Empire produces cyber-gladiators

The first thing I thought when I saw this IndieGoGO campaign was, “Oh, great, now we have gladiators.” For indeed, everything about this smacks of spectacle, and the appropriation of cultural legacies to serve the collapsing core. So much of this reminds me of “The Hunger Games,” and Ancient Rome. It also speaks to the proliferation of a culture of combat, the continued militarization of everyday life, the socialization of young men for aggression, and therefore preparation for war, and all the downstream consequences like violence against women.

The other thing I saw in was a culture of rich “wankers” buying this stuff—wankers being not only British slang, but a term used by cyclists to denote people with all the best equipment, but no cycling skill. How to countervail these tendencies, augmented by the digital?

Bionic eye helps man see


When I was a kid, this was the stuff of science fiction (“The Six Million Dollar Man.”) Now it’s closer within reach.

About a decade ago Allen Zderad, a 68-year-old Minnesotan, was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable disease that attacks your retina, leaving you blind. Now for the first time in 10 years Zderad can see thanks to a pioneering bionic implant. The implant reads and sends light photons to the bionic nerve, going around the damaged retina. The sight is fairly crude, but this is a big step forward toward a possible cure for blindness

via The Optimist Daily.

‘Anki Overdrive’ Bringing Modular Tracks and New Cars to AI Racing Game – Mac Rumors

Anki Overdrive

More augmented reality for fun and games.

Anki today announced a sequel to its innovative iOS-compatible Anki Drive slot car racing game. Called “Anki Overdrive” and set for launch in September, it will include brand new cars, a customizable track – courtesy of magnetically interlocking track pieces and “bridges” that adjust track height – and even jump ramps (via Re/code).

Originally debuted on stage at WWDC 2013, Anki has slowly grown support for the original Anki Drive by adding new cars and track support but keeping the same basic static roll-out mat technology. The sequel, which the company plans to announce today at the New York Toy Fair, will retain the same basic concept of using a smartphone to control a physical toy car around a track, battling against an A.I. opponent or other players.

via ‘Anki Overdrive’ Bringing Modular Tracks and New Cars to AI Racing Game – Mac Rumors.

An App Promises Mobile Justice to Protestors When Law Enforcement Violates the Law – NationofChange

The Mobile Justice app allows users to take video of public exchanges with police and other citizens, and then automatically uploads to the American Civil Liberties Union, keeping the file from being deleted if the phone is confiscated. Will this help with cases of police violating people’s civil rights?

via An App Promises Mobile Justice to Protestors When Law Enforcement Violates the Law – NationofChange.

“Limbitless” – 6 Year Old Gets $350 3D Printed Myoelectric Arm. | E-nabling The Future

It’s not every day cyborgology makes the eyes moist.

“My mother taught us that we’re supposed to help change the world…We’re supposed to help make it better. That’s why we did it.” – Albert Manero, UCF Aerospace Engineer – on why he created a 3D printed robotic prosthetic device for 6 year old Alex Pring.

via “Limbitless” – 6 Year Old Gets $350 3D Printed Myoelectric Arm. | E-nabling The Future.

Google’s Waze is a ‘stalking app,’ claim US police – The Next Web

Waze Screenshot

Do you use Waze? Do you think these concerns are well–founded?

In 2013, Google acquired Waze, which combines GPS navigation with a social community, for $966 million. It offers free real-time traffic guidance and warnings about issues including congestion, car accidents, speed traps, traffic cameras, construction work, potholes and unsafe weather.

The complaints against Waze were triggered by Sergio Kopelev, a reserve deputy sheriff in Southern California, who believes the user-submitted reports about officers’ locations make it a danger to police.

Kopelev says he had not heard about Waze until late last year when his wife began using it. He then began thinking about how the app could be used to target officers.

Another officer, Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Virginia, who is also chair of the National Sheriffs Association’s technology committee, told The Guardian, that the police-reporting feature, which he deems a “police stalker,” is dangerous.

Both men raised their concerns during a meeting of the organization in Washington. They referred to the Instagram account of Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who is accused of fatally shooting two NYPD officers last month. He posted a Waze screenshot along with messages threatening police. However, investigators do not believe he used Waze to ambush the men.

via Google’s Waze is a ‘stalking app,’ claim US police – The Next Web.

Drone point of view of extreme snowstorm in New York

Richard Hudak:

This is a fascinating possibility of the emerging technology.

Originally posted on WGN-TV:

James Grimaldi lives in West Seneca, New York – one of the hardest hit cities by this week’s epic snowstorm.

Grimaldi used an aerial drone to shoot video of the winter storm hitting his upstate town and posted it to YouTube.

The footage that was captured is incredible.

 Related:At least 8 killed in massive snowstorm, Buffalo braces for up to 3 feet more

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The Secret Language of Girls on Instagram

Richard Hudak:

Sometimes, when we talk about gender issues in my classes, the women envy young men’s ability to resolve conflicts physically, because it ends quickly an the guys are back to being friends and not holding grudges. I’m not so sure about that perception, but the byzantine world of girls’ aggression is fascinating. It’s good to have the thumbnail map.

Originally posted on TIME:

Secrecy is hardly new on Planet Girl: as many an eye-rolling boy will tell you, girls excel at eluding the prying questions of grown ups. And who can blame them? From an early age, young women learn that to be a “good girl” they must be nice, avoid conflict and make friends with everyone. It’s an impossible ask (and one I’ve studied for over a decade) – so girls respond by taking their true feelings underground.

Enter the Internet, and Instagram: a platform where emotions can run wild – and where insecurities run wilder. The photo-sharing app is social media’s current queen bee: In a survey released earlier this month, three quarters of teens said they were using Instagram as their go-to app.

Instagram lets users share their photos, and “like” and comment on their friends’. The competition for “likes” encourages creativity in young users, who can use filters…

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