All items from Web Urbanist

Who Owns Your Face? Welcome to a New World of Hacking Headaches

[ By SA Rogers in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

The question of who owns your face sounds absurd on the surface – of course you own it, it’s attached to your body after all. But in an era of facial recognition technology, in which your face can be scanned and added to databases without your knowledge or consent, the answer to that question gets a lot more complicated. Your unique composition of features might already be included in a collection used by data brokers, the government, police and advertising and tech companies to tag you in photos, match you to alleged criminal activity, sell information about you or teach neural networks how to refine facial recognition technology itself.

In fact, we have the internet and its databank of faces to thank for reaching this point. Millions upon millions of faces are now available for the scraping, which would have been difficult or impossible to achieve any other way. Computer scientists feed these images to artificial intelligence to “train” them how to recognize faces, and advances in graphics processing allow the machines to sort through them at a whiplash pace. Very little human input is needed as the neural networks use their own algorithms to decide which similarities and differences between the faces are significant, making the whole thing a bit of a mystery.

Sheet Happened: Page Turns On Abandoned Paper Mill

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

A proud chapter in the story of American industry came to a close when an abandoned paper mill in Richmond, VA was re-purposed into loft-style apartments.

Richmond, a city of approximately a quarter-million, is the state capitol of Virginia and the former capitol of the Confederate States of America. Founded in 1737, Richmond has long been a center of economic activity though some of its more traditional industrial pursuits – railroads and tobacco processing, for example – have largely given way to post-industrial profit hubs in the legal, financial and governmental sectors.

Pulp Friction

Street Films: 7 Top Urban Transit Design Videos from Amsterdam to Zurich

[ By WebUrbanist in Drawing & Digital. ]

Amsterdam, Zurich, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Vancouver, Oslo and more are all great cities of the world which are succeeding in making the lives better for their residents via innovative transportation policies. Over the years, Streetfilms producers have “visited many places we thought were doing best practices.” This group of videos they created along the way highlights amazing urban environments around the world.

“Founded in 2006, Streetfilms has become the go-to organization for educational films about sustainable transportation, and inspires action and behavioral change worldwide. Individuals, public agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, and transportation advocacy groups use Streetfilms to educate decision makers and make change for livable streets in their communities.” View more here.

What Can You Find in This 24.9-Billion-Pixel Panoramic Photo of Shanghai?

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Photography & Video. ]

Commissioned by the Shanghai government, this 24.9-billion-pixel panoramic photograph captures an incredible amount of detail, and it’s easy to lose hours zooming in on every individual scene. Taken from the top of a skyscraper, the photo aims to “show China’s economic take off to the world,” both in terms of what can be spotted in the image and the technical prowess required to produce it.

Flying Nest: Minimalist Nomadic Container Hotel Travels the World in Style

[ By SA Rogers in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

Currently perched atop the Avoriaz Mountain in France so guests can flip from their beds straight onto the ski slopes, this traveling minimalist hotel made of shipping containers signals a new nomadic future for comfortable accommodations. Instead of housing attendees in tents, events in far-flung locales can now offer all the comfort of an urban hotel – including private bathrooms.

The Flying Nest by French designer Ora-ïto made its debut on the consumer market this winter at the Avoriaz Ski Resort after nearly two years of road testing. In March 2017, a prototype was placed just steps away from the fields where France’s national football team trains, and then it travelled to the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race, the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival and the Agora biennial art festival in Bordeaux.

Cool Vernacular: How Regional Ceiling Heights Shape Room Temperatures

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Modernism sought to bring a healthy uniformity to architectural design, in part through with clean lines and material minimalism. New technologies like air conditioning also allowed for an unprecedented level of global standardization in terms of temperature-controlled spaces. Of course, this often meant disregarding local traditions that had been successful for centuries (or longer). Among the regional strategies that got lost along the way was a seemingly small but critical factor: the variable heights of rooms humans build and occupy.

As a vernacular design critic who goes by Wrath of Gnon explains, “Before the International Style (modernism) in architecture, our ancestors knew how to adapt the room heights according to the climate, achieving maximum effect (comfort) for the least effort (energy). Today we trust in the grid and so build 8-9 ft rooms from Bermuda to Reykjavik.”