Archive for the ‘Streaming Media’ Category

Whistleblower: The NSA is Lying–U.S. Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

According to National Security Agency (of the USA) whistleblower William Binney, the NSA probably has most of our email. See the video Whistleblower: The NSA is Lying–U.S. Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails. The question then is what they are doing with it? He mentions that the email can be “put it into forms of graphing, which is building relationships or social networks for everybody, and then you watch it over time, you can build up knowledge about everyone in the country.” (see transcript on page). In other words they could (are) building a large social graph that they can use in various ways.

In the transcript of the longer video Binney talks about various programs developed to filter out all the information:

Well, it was called Thin Thread. I mean, Thin Thread was our—a test program that we set up to do that. By the way, I viewed it as we never had enough data, OK? We never got enough. It was never enough for us to work at, because I looked at velocity, variety and volume as all positive things. Volume meant you got more about your target. Velocity meant you got it faster. Variety meant you got more aspects. These were all positive things. All we had to do was to devise a way to use and utilize all of those inputs and be able to make sense of them, which is what we did.

Binney goes on to talk about the code named Stellar Wind program that Bush authorized and then was forced to change after a revolt of some sort in the Justice Department in 2004. Stories tell of senior Bush advisors trying to get Ashcroft to sign authorization papers for the program while he was in the hospital.  As for Stellar Wind, it seems to be mostly about metadata – the date, to, and from of emails that you could use to build a diachronic social graph which is what Binney was talking about. Strictly speaking this would be social network analysis rather than text analysis, but they might have supplemented the system with some keyword capabilities. Another story from Time points out the problem with such analysis – that it generates too many vague false positives. “Leads from the Stellar Wind program were so vague and voluminous that field agents called them “Pizza Hut cases” — ostensibly suspicious calls that turned out to be takeout food orders.”

Either way, these hints give us a tantalizing view into how text and network analysis is being experimented with. Are there any useful research applications?

Cinemetrics creates a visual fingerprint for movies

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Thanks to Stan I cam across this visualization of movies, Cinemetrics creates a visual fingerprint for movies. You really have to look at the animated video to understand the visualization as an important part is the animation of the segments. The more action in a segment the more it moves giving the viewer a way to see where the action is and to compare movies.

The Guild – a web series about gamers

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

I’ve been watching the The Guild – a web series about gamers. It was launched in 2007 on YouTube and shows what can be done with a web series. Written by Felicia Day it chronicles the real and online lives of a guild of MMORG players. It apparently was one of the inspirations of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog another great web series. They both use a series of short episodes suitable for web streaming to do comedy.

AI vs. AI. Two chatbots talking to each other

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Calen sent me this link of two chatbots talking with each other, AI vs. AI. Two chatbots talking to each other. I can’t help thinking the dialogue was scripted, but that doesn’t change the pleasure of imagining a chatbot getting irritated with another.

The Garden of Error and Decay

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

The Garden of Error and Decay is a real-time visualization of disasters mentioned in Twitter and other feeds. The text about the interactive says “this innovative moving image format is something like a real-time data driven narrative. This project is not a film, not a game, and not a nonlinear interactive story.” The visualization uses pictograms that represent the type of disaster. You can see the original twitter text.

Thanks to Scott for this.

Defining the Digital Humanities April 6, 2011

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Sean pointed me to a YouTube video from Columbia in which Dan Cohen starts the talk by talking about our Day of Digital Humanities. See Research Without Borders: Defining the Digital Humanities April 6, 2011. Dan talks about definitions for the digital humanities and talks about what they do at their Center for History and New Media.

Dan talks about how he doesn’t think there is anything like “armchair digital humanities”. He argues that you learn about technologies like blogging and twitter by doing.

5 Companies Building the “Internet of Things”

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

ReadWriteWeb has a nice article on 5 Companies Building the “Internet of Things”. I like the phrase “internet of things” – it gives a sense of what we might achieve if objects could be networked. The cool part is that there are now affordable kits that use RFID that can you can buy to start connecting things. I am reminded of a project I learned about at the GRAND meeting called The Reading Glove. Wearing the “reading glove” users pick up “narratively rich objects” that then trigger audio clips that then weave a puzzle narrative.

Converting the Virtual Economy into Development Potential

Friday, April 8th, 2011

From Boing Boing I came across this report: Converting the Virtual Economy into Development Potential is a very interesting report on gold farming, microwork and cherry blossoming. The report describes the economics and value chain of these activities. It discusses some of the ethical issues, but is focused on how these activities could provide good work for developing countries.

Troika Ranch

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Folks in the Interactives Lab introduced me to Troika Ranch a dance team that performs with multimedia. You can see examples of what they do on their YouTube channel or on Net Television. They have created a real-time media tool called Isadora:

Isadora is the award-winning, graphic programming environment for Macintosh and Windows that provides interactive control over digital media, with special emphasis on the real-time manipulation of digital video.

Because every performance or installation is unique, Isadora was designed not to be a “plug and play” program, but instead to offer building blocks that can be linked together in nearly unlimited ways, allowing you to follow your artistic impulse.

Kinect Hacking and Art Round Table: Why it Matters, What You Need to Know

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

There is a lot of excitement about the Microsoft Kinect and the potential for adapting their vision technology. Wayne sent me a link to this Music Motion Noise blog entry on Kinect Hacking and Art Round Table: Why it Matters, What You Need to Know.

Time to get one.