Friday Five for October 15, 2021

1. Hammer Exhibit: No Humans Involved

Oct 10, 2021– Jan 9, 2022

A showcase of work by seven artists and collectives whose work interrogates and disrupts Western modes of humanism.

In 1992 the Jamaican scholar and theorist Sylvia Wynter penned a seminal text titled “‘No Humans Involved’: An Open Letter to My Colleagues.” The title refers to an internal code that was used by the Los Angeles Police Department, usually in relation to cases that disproportionately involved Black and Brown Angelenos who were often identified as sex workers, gang members, or drug traffickers. The code became public knowledge in 1992, shortly after the trial and ultimate acquittal of the four police officers charged with the use of excessive force in the brutal beating of Rodney King. In her open letter, written to her colleagues as a call to action, Wynter argues that academia is partly to blame for this horrific event and its aftermath, which forever changed the cultural and social landscape of Los Angeles, because academic institutions uphold and disseminate problematic constructs of race, gender, class, sexuality, and other categories that continue to overdetermine our lived experience and justify or deny our humanity. Continue reading.

2. Leave no trace: how a teenage hacker lost himself online 

After a while, Edwin found his way into chat channels where the serious hackers converged. Winning their trust was a first and crucial step, because police were also lurking, trying to infiltrate using fake identities. At 16, Edwin was orbiting LulzSec as well as a looser collective called Anonymous. Though not a member himself, he hung out on their chat channels. These were exciting times in the hacking world. Members of Anonymous had been targeting a succession of organisations and declaring their solidarity with WikiLeaks, which was publishing hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic communications. When Julian Assange’s whistleblower website was blocked by the payment services PayPal, Mastercard and Visa, cutting off lots of donations to WikiLeaks, Anonymous struck back with a DDoS attack that took out the payment services’ websites and inflicted an estimated $5.5m in losses. One member would ultimately end up doing 18 months in prison in the UK. Continue reading.

3. On the Wings of Ada Lovelace 

Ada Lovelace Day is celebrated on October 12. Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) is recognized for many remarkable attributes and affiliations, not only as a precursor of what came to be modern computer programming but also as the daughter of poet Lord Byron and friend to notable Victorian intellectuals like Charles Babbage, Charles Dickens, Michael Faraday and Mary Somerville. Her name has been used in tribute more recently as a programming language developed by the U.S. Department of Defense and as a unit of cryptocurrency. In addition to her precocious aptitude for mathematics and metaphysics, she was also a budding mechanical engineer and aviation visionary as a 12-year-old. Continue reading.

4. ‘Urgent Pizza’: The Untold Story of the Largest Hack in Twitch’s History

At the end of the day on a Friday in October 2014, just a few months after Amazon paid nearly $1 billion for the video game streaming website Twitch, an engineer stumbled upon what at the time was the platform’s first ever hack while doing tech support for a colleague who worked remotely.

"Oh fuck," the former Twitch engineer recalled saying. "But I remember thinking that there was so much 'I told you so' here." Continue reading.

5. Call for Volunteers: BruinLearn Days

Attention BruinTech Community!

We are looking for BruinTech volunteers to participate in a BruinLearn Canvas Day campus event where volunteers will lead training sessions on a particular Canvas topic, focused on engaging faculty and supporting the student experience.

When:
Tuesday Oct 26, 10am - 2pm
Wednesday Oct 27, 10am - 2pm

Where:
Training sessions are remote, but volunteers will also be needed on campus the day of the event to navigate folks and answer questions at tents.

Who:
Please reach out to Gayle Sanford via Slack or email ([email protected]).
 
Deadline:
Please reach out to Gayle by Friday, October 15th.