Semantic Infiltration

By Paul D. Miller | Notes from the Edge of Digital Culture

Athens: World’s 'first weather station' opens to public

Closed for nearly 200 years, the Tower of Winds, located in Athens, is now open to public.<p>Built more than 2,000 years ago, the Tower of the Winds is said to be the world's first weather station.<p>Used by merchants to tell the wind and time - even in darkness - the station is still standing on a slope …

Weather

How Elon Musk is using Tesla to kill big oil

This has been the planet’s hottest summer in recorded history, so it’s nice to know Elon Musk has commenced his grand scheme to transform the energy …

Energy

How young is too young for a smartphone? We asked the experts

It’s not easy being a parent. Balancing your child’s wants and needs with what you feel is best for them can be tricky. A particularly thorny issue …

Kids

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs Galaxy S7 Edge

Unlike last year, a Plus variant of the Galaxy S7 Edge was no longer necessary, with the display size of the device being bumped up to 5.5-inches. …

Samsung

Every iPhone ranked: from worst to best

Mobile

Reddit data shows the right uses more profanity, the left makes more spelling mistakes

We’re just over 70 days from the presidential election and things are heating up. In heated conversation and debate, it’s not uncommon to drop the occasional four-letter word. It seems, however, that Trump supporters are dropping a lot more of them than Clinton supporters.<p>To conduct the study, …

Spelling

Why the new hack attack on the iPhone is a big deal | Recode Daily: August 26, 2016

And why you should update your iOS, right now.<p>Read Now<p>The hack that targeted previously unknown vulnerabilities in the iPhone — quickly patched by Apple with an iOS update — apparently originated with the NSO Group, an Israel-based company that sells spyware to governments. "The era of the …

iPhone

Surface water shifting around the Earth

<b>Scientists have used satellite images to study how the water on the Earth's surface has changed over 30 years.</b><p>They found that 115,000 sq km (44,000 sq miles) of land is now covered in water and 173,000 sq km (67,000 sq miles) of water has now become land.<p>The largest increase in water has been on …

Water

Climate change is thawing deadly diseases. Maybe now we'll address it?

Last week, an outbreak of anthrax in Northern Russia caused the death of a 12-year-old boy and his grandmother and put 90 people in the hospital. These deadly spores – which had not been seen in the Arctic since 1941 – also spread to 2,300 caribou. Russian troops trained in biological warfare were …

Climate Change

Report: The War on Marijuana in Black and White

<b>Over-Policing:</b> Between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million pot arrests in the U.S. That’s one bust every 37 seconds and hundreds of thousands …

Marijuana

All Mixed Up: What Do We Call People Of Multiple Backgrounds?

Enlarge this image<p>It's the summer of 1998 and I'm at the mall with my mom and my sister Anna, who has just turned 5. I'm 7. Anna and I are cranky from being too hot, then too cold, then too bored. We keep touching things we are <i>not supposed to touch</i>, and by the time Mom drags us to the register, the …

Liberal News

Gawker’s Gone. Long Live Gawker.

Nine years ago, Peter Thiel, a wealthy and secretive Silicon Valley investor, read something about himself online that he didn’t appreciate. He apparently vowed revenge, eventually carrying out a plan to fund lawsuits against Gawker Media, the publisher that upset him, culminating this week with …

Peter Thiel

Banksy Is A Vandal. Why Hasn’t He Been Locked Up?

A mural by the secretive street ‘artist’ Banksy has accidentally been reduced to rubble by a workman carrying out repairs on a residential property …

Graffiti

All of the world’s power plants, in one handy map

Around the world, there are about 62,500 power plants operating today. That includes everything from coal-fired plants to hydroelectric dams to wind farms.<p>But where are all these plants? And who uses what? This nifty map from a recent GE report offers a nice visualization:<p>A couple of footnotes and …

Maps

Google will punish sites that use annoying pop-up ads

Google is about to deal a small blow to some of the most annoying ads on mobile: pop-ups and interstitials. It’s not a stretch to argue that readers don’t like these ads. So Google is making a call that websites that use pop-ups and interstitials are worse search results and may rank them lower …

Digital Advertising

What is A.I.?

