Elise Thomas writes at Hopes & Fears:

"Right now, in a handful of computing labs scattered across the world, new software is being developed which has the potential to completely change our relationship with technology. Affective computing is about creating technology which recognizes and responds to your emotions. Using webcams, microphones or biometric sensors, the software uses a person's physical reactions to analyze their emotional state, generating data which can then be used to monitor, mimic or manipulate that person’s emotions."

[...]

"Corporations spend billions each year trying to build "authentic" emotional connections to their target audiences. Marketing research is one of the most prolific research fields around, conducting thousands of studies on how to more effectively manipulate consumers’ decision-making. Advertisers are extremely interested in affective computing and particularly in a branch known as emotion analytics, which offers unprecedented real-time access to consumers' emotional reactions and the ability to program alternative responses depending on how the content is being received.

For example, if two people watch an advertisement with a joke and only one person laughs, the software can be programmed to show more of the same kind of advertising to the person who laughs while trying different sorts of advertising on the person who did not laugh to see if it's more effective. In essence, affective computing could enable advertisers to create individually-tailored advertising en masse."

"Say 15 years from now a particular brand of weight loss supplements obtains a particular girl's information and locks on. When she scrolls through her Facebook, she sees pictures of rail-thin celebrities, carefully calibrated to capture her attention. When she turns on the TV, it automatically starts on an episode of "The Biggest Loser," tracking her facial expressions to find the optimal moment for a supplement commercial. When she sets her music on shuffle, it "randomly" plays through a selection of the songs which make her sad. This goes on for weeks. 

Now let's add another layer. This girl is 14, and struggling with depression. She's being bullied in school. Having become the target of a deliberate and persistent campaign by her technology to undermine her body image and sense of self-worth, she's at risk of making some drastic choices."

 

Source: http://www.hopesandfears.com/hopes/now/int...

"...An instrument no bigger than an inhaler lodges a needle into the back of Benigeri’s arm. Woo removes his hand to reveal a white plate sitting just above the implant. Benigeri smiles.
Read more at https://www.businessinsider.com/san-francisco-biohacking-continuous-glucose-monitors-2017-1#To0MjhyLcHHBIhcD.99

Posted
Authoralexanderhayes

"Yahoo has filed a patent for a type of smart billboard that would collect people's information and use it to deliver targeted ad content in real-time."

To achieve that functionality, the billboards would use a variety of sensor systems, including cameras and proximity technology, to capture real-time audio, video and even biometric information about potential target audiences.

But the tech company doesn’t just want to know about a passing vehicle. It also wants to know who the occupants are inside of it.

That’s why Yahoo is prepared to cooperate with cell towers and telecommunications companies to learn as much as possible about each vehicle’s occupants.

It goes on to explain in the application:

Various types of data (e.g., cell tower data, mobile app location data, image data, etc.) can be used to identify specific individuals in an audience in position to view advertising content. Similarly, vehicle navigation/tracking data from vehicles equipped with such systems could be used to identify specific vehicles and/or vehicle owners. Demographic data (e.g., as obtained from a marketing or user database) for the audience can thus be determined for the purpose of, for example, determining whether and/or the degree to which the demographic profile of the audience corresponds to a target demographic.
Source: https://www.grahamcluley.com/yahoo-creepy-...

""...I've gotten these with Happy Meals for my kids and they are pretty much useless. One supposedly blinks slow or fast depending on the level of activity or motion. It merely blinks at  any motion, but not always and not necessarily faster with more intense activity. Battery lasts about two hours at best. The step counter just does the same thing as the blinking version but increments a number display. Unfortunately, a single "step" is often counted as a dozen or more and other times movements/step are not counted at all. Battery lasted an hour before the device stopped working completely. Most don't work at all, having dead batteries from the start.Perhaps it's the gesture that counts but these items are essentially garbage. My five year old just pretends that they are wrist-based computers/communicators."

Read more - https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/16/mcdonalds-activity-trackers-happy-meal/

Posted
Authoralexanderhayes
Categoriesnormalising

"A new study shows that knowledge of government surveillance causes people to self-censor their dissenting opinions online. The research offers a sobering look at the oft-touted "democratizing" effect of social media and Internet access that bolsters minority opinion.

