‘Alexa and Siri Can Hear This Hidden Command. You Can’t.’

The New York Times:

This month, some of those Berkeley researchers published a research paper that went further, saying they could embed commands directly into recordings of music or spoken text. So while a human listener hears someone talking or an orchestra playing, Amazon’s Echo speaker might hear an instruction to add something to your shopping list.

Dat kan niet de bedoeling zijn, precies.

‘And for His Next Act, Ev Williams Will Fix the Internet’

Kevin Roose van The New York Times zat samen met Ev Williams, de man achter Blogger, Twitter en Medium:

But if Mr. Williams isn’t ready to denounce social media, he is at least muting its effects in his own life. He still uses Twitter, but he has turned off most mobile notifications, and he tries to leave his phone behind when he’s with his friends or his kids. He is reading less daily news these days, he said, and more books and long-form articles.

“That’s been healthy for me,” he said. “I feel the effects of that.”

Listening to an architect of the fast-twitch internet extol the benefits of books and magazines is a little odd, like watching Chef Boyardee open a farm-to-table restaurant. But Mr. Williams is not alone among tech leaders in his quest for a slower and more balanced media diet.


Sinds ik klein ben, vraag ik mij bij heel veel dingen af of iemand ze nu zou uitvinden als het niet zou bestaan. Frietjes of koffie of bier, bijvoorbeeld, zouden we daar een nood voor vinden waardoor iemand experimenteergewijs daarop zou stoten?

Of feestdagen, zoals die van vandaag. Dat dat niet zou bestaan en dat er dan een maatschappelijk debat zou ontstaan over het nut van een reeks afgesproken random dagen waarop bijna niemand moet werken. En zou dat debat dan enig kans van slagen hebben?

Ik denk van niet, dat zie je ook aan het debat rond de 30/32-urenweek of het universeel basisinkomen.

En dan vraag ik me af of het niét-heruitvinden een reden zou zijn om iets af te schaffen of niet. Want dingen hebben ook een traditie en een waarde.

Aan zo’n dingen denk ik dus.

‘I Tried Leaving Facebook. I Couldn’t’

Sarah Jeong bij The Verge:

Of all people, I know why I shouldn’t trust Facebook, why my presence on its network contributes to the collective problem of its monopolistic hold on people. Everyone is on Facebook because everyone is on Facebook. And because everyone is on Facebook, even the people who aren’t are having their data collected in shadow profiles. My inaction affects even the people who have managed to stay away. I know this, I barely use Facebook, I don’t even like Facebook, and I find it nearly impossible to leave.

‘The meaning of life in a world without work’

Yuval Noah Harari, auteur van het veelgeprezen boek ‘Sapiens’, in The Guardian met een gigantische doordenker van een opiniestuk:

By 2050 a new class of people might emerge – the useless class. People who are not just unemployed, but unemployable.

The same technology that renders humans useless might also make it feasible to feed and support the unemployable masses through some scheme of universal basic income. The real problem will then be to keep the masses occupied and content. People must engage in purposeful activities, or they go crazy. So what will the useless class do all day?

One answer might be computer games. Economically redundant people might spend increasing amounts of time within 3D virtual reality worlds, which would provide them with far more excitement and emotional engagement than the “real world” outside. This, in fact, is a very old solution. For thousands of years, billions of people have found meaning in playing virtual reality games. In the past, we have called these virtual reality games “religions”.


‘Say Goodbye To The Information Age: It’s All About Reputation Now’

Fast Company:

We are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in our relationship to knowledge. From the “information age,” we are moving towards the “reputation age,” in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated, and commented upon by others. Seen in this light, reputation has become a central pillar of collective intelligence today. It is the gatekeeper to knowledge, and the keys to the gate are held by others. The way in which the authority of knowledge is now constructed makes us reliant on what are the inevitably biased judgments of other people, most of whom we do not know.

‘Fortnite is the biggest game on the planet right now because it’s a living, breathing world’

Fortnite is echt zwaar de max. De manier waarop ze de opbouw en lancering van seizoen 4 hebben aangepakt vond ik echt magistraal. Zo getuige ook dit artikel bij The Verge:

Epic crafted a narrative for an online multiplayer game exclusively out of contextual clues, in-game hints, and other forms of environmental storytelling. The end result is a game that feels richer, deeper, and more purposeful than its battle royale trappings would have you believe.