Long-distance friends Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec spent a year tracking the little things in life. Thanks yous, coffees, complaints, street sounds. And each week, they turned their small-scale data collections into
On a minute level, they may not say much. But look at them together and they tell an intimate story. This week, Giorgia and Stefanie talk us through three weeks of data, and all the big lessons in our most mundane moments.
Look at more postcards by Giorgia and Stefanie .
A Different Kind of Streaking
With former Google designer Tristan Harris, who explains how far Silicon Valley will go to capture and control your eyeballs. And Snapchat artist CyreneQ, who makes her living drawing on her phone all day. For real.
Your Metadata is Showing
We asked you guys to send us photos. Then we gave them to Andreas Weigend, veteran of Xerox Parc, former chief scientist at Amazon, to see what he could deduce. A lot, it turns out.
A little Google image search, a little metadata, and we can find where you are. Maybe who you are. What color phone you’re using to take the shot, and how many SIM cards you have.
Reading photos is more than a digital parlor trick. It’s the future of commerce, marketing, policing, lending, and basically everything else.
Whose Bot Army Is Following Manoush?
Bot armies are taking over Twitter. But they’re not necessarily trying to advance a point of view, according to Phil Howard , a bot researcher. They’re aiming to sow chaos and make dialogue impossible. At the extreme, the goal is to destabilize our very sense of reality.
“Their strategy is to plant multiple conflicting stories that just confuse everybody," Howard says. "If they can successfully get out four different explanations for some trend, then they've confused everybody, and they're able to own the agenda.”
This week, why someone would sic a bot army on Manoush. And what her bot brigade can teach us about how bots are shaping democracy, from the 2016 election to Brexit to the recent French election.
You can check if a Twitter account following you is real or fake, with , an aptly-named tool from Indiana University's Truthy project.
The Fourth Amendment Needs Your Attention
This week, Note to Self gets in our time machine, back to the Supreme Court cases that defined privacy for the digital age. Stories of bookies on the Sunset Strip, microphones . And where the Fourth Amendment needs to go, now that we’re living in the future.
The amendment doesn’t mention privacy once. But those 54 little words, written more than 200 years ago, are a crucial battleground in today’s fight over our digital rights. That is why the government can’t listen to your phone calls without a warrant. And it’s why they don’t need one to find out who you’re calling.
But now, we share our deepest thoughts with Google, through what we search for and what we email. And we share our most intimate conversations with Alexa, when we talk in its vicinity. So how does the Fourth Amendment apply when we’re surrounded by technology the founding fathers could never dream of?