The study, published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, studied the effects of subtle reminders of mass surveillance on its subjects. The majority of participants reacted by suppressing opinions that they perceived to be in the minority. This research illustrates the silencing effect of participants’ dissenting opinions in the wake of widespread knowledge of government surveillance, as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

The “spiral of silence” is a well-researched phenomenon in which people suppress unpopular opinions to fit in and avoid social isolation. It has been looked at in the context of social media and the echo-chamber effect, in which we tailor our opinions to fit the online activity of our Facebook and Twitter friends. But this study adds a new layer by explicitly examining how government surveillance affects self-censorship."

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-sw...

Thanks for the link KMA.

"Ladies and gents, put down your technology and have more sex.
That's the advice from a team of scientists who found people are becoming so enveloped by their phone and tablets that their love lives are being put on the back burner. 
So if you are one of those reading this on your smartphone in bed, a glance across the sheets is likely to reveal your partner is engrossed in theirs too.
The researchers discovered 70 per cent of women said smartphones were interfering in their romantic relationship. 
The study said technology and the screens that consume us are creating 'technoference' in couples."

More here

Compare to declining birth rate in Japan in this article here. Could there be a link?

"Various reasons have been cited for the population decline, including:
  • The rising cost of childbirth and child-raising
  • The increasing number of women in the workforce
  • The later average age of marriage
  • The increasing number of unmarried people
  • Changes in the housing environment and in social customs."
The Australian government has been building a state-of-the art, secret data storage facility just outside Canberra to enable intelligence agencies to deal with a ‘’data deluge’’ siphoned from the internet and global telecommunications networks.

The high-security facility nearing completion at the HMAS Harman communications base will support the operations of Australia’s signals intelligence agency, the top-secret Defence Signals Directorate.

Privately labelled by one Defence official as ‘’the new black vault’’, the data centre is one of the few visible manifestations of Australia’s deep involvement in mass surveillance and intelligence collection operations such as the US National Security Agency’s PRISM program revealed last week by US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

Fairfax Media has confirmed Australian intelligence agencies receive what Defence intelligence officials describe as ‘’huge volumes’’ of ‘’immensely valuable’’ information derived from PRISM and other US signals intelligence collection programs.

Australian agencies assist the US to target foreign nationals and Australian citizens who are of security and intelligence interest to both countries.
Source: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it...

Poll taken as of 18 July 2014 indicates 53%|47% for|against technology is enslaving us.

poll for and against iq2.jpg


More information on attending the event here

City Recital Hall Angel Place
2 Angel Place
Sydney Australia

Tuesday, 12 August 2014 
6:45 -8:30 pm

Tickets available here

A "3D" "immersive" environment from your phone.

The tech group has decided not to sell it at this stage, instead releasing instructions on how people can build it themselves.

If you want to cut down on costs, you can even make one with an old pizza box. But if you’re not keen on getting your hands greasy, you can always order one for around $30 online from one of the many companies offering to build it for you.

A number of the contraptions are also being sold on eBay by attendees of Google’s I/O developers’ conference, where the company handed out thousands of them for free.

Besides cardboard, you need lenses (to focus on your phone’s screen as it’s otherwise blurry when close to your eyes), magnets, Velcro, a rubber band, and an optional near-field communications (NFC) tag. A piece of elastic and some staples might also be worth investing in to make it stay on your head hands-free.

So what does it do?

Like any other VR headset on the market, it brings the user into a 3D space.

Unlike other headsets, it does not require a desktop or laptop computer to be connected to it. Instead, all you need is an Android smartphone running an app called Cardboard that splits the screen into two images (one for each eye) to create the illusion of looking at a 3D environment once it is placed into the cardboard device.

It is a jaw-dropping experience, as demonstrated by a Google video of developers’ reactions to using it at Google’s I/O conference.

Having used Oculus Rift, I found Cardboard an almost identical experience. I’d go as far as saying the experience is actually as good, if not better. I also didn’t feel sick when using it, but this might have been because the apps created for Cardboard thus far don’t cause motion sickness. Others created by third parties might have this result, also known as the “simulator effect”.
Source: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital...
Transient

"..A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, to possess it and give weight in one's life...There is an urge to say, 'I was here, I saw this, and it mattered to me." - Alain de Botton - Stendhal Syndrome."

Read more