Sunday 18 August 2013

Procrastinator (some) Times Sunday 18 of August Edition


This past week we read a lot of news about privacy rights vs spying policies, from bins in the centre of London to the NSA in the US. There was a lot of space news too; people applying to travel to Mars, new space gourmet food, and cool motion graphics of how Twitter goes viral comparing astronaut Chris Hadfield vs. Ryan Gosling. Our weekly procrastination included a visit to Shuffle Festival and to Hack the Barbican, and some of the usual wonderful viral stuff of the Internet. Finally this week we received cool contributions from JonnyVictoria & Sharan, fellow procrastinators and friends.
Many, many thanks to you all, contributors and readers, please stay tuned because we already have a new section for next week. Watch this space and if you want to procrastinate with us, go ahead and get involved!


Photo: Renew London via The Independent.

It’s not only CCTV, now the rubbish bins are also watching you, or are they? London’s ‘smart bins’ are tracking passerbys by identifying their smartphones’ wi-fi connections. The scheme is currently being trialled around Cheapside, with the intention is sell this information to brands to create targeted advertisements. Even though the technology in its infancy and the legality of the scheme is yet to be debated, the City of London Corporation has release the following statement: “We have already asked the firm concerned to stop this data collection immediately. We have also taken the issue to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Irrespective of what’s technically possible, anything that happens like this on the streets needs to be done carefully, with the backing of an informed public.” Read full article in The Independent.

Photo: The Economist.

More spy games. The past 9th of August Barack Obama announced some (long) overdue reforms on the government’s surveillance programs. He also promised that the administration will release the legal rationale for its snooping and the NSA will try to do a better job of explaining what it does. Even if Obama states that Edward Snowden is no patriot, and that those reforms would have happened with or without him leaking secret documents and attempting against US national security, the Economist believes that the reforms are the direct consequence of The Snowden Effect. Read full article here.

Image: Mars One.

So, here’s the plan: we go to Mars and we never come back! If you stand Christmas without your family… or without oxygen, well this isn’t for you. However, Mars One, the not-for-profit foundation that wishes to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023, already received more than 100.000 applications to become part of the team that -allegedly- will leave Earth in September 2022. this one-way trips to the red planet. Meet a few of the 100,000 people who have applied to go to Mars in this article of Fast Company, and if you want to submit an application, you have until the 31 of August, so start recording.

And of you’re planning to apply to go to Mars, here are some more good news, as NASA takes a fresh look at in-flight food for the astronauts preparing for the first manned mission to Mars. They will no longer have to make do with a steady diet of freeze-dried ice cream and may attempt to cook fresh food on the Martian surface. Read full article in The Independent.

Image: Still of the video showing how Chris Hadfield’s ‘Space Oddity’ video spread across the web. Via Twitter UK

How videos go viral. UK Twitter’s team after an exhaustive research about what make a tweet go viral concluded *drum roll* that “there is no single magic formula”. To compensate such discovery they illustrated (beautifully) various viral spread patterns with dynamic visualizations, including Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal, a procrastination jewel in loop, and Chris Hadfield’s Space Oddity video. Full article with videos and links in The Independent.

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