Techno-Politics and Tech Culture

Posts I've written about Techno-Politics and Tech Culture. Subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you don't miss anything.

The Deepest Deepfake of All

The interviewer asked, "Is that image real"? There's no way to tell. "What about this video?" It's hard to say. "You can't tell if that's real or fake either." No. Not without analyzing it. "Well, what about the prose? Did a human write this sentence?" It's possible, but it would not surprise me to learn that it was machine generated. "What about the voice in the video?" It's sonically perfect. I'd say 60/40 it's a machine, but I'd need to hear a few more sentences to be sure. "So, what you're saying is that I can't trust my eyes or my ears?" Yes. That's what I'm saying. "Is this the end of truth?" Continue Reading →

Fixing Facebook

Facebook Broken
If you were Mark Zuckerberg and you wanted to get ahead of potential government regulation of your business, what would you fix first? Would you try to curtail social media addiction, protect privacy, reduce mental health risks, reduce weaponized information, eliminate hate speech, flag misinformation, deal with data governance, or address some other seemingly intractable problem? Here's what I'd fix first. Continue Reading →
Crypto under mattress
During an upgrade to the Compound platform, a bug caused the system to transfer close to $90 million in COMP (their cryptocurrency) to random users. In a desperate tweet, Compound’s CEO begged the users to give the money back. He threatened to dox the users. (That’s a slang term for making user identities public or, in this case, reporting them to the IRS.) Then offered a 10 percent reward for “doing the right thing.” Continue Reading →
Crypto Regulation
China has declared all financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies illegal and is issuing a nationwide ban on cryptocurrency mining. Does this make crypto illegal in China? Not exactly. What does this mean for the crypto markets worldwide? What about the US? How will US crypto be regulated? Are cryptocurrencies considered securities? What about other digital assets? Welcome to the crazy, confused world of crypto regulation. Continue Reading →

Porn Leads Tech, Again

OnlyFans
OnlyFans (OF) announced that—for business reasons—it was going to ban sexually explicit content. Five days later, the company reversed its decision. Luckily, this article isn't about their decision-making process... it's about how you might build an alternative app. Continue Reading →
Mike Novogratz
Mike Novogratz has a good reason to believe that crypto is valuable. In March 2021, he revealed that cryptocurrencies made up nearly 85% ($4.8 billion) of his $5.65 billion net worth. But is crypto useful? Continue Reading →
Amazon Sidewalk
If you have an Alexa-enabled device or any Amazon device that is Amazon Sidewalk-capable, you are automatically opted in to sharing up to 80Kbps (capped at 500MB per month) of your WiFi network with Amazon and your neighbors. After I tell you how to opt-out, I'll tell you what it is and why Amazon thinks it's a good idea. If you want to use the service and lend part of your WiFi network to Jeff Bezos, you don't need to do anything. You are opted-in unless you do the following. Continue Reading →

Encrypting Your Crypto

Ledger Nano S
The moment comes when you realize there's real money in your crypto wallet and you start wondering about hackers and ransomware and all kinds of bad stuff. If you've set up a digital wallet, bought some crypto, and collected a few NFTs and you're starting to trade across a range of marketplaces and exchanges, you are starting to experience the exceptional financial freedom the world of DeFi has to offer. Of course, there's a catch… Now, you're also in charge of guarding the treasury. Continue Reading →

Is Crypto Dead?

Crypto Crash
For crypto speculators, newbies, and "get rich quick" thrillseekers, last week was tough. The Chinese government re-signaled its displeasure with bitcoin and all things crypto, the IRS announced it is going to do what it can to tax every possible crypto transaction, and Elon tweeted, scaring the hell out of people who pay attention to him. Panic ensued. When it was over, Wednesday's crypto crash vaporized about $1 trillion of market value. The currency may be virtual, but for those who sold at a loss, the losses were real. And while it came back a bit after the crash, this rollercoaster ride is getting even more extreme. Which is why it is no surprise that so many well-respected businesspeople and financial experts chose this past week to declare that crypto is "valueless," or "nutso," or "dead." But think about this... Continue Reading →

Internet Computer

Internet Computer (Dfinity)
Dfinity launched Internet Computer last week, and ICP, its cryptocurrency, already has a market cap of over $30 billion. This article is not about the value of owning ICP or how or why you may or may not want to trade crypto. I'm not going to offer any financial advice here. What interests me is how strongly Dfinity's vision aligns with my essay Tales from under the Merkle Tree. In the essay, I ask you to imagine a world powered by decentralized apps (Dapps), where currencies are traded on decentralized exchanges (DEXs), and people transact business on distributed ledgers (aka blockchains). I also suggested that the future I asked you to envision "is literally just months away." I was wrong. It's happening right now. Or is it? Continue Reading →

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