Google Engineer’s Home Project Is A Futuristic Device With Real Life Applications

Showing a proactive nature, Google engineer Max Braun has taken it upon himself to create a hi-tech futuristic device that also serves as a sleek and sophisticated mirror in his bathroom. Thinking ahead of his time and the existing products available in the market, Braun has devised a mirror which also serves as an interface for customised and relevant information, like weather updates and news notifications.

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Note to any freelance writers/bloggers out there:  The second anyone from a major website encourages you to write for free so you can “work on your craft and get better!” run the fuck away.   Seriously: Run like the teens in those Friday the 13th films ran away from Jason Voorhees.

Um, you produce a piece on the internet. It gets a lot of hits. Maybe hundreds of thousands of hits. It gets ad money. Thus, the site makes money.

So why should’t you, the writer, be compensated?

Cheap cab ride? You must have missed Uber’s true cost | Evgeny Morozov
When tech giants such as Google and Uber hide their wealth from taxation, they make it harder for us to use technology to improve services
By Evgeny Morozov

To put it bluntly: the reason why Uber has so much cash is because, well, governments no longer do. Instead, this money is parked in the offshore accounts of Silicon Valley and Wall Street firms. Look at Apple, which has recently announced that it sits on $200bn of potentially taxable overseas cash, or Facebook, which has just posted record profits of $3.69bn for 2015.

Compare this with the dire state of affairs in which most governments and city administrations find themselves today. Starved of tax revenue, they often make things worse by committing themselves to the worst of austerity politics, shrinking the budgets dedicated to infrastructure, innovation, or creating alternatives to the rapacious “platform capitalism” of Silicon Valley.

The broader lesson here is that a country’s technology policy is directly dependent on its economic policy; one cannot flourish without the active support of the other. Decades of a rather lax attitude on taxation combined with strict adherence to the austerity agenda have eaten up the public resources available for experimenting with different modes of providing services like transport.

This has left tax-shrinking companies and venture capitalists – who view everyday life as an ideal playing ground for predatory entrepreneurship – as the only viable sources of support for such projects. Not surprisingly, so many of them start like Kutsuplus only to end up like Uber: such are the structural constraints of working with investors who expect exorbitant returns on their investments.

Finding and funding projects that would not have such constraints would not in itself be so hard; what will be hard, especially given the current economic climate, is finding the cash to invest in them.



“Diana hercegné halálos autóbalesetet szenved Párizsban. Mozikban a Men in Black és a Csinibaba. Palik László elől eltűnik Damon Hill. Megjelenik a Depeche Mode Ultra és a Radiohead OK Computer című albuma. Lemegy az utolsó Dallas-rész a Magyar Televízióban./ Merénylet az Aranykéz utcában. Orbán Viktor alakít kormányt. Elindul a Barátok közt. Megalapítják a Google-t. A Titanic 11 Oscar-díjat nyer. Meghal Frank Sinatra.”

“1997-ben jelent meg a Diligramm, amit aztán az év hazai albumának választottak. „Nem ez az a lemez, amit elvesztettél Livius?” – kérdezi Tibi. „Nagyon jó hangulatban próbáltunk, de senki nem jegyezte meg a dalokat. Csak a magnó. Livius viszont elhagyta a kazettát az ötleteinkkel együtt a 4-6-os villamoson. A stúdióban aztán összekapartunk valamit, csináltunk mást, de ott borzalmas körülmények voltak. Épp árulták a helyet.” Az időszakról leginkább kaotikus működést és totális káoszt emleget a zenekar, miközben a Quimby egyre népszerűbbé válik. „Sűrűn váltogattok a szervezőinket. A mai fiatal zenekarok bámulatosan tudatosak. Nálunk az első tíz év forgószél volt.”

Livius azzal egészít ki, hogy akkoriban a profizmus kommersz irányt is jelentett. „A profik kilencven százaléka, huss, eltűnt. Gyakran beszóltak, hogy fordítva ülünk a lovon. Viszont mi minden összeszedetlenségünk ellenére kitartóan és szívvel csináltuk.” A Quimby igyekezett világokat teremteni a fellépéseik köré. Például két hétig gyártottak lampionokat és kis lámpákért szaladgáltak a koncertek előtt. Vagy alsógatyában jöttek vissza ráadásra. „Mi voltunk a no budget műfaj királyai.”  

