Are you a Techno-Utopian? Still?
Are you a Techno-Utopian? Still? the Magician with iBeer… View this email in your browser
As lots of you know, I’ve been for most of my life a ‘techno-utopian.’ I’m now in recovery. And I bet I’m not alone. Tech innovation often comes with unintended consequences. Ideas created with the best intentions often produce undesirable results. Once again, Google found itself in trouble this week for tracking mysterious use of ‘dark patterns, and it was also revealed that an out-of-control SpaceX rocket was on a collision course with the moon. Darn it Musk!
Doom scrolling past stories about the dark trends powering smart technology or the potential for Russian cyberattacks against the U.S. you could find your optimism cured pretty fast. Thankfully, watching an astronaut trying to untangle wired headphones in space should be enough to deliver a moment of pure joy.
And then there’s the story struggling 37-year-old magician (ok, yes — I’ve got history here) by the name of Steve Sheraton who found himself earning up to $20,000 a day with the iBeer app way back in 2008. Finally, here in 2022, Ark Invest founder Cathie Wood declared that ‘innovation is on sale’ after a rout in tech stocks, but also explained why this should be seen as an opportunity.
The future of tech is not inevitably dark. Instead, it’s an opportunity to explore new ways of thinking around the ethics and ownership of AI-powered identities. There is much to celebrate, from female founders building Web3 to embracing and leveraging generational diversity in tech. Finally, Nora Young invites you to navigate your digital life by connecting you to fresh ideas in surprising ways on a journey of self-discovery around human and A.I. consciousness.
As always, we welcome your thoughts, feedback, or suggestions Steve@NYCMediaLab.org
The NYC Media Lab
Potential for Russian Cyberattack Against U.S. ‘Not to Be Taken Lightly’
CNN recently reported that a bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suggested that if Russia invades Ukraine, a U.S. or NATO response to the invasion might prompt a cyber offensive from Russia against U.S. infrastructure.
Uncertainty around the intentions and capabilities of Russia’s offensive cyber operations is leading to speculation and increasing concern that low-level cyberwar could become a severe threat. It’s important to remember that it’s dangerous to assume a cyberattack against targets in the U.S. is inevitable, but the threat is not something anybody should be taken lightly.
VentureBeat/ 2 min read
Why Google Is in Deep Trouble for Tracking Your ‘Dark Patterns’
Many forget that their Google search engine history and location data are used to build detailed user profiles to enable the company to sell highly targeted advertising. But cumbersome processes for users to opt-out of location tracking and the ability to protect their privacy through account settings are once again hitting the headlines.
Google stands accused of using “dark patterns” to undermine consumers’ informed choices. Learn how a bipartisan group of A.G.s is suing Google for allegedly deceiving users to profit from their location data and making it nearly impossible for users to stop their location from being tracked.
TNW/ 2 min read
Out-Of-Control SpaceX Rocket on a Collision Course With the Moon
Falcon 9 booster was launched from Florida in 2015 to deploy Deep Space Climate Observatory. After spending seven years hurtling through space, the four metric tonnes of “space junk” is currently on course to intersect with the moon at a velocity of about 2.58km/s in a matter of weeks.
Space enthusiasts around the world predict that lunar impact will commence on March 04, but scientists are not expecting to learn anything and have dismissed the event as no big deal. However, with around 34,000 pieces of space junk bigger than 10 centimeters floating in space, this latest report highlights the growing problem of space trash orbiting planet Earth and beyond.
The Guardian/ 2 min read
Tech + Media
Cathie Wood Declares ‘Innovation Is on Sale’ After Rout in Tech Stocks
At Ark’s virtual Big Ideas Summit 2022, Ark Invest founder Cathie Wood revealed that the sell-off in unprofitable tech companies had hit her investment fund’s performance. But Wood advised that it had only increased her conviction in her positions and declared that “innovation is on sale” while urging investors to look beyond recent market volatility.
While many people associate volatility with risk, Wood chooses to use volatility to its advantage and urges investors to move towards the right side of change, given the amount of disruption that we can continue to expect. Although it’s currently a challenging market, Wood’s advice offered a timely reminder of not losing sight of your long-term goals.
