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Original author: 
Sean Gallagher


NSA Headquarters in Fort Meade, MD.

mjb

One organization's data centers hold the contents of much of the visible Internet—and much of it that isn't visible just by clicking your way around. It has satellite imagery of much of the world and ground-level photography of homes and businesses and government installations tied into a geospatial database that is cross-indexed to petabytes of information about individuals and organizations. And its analytics systems process the Web search requests, e-mail messages, and other electronic activities of hundreds of millions of people.

No one at this organization actually "knows" everything about what individuals are doing on the Web, though there is certainly the potential for abuse. By policy, all of the "knowing" happens in software, while the organization's analysts generally handle exceptions (like violations of the law) picked from the flotsam of the seas of data that their systems process.

I'm talking, of course, about Google. Most of us are okay with what Google does with its vast supply of "big data," because we largely benefit from it—though Google does manage to make a good deal of money off of us in the process. But if I were to backspace over Google's name and replace it with "National Security Agency," that would leave a bit of a different taste in many people's mouths.

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TIME Photo Department

TIME LightBox presents a new monthly round-up of the best books, exhibitions and ways to experience photography beyond the web—from the Reportage Photography Festival in Sydney and a new Mitch Epstein book to Martin Parr’s ‘Life’s a Beach’ at Aperture in New York and an André Kertész show in London.

‘The Guide’ on LightBox will be published monthly. If you have submissions or suggestions for upcoming round-ups of the best books and exhibitions, feel free to pass them along via email before May 10. We’ll also be updating this gallery throughout the month.

See the previous Guide for April 2013.

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magCulture Votes The Alpine Review as Magazine of the Week 

The blog magCulture is all about editorial design, doesn’t matter whether its digital or print form. Every week, the blog picks one winner for the category ‘Magazine of the Week.’ This time’s winner, one of our favorite magazine THE ALPINE REVIEW, was chosen. And this with reason. 

The bi-annual magazine is concerned with things at large that tracks changes in all fields of society - a compendium of ideas for a world in transition. It is one of the few mediums that suggests that print is immortal, no matter what the future might bring. There are lots of interesting articles and idea starters within this issue “Antifragility”, unique words like ‘Coffeeshopification,’ a truly good eye for design and a Berlin focus 

We are happy we could help out with pictures for Berlin and are proud to be part of this exciting format. We are looking forward to what is coming next and in the meantime reading through the 285 pages with its 80 topics.

Grab a copy at Do you read me in Berlin or online at THE ALPINE REVIEW

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These images were considered for The Week in Pictures, and though they didn't end up in the slideshow, they're worth another look:

Charlie Litchfield / Idaho Press-Tribune via AP

Zach Ball, 10, of Nampa, Idaho buries his head in a box full of beans and corn as his twin brother Cody, right, looks on, Friday, July 29, 2011 at the Canyon County Fair in Caldwell, Idaho.

Yevgeny Volokin / Reuters

Sailors from the Mexican Navy sail training vessel ARM Cuauhtemoc line up in the rigging of their ship as it enters the port of Odessa July 30, 2011. Odessa is one of 16 ports of call across three continents for the ship during its "Mediterranean 2011" training cruise.

Leo Solinap / Reuters

An aerial shot shows the sunken M/V Asia Malaysia at the seas of Panay and Negros islands, central Philippines, August 2, 2011. M/V Asia Malaysia, a passenger cargo ship, sank near Iloilo in central Philippines on Sunday and all 147 passengers and crew were rescued after the vessel tilted to its right side due to strong winds and choppy waters, a Philippine coast guard official reported. Picture taken August 2, 2011.

Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP - Getty Images

Indian man Ashoke Kumar Nayek, of some 55 years, lies on his bed in Gadeem village around 95 km south-west of Kolkata on July 26, 2011. Nayek, a former singer, was left with sever spine injuries after a car accident two years ago and has appealed to the state chief minister to allow for a mercy killing. India's Supreme Court ruled in March 2011 that life support can be legally removed for some terminally ill patients in a landmark ruling that will allow "passive euthanasia" for the first time.

 

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