I’m really trying to make it through this week unscathed. Two big demos and lots of work to do.
I still had time to point and laugh at the stories that make the tech life interesting with Mark Starling and the listeners of First News 570. You can always listen to First News 570 here.
Here are this week’s top under reported stories in tech.
IN ORWELLIAN MOMENT, SECRET POLICE INTELLIGENCE PROGRAM FOUND OUT IN BIG EASY
This is serious news. Palantir, is a super secret Tysons Corner company founded by the CIA’s venture fund to mine social networks, financial records, and other data sources to identify targets for predictive strikes. Palantir’s AI and data mining technology is usually reserved for the combat theatres involving Al Qaida and other state bad guys. James Carville, a Palantir advisor and consultant, brokered a relationship between the City of New Orleans and Palantir to use their technology to preemptively lock up criminals and gangs in New Orleans. On the surface, this technology seems to be great. Except this was all done in secret. Many city council members and civic leaders had no idea intelligence technology was being used on civilians. Furthermore, the technology and algorithms have had known issues in which police could be targeting innocent people. I personally believe that we shouldn’t be so desperate to fight crime that we bring in secretive policing techniques to stop it.
Those Rampancy Checks Don’t Mean a Hill of Beans
It’s Friday, and I was on the air just in time for the weekend. We talked about AT&T bringing real, not fake, 5G to America, Venezuela’s fake fake currency, Intel’s non-disclosure disclosure, and some good ole news about AI. You can listen to Mark, John, and First News 570 crew by listening here.
ATT ANNOUNCES FIRST THREE CITIES TO 5G WIRELESS
5 Gee, the new wireless standard which promises us the ability to download 5K and high def video over throttled cellular is coming soon. In keeping its promises American Telephone and Telegraph has announced that Waco, Dallas, and Atlanta will be the first of 12 cities to receive the new high speed service. ATT originally planned to rebrand LTE as 5G Evolution but thanks to regulations was cut short of lying to consumers. As a heavy mobile wireless user, I’m excited for 5G to come because it can open up some pretty interesting applications.
From This to a Spotify Playlist – SMDG
I’m telling you man. Sprint demo weeks are killer. You get a compressed week, you’re nervous as Hell and hope your team gets all their changes in, and then you have to present your stuff to the customer. It’s nerve wracking. So I was late with getting this week’s stories out, but there are some good ones. Myself, Mark, and the First News 570 crew poured one out this week as the end of mixes draws nigh. Listen in LIVE! You can listen LIVE every Thursday morning at 6:43 am EST.
IN STUNNING FALL FROM GRACE BITCOIN CONTINUES SLIDE
I know we’ve talked about this before, but Bitcoin’s fall is notable because it’s affecting the average Uber driver. No kidding. On New Years Eve, Sabrina and I shared an Uber with another couple and the driver was staking his future on Bitcoin’s high price and counting on it to bounce back. Since November, BTC has fallen from a high of $19,000 to a low of $5,947.40. This new fall is coming as banks are restricting customers from purchasing BTC using credit and debit cards, and as legislatures around the world begin restricting the currency. Speculators, and 50 Cent, are the only ones profiting and whoever is shorting BTC is still raking in dough.
It’s been a really interesting week in the tech news department. Samsung is now the world’s largest chipmaker, people are using AI to paste their favorite A-list celebrities’ faces on porn stars, and someone with big money calls Facebook, Google, and their ilk menaces to society. We don’t have time to report on it all, but here are some of the most interesting stories on First News 570 with Mark Starling. Listen in LIVE.
You can catch me an Mark Starling every Thursday morning at 643 am on WWNC, 570 AM.
BEZOS, BUFFET, AND A BLOKE FROM JPMORGAN TAKE AWS APPROACH TO HEALTHCARE
One of this week’s bigger news items is the announcement that Amazon will be partnering with investment firms Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan to form a healthcare company. We all know healthcare in the US is broken. We all have experiences with it. What’s interesting about this move is that Amazon is pursuing a strategy in which the company will be “free from profit making incentives and constraints.” Like many things Amazon has disrupted, the company will be tasked with revamping its own internal healthcare for its employees, see what works, and then bring it to market. We’ve seen this strategy work well for Amazon before, it’s called Amazon Web Services or AWS. After building a highly scalable cloud solution that could meet its customer demands, Amazon decided to sell this capability and make themselves into one of the Internet’s most profitable computing companies.
Credit goes to @techstacy for this great image.
I’m prepping this week’s stories in the sometimes illogical world of technology on a train leaving Gotham City. New York. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
There was a lot of techno-nonsense news this week. GM and Tesla’s self-driving AIs got involved in fender benders this week. One in a collision with a fire engine. Yeah. A fire engine, a teenaged driving student ain’t hitting a fire engine, and trust, I was in one of those student driver cars were my peer almost drove us into opposing traffic!
This week, I thought an ensuing war with China and some fool who’s trying out for a Darwin award would be good candidates for our weekly techno-news break on First News 570 with Mark Starling. Listen now.
