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In the News 13.09.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 13.09.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 13.09.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 13.09.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Ikea Forever

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Not long ago, during an interview with the BBC, Kanye West announced, in his trademark third-person idiom, that he hoped to design for Ikea: “Yo, Ikea, allow Kanye to create, allow him to make this thing because you know what? I want a bed that he makes, I want a chair that he makes.” This seemed strange at first; what did West care about budget-friendly particleboard furniture? But if your goal is a kind of worldwide saturation, then collaborating with Ikea, with its 387 stores in 48 countries, is an ingenious tack. Ikea is one of the world’s largest consumers of lumber. It sells a set of its Billy bookcases every 10 seconds, and it’s said that one in 10 Europeans is conceived in an Ikea bed. Last year, approximately 884 million people — more than twice the population of the U.S. — visited Ikea stores. There’s even a web series called “Hikea,” in which people take psychedelics and attempt to assemble, from a wordless instruction manual, the pile of planks and screws in front of them. Ikea, not unlike West himself, is part of the zeitgeist.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

Welcome To The Dark Net, A Wilderness Where Invisible World Wars Are Fought And Hackers Roam Free

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His name is not Opsec, but I will call him that to guard his privacy. In webspace he is known as a grand master of the dark art of hacking. He is one of a small elite—maybe a hundred, maybe fewer—all of whom are secretive and obsessed with security. They do not talk about their work with their families. They generally do not talk to the press. Nonetheless, through friends of friends, Opsec agreed to speak and to introduce me to his perspectives. In “meatspace,” as he and others like him call the real world, Opsec lives in a metropolitan area in a little wooden house by a railroad track. He is in his mid-30s, physically imposing, and not a geek. He hangs out in a local bar, where the regulars know vaguely that he works with computers.

He is a fast talker when he’s onto a subject. His mind seems to race most of the time. Currently he is designing an autonomous system for detecting network attacks and taking action in response. The system is based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. In a typical burst of words, he said, “But the automation itself might be hacked. Is the A.I. being gamed? Are you teaching the computer, or is it learning on its own? If it’s learning on its own, it can be gamed. If you are teaching it, then how clean is your data set? Are you pulling it off a network that has already been compromised? Because if I’m an attacker and I’m coming in against an A.I.-defended system, if I can get into the baseline and insert attacker traffic into the learning phase, then the computer begins to think that those things are normal and accepted. I’m teaching a robot that ‘It’s O.K.! I’m not really an attacker, even though I’m carrying an AK-47 and firing on the troops.’ And what happens when a machine becomes so smart it decides to betray you and switch sides?”

Read the rest of this article at Vanity Fair

SHOP

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The Falling Man

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In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity’s divine suction or by what awaits him. His arms are by his side, only slightly outriggered. His left leg is bent at the knee, almost casually. His white shirt, or jacket, or frock, is billowing free of his black pants. His black high-tops are still on his feet. In all the other pictures, the people who did what he did—who jumped—appear to be struggling against horrific discrepancies of scale. They are made puny by the backdrop of the towers, which loom like colossi, and then by the event itself. Some of them are shirtless; their shoes fly off as they flail and fall; they look confused, as though trying to swim down the side of a mountain. The man in the picture, by contrast, is perfectly vertical, and so is in accord with the lines of the buildings behind him. He splits them, bisects them: Everything to the left of him in the picture is the North Tower; everything to the right, the South. Though oblivious to the geometric balance he has achieved, he is the essential element in the creation of a new flag, a banner composed entirely of steel bars shining in the sun. Some people who look at the picture see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else—something discordant and therefore terrible: freedom. There is something almost rebellious in the man’s posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it; as though he were a missile, a spear, bent on attaining his own end. He is, fifteen seconds past 9:41 a.m. EST, the moment the picture is taken, in the clutches of pure physics, accelerating at a rate of thirty-two feet per second squared. He will soon be traveling at upwards of 150 miles per hour, and he is upside down. In the picture, he is frozen; in his life outside the frame, he drops and keeps dropping until he disappears.

Read the rest of this article at Esquire

Cover Story: The Book of Bruce Springsteen

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About an hour before every concert, Bruce Springsteen draws up a set list of 31 songs, written in big, scrawly letters in marker ink and soon thereafter distributed to his musicians and crew in typed-up, printed-out form. But this list is really just a loose framework. Over the course of an evening, Springsteen might shake up the order, drop a song, call a few audibles to his seasoned, ready-for-anything E Street Band, or take a request or two from fans holding handwritten signs in the pit near the front of the stage. Or he might do all of the above and then some—as he did on the first of the two nights that I saw him perform in Gothenburg, Sweden, this summer.

Read the rest of this article at Vanity Fair

‘Facebook needs an editor’: media experts urge change after photo dispute

Controversy over a censored Vietnam war photo highlights concerns over the social network’s vital – if reluctant – role as users’ primary news source

In the News 13.09.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Tensions between Facebook and the news industry boiled over this week when the social media corporation censored a Pulitzer-winning Vietnam war photo, because it featured a naked child and violated site “community standards”.

The dispute over the “napalm girl” image, which a Norwegian writer published in a post about historic warfare photography, ended Friday when Facebook reversed its decision, acknowledging the “global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time”.

But the spat has exposed what journalists and ethicists say are fundamental flaws in the way Facebook controls and spreads news. Critics say the company’s decisions were driven by PR concerns and should serve as a wake-up call to free speech advocates about how powerful Facebook has become– and how ill-equipped the corporation is for its role, however unwilling, in journalism.

Some hope the scandal will be a turning point for CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who critics say has a moral obligation to recognize his role as the “world’s most powerful editor” and take meaningful steps to make Facebook accountable for what it distributes.

“What Facebook has to do now is think very hard about what it really means to be a publisher,” said Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. “If they don’t,” she warned, “this is going to happen to them over and over again.”

‘We need more than just algorithms’

Whether Facebook and media executives like to admit it, the social media site now plays a vital role in how people consume news, carrying an influence that is difficult to overstate. Studies have repeatedly found that Facebook has become the primary news source for many people, and that publishers’ revenues have been hit hard as a result.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // @5inchandup, @tuss__, @eaemileeanne