these as Instagram sunglasses, shades that let you see the world through a variety of rose colored filters.

Why: Why let real life get you down? Why not view it all through pretty tinted lenses, that makes everything slightly saccharine and glowy? Who needs to reminisce over old times when every day has an old-timey feel. Yes, this is basically exactly what actual tinted sunglasses do, but these are “Tens Lens” sunglasses so it’s totally different. Seriously, the creators say that, “Whilst typical sunglasses block out the light with desaturated, cold colors; Tens work with the warmth of the sun to lend an uplifting tint to the world beyond the lens.” Absolutely not the same thing (insert eye-roll).

And that’s why you should pay 60 bucks for them through their Indiegogo campaign, instead of ten dollars at H&M for a pair you lose the same day.

Otto Camera Takes Only Gifs, really

Otto, the camera that takes only GIFS

What is it: This is a camera built with Raspberry Pi that can capture GIF’s – not pictures. Yes, you can GIF away with a snap and a crank and be ready for Meme heaven.

Why? You love Gifs. I love Gifs.The world loves Gifs. We crack up over Gifs all the timer- heck GIFs are continually one of the most popular and growing subreddits on Reddit, the internet purveyor of what’s cool for the modern disenfranchised moody hipster. Why should you have to painstakingly create a GIF in Photoshop or manually DIY it with one of the zillion free GIF makers out there? What a drag! Why not capture a GIF in one go with a camera that’s designed for your needs?

The Otto camera features a rotating crank that captures an insta-GIF, not an instaPic and shares it with your cellphone.. so you can share it with the world. Now that’s good symbiosis, right? The camera is adaptable as the creators have built in capabilities for add on accessories, including a an Arduino-powered flash bulb that can be triggered to capture GIFs when it detects certain actions, for example they say it can “trigger the camera [for actions] like a totally badass high-five.” I mean you could just use a GIF making app on your phone, but then you’d totally lose camera carrying “cool” credentials right? Read more…

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These Chicas Poderosas 2014 Projects Might Change The World

Posted by admin on May 7, 2014 in geekery, lists, technology

chicas_poderosas

“Fail Fast, Succeed Soon.” Sounds like a strange thing to say, but the more you think about the phrase, the more you realize that it’s a pretty productive mantra. Don’t get stuck working on an idea that doesn’t make sense if you can change it. This was the catchphrase of the Chicas Podersosas 2014 Miami event, a four day workshop that brought together smart men and women from across the globe.

They gathered to explore ways that technology can be used to create interactive storytelling – and to empower women. Led by visual storyteller Mariana Santos, a Knight International Journalism Fellow, stories were proposed, teams were chosen and goals were set.

Here’s a look at some of the projects that were created. None are “complete” – the goal was to demonstrate what you can build in a few days with mentorship and to develop the skills to then move these ideas forward. Where possible links to projects have been provided.

Here’s a look at some of the projects that were created. None are “complete” – the goal was to demonstrate what you can build in a few days with mentorship and to develop the skills to then move these ideas forward. Where possible links to projects have been provided.

Mapping Unmarked graves from the Drug War

“This is a story about drugs and where they end up,” said Andrés Lizcano Rodriguez, who proposed the idea.“Drug prices have gone up more than any other product in the last 20 years – apart from technology.”

This group used data to look at the deaths caused by the drug trade, the 20 million US consumers that have inadvertently caused the murder of 70,000 people in Mexico since 2006.. The group created a responsive website that mapped out this issue, including personal stories and statistics to back it up. Read more…

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Smart T-Pai Dog Home looks like British bus (but cleaner)

Posted by admin on Feb 4, 2014 in Animal Oddities, news, random, technology

demohourgirldogbus

People love their dogs a LOT . We know this to such an extent that we don’t even need to qualify the statement anymore. But when does dog love turn into needing to let your pet live in a replica of a British double decker Red Bus? Chinese company, Hong Kong Tesla Technology Limited (HKTTL) thinks this is just where your pooch wants to stay, and it’s not a simple red bus, it’s a smartbus codenamed the T-Pai that we’re talking about.

Not only does your BFF get to live a’la Queen Liz (on her day off when she’s slumming it) but every single need your dog might have is automated. An automatic feeder releases food and water at set times and can be controlled remotely via cellphone. The T-Pai has enough space for a weeks worth of food; so if you go walkies, they don’t go hungry.

T-Pai Dog house

All their toilet needs are taken care of as well.  The T-Pai has an “Auto toilet” which emits a scent that makes dogs want to go, and when they poop, this is what happens: “When the system detects excrement, it will flush and sterilize automatically.” Hands/Paws free. Nice. Read more…

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A surprisingly realistic list of technology predictions for 2014

Posted by admin on Jan 3, 2014 in geekery, lists, opinion, technology, Yum

foodinifood

We hoped for many things in 2013. We were promised these by tech companies, by journalists (oops), by advertisers. Did we get them? Hell no. Where’s the 3DTV in our living room? Why aren’t we 3D printing clothes at home? Why on earth are we still having to fly to Los Angeles from NYC; just where is Elon Musk’s magnetic levitation train? God knows.

Still, we have hope, we have faith, we have wallets.

Technology will continue to change our lives, and we look forward to 2014, a year of immense scientific discovery, technovation and stuff we can never afford.

Here’s the top five technology predictions for 2014 of things that will realistically happen in the tech world. (Originally published on Fusion.net)

3D printing food will become commonplace…but you still won’t be able to afford it

This year 3D printing food became a bit closer to reality. We were already used to 3D printed fashion and had been impressed with the variety of designers out there offering this to us, but food was still a long way away. Sure, we knew that Google 3D printed pasta at their Mountain View cafeteria, but how did that apply to regular folk? However, this year we had NASA announce they would 3D print pizzas in space and saw the launch of Foodini, a prototype 3D food printer that can be used to make multiple things such as ravioli and chocolate.

Downsides are that it prints one ingredient at a time (boo) but it’s miles above previous 3D food printer prototypes which had complicated parameters about what they could and couldn’t make. This isn’t going to be mass produced anytime soon, but as the 3D printer movement got so HUGE over the last year, with hundreds of brands now in the space (MakerBot, ForrmLabs etc.) the cost had lowered so much that you can buy a basic 3D printer for $500.

“With 3D printing food we already have factories and machine parts in place,” said Marcelo Coelho, a research affiliate at MIT who designed a 3D printing chocolate machine called the Cornucopia at MIT as part of his graduate project and who gave a talk on Digital Gastronomy to Microsoft last year. “The challenge is to take a machine used in a factory and enable it to be used in a kitchen, hundreds of ingredients to manufacture.”

Expect to see a resurgence in 3D printed food appliances and associated “food materials” all over the media and Kickstarter. Just don’t expect to be able to afford one…yet. Read more…

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