A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘social networking

[LINK] “In Jungles of India, New Phone App Helps Indigenous Tribes Embroiled in Maoist Insurgency”

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National Geographic‘s Anthony Loyd shares news of a new phone app that might give India’s adivasi tribes a greater chance to survive the Naxalite uprisings that affect many of their territories.

An Android app designed to give voice to tribes at the heart of India’s Maoist insurgency was launched September 20 as part of a campaign by activists to end the conflict through the combination of oral tradition and new technology.

The new app allows tribes living in the remote jungle interior of the Dandakaranya forest to become citizen journalists, posting and sharing pictures and stories on CGNet Swara, a mobile phone-based reporting platform cofounded by Indian digital activist Shubhranshu Choudhary and American computer scientist Bill Thies.

“We’re trying to reach out with this new technology to solve so many of the smaller problems that have given rise to such anger in this area,” explained Choudhary, winner of this year’s Google Digital Activism Award.

“We want to bring hope back to a society where hopelessness has led [many to] resort to violence.”

The conflict, pitting Maoist cadres—better known as Naxalites—against Indian security forces, is centered in India’s mineral-rich heartland and has cost more than 10,000 lives over the past decade.

Exploiting popular discontent among impoverished rural communities and marginalized tribes, the Naxalites have seeded themselves in Dandakaranya, the 39,000-square-mile (100,000-square-kilometer) forest that encompasses parts of several Indian states, including Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 29, 2014 at 11:18 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday linls

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  • blogTO notes the five longest TTC routes in Toronto.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes evidence that objects detected by Kepler are gravitationally bound to their parent stars.
  • The Dragon’s Tales tracks the migrations of raccoons and their kind from North to South America, and notes that Pacific Island nations are hoping to find places they can evacuate their populations to.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the computer of the anti-gay papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic has been found to be filled with child porn, and observes apparent success in treating Ebola with HIV medications.
  • Language Log looks at gendered pronoun usage on Facebook.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes depression.
  • Marginal Revolution links to an article examining the lives of lightning survivors.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at Russian-Ukrainian energy wars and isn’t hopeful for Ukraine.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes war-related mortality patterns in Iraq.
  • Savage Minds notes that anthropologists at the University of Chicago have played a leading role in getting that university to disengage from its Confucius Institute.
  • Torontoist notes how 1971 thinkers thought Toronto could be made more pleasant.
  • Towleroad considers if Britney Spears is a proper gay icon.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests the death of civic nationalism in Russia, notes the refugees in Ukraine displaced from the Donbas, suggests that there is sympathy in Tatarstan from Crimean Tatars, looks at Russian official support for the far right worldwide, and suggests that Eurasianism and Dugin are of falling importance.

[PHOTO] “Instagram Goes Analog With Its First Photo Exhibit”

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Margaret Rhodes’ Wired article describes Instagram’s exhibition of its works at Brooklyn’s Photoville gallery. As a new user of Instagram–you’ve noticed my square-format photos, surely–I approve.

To thumb through Instagram is to parse a wide and often unpredictable range of emotions. Things can be sensational (Beyoncé‘s Instagram account), harrowing and uplifting, all at once (the Humans of New York feed), or kinda raunchy (The Fat Jew). But it is always, unconditionally, digital.

Except for next week: For ten days, for free, anyone in New York can take a screen-free tour of Instagram. The company’s editorial division is exhibiting at Photoville, where a string of shipping containers will decorate Brooklyn Bridge Park from September 18 to 28. Two of those will host Instagram’s exhibits, The Everyday Projects and Here in the World: Voices of Instagram, a survey of different creative types that have appeared on Instagram’s blog.

The Everyday Projects began in 2012 when photographer Peter DiCampo and journalist Austin Merrill were working in West Africa. They saw a side of life often left out of the usual visual narrative. “Western journalists are often only sent in times of crisis, so the images from media in the news are full of despair, and perhaps they miss out on some of the beauty and the normal everyday life that happens in between,” says Pamela Chen, editorial director at Instagram. Her job includes keeping tabs on the artists and photographers leveraging Instagram for creative uses, and she calls the “everyday” movement a “unique Instagram phenomenon,” because after @everydayafrica gained traction, feeds started appearing for dozens of other countries. There’s @everydayiran, @everydayasia, and @everydayjamaica, to name a few. Sixty-five photos from ten of those feeds will appear at Photoville.

[. . .]

To really drive that IRL-ness home, Chen and her team installed a large scale, analog photo feed in one of the shipping containers. Instead of thumb-swiping upwards, visitors will use a lever to manually crank a stream of two-feet-tall photos. Each comes with the signage and descriptions you’d get in the app, so users can figure out whom to follow once they’ve left Photoville.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 25, 2014 at 11:08 pm

[LINK] “Who Needs a Deep Space Network? Two Martian Spacecraft Communicate Via Twitter”

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This Universe Today story is cute. How long will it be before we actually get an interplanetary Internet up?

