Mix Nerdy Jokes And Underwear And You Get PUNDERWEAR

8 days ago
Underwear. When you think about it, it’s more of a means to an end, really. No one genuinely want’s to have to wear it .

It’s not without it’s sub-genres, all as pointless as each other- Boxers, briefs, thongs, boy shorts, etc etc … Even sexy underwear isn’t as sexy as no underwear. So what’s the incentive to wear it?( other than social constructs that we really should follow in this case …)

Puns. Plainly. Nerd puns. Nerd puns with the prospect of sexupon the removal of saidunderwear. That’s the stuff. Have a look…

Shut up. I always sit with a pillow on my lap.

The last one took us longer to work out than we care to admit…

What do you think? Let us know in the comments !

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Rise of the machines: who is the’ internet of things’ good for?

13 days ago

The long read: Interconnected technology is now an inescapable reality ordering our shopping, monitoring our cities and sucking up vast amounts of data along the way. The promise is that it will benefit us all but how is possible to?

In San Francisco, a young engineer hopes to optimise his life through sensors that track his heart rate, respiration and sleep cycle. In Copenhagen, a bus operating two minutes behind schedule transmits its locating and passenger count to the municipal traffic signal network, which extends the time of the green light at each of the next three intersections long enough for its driver to make up some time. In Davao City in the Philippines, an unsecured webcam overlooks the storeroom of a fast food stand, allowing anyone to peer in on all its comings and goings.

What links these wildly different circumstances is a vision of connected devices now being sold to us as the internet of things. The technologist Mike Kuniavsky, a innovator of this idea, characterises it as a state of being in which computation and data communication[ are] embedded in, and distributed through, our entire environment. I prefer to see it for what it is: the colonisation of everyday life by information processing.

Though it can often feeling as if this colonisation proceeds of its own momentum, distinct ambitions are being served wherever and however the internet of things seems. The internet of things isnt a single technology. About all that connects the various devices, services, vendors and efforts involved is the end goal they serve: capture data that can then be used to measure and control the world around us.

Whenever a project has such imperial designs on our everyday lives, it is vital that we ask just what ideas underpin it and whose interests it serves. Although the internet of things retains a certain sprawling and formless quality, we can get a far more concrete sense of what it involves by looking at how it seems at each of three scales: that of our bodies( where the effort is referred to as the quantified ego ), our homes( the smart-alecky home) and our public spaces( the smart-alecky city ). Each of these instances illuminates a further aspect of current challenges presented to us by the internet of things, and each has something distinct to teach us.


At the most intimate scale, the internet of things is visible in the form of wearable biometric sensors. The simplest of these are little more than networked digital pedometers, which count steps, measure the distance a person has traversed, and furnish an estimate of the calories burned in the course of this activity. More elaborated models measure heart rate, breathing, skin temperature and even perspiration.

If wearable biometric devices such as Fitbits and Apple Watches are, in theory, aimed at rigorous self-mastery, the colonisation of the domestic surrounding by similarly networked products and services is intended to deliver a very different experience: convenience. The intent of such smart home attempts is to short-circuit the process of reflection that stands between having a desire and fulfil that longing by buying something.

Right now, the perfect example of this is a gadget being sold by Amazon, known as the Dash Button. Many internet-of-things devices are little more than some conventional object with networked connectivity tacked on. The Dash Button is the precise opposite, a thing in the world that could not have existed without the internet. I cannot improve on Amazons own description of this curious object and how it runs, so Ill repeat it here: Amazon Dash Button is a Wi-Fi-connected device that reorders your favourite item with the press of a button. To use Dash Button, simply download the Amazon app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Then, sign into your Amazon Prime account, connect Dash Button to Wi-Fi, and select the product you want to reorder. Once connected, a single press on Dash Button automatically places your order.

In other words: single-purpose electronic devices, each dedicated to an individual branded item, that you press when youre running low. Pressing a Dash Button specific to your preferred pet food, washing powder or bottled water automatically composes an order request to Amazon for that one product.

An
An Amazon Dash button

I dont for a second wishes to downplay the value of such a product for people who have ageing mothers to look after, or kids to drop off at daycare, or for whom simply getting in the car to pick up some cat food may take an hour or more out of their day. But the benefit to the individual client is tiny compared with what Amazon gains. Sure, “youve never” run out of cat food. But Amazon gets data on the time and place of your need, as well as its frequency and intensity, and that data has value. It is an asset, and you can be sure that Amazon will exploit it in every way its terms and conditions permit including by employing it to develop behavioural models that map our desires in high resolve, so as to target them with even greater efficiency in the future.

