This week is a sad one for me. Like many GenX’ers, once upon a time in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you might be privileged enough to take a trip to Toys ‘R’ Us and roam the aisle ways dreaming of remote controlled cars, train sets, Cliffhangers, Transformers, and a shiny red 10 speed bike. Since having children, I would spend a few hours in Toys “R” Us, on Christmas Eve, dumping whatever last minute toy I could find in a cart because I didn’t buy anything for my kids. My kids also liked roaming Toys “R” Us, we bought a couple bikes from there, as well as a toy kitchen/stove thing that my then 3 year old turned into a vanity, and I would always pass the life sized Millennium Falcon, wondering if I would pull the trigger.
Well those days are ending, as Toys “R” Us is closing and laying off 33,000 people. Thank you, Amazon.
Anyway, it’s Thursday, and we had to buck up and talk about some new zany in the world of technology and I didn’t disappoint. Here are the top stories we talked about on First News 570 with Mark Starling. Make sure you tune in every Thursday morning by listening to iHeart Radio LIVE.
ENCOURAGING KIDS TO STAY LAZY, NBA STARTS E-SPORTS LEAGUE
I just can’t do it. I played sports in middle school and high school and a lot of video games. No matter how many people try to convince me otherwise, finger reflexes, hand-finger coordination, and rapid eye movement are not the same as having the physical skills to pay the bills. The NBA thinks otherwise and is drafting 102 gamers to join an NBA2K, I have this game, eSports league. Some gamers are “practicing” NBA2K for 20 hours week with the big league hopes of being drafted to the majors. Gamers will receive 6 month contracts and could earn between $32,000 and $35,000 to play the game. I’m sorry. I still can’t do it. I’m barely watching pro basketball now, and I can’t imagine myself tuning in to watch a bunch of couch potatoes who couldn’t put up bricks yell at each other for 42 minutes a clip.
COMPANY CLAIMS TO BE ABLE TO BACKUP YOUR BRAIN, WHEN YOU’RE DEAD
Everyday, real life looks more like a Black Mirror episode. Silicon Valley startup, Nectome, claims to be able to scan a human brain and preserve it with the hopes of running computer simulations against it. Unfortunately, the process requires a fresh brain and is 100% fatal. The company claims to be able to survey the brains connectome, the mesh of neural connections in the brain. They claim to be able to survey neurons so well, that it might be possible to reconstruct a person’s memories after death. This is legit stuff, the company has raised almost a million dollars from the US National Institute of Mental Health and is one of Y Combinator’s portfolio companies. The company uses a special embalming process to map the brain, but requires it to be fresh within hours after death. They are currently interested in working with the terminally ill and people wanting to participate in doctor assisted suicide.
INTERNET CONSPIRACY THEORISTS CRY CONSPIRACY AS YOUTUBE DISPLAYS WIKIPEDIA TEXT
Jon Voight had a great quote in the conspiracy movie, The Manchurian Candidate, “the Internet is full of wackjobs and nutters.” Google’s Susan Wojcicki, displayed a mockup of a new YouTube feature that displays text from Wikipedia articles alongside videos YT has deemed to be conspiracy theories or hoaxes against science. YouTube’s motivation is to present an alternative viewpoint to videos questioning science or describing conspiracies about the moon landing being fake.
AND TOYS ‘R’ US IS CLOSING
This is sad on so many levels.