Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras — from nytimes.com by Paul Mozur

Excerpts:

ZHENGZHOU, China — In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, a police officer wearing facial recognition glasses spotted a heroin smuggler at a train station.

In Qingdao, a city famous for its German colonial heritage, cameras powered by artificial intelligence helped the police snatch two dozen criminal suspects in the midst of a big annual beer festival.

In Wuhu, a fugitive murder suspect was identified by a camera as he bought food from a street vendor.

With millions of cameras and billions of lines of code, China is building a high-tech authoritarian future. Beijing is embracing technologies like facial recognition and artificial intelligence to identify and track 1.4 billion people. It wants to assemble a vast and unprecedented national surveillance system, with crucial help from its thriving technology industry.

 

In some cities, cameras scan train stations for China’s most wanted. Billboard-size displays show the faces of jaywalkers and list the names of people who don’t pay their debts. Facial recognition scanners guard the entrances to housing complexes. Already, China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras — four times as many as the United States.

Such efforts supplement other systems that track internet use and communications, hotel stays, train and plane trips and even car travel in some places.

 

 

A very slippery slope has now been setup in China with facial recognition infrastructures

 

From DSC:
A veeeeery slippery slope here. The usage of this technology starts out as looking for criminals, but then what’s next? Jail time for people who disagree w/ a government official’s perspective on something? Persecution for people seen coming out of a certain place of worship?  

Very troubling stuff here….

 

 

 

New Seb Lester Skillshare Class — Calligraphy Fundamentals: Letterforms and Flourishing — from booooooom.com by Jeff Hamada

 

 

Magic windmills by Albert Dros — from 500px.com

 

 

Vestrahorn in Bloom — from 500px.com by Iurie Belegurschi

 

 

Artist Spotlight: Daniel Mercadante — from booooooom.com

 

 

Artist Spotlight: Kathrin Longhurst — from booooooom.com

 

 

 

 

Psalm 93 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
    the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
    indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
Your throne was established long ago;
    you are from all eternity.

The seas have lifted up, Lord,
    the seas have lifted up their voice;
    the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
    mightier than the breakers of the sea—
    the Lord on high is mighty.

Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
    holiness adorns your house
    for endless days.

 


Spectacular waves shot by Rachael Talibart — from fubiz.net


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Art Education Site Connects Teachers and Students — with thanks to LaVonne Ewing, Managing Partner at ArtCantina.com for this resource (w/ emphasis from DSC)
Innovative Online Directory Opens for Registration

 

 

LOVELAND, CO – May 1, 2018 ArtCantina.com invites all teaching artists, workshop organizers, art schools, art centers and non-profit art groups to register in their free online directory for the visual arts. Art Cantina is a new site that connects students of all ages with art teachers and schools, classes and workshops.

“We believe hands-on creativity is important at any age. Our goal at ArtCantina.com is to make it easier to find art lessons by providing a much-needed, worldwide marketing platform for professionals,” says co-founder LaVonne Ewing.

Art Cantina disciplines include painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, collage and mosaics, ceramics and pottery, fiber arts and textiles, glass arts, jewelry and metalsmithing, paper arts, and photography.

Lori McNee, artist, author, and art business advisor, says, “What a great resource for both teachers and students to be able to connect for classes and workshops all in one place. Such a wonderful service. I’m excited to be a part of Art Cantina!”

It takes just a few minutes to create a free or premium profile in the online ArtEdu Directory. Listing categories include individuals and organizations who teach art (art teachers, mentors, art therapists, workshop organizers, art schools, art centers, non-profits), places that host art instruction (art galleries, art studios, community venues and more) as well as makers and distributors of art tools and supplies, how-to magazines and books.

Also available: Learn-The-Arts Calendar of Events is the place to promote upcoming art workshops, tours, on-going classes and all art-education events with specific dates.

ArtCantina.com is the brainchild of two entrepreneurs who met while volunteering at a fundraising art auction in Colorado. They share a passion for the visual arts and a conviction that art lessons should be much easier to find.

