Musk + Twitter = ?

NYC Media Lab
8 min readApr 9, 2022

Musk + Twitter = ? Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. View this email in your browser

Elon Musk has never been shy about his controvertial Tweets, and now he’s got the stock to back him up. He just acquired a 9.2% stake in Twitter for $3B, making him the single largest shareholder.

This week, we invite you to go back to CES in 1982 and learn more about the story behind the Commodore 64. Forty years later, a semiconductor shortage is proving to be a catalyst for innovation. Broken supply chains and a lack of resources have prompted the tech industry to do things differently and redesign its products. Check out these five ways the chip shortage is rewiring tech.

Fans of the Jetsons will remember that 2022 was the year George Jetson was born. Although we are a long way from flying cars, a video of a flying bike on a mission to take air travel to the streets suggests by 2062; it might just happen. Progress is also being made at ground level with geospatial data paving the way for future smart cities.

In a week where futurists looked into their virtual crystal balls to discover adversarial A.I. and question if we are a moment away from reaching “The Singularity.” Maybe we should reflect on how far we have come from a home computer with 64k of RAM and that maybe Doc Brown was right when he told Marty McFly, “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

As always, we would love to hear from you

Steven Rosenbaum
Executive Director
The NYC Media Lab


Twitter Stock Price Soars After Elon Musk Acquires a 9.2% Stake

Elon Musk’s usage of Twitter has often divided audiences. From polling people before making important business decisions to being accused of manipulating crypto markets and openly criticizing the platform on its record against free speech. So for many, the SpaceX and Tesla entrepreneur acquiring a 9.2% share of Twitter to become the largest shareholder without tweeting about it was somewhat ironic.

Musks’ first move was to launch a poll asking whether users would like an edit button. But the big question everyone is asking is, what are his plans for Twitter?

Tech Crunch/ 2 min read

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Adversarial A.I. And the Dystopian Future of Tech

Despite the increasing excitement surrounding A.I. and machine learning, there is also increasing concern around the potential misuse of the technology and its risks to society. For example, the rise of adversarial A.I. attacks where it’s is used to manipulate or maliciously deceive another A.I. system is rapidly becoming a threat that nobody saw coming.

Most A.I. programs learn, adapt, and evolve through behavioral learning. But this could become an issue in adversarial attacks in email spam filter manipulation. For example, spam filter tools successfully filter spam emails by tracking certain words, attackers can manipulate these tools by using acceptable words and phrases, gaining access to the recipient’s inbox.

VentureBeat/ 4 min read

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Tech + Media

5 Ways the Chip Shortage Is Rewiring Tech

The semiconductor shortage has impacted everything from computers, cars, games consoles, toothbrushes, and tumble dryers. But it isn’t just affecting the availability of the new and shiny gadgets we want to buy. A lack of chips is already fueling changes in the design of future products, delaying the next generations of devices, and forcing engineers to innovate and redesign products.

A recent survey by Avnet revealed that 64 percent of companies are designing products based on the availability of components rather than just following their preferences, regardless of availability. These findings suggest that the current chip shortage will alter technology — and tech jobs for many years to come.

IEEE Spectrum/ 3 min read

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Building Smart Cities Start With the Right Geospatial Data

A smart city is a technologically modern urban area that uses (primarily) information and communication technologies to develop and deploy sustainable practices that address various urbanization challenges. For example, smart cities can help communities streamline trash collection, minimize traffic and improve air quality.

However, it’s dynamic geospatial data powering autonomous tech and bringing smart city projects to life. Dynamic data captured from sensors and satellites accumulate real-time information, enabling data analysts to spot trends that might not otherwise be seen. It’s time to go beyond data collection and leverage these real-time insights to improve our infrastructure, efficiency, and quality of life.

Venture Beat / 3 min read

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The Singularity: When Will We All Become Super-Humans?

