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Pattern recognition: racism, gun violence and Dylann Roof

When you read about Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine black men and women as they prayed, think about the patterns he represents.

Listening Machines, and the whether, when and how of new technologies

One of my great pleasures in life is attending conferences on fields I’m intrigued by, but know nothing about. (A second pleasure is writing about these events.) So when my friend Kate Crawford invited me to a daylong “Listening Machine Summit” this past Friday, I could hardly refuse.

Mystery Show is the new Serial. Kinda. (But it’s an awesome moment for radio.)

Hey guys, Mystery Show is the new Serial!
Well, sorta. Not quite. Actually, it’s almost the antidote to Serial. But in a way that acknowledges the awesomeness of both shows.

The death of Tidbit and why it matters

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs announced today that they had settled their complaint with the developers of “Tidbit”, a prototype piece of software developed by four MIT undergraduates as part of a hackathon. It’s about time.

Re:publica Keynote: The System is Broken – That’s the Good News

I’m at the wonderful Re:publica conference for a single day, racing home to teach tomorrow… and thus far I’ve given a keynote and done over 12 interviews, so I haven’t gotten the whole feel of the conference yet. Still, it’s one of the most wonderful and high energy venues I’ve ever spoken at, and I’m having a great time.

Paying Attention to Garissa

On Thursday morning, heavily armed attackers, believed to be members of al-Shabaab, invaded Garissa University and killed 147 students. Mohamed Kuno, a high-ranking al-Shabaab official, has been named by the Kenyan government as the mastermind of the attack.

“It’s scary when we can do this out of love and there’s nothing you can threaten us with”

What’s a “holy shit visualization”?
It’s a way of looking at data that makes turns a statistic you might have flipped past in a book or skimmed by on a web page into something that you can’t forget. It’s a visceral reminder of the power of images and the power of looking at dry numbers in human terms.

Helping Launch the NetGain Challenge

This morning, I’m at the Ford Foundation in New York City as part of the launch event for NetGain. NetGain is a new effort launched by the Mozilla, Ford, Open Society, Macarthur and Knight Foundations, to bring the philanthropic community together to tackle the greatest obstacles to digital rights, online equality and the use of the internet to promote social justice.