Data Download: Can you reach in-box zero?

Data Download: Can you reach in-box zero? and… is the Crypto Volcano really a thing? View this email in your browser

With the Black Friday emails out of the way, the goal of reaching inbox zero over the holiday season is beginning to look achievable again. However, you can also improve your chances by preventing work notifications from taking over your life. Get the balance right, and you might even find time to meet fellow professionals in the tech industry while wearing your ugly Xmas sweaters in East Village next week.

Thankfully we have a plethora of conversation starters for you. We have some mouth-watering stories such as El Salvador’s plans to build a Bitcoin city at the base of Conchagua volcano and how to prepare for the an army of deepfake talking heads coming to your newsfeeds. Not to mention a discussion about scientists getting closer to bringing back extinct the woolly mammoth back to life.

Without wanting to put a downer on the holiday season, our immediate threat is not a real-life Jurassic Park but cybercriminals taking advantage of QR codes now they have entered the mainstream. Just a week after the COP26 climate conference, researchers at the University of Utah also predicted that our planet might get its own Saturn-like rings — made of space trash.

Maybe it’s time to think bigger than our planet and be the change we want to see. Fortunately, there is hope. We are seeing an increasing focus on sustainable buildings, and businesses are also leveraging small data for insights in a privacy-concerned world.

As always, we value and appreciate your feedback and input as we start to plan for the year ahead.

Steve@NYCMediaLab.org
Steve Rosenbaum
Executive Director
The NYC Media Lab

Must-Read

An army of deepfake talking heads is coming for your feed, and it wants you.

Hour One enables people to rent out their faces to help businesses make highly realistic videos. But what problems does it solve? Oren Aharon, the CEO, and co-founder questions why a CEO would record a presentation on video if their avatar can do it? These deepfake talking heads can create sharable content in two minutes without eating into anyone’s time.

Fast Company/ 7 min read

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Earth might get Saturn-like rings — made of space trash.

The struggles with pollution on our land, in the water, and the air are well understood. But space junk is proving to be a big problem in Earth’s Orbit too. Jeff Bezos has big plans to send 3,200 more satellites into orbit, and Elon Musk’s Starlink also has plans to launch another 40,000 in the coming decades — 15 times the number currently in the sky.

The University of Utah predicts that Earth will have its own Saturn-like rings almost entirely made out of space junk. With 170 million pieces of space junk already in orbit, maybe we need to prioritize a separate mission to clean up space debris around our mutual home.

Fast Company/ 2 min read

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Tech + Media

How to Keep Work Notifications from Taking Over Your Life

Despite it being the holiday season, we continue to be bombarded outside of office hours with a barrage of notifications. Emails, Slack messages, and instant messages with urgent requests increasingly demand our attention when we should take it easy. So maybe it’s time that you started teaching your devices to respect your boundaries. Check out this helpful guide to help you regain control over your downtime.

Wired/ 4 min read

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QR codes have gone mainstream — and cybercriminals are taking advantage.

A few years ago, businesses began to phase out the use of QR codes in marketing, and many proclaimed that QR codes were dead. But they enjoyed a resurgence and entered the mainstream during the pandemic thanks to a massive demand for touch-free services. Unfortunately, quick-thinking criminals have found ways to exploit QR codes to steal funds and break into systems.

Tech Monitor/ 3 min read

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Leveraging small data for insights in a privacy-concerned world

Most businesses are leveraging technology to unlock valuable insights hidden inside of big data. But as privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA take center stage, companies are beginning to appreciate the power of small data. This article explores training models on a large dataset before retraining it using far smaller data sets or small samples of customer data, like past purchases.

VentureBeat/ 6 min read

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What We’re Watching

Sustainable Buildings — Will printable solar cells reshape buildings?

BBC Click has been exploring how technology can help save the planet. With construction being one of the biggest carbon emitters, this latest episode investigates the efforts being made to rethink the building industry from the ground up. For example, in Sweden, attempts are being made to manufacture CO2-free steel. Elsewhere, in Finland, robots can help recycle building materials, and in Orkney, the team witnessed the latest developments in producing energy from sea waves.

BBC Click YouTube / 23 mins

Watch Here

What We’re Listening To

Jurassic Park: Hold on to Your butts

Could our dreams for a real Jurassic Park come true? Headlines say scientists are closer than ever to resurrecting prehistoric animals like the woolly mammoth. But is this for real!? Can we really bring back long-gone animals from the dead, maybe even the dinosaurs? Science Vs. speak to paleontologists Professor Jack Horner and Professor Mary Schweitzer, and biologists Professor Beth Shapiro and Robyn Bortner.

Spotify/ 34 min Listen Here

Virtual Events & Jobs

Ugly XMAS Sweater Party
Wed, Dec 8, 2021
6.30 PM — 11 PM

Connect with fellow young professionals in the tech industry by wearing your ugly sweaters in East Village! In addition, the top 4 ugly sweaters will get a free holiday cocktail from the best bartender in EV.

Applying to Startup Incubators & Accelerators
Thurs, Dec 2, 2021
6:30 PM — 8 PM EST

Y Combinator Accelerators have been used to launch over 10,000 companies, including Stripe, Airbnb, Cruise Automation, DoorDash, Coinbase, Instacart, Dropbox, and Twitch. As a start-up, getting accepted into an accelerator program is the perfect boost your start-up needs. Spare an evening to meet the founder & Professionals for the most promising start-ups from the accelerator programs.

Demystifying Equity in The Tech Industry
Tues, Nov 30, 2021
3 PM

There are several kinds of equity used in the tech industry as incentives to retain employees. Some packages are more generous than others, & the kind of equity you are offered will vary. Learn about common equity types in the tech industry, terminology, & determining value in a compensation package.

A Deeper Look

El Salvador Bitcoin city is planned at the base of the Conchagua volcano.

In a week where we learned more about scientists getting closer to bringing the woolly mammoth back to life and the possibility of Earth getting its own Saturn-like rings made of space junk, we thought we had seen it all. But yes, you read this right. Check out El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele’s announcement that they plan to construct a “Bitcoin City” near a volcano that the cryptocurrency will fund.

CNBC / 2 Min Read

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