Again, the aim of devices such as the Dash Button is to permit the user to accomplish commercial transactions with as little conscious believed as is practicable not even the few moments it takes to tap out commands on the touchscreen of a phone or tablet. The data on what the industry calls conversion is as clear because this is unremitting: with every box to tick or form to fill, percentages per of users that make it all the way to checkout tumbles. The fewer steps there are in a transaction, the more likely people are to expend their money.

Manufacturers, seduced by the revenue potential of subduing the domestic surrounding, keep trying to eliminate these steps, in the hope that one of their connected products will become as essential to everyday life as the smartphone. The recent industry push towards the smart home is simply the latest version of this.

For the moment, this strategy is centred on so-called smart speakers, a first generation of which have now reached the market. These products include the Amazon Echo and Google Home, each of which is supposed to function as the command hub of a connected domestic environment. Amazons Echo is a simple cylinder, while the Google Home is a bevelled ovoid. But the physical kind of such speakers is all but irrelevant, as their primary task is to function as a branded virtual deputy, a simple, integrated way to access the numerous digital controls scattered throughout the contemporary home from lighting and entertainment to security, heating, cooling and ventilation systems.

Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple each offer their own such assistant, based on natural-language speech recognition. Most are given female names, voices and personalities, presumably based on research indicating that users of all genders prefer to interact with women. Apples is called Siri and will, according to reports, soon be get its own device, Amazons Alexa, and Microsofts Cortana, while one simply addresses Googles Home offering as Google.


At first, such devices seem harmless enough. They sit patiently and quietly at the periphery of our awareness, and we only speak to them when we need them. But when we consider them more carefully, a more problematic picture emerges.

This is how Googles assistant works: you mention to it that youre in the mood for Italian food, and then, in the words of one New York Times article, it will then respond with some suggestions for tables to reserve at Italian restaurants utilizing, for example, the OpenTable app.

This example showsthat though the choices these deputies offer us are presented as neutral, they are based on numerous inbuilt premises that many of us would question if we were to truly scrutinise them.

Ask restaurateurs and front-of-house workers what they think of OpenTable, for example, and you are able to swiftly learn that one persons convenience is anothers accelerated pace of run, or worse. Youll learn that restaurants offering reservations via the service are, according to the website Serious Eats, required to use the companys proprietary floor-management system, which means leasing hardware and using OpenTable-specific software, and that OpenTable retains ownership of all the data generated in this style. Youll also learn that OpenTable takes a cut on reservations per seated diner, which obviously adds up to a significant amount on a busy night.

Conscientious diners have therefore been known to bypass the ostensible convenience of OpenTable, and build whatever reservations they have to by phone. By contrast, Google Homes frictionless default to inducing reservations via OpenTable normalises the choice to use that service.

This is not accidental. It reflects the largely preconscious valuations, priorities and internalised beliefs of the people who devised Google Home. As throughout the industry, that is a remarkably homogeneous cohort of young designers and technologists. But more important than the degree of similarity they bear to one another is how different they are from everyone else.

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Illustration: Getty/ Guardian Design

Internet-of-things devices are generally conceived by people who have entirely assimilated services such as Uber, Airbnb and Apple Pay into their daily lives, at a time when figures from the Washington DC-based Pew Research Center suggest that a significant percentage of the population has never use or even heard of them. For the people who design these products, these services are normal, and so, over period, they become normalised for everyone else.

There are other challenges presented by this way of interacting with networked information. Its difficult, for example, for a user to determine whether the options they are being offered by a virtual assistant result from what the industry calls an organic return something that legitimately came up as the result of a search process or from paid placement. But the main problem with the virtual assistant is that it fosters an approach to the world that is literally thoughtless, leaving users disinclined to sit out any prolonged frustration of passion, and ever less critical about the processes that result in gratification.

Virtual deputies are listening to everything that transpires in their presence, and are doing so at all times. As voice-activated interfaces, they must be constantly attentive in order to detect when the aftermath word that rouses them is spoken. In this style, they are able to harvest data that might be used to refine targeted advertising, or for other commercial purposes that are only disclosed deep in the terms and conditions that govern their use. The logic operating here is that of preemptive capture: the notion that companies such as Amazon and Google might as well trawl up all they can, because no one knows what value might be derived from it in the future.

This leads to situations that might be comical, were it not for what they connote about the networking of our domestic environments. These narratives circulate as cautionary narratives: one of the best-known was the time the US National Public Radio network aired a narrative about the Amazon Echo, and various cues spoken on the broadcast were interpreted as commands by Echos belonging to members of the audience, causing domestic chaos.

