Summary of “Blind Spots in AI Just Might Help Protect Your Privacy”

Just a few small tweaks to an image or a few additions of decoy data to a database can fool a system into coming to entirely wrong conclusions.
Gong points to Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica incident as exactly the sort of privacy invasion he hopes to prevent: The data science firm paid thousands of Facebook users a few dollars each for answers to political and personal questions and then linked those answers with their public Facebook data to create a set of “Training data.” When the firm then trained a machine-learning engine with that dataset, the resulting model could purportedly predict private political persuasions based only on public Facebook data.
After tweaking the data a few different ways, they found that by adding just three fake app ratings, chosen to statistically point to an incorrect city-or taking revealing ratings away-that small amount of noise could reduce the accuracy of their engine’s prediction back to no better than a random guess.
The cat-and-mouse game of predicting and protecting private user data, Gong admits, doesn’t end there.
If the machine-learning “Attacker” is aware that adversarial examples may be protecting a data set from analysis, he or she can use what’s known as “Adversarial training”-generating their own adversarial examples to include in a training data set so that the resulting machine-learning engine is far harder to fool.
Another research group has experimented with a form of adversarial example data protection that’s intended to cut short that cat-and-mouse game.
Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Texas at Arlington looked at how adversarial examples could prevent a potential privacy leak in tools like VPNs and the anonymity software Tor, designed to hide the source and destination of online traffic.
Attackers who can gain access to encrypted web browsing data in transit can in some cases use machine learning to spot patterns in the scrambled traffic that allows a snoop to predict which website-or even which specific page-a person is visiting.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Precut Fruit Can Be Your Friend”

There’s no substitute for freshly cut, ripe, seasonal fruit from the farmers market, roadside fruit stand, or trusty greengrocer.
Life’s reality keeps us reaching for those handsomely organized rows of perfectly precut cubes and slices available at every supermarket, bodega, Whole Foods, and even the more food-oriented pharmacy chains, like CVS. This move is no doubt a steep step up from the saccharine sweet cans of shelf-stable fruit cocktail that kept our parents from scurvy, but more often than not, the contents of the plastic clamshells packed with underripe honeydew and mealy pineapple fail to meet our expectations.
Past generations weren’t so lucky: Fresh fruit was harder to come by, the quality low.
To help make it taste better, people often seasoned their fruit with sugar and even artificial sweeteners like Sweet’N Low to offset underripeness, or added herbs and spices to cover for the lack of natural quality.
Applying the same principle to cut fruit works wonders.
Which adds a spicy floral kick, the pairing can bring joy to the saddest of fruit.
Consisting of salt, dehydrated lime, and mild chile powder, the mixture has everything you need to take just about any fruit and explode the flavor.
Take sliced mango and toss with lime juice to help adhere the spice, then shake a healthy dusting of Tajín over your fruits, and you’ll instantly be transported to the beaches of Jalisco.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here’s Why I Pick Up Other People’s Litter-And Why You Should, Too”

It’s not just ocean health, but a host of other issues: climate change, species extinction, natural resource depletion, ongoing environmental racism, and so much more.
I’ve also found a tiny speck of hope-that stuff that seems so very difficult to come by at times-in a small, quiet action that I can take every single day: picking up other people’s litter.
Our sole project was snapping up candy wrappers and other stuff we found discarded around the Boys’ and Girls’ Club grounds, which we planned to bury in a “Time capsule” that we could dig up in a few decades.
The program has since expanded to include non-backpackers who pledge to clean up not only trails, but also green spaces and waterways-people who are also trying to do something, anything.
I carried a litter grabber and a small bag latched onto my waist belt.
Even more meaningful was the effect my exercise in litter patrol had on others.
All told, I plucked a few pounds of litter over the course of a few weeks on trail.
Sure, picking up a few pieces of litter might seem nearly inconsequential when you think about the big picture.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How I Became ‘Rich'”

