CNET: Google’s smart home ecosystem is a complete mess. “If Google’s own smart home products act like embarrassed step-siblings, many erstwhile Works with Nest gadgets seem like they won’t even visit for the holidays anymore. And it’s not their fault: It turns out Google is a terrible parent.”
The Elephant: Our Grandmother’s Miniskirt: A People’s History Through Photographs and Stories. “Over the past few weeks, I’ve been inviting people to share photos of their mothers, grandmothers and aunties looking stylish in the fashion of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The idea, which we are calling ‘Our Grandmother’s Miniskirt’, is simple enough, crowdsource photographs from Kenyan homes of women dressed in the style of that era; the photographs will be accompanied by reflections, essays, short stories or poems. The aim is to capture a history of ordinary people and to share this history through physical exhibitions, an online archived exhibition, and a coffee table book.”
Emulsive: The Honesty In Film Photography. “When it comes to the idea of honesty I feel there are many different approaches, and that the concept of honest photography is fairly nebulous to begin with. Unless you are a true journalist I don’t think it is always the most important thing to approach subjects with honesty – for example, fine art imagery, landscapes which can use long exposures and filters to manipulate the scene, or fashion where the subject is posed and presented. I think that in documentary photography – especially photojournalism – but to some degree street photography as well, I think that honesty of the image plays a role in the quality and impact of the work.” This is one of those rare articles that unfolded my brain a little bit.
New York Times: I Work for N.S.A. We Cannot Afford to Lose the Digital Revolution. . “The digital revolution has urgent and profound implications for our federal national security agencies. It is almost impossible to overstate the challenges. If anything, we run the risk of thinking too conventionally about the future. The short period of time our nation has to prepare for the effects of this revolution is already upon us, and it could not come at a more perilous and complicated time for the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the other components of the intelligence community.”
Politico: The Federal Courts Are Running An Online Scam. “The U.S. federal court system rakes in about $145 million annually to grant access to records that, by all rights, belong to the public. For such an exorbitant price—it can cost hundreds of dollars a year to keep up with an ongoing criminal case—you might think the courts would at least make it easy to access basic documents. But you’d be wrong. The millions of dollars the courts have reaped in user fees have produced a website unworthy of the least talented of Silicon Valley garage programmers; 18 years since its online birth, PACER remains a byzantine and antiquated online repository of legal information.”
Vox: A $5 billion fine won’t fix Facebook. Here’s what would.. “Companies aren’t people, and you can’t put them in jail. You could put the executives that run them behind bars, but that doesn’t happen often. The main option these days is fines, and how well those work is debatable. But it’s not hopeless. Experts say there are ways to make firms do better, including stomping out the cultural and structural issues that cause problems in the first place, implementing close monitoring after something does go wrong, and making sure accountability mechanisms are in place where they can be for the people responsible.”
NiemanLab: I create “convincing” manipulated images and videos — but quality may not matter much. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and hope it will help people keep track of the truth in a media-flooded world. But we’ve found that a key element of the battle between truth and propaganda has nothing to do with technology. It has to do with how people are much more likely to accept something if it confirms their beliefs.”