Put aside for one moment the question of disproportionate benefit the idea that you as the user derive a little convenience from your embracing of a virtual assistant, while its provider gets everything all the data about your life and all its value. Lets simply consider what gets lost in the ideology of convenience that underlies this conception of the internet of things. Are such constraints presented to us by life in the non-connected world truly so onerous? Is it genuinely so difficult to wait until you get home before you preheat the oven? And is it worth giving away so much, just to be able to do so remotely?


Most of us are by now awarethat our mobile phones are constantly harvesting information about our whereabouts and activities. But we tend to be relatively ignorant of the degree to which the contemporary streetscape has furthermore been enabled to collect information. This developing is often called the smart city. If the aspiration beneath the instrumentation of the body is ostensible self-mastery, and that of the home is convenience, the aspiration at the heart of the smart city is nothing other than control the desire to achieve a more efficient use of space, energy and other resources.

A broad range of networked information-gathering devices are increasingly being deployed in public space, including CCTV cameras; advertisements and vending machines equipped with biometric sensors; and the indoor micropositioning systems known as beacons that, when combined with a smartphone app, send signals providing information about nearby products and services.

The picture we are left with is that of our surroundings furiously vacuuming up info, every square metre of seemingly banal pavement yielding so much data about its its utilization and its users that nobody yet knows what to do with it all. And it is at this scale of activity that the guiding ideology of the internet of things comes into clearest focus.

The strongest and most explicit articulation of this ideology in the definition of a smart city has been offered by the house periodical of the engineering company Siemens: Several decades from now, cities will have countless autonomous, intelligently functioning IT systems that will have perfect knowledge of users habits and energy consumption, and provide optimum service … The goal of such a city is to optimally govern and control resources by means of autonomous IT systems.

There is a clear philosophical position, even a worldview, behind all of this: that the world is in principle perfectly knowable, its contents enumerable and their relations capable of being meaningfully encoded in a technical system, without bias or distortion. As applied to the affairs of cities, this is effectively an argument that there is one and only one correct solution to each identified need; that this solution can be arrived at algorithmically, via the operations of a technical system furnished with the proper inputs; and that this solution is something that can be encoded in public policy, without aberration.( Left unstated, but strongly implicit, is the presumption that whatever policies are arrived at in this way will be applied transparently, dispassionately and in a manner free from politics .)

Every aspect of this argument is questionable. Perhaps most obviously, the claim that anything at all is perfectly knowable is perverse. However thoroughly sensors might be deployed in a city, they will merely ever capture what is amenable to being captured. In other terms, they will not be able to pick up every single piece of information necessary to the formulation of sound civic policy.

Other, all-too-human distortions unavoidably colour the data collected. For instance, people may consciously adapt to produce metrics favourable to them. A police officer under pressure to make quota may focus on misdemeanours that she would ordinarily overlook, while conversely, her precinct commandant, under pressure to present the city as ever-safer, may downwardly categorize a felony assault as a simple misdemeanour. This is the phenomenon known to spectators of The Wire as juking the stats, and it is particularly likely to occur when financial or other incentives depend on achieving a performance threshold.

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Illustration: Getty/ Guardian Design

There is also the question of interpreting. Advocates of smart cities often seem to proceed as if it is self-evident that each of our acts has a single, salient meaning, which can be recognised, attained sense of and acted upon remotely by an automated system, without any possibility of fault. The more prominent advocates of this approach appear to believe that no particular act of interpretation actively participate in making employ of any data retrieved from the world in this way.

But data is never just data, and to assert otherwise is to give inherently political and interested decisions an unmerited gloss of scientific objectivity. The truth is that data is easily skewed, depending on how it is collected.Different values for air pollution in a given location can be produced by differing the height at which a sensor is mounted by a few metres. Perceptions of hazard in a neighbourhood can be transformed by somewhat altering the taxonomy used to categorize reported crimes. And anyone who has ever run in opinion polling knows how sensitive the results are to the precise wording of a survey.

The bold assert of perfect knowledge appears incompatible with the messy reality of all known information-processing systems, the human individuals and organizations that make use of them and, more broadly, with the world as we experience it. In fact, it is astonishing that any experienced technologist would ever be so unwary as to claim perfection on behalf of the members of any computational system , no matter how powerful.

The notion that there is one and only one solution to urban problems is also deeply puzzling. Cities are made up of individuals and communities who often have vying preferences, and it is impossible to fully satisfy all of them at the same time.

That such a solution, if it even existed, could be arrived at algorithmically is also implausible. Assume, to the purposes of argument, that there did exist a master formula capable of balancing the needs of all of a citys competing constituencies. It surely would be convenient if this golden mean could be determined automatically and consistently. But the wholesale surrender of municipal management to an algorithmic toolset seems to place an undue sum of trust in the party responsible for authoring the algorithm.

