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Upcoming events:

Mon. Sep 26th, 6pm - 7pm: Subways and surveillance - with Christopher Robbins from Hell Gate (More info...)

Options August 22, 2022: Molly Osberg and New York's new Link5G surveillance towers

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(Excerpt of photo by Molly Osberg)
(Excerpt of photo by Molly Osberg)
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(Excerpt of photo by Molly Osberg)

Today: Molly Osberg and New York's new Link5G surveillance towers

NYC’s New 5G Monolith Is ‘Bridging the Digital Divide’ With Free Wi-Fi For Exactly One Bronx Block (by Molly Osberg in Hell Gate, July 27, 2022)

Tired of Waiting for Their Dream Workplace, These Writers Made Their Own (by Ashley Wong in NYT, July 20, 2022): "After years of being put through the wringer of New York City media, five journalists created Hell Gate, the blog-style news site run on their terms."

Hell Gate

Subscribe to Hell Gate

mollyosberg.com

Press conference video (July 10, 2022): Video of Mayor Eric Adams and CTO Matthew Fraser at Link5G launch event. Two other speakers were from LinkNYC.

Profile of Matthew Fraser (Gotham Gazette, Jan 24, 2022)

Failing Up: First Link5G ‘Smart Pole’ Stands Quietly in Queens (The City, March 20, 2022): “‘There’s a cost of free things,’ said Sean Khorsandi, executive director of the Manhattan-based neighborhood preservation group Landmarks West!, which opposed LinkNYC and now opposes Link5G for the kiosks’ size, look and tendency to attract loiterers. . . . ‘There’s ways of integrating this type of equipment on existing infrastructure,’ said Khorsandi, who teaches design and architecture at the New York Institute of Technology. ‘You don’t need to build these lollipops in the middle of the street.’”

Big Tech Pays to Supersize LinkNYC and Revive Broken Promise to Bridge Digital Divide (The City, Apr 27, 2022): “In 2015, Google (now called Alphabet), acquired Titan and Control Group through its newly formed subsidiary Sidewalk Labs, merging the two companies to form Intersection. At the time, this new venture was branded as a civic tech enterprise; currently, Intersection markets itself primarily as an out-of-home advertising company. (Intersection shares its Hudson Yards offices with Sidewalk Labs, well-known for its unsuccessful ‘smart city’ ambitions along Toronto’s waterfront.)”

“NYC Mesh, one of the vendors providing service for public housing residents, operates its own low-cost fixed wireless network that has penetrated into neighborhoods with fewer choices in service providers, particularly in central Brooklyn. Last year, the nonprofit, volunteer-run group applied to establish dozens of additional hubs on the city’s public buildings, a potentially significant step toward grassroots, universal Wi-Fi access in the city.”

Control Group is becoming Intersection (LinkedIn announcement, June 23, 2015): “Control Group and Titan are merging and being acquired by a group of investors led by Sidewalk Labs, the recently launched venture by Dan Doctoroff and Google.” See also press release.

Intersection Wikipedia page

The consortium behind New York City’s LinkNYC kiosks is ‘delinquent’ and owes the city millions (The Verge, March 5, 2020): “The CityBridge consortium includes Intersection, of which Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs is an investor (and yes that’s Alphabet as in Google’s parent company).” ... “according to New York City commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Jessica Tisch... the company is ‘delinquent’ in its payments to the city... ‘CityBridge owes the City tens of millions of dollars, going back to [fiscal year] 19,’ Tisch said. ‘All of this is against the backdrop of millions of dollars in advertising revenue that CityBridge has reported they received over the same time period.’”

A Dad Took Photos of His Naked Toddler for the Doctor. Google Flagged Him as a Criminal. (by Kashmir Hill, NYT, Aug 21, 2022)

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Artist Track Album Label Images Approx. start time
  Molly Osberg and New York's new surveillance towers
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options Machinarium Soundtrack  n/a 
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  Mark's intro      
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  Interview with Molly Osberg      
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0:09:55 (MP3 | Pop-up)
  Mark's comments      
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0:35:40 (MP3 | Pop-up)
The Special Pillow  Access Denied   Options Mind Wipe  The Special Pillow 
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0:54:30 (MP3 | Pop-up)


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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 5:17pm G:

Big Tech is watching you.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm Handy Haversack:

Mark and the Techyon Drives!

That Hell Gate piece is great. I have a friend who worked on negotiating those contracts for LinkNYC and still tried to contort logic to say they are a benefit for the city. My head, I shake it. Hell Gate is definitely a refreshing new voice. I have been enjoying it.

And remember: it is our civic duty to flip the bird to the spy towers whenever we walk by them. Help the trend catch on!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm ultradamno:

Mark! Techtscalators!

Google workers demand abortion protections and stronger data privacy www.cbsnews.com...

Opinion: Talking about women’s abortion rights on Facebook carries risks www.eastbaytimes.com...
Avatar 6:00pm Picante Mint:

Hello Mark and listeners. Been looking forward to this all day.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm sbw:

Hi, Mark and all!
  6:01pm LiXiviated Life:

I wanted this to be our wedding song.
But Mrs Lix vetoed
Avatar 6:01pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark! Swag came in! Proudly wearing the new Techtonic T-Shirt!

Hi all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Handy Haversack:

Ave, Bas! Happy SWAGVENT!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm StringOFperils:

An hour of surveillance tower power! Guten Abend Mark
Avatar 6:03pm Bas NL:

Hi Handy! And it's such a GOOD haul!
  6:04pm David in London:

Evening Mark and all Technoids.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm chris in the redwoods:

hi, Mark and folks.
wow, Monica fill-in followed by a Scott W fill-in. that's must listen radio.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Handy Haversack:

ultradamno, there was a great line in the Guardian article about Google workers, where the one leading the drive said something like, "Though I don't know how hard we can ask them to stop snooping for ads; it is the entire business model."