ArtCantina.com – Where Creativity Connects

 

 

China’s New Frontiers in Dystopian Tech — from theatlantic.com by Rene Chun
Facial-recognition technologies are proliferating, from airports to bathrooms.

Excerpt:

China is rife with face-scanning technology worthy of Black Mirror. Don’t even think about jaywalking in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province. Last year, traffic-management authorities there started using facial recognition to crack down. When a camera mounted above one of 50 of the city’s busiest intersections detects a jaywalker, it snaps several photos and records a video of the violation. The photos appear on an overhead screen so the offender can see that he or she has been busted, then are cross-checked with the images in a regional police database. Within 20 minutes, snippets of the perp’s ID number and home address are displayed on the crosswalk screen. The offender can choose among three options: a 20-yuan fine (about $3), a half-hour course in traffic rules, or 20 minutes spent assisting police in controlling traffic. Police have also been known to post names and photos of jaywalkers on social media.

The technology’s veneer of convenience conceals a dark truth: Quietly and very rapidly, facial recognition has enabled China to become the world’s most advanced surveillance state. A hugely ambitious new government program called the “social credit system” aims to compile unprecedented data sets, including everything from bank-account numbers to court records to internet-search histories, for all Chinese citizens. Based on this information, each person could be assigned a numerical score, to which points might be added for good behavior like winning a community award, and deducted for bad actions like failure to pay a traffic fine. The goal of the program, as stated in government documents, is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.”

 

 

 

 

From Elliott Masie’s Learning TRENDS – January 3, 2018.
#986 – Updates on Learning, Business & Technology Since 1997.

2. Curation in Action – Meural Picture Frame of Endless Art. 
What a cool Curation Holiday Gift that arrived.  The Meural Picture Frame is an amazing digital display, 30 inches by 20 inches, that will display any of over 10,000 classical or modern paintings or photos from the world’s best museums.

A few minutes of setup to the WiFi and my Meural became a highly personalized museum in the living room.  I selected collections of an era, a specific artist, a theme or used someone else’s art “playlist”.

It is curation at its best!  A personalized and individualized selection from an almost limitless collection.  Check it out at http://www.meural.com

 



Also see:



 

Discover new art every day with Meural

 

 

Discover new artwork with Meural -- you can browse playlists of artwork and/or add your own

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
As I understand it, you can upload your own artwork and photography into this platform. As such, couldn’t we put such devices/frames in schools?!

Wouldn’t it be great to have each classroom’s artwork available as a playlist?! And not just the current pieces, but archived pieces as well!

Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to walk down the hall and swish through a variety of pieces?

Wouldn’t such a dynamic, inspirational platform be a powerful source of creativity in our hallways?  The frames could display the greatest works of art from around the world!

Wouldn’t such a platform give young/budding artists and photographers incentive to do their best work, knowing many others can see their creative works as a part of a playlist?

Wouldn’t it be cool to tap into such a service and treasure chest of artwork and photography via your Smart/Connected TV?

Here’s to creativity!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smartwatches Deemed Least Valuable Technology in the Classroom — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly
In our second annual Teaching with Technology Survey, faculty revealed what technologies they use in the classroom, the devices they most value, what they wish for and more.

Excerpts:

Smartwatches may be one of the hottest gadgets in the consumer market — making up nearly a third of all wearables sales this year — but the climate in the classroom is noticeably cooler for the wrist-worn devices. In our 2017 Teaching with Technology Survey, smartwatches came in dead last in the list of technologies faculty consider essential or valuable for teaching and learning. Just 9 percent of faculty called the devices “valuable” (an increase from 5 percent in 2016), and not a one deemed them “essential.” What’s more, 9 percent of respondents considered smartwatches “detrimental.”

When we asked faculty what computing devices were most valuable for teaching and learning, laptops came out on top, considered “essential” by 54 percent of respondents (up from 49 percent in 2016). Workstations (defined as higher-end computers with faster processors, more RAM, more storage and dedicated graphics cards) came in second, followed by all-in-one computers, traditional desktops and detachable tablets. (The lineup was similar last year.)

 

 

 

Learn the skills and resources you need to master virtual reality — from vudream.com by Mark Metry

Excerpt:

[From] Tee Jia Hen, CEO of VRcollab
In my opinion, there are 4 specializations for the VR content professional.