If the formulas behind this vision of future cities turn out to be anything like the ones being implemented in the present generation of computational models, life-altering decisions will hinge on the interaction of poorly defined and subjective values. The output generated by this procedure may turn on half-clever abstractions, in which complex situations resistant to direct measuring are reduced to more easily ascertained proxy values: median walking velocity stands in for the pace of urban life, while the number of patent applications constitutes an indicator of invention, and so on.

Quite simply, we need to understand that creating an algorithm intended to guide the distribution of civic resources is itself a political act. And, at the least for now , nowhere in the current smart-city literature is there any suggestion that either algorithm or their designers would be subject to the ordinary processes of democratic accountability.

And ultimately, it is difficult to believe that any such findings would ever be translated into public policy in accordance with the arrangements free from politics. Policy recommendations derived from computational models are only rarely applied to questions as politically sensitive as resource apportioning without some intermediate tuning taking place. Inconvenient results is a possibility repressed, arbitrarily overruled by more heavily weighted decision factors, or simply ignored.

As matters now stand, the claim of perfect proficiency that is implicit in most smart-city rhetoric is incommensurate with everything we are all familiar with the route technological systems run. It also flies in the face of everything we are all familiar with how cities work. The designers of the smart city have failed to reckon with current realities of power, and the capacities of elites to suppress policy directions that dont serve their interests. At best, the technocratic notion that the analysis of sensor-derived data would ever be permitted to drive municipal policy is naive. At worst, though, it dismisses the lessons of history.

So, yes: the internet of things presents many new potentials, and it would be foolish to reject those possibilities out of hand. But we would also be wise to approach the entire domain with scepticism, and in particular to resist the attempts of companies to gather ever more data about our lives no matter how much ease, convenience and self-mastery we are told they are offering us.

This is an adapted extract from Radical Technology: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield, published this week by Verso .

Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Trophy Kids Is A Haunting Documentary For All The Wrong Reason

16 days ago
Trophy Kids was released in 2013, but I only recently arrived across it on Netflix and it left me with a gloomy feeling in my intestine that I haven’t been able to shake .

The documentary takes an intense look at overbearing parents who want their kids to become huge athletics stars.We join them at a few moments in “peoples lives” when the mothers are realising whether or not all the time and money they have invested will come to any kind of fruition.

The film opens with 15 -year-old Justus spending a bleak morning all padded up to practice American football game with his father, Joe. Joe calls and shouts at him, berating the poor kid for pretty much every move he makes. Justus retains asullenlook throughout the movie, he is terrified of the wrath of his father, and it seems that no matter what he does it isn’t good enough.

Joe is a kettle constantly at boiling point. Perhaps the most upsetting moment comes when he takes Justus to visit hismother. As the three of them drive along Joe lays into Justusabout having a girlfriend, before viciously telling him that he has no right to choose the topic of dialogue. Justusfightsback the tears buthis father refuses to relent- apparently unaware of just how much misery he is throwing upon his own son.

Joe isn’t alone in his approach. Andre, the parent of preteen Amari, an aspire golfer, is forever cursing his daughter under his breath as he follows her around the golf course. The tension between the two is almost unbearable as he appears to take all of her enjoyment out of video games bymaking menaces such as “I’m going to smacking you in the mouth.”

There’s a telling moment as the two of them walk along the fairway, bickering with each other. A hundred feet or so in front is a father holding his daughter’s hand as they move onto the next shot. The contrast between the two families is poignant, the amount of pressure Andrelays upon her young shoulders is infuriating.

Then we have the two basketball talents, Ian and Derek, whose respective fathers constantly fume over the team’s coach. Derek’s dad quit his nine businesses and 80 odd employees to dedicate his entire life to ensure his sonhits the big time. He gets so pumped-up and angry at the refs that you can’t help but feel sorry for anyone sat near him.

The common thread here is that all of the parents want to control the environment their kids are in, and they believe that by doing so they can pushing them towards sporting greatness. The mom of twins, who she believes willbe the best tennis double act in the world, is at least slightly different in that her position in thatisn’t so negative. For her, everything is God’s will.

The distorted irony is that in wanting the best for their kids, these mothers seem to be suffocating them, taking some of the exhilaration out of their childhood. It’s agreat documentary in the morbidly fascinating kind of style, but if you’re looking for something feel good then perhaps leave this one for another time.

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George Takei Takes Down Internet Troll And Reminds Us What A Legend He Is

24 days ago

Trolling George Takei is not a good idea, and one internet user simply learnt itthe hard way .

