Links for February 18, 2018

The House That Spied on Me

After a week of living in my newly smartened home, I could tell why the Beast was always in such a bad mood: The animate objects in my home were becoming a constant source of annoyance. I thought this was going to be a story about privacy, but instead I was finding out how infuriating it is to live in a janky smart home.

How cities can use machine learning to track citizens

Planners will use all that data to ask questions, and make decisions, about people… Human-centered design, as pioneered by urbanists such as Jan Gehl, will enter a new phase. It will threaten traditionally analog methods of design, turning planning into more of a science. “When I worked as an urban planner, we did the best that we could to shape buildings, streets, and sidewalks to meet environmental and economic development goals,” says Hollander. “But we never got into the head of the people who used these spaces.”

Why Is Everything Being Designed for Instagram?

In many ways, this is a new phase for street art. The unpermitted kind—graffiti and other murals—has always had an edge to it.... But the developer-driven kind is tame. There’s big money behind the projects that the art is intended to promote, so it can’t ruffle feathers. As one mural booster told LA Downtown News: “…developers are looking to attract a buzz and activate building plazas and create a storyline for their projects, they are looking for artworks that are interactive, unique and ideally have a functional component.” That’s not how people talk about Banksy.