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Kitchen Table Kibitzing Friday: Durians are a joystick for your tongue but not for your nose

7 min read

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share a virtual kitchen table with other readers of Daily Kos who aren’t throwing pies at one another. Drop by to talk about music, your weather, your garden, or what you cooked for supper…. Newcomers may notice that many who post in this series already know one another to some degree, but we welcome guests at our kitchen table and hope to make some new friends as well.


Couple of weird days, missed a Zoom webinar yesterday (I need to rig a desktop calendar notification) still recovering from last week’s marathon Zoom webinars. Don’t ask if I learned anything. I’m just glad that I fixed the problem that came with my original desktop computer and finally installed Windows 10 properly with all its updates.

I much prefer attending these Zoom events with video off, partially because of bandwidth, but also because having others rating my room decor seems intrusive, and then there’s the advantage of watching random nonverbal behaviors of speakers seen on video (without having to be self-conscious). 

I think I have a handle on Zoom now, even if I don’t have anyone to converse with. I did like that one DK virtual event and it seems like that could be expanded as the election approaches. A Zoom group in DK? KTK in Zoom?

So much for avoidance behavior. There’s so many other things to do.


Facial recognition software development has gotten over its skis, especially when one sees how ethnocentric it seems to be, but like Zoom, it’s about bandwidth and processors; perhaps 5G will improve it even as it’ll be throttled by lack of net neutrality. Matching algorithms will allow facial recognition to get past its ethnographic problems.


Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in partnership with Microsoft created the algorithm known as “MosAIc” to sift through the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. The image retrieval system was then leveraged to determine the best match, or “analogous” work, for a given piece using these two collections.

Using a particular piece as the standard for a given analysis, the system can be dialed in to identify a similar piece within a vast set of filter parameters. This allows the team to use a particular image and find the closest object either filtered through style or media. The algorithm can then deliver the closest glassware match, for example, or Egyptian piece for a selected artwork.

As the team explained in a recent release, if the image retrieval system was prompted to answer “which musical instrument is closest to this painting of a blue and white dress,” MosAIc would retrieve a photo of a white and blue porcelain violin. The authors of the report note that, while the two items share similar form and stylistic patterning, these objects also “draw their roots from a broader cultural exchange of porcelain between the Dutch and Chinese.”…

My new favorite architectural critic (he has a thing for all ugly buildings):


Morphology is destiny, or gyros. hence my need for an attractive Bureau of Land Management t-shirt and hat, because BLM. Not so different than the continuing failures of facial recognition software. I may get such a BLM patch for my competition jacket, because if I ever get back recreating, most folks tend to be closer to RWNJs.


“This is not Trumpistan” — Steve Schmidt


President Trump’s campaign is selling onesies with “Baby Lives Matter” emblazoned in lettering used by Black Lives Matter.

A few years ago, this sort of schlocky bullshit might have sent me into a rage. Now it just makes me tired. This slogan wasn’t his idea: Trump is a lazy thinker whose brain is as empty as the ocean is vast. He has simply borrowed the uninspired rhetoric of anti-choicers who otherwise don’t give a cinnamon toast fuck about Black women, children, and babies, but nevertheless feel compelled to co-opt and pervert the meaning of Black Lives Matter to make a point about how much they don’t like abortion—as if we didn’t know.

So I have only one thing to say to Trump: Yawn.…

I have no pets so the drunk guy at the end of the bar is sitting in a pot needing to be watered.


After decades, I am still waiting for smart glasses.

a clone of the simple Pong game called Tong 


As the world inevitably moves towards devices like smart glasses and screens that follow us everywhere, we’re going to need hands free ways to interact with our apps. Dorothee Clasen wonders if our tongues could potentially replace our fingers using a joystick worn inside the mouth.

The [In]Brace is part of Clasen’s master thesis in Human-Computer Interaction design and research and is made from a plastic retainer, customized for each user’s mouth, that’s wired to a wifi module worn behind the ear. On the retainer itself is a simple set of electronics including a smooth spherical element embedded with a magnet allowing sensors to detect its simple back and forth movements.


As part of the research and testing of the prototype, Clasen also created a clone of the simple Pong game called Tong where players could adjust the position of their paddle using the tongue controller. It required the sensors on the [In]Brace to be specifically calibrated to whoever was trying the prototype, but with a little practice, it appears to be an effective way to play the game.

Is it the perfect way to navigate a complicated operating system like iOS or Android? Probably not, but presumably, like the interface used by Google Glass, smart glasses will feature a more streamlined and simplified OS. Other applications could potentially see the device used as an alternate interface method for those dealing with physical disabilities, or as an additional way to control a device or a piece of software for those times when you’re hands aren’t available, and a voice assistant refuses to understand what you’re asking for.…

More durian news. Third-world problems.


When a coronavirus lockdown confined Malaysians to their homes, street traders selling durians moved their pungent produce online — and have been enjoying an unexpected spike in demand.

Grown across tropical Southeast Asia, the durian is hailed by aficionados as the “king of fruits” due to its creamy, golden flesh and bittersweet flavour.

But detractors complain of its overpowering smell, comparing it to rotting food or stale vomit, and it is banned in many hotels and on public transport.

The traditional roadside stalls where Malaysians have for decades enjoyed the smelly fruits were, along with most other businesses, forced to close during the lockdown.

Motorbike and car deliveries were still allowed, however, and companies such as Dulai Fruits Enterprise turned to social media to market their frozen durians.


Online sales of the fruit in Malaysia have since slowed after restrictions were eased at the start of May, as durian lovers gradually returned to outdoor stalls.

Malaysia has seen a relatively small outbreak of COVID-19, recording almost 9,000 cases and 124 deaths.

Friday’s BFD:



Norman Foster is probably the best-known (late) modern architect,



Then there’s this (more troubling because of the number of people)


Tell us what your pets are currently doing, but refer to them as ‘The drunk guy at the end of the bar’…

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