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Topics - grnidone

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1
Really interesting story from Vice News. 

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And then, one day, sitting in the shed I live in, I had a revelation: within the current climate of misinformation, and society's willingness to believe absolute bullshit, maybe a fake restaurant is possible? Maybe it's exactly the kind of place that could be a hit?

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/434gqw/i-made-my-shed-the-top-rated-restaurant-on-tripadvisor

2
I gotta say, this is ... concerning. 

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Otonomo, which began in 2015 and calls itself the “first connected car data marketplace,” partners with major automakers that give Otonomo access to their raw driver data, the company said. Otonomo takes that data, analyzes it, “cleans it up,” and then sells the information to third parties, helping automakers commercialize their data, Rosner said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2018/01/15/big-brother-on-wheels-why-your-car-company-may-know-more-about-you-than-your-spouse/

3
It's been a thousand years since I've had to script anything, and basically, I'd have to relearn everything.  Is there a software I can use that is simple and will allow me to quickly script and automate tasks?

I need to scrape google, but I want a bit more than an out-of-the-box scraper.  Ideally, I'd like to be able to make the script quickly.  GUI format preferred because I'm too damn lazy to get the *nix vi book out.

I'm going to try to hack Automator for Mac OSX, but I'd like to be able to do on a PC as well.

5
Don’t ask me why, but one afternoon I had the desire to prototype a vehicle-mounted license plate scanner that would automatically notify you if a vehicle had been stolen or was unregistered. Understanding that these individual components existed, I wondered how difficult it would be to wire them together.

But it was after a bit of googling that I discovered Victoria Police had recently undergone a trial of a similar device, and the estimated cost of roll out was somewhere in the vicinity of $86,000,000. One astute commenter pointed out that the $86M cost to fit out 220 vehicles comes in at a rather thirsty $390,909 per vehicle.

Surely we can do a bit better than that.


https://medium.freecodecamp.org/how-i-replicated-an-86-million-project-in-57-lines-of-code-277031330ee9

6
Marketing / Monsanto's PR problem...
« on: October 23, 2017, 05:19:06 PM »
This article doesn't vilify or justify Monsanto.  It talks about how Monsanto got into the PR problem they are in now. 

https://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/monsantos-good-bad-pr-problem/

7
An absolutely fascinating read about the war between affiliate marketers selling mattresses online.  Worth it to get the Medium free account to read it.

https://medium.com/fast-company/the-war-to-sell-you-a-mattress-is-an-internet-nightmare-c5029f2cf917

8
Hardware & Technology / I want a tablet. What do you recommend?
« on: July 19, 2017, 05:34:16 PM »
I want a tablet to read stuff and browse the web.  Nothing fancy, but I do want something that will do the job and won't be sluggish.  Also a good bang for hte buck.

What do you recommend?

9

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Trump currently has 31 million followers and, sure enough, if you browse through them you will find an unusal number of tweet-less, picture-less accounts that joined the service in May 2017. If you're still curious,  you can enter Trump's handle, @realDonaldTrump, into Twitter Audit, a service that assesses the authenticity of one's followers, and find that only 51 percent of Trump's are real.

http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-twitter-followers-fake-617873#scso=uid_WS4anQAJejwKg-zkEgT93w_1:0
Quote

10
Hardware & Technology / Mozenda...
« on: May 16, 2017, 09:24:14 PM »
You guys ever heard of it?  I was browsing my NextTech Classifieds and saw an ad that someone will scrape data for $10 an hour..


Nexttech ad:  http://www.nextechclassifieds.com/listings/1384591/

http://www.mozenda.com/

11
Water Cooler / Amazon Echo Silver for the Greatest Generation
« on: May 15, 2017, 03:12:30 PM »
And it has an "uh huh" feature for long, rambling stories

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvT_gqs5ETk

12
I was on the phone with my friend Sarah this morning.  I was in my office with my computer on.

She was talking about how she needed some help with some interviews that she needed transcribed.  I told her I think I had some software for that, and I could help her out. 

I got up, got some coffee, did some different things.  Opened browser and went to a site.  And the site had an advertisement for transcription services.

I *never* look for transcription services.  This is the ONLY reference I've ever had:  on a phone call with my friend.

What do I do?  I'm freaking out.

13
Water Cooler / The Secret Lives of Google Raters
« on: April 28, 2017, 03:51:39 PM »
This is a really fascinating in-depth article about the people who rate google rankings.  These people generally work from home, but only work for Google rankings system.  They have done this for years, but are considered "contractors" not "employees" even though all of their work comes from Google.  Therefore, they get no employee benefits.

I keep thinking...wasn't there a lawsuit with Microsoft doing the same thing:  having people work as "contractors" for years on end so they wouldn't get company benefits like stock options? 

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"One of the biggest mysteries for raters at Leapforce is who they actually work for. They get paychecks from Leapforce, but their work all seems to take place via Google's Raterhub service. "

...

The wrinkle in the Leapforce situation is that the company isn't depriving employees of benefits they already had, since the raters have been contract workers. But Google does provide its employees with benefits. If a court found that these raters were joint employees of Google, the search company might find itself in a tough spot.

Palefsky pointed out that courts are increasingly finding in favor of the idea that employers can be jointly liable. This opinion was shared by attorney Maring. "Historically, you had one employer and that was all that the IRS would recognize," she said. "The concept that there might be more than one common-law employer is more accepted [now]."

The article goes on to say that MUCH of the google algo is done by humans and not AI as Google likes to brag about...

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Roberts believes that big companies like Google want to keep raters hidden, largely because they like to boast about how many tasks they handle with AI. "Actually their AIs are people in the Philippines," she told Ars by phone. "Are there algorithms in all these tasks? Sure. Is it 100 percent? Not even close. There’s some kind of profit motive behind these claims [about how] machines and algorithms run the show."
 
...

"The equation is one where platforms [like Google] get all the rewards, but no responsibility, and that's out of balance," she said. Roberts also questioned why companies and users want to believe that "very human processes" like rating and moderation are being done by AI. "Civil society needs to ask why that is somehow an attractive selling point," she said. "Whatever algorithms and AI exist, humans are responsible for them and humans imbue them with value systems."

https://arstechnica.com/features/2017/04/the-secret-lives-of-google-raters/

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