Catching a Killer

Catching a Killer - the Golden State Killer

This week we’re looking at how open source DNA data was used to catch the Golden State Killer. Is this an ethical use of technology?

In the pre-amble, Alice and Andrew discussed re:publica, and particularly this talk by Miriam Seyffarth on “E-bracelets and the Digitization of the Pilgrimage to Mecca“.

Police use open source database to find the Golden State Killer

Police used genealogy sites to match DNA of Golden State Killer suspect by Olivia Solon

How a Genealogy Website Led to the Alleged Golden State Killer by Sarah Zhang

America’s Next Top Model

I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you! – Long Live Tyra Banks

Misleading juries

Juries Don’t Understand Eyewitness Testimony by Elizabeth F. Loftus

Just what is Open Source?

Good question. Here’s the wiki.

Be nice and spread the word about TWAAATS 🙂

We’re pretty needy. We like to be listened to. And we love to listen to your views. We LOVE it when you email us. It helps us make a better podcast. And it fulfils our neediness.

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. These are our Twitters: @alicelthwaite and @agstrait.

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Anonymity, Identity and Bots

Anonymity, Identity and Bots

Social media accounts should be attached to people and not bots. But how do we ensure that these verification processes are not discriminatory? Should we allow some people to be anonymous when discussing politics if revealing their identity could put them in danger?

Alice Thwaite and Andrew Strait are joined on this episode by Bethan Charnley, a colleague at the OII who is looking at digital identity.

Key links discussed in the podcast

Jena Friedman’s Twitter can be found here.

No one knows you’re a dog cartoon…

And the 2018 version…

‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn by José van Dijck

Our favourite man Mark Zuckerberg on digital identity as analysed by Mark Zimmer: Facebook’s Zuckerberg: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”

We talked about Onomastic Theory. Bethan recommends this book for an introduction: Names and Naming.

Tell your friends about us

We’re pretty needy. We like to be listened to. And we love to listen to your views. We LOVE it when you email us. It helps us make a better podcast. And it fulfils our neediness.

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. These are our Twitters: @alicelthwaite and @agstrait.

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The Perfect Platform Business Model

The Perfect Platform Business Model

Hello fellow TWAAATS. Big news this week – we finally got an acronym that works for the podcast. (Not an anacronym, as I (Alice) keep saying both out loud and written down. TALKING WITH ALICE and ANDREW ABOUT TECH SHIT. Thank you to super fan Jonny for taking the time out to creatively think on our behalf.

Other big news – we’ve had another tech glitch where we (ANDREW) forgot to record the podcast through the massive microphone sat between the both of us and instead we recorded through the computer mic. So the sound may not be great. But it’s better to have a good discussion and bad tech than excellent tech and vapid content. Right? Right. Also, I’m just waiting for the day when the website crashes and I’m hoping that Andrew will be forgiving. So lets all practice forgiveness.

No guest this week. Andrew and I talk about what we’d like to see from a platform business model. Here are a couple of key links.

The Perfect Platform Business Model links to check out

Wild Wild Country on Netflix. My god. Watch it. We can’t link to it directly here because Netflix won’t let you. But watch it.

We mentioned Peter Thiel. Here is his Wikipedia page. Here is something the Echo Chamber Club curated about how Peter Thiel defends large monopolies.

Hooked by Nir Eyal is a book explaining how to create addictive apps.

Andrew mentioned an app which isn’t addictive. Check out a couple of options here: “Limit your screen time with these six apps for iPhone and Android”

We talked about the ‘guru’ James Williams. Go follow him on Twitter: @WilliamsJames_ And whilst you’re at it. Follow us too.

Tell your friends about us

We’re pretty needy. We like to be listened to. And we love to listen to your views. We LOVE it when you email us. It helps us make a better podcast. And it fulfils our neediness.

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. These are our Twitters: @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus.

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The Social Contract Between Us, Our Data and Others

Last week Mark Zuckerberg testified to Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Senators and representatives were curious about future platform regulation as well as the diversity of Facebook leadership and employees. However, a general theme emerged about how Facebook uses data created by Facebook users and non-Facebook users. Who owns this data? Is it right that we should give up our privacy to Facebook in return for a network?

