Tag Archives | Google

Google’s Virtual Brain Goes On YouTube And Looks For Cat Videos

Kaibara87 (CC)

Sounds like Google’s virtual “brain” consisting of 16,000 networked computers does a pretty good job of enjoying the same dumb stuff that humans do. John Markoff reports for the Sydney Morning Herald:

Inside Google’s secretive X laboratory, known for inventing self-driving cars and augmented reality glasses, a small group of researchers began working several years ago on a simulation of the human brain.

There Google scientists created one of the largest neural networks for machine learning by connecting 16,000 computer processors, which they turned loose on the internet to learn on its own.

Presented with 10 million digital images found in YouTube videos, what did Google’s brain do? What millions of humans do with YouTube: looked for cats.

The neural network taught itself to recognise cats, which is actually no frivolous activity. This week the researchers will present the results of their work at a conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Google Calls Its Report on Government Takedown Requests “Troubling,” “Free Expression Is At Risk”

Via Google’s Official Blog:

About two years ago, we launched our interactive Transparency Report. We started by disclosing data about government requests. Since then, we’ve been steadily adding new features, like graphs showing traffic patterns and disruptions to Google services from different countries. And just a couple weeks ago, we launched a new section showing the requests we get from copyright holders to remove search results.

The traffic and copyright sections of the Transparency Report are refreshed in near-real-time, but government request data is updated in six-month increments because it’s a people-driven, manual process. Today we’re releasing data showing government requests to remove blog posts or videos or hand over user information made from July to December 2011.

Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data in 2010, we also added annotations with some of the more interesting stories behind the numbers.

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Google’s Moog Doodle

Doodle_Quick_StartBack in 1999 when The Disinformation Company was just a couple of years old, we released a compilation CD called “Best Of Moog: Electronic Pop Hits From The 60′s & 70′s.” The project allowed us to collaborate with inventor of the Moog synthesizer (and many would say the founder of electronic music), Robert Moog, who wrote the liner notes and MC’d our release party in New York.

Bob passed away in 2005, but today Google is honoring his 78th birthday with one of its famous doodles, this time an interactive virtual Moog synth.

It’s lot of fun, check it out at Google, and for a guide to playing it, visit Moog Music’s Quick Start Guide.… Read the rest

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SAGE: A New State-Corporate Nexus In U.S. Democracy Manipulation

Propaganda_UPR3New Left Project on a new model of propaganda creation and dissemination:

The increasingly close relationship between Google and the US “democracy promotion” apparatus recently took a new turn with the launch of a new, private, non-profit organization designed to manipulate democratic movements in (initially) four nations: Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and Russia.

Strengthening America’s Global Engagement (SAGE) marks the latest permutation of the long-established nexus of US foreign policy and the interests of capital. It represents a new blueprint for US “strategic communication” which promises to create a new arm for US propaganda.

The plan, released late last month, is remarkably candid. Describing SAGE as “primarily…a grant-making organization”, it promises to “leverage the power of the private sector – where the bulk of American ingenuity, creativity, technological innovation and resources rest – to strengthen communications with foreign publics, in support of U.S. national interests.”

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Telling The Story Of My Life In AdWords

Artist Erica Scourti chronicles the ad-triggering keywords embedded within her daily existence — the hidden fuel driving the “free” internet economy:

Every day, I write and email my diary to my Gmail account and copy over the list of suggested keywords linking to clusters of relevant ads, making visible the way we and our personal information are the product in the ‘free’ internet economy. The video covers March 2012.

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James Cameron & Google’s Eric Schmidt Plan To Mine Space

RCW 86Space: The final frontier. Hollywood and Silicon Valley superheroes Cameron and Schmidt plan to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before… Emma Rowley reports for the Telegraph:

Power players including Eric Schmidt, the Google chairman, and James Cameron, the film director, are planning to mine the final frontier: space.

They are among the backers of a new venture that will reach for the riches lying elsewhere in the solar system. Planetary Resources will be a “space exploration company to expand Earth’s resource base” according to scant information released ahead of the start-up’s launch in Seattle on Tuesday.

“The company will overlay two critical sectors – space exploration and natural resources – to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP,” was the bold claim. “This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of ‘natural resources’.”

Mr Schmidt and the internet giant’s co-founder Larry Page are listed alongside Mr Cameron, the director of Titanic and Avatar, among the venture’s investors and advisers.

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Google Will Now Pay You To Track Everything You Do Online, Via A Black Box

Would you sell off your privacy in return for a $5 gift card every three months? Ars Technica reports:

Google quietly started up the Screenwise data collection program Tuesday night, taking the e-mail addresses of people interested in “add[ing] a browser extension that will share with Google the sites you visit and how you use them.” For their participation, Google offers users a $5 Amazon gift card for every three months they stay with the program. Less publicly, Google also started looking for people who would install a piece of hardware on their network to do more extensive monitoring.

google-screenwise_device_screenshot-4f328ac-intro-thumb-640xauto-30090

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Senator Al Franken: ‘Privacy is a Casualty’ of Google and Facebook’s Success

Al Franken Official Senate PortraitNilay Patel reports on Senator Franken’s emergence as the congressional voice of the people against corporations, for The Verge:

Senator Al Franken gave a rousing speech to the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section last night, calling for greater antitrust oversight of large media and tech companies as a way to ensure greater privacy protections for Americans. That’s not surprising by itself — Franken is the chair of the new Senate subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, after all — but the senator took the opportunity to blast Google for its controversial new privacy policy and suggest that Facebook would soon have every incentive to share private data in the absence of meaningful competition.

Franken opened by talking about his opposition to both the NBC / Comcast merger and the failed AT&T / T-Mobile deal, but he was most blunt about the privacy threat facing internet users every day.

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Spanish Court: You Do Not Have The Right To Be Forgotten

ssurgericDo you have the right to be forgotten? No — the internet has no escape hatch. Via ISP Liability:

A civil court in Spain handed down last Thursday a ruling dismissing plaintiff’s claims against Google Spain over the so called “right to be forgotten”. The case is Alfacs Vacances SL v. Google Spain SL.

While the right to be forgotten is being the subject of heavy litigation in Spain, this is one of few judicial rulings on the matter. Indeed, most claims have been brought before the Spanish Data Protection Authority. About 130 cases are thus pending.

The plaintiff in this case runs a campsite near Tarragona. In 1978, the campsite was hit by a terrible accident with more than 200 people killed and many others severely burned when a tanker truck loaded with flammable liquid got on fire on the highway just in front of the campsite. While the accident happened more than 30 years ago – and the campsite was acquitted of any liability – it still springs out as the first search result when you search for Alfacs on Google, including horrifying thumbnails of burned corpses.

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