“Google has built a “Matrix-style” digital simulation of the entire Californian road system in which it is testing its self-driving cars – and is lobbying the state’s regulators to certify them based on virtual rather than real driving.”

Google lobbies to test self-driving cars in Matrix-style virtual world

“When I meet Stoker, the stocky 23-year-old has spent two months in an Amazon work-release program, fulfilling orders in one of the company’s subcontracted warehouses outside Atlanta. The money is minimal, but so are his living expenses — and it’s a far cry from the fines and jail time he could have received for violating the recently tightened, near-total national ban on sleep.”

Dream thieves: inside America’s ban on sleep

“"It’s my people," she explained, holding up a picture on her phone of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, standing in the McDonald’s.”

LA Times - Ferguson McDonald’s a haven amid protests and tear gas

Amid the nightly, often violent protests in connection with the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, a local outlet of the familiar fast-food chain has served as a port in the storm, serving up hamburgers and air conditioning, electricity for tapped-out cellphones and Wi-Fi for reporters transmitting news.

When a protester blasted with tear gas comes moaning through the door, there are bottles of soothing McDonald’s milk to pour onto his or her eyes.

LA Times - Ferguson McDonald’s a haven amid protests and tear gas

“The Islamic State also launched a “hearts-and-minds” campaign of sorts. In one of the more jarring examples, the group held a “fun day” in Mosul where the militants passed out soccer balls and held Quran memorization and recitation contests. The Islamic State, Kilcullen said, “is thinking like a state.””

From Electricity to Sewage, U.S. Intelligence Says the Islamic State Is Fast Learning How to Run a Country

“In Raqqa, which has been under Islamic State control for months, traffic police remain on the streets and local citizens pay taxes to the militants, who in turn give them receipts stamped with the group’s logo. A local goldsmith told the New York Times that the taxes are far cheaper than the bribes residents had to pay when Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad was in control. “I feel like I am dealing with a respected state, not thugs,” the goldsmith said.”

From Electricity to Sewage, U.S. Intelligence Says the Islamic State Is Fast Learning How to Run a Country

“In some areas under their control, the Islamic State is opening hospitals, building new roads, launching bus services, rehabilitating schools (at least for boys), and launching small-business programs designed to juice the local economies. In Syria, where bread is a core staple, the militants focus on managing local wheat mills and bakeries to ensure that supplies remain high enough to feed a population that was in some areas on the edge of starvation.”

From Electricity to Sewage, U.S. Intelligence Says the Islamic State Is Fast Learning How to Run a Country

“A 2006 Israeli mission to bomb South Lebanon was named Mivtza Sachar Holem, “Operation Just Reward.””

So What Exactly Is a ‘Killer Robot’?

“In a confidential intelligence report from the weeks after the launch, the Eisenhower administration expressed worries about Sputnik’s impact on public opinions across the world. There was a threat, the report stated, that Soviets’ temporary lead in missile research could be misunderstood as “myth, legend and enduring superstition” of the scientific and technological superiority of the Soviet system, especially by “unsophisticated audiences” (United States Information Agency, 1957, p. 5).”

Kairos 19.1: Martinussen et al, Satellite Lamps – Walking with Satellites

“Update, August 20, 2014: We checked back in with the Icelandic Police to get an update on this shooting in December. The superintendent says the police have not used firearms since.”

Iceland grieves after police kill a man for the first time in its history | Public Radio International

“In another conversation, possibly one that followed the Body Modification panel, someone (to my shame, I can’t remember who — convention syndrome) pointed out the way the framing of Soylent as a product shifted over time: originally posited as a quick’n’easy occasional food replacement for busy people — sorta like Slimfast or protein shakes, but without the weight-loss or buffness angles — it only started being framed as a utopian replacement for a normal diet once the vencap money started turning up.”

Some speculations on speculation | Velcro City Tourist Board

“Yelp reviews like these are a reminder that museums tend to subjugate concerns of the viewer’s body to things like sight lines, the production of meaning through juxtaposition, the interaction among isolated works of art. To museums and their curators, the social space produced by the people’s encounter with artworks, or the needs of a body in between its encounters with art, are secondary.”

Vernacular Criticism

“It would be too cynical to interpret these projects as ruled merely by a vision of people as ambulatory wallets, prey to nudging by clever signs in the direction of interested businesses. But there are questions to be asked about who gets to write the legible city, points out Leo Hollis, urban theorist and author of Cities Are Good For You.”

Are better signs the secret to a successful city?

“It turns out, Rawlinson explains, that at any one moment in New York City, “quite a high proportion of people are lost.” This might seem strange given the predictable rectilinear layout of most of Manhattan, but so the statistics showed. “The commissioner for transport built the business case on the percentage of time people were getting lost.””

Are better signs the secret to a successful city?

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