Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…
"The creators of these new engines argue that their goal isn't to answer questions— à la Google—but to organize experience into a keyhole glimpse of what the world is doing at this very moment. "It's exactly what your friends are going to be talking about when you get to the bar tonight," OneRiot executive Tobias Peggs says. "That's what we're finding." Google settles arguments; real-time search starts them."
"Each Lumino block has a pattern on its base that identifies its 3D shape, and the Surface table can read them using its four internal cameras that peer up at the acrylic top. That means the computer can build up a 3D picture of what lies on its surface.
The Luminos can also make themselves known to the Surface when they're stacked up, however. They are packed with fibre-optic threads that ferry the pattern of any block placed on top of another down to the screen. So, although a second storey Lumino isn't in direct contact with the touch screen, the computer knows it's there… "
"Subscribers will try to collect points by monitoring cameras in real time. If they see anything suspicious, they will click a button to send a still picture and text message to the camera’s owner.
The owner will then send a feedback e-mail to the person reporting the incident, indicating whether there has been a crime or suspected crime.
Users will be awarded one point for spotting a suspected crime and three if they see an actual crime. They can also lose points if the camera operator decides that the alert was not a crime." This is bloody horrifying.
"… incentives affect what our actions signal, whether we’re being self-interested or civic-minded, manipulated or trusted, and they can imply—sometimes wrongly—what motivates us. Fines or public rebukes that appeal to our moral sentiments by signaling social disapproval (think of littering) can be highly effective. But incentives go wrong when they offend or diminish our ethical sensibilities.
This does not mean it’s impossible to appeal to self-interested and ethical motivations at the same time—just that efforts to do so often fail. Ideally, policies support socially valued ends not only by harnessing self-interest but also by encouraging public-spiritedness. The small tax on plastic grocery bags enacted in Ireland in 2002 that resulted in their virtual elimination appears to have had such an effect. It punished offenders monetarily while conveying a moral message. Carrying a plastic bag joined wearing a fur coat in the gallery of antisocial anachronisms."
"Overall, Branas's study found that people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. When the team looked at shootings in which victims had a chance to defend themselves, their odds of getting shot were even higher." Well, duh.