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Tópico: [EN] Idiocracy

  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    [EN] Idiocracy

    Idiocracy - The movie that started out a comedy and is turning into a documentary

    Thrive: the new showing off online is showing off that you’re not online

    20 October 2017

    What is it? It’s an app that turns your phone off, developed by Samsung and Arianna Huffington. It will be released in December, exclusively for Samsung phones.

    It sounds a little like the “off” button that my phone already has. Yes, but Thrive works automatically. It monitors how much time you spend using different apps, and stops you receiving notifications for set periods. That way you can concentrate on other things.

    I’ve got an app quite like that in my brain. I call it “Decide”. I’m happy for you, but not everybody feels the same. Huffington quotes research that the average American smartphone-user touches their device 2,617 times a day.

    Does she quote any proof that this is bad for you? Goodness, no, but many people feel a bit addicted to their phones. The British charity YoungMinds urges young people to have at least 15 phone-free minutes every day. Their survey found that 60% of 18- to 25-year-olds thought they would benefit from a break.

    Yet they don’t take one? Not always, no. The Huff’s plan is “to help people take control of their lives and their technology – instead of being controlled by it”.

    So people who don’t trust themselves to make good decisions about their phone should authorise the phone to make the decisions for them? Exactly.

    And Huffington thinks that stops people being controlled by technology? That’s what she says. And maybe it will help. “If you’re a parent,” Huffington says, “the Thrive app will allow you to spend time with your child and be fully present.”

    Because if your child’s happiness can’t motivate you, Huffington’s app will? That’s right. People trying to message you during special family time will get a reply saying that you’re “in Thrive mode”.

    Aha! So the new showing off online is showing off that you’re not online? Exactly. Huffington wants this app to spread socially, to be “more than just a product” and “create new cultural norms about what we value”.

    But only among people with Samsung phones. Um, yes. That’s right.

    Do say: “I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone right now. I’m too busy living an authentic life.”

    Don’t say: “I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone right now. It won’t let me.”

    PS: There is a similar app for iOS called Moment.

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010


    "Manage your family’s screen time from your own phone and set up time for your entire family to be screen-free using family dinner time"


    Is the Moment Premium in-app purchase a subscription or a one-time fee?

    Does it count when I’m listening to music, on a phone call, or using FaceTime?

    How do I disable the “force me off over my limit” feature?

    Moment isn’t sending me any Tiny Reminders or telling me when I go over my daily limit.

    Why is Moment asking me to take screenshots in the morning?

    Why does Moment need to track the places I go to automatically track my screen time?

    How do I prevent my kids from disabling Moment?
    Última edição por 5ms; 20-10-2017 às 16:28.

  3. #3
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Google Urbanism

    Evgeny Morozov
    22 October 2017

    Last June Volume, a leading magazine on architecture and design, published an article on the GoogleUrbanism project. Conceived at a renowned design institute in Moscow, the project charts a plausible urban future based on cities acting as important sites for “data extractivism” – the conversion of data harvested from individuals into artificial intelligence technologies, allowing companies such as Alphabet to act as providers of sophisticated and comprehensive services. The cities themselves, the project insisted, would get a share of revenue from the data.

    Cities surely wouldn’t mind but what about Alphabet? The company does take cities seriously. Its executives have floated the idea of taking some struggling city – Detroit? – and reinventing it around Alphabet services, with no annoying regulations blocking this march of progress.

    All of this might have looked counter-intuitive several decades ago, but today, when institutions such as the World Bank preach the virtues of privately run cities and bigwigs in Silicon Valley aspire to build sea-based micronations liberated from conventional bureaucracy, it does not seem so far-fetched.

    Alphabet already operates many urban services: city maps, real-time traffic information, free wifi (in New York), self-driving cars. In 2015 it launched a dedicated city unit, Sidewalk Labs, run by Daniel Doctoroff, former deputy mayor of New York and a veteran of Wall Street.

    Doctoroff’s background hints at what the actual Google Urbanism – as opposed to its theoretical formulations – portends: using Alphabet’s data prowess to build profitable alliances with other powerful forces behind contemporary cities, from property developers to institutional investors.