Alice Thwaite and Andrew Strait are joined by Kaveh Azarhoosh this episode. Kaveh is an expert in Iranian politics, a specialist in Trade Unions and a fellow colleague at the Oxford Internet Institute.

We didn’t really base this discussion on a set of articles, but rather what we’d seen as part of the Zuckerberg hearings. For an overview please see:

The key moments from Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress by Chloe Watson in the Guardian

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook investigating Cambridge University researchers by Margi Murphy in the Telegraph

And to do some blatant self-promotion here were my (Alice) top picks on evaluating the debate…

Just see how many people have liked that selection… don’t ever say that I’m not influential!!

Surveillance Capitalism

Kaveh mentioned the author Shoshana Zuboff. Here’s his pick of her writing on Surveillance Capitalism.

Yo please talk to us

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. If you’re on Twitter we’re at @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus. Kaveh’s Twitter is @KAzarhoosh.

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TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS WE EXIST AND ARE WORTH LISTENING TO PLEASE

Civic Tech: Creating “Smart” Cities

Civic Tech: Creating "Smart" Cities

The TWAAATS, Alice Thwaite and Andrew Strait are joined by Erin Simpson this week. Erin is founding director of Civic Hall Labs. So we thought it was the perfect opportunity to chat about issues in Civic Tech. This episode was a little tricky for us sound-wise because Alice was ill and contagious and so had to speak with her pals on Skype. We’ll figure out how to do this better in the future.

Palantir and New Orleans

Palantir Has Secretly Been Using New Orleans To Test Its Predictive Policing Technology

Toronto and Sidewalk Labs (e.g. Google)

Google’s Guinea Pig City

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Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. If you’re on Twitter we’re at @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus. Erin’s Twitter is @esmpsn.

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Should Platforms Police Trafficking?

Should Platforms Police Trafficking?

More and more regulators believe that platforms like Facebook and Google should take responsibility for the content that appears on their platforms. But is it irresponsible for states to give policing power to platforms? And what repercussions could this have for free speech? Alice Thwaite and Andrew Strait discuss the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act – one of only a few acts to get through the Senate that has support from both Republican and Democrat parties.

Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act Info

Sex Trafficking Bill Heads to Trump, Over Silicon Valley Concerns by Cecelia Kang and Sheryl Gay Stolberg in The New York Times

Does Intermediary Immunity Keep the Rest of Us Healthy? by Jonathan Zittrain in The Recorder

A movie about online sex-trafficking might actually get laws changed by Johnathan Anderson in The Washington Post

People We Referenced

Rasmus Kleis Nielson on the Power of Platforms – his Twitter is here – his website is here – and annoyingly I can’t find an article he’s written on the Power of Platforms. But apparently, he has a book coming out soon.

danah boyd’s – It’s Complicated – (non-affiliate Amazon link)

Carl Miller’s Twitter can be found here.

Real-life Accounts of Content Filtering

The Worst Job at Google: A Year of Watching Beastiality, Child Pornography, and Other Terrible Internet Things by Kyle Wagner in Gizmodo

The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed by Adrian Chen in Wired

Gore, Porn, and Unspeakable Acts on Dead Bears: My Awful Life as the Internet’s Janitor by Lucas Peterson in GQ

Please talk to us and tell people about us and subscribe to us!

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. If you’re on Twitter we’re at @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus.

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Please give us 5⭐ on iTunes and tell all your friends to listen to our amazing podcast.

Finally Dungeons and Dragons…

So Gary Gygax’s biography can be found here. What a hero!

Cambridge Analytica – political campaigning in the age of big data

Episode Four - we talk about what exactly is wrong with Cambridge Analytica's actions with Youtuber Jazza John

How could we not talk about Cambridge Analytica this week? Alice Thwaite and Andrew Strait are joined by Jazza John, our colleague at the OII and one half of the team behind the Right Dishonourable podcast.

We’ve been asked to try and ensure that our podcasts don’t use terminology that is difficult to understand. We’re trying to get around this feedback but the most pertinent way is to add a lot of links to the podcast landing page so you can read about the topic.

