"The biggest psychological experiment ever is being conducted, and we’re all taking part in it: every day, a billion people are tested online. Which ingenious tricks and other digital laws ensure that we fill our online shopping carts to the brim, or stay on websites as long as possible? Or vote for a particular candidate?

The bankruptcies of department stores and shoe shops clearly show that our buying behaviour is rapidly shifting to the Internet. An entirely new field has arisen, of ‘user experience’ architects and ‘online persuasion officers’. How do these digital data dealers use, manipulate and abuse our user experience? Not just when it comes to buying things, but also with regards to our free time and political preferences.

Aren’t companies, which are running millions of tests at a time, miles ahead of science and government, in this respect? Now the creators of these digital seduction techniques, former Google employees among them, are themselves arguing for the introduction of an ethical code. What does it mean, when the conductors of experiments themselves are asking for their power and possibilities to be restricted?"

"Roughly two-thirds of the world's internet users live under regimes of government censorship, according to a report from Freedom House, a pro-democracy think tank. The report adds that internet freedom declined worldwide for a sixth consecutive year in 2016 with the governments increasingly crack down on social media services and messaging apps. From NPR:

In a new development, the most routinely targeted tools this year were instant messaging and calling platforms, with restrictions often imposed during times of protests or due to national security concerns,” the report says. WhatsApp emerged as the most-blocked app, facing restrictions in 12 of the 65 studied countries. The report’s scope covers the experiences of some 88 percent of the world’s Internet users. And of all 65 countries reviewed, Internet freedom in 34 — more than half — has been on a decline over the past year. Particular downturns were marked in Uganda, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ecuador and Libya. Facebook users were arrested in 27 countries, more than any other app or platform. And such arrests are spreading. Since June of last year, police in 38 countries have arrested people for what they said on social media — surpassing even the 21 countries, where people were arrested for what they published on more traditional platforms like blogs and news sites. “Some supposed offenses were quite petty, illustrating both the sensitivity of some regimes and the broad discretion given to police and prosecutors under applicable laws,” the report says.
Source: http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconside...
Posted
AuthorJordan Brown

Minutes after a police officer shot Philando Castile in Minnesota, United States, a live video was published on Facebook of the aftermath. Castile was captured in some harrowing detail and streamed to Facebook by his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, using the live video tool on her smartphone. She narrates the footage with a contrasting mix of eerie calm and anguish. But the video was removed from Facebook due to, as company says, a "technical glitch." The video has since been restored, but with a "Warning -- Graphic Video," disclaimer.

Now an article has come out commenting on how Facebook has become the "de-facto platform" for such "controversial" videos, and that there's a pattern in these so called glitches--as they happen very often time after "questionable content" is streamed.

It has long been obvious to anyone paying attention that Facebook operates various nefarious controls over all aspects of how information is displayed and disseminated on their network, not just with advertising and the filter bubble:

As Facebook continues to build out its Live video platform, the world’s most popular social network has become the de-facto choice for important, breaking, and controversial videos. Several times, Facebook has blocked political or newsworthy content only to later say that the removal was a “technical glitch” or an “error.” Nearly two-thirds of Americans get their news from social media, and two thirds of Facebook users say they use the site to get news. If Facebook is going to become the middleman that delivers the world’s most popular news events to the masses, technical glitches and erroneous content removals could be devastating to information dissemination efforts. More importantly, Facebook has become the self-appointed gatekeeper for what is acceptable content to show the public, which is an incredibly important and powerful position to be in. By censoring anything, Facebook has created the expectation that there are rules for using its platform (most would agree that some rules are necessary). But because the public relies on the website so much, Facebook’s rules and judgments have an outsized impact on public debate.
Source: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/philando-...

"...Weenect Kids lets you always know where your child is. The GPS tracker is connected to your smartphone through a mobile app so that you can check their location at any time on a map." - Read more

"Tim Berners-Lee has said that the internet has fallen into the hands of large corporations and governments and become the "world’s largest surveillance network".

Berners-Lee explained in an interview with The New York Times that his invention has steadily come under the control of powerful interests.

"It controls what people see. It creates mechanisms for how people interact. It's been great, but spying, blocking sites, repurposing people's content, taking you to the wrong websites completely undermines the spirit of helping people create," he said."

Source: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2...
Posted
AuthorJordan Brown

"...ORA™ 2 is the world’s most intelligent oral sex simulator, offering a thrilling, teasing, better-than-real sensation of oral sex that will have you coming back for more each and every time." - https://www.lelo.com/ora-2

Read more about networked teledildonics at http://gizmodo.com/tag/teledildonics

Also http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/05/03/socially-connected-sex-toys-agenda-marketers-get-bed-teledildonics

This study, that details the "Evolution of Wikipedia’s Norm Network," could speak analogously to the supposed "democratisation" that technology pundits constantly invoke when idealising the web, not just in regards to Wikipedia, but even in more general terms about the Screen Culture. Also, mix in a reading of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' for good measure.

