A symphony orchestra in masks and helmets perform for Hong Kong's protesters

    The Black Blorchestra performs a gorgeous and stirring rendition of "Glory to Hong Kong" for an audience of protesters in HK, all dressed in the uprising's defacto uniform of masks and helmets. (Thanks, Jeff Wasserstrom!) Read the rest

    Infowars relaunches YouTube channel one day after Susan Wojcicki takes action to reduce extremist content

    Infowars' “War Room” created a brand-new hate channel on YouTube exactly one day after chief executive Susan Wojcicki's letter to content creators about reducing extremist content. YouTube deleted Alex Jones's all-new garbage channel shortly after receiving reports of its relaunch from VICE. Read the rest

    YouTube removed battlebot videos because its system thought they contained "animal suffering"

    Photo by Jason Scott of a battlebot

    Apparently YouTube has been removing videos of battlebots, after their system flagged the videos for containing "animal suffering". Read the rest

    After US trial, YouTube will adjust UK algorithm to reduce hate videos and fake content

    In an effort to reduce the amount of false and extremist content pushed to viewers, Google's video platform YouTube will adjust its presentation algorithm for UK users. YouTube tried a similar algorithm tweak in the US recently, and recommendations of such ‘borderline’ videos were cut by 50%. Read the rest

    "Evermore": a short technohorror film about the struggle between gratification and equanimity

    Victoria Hogan writes, "My fiancee and I made a short film about creativity, yearning, and the scary forces of technology that might interact with those desires. More than a few people have called this a ‘Three Minute Black Mirror Episode’ - though to me, it’s more about living with the difficulties of pursuing your passion vs. stepping out of those difficulties for less gratification but more equanimity. I wanted to leave the ending open-ended rather than provide an answer/solution to this subject, though I do think the topic doesn’t have a clear answer, and is worth discussing." Read the rest

    Cookie Monster performs Tom Waits's "Hell Broke Luce"

    7 years ago, I posted Cookiewaits's video mashup of Cookie Monster performing Tom Waits's "God's Away on Business," but I somehow missed that Cookiewaits followed it up the next year with this brilliant mashup for "Hell Broke Luce," which is something of a favorite around these parts. If that's your bag, don't miss the Sesame Street gang performing the Beasties' "Sabotage." (Thanks, Richard Callaghan!) Read the rest

    Germany's powerful IG Metall trade union is organizing Youtubers to force Google to play fair

    As Google has enacted a series of high-handed, opaque changes to how Youtube monetizes, upranks and censors videos, Youtubers have found themselves battered by the changes: they built Youtube into a global multi-billion-dollar success story, but they don't get a say in how it's managed. Now, a group of Youtubers have teamed up with Germany's powerful IG Metall trade union to fight back, using Europe's broad privacy laws and Germany's broad labor laws to force the company to come to the negotiating table and give them a say in how the service is run. You can read more about it on the Fairtube campaign site. Read the rest

    Youtube's ban on "hacking techniques" threatens to shut down all of infosec Youtube

    Once upon a time, companies were able to insist -- with a straight face -- that the real problem with the security defects in their products was the researchers who went public with them, warning customers and users that the products they were trusting were not trustworthy. Read the rest

    Make: a machine-learning toy on open-source hardware

    In the latest Adafruit video (previously) the proprietors, Limor "ladyada" Friend and Phil Torrone, explain the basics of machine learning, with particular emphasis on the difference between computing a model (hard) and implementing the model (easy and simple enough to run on relatively low-powered hardware), and then they install and run Tensorflow Light on a small, open-source handheld and teach it to distinguish between someone saying "No" and someone saying "Yes," in just a few minutes. It's an interesting demonstration of the theory that machine learning may be most useful in tiny, embedded, offline processors. (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest

    Wonderful profile of Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist games critic who made an army of shitty manbabies very, very upset

    Anita Sarkeesian (previously) is a brilliant media theorist and critic whose Feminist Frequency/Tropes vs. Women in Video Games projects revolutionized the way we talk about gender and games -- and also made her a target for a virulent misogynist hate-machine of harassing manbabies who threatened her life, doxed her, and did everything they could to intimidate her into silence. Read the rest

    People who document evidence of violent extremism are being shut down in Youtube's crackdown on violent extremism

    Yesterday, Youtube announced that it would shut down, demonetize and otherwise punish channels that promoted violent extremism, "supremacy" and other forms of hateful expression; predictably enough, this crackdown has caught some of the world's leading human rights campaigners, who publish Youtube channels full of examples of human rights abuses in order to document them and prompt the public and governments to take action. Read the rest

    YouTube bans kids from live-streaming video without adult supervision

    Policy shift follows NYT report on YouTube recommendation algorithm pushing kids' videos to pedophiles

    YouTube pushes children's videos to pedophiles through content recommendation engine

    A mom in Brazil became concerned as she watched the viewing numbers on innocent backyard clip her daughter posted to YouTube suddenly climb hundreds of thousands of views. The child posted a video of herself and a friend playing in the family pool. YouTube's recommendation engine had been suggesting the video as recommended content to viewers who'd just watched other videos that contained sexually oriented video content. YouTube's AI sexualized her kid and pushed her image to pedophiles. This happens a lot, apparently. Read the rest

    After viral Youtube denunciations, Germany's establishment parties falter -- so the ruling party's leader faxed her colleagues demanding action

    Ahead of this week's EU elections, the popular German Youtuber Rezo published a 55-minute video explaining the missteps of the ruling CDU party and other establishment parties in addressing climate change, inequality, rising militarism, and internet freedom (notably, the German support for the wildly unpopular Copyright Directive), a statement he backed up with hundreds of references. Read the rest

    How Warner Chappell was able to steal revenues from 25% of a popular Minecraft vlogger's channels

    Oliver Brotherhood is a British vlogger with over 3 million subscribers who has produced a string of very popular Minecraft-related videos under the name Mumbo Jumbo; yesterday, in the space of two hours, a quarter of his videos were claimed by music publishing giant and notorious copyright fraudsters Warner Chappell, who will now get revenues from those videos, and can take them down at will. Read the rest

    The best political commentary of the Australian election cycle: "Honest Government Adverts"

    Juice Media's Honest Government Adverts are some of the best, most biting political satire being produced today -- they're so good at afflicting the comfortable that Australia basically banned their style of humour -- and now, on the eve of (yet another) critical Australian election, they've produced a "season finale" that recaps the parade of horrors that a succession of bumbling, oligarchic, racist, climate-denying, torturing, confiscatory, planet-destroying Australian governments have bequeathed to the nation and the world. I laughed, I cried, I laughed again. Now I'm crying. Read the rest

    The Gumbo: Cecil L. Recchia's incredible New Orleans jazz

    French singer Cecil L. Recchia's 2018 album The Gumbo is a tribute to New Orleans jazz; I found it while searching for an online stream of Tootie Ma is a Big Fine Thing, the track that Tom Waits and the Preservation Hall Band released in 2010 as a limited-edition 78RPM album that came with its own gramophone (!); and while Waits's rendition is amazing, Recchia's is spectacular, with just the most amazing vocals. I bought it yesterday and have listened to it at least 50 times since. Read the rest

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