meow, cat, Siamese, catty

How YouTube Shut Down a Killer's Videos

After the horrific terrorist attacks on mosques in New Zealand, there was a rash of uploads to social media of video from the attacks. Whether put there by people wishing to glorify the criminal acts or by those whose curiosity ran to the morbid, they needed to come down, and fast.

YouTube, one of the largest video hosting platforms on the Internet, immediately sprang into action with a system they'd developed to respond to other situations in which footage of horrific death went viral. However, its executives also knew that their systems were likely to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who would try to beat the system, repackaging or remixing the video in order to slip it past the algorithms that were supposed to bar reposts of prohibited content.

In order to combat the sheer volume of reposts, they disabled the search function and allowed their algorithms to block videos without human review, rather than merely flagging them to be reviewed and leaving the final determination to a human being. Presumably these steps would only be used again during similar emergency situations, in which particularly shocking images of violence go viral on the 'Net and trying to eliminate them by the usual methods becomes a whack-a-mole madness.

In the days after the attack, YouTube's executives have been looking at their corporate response to the problem, trying to identify the weak points as the first step to preventing future incidents from growing as big as it did. However, they're running against a hard technical problem -- present-day AI is nowhere near as powerful as people think it is. It's trivially easy for a technically adept person to alter a video just enough that AI won't flag it as a remix or repackage of a video that has already been banned. And AI lacks the ability to make the fine judgments that humans do to distinguish between that which has been posted to appeal to morbid curiosity and that which has legitimate scientific or historical content.
  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: nerdy nerdy
  • Current Music: "Mr. Roboto" by Styx
meow, cat, Siamese, catty

Not All Sleep Is Created Equal

If you aren't getting enough deep sleep, the sleep you do get may not be refreshing you adequately. So if you're sleeping eight hours and still waking up loggy and miserable, you may want to look into factors impairing your ability to enter deep sleep.
  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: tired tired
  • Current Music: "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby
Tags:
meow, cat, Siamese, catty

Disturbing

The recent shootings in New Zealand are appalling. But equally concerning is how easy it is to find videos of the crime in progress on various social media sites.

Unfortunately, there is always a certain segment of the population whose tastes run to the morbid. In previous generations they had to work hard to find their desired fix. But now, with modern information technology, it becomes enormously easier to transmit and locate such materials, to the point that it is trivially easy for someone who likes such materials to find them.
  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: nauseated nauseated
  • Current Music: "Cast No Shadow" by Oasis
meow, cat, Siamese, catty

On Pi Day

Fellow LJ member davesmusictank brought it to my attention that today is the one-year anniversary of the passing of Stephen Hawking.

Last year I was trying to list books on Amazon in hope of making money in a dead period. I immediately listed our copies of his books, and they sold that night. Unfortunately, it didn't do much for the general rate of sales, and we finally pulled the plug on it as a money-loser.
  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: sad sad
  • Current Music: "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby
Tags: ,
meow, cat, Siamese, catty

That Rusty Nail

isn't the only way to contract tetanus, or even the primary way. However, folk wisdom has focused on rusty metals as the source of tetanus, probably because the bacteria is more likely to be found in rusty or dirty things outside. But it can in fact be found almost everywhere, and enter the body even through seemingly clean breaks in the skin.

So get your tetanus shots, and keep up with your boosters every ten years.
  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: nerdy nerdy
  • Current Music: "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby
Tags: ,
meow, cat, Siamese, catty

And that Was Branson Con

Financially speaking, it was a bust for us. We're going to be hurting when we thought we'd be doing better.

However, I think the promoters really intended to put on a great show. They just don't seem to have the experience to do things well yet, so they didn't pull in the sort of crowd that would have made for a great experience for the vendors.

Maybe in a few years, when they've had a chance to learn from their mistakes and the con grows to a size that would make it reasonable for us to travel the distance to it, we might go back. In the meantime, I don't see us going back again, because it's a long drive out there.
  • Current Location: parental abode
  • Current Mood: sad sad
  • Current Music: "Taking Care of Business" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Tags: