Brianna Wu appalled at FBI’s #GamerGate investigative report

Screenshot of text from FBI Report
From FBI #GamerGate Report

The FBI has released their report on #GamerGate after a Freedom Of Information request and it doesn’t seem that they took the threats that seriously. According to a Venturebeat story Brianna Wu (is) appalled at FBI’s #GamerGate investigative report.

Wu, who is running for Congress, said in an email that she is “fairly livid” because it appears the FBI didn’t check out many of her reports about death threats. Wu catalogued more than 180 death threats that she said she received because she spoke out against sexism in the game industry and #GamerGate misogyny that eventually morphed into the alt-right movement and carried into the U.S. presidential race.

It sounds like the FBI either couldn’t trace the threats or they didn’t think they were serious enough and eventually closed down the investigation. In the aftermath of the shooting at the Québec City mosque we need to take the threats of trolls more seriously as Anita Sarkeesian did when she was threatened with a “Montreal Massacre style attack” before speaking at the University of Utah. Yes, only a few act on their threats, but threats piggy-back on the terror to achieve their end. Those making the threats may justify it as just for the lulz, but they do so knowing that some people act on their threats.

On another point, having just given a paper on Palantir I was intrigued to read that the FBI used it in their investigation. The report says that “A search of social media logins using Palantir’s search around feature revealed a common User ID number for two of the above listed Twitter accounts, profiles [Redacted] … A copy of the Palantir chart created from the Twitter results will be uploaded to the case file under a separate serial.” One wonders how useful connecting to Twitter accounts to one ID is.

Near the end of the report, which is really just a collection of redacted documents, there is a heavily redacted email from one of those harassed where all but a couple of lines are left for us to read including,

We feel like we are sending endless emails into the void with you.

Daily Nous: A Visualization of Influence in the History of Philosophy – 

Grant Oliveira has created a social network visualization of A History of Philosophy. That graphs how philosophers influenced each other using information from the Wikipedia. His network uses Kumu and the interactive graph is here. The Daily Nous has a blog entry on the map, A Visualization of Influence in the History of Philosophy.       

Continue reading Daily Nous: A Visualization of Influence in the History of Philosophy – 

Nintendo Switch Announcements

I’m watching Nintendo Treehouse Live with Nintendo Switch™ which follows key presentations and hands-on sessions in Tokyo and elsewhere. This are all part of Nintendo’s major promotion of the forthcoming Switch system which will be released March 3rd at a cost of $299.99 (otherwise known as $300) according the web site. I assume that is USD.

As I watch(ed) Shigeru Miyamoto and others were talking about and playing the new The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Switch. I am usually bored by live public relations presentations, but this one was nicely handled with translators sitting with the others. It was a bilingual conversation where the translators seemed comfortable adding thoughts.

Here is some of the news about the presentations:

 

Never Again pledge

Today we stand together to say: not on our watch, and never again.

Thanks to Bettina a link to the Never Again pledge not to help build databases to manage people based on their religious beliefs.

We refuse to participate in the creation of databases of identifying information for the United States government to target individuals based on race, religion, or national origin.

The web site neveragain.tech includes information about how the pledge was developed. (The group that developed it reject “tech solutionism.”) There is also a page of resources and a page on how to take action.

I, Geoffrey Rockwell, hereby commit to the neveragain.tech pledge. Please stand with me and hold me to it.

DIAGRAM :: Intensities of Need and Press Variables as Expressed in Stories Told by Men

Conductors Work Report (found document)

From Granta I found a link to this online magazine DIAGRAM that gathers writing and diagrams, like the one above. The diagrams are found representations of things like Intensities of Need and Press Variables as Expressed in Stories Told by Men. (I can’t quite figure this out, but it looks like some sort of manual sentiment analysis.)

The interface is simple which makes it hard to get to back issues. Edit the URL to do so.

A flow chart for Busa’s “Mechanized Linguistic Analysis”

Steven Jones has just put up a historic flowchart from the Busa Archive at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy. See A flow chart for Busa’s “Mechanized Linguistic Analysis”. Jones has been posting important historical images associated with his book Roberto Busa, S.J., and the Emergence of Humanities Computing. This flow chart shows the logic of the processing using punched cards and tape that was developed by Busa and Paul Tasman (who is probably one of the designers of this chart.) The folks at the Busa Archive had shared this flow chart with me for a paper I gave at the Instant History conference in Chicago on Busa’s Methods. Now Steven has shared it openly with permission.

For more on the Busa Archives and what they show us about the Index Thomisticus as Project see here.

Unique copy of first full-length audio book found in Canada

The Guardian has a nice story about the discovery of a Unique copy of first full-length audio book found in Canada. The UK Royal National Institute of Blind people began recording books to records in 1935. A complete set of the records with Conrad’s novella Typhoon was found in Canada.

Matthew Rubery from Queen Mary University in London has just published a book The Untold Story of the Talking Book (Harvard, 2016) about audio books and this Canadian first.

Rez Infinite for the PS4

I finally got around to downloading and playing Rez Infinite on the PS4. This is an upgraded (hi-res) version of the original which SEGA released for the Playstation 2 and Dreamcast in 2001. The game is a beautiful rail shooter and a music game which produces trance like electronic music (and vibrations) as you play. There is a traveller mode where you don’t die and you can just make music and travel through the spaces. I found myself wanting to repeat levels to continue the beat.

The new 2016 version for the PS4 support VR (though I don’t have it). It also has an extra level called “Area X” which, while more sophisticated, lacks the charming Tron-like graphic imagination of the rest. It would be interesting to map all the references to Tron in Rez – it too places you as a hacker going through a computing landscape.

Polygon has a story on the Rez producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi on his return to music games. The story mentions a Synesthesia Suit (PDF) created to go with VR games like Rez Infinite. Below is a video from Siggraph 2016 to show (feel) of the suit’s capabilities. I’m intrigued by this intersection of art and game around music.

And here is link to a video showing the suit.