Welcome to Chelsi’s Number One Super Happy Fun Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them through one of the usual suspects.
A couple of weeks ago, a little tool called Facedeals hit the scene and weirded everyone out. With the help of Facebook’s APIs, the facial recognition platform is able to offer patrons special deals when they enter a participating venue, as well as automatically check them in. Tech sites like RedOrbit and TechCrunch have both labeled it creepy, but why, and is that really an accurate description? This article explores both questions. Some notable excerpts:
“Beyond being pervasive techno-talk, what does the experience of feeling creeped out really reveal? Does it point to anything important?
“…the creepy stigma given to facial detection technology (which can register a viewer’s gender and age) being developed for the next generation of televisions largely arises out of concern that modification will fuel a new breed of tailored advertising. What we don’t know is exactly how the ads will be configured, how accurate the information scanning will be, and what kind of safeguards will protect consumers against having their information misused. It thus is easier to be worried than prudent.”
“The Internet’s preference for cats runs so deep that when Google’s secretive X Lab showed a string of 10 million YouTube images to a neural network of 16,000 computer processors for machine learning, the first thing the network did was invent the concept of a cat,” writes Gideon Lewis-Kraus in this six-page article about the origins of our feline obsession.
It’s impossible to sum it up (As Lewis-Kraus also states, “…if one has set out to say something definitive about the relationship between cats and the Internet, it’s important not to be delayed indefinitely by Internet cats.) but seriously, if you’ve ever wondered about the whole cat thing, this article is what you should read.
Modern folklore claims that whenever there are two full moons in a single calendar month, the second one is blue in color. August 31st marks this month’s second scheduled full moon– how many of you will be outside on your porches that night?
If you raised your hand, you might be in for a long wait. This article reveals that a “truly-blue Moon” usually requires a volcanic eruption: ”Back in 1883, for example, people saw blue moons almost every night after the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa exploded with the force of a 100-megaton nuclear bomb. Plumes of ash rose to the very top of Earth’s atmosphere, and the Moon … it turned blue!”
Working in a big city makes it easy to forget how bizarre the world we live in is. That is, until images of creatures like this so-called poodle moth surface. Writes Alan Boyle of nbcnews.com: “It’s been compared to a fluffy dog, a Pokemon character and a Power Rangers villain — but whatever it is, the Venezuelan poodle moth has captured the Internet like Mothra in a bad Japanese movie.”
Happy Labor Day, y’all!