July 2022 - The Digital Life from Lökwest - security articles, Apple updates, speak with the dead, and beat the Fed!
We hope you had a great 4th of July holiday weekend! We had great weather in California, but don't worry - we still found time to bring you the tech news you can use! 😎🌞
We asked - you answered. Thanks for answering last month's survey. To get you started this month, we have three great reads on security - how to opt-out, a tale of Tik Tok caution, and what not to do with your data. In the news, we have Apple's latest announcements, a smart contact, and 988.
Don't stop reading there! Do you want to talk to a deceased loved one or have a better customer service experience? There were two interesting developments in voice-changing technology this month.
Lastly, we've got some entertainment - try to beat the fed, then see your point in history. When you're done with that, check out the future of remote work from 1979 and a 100 mph basketball hoop, plus your bonus streaming schedule.
Whew! That should keep you busy until our next issue - we'll see you in August!
P.S. We coach businesses and individuals in everything digital, including building websites. Here's a site I put up in June for Joe Sorrentino, a long-time client. Check out Joe's website and his upcoming book, "God, ADHD, and me: A Veteran's Journey"
Survey said....security is in
Thanks to those who responded to last month's survey about the newsletter. Overall, you like the topics, length, and frequency, so we'll keep it up! Here are the survey results on which topics you'd like to see more of. As you can see, the top responses were security and safety, followed by entertainment and purchasing gadgets. So, to get you started this month, here are three security articles.
If you're serious about not having your data out there, you need to deal with the brokers. Let's hope we pass some laws because it's a cumbersome process. Here's a great list to bookmark if you want to start opting out. I recommend taking one or two at a time to avoid being overwhelmed. (Or pay for a service like DeleteMe that does it for you.)
The FCC says China can spy on US users. China says US data is locked up at Oracle following a transition and they can only see it under "extraordinary circumstances". Independent reports dispute the latter. Here's what I know - if I wanted to spy on people I'd design an app that 1) has access to the camera, mic, and location data 2) appeals to a wide range of users geographically and demographically 3) requires regular interaction 4) is completely innocuous and "harmless" in function. Sounds like Tik Tok to me...
Here's your Info OpSec (Information Operational Security) tip of the day. It's rarely good to download private data from your employer to a USB drive and walk out with it. It's worse if it's not encrypted. It's an epic fail when the USB drive contains the private data of a city's entire population and you take it out for a night drinking. 😯😯
In the news...
Apple previewed some big software changes coming to the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac later this year. And it's also releasing two new laptops powered by its M2 chipset. Here's a look back at everything that Apple announced in June.
This is very early-stage tech, and at the same time straight out of Star Trek or a spy film! This wearable lens contains a very tiny computer, wireless radio, and display. The founder has tested the device for basic features, and the company plans to start clinical studies to test the capabilities of the smart contact lens soon.
In sort-of-tech news, but news everyone should know - this month, 988 goes live in the United States. This three-digit code will be like 911, but for mental health emergencies only. The thought is it will be easier to remember than the 800 number. Pass it on!
In the voice (changing) department...
Novel or creepy - you decide. Amazon showed off a new Alexa feature that makes the AI assistant mimic the voice of a dead person just by listening to a small recording. Is this the future of creating your "avatar" or saving a persona in perpetuity?
Speaking of voice changing, how many times have you been frustrated by a customer service rep's accent on the phone? Many times, the rep speaks English well but suffers an undue amount of abuse due to their geography. Now, new AI voice technology can filter accented voices and turn those accents into other ones to help people better understand each other.
Have some fun
Everyone is an armchair quarterback for the Federal Reserve, with inflation at all time highs. Having seen the Fed from the inside, it's a harder job than you think. It also takes longer than you may realize for the Fed's actions to do anything. Think you can beat the Fed? Try this really simple simulator for a 5 minute economy lesson.
The concept is simple. Click the map - see who was in control of that spot for every moment in recorded history. If you like maps and/or history, this is a must see!
In Tech History
The year is 1979. The BBC does a remarkably prophetic feature on the future of remote office work. You'll get a laugh when you look back at how far we've come.🙂
From the BBC Archive:
Luke Casey examines the impact of the microprocessor in the workplace. Already, the adoption of word processors and text editing software in offices has been shown to provide massive efficiency boosts. Could sophisticated networking systems - using existing telephone wires to allow microprocessors to communicate with one another - spell the end of office work altogether, enabling employees to work effectively from home?
In closing...when you can't miss
What to do when you're a basketball fan and an engineer with too much time on your hands? Guarantee you can't miss with a hoop that moves 100 mph, thanks to six electric motors with 50 horsepower in total. Move over LeBron!
Bonus: For you streaming fans, check out what's new for your July.