My pictures could never do justice to what I’d seen, but I persisted in my frenzy, hoping to capture some of the wonder I experienced when I laid eyes on such startling beauty.
During one of those moments on our second trip, while my boyfriend and I rode past more pry-your-eyes-open beauty, I experienced another taste of just how far I’d come.
Whenever my father admired an item of clothing or piece of jewelry of mine, I shaved a few dollars off what I’d paid to maximize his approval and avoid any disappointed looks.
After eight years together, I’d resigned myself to the burdens of a long relationship with few of the perks.
The furthest I’d traveled before was Toledo, Ohio to visit my boyfriend’s sister – a cramped 14 hours by Greyhound bus.
The first time we went I took pictures to prove to myself that I’d really gone there.
At home I’d had trouble believing I’d spent a week in this breathtaking place, even when I appeared in the postcard-pretty photos.
The second time I took pictures with confidence that I’d someday return; they would tide me through a cold New York City winter until I reunited with a place I’d come to love.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Babysit for the One Percent in New York City”

I used to be a full-time nanny, and when I transitioned out of that job into a part-time one, I found myself dabbling in the world of babysitting apps, of which there are a few in New York.
Now, a few times a week, my phone pings with notifications for booking requests, which I frequently accept, trekking all up and down Manhattan and, if I’m lucky, closer to home in Brooklyn.
The people who hire me to babysit have enough disposable income to book me on a whim, sometimes with only a few hours’ notice.
A few days later, a small sum – I make between $17-21 an hour, depending on how many kids are present – shows up in my Venmo account, and I spend it on lunches the following week.
Despite my distinct lack of profound wealth, my experiences in child care have basically inured me to New York City affluence.
As much as I might want to rifle through closets and drawers, closely inspect photographs and linger at the books on the bookshelves, I am wary of being recorded in these homes – I often notice a small camera or two within seconds of entering – and therefore keep my snooping to a minimum.
One couple with an elevator that opened into their loft apartment informed me, a few minutes after I walked in, that they “Have their babysitters do the dishes,” and gestured toward a sink full of cups and plates that I spent a good part of an hour attempting to find rightful homes for.
Neither of them remembered, apparently, that I had already been in their home a few weeks before, the adult responsible for their only child.

The orginal article.

Summary of “On Monks and Email”

To accomplish this goal “Meant taking the weaknesses of their bodies and brains seriously.”
They used complex visual mnemonic techniques to help structure complex information in their mind’s eye.
They deployed heavy labor and moderate diet to keep their physiology in an optimal state for mental work.
Even the monastic renunciation of worldly goods and relationships supported concentration: the fewer things going on your life, they reasoned, the fewer things to distract you while trying to think about God.
Except unlike our deep working medieval forebears, the modern knowledge work organization seems to care little about cultivating and supporting this fundamental activity.
We hook people up to email inboxes and Slack channels because it’s convenient.
Few organizations think seriously about thinking, which, after all, really is the fundamental value-producing activity in knowledge work, just as divine communication was the metaphorical money-maker for the pious medievals.
It requires, for lack of a better word, more serious attention.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Warren Buffett’s “20 Slot” Rule: How to Simplify Your Life and Maximize Your Results”

It was 1994 and Munger had spent the last 20 years working alongside Warren Buffett as the two men grew Berkshire Hathaway into a billion-dollar corporation.
About halfway through his presentation, hidden among many fantastic lessons, Munger discussed a strategy that Warren Buffett had used with great success throughout his career.
When Warren lectures at business schools, he says, “I could improve your ultimate financial welfare by giving you a ticket with only 20 slots in it so that you had 20 punches-representing all the investments that you got to make in a lifetime. And once you’d punched through the card, you couldn’t make any more investments at all.”
Warren Buffett’s “20-Slot” Rule isn’t just useful for financial investments, it’s a sound approach for time investments as well.
Simplify and Go All In. If you take a look around, you’ll notice very few people actually go “All in” on a single skill or goal for an extended period of time.
Rather than researching carefully and pouring themselves into a goal for a year or two, most people “Dip their toes in the water” and chase a new diet, a new college major, a new exercise routine, a new side business idea, or a new career path for a few weeks or months before jumping onto the next new thing.
If you view your life as a 20-slot punchcard and each slot is a period of focused work for a year or two, then you can see how you can enjoy significant returns on your invested time simply by going all in on a few things.
Unlike financial investments, your 20 “Life slots” are going to get punched whether you like it or not.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook Is Full of Emotional-Support Groups”

