Panasonic Invents Funk Busting Clothes Hanger, Tax Software Infects PCs, EU Hands El Goog Record Fine

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As we roll into Fourth of July weekend, I hope you are having an awesome summer and keeping cool. One of today’s stories features a gadget that can help defunkify some of your summer sweat soaked gear. We talk about Japan’s knack for useless gadgets and more on First News 570 with Mark Starling. Make sure you listen in.

SATURDAY NIGHT REVELERS REJOICE AS PANASONIC IMPRESSES US WITH USELESS CLOTHES HANGER THAT ZAPS FUNK
Oh! Those zany Japanese. Forever crossing the line from efficient progress into useless gadgetry.
The latest out of Japan’s Chindogu culture is a smart coat hanger that deodorizes clothing. According to Panasonic, this coat hanger eliminates the aromas of smoke, sweat, and grilled meats from your clothes. The gadget uses a proprietary technology called NanoE, which uses tiny charged particles that inhibit mold and bacteria. Originally invented for skin moisturizing the NanoE has found new life in clothing. Just think, now you can re-wear your club suit worn the night before at church without getting suspicious sniffs and frowns from the little old lady sitting next to you.
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Kalanick Exits and Tips Enter, Amazon Buys Whole Foods, FTC Blocks Gambling Rings, and Russian’s Hack Us

A lot of drama this week in tech. Big news coming from Uber, Amazon, and the FTC. Listen in to hear Mark and I point and laugh this morning on First News 570.

UBER ATTEMPTS TO STOP THE DRAMA WITH KALANICK’S EXIT
If there’s one company drama we can’t get enough of it’s the Uber Turns. Shortly after beginning is indefinite leave of absence, Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick has stepped down from Uber. It’s been a tough year for the company as they’ve been busted avoiding regulators via their Greyballs app, has had a historical problem with women and family employees, couldn’t retain a COO responsible for upholding its image, sexual harassment allegations, and their latest episode of Bro-culture, a board member complaining about needing to be polite to broads. Kalanick will keep his board seat though, and no one knows who will step in as CEO.
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NYT Deploys AI Comment Police, North Korea Makes Us Cry, and Microsoft Plays Perfect Ms. Pac Man

I don’t know about you, but work has gotten more intense since it started getting warm in the Nation’s capital. This week we talk about Google’s AI Comment Police Bot, E3, North Korea’s deployment of WannaCry, and Microsoft plays a perfect score of Ms. Pac Man on First News 570 with Mark Starling. Listen now.

NEW YORK TIMES DEPLOYS NEW GOOGLE AI TO POLICE COMMENTS
The New York Time is enabling comments again on many of its articles. Over the years, the top newspapers such as the Times, Washington Post, and others have limited comments on articles because of the proliferation of hate speech. NYT is using Google’s commentary AI, Perspective to police comments on its articles. Perspective scores comments on a scale from 0 to 100 with 100 being most likely to be rejected by a human. Currently, the Times only allows comments on 10% of its articles. Over time and thanks to Perspective they hope to allow comments on 80% of its articles in the future.
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AI Writes Screenplay, UK Leaders Demand More from Tech Firms, and SONY Tops in VR

I began this week by joining the news crew on First News 570 Monday morning reporting on the London attacks and the technology the attackers could have possibly used to plan and execute the attacks. We finish the week with some lighter news and reflection on what’s at stake for personal privacy and what’s needed to combat terrorism. Tune into First News this morning and listen in with Mark Starling.

POSSIBLY SIGNALING THE END OF FORMULAIC MOVIES AI WRITES SCREENPLAY
Director Oscar Sharp and AI researcher Ross Goodwin collaborated on writing the screenplay of Sunspring, a sci-fi movie that debuted at SciFi London using an AI called Benjamin. Benjamin is an AI which uses the latest in state of the art technology, a recurrent neural network. Benjamin was fed with over a dozen sci-fi films sourced online and wrote a compelling and funny film. SciFi London’s Judges placed Sunspring in the Top 10 out of hundreds of entries, a first for a screenplay written by an AI. Voting got intense at the end as voting was opened to an online audience for the top 10 films.
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DAYS AFTER LONDON ATTACKS UK LEADERS SAY MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE BY TECH FIRMS
The first ask from all government leaders is to do more to stop the spread of hate speech which no one disagrees with. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all have flawed systems but take quick action when hate speech is posted online and reported by users. The second ask is problematic. UK leaders are asking for weaker encryption which is a bad idea or the equivalent of a wiretap for encrypted transmissions. Part of the problem is that implementations are different between one tech firm and another, it’s not like the standards used in voice traffic. The other part of the problem is that once you provide this access is becomes open to the world as witnessed by the leaked NSA exploits. There’s no easy answer, but we all need to do something.
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THREATENING TO BECOME MORE THAN JUST A FAD, SONY SELLS ONE MILLION HEADSETS
Yesterday, Sony announced that they have sold more than 1 million virtual reality headsets. Sony’s headset is priced cheaper than its competitors from Facebook and HTC at $399 and probably has something to do with it. Also, SONY is uniquely positioned because it has a built in market. More than 60 million players play games on the PlayStation 4 and VR is a new content stream for the console. Analysts estimate that more than 2 million headsets were sold in the first quarter of 2017 and this may make VR more than just a passing fad.
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AMAZON OFFERS DISCOUNT PRIME MEMBERSHIPS TO LOWER INCOME FAMILIES
American families who qualify for government assistance will be eligible to receive discounted Amazon Prime memberships for $5.99 per month instead of $10.99 per month. Amazon is trying to persuade low income families away from Wal-Mart to buy more crap from them instead. Last year, Wal-Mart generated about $3 billion in sales from shoppers who qualified for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, SNAP, or formerly known as food stamps.
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Amazon Steals Alexa Tech, the Air Force’s Secret Space Plane, a Man and His Nuggs