FT/ 2 min read
The Struggling Magician Behind the iBeer App Was Making up to $20K a Day in Its Heyday
In 2008, Apple finally unveiled its mobile app store. In these much simpler times, developers rushed in to see what they could create to understand the landscape before they could begin solving real problems. A struggling 37-year-old magician named Steve Sheraton suddenly found himself thrust into the spotlight, earning up to $20,000 a day upon the release of the iBeer app.
In 2022, the Metaverse land rush feels reminiscent of the rush to create a mobile app 14 years ago. Maybe there are a few lessons to be learned from this fascinating story of a $2.99 app that held first place in the App Store for a year.
The Verge/ 2 min read
3 ‘Dark’ Trends Likely to Power Smart Technology and Communities by 2030
The pace of technological change continues to race ahead at breakneck speed. It’s hard to imagine that before COVID-19, Zoom was used for 100 million daily meeting participants. By April 2020, this grew to over 300 million daily users. But what will be the next big thing in tech? And how will future tech trends transform our work, life, and the world?
Whether over-hyped or undermarketed, here are three “dark horse” technology trends that are likely to power the smart cities of 2030.
VentureBeat/ 3 min read
What We’re Watching
Astronaut Hearing Test | Cosmic Kiss
If you are still resisting the Bluetooth and True Wireless revolution, you will be all too familiar with the problem of untangling the multiple knots from your earphones. It doesn’t seem to matter how much you meticulously fold them; they will still mysteriously form whenever you put them in a pocket. But try to imagine how you would navigate this problem if you found yourself in space.
If you have ever wondered if headphones are easier to untangle in space or on Earth, this video will answer the question once and for all.
European Space Agency, ESA YouTube/ 2 min watch
What We’re Listening To
Human and AI Consciousness
Nora Young’s Spark podcast is on a mission to help listeners navigate their digital life by connecting them to fresh ideas in surprising ways. In #530 of her popular tech show, she explores new theories on the nature of human consciousness and what this means for how we think about artificial intelligence.
Spotify/ 55 min listen
Virtual Events & Jobs
NEW ROLE — NYC Media Lab, Director of Membership.
We have an amazing new role as we continue to grow in 2022. We’re hiring for a Director of Membership, and if you know someone who would be great, please ask them to check out www.NYCMediaLab.org/Job — or maybe it’s you! Reach out to learn more.
Female Founders In Web3
Tuesday, February 01, 2022
In the not-so-distant future, Web3 will house our social interactions, personal identities, financial institutions, & much more. But as many champion Web3 as the next phase of the internet, the Female Founders Fund knows that the promise of a more innovative, better, brighter future can only be achieved with innovation from diverse founders. Join this virtual panel discussion featuring three of the top female founders building the future of the internet.
Reality+ From The Matrix To The Metaverse
Wednesday, February 02, 2022
Virtual reality is genuine reality; that’s the central thesis of Reality+. In a highly original work of “techno philosophy,” David J. Chalmers gives a compelling analysis of our technological future. He argues that virtual worlds are not second-class worlds and that we can live a meaningful life in virtual reality. We may even be in a virtual world already.
Wiley Diversity In Tech — Embracing & Leveraging Generational Diversity
Thursday, February 03, 2022
Increased innovation, better problem-solving, & new potential learning opportunities are some of the benefits afforded to tech companies with a multi-generational workforce. For leaders, however, it can be challenging to prevent ageism in the workplace and manage the tensions & frustrations that will naturally arise when five generations are in the tech workforce.
This webinar will give leaders guidance & actionable strategies on how to address these challenges.
A Deeper Look
Ethics and Ownership of AI-Powered Identities
Our digital voices avatars never age. However, with the metaverse going mainstream, our virtual selves can live well beyond our years. It will soon become a new imperative that everyone determines and clearly defines parameters they are comfortable with in terms of their digital identity and how they manage their digital afterlife.
We have already seen Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher be brought back to life for the Star Ward Rogue One movie. But virtual identities are not just for celebs. This article explores the ownership of digital identities along with the ethics of virtual representation and AI-powered identities.
VentureBeat/ 5 min read