It’s not surprising that Facebook has turned into a gathering place for strangers sharing their deepest secrets.
Emotional-support groups have sprung up around topics broad and narrow: diabetes, addiction, egg donation, a specific birth-control device now pulled from the U.S. market, parenting children who might grow up to be psychopaths, rare diseases that affect only a few dozen patients in the whole world.
The internet has always promised to connect people by common interest rather than geography, and with its 2-billion-user base, Facebook is where those connections are often being made.
“For people searching for support, [Facebook] is a one-stop shop,” says Andrea Downing, a moderator for BRCA Sisterhood, a support group for women who have tested positive for breast-cancer mutations.
Might is a member of multiple Facebook groups for NGLY1 and related diseases, where members support one another through health crises and share hard-won medical information about the rare disease.
Since Facebook has pivoted to groups, it has added several tools for group admins, including ways to filter membership requests and delete content from banned members.
Most important, perhaps, it made the membership of closed groups private.
Last year, Catherine St Clair decided to start a support group for people whose DNA tests revealed unexpected biological parents, after meeting another woman in the same situation on Facebook.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside Andrés Carnes de Res, Bogotá’s Wildest Restaurant”

At 5:20 p.m., I’m sitting on a wooden bench, next to a motorized bicycle wheel that’s spinning on the wall, eating an arepa de choclo.
So what makes Carne de Res different? The fact that it doesn’t water down or stereotype another culture, but rather, acts as a grade-A diplomat for its own.
This brings up another factor that makes Carne de Res so compelling: It serves absolutely fantastic Colombian food in all its traditional, meaty, starchy, fatty, fresh-pressed-juice glory.
The menu at Carne de Res, at 76 pages, is almost twice as long, with 16 ceviches; 17 different cheese plates; 20 types of plantains; a collection of offal; a dessert list longer than some restaurant menus; a selection of rum, tequila, and spirits that would put most small liquor stores to shame; and a variety of tobacco products, including Marlboro Reds, old-fashioned snuff, and Lucky Strike cigarettes flavored with the aroma of either a daiquiri or a mojito.
At 10:47 p.m., people are actively drinking beer and cocktails on the street that separates one half of Carne de Res from another.
At 11:17 p.m., at least 100 folks have lined up to gain entry to the restaurant.
At Carne de Res, drinking overtakes eating in the after-hours, and an evening can end with you asleep on a hammock.
At approximately 1:20 a.m., nearly nine hours after having arrived at Andrés Carne de Res, I step into a car with a hired designated driver, the same three companions I arrived with, and, to the best of my knowledge, the same four dogs that we left at the park.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Alex Honnold Climbs Halfway Up a New Jersey Skyscraper”

At twelve-forty-five on Thursday night, unable to sleep, the climber Alex Honnold got out of bed, picked up his backpack, and walked across the street from his hotel in Jersey City, New Jersey, to a sixty-nine-floor luxury apartment building called the Urby.
His initial route traversed the perforated metal enclosure of the building’s parking garage-its walls were full of “Nice, secure holds,” Honnold said-up to an elevated terrace where, he later told me, “I fully hung out, took my shirt off to get cool.” He spent ten minutes there, watched people smoking below, and further assessed the building.
A few hours earlier, he’d discussed his plan with David Barry, the building’s developer, who had agreed to let Honnold use the Urby last month.
Alexander Waxman, Urby’s creative director, explained to me what would happen if a resident were to “Freak out” as Honnold climbed past a window.
I recently wrote about the first scouting trip that Honnold took to the Urby, a few weeks ago, during which Jersey City’s mayor, Steven Fulop, watched Honnold practice part of his route.
Mayor Fulop confessed to me that he’d been drunk when he first suggested that Honnold climb his friend Barry’s apartment building, after the two of them happened to meet at the exclusive Yellowstone Club, in Montana.
Once Honnold left the building’s ninth-floor terrace, the route became more difficult: he pulled himself up by windowsills and frames, and perched on ledges the width of a fork, trying not to stare into the blinding accent lights below or dislodge the occasional security camera.
When Honnold saw the light go on, he stood up on the other side of the unit’s north-facing window.

The orginal article.