Artist's Container Community

‘Pioneers of African-American Cinema’: Black Filmmaking Aborning

From the perspective of cinema history — and American history, for that matter — there has never been a more significant video release than “Pioneers of African-American Cinema,” a five-disc collection funded with a Kickstarter campaign and released by Kino Lorber on Blu-ray and DVD.<p>The set is …

Entertainment

Foxconn replaces 60,000 human workers with robots

According to reports, the world's largest electronics manufacturer Foxconn has replaced around 60,000 human factory workers with machines. Or, as a government publicist for the city of Kunshan told the <i>South China Morning Post</i>, the factory "reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to …

Robotics

Samsung reminds us — again! — that you can’t make people use an app they don’t want

More reminders to come from Verizon, Comcast and AT&T.<p>Samsung’s music service, which you didn’t know existed, stops existing next month.<p>As Variety reported earlier, Samsung will shutter Milk Music on Sept. 22. It joins Samsung’s Milk Video in the Graveyard For Samsung Media Services No One Wanted …

Samsung

Climate change: Yep, still happening

This Programmer Thinks He Can Tell Which Tweets Donald Trump Wrote Himself

'I expected to see a difference, but it was much more dramatic than I expected'<p>A data analyst thinks he’s figured out how to tell which tweets Donald Trump wrote himself and which were done by his campaign staff.<p>David Robinson, who works for the programming site Stack Overflow, says he was curious …

Donald Trump

Beyond Wallpaper: 3-D Treatments That Transform a Room

Not everyone was cheered by Benjamin Moore’s 2016 color of the year: the decidedly undramatic Simply White OC-117. And even Schumacher’s fiery Chiang Mai Dragon wallpaper leaves some people unmoved. For those who want more amplitude from their two-dimensional surfaces, 3-D wall coverings are …

Frank Lloyd Wright

Those chip and PIN cards aren't as secure as we thought

Chip and PIN cards and readers are finally rolling out in the United States. Unlike traditional magnetic cards, which use static information to make a transaction, these pieces of plastic create a new key with each purchase, based on a standard by Europay, MasterCard and Visa. That should make …

Banking

A Texting Truth Often Forgotten in Politics: Your Phone Remembers Everything

There are a few chief lessons that those who work in politics should remember:<p>Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Cater to the base, but don’t neglect the swing vote. And never look a gift horse in the mouth, unless, of course, it has business before your office.<p>But there is one rule …

Republicans

Wind Trees are wind turbines that can power offices and homes — Quartz

Picture a steady breeze blowing through the leaves of a tree. Now imagine these leaves could do more than simply churn in the current of air—what if they could capture the wind and transform it into renewable energy?<p>Energy from wind is the fastest-growing source of electricity in the world, …

Energy

Should You Charge Your Phone Overnight?

Chances are, you plug in your phone before you go to bed at night, thinking it’s best to greet the morning with a fully charged device.<p>Is this a good idea?<p><b>That depends.</b><p>Here’s the thing. Many people don’t expect to keep their phones for much longer than two years.<p>For the most part, experts say, …

Phones

Hear Arthur C. Clarke Read 2001: A Space Odyssey: A Vintage 1976 Vinyl Recording

When we hear the opening of <i>Also Sprach Zarathustra</i>, we instinctively steel ourselves for enormous leaps through space and time. We have since 1968, …

Culture

ACLU’s principal technologist reacts to NSA hack with the perfect tweet about Apple/FBI battle

It’s just ten days since I pointed to a Microsoft security leak as proof of my point that any iPhone master key created by Apple would inevitably fall into the wrong hands in time – and even more powerful support for that position now exists.<p>It was revealed last week that powerful hacking tools …

FBI