January 5, 2013
March 2, 2012
By losing the free and open Internet, and free and open devices to interact with it — and even such ordinary things as physical books and music media — we reduce the full scope of both markets and civilization. But that’s hard to see when the walled gardens are so rich with short-term benefits.
January 23, 2012
[Robots, war and democracy] Just 10 years ago, the idea of using armed robots in war was the stuff of Hollywood fantasy. Today, the United States military has more than 7,000 unmanned aerial systems, popularly called drones. There are 12,000 more on the ground. Last year, they carried out hundreds of strikes — both covert and overt — in six countries, transforming the way our democracy deliberates and engages in what we used to think of as war.
[…]
And now we possess a technology that removes the last political barriers to war. The strongest appeal of unmanned systems is that we don’t have to send someone’s son or daughter into harm’s way. But when politicians can avoid the political consequences of the condolence letter — and the impact that military casualties have on voters and on the news media — they no longer treat the previously weighty matters of war and peace the same way.
(via Do Drones Undermine Democracy? - NYTimes.com)

[Robots, war and democracy] Just 10 years ago, the idea of using armed robots in war was the stuff of Hollywood fantasy. Today, the United States military has more than 7,000 unmanned aerial systems, popularly called drones. There are 12,000 more on the ground. Last year, they carried out hundreds of strikes — both covert and overt — in six countries, transforming the way our democracy deliberates and engages in what we used to think of as war.

[…]

And now we possess a technology that removes the last political barriers to war. The strongest appeal of unmanned systems is that we don’t have to send someone’s son or daughter into harm’s way. But when politicians can avoid the political consequences of the condolence letter — and the impact that military casualties have on voters and on the news media — they no longer treat the previously weighty matters of war and peace the same way.

(via Do Drones Undermine Democracy? - NYTimes.com)

January 20, 2012
[R&D shifts toward Asia] The U.S. is rapidly losing high-technology jobs as American companies expand their research-and-development labs in China and elsewhere in Asia, the National Science Board said Tuesday. Global, U.S.-based companies such as 3M Co., Caterpillar Inc. and General Electric Co. have spent billions of dollars in recent years to expand their overseas research labs. Such companies aim to tap a broader pool of scientific talent, tailor products to overseas markets and curry favor with foreign governments by doing more research abroad.
January 8, 2012

[On the team work behind Watson, the victorious “Jeopardy” Computer] From the first, it was clear that we would have to change the culture of how scientists work. Watson was destined to be a hybrid system. It required experts in diverse disciplines: computational linguistics, natural language processing, machine learning, information retrieval and game theory, to name a few.

Likewise, the scientists would have to reject an ego-driven perspective and embrace the distributed intelligence that the project demanded. Some were still looking for that silver bullet that they might find all by themselves. But that represented the antithesis of how we would ultimately succeed. We learned to depend on a philosophy that embraced multiple tracks, each contributing relatively small increments to the success of the project. Technical philosophy was important, but so were personal dynamics. Early on, I made the unpopular decision to bring the entire team together in a war room, to maximize communication. The shared space encouraged people with wildly different skills and opinions to exchange ideas.
David Ferrucci

January 3, 2012
[surveiller pour pas cher] le coût de stockage de l’enregistrement de tous les appels téléphoniques durant une année en Syrie revient actuellement à 2.5 millions de Dollars — mais que si la tendance baissière se poursuivait, ce coût chuterait pour atteindre à peine 250.000 dollars d’ici 2016. La chute rapide des coûts de stockage de l’information signifie que les scénarii orwellien de surveillance video généralisée deviendrait très bientôt à la portée de toutes les bourses.
Un projet pilote de la municipalité chinoise de Chongqing consistant a couvrir la cité de 12 millions d’habitants avec 500.000 caméras de surveillance (fonctionnant, comme par hasard, avec des logiciels Cisco et HP) coûte actuellement 300 millions de $ par an rien que pour le stockage des données, ce prix devant chuter aux alentour de 3 millions vers 2020.
Perhaps to the chagrin of cellphone carriers, all signs point to text messaging’s continuing its decline in several parts of the world.
[…]
The fading allure of text messaging is most likely tied to the rise of alternative services like Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerry Messenger and iMessage, which allow customers to send messages free using a cellphone’s Internet connection, analysts say.
December 31, 2011
En Afrique, le Kenya a marqué l’Histoire en étant le premier pays de l’Afrique sub Saharienne à implémenter une initiative d’Open Data, donnant aux citoyens un accès sans précédent à des ensembles de données de grande valeur. 40 pays dont 5 du continent africain ont depuis signé l’OGP, ils en sont à différents niveaux d’avancement dans le plan que dessine cette déclaration.
December 8, 2011

In Defense of Friction

Via Scoop.it - World of Social Media

Facebook’s birthday reminders have “ruined birthdays” by “commoditizing” social interactions and people’s social skills. Furthermore, some have argued that “Facebook is ruining sharing” by making it frictionless. In many scenarios, automation is quite useful, but with social interactions, removing friction can have a harmful effect on the social bonds established through friction itself. In other cases, as Shauna points out, ”social networking sites are good for relationships so tenuous they couldn’t really bear any friction at all.”
Via socialmediacollective.org

November 8, 2011

Afrique : Des voix africaines pour raconter l’Afrique · Global Voices en Français

Via Scoop.it - World of Social Media

Africa: What’s Your Story? (Afrique, quelle est ton histoire?) est le tout dernier projet d’A24 Media. Celui-ci cherche à souligner les problèmes que les Africains ont en commun et à promouvoir transparence et responsabilité.
Via fr.globalvoicesonline.org

November 2, 2011
November 1, 2011

Anonymous Mexico denies threat to Los Zetas drug cartel

Via Scoop.it - World of Social Media
Anyone challenging the drug cartels in Mexico, whether they are a part of Anonymous or not, is taking a dangerous step, but with the escalating violence and inability of the authorities to control the cartels, it may be a risk that some feel driven to take.  

October 27, 2011

There Posts the Neighborhood

Via Scoop.it - World of Social Media

Facebook has reconnected far-flung friends and family, and LinkedIn gives people a way to stay in touch with professional contacts. Nextdoor is the social network for people near enough to each other to borrow a cup of sugar. The San Francisco company on Wednesday is opening a social networking site for neighborhoods so that anyone can create a private online community, where members can recommend a plumber, offer up a lawn mower for sale and vent about a barking dog plaguing the block. Nextdoor has been conducting an invite-only test of its service in neighborhoods across the United States for the last year and says it now has members numbering in the thousands.
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