 A Diligramm díjával kapcsolatban Szilárd megjegyzi: furcsa, hogy megkapták. Faszi kontráz. „Mi az hogy, szabotázs volt. Mikor az átadón a nyertesek között felolvasták a nevünket és Búza Sándor bejelentette, hogy következik a Hol volt, hol nem volt, négyperctizenhét, többet tudott, mint mi. Nem szóltak, hogy fel kellene lépnünk.” Livius folytatja. „Soha életünkben nem playbackeltünk, ott sem voltunk hajlandóak. Kellemetlen helyzet volt, mi punkosan reagáltunk. Tibi elment szkreccselni, én énekeltem, a szaxofonos (Molnár Tamás – a szerk.) fordított gitáron játszott. Ennek az lett a vége, hogy a produkciónkra ráengedték a stáblistát a tévéközvetítésen.”  /forrás: HVG.hu, Balkányi Nóra/


Only one property amongst this group is current on its property taxes. A couple are owned by the Detroit Land Bank and have been demolished (the brown swatches of land in the bottom aerial image, from Nearmap).

Video here from Midwest News on YouTube of the fire that claimed two of these houses, and an interview with a neighbor about his concerns for the neighborhood:

For Your Reading & Viewing Pleasure

4 Ways to Make Online Content More Accessible - UX Booth

Digital Skills Are Not the Same as Digital Literacy - TechSoup for Libraries

Exercise Advice for Flappers, in Gorgeous 1920s Prints - Vault

Google’s Slow Fade with Librarians - The Message

Has Google Affected the Way Students Learn? - Mind/Shift

How the Smithsonian Institution Is Crowdsourcing History - Atlas Obscura

How Will We Explore Books in the 21st Century? - Internet Archives Blog

Knight News Challenge Winners to Develop Open Data Training Program - Library Journal

Studies in the News – a weekly compilation of policy-tested articles and reports produced by the California Research Bureau

Google is reportedly building a standalone VR headset, no smartphone required

Google is apparently working on a virtual reality headset that, unlike its Cardboard platform, will have no need for a smartphone — or a high-powered PC or gaming console, for that matter.

The device will sport a display, cameras, and processors from independent company Movidius for head tracking, the Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing unnamed sources. The report did not specify the cost or definite release date of the device.

This headset would be in addition to the previously reported plastic Cardboard headset Google is also said to be working on. That one could be shown off for the first time at the Google I/O developer conference later this year, the Journal is reporting today.

(via Google is reportedly building a standalone VR headset, no smartphone required)

Refer Madness: “England Murder Bicycle Chemistry”

Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy questions I encounter at the library reference desk.

During an otherwise quiet evening on the desk, someone messaged my co-librarian on our library’s chat service with a specific, but not quite specific enough, request. She wanted the title and author of a book in a murder mystery series, published post-2000. She then provided a some 200-word synopsis of the plots and characters in the series, which involved a young girl in rural postwar England who solves crimes in her village “using her bicycle and chemistry skills.”

She’d tried book-related listservs and message boards, to no avail. Since our go-to fiction RA librarian was gone for the evening, we were on our own. But not quite alone: I jaunted over to NoveList Plus, that magical database beloved by librarians and bookish folks everywhere, and entered keywords from the patron’s description—and which serve as this post’s title.

Boom. First result:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is the first of five books in Alan Bradley’s Flavia De Luce mysteries series. Since NoveList’s plot description was surprisingly sparse, and I wanted to make sure I got the right book in the series, I cross-checked it with its Amazon page and sure enough, NoveList was right on target.

Putting the same search terms into Google yields nothing close to what I was looking for. Google can do many other things well, but its wide generalist’s net can miss what a targeted niche search like NoveList will catch every time.

Which, of course, reminds me of the Neil Gaiman quote you can find on every corner of the librarian internet: “In a world where Google can bring you back 100,000 answers [or in this case 6 million], a librarian can bring you back the right one.”

Thanks to the life-changing magic of NoveList, we got it right tonight.

HTML5 Privacy Matters: DOM Storage. How to solve it in only 2 steps!

HTML5 Privacy Matters: DOM Storage. How to solve it in only 2 steps!

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Recently I started an online course that was created using the Google Course Builder. After I registered the course I was not able to access it because “my browser didn’t allow the web storage” and, for this reason, a message informed me that it would be necessary to use a up-to-date browser as Chrome or Firefox. The only problem is that I always use Firefox. Obviously a “particular” version of…

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