ISSUE 1.40

⇐ see more issues

System Abuse

Facebook connecting lost family relatives, redditors with 2 petabytes of porn, cyberpunk horror games, wild glitch, and more.


Facebook Figured Out My Family Secrets, And It Won't Tell Me How

"After we finished the phone call, I sat still for 15 minutes. I was grateful that Facebook had given me the chance to talk to an unknown relation, but awed and disconcerted by its apparent omniscience." Facebook knows a lot about you--perhaps more than even you know (or at least consciously like to admit). It knows who you know, and who you are related to even if you don't know you know them. One of my coworkers recently pulled up my psychometric stats from a marketing campaign startup just by searching my public data from my personal email and they were able to tell me things about my personality. Psychological aspects like, how I like to engage with the outside world, how I enjoy being interacted with, and more. I didn't write them down (I should have!) but they were incredibly accurate, as well as very specific for completely automated data mining.


A Redditor Archived Nearly 2 Million Gigabytes of Porn to Test Amazon’s ‘Unlimited’ Cloud Storage

Here's a silly story: Amazon kills off cloud storage upload limits, decides to truly test this by recording and streaming public adult webcam shows from various sites straight into Amazon's Secure Storage Service (S3). It took five or six months to collect one petabyte of porn (which is 1 million gigabytes). Anyways, it diverges into concerns about the ethics of downloading adult webcam videos for later, uh, consumption, and the economics involved. The redditor eventually got bored with the project, because seriously, what are you even going to do with all that porn?


Indian World - It's Where The World Ends

H/T prostheticknowledge (H/T Aneel) for this awesome music video. Take six minutes to lose yourself in a hypnotic, pixelated, gorgeous world made of delightful electronic music.


Observer Explores the Scary Side Of Cyberpunk

"In the extended clip below, Lazarski enters the mind of a dying murder victim in order to glean information about his attacker. It’s one seriously fucked-up trip." I think the capacity of cyberpunkian horror is severely underexplored. Correct me if I am wrong, though! I think that so much of cyberpunk is "blah this dystopia is awful and we are so WOEFULLY adjusted to it by now" in nature that we don't really get into the nitty gritty body horror of "oh god my metal arm is rusting and giving me an infection and also the corporate police are interrogating me and have locked me in a room with giant cockroaches". So I am sharing this game. I won't be playing it, though, because I'm a scaredy cat.


AI-generated pop song puts human composers on notice

Yeah, OK. Let's be fair: these are AI-generated song structures that are based on learned song structures, which frankly, don't come out sounding any better than the Four Chord Song, melodically speaking, and the pop video cited within is unfortunately a bit underwhelming. (Of course, I'm also a huge snob when it comes to music videos and staring at a singer's face for three minutes with minimal glitch effects and cutaways just doesn't do it for me.) But check it--in the hands of a skilled composer and AI "tuner", you could have the ability to compose sophisticated pieces of music by layering and adding "flairs" of human touch. In fact, the capability of infinite production of music from AI is barely different in practice, as far as I'm concerned, to the infinite production of music from human beings all across Spotify and SoundCloud, which I can't bother keeping up with. I don't even know artists anymore (unless I REALLY like them)--I just shove playlists at people and say, "Oooh, listen to this one!" So, whatever. Find what you like and stick with it--even if it's by a robot. I've also got a hunch that actual human-made things, with human-like mistakes, will become more and more valuable as time goes on.


Glitch art in the wild: Max's Magical Delivery: Fit For Kids

Thanks to Travis Basso for finding this one. This is a 28 minute-long show for kids to teach them how to eat healthy and be active. But the entire thing was uploaded and encoded incorrectly, resulting in a bizarre glitchworld. This would be great to put on while you're on some sort of substance or as a background video projected on a wall for one of your hipster parties. (Sorry, I think I might be... projecting.)