Mind the Gap

The tech war between the US and China continues to dominate headlines. It’s easy to lose track of the fact these are not the only countries in the world, be it in the geographical or technological sense. One other player on this global stage is the European Union. The EU needs to dramatically overhaul its approach to innovation now that its overreliance on American tech, Chinese production, and Russian oil are all bringing into stark relief how badly a plan for competitive EU innovation is needed. LINK

(A) I Am Your Father

You may have read some headlines here and there about musicians being replicated via holograms, maybe Abba, perhaps Elvis Presley? The undercurrent of such initiatives is corporate contemplation of what to do about artists who have died, but whose popularity hasn’t. Movies are next on the list. James Earl Jones, who has voiced Darth Vader since 1977, has given permission to train an AI with his voice. Considering Darth Vader’s canonical state in the Star Wars series, a literally robotic voice kind of fits, yet I question the precedent this might set for the voice acting industry. LINK 

Australian Hackathon

A third of the Australian population, which is roughly 8,6 million people, are likely affected by a massive new cyber-attack. The attack compromised Optus, the nation’s second largest Telecom provider. This is obviously terrible news, especially for the subset of victim’s whose more sensitive information such as ID documents may have been compromised. Yet the size and scale of this latest breach have also done good in forcing sweeping reforms of data security policies and standards that worked well back in the stone age but well…we can see how they hold up in 2022. LINK

Dildo Data Safety

Teledildonics is the term used to refer to high tech sex toys that can interface with software and/or other sex toys. The security of these sex toys is about as reliable as a ripped condom, which is actually a bigger problem than you might think in light of the increasingly wild and novel ways that threat actors are finding to compromise critical online infrastructure. Data breaches are bad enough, it’d be even more embarrassing to explain how your security was penetrated by a smart dildo. LINK

Fine, I'll do it myself

Neal Stephenson published the hit Sci-Fi novel Snowcrash in 1992. If you’ve ever wondered who actually came up with the term ‘Metaverse,’ here you go. Stephenson is now weaving a non-fiction tale of the metaverse in his Lamina1 white paper (corporate statement of intent). Lamina1 is Stephenson’s new blockchain technology startup. I think it’s worth keeping an eye on how this particular startup story plays out because Stephenson’s vision of the metaverse is actually what, at least partially, inspired tech titans such as Facebook’s metaverse. LINK

West Bank Bullet Bots

In what is surely not a precursor to SkyNet having its wicked way with us, an Israeli arms manufacturer’s latest weapons’ system has been quietly installed in a notoriously volatile checkpoint on Shuhada street, in the city of Hebron (Israel/Palestine, depending on who you ask). Once it hit the news, the Israeli military went to great lengths to emphasize that this new AI powered turret will exclusively fire non-lethal ordnance but uh… I have concerns about the way the manufacturer boasts of its ambitions and about the capabilities of its lethal products. LINK

NPC's Aren't Real

This title can be interpreted in two ways. The first way to interpret it is that the Non-Player Characters (NPC’s) of video games don’t actually exist in real life. The second way is a disturbing mentality shift amongst some people. In games, NPCs often exist purely for the sake of players, as props rather than people. A popular social media trend of harassing random strangers in public spaces is getting millions of views online. Content creators consider themselves the ‘Player Character’ at the centre of a game’s universe in order to justify their actions, convincing impressionable viewers to do the same. LINK

Dropped Beats

Two significant questions were asked today about tech driven media consumption. The first question was about what happens when a piece of media falls between the copyright cracks. The second question was about whether overreliance on curation such as streaming service algorithms might be ruining people’s ability to find and discover new music. I had never heard of the show ‘Final Space’ before I saw a twitter post about its grieving creator vowing to find a way to finish it. I also often sigh in annoyance at the same few songs being regurgitated by Spotify’s personalised playlists. It’s scary how many works can be created and destroyed these days without anyone ever noticing. LINK + LINK

Should We Mind Manners?

I featured Texas’ highly questionable new moderation laws last week. And in doing so, I mentioned that experts wondered how many of the demands of those pushing the new regulations could ever realistically be met. Let’s look a little closer at one of the most prominent questions of this whole controversy. A topic of fierce debate and much uncertainty at present is whether or not enforcing civility online, regardless of one’s interpretation, actually improves or stifles debate. LINK


Laptiptop Shape LINK
DALL-E Needs History Classes LINK
Rollback With the Punches LINK
Productivity Paranoia LINK
Thoughful Colours LINK
Ok Rich Doomer LINK
Self-Preservation LINK
Lessons in PW Cracking LINK
Apple Dissection LINK
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