Happy bookish birthdays (May 25) to…

May 25, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 25) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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Happy bookish birthdays (May 24) to…

May 24, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 24) to…

Thank you to regular reader and commenter Joe Bowers whose comment helped improve this post.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

“The face is familiar”: Amazon’s Rekognition software…boon or bane?

May 24, 2018

“The face is familiar”: Amazon’s Rekognition software…boon or bane?

Remember back when Amazon was an internet bookstore?

Things have certainly changed!

Readers of this blog are no doubt aware of many, many things that Amazon does now that have little to do with that original mission. That’s not just selling things: it’s making TV shows, providing web services, streaming games…so much!

Even so, I’m guessing a lot of you are not aware of

Rekognition

What does it do?

It’s software that recognizes stuff.

That seems inevitable to me.

It’s really necessary for many artificial intelligence-based applications which will change our lives.

Clearly, self-driving cars need to be able to determine what objects they are “seeing”.

It will be even more important when we are wearing what I call “auggies” (VAM…virtuall/augmented/mixed/merged reality “glasses”). If you are in Virtual Reality, you can’t see what’s going on around you (which you can do when you using Augmented Reality). So, you want software that can recognize a police car or somebody giving away free samples. 😉

This goes back to when Amazon introduced the Fire Phone (I was one of the few who had one). When tech writers thought that the Fire Phone had a chance to succeed, they touted the “Firefly” feature, which in part was object recognition:

CNET article: “Firefly is the Amazon Fire Phone’s Secret Weapon” by Nick Statt (June 18, 2014)

It wasn’t enough to save the Fire Phone, which I felt was introduced as too much of a “luxury” model…Amazon has done better with lower-priced items, when there are clearcut, pre-established competitors.

You would think that Amazon improving a basic function like object recognition would be welcomed by everybody. If we agree that it is something that our technology is going to have to do, don’t we want it to do it as well as it can?

Well, there was recently an

open letter to Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos

signed by many organizations (notably, different ACLU…American Civil Liberties Union…groups).

It “demands” that Amazon stop selling Rekognition to government entities.

You see, Rekognition is already being used by groups such as the Orlando Police Department.

It can do facial recognition…look at video, and identify who is in it.

It can also do person tracking…identify where an individual goes as they pass from camera to camera.

This is not, by the way, an unintended consequence for Amazon…it’s part of what they advertise that it can do.

Here’s the question:

Let’s say you are walking down the street in your hometown. Is it wrong for people on the street to recognize you? Would it be wrong for a human police officer to recognize you? If those two are okay, what makes it wrong for software to recognize you?

This, by the way, is just the beginning. Rekognition can also identify expressions, for one thing.

Now, I love a free app from Microsoft called

Seeing AI

I’ve had a lot of fun with it. It’s designed for people with visual challenges, although it also works for people with autism, since it can (like Rekognition) identify some emotions (and how old people are, pretty accurately).

Amazon is going to pioneer, so Amazon is going to face these sorts of challenges. As another example, Alexa can now (well, it’s rolling out) identify different voices from different people…and it does it automatically, rather than training a voice profile, which was the previous situation.

Update: I probably should have included a link to my review

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us To Choose Between Privacy And Freedom? (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

by David Brin. The 1999 book is still completely relevant, and especially applicable here. My review (from about five years ago):

Review: The Transparent Society

What do you think? Did you know Amazon was selling this software? Do you have a problem with it being used to identify people in public places? What if Amazon software predicted that someone might commit violence (a la Minority Report) based on their expressions and movements? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 23) to…

May 23, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 23) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 22) to…

May 22, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 22) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 21) to…

May 21, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 21) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 20) to…

May 20, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 20) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Today’s KDD: a great list, from Discworld to Wolf Hall

May 20, 2018

Today’s KDD: a great list, from Discworld to Wolf Hall

With a three-day weekend in the USA about a week away, some people consider this the start of the summer book-reading season. It used to be the summer movie-watching kick-off, too, but that’s been moving up…so that summer now seems to start in February. 😉

Today’s

Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

has plenty of well-known books at discounted prices to help pass the time on that plane, train, beach…or just in bed. There are books here with over 1,000 customer reviews and an average rating of over four stars (on a scale of 1-5), which is quite impressive.