    On this view, Google Urbanism is anything but revolutionary. Yes, it thrives on data and sensors, but they only play a secondary role in determining what gets built, why, and at what cost. One might as well call it Blackstone Urbanism – in homage to one of the largest financial players in the property market.

    Since Toronto has recently chosen Alphabet to turn Quayside, a 12-acre undeveloped waterfront area, into a digital marvel, it wouldn’t take long to discover whether Google Urbanism will transcend or accommodate the predominantly financial forces shaping our cities.

    Sidewalk Labs has committed $50m to the project – mostly for hosting a year-long consultation after which either party can exit. Its 220-page winning bid provides fascinating insights into its thinking and methodology. “High housing costs, commute times, social inequality, climate change and even cold weather keeping people indoors” – such is the battlefield Doctoroff described in a recent interview.

    Alphabet’s weapons are impressive. Cheap, modular buildings to be assembled quickly; sensors monitoring air quality and building conditions; adaptive traffic lights prioritising pedestrians and cyclists; parking systems directing cars to available slots. Not to mention delivery robots, advanced energy grids, automated waste sorting, and, of course, ubiquitous self-driving cars.

    Alphabet essentially wants to be the default platform for other municipal services. Cities, it says, have always been platforms; now they are simply going digital. “The world’s great cities are all hubs of growth and innovation because they leveraged platforms put in place by visionary leaders,” states the proposal. “Rome had aqueducts, London the Underground, Manhattan the street grid.”

    Toronto, led by its own visionary leaders, will have Alphabet. Amid all this platformaphoria, one could easily forget that the street grid is not typically the property of a private entity, capable of excluding some and indulging others. Would we want Trump Inc to own it? Probably not. So why hurry to give its digital equivalent to Alphabet?

    Who determines the rules by which different companies get access to it? Would cities be saving energy using Alphabet’s own AI systems or would the platform be open to others? Would its self-driving cars be those of Waymo, Alphabet’s dedicated unit, or those of Uber and any other entity that builds them? Would Alphabet support “urban net neutrality” as actively as it supports net neutrality of the conventional type?

    In reality, there is no “digital grid”: there are just individual Alphabet products. Its bet is to furnish cool digital services to establish complete monopoly over data extractivism within a city. What passes for the efforts to build the “digital grid” might, in fact, be an attempt to privatise municipal services – a staple feature of Blackstone Urbanism, not a radical departure from it.

    Alphabet’s long-term goal is to remove barriers to the accumulation and circulation of capital in urban settings – mostly by replacing formal rules and restrictions with softer, feedback-based floating targets. It claims that in the past “prescriptive measures were necessary to protect human health, ensure safe buildings, and manage negative externalities”. Today, however, everything has changed and “cities can achieve those same goals without the inefficiency that comes with inflexible zoning and static building codes”.

    This is a remarkable statement. Even neoliberal luminaries such as Friedrich Hayek and Wilhelm Röpke allowed for some non-market forms of social organisation in the urban domain. They saw planning – as opposed to market signals – as a practical necessity imposed by the physical limitations of urban spaces: there was no other cheap way of operating infrastructure, building streets, avoiding congestion.

    For Alphabet, these constraints are no more: ubiquitous and continuous data flows can finally replace government rules with market signals. Now, everything is permitted – unless somebody complains. The original spirit behind Uber was quite similar: away with the rules, tests and standards, let the sovereign consumer rank the drivers and low-scoring ones will soon disappear on their own. Why not do this to landlords? After all, if you are lucky to survive a house fire, you can always exercise your consumer sovereignty and rank them down. Here the operating logic is that of Blackstone Urbanism, even if the techniques themselves are part of Google Urbanism.

    Última edição por 5ms; 22-10-2017 às 05:48.

  4. #4
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Google Urbanism means the end of politics, as it assumes the impossibility of wider systemic transformations, such as limits on capital mobility and foreign ownership of land and housing. Instead it wants to mobilise the power of technology to help residents “adjust” to seemingly immutable global trends such as rising inequality and constantly rising housing costs (Alphabet wants us to believe that they are driven by costs of production, not by the seemingly endless supply of cheap credit).

