Posts categorised ‘Technology’

This morning I came across a new-to-me web client for Mastodon called Phanpy: https://phanpy.social/(external link)

The biggest innovation I find cool is that it takes boosts out of the main stream and puts them in “carousels” that appear every once in a while. I think this helps to keep my focus on the actual posts of the people I follow, while still letting me see boosts 😃 It also has grouped notifications and threading for replies when you view a post. Nifty stuff!

Like of “sup” by Drew Schuster

Original post found at: https://drew.shoes/posts/sup/

By the time we got to school the next day, the IT person had disabled net send across the network. We’d flown too close to the sun, and I forever learned my lesson: never read the docs.

This is a great post. I shared it with my partner and apparently he did the same thing at high school (different message though, lol). At my high school, we were just in an eternal arms race with the IT guy to find new proxy websites he hadn’t blocked yet so we could play flash games…

Link: “Māori are trying to save their language from Big Tech

Original post found at: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/maori-language-tech

Great article. A Māori-run non-profit, Te Hiku Media, has collected hundreds of hours of audio recordings of Māori speakers speaking their language, which they want to create text-to-speech tools and the like… so of course, gigantic corporates have swooped in and tried to convince Te Hiku to surrender their data so they (the big profits) can sell access to the tools back to Māori people for $$$. Te Hiku steadfastly refused, and also sought to educate others as to why data sovereignty is so important.

On Mastodon and Algorithms

As you’re quite likely aware, there’s currently a massive explosion going on in the number of active Mastodon users, driven largely by Twitter users looking to escape Elon Musk’s disastrous mismanagement of that site. What this has meant for me is that I’ve found myself following (and being followed by!) perhaps double the number of people as I was one month ago, and I …

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Wiki: novel-writing apps

There are a ton of different apps out there purporting to help writers work through the process of planning, drafting, and revising a novel. God knows I have tried out a number of them myself! Obviously, you can just write a novel in an ordinary word processor, or else in a plain text editor with Mark­down for formatting (the latter is what I keep coming back to as the most foolproof way for me to …

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Arc and Orion Browsers

It had been a couple of months since I last tried Arc Browser, so today I thought I’d give it another go. I mostly enjoyed the experience of using it last time around, and I only stopped because it was using an enormous amount of CPU, so I wanted to see if it had improved. So far it seems like it has, which is good news 🙂

But then while I was on this train of thought, I also revisited Orion …

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Link: “AI Data Laundering: How Academic and Nonprofit Researchers Shield Tech Companies from Accountability

Original post found at: https://waxy.org/2022/09/ai-data-laundering-how-academic-and-nonprofit-researchers-shield-tech-companies-from-accountability/

I would describe this as “copyright laundering”. CC-BY-NC licenced photos become part of a university’s AI model which can then be on-sold for profit? Sounds massively dodgy.

Years ago, like many people, I used to upload my photos to Flickr with a Creative Commons license that required attribution and allowed non-commercial use. Yahoo released a database of 100 million of those Creative Commons-licensed images for academic research, to help the burgeoning field of AI. Researchers at the University of Washington took 3.5 million of the Flickr photos with faces in them, over 670,000 people (including me), and released the MegaFace dataset, part of a research competition sponsored by Google and Intel.

I was happy to let people remix and reuse my photos for non-commercial use with attribution, but that’s not how they were used. Instead, academic researchers took the work of millions of people, stripped it of attribution against its license terms, and redistributed it to thousands of groups, including corporations, military agencies, and law enforcement.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.