May 2022 - The Digital Life from Lökwest - What they can do with your data, the police are blasting Disney, the history of Windows startup sounds, and more!
It's your favorite time of the month again! We're back with another round-up of interesting reads about your "Digital Life".
This month, we're featuring three items about your personal data. It's alarming to see how much anyone can find out about you with a few clicks and a few dollars, thanks to Internet data brokers. John Oliver did a must-watch piece on it. We've also included an article about what can be done with your data and a story with an alternative view of the future where data helps you.
Read on for news on Twitter's acquisition and why the police are suddenly Disney fans. Then dive into interesting stories on AI's bad jokes and tech for the visually impaired. To entertain you - try to spend 100 billion dollars and study a map of the Internet.
This month's tech history section is for the audiophiles and covers the sounds you've heard thousands of times.
Remember, we read the articles that you don't have time for, and curate only the best for this newsletter. If you enjoy it, please forward it to a friend or colleague. Subscriptions are free!
Also, if you have any concerns about your personal data or digital security, we're always here to help.
Have a great May!
[FEATURE] Who can access your personal information?
A MUST-WATCH! I've been a fan of John Oliver's comedy for a while now. He always offers humorous opinions on current events on "Last Week Tonight". This is an episode you have to watch. John Oliver discusses how much data brokers know about us, what they’re doing with our personal information, and one….unusual way to change privacy laws. (warning, some coarse language) 🙂
American Phone-Tracking Firm Demo’d Surveillance Powers by Spying on CIA and NSA — theintercept.com
If the last video didn't get your attention, read this article about Anomaly Six, a secretive government contractor. The Intercept broke this story on how they claim to monitor the movements of 2 billion+ phones around the world. In a demo, they unmask spies with the press of a button.
'The Memory of Tomatoes,' a short story from an alternate future — www.popsci.com
And now, an alternate look at how personal data could help you in the future. This short story from Popular Science imagines the year 2030 when your personal assistant has it all under control.
In the news...
Twitter accepts buyout, giving Elon Musk total control of the company — www.theverge.com
You heard the news, but take a deeper look into Elon's big purchase and what the future of Twitter could look like. There really isn't a simple answer to many of the issues, but it will be interesting to see his ideas.
Santa Ana police under investigation for playing Disney songs in bystander video — www.washingtonpost.com
Police officers in Santa Ana, CA, have apparently been blasting Disney favorites loudly at night. Is law enforcement suddenly super hip to the tunes from Encanto? Is this psychological warfare? Turns out, there's a clever, information-suppressing trick at hand.
AI sucks at telling jokes — but it’s great at analyzing them — thenextweb.com
Google's new AI system, PaLM, is seriously good at explaining jokes. Its understanding of comedy shows language models are improving rapidly. It's an interesting read to see how the system interprets various types of jokes. But don't get your hopes up - you won't be seeing a standup AI comedian any time soon.
Envision Glasses for the Blind Can Read Documents, Scan Faces, Aid Navigation — www.cnet.com
New developments in wearables and AI have led to some exciting news for the visually impaired. Here's a look at new smart glasses from Envision, built on the enterprise edition of Google Glass. When devices like this become more mainstream, they'll change the world for many with sight issues.
Can you spend Bill Gates' money? — neal.fun
Elon Musk just bought Twitter for $43 billion dollars, out of his net worth of $290 billion dollars. But just how much money is that? Most people don't have a concept, but we found this nice demonstration. In this case, try your hand at spending 100 billion dollars of Bill Gates' money! Spoiler - it's harder than you think!
Map of the Internet 2021 — coolinfographics.com
Ever wonder what's all out there on the Internet? We ran across this clever infographic that tries to illustrate the state of the Internet in 2021. Map lovers will enjoy staring at this one!
In tech history...the Windows startup sound
Go listen to this podcast about the Windows startup sound’s history — www.theverge.com
It's a sound you never think about but it's ingrained in your mind if you've used a PC in the last 30+ years. Yep, that familiar "bing", "tada", or another sound that plays when you start your computer.
The Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast has a two-part series on the history of the Windows jingle, featuring Brian Eno and other composers and artists. If you're into music or just feeling nostalgic, spend 30 minutes listening to this Podcast. There's more thought behind the "bing" than you think.
Nothing to do with tech, nothing to do with war. Just a recommendation for a smile. If you have Netflix, check out the show "Old Enough". TL;DR - In Japan, it's customary to send toddlers out on their first errand as a sort of rite of passage. This Japanese TV show Hajimete Otsukai (my first errand) has filmed these errands with a hidden camera for 20 plus years. Needless to say, hilarity often ensues 🙂
You Need to See This Netflix Show About Japanese Toddlers Running Errands — www.cnet.com
We're rooting for these 2-year-olds who are taking care of business.