    Normally these trends mean that for most of us things will get worse. Alphabet’s pitch, though, is that new technologies can help us survive, if not prosper, by using self-tracking to magically find time in the busy schedules of overworked parents; by making car debt obsolete as car ownership becomes unnecessary; by deploying artificial intelligence to lower energy costs.

    Google Urbanism shares the key assumption of Blackstone Urbanism: our highly financialised economy – marked by stagnating real wages, liberalised housing markets that drive up prices due to persistently strong global demand, infrastructure built on an opaque but highly lucrative public-private partnership model – is here to stay. The supposedly good news is that Alphabet has the sensors, networks and algorithms to restore and maintain our earlier standard of living.

    The Toronto proposal is still vague on who will pay for this urban utopia. It acknowledges that “some of [the project’s] most impactful innovations are major capital projects that will require large volumes of reliable offtake to be financeable”. Short of that, it might become the urban equivalent of Tesla: a venture propelled by infinite public subsidies that derive from collective hallucination.

    Alphabet’s appeal to investors lies in the modularity and plasticity of its spaces; there is no function permanently assigned to any of their parts. Much like in the early cybernetic utopias of eternally flexible and reconfigurable architecture, there is no function permanently assigned to any of its parts. Everything can be reshuffled and rearranged, with boutiques turning into galleries only to end up as gastropubs – as long as such digitally enabled metamorphosis yields a higher return.

    After all, Alphabet is building a city “where buildings have no static use”. For example, the centrepiece of the proposed neighbourhood in Toronto – the Loft – will offer a skeleton structure that “will remain flexible over the course of its lifecycle, accommodating a radical mix of uses (such as residential, retail, making, office, hospitality and parking) that can respond quickly to market demand”.

    Here lies the populist promise of Google Urbanism: Alphabet can democratise space by customising it through data flows and cheap, prefabricated materials. The problem is that Alphabet’s democratisation of function will not be matched by the democratisation of control and ownership of urban resources. That’s why the main “input” into Alphabet’s algorithmic democracy is “market demand” rather than communal decision-making.

    Instead of democratising ownership and control, Alphabet promises participation, consultation and new ways to track the vox populi – measured automatically via Alphabet’s extensive sensory network. The company even hails Jane Jacobs, everyone’s favourite urbanist, lending some credibility to the thesis that the kind of small-scale, highly flexible urbanism preached by Jacobs is quite compatible with Wall Street’s growing interest in real estate and infrastructure.

    In many cities, market demand is precisely what leads to the privatisation of public space. Decisions are no longer taken in the political realm but are delegated to asset managers, private equity groups, and investment banks that flock to real estate and infrastructure searching for stable and decent returns. Google Urbanism would not reverse this trend, it would accelerate it.

    The utopian, almost anarchist dimensions of Google Urbanism would be something to celebrate if most residents were in charge of their own spaces, buildings and infrastructures. Since this is not the case and such spaces are increasingly owned by private (and often foreign) investors, a radical departure from the highly bureaucratic, stifling and capital-constraining system of zoning laws or building regulations is likely to give us the paralysing horror of the Grenfell Tower rather than the reassuring uproar of a Vermont townhall.

    Aside from the institutional investors shopping for entire city blocks, Alphabet understands the real audience for its cities: the global rich. For them, the narratives of data-driven sustainability and algorithmically produced artisanal lifestyles – Sidewalk Labs even promises “a next-gen bazaar” replenished by local communities of makers – are just another way to justify rising values of their property portfolios.

    That Alphabet’s “urbanism as a service” might not appeal to the residents of Toronto does not matter. As a real estate project, its chief goal is to impress its future missing residents –above all, millions of Chinese millionaires flocking to Canada’s housing markets. Doctoroff was not equivocating when he told the Globe and Mail that Alphabet’s Canadian venture “primarily is a real-estate play”.

    Alphabet’s urban turn also has a broader political significance. The courting of Alphabet by Canada’s politicians along with the bidding war that has erupted over Amazon’s second North American headquarters – some cities have offered it incentives to the tune of $7bn to relocate there – suggest that, despite the growing backlash against Silicon Valley, our political classes have few other positive (and, as importantly, cash-positive) industries to draw upon.

