Tomorrow marks the 35th anniversary of Food Not Bombs---the name given to autonomous groups and independent collectives that serve free vegan and vegetarian food in opposition of poverty and hunger, and also in protest of economic disparity and rapacious militarism. But, "despite seemingly the non-controversial nature of the activist group's titular three-word mission statement, FBI files released earlier this week show that serving up home-cooked vegan moussaka is apparently enough to warrant suspicions of terrorism.

The files, which begin in the early aughts, appear to be focused on one particular FNB chapter based out of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. The bulk of the records concern the organization's rather obvious opposition to the Iraq war.

In fact, the release included a CD comprised of extensive surveillance footage from an anti-war protest in Richmond on July 3rd, 2003."

Source: https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/201...

Guess what's behind that wall?

More here

The use of technology that allows the police to "see" inside the homes of suspects has raised privacy questions.
At least 50 US police forces are believed to be equipped with radars that can send signals through walls.
The use of the radar device, known as Range-R, was made public in a Denver court late last year.
It was used by police entering a house to arrest a man who had violated the terms of his parole.
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In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that police cannot use thermal cameras without a warrant, specifically noting that the rule would also apply to radar-based systems that were then being developed.
"The idea that government can send signals through the wall of your house to figure out what's inside is problematic," Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union told USA Today.
"Technologies that allow the police to look inside of a home are among the intrusive tools that police have."

More here

"The technology titan is putting brakes on an "explorer" program that let people interested in dabbling with Glass buy eyewear for $1,500 apiece.

"Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk," the team said of its "explorer" clients in a post on the Google+ social network.

"Well, we still have some work to do, but now we're ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run."

The last day to buy Glass as part of the Explorer program will be Monday and Google did not indicate when a general consumer version of the eyewear might debut.

"Google Glass hasn't truly been released as a product yet -- it's been in long-term beta for over two years," said Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder.

"This organizational move will help to clarify the go to market strategy for both consumer and for enterprise customers."

The Glass test, or beta, program was later expanded to Britain.

During the Explorer testing phase, developers are creating apps for Google Glass, which can range from getting weather reports to sharing videos to playing games.

Glass connects to the Internet using Wi-Fi hot spots or, more typically, by being wirelessly tethered to mobile phones. Pictures or video may be shared through the Google+ social network.

- Outgrown the lab -

"As we look to the road ahead, we realize that we've outgrown the lab and so we're officially graduating from Google X to be our own team," the Glass post said.

"We're thrilled to be moving even more from concept to reality."

Instead of being part of the Google X lab working on innovations such as self-driving cars, the Glass team will become a separate unit answering to Tony Fadell, co-founder of Nest.

Google bought the smart thermostat maker early last year in a multi-billion-dollar deal and brought the former Apple executive on board in the process.

Google has announced alliances with the frame giant behind Ray-Ban and other high-end brands to create and sell Glass eyewear in the United States.

A partnership with Luxottica was portrayed as Google's "biggest step yet into the emerging smart eyewear market."

Luxottica brands include Oakley, Alain Mikli, Ray-Ban and Vogue-Eyewear.

The first smart glasses by Luxottica for Google Glass will go on sale this year, the Italian eyewear group has forecast.

Google has been working to burnish the image of Glass, which has triggered concerns about privacy since the devices are capable of capturing pictures and video.

Forrester data shows that while 43 percent of consumers are interested in Glass, even more have worries about privacy problems caused by the eyewear.

"Google needs to construct a consumer image for the product, and deal with privacy concerns if they want it to be mass market," Gownder said.

Now compare to the narrative clip. 


 Lulu Whisker being photographed by her carer, Stephanie Morrell.  Photo: Louie Douvis

Lulu Whisker being photographed by her carer, Stephanie Morrell. Photo: Louie Douvis

When Matthew Whisker picks his children up from their north shore childcare centre he doesn’t automatically have to ask how their day went – he already knows.

The Neutral Bay father has an app which alerts him to the daily activities and achievements of his children Harry, 11 months, and Lulu, five, almost immediately via his smart phone.

The app is being trialled in three Sydney centres operated by Only About Children, with plans to roll it out more widely later this year. Victoria’s Woodland Education has developed a similar app which also alerts parents to the real-time minutiae and milestones of their children’s lives, including what they had for lunch and if they soiled their nappies.

But experts have questioned whether young children need to have their lives documented in such detail and how it might affect normal interactions between parents, kids and carers.

Only About Children’s chief operations officer, Kathryn Hutchins, said the group, which has 31 centres in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, developed the app in response to parental demand.

‘‘We want to capture the moments working parents may want to see but don’t have the opportunity to because they are at work,’’ she said. ‘‘For example, if your child is just learning to walk, there will be a photo that shows that activity.’’

