Death Star Timelapse

Isaac Botkin:

I came up with a very simple method of revealing geometry with Lightwave's instancing tool, and since there was a lot of procedural animation, I was seeing a lot of interesting shapes appear that I hadn't planned, and several layers of complexity that I didn't need to create by hand. [...]

Almost every shot in this animation is just a different camera angle from a single scene that plays out over 1500 frames. Originally, I had planned to create this animation as a single shot, but as I moved the camera around my master scene I kept finding interesting things to show from all kinds of different angles.

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[citation needed]

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Zuckerblock Redux

FYI, you are permitted to block Zuckerberg now. It feels good.

Previously.

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These chickens are fully buzzword compliant

Insurtech giant ZhongAn plans to use facial recognition, blockchain to monitor chickens.

The company is targeting China's increasingly health-conscious urban consumers, who want to trace the origins of chickens labelled as organic or free-range, and even follow a bird's life to know how it grew up on the farm.

"Each of our chickens wears an anklet since birth, which is an IoT device that connects wirelessly to our blockchain-based network and sends real-time data about the bird's whereabouts, and how much exercise it gets every day," Chen Wei, chief executive officer for ZhongAn Tech, told the South China Morning Post.

"When you shop and see raw chicken [from us], you can simply check on your smartphone app to know its birthplace, what food it ate and how many steps it walked during its life." [...]

And if consumers find it hard to recognise their birds, facial-recognition technology could help them, according to Chen. "We are looking into the possibility of using facial recognition, as it could allow consumers to identify their chickens on monitors," Chen said.

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Today in CV Dazzle News


@baphometadata:

When you're tired of going to large events and having the "my being in public is not consent to photograph me" discussion and it hasn't really gone anywhere anyways so you just print a bunch of facial recognition jamming temporary face tattoos instead. [...]

A guy with a hefty DSLR rig and his flash obviously syncing with his autofocus tried to take my photo from approx 20ft away without asking while I was sitting against a wall chexing my phone at least six times.

He looked annoyed.

So, yeah, I think it's working y'all. [...]

Round 2:

I just slammed QR code on top of the artwork from Mirror's Edge and now my camera thinks every square is a different person (it sees several faces) at best.

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This is a bird-free tree. Birds need not apply.

Wealthy Bristol residents cause uproar by installing 'anti-bird spikes' to stop droppings hitting expensive cars

One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed the spikes were "solely to to protect cars", which include a number of expensive BMWs and Audis, from bird droppings.

They said: "The spikes are solely to protect the cars, there is no other reason.

"There is a big problem with bird droppings around here. They can really make a mess of cars, and for some reason the birds do seem to congregate around this area."

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Infra-Fred is no more

This fabulous, ancient sign has been taken down. I am beside myself with grief. I rode by this thing damned near every day, and every day I looked up and thought, "Hey there, Infra-Fred! Looking sharp!"

Infra-Fred always replied, "FINISH HIM!"

I don't know what the new business on this lot is, but I do know that if they have no room for Infra-Fred in their hearts, and more importantly, on their pole, then they are no friends of mine.

RIP, Infra-Fred. Ride eternal, shiny and quartz.

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Cloudflare really wants that sweet, sweet Nazi cash to return

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince hated cutting off service to the infamous neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer, and he's determined not to do it again.

Cloudflare runs a popular content delivery network that specializes in protecting clients from distributed denial-of-service attacks. The Daily Stormer published a post mocking a woman who was killed during the white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia in August. That had made a lot of people angry at the Daily Stormer, attracting massive attacks on the site.

The Stormer was a Cloudflare customer. Cloudflare had ample technical resources to battle DDOS attacks. The problem was that other Cloudflare customers started calling and threatening to cancel their service if Cloudflare didn't cut the Daily Stormer off.

Gee, it's almost like the Free Market has decided that if your company takes Nazi money to help literal Nazis further their Nazi cause, then other, non-Nazis might choose to take their business elsewhere.

Isn't this the Libertarian Ideal?

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Silicon Valley Is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear

Ted Chiang: "When Silicon Valley tries to imagine superintelligence, what it comes up with is no-holds-barred capitalism."

Insight is precisely what Musk's strawberry-picking AI lacks, as do all the other AIs that destroy humanity in similar doomsday scenarios. I used to find it odd that these hypothetical AIs were supposed to be smart enough to solve problems that no human could, yet they were incapable of doing something most every adult has done: taking a step back and asking whether their current course of action is really a good idea. Then I realized that we are already surrounded by machines that demonstrate a complete lack of insight, we just call them corporations. Corporations don't operate autonomously, of course, and the humans in charge of them are presumably capable of insight, but capitalism doesn't reward them for using it. On the contrary, capitalism actively erodes this capacity in people by demanding that they replace their own judgment of what "good" means with "whatever the market decides." [...]

There are industry observers talking about the need for AIs to have a sense of ethics, and some have proposed that we ensure that any superintelligent AIs we create be "friendly," meaning that their goals are aligned with human goals. I find these suggestions ironic given that we as a society have failed to teach corporations a sense of ethics, that we did nothing to ensure that Facebook's and Amazon's goals were aligned with the public good. But I shouldn't be surprised; the question of how to create friendly AI is simply more fun to think about than the problem of industry regulation, just as imagining what you'd do during the zombie apocalypse is more fun than thinking about how to mitigate global warming. [...]

There's a saying, popularized by Fredric Jameson, that it's easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. It's no surprise that Silicon Valley capitalists don't want to think about capitalism ending. What's unexpected is that the way they envision the world ending is through a form of unchecked capitalism, disguised as a superintelligent AI. They have unconsciously created a devil in their own image, a boogeyman whose excesses are precisely their own.

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Monkey-Deer Sex Tantrums

"The female monkeys often displayed sexually motivated tantrums while gazing at the deer."

The monkey-to-deer solicitations that we recorded during the course of heterospecific consortships were persistent and conspicuous. They were diverse in their form and directed toward a particular target. Inter-mount behaviors exhibited by female monkeys included intense behavioral patterns (e.g., biting, bouncing, and pulling) focused toward a particular deer target. While gazing at their deer partners, they emitted high-pitched vocalizations that are indistinguishable from the typical estrus calls performed by females in this primate species during homospecific consortships. Finally, when their deer partners walked away from the heterospecific consortships, the female monkeys often displayed sexually motivated tantrums which consisted of crouching on the ground, body spasms and screaming, while gazing at the deer.

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