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Your House is Full of Emotions Says Study on Room-Specific Feelings

Is the living room sad? The kitchen anxious? One new study seeks to determine how a room really feels.

A handy breakdown on how each room "feels," according to University of Texas, Austin.

Do you ever walk into someone’s house and get, well, just kind of depressed? Some might call it bad Feng Shui, but a new survey of “domestic ambiances” says that certain rooms really do have the ability to make us feel very specific, very tangible emotions. Led by a group of psychologists at U of T Austin, 200 people were given a list of 18 hypothetical rooms that typically exist within an “ideal” home, and asked them to pick two “ambiance descriptions” of each space. According to City Lab, one of the exact questions was, “as you enter each of the following spaces, what are the most important emotions or perceptions you would like to evoke within yourself and others?” The psychologists supplied 29 pre-selected words, which were available to choose from for those without linguistic creativity.

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An Artist’s Pioneering Masks Shield Us from Future Surveillance

From fingerprint and face scans to body cameras, these innovations may bring us more civil rights angst than we ever imagined.

The ninth annual Biometrics for Government and Law Enforcement conference kicks off today in Arlington, Virginia, where the F.B.I., Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Army, California Border Patrol, and more gather to plot the future of snagging bad guys. This year’s festivities showcase the F.B.I.’s new $1.2 billion “Next Generation Identification” system (N.G.I.)—taken fully operational last September—a massive database and suite of tools (accessible by 18,000 federal, state, local, tribal, and international agencies) for capturing, storing, and analyzing fingerprints, palm prints, faces, and iris biometrics. The bureau calls it “a significant step forward for the criminal justice community in utilizing biometrics as an investigative enabler.” In other words, the robocops are coming.

Biometrics, or ways of identifying individuals based on singular physical characteristics, have been used for criminal investigation since ancient imperial China began tracking citizens' fingerprints, but recent advancements have taken body and face quantification mainstream. Your thumb unlocks your iPhone, Japanese and Polish A.T.M.s come equipped with fingertip vein pattern recognition, Dubai police officers wear Google Glass with facial recognition software, and, as part of the N.G.I. rollout, 62 U.S. police departments are currently field-testing handheld iris and facial recognition devices. But how will this information be compiled, and what can these agencies presume to know about an individual from biometric identification? Critics point to experiments like gay face studies, and other data-driven attempts to standardize how we see large groups of people, as proof that biometrics can ultimately be as pseudoscientific as the 19th century pursuits of phrenology and anthropometry, which attempted to read into a person’s identity based on say, the length of one’s left foot or the shape of an individual’s skull.

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