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Uber
The State of New Jersey charged Uber $530 million in unpaid unemployment and disability insurance from 2014-2018 and tacked on $119 million in interest. Some characterized this as a "fine." I wish it was. That would make this a one-time thing. Instead, this tax ruling sets a precedent for the future of the gig economy in New Jersey that other states are sure to follow. California has already started down this path and it is going to be a huge problem for individuals who do contract work. Continue Reading →
Episode 4 of Think About This with Shelly Palmer & Ross Martin is online! In this episode we explore the marvels of human achievement that get no love. Did a drone from a spaceship just deliver your pizza? Did a sugar pill just take away all of your pain? How many trees could you plant in a day? How many ear wiggles could you do in 30 seconds? You may win a lot of cash if you stay off your smartphone for a year, but how would you get through dinner with your mom and dad? Continue Reading →
The Mandalorian
Disney+ launched to great fanfare (with a few technical glitches) and people are talking. There is the usual chatter about "a new service," and the "transformation of the television business," but something far more interesting is happening. People are talking about episode one of The Mandalorian and you know what they're saying? "I can't wait for episode two." Continue Reading →

Apple AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro
I don't usually wax poetic about Apple products. In fact, I don't actually remember the last time I said something nice about an Apple product. Today will be different. If you have an iPhone, go to apple.com and order a pair of AirPods Pro earbuds now. You will find all kinds of reviews online, read them, don't read them. Here's my take. Continue Reading →
Instagram Likes
Adam Mosseri, who runs Instagram, is about to change the world. Like it or not, Instagram is going to make “like” counts private. This is a bold, (but well tested) move. The company has previously hidden likes in Canada, Japan, Brazin, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Italy. Now, Instagram will expand its testing to the US. Continue Reading →

Does 5G Cause Cancer?

caution radiation
Does 5G cause cancer? No. No one knows what causes cancer. There are scientific theories, some with extraordinary supporting evidence, that clearly identify carcinogens. But when I asked Dr. Michael La Quaglia, my granddaughter’s cancer surgeon, how a 2½-year-old gets pancreatoblastoma, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “If we knew, we could prevent it. All I can do is try to remove it. And, with God’s help, I will be successful.” Those words ring in my ears to this day. So, it is with a great deal of humility, personal experience and a strong belief in the scientific method that I submit to you a reasoned rebuttal to the meme that “5G causes cancer.” Continue Reading →
Deepfakes
For about 200,000 years, we have relied on our eyes and ears to separate truth from lies and fact from fiction. Even if we ignore the rise of fake news (and how difficult it is to do anything about it), technology (like deep learning) is on the verge of making it impossible to know if what you are seeing and hearing is real or fake. This white paper contains an overview of deep learning technology and how it is being applied to create audio and video content that is indistinguishable from audio and video created with state of the art recording technologies. Continue Reading →
Shelly Palmer, Ross Martin and Carolyn Everson
Trump's anti-Biden ad is still on Facebook. Warren's anti-Zuckerberg ad is still on Facebook. Both contain allegedly false statements. Why would Facebook allow this? I wanted the answer, so I asked my friend Carolyn Everson, Facebook's VP Global Marketing Solutions to join me and Ross Martin on this week's episode of "Think About This" so we could find out who Facebook responsible to, and what is Facebook responsible for? Her answers may surprise you. Continue Reading →
Project Silica
How long does a digital file last? It depends how and where you save it. On a hard drive? It will last longer than 5 years, but less than 30 years. On a commercial CD, maybe 100 years, no one really knows. On a recordable CD or DVD? Less than 10 years for sure. On magnetic tape? More than 10 years, less than 100 depending upon how the tapes are stored. Sit with 100 digital archivists and you will get 100 different opinions about how to save digital files for future generations. Continue Reading →

Super Nasty Viruses

ddos
I got a note yesterday about a new virus targeting QNAP storage devices. QNAP is not a popular consumer brand, they make storage devices for businesses (and aggressive amateurs). The virus is called QSNATCH. Do not be confused by the cute name. It tunnels into your network attached storage device and destroys your data. It's not ransomware, it's not targeted at anyone in particular -- this virus is like a biological virus -- it's just out in the wild. If it infects your drives, they die. Continue Reading →

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