Educators carry a small handset tablet, photographing the children and writing short descriptions of what they are doing before uploading the content. The parent then gets a push notification, alerting them to the status update.
Source: http://www.smh.com.au/national/new-app-let...

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

"An American family has claimed their son committed suicide because of a viral video taken of him in a school bathroom. According to ABC 10 News in San Diego Matthew's friends told his parents a classmate had peered over a bathroom stall and recorded Matthew while he was at school. The friends said the classmate posted the video, allegedly of Matthew masturbating, on social networking sites Snapchat and Vine."

More here

"Welcome to the Stanford Prison Experiment web site, which features an extensive slide show and information about this classic psychology experiment.. What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? These are some of the questions we posed in this dramatic simulation of prison life conducted in the summer of 1971 at Stanford University.

How we went about testing these questions and what we found may astound you. Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended prematurely after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. Please join me on a slide tour describing this experiment and uncovering what it tells us about the nature of human nature.

--Philip G. Zimbardo"

The Quiet Rage documentary can be purchased here

anklet.gif

"The prisoner was then issued a uniform. The main part of this uniform was a dress, or smock, which each prisoner wore at all times with no underclothes. On the smock, in front and in back, was his prison ID number.  On each prisoner's right ankle was a heavy chain, bolted on and worn at all times. Rubber sandals were the footwear, and each prisoner covered his hair with a stocking cap made from a woman's nylon stocking." Courtesy of: http://www.prisonexp.org/

See also The Experiment (2010) a remake of the German Das Experiment (2001).

Thanks anthropunk!

 Palo Alto police cruisers are now equipped with new video systems, including five cameras instead of a previous two. The above camera is on the exterior of a cruiser. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department. Source: http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2014/03/20/palo-alto-police-embrace-new-recording-technology

Palo Alto police cruisers are now equipped with new video systems, including five cameras instead of a previous two. The above camera is on the exterior of a cruiser. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department. Source: http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2014/03/20/palo-alto-police-embrace-new-recording-technology

  Palo Alto police cruisers are now equipped with new video systems, including five cameras instead of a previous two. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department.

Palo Alto police cruisers are now equipped with new video systems, including five cameras instead of a previous two. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department.

"The Palo Alto Police Department has recently installed new video systems on dozens of cruisers, replacing the recording systems that were first installed on police vehicles in 2006. In addition to the usual enhancements one can expect with video upgrades -- high-definition video and high-fidelity audio -- the new recording systems have an additional feature: the ability to record and review what happened before an incident even occurs.

Unlike the previously used Mobile In-Car Video System, which included two cameras on the cruiser, the new systems include five. This means new cameras on the cruisers' sides and rearview mirrors, according a report from the police department.

"We've already had a few cases where actions of our officers that would not have been captured on the old system were completely captured on the new one, which allowed us to have a clear view of what went on," said Lt. Zach Perron, the department's public information manager. "That's exactly what we want to have."

The improvement in audio quality is also significant, he said. Audio recordings in the new systems have far more range and can work "through objects," Perron said."

Read more here.

"Called the Fly6, it is a combination video camera and flashing rear light that promises to make riders more visible while recording what happens behind them. It is fitted to the bike's seat post.

The inventors say it could also help to determine who is responsible when a motor vehicle hits a bicycle from behind – one of the most common causes of serious injury or death among cyclists."

Transient

From The Guardian  (extracts with emphasis added):

"Keeping track of your emails and staying on top of your calendar might be hard enough, but for American software developer Chris Dancy, life doesn’t feel complete without several hundred data sets about his life being fed to him simultaneously at all times.

...

Today, Dancy is “travelling light”, only wearing seven devices: above his eyes sits the unmistakable horizontal bar of a Google Glass headset, which records everything he sees, while around his neck hangs a Memoto narrative camera, which takes a picture every 30 seconds for good measure. On one wrist is a Pebble watch, which sends him alerts from his two smartphones, while around the other is a Fitbit Flex, tracking his movement and sleep patterns 24 hours a day. And then there’s the stuff you can’t see: a Blue HR heart rate monitor strapped to his chest, a BodyMedia fitness tracker around his upper arm and, lurking beneath his waistband, a Lumoback posture sensor – “which vibrates when I slouch,” he beams.

“Right now I feel pretty naked,” he says, “because I can’t control the room.” Back at home in Denver, Colorado, all the data from these devices feeds directly into his ambient environment, which automatically adjusts according to his mood and needs.

“The house knows my behaviours,” he says. “If I get really stressed out and don’t sleep well, when I wake up the light is a certain colour, the room a particular temperature, and certain music plays. My entire life is preconditioned based on all this information that I collect in real time.”

...

“All this stuff [...] needs to be in my clothing. Why can’t your shoes have haptic sensors in them, so if you’re walking you don’t need GPS – your shoe just vibrates left or right? I think this low-friction, ambient feedback is really the future, but for now we have to strap all this stuff on and look silly.”