With not a lot of love for theStar Trek actor, this guy chose the best place to air his negative viewswould be facebook.

Tagging George( his main error ), he set out his views 😛 TAGEND

While the Star Trek actor has probably heard worse than’ you suck’, the opportunity for some counter-trolling was too good to pass up 😛 TAGEND

That George Takei is one cheeky devil. AndWajih Kelly assured the error of his styles. He responded 😛 TAGEND

We would definitely want to be friends with George Takei. Check out how he responded toanti-equal marriage protesters earlier this year 😛 TAGEND

So much sass…

That sounds like our kind of island…

We also believe in proper grammar.

Just legendary…

Takei also made headlines earlier this year, when hetook down infamous homophobe Kim Davis( who- by the way- still hasn’t responded to offers to shoot a lesbian porn scene …).

He criticised her refusal to issue marriage licences to same sex couples, saying 😛 TAGEND

“She is entitled to hold her religious beliefs, but not to impose those beliefs on others.If she had denied matrimony certifications to an interracial couple, would people cheer her?

In our society, we obey civil laws , not religious ones.To suggest otherwise is, simply put, solely un-American.”

George, we love you. Never change .

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Angry Mum Publicly Shamed Her’ Bullying Son’ On Facebook

1 month, 12 days ago
Nobody likes a bully. It must be pretty disappointing if you find out or suspect that your kid is one .

That’s what happened to Terry Evans, and her approach to dealing with it had now been run viral. Terry was angry that her 12 -year-old son had purposely trod on a new girl’s foot at school, violating her shoe in the process. So she took to Facebook and went on a bit of a rant. Terry advises her son that if he does something like it again, he’ll be packed off to the victim’s parents home where they can give him as many chores as they like.

Absolutely disgusted that my 12 year old son assured fit to purposefully tread on a new girls foot at school and twist his…

Posted by Terri Day Evans onMonday, 22 February 2016

Terry’s post says :

Perfectly disgusted that my 12 year old son saw fit to purposefully tread on a new girls foot at school and twist his foot with such force it broke her brand new shoes( causing the heel) to snap. Ill tell you something jacob( JustPost Rng Photos) if you so much as breath in her or anyone’s direction in a bully way I will personally hand you over to their parents for every demeaning chore they see fit for as long as they do … kiss goodbye to your birthday fund as you will be buying the girl a new pair of shoes and a bunch of blooms! #iwillnothaveabullyinmyhouse

Update. To answer a few questions, yes my son can see it, he was tagged in it before it ran viral( which I didn’t realise was going to happen) so his friends could see that his actions have consequences, he is not big, clever, hard or funny, he’s a 12 year old boy answerable to his mam. I don’t much care who doesn’t agree with my parenting style, my son humiliated and embarrassed a girl, irrespective of his reasoning( which is now being he didn’t expect to break the shoe he merely thought she may step out of it or stumble) that “girls ” still exclaimed, for anyone’s knowledge that girl may have left her old school because she was being bullied … then imagine how much worse my son’s ridiculous act would have attained her feeling. So my so called embarrassing him online is a to be quite frankly nothing in comparison to the humiliation that little girl had to face walking round with a broken shoe and red eyes from weeping when she is new . Ps … of course I sat and spoke to him about his behaviour, I didn’t simply tag him in a post and he read it! I am wholly confident this was a single occurrence which won’t be repeated .

What do you think? Is this good parenting? Let’s hope he got her something nice for Mother’s Day …

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Kim Kardashian Calls Out Taylor Swift For’ Playing The Victim Again’

1 month, 16 days ago
News moves on pretty quickly these days, so you’ve probably already forgotten about the Taylor/ Kanye drama from a while back. I’ll let you rack your brains for a minute and see if it comes back to you …

Got a vague recollection? Good.

In February, Kanye played a new song called Famous at his Madison Square Garden album launch show. In the song, Kanye raps, I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I stimulated that bitch famous . …. Awks.

Following the release of the anthem, Kanye claimed that Taylor not only personally signed off on the lyrics, but came up with them herself.

Taylors team, on the other hand, claims that shedid no such thing and was not made aware.

@kimkardashian has a few things to get down her chest. Read the full GQ cover story at the link in bio.( by @mertalas and @macpiggott )

A photo posted by GQ (@ gq) on Jun 16, 2016 at 7:26 am PDT

In her interviewwith GQ, Knaye’s wifeKim K spoke out on the topic and called bullsh* t, saying ;P TAGEND

She altogether approved that. She wholly knew that that was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didnt.

