This week's Hacked & Burned: Peer-to-peer lending, Skype panopticon and blind nanobots
TUMBLR OF THE WEEK: http://ifyesthenwhat.tumblr.com
The “if X then do Y” (aka the IF THEN ELSE conditional structure) is one of the basic building blocks of programming, and this tumblr is explicating it in poetic fashion.
SCIENCE OF THE WEEK: Petri Dish Burger
This is the bioengineering story that refuses to die: the petri-dish burger that has the ringing endorsement of Peter Thiel and costs but a paltry $325'000 dollars to produce. If that isn't sufficient cause for pause regarding our global culinary preferences then swallow this: UN suggests rearing houseflies on diet of excrement & abattoir blood to use as animal feed to meet demand for meat...
ALGO ANXIETY OF THE WEEK: Skype Panopticon
I'm sure this is the story we've all been waiting to read since Microsoft took over Skype: it transpires that Microsoft is perfectly capable of reading everything you Skype. For now Microsoft are using this facility to access URLs and check for spam and malware.
GEEK OF THE WEEK: Federico Zannier
“I've data mined myself. I've violated my own privacy. Now I am selling it all. But how much am I worth?”
Perhaps inevitably, Evgeny Morozov turned his invective in the direction of fellow techno-utopian sceptic Jaron Lanier. The thrust of Lanier's new book 'Who Owns The Future' is that technology is destroying the middle class, and he offers a micropayment remuneration while we use Amazon, Facebook et al as a solution (and it is this model that Morozov savages). Well Federico Zannier is way ahead of him: his conceptual kickstarter makes the most of the maxim 'if you're not paying YOU'RE the product'.
INTERNET EXPLORER OF THE WEEK: Special Stage Systems
What happens if you cross-breed a video synthesiser and a video game console? That's a question only the bonkers minds at Special Stage Systems dare to ask. Their Ming Mecca console-cum-synthesiser looks mind blowing and they're mining all that remains of 80s nostalgia aesthetics
Technomony of the Week: Peer-to-Peer Lending
Another one to watch on the 'future of money'. Google is getting in on the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending system. P2P lending is less like bittorrent and more like AirBnB and the rest of the collaborative consumption services. Forecasters consider the trend as likely to disrupt the model of credit we are currently making do with.
PS: Fuck Yes New Zealand! New Zealand have ensured that software can't be patented (this is a good thing)
WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Cello Fortress
Four video gamers compete against a cellist in a tower defense game. A cellist defends a fortress by improvising on his cello. Melodies control the guns, dissonant notes activate the flamethrowers. Players from the audience use game controllers to steer their tanks and attack the fortress
HARDWARE OF THE WEEK: World's first handheld sound camera
What is a sound camera you may ask? A sound camera visualizes sound in color contours similar to the way a thermal camera displays temperature with visual images. Want to know where that eerie squeak is emanating from? Look no further!
ROBOT OF THE WEEK: Police drone saves life
Signs of the global drone advocates beginning to turn the tide of the PR war? The Royal Canadian Mounted Police share a life affirming tale of a man rescued thanks to a police drone. (for more, cross reference Galtung & Ruge's 'News Values', with 'Reference to elite nations')
CYBERSTING OF THE WEEK: Decoys Entrap Hackers
An interesting update to our recently link to the scariest search engine ever. Security researcher Kyle Wilhoit devised honeypot entrapment strategies for hackers of industrial internet systems (IRL mechanical structures, like water plants or power grids) that can be hijacked over the internet.
WETWARE OF THE WEEK: Blindness Preventing Nano Robots
Boffins at Swiss university ETH Zurich have developed nanobots that can be injected into the eye. The robots sense and measure the amount of oxygen in the retina, this providing an early warning system for forms of blindness
PHABJECT OF THE WEEK: Wooden LP record
Rapid prototyping and it's sister technologies of sintering and laser cutting (the latter are both offshoots of CNC technology) produces some of the coolest objects. The latest from Amanda Ghassaei makes an LP of wood. Future limited release promise to be even more novel / kitsch than they are now.
HACK(S) OF THE WEEK: Chinese DIY Inventions
Raise a glass to these Chinese tinkerers! This collection of homemade inventions is the best kind of mind boggling