Cambridge Analytica Files:

This link on the Guardian is up to date with all the revelations concerning Cambridge Analytica. Also wise to check out Carole Cadwalladr’s Twitter. Here is the Wikipedia entry for the company.

Key terms:

Cookie: tracking code which is placed in your browser when you land on a website. More info can be found here.

Natural Language Processing: generic term given to how we program computers to understand natural language. More controversially, software attempts to understand the personality of the people using particular language to predict their future behaviour. More information can be found here.

Other articles mentioned in the podcast:

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search by Carole Cadwalladr, the Guardian, December 2016.

Everything We Know About Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, June 2014.

Hacking the Electorate by Eitan Hersh, (non-affiliate Amazon link)

Finally, here is what Andrew, Jazza and I looked like just before the podcast in our face masks after we’d just completed an exam and a hand-in for our Masters.

Alice, Jazza and Andrew with clay masks on.

And this is what we looked like afterwards.

We're so hysterical, we're so tired MEME

Please talk to us and tell people about us and subscribe to us!

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. If you’re on Twitter we’re at @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus.

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Please give us 5⭐ on iTunes and tell all your friends to listen to our amazing podcast.

Google Wifi – Extremism – Bitcoin Malware

Tech Accessibility Youtube Radicalisation and App Monetisation

Tulsi Parida joins us for the third episode of Tech With Alice And Andrew (and Tulsi Sometimes). In this episode we’re focussing on 3 stories. The first, proffered by Tulsi, is this article in Engaget called:“Google’s public WiFi hotspots come to Mexico” where she also references this article by Tim Berners Lee: “The web can be weaponised – and we can’t count on big tech to stop it”. Andrew talks about Zeynep Tufekci’s piece: “Youtube, the Great Radicaliser” and Alice looks at an article in Ars Technica which shows that some apps are installing malware on your computer which mines bitcoin as payment for their app.

Andrew created this jingle – so all copyright stays with him (but feel free to sample it if you so wish).

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. If you’re on Twitter we’re at @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus. Tulsi’s twitter handle is @tulsiparida

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Please give us 5⭐ on iTunes and tell all your friends to listen to our amazing podcast.

P.S. if you’re as culturally clueless as Alice about American teen culture in the noughties then you can catch up on the ‘shoes’ video here. Weird.

#IWD2018 + Empathy & Algorithms

#IWD2018 + Empathy & Algorithms

In the second episode of the TWAAATs podcast, or colloquially know as: “Tech With Alice And Andrew TS”, we discuss the articles we wish had been written on International Women’s Day in the tech space as well as the issue of empathy and AI.

We mentioned that many large tech websites didn’t mention International Women’s Day at all on their front pages. Here’s the screenshot of Wired at around 6pm (from the UK), and here’s the screenshot of the homepage of Techcrunch on 8th March 2018.

We also discussed the Wired article: “UK police are using AI to inform custodial decisions – but it could be discriminating against the poor”.

We also mentioned the COMPAS system in the US – please read the ProPublica article here.

RightsCon (how could we forget you) can be found here.

Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. If you’re on Twitter we’re at @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus.

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Music Credit: SUNDANCE
Track Name: “Perséphone – Retro Funky (SUNDANCE remix)”
Music By: SUNDANCE @ https://soundcloud.com/sundancemusic
The SUNDANCE Official Website is HERE – http://lefthandmusic.fr/
Follow SUNDANCE on BandCamp: https://sundancemusic.bandcamp.com/
License for commercial use: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/…
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Episode One – The (Clumsy) Beginning

Welcome to the first episode of Tech With Alice and Andrew (Thwaite and Strait).

On this episode we take a look at the following articles: “Facebook Messenger Used to Fight Extremism” and “Amazon will stop selling Nest smart home devices, escalating its war with Google“.

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Contact Alice here, and contact Andrew here. If you’re on Twitter we’re at: @alicelthwaite and @dopeapotamus.

Thanks to Pedro Santiago – Orion II for the remarkable royalty free sparkly intro and outro music. Thanks to you for listening. N.B. STRONG LANGUAGE AND SENSITIVE TOPICS THROUGHOUT.