People are always shocked and surprised when I say, “I hate the Internet.” They clutch their pearls, shocked and dismayed, because, “but, you’re a technologist.” The Internet used to be cool, when only nerds were on it. Now there’s no new innovation, companies hire the best and brightest talent to help program ways for people to share completely inane, questionable facts. We talk about how the Internet is helping a kid get free nuggets and more on First News 570 with Mark Starling. Make sure you listen in.

nuggboy

MODERN DAY UMBRELLA CORPORATION AMAZON STEALS INVESTMENT COMPANY’S TECH AND BAKES INTO ECHO
Some weeks, I feel like Amazon is the only company on the inter webs producing anything. Well, in the latest tech news, Amazon is releasing yet another add-on service to their ever popular device, the Echo. The Echo Show, is an intercom for anywhere. It’s an Echo attached to, that’s right, a small video screen that allows you to make video calls to other Echo’s. Amazon has been on an innovation rampage lately, but in this realm they are actually stealing an idea from a company they invested in. Alexa fund recipient, Nucleus, created an Alexa with a screen using $5.6 million of Amazon’s own money. Amazon has lots of cash to throw and it appears to be paying off. Now that Alexa orders clothing, gives style advice, and entertains 9 year olds, when will Alexa go to work for me so I don’t have to. Oops, that’s already happening…
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Amazon to Conquer Apparel, AI Sartorialist, and the Fall of the iPhone

Amazon can’t be stopped. If they aren’t too busy breaking supply chain records, they are intruding on other business frontiers. Amazon dominates this week’s stories with Mark Starling. Listen in to First News 570.

SEEING DOLLARS IN DESIGN, AMAZON OFFERS CUSTOM CLOTHING SERVICE
I love Amazon, and I hate Amazon. Amazon has made it super simple to buy things, but they just can’t help themselves. Amazon is on pace to become our future’s umbrella corporation because there is nothing they can’t innovate. Coming soon to an Interweb near you is Amazon 5-day custom apparel. That’s right. Using Amazon’s patented fabric printing and cutting machines you can measure yourself, upload your 36-24-36, and get custom made clothing in 5 days. I’ve been ordering online custom shirts for a while now, and if Amazon can get the price below $30 they have another hit. This new custom service follows Amazon’s custom printing and personalization services. There’s no territory left uncharted if there’s dollars on the horizon.
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FEELING ENTREPRENEURIAL ITCH, BRITISH FAMILY SELLS ALL TO LAUNCH SOCIAL SPORTS NETWORK
It’s Small Business Week here in the US, and my entrepreneurial itch couldn’t help but feel a little tingle when I read about the Hughes family. The Manchester, England family has sold the house, the car, the cat, quit school, and everything to focus their efforts on building the “ultimate sports social network”. GameDay Xtra is a new network aimed at rabid sports fans that will host pages, live streams, and more of every sports team in the world. They intend to build the ultimate portal showcasing your daughter’s Quikstix Gamma Lacrosse league to the Green Bay Packers. The family has five phases of the platform including live streamed games. Right now, they have a few thousands members after launch and intend to scale once they’ve reached a million. I wish them good luck.
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HUMANS WHO CAN’T DRESS THEMSELVES USE AI TO CHOOSE HAUTE COUTURE
I’ve said numerous times, and I quote, “humans aren’t mature enough to have technology”, end-quote. In more Amazon news, and just in time to test out their new custom apparel patent, Amazon is giving Alexa more smarts with the Echo Look. Echo users can pair their device with a stationary camera and have Alexa critique what they are wearing and give them style pointers. With the simple phrase, “Alexa take a picture”, you too can be chastised by an Anna Wintour wannabe. Is there nothing we won’t surrender to AI, are humans really that lazy? Hey, those brown shoes don’t match!
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WILL CLUTCHES PEARLS: IPHONE SALES TAKE HIT FOR SECOND STRAIGHT QUARTER
Are we seeing the end of a titan, or really just a signal of a saturated market. Before you get your panties in a bunch, Apple sold 50.76 million iPhones last quarter, down from 51.19 million the previous quarter. Sales, still greater than most companies on the planet and definitely more than Studio Codeworks. With everyone carrying a smartphone and my mother sending me ridiculous iMessage stickers, it was bound to happen that the world’s most recognizable smartphone company sees weakening sales. Companies are focused on delivering new technology using augmented reality and AI which may be the new frontiers.
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I’ve Moved to Primetime! Loudest Cyberattack in Dallas, Twitter Commune, and Tamagotchi!