NO ONE WANTS WAR WITH CHINA, BUT IT COULD BE TECHNOLOGICAL
This week features the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The forum in Davos is usually billed as a gathering of the masters of the universe including hedge fund masters, the world’s bankers, and trade and policy leaders from the country’s largest economies. Seeing China as a clear threat to the US’ position of being the world’s economic superpower and technology innovator. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated that the US seeks to level the playing field in global commerce and technology. China has long been viewed as an IP pilferer and dumper of cheap goods in the US market. Seeing a rise in the number of engineers, patent filings, and protectionist policies the US is complaining to the WTO and seeking “action”.
Bitcoin has last 53% of its value since December. The only thing faster than that is the resale value of a Vega GT.
Your boy is back!
I had to spend some time away with the mrs. and wasn’t on the one and two’s last week on First News 570. Despite the big breakdowns in technology during last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, I think these stories are a little more compelling. Mark and I discussed these stories this morning with Asheville’s listeners.
You can hear me and Mark crack up about the insanity of the tech industry every Thursday morning at 6:43 am. Make sure you listen in.
THE SPECULATORS GIVETH AND THEY TAKETH AWAY
For the first time since December 2017, Bitcoin’s value has dropped below $10,000. It’s easy for me to go out on the Internet and say, I told you so. Yesterday, Bitcoin closed at the price of $9, 958, in essence losing 53% of its value. Analysts are finding a few reasons why BTC is closing down, South Korea is thinking about imposing trading restrictions on the currency, the Chinese are intending to restrict local trading platforms for the currency, Bitconnect, a BTC lending and exchange platform, stated that they were shutting down their service after receiving cease and desist letters from US government regulators, and of course, Warren Buffet has flat out stated he hasn’t invested any of Berkshire Hathaway’s money in BTC investments, and doesn’t plan to. I told you so.
I don’t know. Some assembly lang code from the meltdownattacks.com site. I didn’t like assembly then, I don’t like it now.
Anyone who has a child has experienced it. You’re in the super market or mall, you’re in the kitchen, or just plain anywhere and your toddler will crash to their knees, roll around, and whine.
Apparently hackers are making our computers and smartphones do the same thing.
Apple Admitted They Throttle Old iPhones to Make Them Last Longer
If I don’t see you, speak with you, or hear from you, I wish you a Merry Christmas!
Before the holiday comes upon us we had to squeeze more morning of techno-commentary in on First News 570 w/ Mark Starling. Everyone knew it, but Apple comes out with with the truth this week, plus we’ll be cackling about Comcast’s Net Neutrality bonuses. Make sure you listen in.
CONSPIRACY THEORIST PROVEN RIGHT, APPLE THROTTLES OLD PHONES
FOR YEARS, for years, iPhone users have theorized, suspected, and outright accused Apple of throttling the performance of older iPhones in order to get their loyal customers to buy more phones. In a stunning turn of events; yesterday, Apple admitted to handicapping the performance of older phones in order to “keep older phones running longer by drawing less power from older batteries.” I paraphrased that. We all know Li-Ion batteries are pure crap after about a year and a half of use, and Apple is saying that by slowing down the performance of the phone, the device draws less current, and can extend the lifespan of the device and its battery. It’s an excuse damnit! I have an iPhone 6 right now that won’t turn on because of a battery issue, and they forced me to buy this iPhone X. We all know about planned obsolescensce but damn! Apple’s excuse isn’t satiating it’s most upset fans, but I predict people will shrug it off to buy the next iThing.
‘Tis the season to be merry.
Yes. I still haven’t gone Christmas shopping. And no, I don’t know when. But, I know one thing, technology news keeps on giving us gems to laugh and cry about. We talk about Facebook mining children for their data, virtual kittens, and frowning poop emojis on First News 570 with Mark Starling. Listen in LIVE.
WILL SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN: FACEBOOK ROLLS OUT MESSENGER FOR KIDS
“Well, if someone wasn’t going to make a messaging platform specifically for kids then we should,” at least that the answer Facebook is giving parents and media after rolling out their new Messaging app, Facebook Messenger for Kids. The app is specifically geared towards children who are between the ages of 6 and 12 years old skirting child privacy laws because kids need their parent’s permission to hop on the app. The app will work like any other messaging app, create a profile using your kids real name, and then build a social graph of contacts you can share messages, stickers, and funny internet memes with. It wasn’t as if we were sitting on mountains of data insisting that social networks cause real world depression amongst its users. First, let’s state, FM4K is ad free. But, it’s obvious to me that Facebook is treating children as a potential mine of data to sell to marketers and advertisers on its main platform. Facebook isn’t saying a whole lot, regarding how the intend to monetize this thing or how much data parents will have access to on their kids usage. Also, it’s obvious that once a kid turns 13, Facebook will probably have a single click button allowing said adolescent to grow up to a full on FB account. I’m not impressed.
Yeah, I know.
But, I’ve been busy. This morning on First News 570, we talk about pouring one out for Net Neutrality and how hard it is to leave your intelligence in wide open public view.
CONTRACTOR LEAVES TREASURE TROVE OF SOCIAL MEDIA DATA ON S3
Some people just give government contractors a bad name. In the latest incident of contractors messing up badly, a Pentagon contractor left a vast archive of social media intelligence publicly available on Amazon’s disk in the sky, S3. Simple Storage Service, S3, is Amazon’s cloud data storage solution and it’s not exactly easy to leave an S3 bucket, a storage location, open to the world. The bucket contained over 1.8 billion, with a ’B’, online posts scraped by the Pentagon over eight years.