She continues 😛 TAGEND

I dont know why she only, you know, flipped all of a sudden It was funny because[ on the call with Kanye, Taylor] said, When I get on the Grammy red carpet, all the media is going to think that Im so against this, and Ill just chuckle and say, The gags on you, guys. I was in on it the whole period. And Im like, await, but[ in] your Grammy speech, you totally dissed my husband only to play the victim again.

Uh oh. Kim also claims theres video proof that this conversation happened because there were videographers there documenting the process of developing the album. However, surely Kanye would have released it by now if that were true?

According to Kim, however, Taylor knows the footage exists because, allegedlyKanye received an attorneys letter saying, Dont ever let that footage come out of me saying that. Destroy it.

Can you handle @kimkardashian’s NSFW GQ photoshoot? We’ll be adding newand even sexierphotos throughout the day. Go to the link in bio for the first round( by @mertalas and @macpiggott) #UnitedStatesofKimerica

A photo posted by GQ (@ gq) on Jun 15, 2016 at 8: 04 am PDT

GQ contacted Taylors team for a reply, and while a spokesperson declined to answer specific questions, a statement was provided basically sayingthat Taylor heard the sung for the first time when everyone else did.

And it ended with this cracker 😛 TAGEND

Taylor cannot understand why Kanye West, and now Kim Kardashian, will not just leave her alone.

Uh oh .

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13 Quotes That Are Just Too Deep For You To Manage

2 months, 1 day ago

Philosophical quotes. There are too many of them and most of them aren’t even deep. Want to see what I mean? Go on Tumblr and click on the first thing you assure. It will probably be a picture of a silhouette, or some blooms or something with writing over it saying something like “ Showers wash away the bad supposes. Someone out there loves you . ” Terrible .

But we’re into funny doctrine. It’s much better. It would be far too easy only to quote a loading of Jaden Smithtweets … so we’ve only done that a couple of times.

1. We’ll start with one to be safe …

2. Rudyard Kipling was a fantastic devotee .

3. The only real friend this cruel world has to offer .

4. You’re the person you hate the most .

5. Last one. We promise .

6. Was this written with the weak hand so whoever did it didn’t get caught ? 7. That poor dog .

8. When a packet makes you think about life .

9. To be fair …

10. That red-nosed, sarcy puppet is asking for a slap .

11. We feel you, brother .

12. They’re right .

13. And we’ll leave you with this one …

Feel like Socrates? If you do, run get yourself checked out. 13 stupid internet quotes should not have that effect.

Tell us what you think in the comments ! — >

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21 Fun Scene And Tweets To Greet In The Weekend

2 months, 7 days ago
1. This is going to end well … 2. Karma ….

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3. Gutted

4.

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5. All good here …

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6. How Leo’s Oscars are going to go down

7. A special guest ..

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8. Ouch …

9.

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10. How green is your salad ?

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11. Will they thank Steven Avery in their speech ? 12. Bread on your face .

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13.

14.

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15.

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16. Things are about to kick off . 17. I have a weird various kinds of respect for the man’s aspiration .

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18.

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20. Good to keep your alternatives open .

21.

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Leave my iPhone alone: why our smartphones are extensions of ourselves

2 months, 11 days ago

Our phones offer connection, communication and knowledge and have become part of our identities. No wonder privacy violations bother us so much

Apples recent refusal to abide by a court order to unlock the San Bernardino shooters iPhone has brought to the publics attention an debate over cybersecurity and encryption that has been raging throughout the tech world for years.

On the surface, that argument has a particular and recognizable ethical character. But further down, it is about something else something deeper that has to do with identity itself.

Utilitarian intellectuals like John Stuart Mill have always held that the best style to decide any ethical question is to look and assure which action has the best consequences.

Turning to the iPhone case, the way this argument has played out in the media suggests that it is all about which future is more dire: the one where terrorists can hide their communications in common devices, or the one where the governmental eye of Sauron considers all.

Yet this characterization oversimplifies what is really at stake. Both pictures of the future are misleading, if merely because terrorists have, like the rest of us, numerous ways to get in contact with one another. Breaking into this particular iPhone wont change that. Moreover, your data is already unsafe. As more than one wag put it on Twitter, thats what makes it so ironic that privacy advocates like to complain on social media.

But the deeper problem with the its all about the consequences side of the debate is that it ignores the increasingly intimate relation we bear to the devices around us.

Smartphones were only the first step towards the world we live in now the internet of things. More and more devices from refrigerators to cars to socks interact with the internet on a nearly constant basis, leaving a trail of digital deplete. That means greater convenience, but increasingly it also means that our devices are becoming ready at hand as Heidegger would have said. Weve begun to see them as extensions of ourselves. The Internet of Things has become the Internet of Us.

