Wise Guys on WHO Radio - May 21, 2016
Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.
In the news this week
Google announces "Allo" and "Duo" for release this summer
"Allo" will be their next-generation chat application, with an AI assistant built-in. Duo is to be a 720p HD video chat service.
Charter now owns Time Warner Cable
And they're killing off the Time Warner name. They claim to reach 25 million customers in 41 states.
Chelsea Handler show launches on Netflix
The idea of distributing a marquee semi-nightly program via an on-demand service may not be new, but it hasn't really been tried on quite this level before
Technology as human adjunct, not replacement
When humans identify the recyclable products inside a waste stream and robots do the physical picking, the process goes much faster and more effectively than either humans or machines alone can achieve
Your role in cyberwar
Maybe it's a bit too early to go all-in for the "smart home"
Security flaws let hackers figure out how to unlock doors integrated with the Samsung platform. The hackers, fortunately, were researchers at the University of Michigan and Microsoft, but the proof of concept is enough that it should put on ice the ambitions to connect everything everywhere in the "Internet of Things". Hacking an entire home (or office) is an attractive proposition, so it's best not to be the very first adopter. One of the main problems the researchers identified is "overprivilege", or the granting of too much power to programs and applications to achieve what they're advertised to do.
Street-smart social media
Why you should hold back on sharing reactions on Facebook
The escalation from the plain old "thumbs up" to the multi-dimensional reactions may be nice as an expression from friend to friend, but it also gives a lot more potential information to those who aggregate data about Facebook users for commercial purposes
A global map of Facebook live video feeds
It's the Truman Show come to life. It's not an unequivocally bad thing that people can now live-stream anything they want to Facebook -- think, for instance, of the deployed soldier who can be shown a live stream of a major family event -- but it's also not an unmitigated wonder of the world, either. People make bad decisions, and it's hazardous to let them make bad decisions in front of what is -- at not even the click, but just the hover of a mouse -- a global audience that could easily include lots and lots of people with mal-intent. We should not be in the least bit surprised when a Gresham's Law of sorts swallows up "Facebook Live" -- bad purposes, bad actors, and bad audiences will drive out the good.
Gadget of the week
The race to get artificial intelligence into your home
The scramble to get AI integrated into people's lives will have interesting effects on how we perceive what thoughts are our own and which ones we share with a digital surrogate or adjunct.
Dispatches from the flying-car future
Google doesn't really want pedestrians to stick to their cars
But if "human flypaper" is part of a broader scheme to make vehicles safer for everyone, then so be it
Politics of technology
A selfie shouldn't have to be an act of political defiance
Yet it is in Iran, where women are being harassed by the authorities for posting pictures of themselves without head coverings
The online media outlet, which has been an openly pro-Trump mouthpiece for much of the 2016 campaign, turns a foul attack on Bill Kristol. Shame on them.
Money and technology
Facebook leadership takes meeting with conservative politicos
Reviews of the meeting seem to suggest that it went down exactly as expected: The site's perceived political bias against conservatives appears to be a problem for the business model, so it will be corrected not out of political motivation but out of the pursuit of profits.
I keep getting the download notice; I do NOT want it. I am very happy with my Windows 7. How can I shut off their notifications??? HELP!!!
Also in the news this week
Observers wonder whether Google is even really trying to get business clients
And the more it cedes that line to Microsoft, the worse Google's future is going to look
Black renters pay meaningfully higher prices on AirBnB
So says a study from January, saying discrimination against African American renters shows up both in prices and in the agreement to even make a deal.
Listen again on-demand
- Podcast of this episode - segment 1 (We should encourage more developments that let automation aid human workers rather than replacing them)
- Podcast of this episode - segment 2 (Truckers and their video cameras)
- Podcast of this episode - segment 3 (When the smart home turns against you)
- Podcast of this episode - segment 4 (Google wants your phone to suggest conversations with your friends)