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Target_is_New - Issue #142

Welcome to this week’s update! With notes about the last week and looking forward to interesting things happening this coming week. In case you happen to have landed here from a link or search, consider subscribing and receive this as an email weekly…
Last week I tried to attend as much as possible of the Obfuscation workshop. Which has only partly succeeded, meaning I did attend even less than planned. Still an interesting event, and in case I can find the time, I can have a look at the several presentations online. It is worth checking out the website as it is a nice way of storytelling by experiencing, with a flavor -as mentioned last week- of the oldskool digital art institute website (a category on its own), and only doable on a desktop. I do not have an extensive report ready but some quick quotes from presentations, which are hard to comprehend without context, but give you a cue to decide if you want to dive in further :-)
  • Obfuscation is not just human behavior, it can also be an agent behavior in an artificial society. We can create artificial societies in the form of simulations to study obfuscation behavior (Amineh Ghorbani)
  • Conservative people are more in favor of fewer regulations, and obfuscation (Ulf Liebe)
  • The current focus is on communities vs networks, as the network promises did not deliver. Facebook vs Facebook groups. Responsibilities for filtering are shifted from algorithms to humans; can Lead though to burned-out moderators… (Lior Zalmanson)
  • Another Facebook as an example: the amount of information collected is creating possibilities to learn more of people than the original goals for collecting, by making combinations (Patrick Skeba); see image
  • You can not isolate the data linked to one person and protect it, we need models that tackle all connections that are made in our databases (from discussion in session Public Interest Technologies for the ML Age)
  • We need slow tech in the smart city movement (Ellen Goodman)

And of course, much more was discussed. It dealt a lot with social media, something that has less my interest in the context of this newsletter and Cities of Things, however, it is of course kind of an engine nowadays for our digital life.
Next to that, the week was filled with the usual mix of meetings with students, working on the fieldlab Cities of Things and beyond, and Digital Twin strategies for INFO.
We had another nice intimate workshop with Eindhoven IOT & ThingsCon on Trust in Design last Thursday. Check out the last one in this series on 20 May.
This week started well with the greenlight for Jip this morning (congrats!); it is still hard work for completing the last bits and pieces (he might read this ;). It is a strange week here with another scattered national holiday on Thursday.
If you read this on time, check out the session of Anab Jain at (re)programming tonight at 19CEST.
Ok, let’s check what I saved this week of the news…
Robot things
A touch from a conversing robot is linked to positive emotional state
A robot with a soft touch
Is 'Spot' a good dog? Why we're right to worry about unleashing robot quadrupeds
Tired of brushing your own hair? Now you can get a robot to do it for you
AI realities
It Began as an AI-Fueled Dungeon Game. It Got Much Darker
Other tech with impact
Amazon and Apple Built Vast Wireless Networks Using Your Devices. Here’s How They Work.
left alone, together
Sending an Apple Airtag by mail to myself in the Netherlands. How well does the Airtag work outside?
And (un)related too...
Lost Tablets.
Have a good week and enjoy the holiday!
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Iskander Smit
Iskander Smit @iskandr

I am working @Infonl as innovation director, also blogger, co-organising @ThingsCon & Behavior Design AMS meetup #bdams
Visiting researcher and lab-director at TU Delft Industrial Design Engineering (

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