It is tempting to see that as metaphorical. But there is actually a metaphysical phase here, one which we can get at by way of two very different, if consistent, philosophical routes.

The first style in stems from what is known as the extended intellect hypothesis. According to the philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers in a 1998 newspaper, our mental state, like our faiths or our memories, arent always simply in in our heads. They are spread out. In other terms, it is not just that I use my contact listing in my smartphone as a crutch to assistance me recollect, my actual remembering is partly constituted by the phone itself. It is a combo of brain cells and computer chips.

I am not sure whether Clark and Chalmers are right about the entire intellect, although they might be. But I am more convinced that one sort of mental state, the country of my knowing something, is often extended to our digital devices. My knowing, at the least in the passive, receptive sense of knowing, is definitely outsourced to my phone. And that is why I often feel 100% less knowledgeable when I dont have ready access to it.

If something like this is right, it helps to explain why we worry about losing more control over access to our smart devices. What and how I know it is part of my intellect; but if what and how I know is partly composed of what happens on my phone, if it is spread out in that way, then unlocking our devices is not simply like unlocking our home. It is more like opening up our intellects to Vulcan mind melds. And then the ethical topic here cant only be decided by tallying up the consequences; what harms our identity is a matter of principle.

Of course you might think that the extended knowledge hypothesis is too farfetched. But the other style to get to the same point is this: whether or not we actually are our telephones, we increasingly identify with them. We increasingly see them and the digital life we lead on them as partly constituting who we psychologically are.

The reason that matters is that psychology matters for autonomy. One type of freedom we care about is autonomy of action. But another type is freedom of decision. And you can violate my autonomy of decision in more than one route. One style is to overrule it. Hold a handgun to my head and I will find myself making decisions that arent actually in accordance with my most considered opinion about what is best for me.

On the other hand, you can also undermine it. Devote me a drug without my permission and my decision-making is constructed moot. It doesnt truly matter whether I wanted to take the drug or not. Ive taken it anyway and my decision is irrelevant.

Violations of information privacy undermine our autonomy of decision in the same way. They make a decision for us whether to share our datum. In some suits, perhaps like the case of the San Bernardino shooters phone, that may be justified. But there is a reason to be wary of generalizing, precisely because back-door telephone hacks would open us up to having our independence undermined in merely this way.

Arguably, what harms autonomy damages identity. And what harms identity, what harms us as individuals, as intellects, is not just a bad outcome it is bad in principle.

Michael Patrick Lynch is prof of philosophy and director of the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut. His new book is The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data. Follow him on Twitter: @plural_truth

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Are slow iPhone sales simply a blip or is Apple starting to struggle?

2 months, 15 days ago

The volatile marketplace in China, the urgency for a new product, and slumping telephone marketings are blending to create serious problems for the tech company

Self-made billionaire investor Carl Icahn is known for his very vocal endorsements and criticisms of the worlds biggest public companies, including Apple. Yet when he is available on CNBC on Thursday, he wasnt there to demand the company give stockholders dividends, as hed been doing for years.

Instead, he said he was out. Icahn said hed dumped every share he held in Apple, claiming he made a$ 2bn profit and was done with the company, quoting very concerned about how the Chinese government could block the company from that market. You worry a little bit, and maybe more than a little, about Chinas attitude, Icahn said, warning of a tsunami of trouble.

Watching the broadcast was Dan Nathan, who runs the influential marketplace analysis site Risk Reversal. The jig is up for Apple, Nathan said. The big moneys is common knowledge that for a while. But people love their iPhones so much, and the tech press are all fanboys, so people havent “was talkin about a” it.

Wednesday marked the end of an epoch in Cupertino as Apple reported its first ever fell in iPhone marketings, sending the companys stock down to about 30% off its all-time high in May 2015.

iPhone sales in China a crucial market for Apple to continue growing have plunged 26% as its economy stalls, with some reports indicating the Apple brand is losing prestige there. In the US, clients are upgrading their telephones more slowly as the differences between generations, like the iPhone 6 to 6s, become more incremental.

Those bullish on the company say that the slowdown is inevitable as the smartphone market ripens, and that Apple will find another game-changing product. In the meantime, the business is good: Apple pulled in $50.6 bn in revenue and $10.5 bn in profits this one-quarter. And its CEO has won a high-profile public battle against the FBI over telephone hacking, showing Silicon Valleys unprecedented power.

It was 30 years between the Macintosh and the iPhone, said Jean-Louis Gasse, once an engineering head at Apple who shepherded the early Macintosh and now watches the company closely. It takes time for these major waves.