    This is clearly the case with Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who has recently pitched his country as “a “Silicon Valley, plus everything else Canada is”. In one respect, he is certainly right: it has been Canada’s pension funds that turned real estate and infrastructure into the lucrative alternative assets they are today.

    Let us not have any illusions about Google Urbanism. One has to be naive to believe that the emerging urban alliance of the technology and financial industries would produce results detrimental to the latter. Blackstone Urbanism will still be shaping our cities even if Alphabet takes over their garbage disposal. “Google Urbanism” is a nice way of camouflage this truth.


  5. #5
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
    O silêncio das ruas

    Ele pode ser entendido como sinal de que a população já sente a recuperação econômica

    O Estado de S.Paulo
    22 Outubro 2017

    Um aparente paradoxo tem intrigado os institutos de pesquisa e uma parcela significativa da imprensa e da academia: o silêncio das ruas. Parece desconcertante, para este grupo, a ideia de que um presidente tão impopular como Michel Temer – cujo governo é avaliado como “bom” ou “ótimo” por apenas 5% dos brasileiros, de acordo com a mais recente pesquisa do instituto Datafolha – não se configure em um fator de mobilização social capaz de levar os cidadãos às ruas por sua destituição do cargo, como milhões o fizeram em 2013 e já em 2015, desta vez pelo impeachment de Dilma Rousseff.

    Aqueles que se debruçarem sobre resultados objetivos e os analisarem com independência e rigor técnico, a despeito de eventuais preferências político-ideológicas, hão de perceber que aquela é uma falsa contradição.


    Embora a grande maioria dos brasileiros considere o governo do presidente Michel Temer “ruim” ou “péssimo”, a ausência de manifestações contrárias nas ruas, como as observadas há dois anos contra Dilma Rousseff, pode ser entendida como um sinal de que o processo de recuperação econômica já é sentido pela população.


    Uma boa tentativa de interpretação dos sinais emitidos pela população foi uma pesquisa realizada pela Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) em agosto deste ano.

    Trata-se de um bom termômetro emocional da Nação, que lança luz sobre as percepções dos brasileiros no momento particularmente conturbado por que passa o País.

    O resultado da pesquisa da FGV aponta para uma desconfiança generalizada da população em relação aos políticos, aos partidos e até mesmo à própria democracia. Para uma expressiva parcela dos entrevistados – 42,4% –, no Brasil não há democracia.

    Em relação à economia, o que se depreende da pesquisa é uma forte tendência à valorização das percepções pessoais quando confrontadas com os dados objetivos. Não obstante os números insuspeitos que atestam a queda da inflação, do índice de desemprego e da taxa básica de juros, estes indicadores “pioraram” no último ano para 64%, 74% e 78% dos brasileiros, respectivamente.,70002055295


    O contingente de empregados no setor privado com carteira de trabalho
    assinada (exclusive trabalhadores domésticos), estimado em 33,4 milhões de
    vagas ... no confronto com o trimestre de junho a agosto de 2016 houve queda de
    -765 mil vagas.

    Os empregados no setor público (inclusive servidores estatutários e militares),
    estimado em 11,5 milhões de pessoas, apresentou elevação de 2,6% (+ 295 mil
    pessoas) frente ao trimestre anterior (março a maio de 2017). No confronto com
    o trimestre de junho a agosto de 2016 não houve variação estatisticamente significativa.


    Queda da taxa básica de juros não chegou ao consumidor

    Consumidor ainda não vê reflexo da queda da inflação e dos juros ...

    Juro do rotativo do cartão de crédito cai a 397,4% em agosto, diz BC

    Se a Selic está caindo, por que os juros do cartão de crédito continuam tão altos?
    16 OUT 2017
    Última edição por 5ms; 22-10-2017 às 13:39.

  6. #6
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    I Broke My Phone Biking 180 Miles Alone in Europe

    Without being able to reliably use GPS, I felt lost.

    Lisa Cumming
    Oct 23 2017

    This summer I decided to bike from Vienna to Budapest, a place I'd never been. Unfortunately, I forgot that once I hit the Slovakian border, my Austrian SIM card would stop working and all my carefully curated Google Maps directions would disappear. To make matters worse, on my first day out, I smashed my phone so the app worked only sporadically.

    The trek made me realize just how inexperienced I am at navigating the outdoors with traditional maps and street signs. Without being able to use my phone reliably, I felt lost.

    The whole one-way solo trip took four days. I covered 300 kilometers following the Danube Cycle Path, a bike trail that follows the Danube River through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and beyond, give or take a few wrong turns into forests and some freeway riding.

    The first two days with a broken phone were kind of scary: I was trying to adjust to a new way of getting around. At first I took screenshots of the entire route, a few kilometers at a time, and would stop every 20 minutes to check my phone. That quickly grew tiring. I didn't have the foresight to purchase an analog map before I left so I just followed trail signs, and when I came across a mall or a Tesco with Wi-Fi, sometimes I'd stop in and check on where I was.

    I'm not going to lie, I cried so much during this trip. I cried because I feared getting lost, or run over, or just plain stuck.

    One time I was still out at 7 PM and I could barely keep my lid on as the Sun began to set. Thankfully, that night I stayed with some lovely people whose hospitality calmed me down.

    This experience got me interested in figuring out how other people my age, a generation that can't really remember life without GPS-equipped smartphones, navigate this sort of connectivity anxiety. So I put out a feeler on Facebook asking for experiences.

    My friend Sherry Li, 20, told me about losing her phone in a cab in Beijing. She was on her way to the airport to catch a flight to England to go to Leeds Festival and then travel to London from there. "It was a pretty bad day," she said.

    Although Li had her laptop, she was still going to have to find her way around a foreign country and a music festival without a phone.

    When Li got to London, still without a phone, she got used to asking other people for directions instead of walking around with her face buried in her phone's GPS. Li went for five days like that. She took some precautions: To ensure that her Snapchat streaks weren't lost while she was phoneless, she got a friend to keep them going.

    "The last day she forgot and she messed up my longest streak with someone," Li said. "It's like, 'You literally had one job.'"


    Sometimes, even if you don't lose your phone, you still have no way to use it on the road. This was my friend Salmaan Farooqui's experience when he travelled through Africa this past summer, from Cairo to Cape Town—a three month trip—using mainly public transportation.

    "Minibuses are the main way of [getting] around and there are no websites for that," the 20-year-old said. "There's no way of knowing too much about it until I got there, that's why it's sort of a navigational challenge. That was the fun part."

    Farooqui also drove through Namibia and put his map-reading skills to the test. "I had this massive old-school paper map that you had to fluff out. You had to park at the side of the road and your entire window would just be the map basically," he said. "I'd never really payed attention to a road map before."


    Overall, Farooqui said that he was happy using a physical map and communicating with locals to get around, rather than looking at a screen the whole time.

    "It's really a life skill, to be able to get around without just staring at your phone," he said. "If you're not using Google Maps then you're forced to pay attention to your surroundings and that's a better way to experience what's going on around you."

    As for me, I'm definitely happy to have my Google Maps back.
    Última edição por 5ms; 23-10-2017 às 17:51.

  7. #7
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Texting While Walking In Honolulu Could Soon Cost You Money

    Eric Lieberman

    Police will soon be able to fine pedestrians as much as $35 for looking down at their mobile devices while walking in certain areas. Multiple violations could trigger an even stricter fine if caught, specifically as high as $99. The law was devised and ultimately passed for purported security reasons.

    “This is really milestone legislation that sets the bar high for safety,” said Brandon Elefante, the City Council member who proposed the bill.


    The relatively small town of Fort Lee, N.J. started handing out $85 tickets to pedestrians caught texting and walking in 2012. So did Rexburg, Idaho, which implemented the citywide prohibition in 2011 following a spate of local civilian deaths ostensibly started by a preoccupied walker.


    As Jesus Diaz for Gizmodo once wrote:

    I’ve also been bumped by pedestrians walking their dogs, lovers getting all over each other, people window shopping, fast walkers looking to the other side of the street, smokers looking for a cigarette, kids running around aimlessly, men in a hurry looking at their watches, women looking in their bags, and a hundred other combinations.

    Nevertheless, some cities, like Honolulu, are trying the ban, since some studies show that texting disrupts people’s abilities to do simple tasks like walk.

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