Category Archives: links

Links To Go (February 20, 2018)

Facial Recognition Systems Are Even More Biased Than We Thought

A new project called Gender Shades creates a new benchmark data set that takes both biological sex and race into account to measure three commercial face classification AI algorithms from IBM, Microsoft, and the Chinese startup Face++ (whose facial recognition technology is used by Alibaba). These types of algorithms are widely used to read faces on security cameras, during immigration, in criminal justice, and even in products like glasses for visually impaired people.
The resulting study shows that all of these real-world algorithms have significantly lower accuracy when evaluating dark female faces than any other type of face. It’s troubling proof that the AI already at work in our daily lives is deeply biased–and that we need to demand greater diversity in the people who build these algorithms and more transparency about how they work.

The sudden death of the website

I am going to make a bold prediction based on my work with 18,000 companies and bringing conversational commerce to life: In 2018, we will see the first major brand shut down its website. The brand will shift how it connects with consumers — to conversations, with a combination of bots and humans, through a messaging front end like SMS or Facebook. We are already working with several large brands to make this a reality.
When the first website ends, the dominoes will fall fast. This will have a positive impact on most companies in transforming how they conduct e-commerce and provide customer care. For Google, however, this will be devastating.

Confessing Sin in the Midst of Suffering

I was tempted to ignore my sin, to justify it as if I only needed to confess sin when things were going well for me. But complaining doesn’t start or stop being a sin based on how justified I feel in my complaint. In the midst of very deep suffering, I found that acknowledging my sin didn’t create a new weight for me to carry on top of all my other burdens. Instead, it actually LIFTED some of the burden. And that is the profound beauty of the gospel of Christ.

5 Habits to Improve Your Online Security Without Software

  1. Be skeptical
  2. Is it too good to be true?
  3. Go to the source
  4. Question “urgent” decisions
  5. Confirm the other party’s identity

To Improve Your Storytelling Skills, Use Abraham Lincoln as Inspiration

The speech, of course, is Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. But although you know it well, what you might not realize about “four scores and seven years ago . . .” is that Lincoln’s oration followed one of the most effective story structures you can use–the structure that storytelling expert Shawn Callahan calls “the clarity story.”

The 25 best icebreaker questions for team-building at work

Given this, at Know Your Company, we put a lot of thought (over four years worth of research and fine-tuning!) into crafting get-to-know-you questions that would be as non-cheesy as possible, and elicit meaningful and memorable responses from the team. I get emails all the time from CEOs who’ll tell me, “Wow, Claire, I had no idea this question would get such a reaction from our team.”
Among the hundreds of get-to-know-you questions our software has, I wanted to share with you the top twenty-five…

Woman climbs into x-ray machine because she didn’t want to leave her bag

This is the moment a passenger climbed into an x-ray machine because she did not trust train security staff with her handbag. An unbelievable photograph shows the women on all fours on a conveyor belt as she follows her bag as it passes through the security scanner.

How the Biblical Canon Was Formed

Links to Go (February 13, 2018)

People Aren’t Yes-Or-No Answers

But more and more, I’m realizing that people aren’t yes-or-no questions. Behind every yes-or-no question is almost always a series of deeper questions, struggles, fears, and challenges.
When someone asks me whether abortion is wrong, there’s usually much more lying beneath the surface. The question is simply the tip of the iceberg.
If I quickly (and sometimes dismissively) answer their question without asking further questions, I’m missing the opportunity to both be like Christ AND answer their real questions.

Untwisting Scripture: “Be still and know that I am God” edition

The real good news of this psalm is that God is bent on bringing peace and justice to God’s creation, and all the people that dwell in it. In times of distress–wars, rumors of wars, genocide, political corruption, and unjust rulers–we shouldn’t be complacent or complicit with evil. But we can and should trust that God will not let those forces win. They will not harm and destroy forever. That’s the promise we should take refuge in.

He Made a Robot… then Married It

But it does raise some questions for Christians to think about.
If someone creates something, is it whatever he wants it to be?
Can you actually marry a robot? They had a ceremony and everything, so who decides what a marriage is anyway?
Does he love her/it? Does that make the difference?
What makes a robot a her anyway? Can she choose her gender? Or does he? Can it change?
Is it OK because it makes him happy?

Smartphone Detox: How To Power Down In A Wired World

Signs you might be experiencing problematic use, Lembke says, include these:

  • Interacting with the device keeps you up late or otherwise interferes with your sleep.
  • It reduces the time you have to be with friends or family.
  • It interferes with your ability to finish work or homework.
  • It causes you to be rude, even subconsciously. “For instance,” Lembke asks, “are you in the middle of having a conversation with someone and just dropping down and scrolling through your phone?” That’s a bad sign.
  • It’s squelching your creativity. “I think that’s really what people don’t realize with their smartphone usage,” Lembke says. “It can really deprive you of a kind of seamless flow of creative thought that generates from your own brain.”