But in Silicon Valley, where the motto seems to be innovate or succumb, growth is everything. And critics argue that Apple, famous for its internal culture of aggressivenes and privacy, has lost its innovative edge.

Analysts say the company has not had a distinct make product in recent years. The company tightly guards its Apple Watch sales figures, but researchers consider numbers slipping in favor of wearables that use Android software made by Apples arch-rival Google.

Reviews of the new Retina MacBook were tepid. Tech news site the Verge liked the beautiful machine but received it slower, impractical and costly, so the reviewer went back to his older Mac, while industry site The Loop described the companys Apple Music service as a consumer nightmare because of technical and design problems. Despite criticism, Apple Music, has grown to 13 million subscribers, a bright spot in Apples recent financial results.

The most important issue facing Apple, analysts say, is how it can expand internationally. In China, the companys most important new marketplace, the number of people who can stretch for an aspirational product such as an iPhone has topped out, Nathan said. The average iPhone, without wireless service contracts, cost $687 in the last one-quarter of 2014, according to ABI Research and the Wall Street Journal three times more expensive than an Android device, which typically selling off about $254 globally. But World Bank data from 2015 shows that in China the average income is $7,400 means that an iPhone would cost the average Chinese person more than 10% of their annual salary.

Its an expensive phone, Nathan said. And the high objective has become saturated. Nathan said the best bet would be to expand into the lower objective, which the company is doing somewhat with their new 4in iPhone SE. But a past endeavour at a bargain product, the colorful, plastic iPhone 5C, was widely seen as a flop. That was three years ago, though, Nathan said.

Tim Cook, who took over as CEO after the companys iconic founder Steve Jobs died in 2011, is a specialist in supplying chains rather than product design. Where Jobs was obsessed with the product specs, Cook is more focused on spending projections, according to a rare authorized profile in Bloomberg News that sought to prove the new CEO wasnt simply Jobss logical, icy sidekick.

On Wednesday, Cook said that broader market issues were causing the slow in growth, and recognizing that critics were worried about China, seemed to reference the idea that Apple was no longer Silicon Valleys starring.[ We] may not have the wind at our backs that we once did, Cook said of the companys efforts in China. But its a lot more stable than what I guess the common view of it is.

Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategy technology market research firm, said there is little Apple could have done better given the broader smartphone market. The company is a victim of its own success, he argued. Theres contentment with customers at large who look at their phones and say, You know, this things pretty great, I dont know if I require a new one, Bajarin said. Youve got to give someone a reason to buy a new device.

Bajarin believes the market overreacted to the iPhone sales numbers, since the company sold as many telephones as it had said it would this quarter. It wasnt a astound. They came in simply above the bottom objective of their own guidance, Bajarin said. All of this now is just about managing Wall Street.

The company, with its $233 bn in money, has been been using that money to buy back its own stock and pay stockholder dividends to encourage investors. Apple has the ability to be patient because of that money, but everyone will say they also have the ability to be complacent, Bajarin said. But I dont think thats their plan.

Nobody believes theyll be like, yeah, thats it, we rode the smartphones and were done, he added. Theyre out looking for the next thing right now.

Others argue, though, that Apples culture has become uniquely problematic and is getting in the way of innovation. Tim Kuppler, who advises firms on better workplace environments through the firm Human Synergistics, is working on a study of 30 tech company cultures.

If youre at Apple, theres so much privacy, you cant bring your 100% because there are certain things you cant even talk about, Kuppler said. Its so difficult in that surrounding for people to live up to their potential. Youve get chains on; youre riding the brake. Thats very different now at places like Google that are more achievement oriented.

For Apple, issues with culture may be affecting recruitment and retention. The company lately lost the head of their electric car operation as well as a longtime decorator who worked closely with design squad chief Jony Ive.

There was an era in Silicon Valley when critics rarely voiced sentiments on the unassailable Cupertino powerhouse, where strong hierarchies and control are woven into the corporate culture. Now sentiment in Silicon Valley seems to be turning against the company. Even on the quiet streets of Palo Alto, Cook runs into trouble.

He was all by himself, and I dedicated him a 30 -second harangue about the App Store, said Gasse, who ran into Cook at a shopping mall earlier this year. Growth concealed a lot of shortcomings for Apple. When you grow fast you can be a little disheveled, dirty. Now Apple has to revisit what its lacking.

Gasse, who left the company in 1990 and has since become an investor, said Apples culture of tight hierarchies and aggressive administrators wasnt working for them in the new modern climate: The command and control that reigns at Apple is not necessarily working in its favor any more.

Read more: www.theguardian.com