...

Dancy is perhaps the most extreme exponent [of] a community dedicated to tracking and archiving every aspect of their known existence. But might others also be watching them too?

“That’s a very real concern,” says John Weir, director of the Wearable Technology Show. “You can quantify yourself as much as you want, but a lot of that is fed back on the web, and a lot of the companies now hold immense amounts of data on their customers. Particularly with medical applications, where people will hopefully be feeding stuff back to their doctors, the ownership of data and privacy is going to become a big issue.”

Dancy shares these concerns, but is more optimistic about the beneficial power of mastering our data, as long as we stop giving it away. “We don’t have a sharing problem, we have a data intimacy problem,” he says. “It’s urgent that people look at the data they are creating and giving away – so much of it can be used to make our lives better, rather than lining the pockets of mega corporations.”

In reality, few have the software skills to ensure their personal data is not being harvested against their will, so maybe it’s for the best that most wearable tech still makes you look like an extra from Star Trek. For some, that’s a useful deterrent from ever wearing it."

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/ar...

 

Thought experiment.

Taking everything you know about the world of computers, the history of screen experience and the trajectory of emerging technologies—say with Google Glass, for example—combined with this culture’s love affair with instant gratification, recording, surveillance, narcissism, and control; what could one be left looking at?

The Entire History of You explores some of these ideas in a world where most people have an implant behind their ear called a ‘grain’ which records everything they do, see and hear. Memories can be played back either in front of the person’s eyes or on a screen—a process known as a ‘re-do.’

Nothing is off limits. Everything is recorded, archived, and scrutinised.

Scrutiny comes to social events too. ‘Re-dos’ are done with friends and family, analogous to the current culture of social media ‘sharing’ and the solipsistic sense of self lived vicariously through screens.

In this world—and of our own—what are the myriad personal, interpersonal and social implications? What do the profound repercussions for relationships and even individual existential experience look like?

The Entire History of You is part of a series of films called Black Mirror which explore different aspects of “the way we live now—and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we're clumsy.”

More to come...

Compare these scenes from Enemy of the State (1998) with the video posted by Katina Michael on Communications of the ACM regarding the limits of watching.

"We're there now!"  

 A scene from  Enemy of the State  (1998)

A scene from Enemy of the State (1998)

 A scene from  Enemy of the State   (1998)

A scene from Enemy of the State  (1998)

Now read this article on the limits of watching by Katina and MG Michael (2013) and watch the following report as an addendum to the article.

 Covert HD Audio-Visual Recording Pen purchased in 2011

Covert HD Audio-Visual Recording Pen purchased in 2011

An extremely relevant keynote abstract by Professor Timothy K. Shih of the National Central University of Taiwan. This capability speaks directly to uberveillance- information manipulation, misrepresentation and more. These capabilities cannot be ignored- and while they can be used brilliantly within the special effects industry, they will inevitably be misapplied to other contexts.

 So much for "direct evidence" from body worn video recorders and digital glass devices! Law enforcement agencies pay attention please- before you go heavily investing in body worn video recorders! And courts- don't believe everything you see! The VIDEO EDITING landscape is about to change drastically.

And we will need to build standards around "video capture" akin to the PROOF required to demonstrate that the DNA collection process has not been tampered with. In many ways dealing with the digital arena is much more difficult than that of the physical sample DNA specimen collection.

Keynote Address: Professor Timothy K. Shih National Central University, Taiwan

Transient

Video Forgery is a technique for generating fake video by altering, combining, or creating new video contents. We change the behavior of actors in a video. For instance, the outcome of a 100-meter race in the Olympic Game can be falsified. We track objects and segment motions using a modified mean shift mechanism. The resulting video layers can be played in different speeds and at different reference points with respect to the original video. In order to obtain a smooth movement of target objects, a motion interpolation mechanism is proposed based on reference stick figures (i.e., a structure of human skeleton) and video inpainting mechanism. The video inpainting mechanism is performed in a quasi-3D space via guided 3D patch matching. Interpolated target objects and background layers are fused. It is hard to tell whether a falsified video is the original. In addition, in this talk, we demonstrate a new technique to allow users to change the dynamic texture used in a video background for special effect production. For instance, the dynamic texture of fire, smoke, water, cloud, and others can be edited through a series of automatic algorithms. Motion estimations of global and local textures are used. Video blending techniques are used in conjunction with a color balancing technique. The editing procedure will search for suitable patches in irregular shape blocks, to reproduce a realistic dynamic background, such as large waterfall, fire scene, or smoky background. The technique is suitable for making science fiction movies. We demonstrate the original and the falsified videos in our website at http://www.csie.ncu.edu.tw/~tshih. Although video falsifying may create a moral problem, our intension is to create special effects in movie industry.

ICTer Website: http://www.icter.org/conference/