Google’s increasingly faster re-branding efforts

Google’s increasingly faster re-branding efforts. Google Bard is now Google Gemini. This was fast. I asked Gemini to gather all rebrandings after I saw and lost a twit making fun of Google’s rebrandings. Google AdWords → Google Ads: Streamlined for a broader understanding of its functions. DoubleClick Digital Marketing & Google Analytics 360 Suite → … Read more

Academic Informatics Conferences resumed and I was glad to be part it

Academic Informatics conferences were led by “the father of Turkish Internet,” Mustafa Akgül.  After his death in 2017, the annual conferences stopped after 2019. I was happy to hear that the meetings would start again. A few days ago, I participated in one of the AI and Social Life panels at Istanbul University. Here is … Read more

Come to Istanbul! “Istanbul Named the World’s Most Visited City in 2023”

Istanbul Named the World’s Most Visited City in 2023 – TimeOut TimeOut Euromonitor International released its list of top 10 cities for international arrivals and the Turkish capital claimed the number one spot. How Female Chefs Are Sparkling in Istanbul – The New York Times The New York Times Women, long expected to cook for their families at … Read more

Our special issue on AI and Social Life (Reflektif Journal) has just been released

Reflektif is an open-access journal published by Istanbul Bilgi University Press. You can access the special issue here. Our launching event is on YouTube now. Two reports from our AI literacy projects are added to this volume. I had my “AI for Social Good” report translated into English so you can have a look!  You … Read more

A few days in Ankara

I just came back from Ankara. Sinem and I love Ankara, so whenever we have time, we stop by Ankara. This time, we mostly settled in Çankaya, in our favorite hotel, Hotel Jinnah- but unfortunately, this will be the last time we will stay there as the hotel has been poorly maintained. Anyway, my excuse … Read more

My Google Maps performance-200 million views. Still lots of place to visit…

I wasn’t a person to travel a lot. In my first two years in Houston, I saw only a few places except the Rice campus. In order to motivate myself to see more places, I began to collect local newspapers at that time. But I changed a lot. I wouldn’t call myself a traveler, but … Read more

In defense of OnlyFans

It was the third documentary I appeared at BluTV. The first one was a short series on TikTok. The second one was a piece on sleep. Last week, a short video on OnlyFans content producers in Turkey appeared: Müstehcen [Obscene] I was quoted briefly, and I argue that OnlyFans and related platforms may be good … Read more

Taxi drivers as bullies of #istanbul (Taksi drivers attack Istanbul’s Transportation Coordination Center with stones)

Taksi drivers attack Istanbul’s Transportation Coordination Center with stones Duvar English Istanbul’s taxi drivers reacting to the 28.09 percent increase in taxi fares at the meeting of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Transportation In other news: Rumours and Whispers in the Istanbul Art Scene An update on revolt, discussions and developments in the city following months of crisis Over the past six … Read more

Our new SosyalKafa video is about Exploring Free Software and Artificial Intelligence with Orkut Murat Yılmaz

It is in Turkish but a detailed summary here: “Exploring Free Software and Artificial Intelligence with Orkut Murat Yılmaz Detailed Summary for Kendi bilgisayarımda çalışan yapay zekâ by Merlin Video Title: Exploring Free Software and Artificial Intelligence with Orkut Murat Yılmaz 00:04 Orkut Murat Yılmaz is a free software developer and will present about the … Read more

Our review of the year in SosyalKafa

  A few days ago, I and Sinem reviewed the world of digital communications in our way. Here is a summary of what we talked in English:   Short Summary for 2023 Teknolojik Trendler Z Raporu by Merlin The video is discussing the technological trends for 2023, focusing on generative artificial intelligence and its impact. … Read more

Reading “A Social History of Ottoman Istanbul” and realizing fires were once No 1 enemy of Istanbulians

I am reading a nice book A Social History of Ottoman Istanbul. One chapter deals with the fires. It was the most damaging disaster for centuries. Mavi Boncuk listed major fires: Major Named Istanbul Fires Mavi Boncuk | The period with no organized Tulumba Fire Crews until 1714. Important fires of this period; 1510    It … Read more

Interesting: “Istanbul Europe’s 2nd brightest Christmas city”

Istanbul Europe’s 2nd brightest Christmas city: Research   According to a recent study by a U.K.-based company, Istanbul has been ranked as the second most brilliantly lit Christmas city in Europe during the month of December. This information has been reported by several reputable sources, including Daily Sabah, Hürriyet Daily News, and Additionally, a … Read more

Dear Michael, May you rest in peace…

I am sad to share the news of the passing of an old friend and classmate, Michael Adair-Kriz from my days at Rice Anthropology. I was not able to attend the celebration as I am living far far away. I will always remember him as a joyful person who was consoling me at the campus … Read more

Farewell to a major anthro blog: “anthro{dendum}”

I believe that the moment they changed their name from “Savage Minds” to “anthro{dendum}”, the decline started. Over-reliance on (political) correctness is a kind of (political) purism that never ends well. (I do not claim all contributors are like that; I actually like some of them very much). Life is rich, and anthropology is the … Read more

A tribute to İstanbul’s Tercüman building

I heard the news that this building will be demolished. Its architectural style was unique in İstanbul. I would admire it when I was a child. It was futuristic when it was first built. I had been inside once when it was used as a private high school building. But it was first used as … Read more