Cyberwar 1.0 beta

singularityCan you believe it?

People are voluntarily joining botnets!

I mean. Botnets? Intentional zombification of your computer? Are you sure that’s … you know … wise?

If Wikileaks broke the Espionage Act, so did the NYT!

Because they got the data too. Others who have broken the 90 year old Espionage Act include e.e. cummings.

Don’t worry – Congress is ready with the SHIELD act!

That’s the Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination Act for those of you who were worried that there wasn’t an awesome acronym!

Houston. We have a little problem handling our approach to the Singularity, please advise.

The photo is by sf à gogo and you can see her work in the Flickriver.

Computers don’t understand real world space

John Underkoffler says that “Computers don’t understand real world space” … until now. At 5:20, things start to get pretty crazy. These systems are already deployed, and he thinks we’re just 5 years away from mass consumer access to this.

via TED via Real-world Minority Report computer interface from kottke.org:

John Underkoffler was one of the science advisors for Minority Report. After doing that, he helped build a computer with an interface very much like the ones in the movie … you know, where Tom Cruise flings stuff around on a screen with his hands. In this TED talk, Underkoffler demonstrates the system.

A long time ago … when special effects were really hard

Computer Graphics From a Long, Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away from Topless Robot:

Oh man. /Film started my day with this 10-minute documentary from Larry Cuba about how he made the computer graphics for Star Wars, specifically, the Death Star assault video Dodonna plays for the Rebel pilots, and it is so, so awesome. Cuba is obviously so proud when he says he’s moving his Death Star model in real time, and he should be, since back in 1976 that probably needed 400 computers glued together and the blood sacrifice of a white calf. Anyways, it’s fun for Star Wars fans and a neat look back for computer nerds alike.

Imagine the movie industry doing what they do now without the plastic reality offered by oceans of computing power and unbelievable software.

Topless Robot is a kickin’ site that features geek chum like Teenage Mutant Reservoir Turtles and The 10 Best ’60s Batman TV Villains Who Should Make the Leap to Comic Books (10 villains, 10 videos including Vincent Price as the Egghead).

 

Cutting through the Babel with Google Fusion Tables

Circle of Blue has an article about last week’s launch of Fusion Tables by Google. The new system allows users to upload and manage huge databases of information and access aggregated data through a common format

“The biggest potential is to build an ecosystem of data on the Web,” said Alon Halevy, the senior Google engineer who led the Fusion Tables development team. “This means making it easy for the people to upload, to merge data sets, to discuss the data, to create visualizations and then to take these visualizations and put them elsewhere on the Web so that there’s better data on the Web.”

…Fusion Tables, a breakthrough application of online research and communications capacities, goes beyond traditional database systems because it allows users to share and merge data in real time with other contributors wherever they work. It also allows users to apply visualizations, and discuss discrepancies of specific data points. Multiple users can cross-check and discuss individual rows, columns or even cells as easily as right-clicking on the spot.

Users can also display their data through a variety of visualizations: as a timeline, a graph or a map. The “fusion” of the data sets can link dissimilar information from the far corners of the Web to reveal patterns and trends that might be impossible to spot otherwise. This makes Fusion Tables a central hub for data collaboration, as anyone can publish and access files, which were formerly locked away in Excel spreadsheets, PDF reports, and hard-cover textbooks.

I know from scientist friends who I’ve talked with that one of the biggest barriers to collaboration is the fact that Lab A can’t communicate with Lab B … fortunately there’s Google to allow them to speak the same language. Check out the article for more and some created images and watch this interview with Halevy.

The photo is The Last Drop by lepiaf.geo and it’s part of her Water set (slideshow).

in the google cloud

Mt Cloudy by g0da

In Google Takes to The Cloud With App Hosting Platform, internetnews.com reports on The Google’s latest party favor: Google App Engine.

“With Google App Engine, developers can write Web applications based on the same building blocks that Google uses,” Kevin Gibbs, Google’s technical lead for the project, wrote in a company blog (link). “Google App Engine packages those building blocks and provides access to scalable infrastructure that we hope will make it easier for developers to scale their applications automatically as they grow.

Translation: Use our blocks, kids. They’re the bestest.

This photo is titled MT Cloudy and it’s part of GoDa;s picks. On the photo post he wrote:

From my balcony the other day,
A mountain of floating skyscrapers appeared,
Imagination took over…

I have no idea if ‘ll ever see the day when imagination takes over, but somedays I think I will…

Database Massage, Jill Sobule, and Neil Young

Jill Sobule, photo by binkmeisterrick

“Why does flickr go down so much?” I wondered to The Google. None less than net luminary Tim O’Reilly answered my call with a database war story that revealed the tip of the brobdingnagian iceberg that lies under shiny-smooth, folksonomical web apps like flickr and YouTube that sort and sift stuff according what many people say about it.

A link on the right led to A rare post about the music industry that isn’t depressing that told me about Jill Sobule and Jill’s Next Record. She’s funding it through fan patronage, something I’ve been hearing more and more of lately. Her levels of support are pretty funny so I clicked off to jillsobule.com to learn more about her.

On her blog was a post titled Web Surfing, Roger Clemens, and Judy Garland where she mapped out the circuitous turnings that attention can take. Somewhere in between reading what she had to say and listening to her music, I found a link to Cinnamon Girl: Women Artists Cover Neil Young, which I of course bought.

The photo is Jill Sobule by binkmeisterrick who writes:

While waiting early for the show to start, Jill and her road manager (?)pulled up in a van and came in through the front door. She let me take her picture (bless her heart, I think she had just woken up) and noticed the Holga. “Aren’t they fun?” she said. She didn’t think the flash on the flash models did much, though.

Shortly after taking this picture, the back popped off the Holga. Can you tell? I was so worried that the only two pictures I cared about on this roll were lost. As luck would have it, she and Billy were the only two that really came out.

He says he’s fascinated by photography, particularly black & white.