Phylagen, a San Francisco biotech company, has developed a technique for tracking previous locations of objects based on the composition of dust the object has collected.
In another experiment, the sampling technology allowed researchers to determine where a person had walked within 1 kilometer in San Francisco, because of the microbes picked up by their shoes.
Right now, this technique is proposed for use in tracking manufacturing locations in supply chains. If it’s successful, expect it to be used first in forensics, and then in ubiquitous “backwards” location tracking for behavior profiling.
Oh, great. Now, in addition to fresh clothes and a good scrub in the shower, I need to swap/brush/scrub my shoes to keep the snoops of the world at bay.
Surveillance technology enables bad behavior from individuals as well as large institutions. Looking for a new way to be a creep? a pervert? an asshole? There’s an app, or gadget for that.
- UNIX guru Linus Torvalds: “I absolutely detest modern “social media”
The whole “liking” and “sharing” model is just garbage. There is no effort and no quality control. In fact, it’s all geared to the reverse of quality control, with lowest common denominator targets, and click-bait, and things designed to generate an emotional response, often one of moral outrage.
- Writing in USA Today, Glenn Reynolds says “It’s too easy to form a mob today.” Quoting John Hayward
Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, mob action no longer requires any significant investment of time or physical energy. In essence, mobs have been subsidized, so we’re getting more of them.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
In December of 1969, the Selective Service held a lottery to determine the order in which young men would be called up for the Draft. My number was a low 53, and that set the course for much of my adult life. Turns out, the odds were against me.
- Want to run more analyses? This article from the Journal of Statistics Education shows the way.
..despite the fact that some folks wish is wasn’t so
In fact, the National Institute of Health requires that sex be included as a variable in all studies:
My favorite line from the review: “The mammalian brain is clearly a highly sex-influenced organ.” As anyone who’s observed young GIs or frat boys would know. It takes a PhD to believe in something as patently absurd as neurosexism.
Tip from Maggie’s Farm, where it’s always a bit skeptical.
Update: Looks like the SAT is owned and operated by neurosexists. Like I tell my students, “You knew that, you just didn’t know you knew that.”
I wish I was foolin’. All this stuff’s real, so the joke’s on us.
- Smart speakers may snoop on family conversations. More than 4 in 10 parents of 6- to 8-year olds say their children use the assistants for homework help. OK, letting your kids be raised by robots may actually be a step up from having them raised by
wolves their peers.
Smartphones and their ilk are the ultimate tools for pooling our ignorance. And pettiness. And intolerance.
The Governor of Tennessee is fixin’ to stop the ban-plastic-shopping-bags nonsense in his state. I’ve see this no-plastic crapola in several visits to Colorado, and it’s just a greenie smokescreen that allows grocery chains to charge an extra dime (per bag!) to squeeze the poor and sandbag out-of-towners. No penguins, polar bears, or fuzzy bunnies are saved.
I visited a local Sprouts yesterday, where they showed how reasonable folks steer their customers away from plastic. They offer the alternative of sturdy brown paper bags with attached handles, which make them much more useful at home. And, when they do go into the trash, the ant and termites with decompose them completely. Win-win-win.