  1. VR native app development
  2. Cinematic VR creation
  3. Photogrammetry
  4. VR web development

 

 


Also see:

Getting Started with WebVR – from virtualrealitypop.com by Michael Hazani

Excerpt:

This is not a tutorial or a comprehensive, thorough technical guide?—?many of those already exist?—?but rather a way to think about WebVR and acquaint yourself with what it is, exactly, and how best to approach it from scratch. If you’ve been doing WebVR or 3D programming for a while, this article is most certainly not for you. If you’ve been curious about that stuff and want to know how to join the party— read on!

 


 

 

 

Google is turning Street View imagery into pro-level landscape photographs using artificial intelligence — from businessinsider.com by Edoardo Maggio

Excerpt:

A new experiment from Google is turning imagery from the company’s Street View service into impressive digital photographs using nothing but artificial intelligence (AI).

Google is using machine learning algorithms to train a deep neural network to roam around places such as Canada’s and California’s national parks, look for potentially suitable landscape images, and then work on them with special post-processing techniques.

The idea is to “mimic the workflow of a professional photographer,” and to do so Google is relying on so-called generative adversarial networks (GAN), which essentially pit two neural networks against one another.

 

See also:

Using Deep Learning to Create Professional-Level Photographs — from research.googleblog.com by Hui Fang, Software Engineer, Machine Perception

 

 

From DSC:
The use of virtual reality in industries such as architecture, construction, and real estate is growing. Below are some articles that speak to this trend.

In the future, it’s highly likely we’ll be able to get a nice VR-based tour of a space before building it, or renting it, or moving into it. Schools and universities will benefit from this as well, as they can use VR to refine the vision for a space with the appropriate stakeholders and donors.

 


 

 

Coming Soon: A Virtual Reality Revolution — from builderonline.com by Jennifer Goodman
American consumers will soon expect homes to be viewable before they are built. Are you ready?

Excerpt:

In what ways are builders using VR today?
There are two primary uses of the panoramic style VR that I mentioned above being used: 1) photography based experiences and 2) computer generated (CG) experiences. The former is getting quite a bit of traction right now through technologies like Matterport. They are what I consider a modern version of iPix, using a camera to photograph an existing environment and special software to move through the space. But it is limited to real world environments. The CG experiences don’t require the environments to be built which gives builders a huge advantage to pre-market their properties. And since it is computer generated, there is a tremendous amount of flexibility in what is presented, such as various structural options or cabinet selections. And not only homes! Developers are using the technology to market the amenities of a new master planned community.

 

 

Local builders step further into virtual reality — from richmondbizsense.com by Jonathan Spiers

Excerpt:

While 3D modeling and online virtual tours have become more commonplace in the home design industry, at least one local builder is taking the custom home building and buying process into a new dimension.

At a recent preview event for this year’s Homearama, an annual home design showcase to be held this May at Chesterfield County’s NewMarket Estates, Midlothian-based Lifestyle Home Builders let attendees virtually walk through and look around a completed version of the house it is building – while standing within the same unfinished home under construction.

Participants were invited to wear virtual reality (VR) headsets for a full immersion, 360-degree experience, or they could navigate the finished product via a virtual tour on a computer screen. LifeStyle is using the technology, which it adapted from building information modeling (BIM) and off-the-shelf software, to allow homebuyers a chance to see their custom home before it is built and make any changes prior to construction starting.

 

 

How Virtual Reality Could Revolutionize The Real Estate Industry — from forbes.com by Azad Abbasi

Excerpt:

Consider the top two hurdles of the average real estate agent:

  • Agents have to manage the time it takes to go from one visit to the other, dealing with traffic among other elements out of their control.
  • The most commonly heard phrase in real estate is, “It doesn’t look like the pictures.”

Virtual reality can help immediately resolve both of these issues. It offers the possibility to virtually visit a lot more homes in a lot less time. This will naturally increase sales efficiency, as well as allow the ability to see more potential buyers.

Here are three different options you can explore using virtual reality to heighten real estate experiences:

 

 

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