Many of these are also series starters…the first in a longer line. I always remember that I stumbled across the Bantam Doc Savage reprints in an Alaska airport, and then went on to read all of those 181 adventures and continue to read the new series of the Wild Adventures of Doc Savage (at AmazonSmile*) which has added more than twenty new books. While I was already a big reader, it can be a way to get someone into reading regularly (and then they certainly may broaden their horizons later), especially when a book may be the inspiration for a movie or TV series they like (such Pretty Little Liar or Harry Bosch in today’s set).

I’m going to list some of the 73 (!) Kindle Daily Deal titles that caught my eye. Remember that you can buy these books at the reduced prices and either delay the delivery of a gift until the appropriate occasion, or send them to yourself, print them out, and give them whenever you want to whoever you want (although there may be geographical restrictions outside the USA).

  • The Black Echo (Harry Bosch #1 of 20 at time of writing) by Michael Connelly
  • My Sister’s Grave (Tracy Crosswhite #1 of 6) by Robert Dugoni (also available from Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) at no additional cost for members)
  • The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1 of 2) by Rick Riordan (KU)
  • The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan
  • A Merciful Death (Mercy Kilpatrick #1 of 6) by Kendra Elliot | 4.5 out of 5 stars | 2,568 customer reviews at time of writing | (KU)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett
  • The Silver Music Box (The Silver Music Box series #1 of 2) by Mina Baites (translated by Alison Layland) (KU)
  • Claiming Grace (Ace Security #1 of 4) by Susan Stoker (KU)
  • Plum Island (John Corey #1 of 6) by Nelson DeMille
  • Huntress Moon (The Huntress/FBI #1 of 5) by Alexandra Sokoloff (KU)
  • Once Upon a Prince (Royal Wedding series #1 of 4) by Rachel Hauck
  • The Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales #1 of 10) by Bernard Cornwell
  • The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope #1 of 7) by Ann Cleeves
  • Artemis Fowl (Artemis #1 of 8) by Eoin Colfer (KU)
  • The Best Man (Blue Heron #1 of 5)
  • Step on a Crack (Michael Bennett #1 of 9) by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  • Wolf Hall (Wolf Hall #1 of 3) by Hilary Mantel (Man Booker Prize winner)
  • Dawn (Xenogenesis #1 of 3) by Octavia Butler
  • Sabriel (Old Kingdom #1 of 5) by Garth Nix
  • The Black Company (Black Company #1 of 9) by Glen Cook
  • Power Down (Dewey Andreas #1 of 5) by Ben Coes
  • Darkness Begins (After the EMP #1 of 7) by Harley Tate (KU)
  • Gideon’s Sword (Gideon’s Crew #1 of 4) by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan #1 of 12) by Laura Lippman
  • Jar City (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries #1 of 7) by Amaldur Indridason (translated by Bernard Scudder0
  • Accused (Rosato & DiNunzio #1 of 11) by Lisa Scottoline
  • A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford #1 of 7) by Charls Todd
  • Florida Roadkill (Serge Storms #1 of 18) by Tim Dorsey
  • The Poacher’s Son (Mike Bowditch #1 of 6) by Paul Doiron
  • Big Nate: In a Class by Himself (Big Nate  #1 of 7) by Lincoln Pierce
  • Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars #1 of 16) by Sara Shepard
  • The Forge of God (#1 of 2 in the Forge of God series) by Greg Bear
  • The Edge of Apocalypse (The End #1 of 4) by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall
  • The Forgotten Recipe (Amish Heirloom #1 of 4) by Amy Clipston
  • Leaving (Bailey Flanigan #1 of 4) by Karen Kingsbury
  • Double Helix Collection by Jade Kerrion

Enjoy!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 19) to…

May 19, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 19) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 18) to…

May 18, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 18) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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