Emphasis added:

"Wikipedia is a voluntary organization dedicated to the noble goal of decentralized knowledge creation. But as the community has evolved over time, it has wandered further and further from its early egalitarian ideals, according to a new paper published in the journal Future Internet. In fact, such systems usually end up looking a lot like 20th-century bureaucracies. [...] This may seem surprising, since there is no policing authority on Wikipedia -- no established top-down means of control. The community is self-governing, relying primarily on social pressure to enforce the established core norms, according to co-author Simon DeDeo, a complexity scientist at Indiana University. [...] "You start with a decentralized democratic system, but over time you get the emergence of a leadership class with privileged access to information and social networks," DeDeo explained. "Their interests begin to diverge from the rest of the group. They no longer have the same needs and goals. So not only do they come to gain the most power within the system, but they may use it in ways that conflict with the needs of everybody else."

Source: http://gizmodo.com/wikipedia-is-basically-...

The EpiCentre - https://epicenterstockholm.com/

Part of the Urban Escape initiative - http://urbanescape.se/

It's old news but some readers may have missed it - http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/stockholm-office-workers-epicenter-implanted-microchips-pay-their-lunch-1486045

Then there's the cyborg group in Stokholm.

Read more on them here - http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30144072

The American Medical Association (AMA) code of ethics released in 2007 to protect patients' receiving RFID implants emerged following an evaluation by the AMA's council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) which discussed ethical issues relating to using RFID implants for medical purposes.

Opinion 2.40 - Radio Frequency ID Devices in Humans

Radio frequency identification (RFID) devices may help to identify patients, thereby improving the safety and efficiency of patient care, and may be used to enable secure access to patient clinical information. However, their efficacy and security have not been established. Therefore, physicians implanting such devices should take certain precautions:

(1) The informed consent process must include disclosure of medical uncertainties associated with these devices.

(2) Physicians should strive to protect patients’ privacy by storing confidential information only on RFID devices with informational security similar to that required of medical records.

(3) Physicians should support research into the safety, efficacy, and potential non-medical uses of RFID devices in human beings. (I, III, V)

"...We've been putting chips in animals for 20 years," he points out. Now it is the turn of the humans."

Mix Virtual Reality with the dominant culture of pornography and narcissism and what do you get?

An extension of the already troubling cultural conditions we see today.

As we see, it's not at all the grandiose positives as technology pundits make it out to be. We already have a serious problem with people the world over addicted to gaming, smartphones and the Internet, as well as valuing a fake world over the real world---at the cost of the real world:

   DOCUMENTARY:  PLAY AGAIN  by Tonje Hessen Schei ( 2010) -   1:20:32   "One generation from now, most people in the United States will have spent more time in the virtual world than in the natural world. New media technologies have changed lives in countless ways. Streams of information now appears in a click. Overseas friends are contactable in an instant. Engulfing video games and streams of endless entertainment to stimulate the senses, dazzle the mind and pander to the acculturated desire to be in control. Even grandma loves Wii. But what are people missing when they’re behind screens? How is it already impacting our children, our society, and the planet? At a time when people are at screens more than they are outside,  Play Again  explores the challenge in dealing with the addiction and returning to the real world…"

 

DOCUMENTARY: PLAY AGAIN by Tonje Hessen Schei (2010) - 1:20:32

"One generation from now, most people in the United States will have spent more time in the virtual world than in the natural world. New media technologies have changed lives in countless ways. Streams of information now appears in a click. Overseas friends are contactable in an instant. Engulfing video games and streams of endless entertainment to stimulate the senses, dazzle the mind and pander to the acculturated desire to be in control. Even grandma loves Wii. But what are people missing when they’re behind screens? How is it already impacting our children, our society, and the planet? At a time when people are at screens more than they are outside, Play Again explores the challenge in dealing with the addiction and returning to the real world…"


Australia’s leading telecommunications company, Telstra, has installed highly advanced surveillance systems to “vacuum” the telephone calls, texts, social media messages and internet metadata of millions of Australians so that information can be filtered and given to intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The Australian government’s electronic espionage agency, the Australian Signals Directorate, is using the same technology to harvest data flows carried by undersea fibre-optic cables in and out of Australia.

Confidential documents obtained by Fairfax Media reveal the secret technology used to trawl Australians’ telecommunications and internet data for analysis by ASIO, the ASD and law enforcement agencies.

All Australian telecommunications and internet service providers by law must maintain interception and data-collection capabilities for government.

The leaked documents reveal that a little-known Melbourne-based company is a key provider of the secret monitoring technology.

Newgen Systems, owned and managed by local telecommunications engineer Robert Perin, is the sole Australian supplier for Gigamon, a large Silicon Valley-based information technology firm that specialises in what it terms “network traffic visibility solutions’’.

Gigamon’s hardware enables telecommunications and IT network administrators to track, inspect and analyse all data flows undetected without affecting the performance of networks.

A key application of the technology is interception of telecommunications and internet data.
Source: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technolog...
Posted
AuthorJordan Brown