The Internet is Just a Prototype The week in hyperlinks

A weekly reading list to stimulate thoughts about the (digitised) world you might (or might not) want to live in.

Here’s a collection of links to articles that caught my eye last week. They offer data about the world we presently live in, and hints about the one we might wish to pass on to future generations.

Memes ‘will be banned’ under new EU copyright law, warn campaigners — Sky News

“Essentially, the campaigners are arguing the stringent copyright protections of Article 13 would damage the sharing of parody content and memes which, while themselves being original and creative works, are often developed from other people’s original content.” — No free speech when copyright compliance is too costly, making this a form of “soft censorship”. See also The Decentralized, Censorship-Free Wikipedia Killer.

Lawmakers eyeing Facebook, Google business models — Fox Business

“Congress is also reportedly looking at Google’s relationship with China’s Huawei, which has been labeled as a national security threat by U.S. intelligence, according to The Wall Street Journal.” — Like with the development of the telephone network and Ma Bell, social media networks and their enabling platforms have public policy implications that mean they cannot avoid politics. For every innovation, there is an equal and opposite regulation, it seems. See also Shock: Google advises UK peers against more legislation and For America to survive, Google must be defeated.

Forget Wi-Fi, Li-Fi is the Next Phase of Wireless Internet — Futurism

“10,000x larger and 10x cheaper to use – and can be dimmed to levels so low that are invisible to the human eye but can still be used to transmit data.” — And 70Mbps just from wall reflections. For security, just close your door and shutter your windows. Seems to have a niche in environments like cars.

How the Convergence of AI and Blockchain will Result in Increased Efficiency and Trust — Mark van Rijmenam, LinkedIn 

“While combining AI and blockchain raises some incredibly exciting options, it also poses some risks. This convergence is so new that it is essentially impossible to find experts and scams are part of the landscape. You can’t easily assess the value a company offers since there is no history to browse. There are no proven use cases, only projects in development.” — If all we do is amplify the power of the strong over the weak, we’re in trouble.

Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill [PDF] — UK Parliament

A proposed 2007 bill to make our elected representatives personally liable for deceit. The principle of “skin in the game” is a good one, but is this the right practise?

The most inappropriate places Pokémon GO players have gone to — Al Arabiya English

“However, this has quickly turned into a problem for governments with “Pokémon Trainers” would enter restricted or dangerous areas to catch the Pokémon. This means the tales related to Pokémon continue to unfold all over the world.” — Want some pictures of some sensitive military or intelligence target? Just send over a bunch of naive teens to photograph it, using AR tech.

Declarative networking — Sebastian Grabski

“Declarative network automation help us achieve something which we may consider as “network-as-a-code”. We compose network environments from reusable components and we define “the what” and not “the how”. In every moment we can change implementation and our model is still valid!” — Imagine if changing your cement supplier meant you had to redesign your whole house. You never know, the idea of ordinary engineering might someday catch on in network design. Until then, we remain a skilled cottage industry striving to do industrial scale.

IKEA makes an unprecedented commitment to only use renewable and recycled materials by 2030 — Business Insider

“Having taken big initiatives – from buying forest to announcing electric vehicle support – over the past few years, Ikea now seems to be taking sustainability into its core business practices. Its massive scale – Ikea consumes around 1 percent of the world’s wood supply  – will undoubtedly make a dent, and perhaps set a sustainability precedent for other global corporates in the coming decade. … Ikea needs to go from selling just new items to providing a host of services in order to prolong the lifecycle of its furniture. An example of that is an initiative with Swedish secondhand marketplace Blocket, which lets Ikea’s premium members (Family) advertise their used products without paying.”

Be Careful What You Think! This Device Can Hear Your Inner Voice — Wearable Technologies

“In a trial conducted on 10 people, AlterEgo managed an average of 92% transcription accuracy with about 15 minutes of customizing to each person. That pulls the device several percentage points below the 95% plus accuracy of Google’s voice transcription service. The human threshold for voice word accuracy is thought to be around 95%. Kapur said the system will improve in accuracy over time.” — Terrifying or terrific?

The Dangers of the 5G Wireless network — YouTube

These are serious medical professionals, not fringe activists. We’re conducting mass biological experiments on humans that appear to be deeply unethical. You can’t extrapolate safety cases, they don’t work that way. Just the first few minutes of this video are pretty worrying. See also Scientists WARN: Genetic editing of humans with “CRISPR” technology may lead to generation of cancer sufferers and Young people ‘getting less intelligent’.

Some Google employees are talking about pushing for a brand new kind of workers union — Business Insider

““In the past, unions organized primarily around working conditions and compensation,” Asaro said. “But why not now demand a say in the direction of the company? Sure, in some sense these are a privileged set of workers but that doesn’t mean they are not still workers. Why should they allow a small group of C-suite executives make these ethical decisions when it has to be implemented by workers anyway?”” — I smell scandal coming to Google.

Tech Billionaires Are Building Their Utopias Without Asking Us — Motherboard

“It is the last bit of this that gives us pause, for when people with extraordinary wealth and its resultant power make assumptions about others’ needs and desires, and indeed those peoples’ own utopias, the assumptions become problematic and cause conflict. Unfortunately, for those with less, those with power and resources can have a closer shot at realizing their Utopian visions than the rest of us, and some of us can become very inconvenienced or downright harmed by others’ enacted utopian dreams.”  See also Google’s Leaked Video on Mass Behavior Modification — the dystopia is already here.

The internet is finally going to be bigger than TV worldwide — Quartz

“People will spend an average of 170.6 minutes a day, or nearly three hours, using the internet for things like shopping, browsing social media, chatting with friends, and streaming music and video in 2019, a recent report by media agency Zenith estimated. That’s a tad more than the 170.3 minutes they’re expected to spend watching TV.”

Apple to Close iPhone Security Hole That Law Enforcement Uses to Crack Devices — New York Times

“In the first 10 months of 2017, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said it had recovered and obtained warrants or consent to search 702 locked smartphones, two-thirds of which were iPhones. Smartphones running Google’s Android software have been generally easier to access, partly because many older devices lack encryption.” — Is there a middle way where we voluntarily give keys to certain institutions to effect a better trade-off?

Famed Stanford prison experiment that ‘showed how we are all naturally inclined to abuse power’ was based on LIES and FAKERY, shocking expose claims — Daily Mail

“Several attempts to replicate the Stanford prison experiment have failed to recreate its dramatic results, leading some scientists to suggest the study was faked.” — At least we can have some sacred scientific delusions, no?

Judge Rules In Favor Of Right-Winger Suing Twitter For Banning His Account — Information Liberation

“But he said Taylor properly supported his allegations that Twitter’s policy of suspending accounts, in the judge’s words, “at any time, for any reason or for no reason” may be unconscionable and that the company calling itself a platform devoted to free speech may be misleading and therefore fraudulent.” — This is Strowger all over again. “Neutrality” should be for the social media companies, not packet networks.

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