Steve Jobs’s Advice on the Only 4 Times You Should Say ‘No’ Is Brilliant

  1. Say no to cluttering your mind.
  2. Say no to interruptions.
  3. Say no to time robbers and yes to time locking.
  4. Say no to your own unbelief.

‘The Bible Speaks Clearly’: Beth Moore, Max Lucado & 1,000 Evangelical Leaders Challenge Trump on Immigration

The group is united against the president’s DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program) deadline and is advocating for a more welcoming immigration and refugee policy.
“As Christian leaders, we have a commitment to caring for the vulnerable in our churches while also supporting just, compassionate and welcoming policies toward refugees and other immigrants,” the letter reads.
“The Bible speaks clearly and repeatedly to God’s love and concern for the vulnerable and also challenges us to think beyond our nationality, ethnicity or religion when loving our neighbor,” it continues.

‘Black Panther’ Is A Superhero Story You Haven’t Seen Before — And It’s Thrilling

A key reason for Wonder Woman’s runaway success last summer was that moment she climbed out of that trench, revealed herself to the world, withstood an onslaught of machine-gun fire and proceeded to get Amazonian on some enemy soldiers. Male heroes have been doing something similar for decades, in and out of spandex, but now, women in the audience got the chance to feel the raw and blissfully uncomplicated power of representation and understand what the nerds in their life saw in this silly stuff. Black Panther is filled with similar moments: a pan-African cast getting hero moment after hero moment in a gorgeous Afro-futurist setting where the light is always golden, and the tech is always glowy.

When MAD Magazine Got in Trouble for Printing Counterfeit Money

At that time, these machines were not terribly sophisticated. And as a few enterprising types discovered, they didn’t have the technology to really tell Alfred E. Neuman’s face from George Washington’s. In Las Vegas and Texas, coin unit operators were dismayed to discover that people had been feeding the phony MAD bill into the slots and getting actual money in return.

Description, sketch led to arrest warrant for man accused of Central Market theft

Nguyen was positively identified by a witness as well as investigators and veteran officers who recognized his physical description and alleged motive, police said.
“While the sketch provided by the witness may have appeared amateurish and cartoonish, it, along with the distinctive physical descriptors, jogged the memory of at least one investigator to provide a potential suspect name,” Lancaster police said on the department’s Crime Watch page.

Links To Go (February 7, 2018)

2 In 3 Support Legal Status For DREAMers; Majority Oppose Building A Wall
[Be sure and take the quiz!]

Sixty-five percent of Americans said they favor giving legal status to DREAMers, as a deadline set by President Trump quickly approaches for when temporary status will run out for hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients. That includes 81 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of independents. (DACA, or Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals, is the executive order signed by former President Obama and rescinded by President Trump.)

Ex-Cuba prisoner Gross criticizes U.S. plan to foster internet on island

Gross noted Cuba had vastly expanded internet access of its own volition during his time in jail.
The U.S. government should discuss the issue of internet directly with Cuba, providing details for example of how it could boost economic growth, he said.
“There are so many things that could be happening in a positive and constructive way,” he said.

You Keep Using that Verse, But…

Everywhere I go, I hear Christians and Bible-minded people quoting passages of scripture or I see certain passages on signs, bumper stickers, or on personalized car plates (tags). At first glance these passages seem to be encouraging or seem to be full of promise. Yet, often, after a deeper look at the context of the passage, they do not say what the sign, sticker, or tag implies. I have selected three of the more popular of these scriptures from the Old Covenant to share and explore.

Discover the Pages of Your Better Life Story

The “abundant life” Jesus talks about is the kind of life that makes a great story. Jesus’ life is a great story and we can learn from it how to write a better story for our lives. Donald Miller writes about life stories in his book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.” (Read the book. It will inspire you to work on your own story.) His premise is that there are certain tools storytellers use to write great stories. We can utilize those tools to write good stories for our lives too. If you believe you can write a better story than the one you are living now, here are the components you need for a great story.

Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles’s Post-Game Interview Is a Powerful Lesson in Leadership

But as Foles so beautifully demonstrated over the past several weeks, true leadership isn’t about position, or trying to get others to follow you.
Rather, true leadership is about action: It’s putting your head down, going to work, and trying to lift up those around you. That’s what inspires others to follow because they want to, not because they have to.

The Best Business Book You’ll Read All Year Will Be A Novel

There’s nothing wrong with reading novels to escape–after all, we can all use it from time to time in our digitally distracted world. But to get the full learning experience, you need to treat them with the same respect and patience you’d give to a “serious” nonfiction book.
Don’t just plow through fiction because it’s fiction. Think about it. Talk about the characters with a friend. Take some notes. You might just find some unexpected lessons that you’d never hear from a CEO.