Are we really only a moment away from “The Singularity,” a technological epoch that will usher in a new era in human evolution? Many futurologists are pointing to the exponential rate of technological progress. They believe that we are rapidly approaching a revolutionary turning point where we will enhance human intelligence and magnify creativity. But it’s much further away than you might think.

This article highlights three major obstacles that need to be overcome before the singularity goes from science fiction to a new reality. But before you write it off completely, remember that in 1992, Gary Kasparov laughed at how embarrassing his computer chess opponent was. Within five years, he was beaten by one.

Big Think/ 4 min read

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What We’re Watching

This Bizarre Japanese Flying Bike Wants to Bring Air Travel to the Streets

Star Wars fans will already be familiar with the concept of hoverbikes. Japanese startup A.L.I. Technologies attempted to bring this to life after unveiling its Xturismo hoverbike at a race track near Tokyo. It has to be seen to be believed, but before you get too excited, the $680,000 price tag means your dreams of a Jetsons lifestyle are still a few years away yet.

DroneFund YouTube/ 4 min watch

Watch Here

What We’re Listening To

The Future of the Final Mile

The 99% Invisible podcast explores the unnoticed architecture and design shaping our world. This episode explores how despite an increasingly online world and always-connected lifestyle, large segments of America are still living in the 1900s with no internet connection. For example, did you know that about one in five people in New York City don’t have any internet access, not even through data on their cell phones?

Learn more about the “last mile problem” where things get stuck because of all the nit-picky and local work that connects lines to buildings or digging up roads to bury wires. The hosts also explore what the future of broadband will look like.

Apple Podcasts/ 43 min

Listen Here

Virtual Events & Jobs

Solve The Tech Problem — Buy vs. Build
Monday, April 11, 2022

Being a Product Manager requires structured & organized thinking. Frameworks & toolkits are a handy & effective way to approach problems. Product Managers learn about many & develop their own throughout their product careers & share some of those with you today. Join Narayan Mandaleeka, Group Product Manager at Uber, in this latest Product School event.

Game Changers — NFTs In Sports
Tuesday, April 12, 2022

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are all the rage right now. So how are they playing out in the sports industry? Join U.J.A. Sports For Youth for a panel discussion with leading executives moderated by MLB’s Kenny Gersh about how the sports industry is paving the way in the NFT game.

5 Critical Skills To Help You Define The What
Friday, April 15, 2022

Being a Product Manager requires structured & organized thinking. Frameworks & toolkits are a handy & effective way to approach problems. Product Managers learn about many & develop their own throughout their product careers & share some of those with you today.

Merwan Hade, Product Management Director at Slack, will discuss how to perform competitive research and why it is essential to understand the market. Attendees will also learn how to effectively paint a vision for your team with user journeys and how to collect customer research & translate insights into prioritizable action items.

Smooth Collaboration With UX Designers
Saturday, April 16, 2022

No one becomes a good Product Manager in a day. But you can look inside the minds of great P.M.s to understand the mindset that makes them succeed. Because Product Management isn’t just a role, it’s a worldview, a set of skills that guide the way you think, & most importantly: lead.

Attendees will learn an understanding of the basic UX design process, how to establish shared mental models & methods for engagement, and practical tips for P.M.s to craft outstanding products collaboratively with UX designers.

A Deeper Look

Creating the Commodore 64: The Engineer’s Story

Ask any techie of a certain age where their passion for computing originated from, and they will reply with the arrival of the Commodore 64. They will passionately share stories of copying code from magazines. But it all began at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 1982, where the Commodore 64 was unveiled for $595.

For the first time, there was a home computer unit that not only incorporated a keyboard, central processor, graphics, and sound chips but an incredible 64 kilobytes of memory instead of the standard 16 or 32kb. Of course, considering most of us now have a smartphone in our pocket with at least 6GB. of RAM, it’s staggering how far we have progressed. But we invite you to look back at the design that went into the best-selling computer of all time that would inspire a generation.

IEEE Spectrum/ 31 min read

Read More Today’s newsletter written in partnership with Neil C. Hughes, the Tech Blogger and host of Tech Talks Daily


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