GeekSpeak for 2014-11-22

Barbie Gives the NSA a Virus

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Barbie needs fixing.

math is hard, but computer engineering is easy?

In a 2010 book pulled from Amazon’s shelves this week, Barbie giggles and pillow-fights her way through her idea of a computer engineering job, in which she designs the game but leaves it to the boys to code it for her, and get her out of a computer virus jam. Just: ugh.

Here Barbie, I fixed it for you

Join in on the inevitable and hilarious internet backlash by writing your own copy for the Barbie book

Easy to use platform lets just anyone make 'games'

Twine lets people with little coding experience create text-based games, and it has turned out to be a boon for people all along the gender spectrum to explore social & psychological issues through games. Way to piss off the Old Gamers Club, ladies!

As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

How Amazon’s culture is taking a toll on Seattle’s future.

Seattle police may dump plans for body cams, citing records requests

Mass-video request highlights tension between open records laws and lots of data.

Seattle PD cuts a deal with mass-video requestor, institutes “hack-a-thon”

City said the original request put plans for police body-cams at risk.

Research Blog: A picture is worth a thousand (coherent) words: building a natural description of images

Our experiments with this system on several openly published datasets, including Pascal, Flickr8k, Flickr30k and SBU, show how robust the qualitative results are — the generated sentences are quite reasonable. It also performs well in quantitative evaluations with the Bilingual Evaluation Understudy (BLEU), a metric used in machine translation to evaluate the quality of generated sentences.

This Bottle Turns Air Into Water As You Ride Your Bike

Someday soon, cyclists might never again have to worry about running out of water on a hot and humid day.

A gadget created by Kristof Retezár, an industrial design student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, collects and condenses moisture from the air while a bicycle is in motion. It then fills up a water bottle attached to the bike frame.

Named after the Roman god of wells and springs, “Fontus” uses the principle of thermoelectric cooling, in which an electricity-powered heat pump transfers heat from one side of a container to another.

Fontus is still in the prototype stage. The design was recently a finalist for the 2014 James Dyson Award, an international design competition.

Google Contributor: Paying to Remove Ads

Google is launching a new service that allows browsers to pay a monthly fee to avoid the adverts on sites that use Google’s advertising services.

The Google Contributor service is an experiment to see whether websites can be funded by small payments from readers rather than having to rely on advertising to make money.

WhatsApp adds end-to-end encryption using TextSecure | Technology | The Guardian

More than 600 million WhatsApp users are about to benefit from default end-to-end encryption, which should prevent any snoops spying on their communications.

The security boost comes after the Facebook-owned messaging provider contracted Open Whisper Systems, the creator of the TextSecure encrypted text app, to incorporate its technology into WhatsApp.

“We are going to be sued.”

It won’t be a surprise if the Federal Communications Commission gets sued when it issues net neutrality rules. In fact, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler expects it.

Top NSA official raised alarm about metadata program in 2009

An unnamed top National Security Agency (NSA) official had a stark internal disagreement with then-director Keith Alexander in 2009 over the bulk metadata program, according to a new report by the Associated Press (AP) on Thursday.

The Market Will Fix Online Security?

In pretty much every interview I’ve done over the last year, I’ve been asked why there haven’t been significant changes from all the disclosures. I vehemently disagree with the premise of the question, which equates “U.S. legislative changes” with “meaningful changes.” But it has been clear from the start that U.S. legislation is not going to impose meaningful limitations on the NSA’s powers of mass surveillance, at least not fundamentally. Those limitations are going to come from—are now coming from —very different places