Newly Deciphered Dead Sea Scroll Reveals 364-Day Calendar

For more than a year, the scholars diligently pieced together 62 Dead Sea Scroll fragments, on which there was writing in code. Ratson and Ben-Dov deciphered the code on the reconstructed scroll, called Scroll 4Q324d, and revealed that the scroll describes a 364-day calendar used by the Qumran community that lived in the Judean Desert. This Qumran calendar gives us insight into how the community organized the seasons and religious festivals, and it sheds light on scribal customs.

Links to Go (February 5, 2018)

If every past version of you is an idiot, there’s an inescapable conclusion about the current you

You may not realise your idiocy today, but you will see it as clear as day in a few years time. Some of you may be kicking against this fact. Let me ask you this: if you see later on that you were – in point of fact – an idiot today, which version of yourself is correct? The one assessing it at this precise moment or the one assessing things from the vantage point of hindsight along with everything you know now and the addition of a few more years of experience? In fact, the biggest idiot of them all is the one that refuses to acknowledge their past idiocy and, even less, join the dots to their current standing as one. From one idiot to another, take it from me: we’re all idiots.

“I Don’t Like the Sinner Part”

“I don’t like the sinner part.” Well who does? I sure don’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Speaking for myself, to borrow from the Psalms, my sin is always before me.
Listen, I’m not saying we need to load up on shame and don hair shirts. But if your Christianity isn’t involved in owning and confronting your sin then, well, I don’t have much use (for) it.


Laser Scans Reveal Maya “Megalopolis” Below Guatemalan Jungle

The results suggest that Central America supported an advanced civilization that was, at its peak some 1,200 years ago, more comparable to sophisticated cultures such as ancient Greece or China than to the scattered and sparsely populated city states that ground-based research had long suggested.

Nobody could answer a single football question on ‘Jeopardy!’

The final category of Thursday’s first Jeopardy! round was “Football,” and with time left on the clock Ryan—who had control of the buzzer—ran down each of the plays. Ryan didn’t appear to know much about football, so the other two contestants could’ve easily stepped in for an interception during any part of the round. But they were just as stumped, even as Alex Trebek set them up for an easy touchdown.

Links to Go (February 2, 2018)

What a Cross Gets Wrong About Christ and the Church

But often we make the events and the marketing and all of those things the ultimate goal, when they should ultimately be viewed as small contributions toward the real ultimate goal of making disciples of Jesus. Because of that misplaced goal, we define success by our visibility and busyness and numbers rather than hearts won for Him. Just like the cross builders truly believe they’re accomplishing something great while doing very little actual investing time, love, and energy in people, so we too have to guard against aiming to be noticed rather than aiming to make a difference.

How To Get Your Point Across To These Five Personality Types

While psychological research has progressed quite a bit since Edward de Bono released his influential book Six Thinking Hats in 1985, I find (this) framework still offers a handy set of metaphors for adjusting your speaking style to fit listeners’ thinking styles and personalities (though I typically prefer sticking to just five). Here are five ways to frame your message, riffing on de Bono’s 33-year-old idea, according to the people or person you’re communicating with.

There’s a large gender gap in congressional Facebook posts about sexual misconduct

There were wide gaps across the two major parties: 55% of Democratic members and 34% of Republican members made posts about the topic. In both parties, the shares of women who discussed sexual misconduct on Facebook were 30 percentage points larger than the shares of men who did so.

3 Reasons Why Younger Christians Should Attend the Funeral Services of Older Christians

  1. Children Need to Hear Godly Eulogies
  2. Children Need to See Faithful Church Members Finish Well
  3. Children Need to Learn to Honor the Seniors

Michael Mosley: ‘Forget walking 10,000 steps a day’
You might be surprised to hear it was the result of a 1960s marketing campaign in Japan.

In the run-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, a company came up with a device which they started marketing to the health-conscious.
It was called a Manpo-Kei. In Japanese, “man” means 10,000, “po” means steps and “kei” means meter. So it was, literally, a 10,000 steps meter.

How Gregg Popovich Uses ‘Magical Feedback’ to Inspire the San Antonio Spurs

For the Spurs, every dinner, every elbow touch, every impromptu seminar on politics and history adds up to build and reinforce a narrative: You are part of this group. This group is special. I believe you can meet our high standards.
In other words, the Spurs don’t succeed because they are good at basketball. They succeed because they are skilled at a far more important sport: building strong relationships.

Airplane! The Funniest Movie Ever

Filmed in 34 days, Airplane! was released on July 2, 1980. A box office smash, it earned back its meager budget in its first two days of release. Garnering unanimous rave reviews, Airplane! was eventually to earn $84 million dollars at the U.S. box office and $130 million worldwide. It was to be the fourth highest-grossing film of 1980 in America.