Your boy has moved to Primetime people!

Mark Starling and the producers of First News 570 have brought me in for their Thursday morning time slot. In commemoration of this occasion, we talk about the loudest hack attack on record, Twitter’s upcoming shareholder meeting and the Return of the Tamagotchi! Listen in.

A Tamagotchi in the Hand

A Tamagotchi in the Hand

Chip in the Hand, Privacy Out the Window, OAF, and an Apple a Day

Another juicy week in the tech news industry. We’ve voluntarily given up our privacy, why not up the ante by chipping ourselves. Epicenter, Yahoo/AOL/OATH, and Apple feature in this week’s stories on the Talk of the Mountains, First News 570, with Mark Starling. Make sure you listen in.

Photo Credit: NBC News

Photo Credit: NBC News

NOT CONTENT WITH HIRING NOSY RECEPTIONISTS EPICENTER CHIPS EMPLOYEES TO KEEP TABS ON THEM
Back-in-the-day, the nosy receptionist worked a side hustle by keeping tabs on employees as they came and left the office. That, “must have been an awesome lunch,” was code for you should get your ass back to work. Fast forward to the 90s and the first proxcards were used to know who coming in late and lying on their timesheet. New for the 21st century and straight out of Black Mirror, Swedish company, Epicenter is chipping employees and doing away with proxcards. 160 or their 2000 employees have agreed to have a near-field RFID chip implanted in the meat between their index finger and thumb. Epicenter employees will be able to pay for food at the cafe, exchange contacts, use RF activated door knobs, and of course fill out their timesheets. Of course this could lead to invasions of privacy. But, what’s privacy?
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YAHOO CONTINUES IDENTITY CRISIS POST VERIZON BY HITCHING UP WITH AOL AND CALLING ITSELF OATH
Yep. AOL and Yahoo, two early Internet pioneers and behemoths in their hey day. Both companies have faced issues as social platforms and mobile were smaller, faster, and just plain cooler. OATH, is now saying that it will rule the digital world and deliver exciting and impactful content to Internet users. Yahoo for years faced an identity crisis across its apps and properties, AOL failed to innovate for its excited and marketable audience, and now we have the taking an OATH and teaming up. I’m not convinced. Oh, and Marissa Mayer will not be taking one.
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APPLE MAKES COMPANIES AND BREAKS COMPANIES
Take it from me. Having a big ass company as a customer is good business. And take it from me, having a big ass company as a customer is bad for business. Imagination Technologies is experiencing that feeling right now. The graphics chip maker boasts Apple as one of it’s largest customers to the tune of accounting for 50% of its revenue. Well, Apple is now deciding to build their graphics technology for their next set of phones. Thereby, putting Imagination Technologies future prospects into question. IT for their part says that they don’t believe Apple will be rolling their own tech, but after watching the company make their own processors, I’m not convinced. And, this is coming on the heels of Apple’s mega deal with Samsung for the purchase of 70 million OLED screens for hopefully the iPhone8.
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A Chip in Every Brain, Bad Guys’ Encryption, and the Trump Tweeter Memorial Library

I could have used a chip in Differential Equations. (I got a B)

I could have used a chip in Differential Equations. (I got a B)

You know President Donald Trump is the perfect president for our flash-in-the-pan, Internet celebrity culture. This week we talk about chipping your brain, the DJT Twitter Library, and how the bad guys are one-upping the good guys on our Wednesday tech talk with Mark Starling on First News 570. Listen in now.

“I BOW DOWN TO OUR ROBOT OVERLORDS”, PART THREE
From the man who used to warn us about the dangers of AI, Elon Musk, GenX’s Howard Hughes, has announced the formation of a new company named Neuralink, founded with the aim of bridging the gap between man and machine. Nerualink and Musk seek to create implantable smart devices on human brains. They want to start out by helping patients with neurological disorders, but chipping a human holding a gun is of course the second phase, or we could always live Edit & Ja in real life.
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