We Are Digital Renters of Our Own Objects

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email encryption

I thought this was an interesting angle in the “Our technology controls” us narrative. It’s the idea that we are sort of digital renters of our technology.

Today, we may think we own things because we paid for them and brought them home, but as long as they run software or have digital connectivity, the sellers continue to have control over the product. We are renters of our own objects, there by the grace of the true owner.

 

Financial Gain in Modern Tech Dehumanizes Us

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Frazzled by tech

Axios writes:

Tristan Harris, the former Googler who helped popularize the notion of “time well spent” laid out the shift he says the tech industry needs to make in order to stop, as he puts it, “downgrading humanity.” … Harris made the case that today’s technology downgrades humanity by creating a vast artificial social system powered by “overwhelming” AI and an “extractive” attention economy.

The problem, as Harris notes, is that the first company to blink loses.

This NSFW Teen Film is a Must Watch

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I know, “NSFW teen film” is a phrase not usually found in the media. But this one is enlightening. It’s a short, 17-minute film called Pocket, directed by Mishka Kornai and written by Zach Wechter. It’s an attempt to show a day in the life of a teenager, specifically from the point of view of a 15-year-old named Jake. It’s NSFW because of occasional swearing, sexting, and Instagram models. Millennials may have experienced technology like the iPhone in their teenage years, but Generation Z grew up with it. As the quote from Douglas Adams goes,

Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

Now Kansas Introduced a Porn Filter Bill

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Last month I wrote about an Arizona politician wanting to introduce a porn filter bill. Now Kansas wants to do the same thing, although it sounds like this one won’t attempt to fund the border wall.

“It’s to protect children,” Garber, a Republican, said in an interview. “What it would do is any X-rated pornography stuff would be filtered. It would be on all purchases going forward. Why wouldn’t anybody like this?”

Why indeed. Because you guys don’t seem to care about children outside of the womb.

The Story of How RSS Came to Be

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Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a way for websites and podcasts to offer a feed of updated content for people. It’s a fairly standard technology but many people don’t use it.

The story of how this happened is really two stories. The first is a story about a broad vision for the web’s future that never quite came to fruition. The second is a story about how a collaborative effort to improve a popular standard devolved into one of the most contentious forks in the history of open-source software development.

Long story short (Although you should still read the long story): RSS was too complicated for non-tech users, and the internet slowly became centralized into data silos like Google and Facebook.

CES Organizer Thinks Sex Toys are Immoral and Obscene

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It seems as though the CTA had a problem with a sex toy. Company Lora DiCarlo planned to present its product, but its award was revoked and the company had to remove its exhibit.

But after ranking high enough and winning the designation, Lora DiCarlo was apparently told that its product didn’t comply with the rules. The show’s and award’s organizer, the Consumer Technology Association, allegedly cited rules saying products that are “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image will be disqualified.” It then backtracked and said the product simply didn’t fit in the robotics and drones category.

Bryan Chaffin Talks about How Politics Intersects with Technology

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Chuck Joiner asked me on to MacVoices to talk about Apple, the tech world, and politics. In this video podcast, I make the case that Apple is just plain too big to avoid politics. From regulations, to taxation policy, to international posturing, to the fact that Apple is worth almost US$700 billion, Apple can’t avoid politics. More importantly, the broader tech world itself that it increasingly intersects with tech. I think I spewed off about getting older and struggling to understand Millennials, too. It’s all kind of hazy, but that didn’t stop Chuck from making that part of his title…oh, and check out that key frame he picked. Why did I agree to do this show again? … Oh, right, because I luuuuurve me some Chucky J!