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft was greeted via Twitter after successfully entering orbit of the Red Planet. The Curiosity Rover, a Mars old-timer of two years, sent a welcoming tweet: “Namaste @MarsOrbiter. Congratulations to @ISRO and India’s first interplanetary mission upon achieving Mars orbit.”

The @MarsOrbiter replied: “Howdy @MarsCuriosity? Keep in touch. I’ll be around.”

We jest, of course, about using Twitter for space communications. The Deep Space Network provides critical two-way communications between spacecraft and Earth.

The DSN sends information that guides and controls the spacecraft for navigation, and it collects telemetry of the data — images and scientific information — sent back by the spacecraft. NASA is not the only space agency to benefit from the international network of communications facilities that make up the DSN, as spacecraft from around the world use DSN for communications. In fact, MOM is currently sending and receiving telemetry from the DSN, as well as ISRO’s tracking station in Bangalore.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 25, 2014 at 7:43 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • blogTO notes an interesting play being put on at Buddies in Bad Times about a same-sex couple’s divorce.
  • Centauri Dreams features a guest post from Andrew Lepage examining habitable exomoons.
  • Crooked Timber notes the exceptionally high voter turn-out in Scotland.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes China’s attempts to construct a new security architecture in Asia.
  • Eastern Approaches notes that Poland’s Radek Sikorski is now foreign minister.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Edward Hugh notes that the Eurozone is set to become Japan-like economically.
  • Far Outliers has a whole slew of posts on Romanian history, noting early Romanian history, the autonomy of the Danubian principalities from Ottoman rule, and the complex relationships in Transylvania and with central Europe.
  • Geocurrents notes that one Islamic State map was made from a computer game.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the final segment of New York City’s High Line park is complete.
  • Language Hat notes the Scots dialect of Yiddish.
  • Marginal Revolution looks forward to the complexities of Catalonian separatism.
  • Registan notes Kazakhstan’s concerns with Russia.
  • The Search examines methodologies for preserving E-mails.
  • Towleroad notes that a Grindr poll in Scotland accurately predicted the outcome of the Scottish referendum and also notes Grindr’s concern with Egyptian police use of the app.
  • Understanding Society considers the idea of turning points in history. Do they exist, or not?
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Ilya Somin comes out in favour of allowing informed teenagers–16 years and older–to vote.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russification in the Gagauz leadership and observes Russophilia among Ukrainian evangelical Protestants.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell imagines likely issues with devolution in the near future in the United Kingdom.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Antipope Charlie Stross wrote last night about the political consequences of the Scottish referendum.
  • blogTO notes that east-end strip joint Jilly’s could become a boutique hotel and restaurant combo much like the Drake.
  • Centauri Dreams reviews the discovery of Pluto’s moon Hydra.
  • Engage with Crooked Timber‘s open thread on the Scottish referendum if you wish.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper predicting the existence of an exoplanet, Kepler-47d.
  • The Dragon’s Tales shares the story of how Soviet space station Salyut 7 was saved by two cosmonauts.
  • Geocurrents notes the unreal claims of the Islamic State.
  • Joe. My. God. shares the story of the lesbian couple in Iowa together for 82 years before marrying.
  • The Lawyers, Guns and Money discussion on the consequences of the Scottish referendum is noteworthy.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that the Irish economy is starting to see faster growth now.
  • Torontoist notes that Doug Ford has launched his campaign website.
  • Towleroad shares the story of San Francisco supervisor Scott Wiener who has announced that he takes PrEP.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia is set on an Argentine-like trajectory of missed growth and calls for more attention to the plight of Crimean Tatars.
  • Zero Geography’s Mark Graham maps the pre-referendum Scottish presence on social networks.

[LINK] “Twitter Suggests Scotland Is Going Solo”

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Bloomberg’s Mark Gilbert notes a study of Twitter posts suggesting that momentum may be with separatists.

Opinion polls remain inconclusive as to whether Scotland will decide to secede tomorrow, as the final hours tick by before a referendum. Still, an analysis of Twitter messages by academics at Oxford University has shed a little more light, suggesting that the momentum is with those who favor independence.

Karo Moilanen, a visiting academic at the university, has dissected more than 1 million tweets in the past month. The “yes” campaign has generated more than 782,000 missives, compared with 341,000 for those backing the “no” movement. Both camps saw a dive in activity yesterday, though those backing the Scottish nationalists were still twice as active as the unionists[.]

Moreover, Moilanen’s software, called TheySay, parses the sentiments in messages using language algorithms. The results suggest those who would go it alone are more upbeat in their tweeting than their unionist opponents[.]

[. . .] The most recent opinion polls show the “no” campaign leading with about 52 percent, compared with 48 percent for the “yes” group when undecided voters are excluded. That makes the vote too close to call given the margins of error involved and the inherent imprecision of opinion polling. So the excitement of those young Twitter users, voting for the first time, may just determine the fates of both Scotland and the U.K.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 18, 2014 at 2:21 am

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