Hey, David! Long time, it seems like! You in Radnage?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm DanFA:

If Techtonic is not renewed you know Bezos has gotten to Station Manager Ken.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm ultradamno:

@Handy Yeah, it is like asking McDonalds to lay off on the beef and cheese
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm DanFA:

@Handy and Ultradamno, where's the beef?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm The Butterman:

Been wearing my “eye zombie “ shirt pretty much every other day.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Handy Haversack:

"But ... how will we deliver addictive fat and salt?!"
  6:08pm David in London:

Handles, been away for a week in Wales. Taking the power of Runza to the hillsides.
Photos to follow…
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Handy Haversack:

Fantastic, David. Very jealous. I feel like I'd play huge in Wales.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Hello, Mark and affiliates. 5 years and 5G. Coincidence? ✋ 🤚
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm ultradamno:

Musk is probably hoarding it, he did just hang out with the people who think liberals want to outlaw your BBQs
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm DjLorraine:

Checking in
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Handy Haversack:

(I actually *do* want to outlaw your BBQs.)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm ultradamno:

Well, sure, MINE...they're reprehensible
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm dale:

mark - curious on your take of amazon buying the iRobot - are they mapping the inside of people's homes?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm ultradamno:

By the way, this is probably not a popular opinion here, but smart phones would have probably done a lot of good at Woodstock 99...if everybody had just had a screen to stare at....
Avatar 6:12pm Bas NL:

<< Alarming gadget that!
Avatar 6:13pm Fredericks:

Pretty sure the answer is "yes'" Dale.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Handy Haversack:

I was unstoppable at Electronic Quarterback.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm ultradamno:

@dale He had a creative good email blast on the subject a couple weeks ago
Avatar 6:14pm Fredericks:

"Bulbous?"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Mark Hurst:

Hi all, thanks for joining!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm ultradamno:

...and fast

Here it is: creativegood.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm Mark Hurst:

@Bas glad to hear it! Hope it gets noticed there in Utrecht.
Avatar 6:15pm Fredericks:

Damn them!
  6:16pm Lisa H.:

There's one standing a block away from my corner in Brooklyn. It's hideous and disturbing.
  6:17pm Lisa H.:

I feel bad for the people in the small apartment building right next to it. Great view!
Avatar 6:17pm Bas NL:

Already had nice comments @Mark!
Avatar 6:17pm arb:

hi mark & friends
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Mark Hurst:

@arb hello & looking forward to your fill-in!
  6:18pm mr 6:

What neighborhood?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Mark Hurst:

@Bas glad to hear it
  6:18pm yippie:

can you charge your phone in the spy tower?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm ultradamno:

What I wrote on Amazon/iRobot right after reading that twitter.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Mark Hurst:

@Handy same here - I really appreciated in Football 2 the innovation of being able to *pass*
  6:19pm David in London:

Jesus, these things sound horrific.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm Mark Hurst:

@ultra good point - esp given the Google news in the NYT today (listed in the links section here), it's a possible scenario - Roomba checking what possessions people have & notifying the authorities
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm Handy Haversack:

I was never recruited to the next level, Mark. That was before they scouted the smaller schools.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm Ken From Hyde Park:

The camera is probably down for maintenance between 2 & 4 AM Sundays, so not 24/7.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm herb.nyc:

Mayor Putin* has a super tower not far from me, on Essex and Grand Sts (*like Vladimir, our mayor likes to enforce the borders of his domain. I spk of the homeless)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm dale:

handy - i'm sure irobot beeps and bloops. and if it's a speaker it's also a microphone. a brrom works for me.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm chris in the redwoods:

use a VPN, folks.
Avatar 6:26pm Monica:

Good god! What an intrusive eyesore. Looks like one of those cellphone base station antennas you see clustered on apartment buildings. The current LinkNYC kiosks appear to be little more than hangouts for dudes who plant themselves their for hours recharging phones. I've never seen a woman use one of those things.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm Mark Hurst:

hi @Monica! agreed all around
Avatar 6:28pm Fredericks:

What's the Verizon van doing in the picture. Looks like the guy attached his left hand to the machine. Is he screaming?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm Handy Haversack:

Which do you use, Chris?
  6:28pm mr 6:

What neighborhood in the Bronx is this?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm W Trenton Vinny:

There is no free BBQ, not in NYC not nowhere
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm chris in the redwoods:

ClearVPN, Handy.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm ultradamno:

That's a good point, about it looking like it's surveilling you...why isn't Silicon Valley better at making this stuff more approachable? None of it is subtle.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm Handy Haversack:

Facebook was created to rate the hotness of college girls. I don't think subtle and accommodating is in the SV playbook.
Avatar 6:35pm Fredericks:

Yes, it raises; it doesn't "beg the " question.
  6:36pm Sam:

Can’t you get free internet access at your local library?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm Mark Hurst:

@Fredericks thanks for noticing. Pet peeve is to hear "beg the question" misused.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm Handy Haversack:

I work in scholarly publishing -- even academics screw that up, Mark and Fredericks.

Sam, that's helpful IFF you have time to go to the library and not more pressing needs -- and if you are OK with your internet use happening in public.
Avatar 6:39pm arb:

thanks mark :)
  6:39pm Sam:

Me too, as a philosophy major I came to appreciate the true meaning of “begging the question”, ie making an implicit, unjustified assumption.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm chris in the redwoods:

Sam, fellow phil major. good on ya! :)
  6:42pm Sam:

Andy Breckman: Go to Hell!
Mark Hurst: Go to Hellgate!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Questioning the answer is DJ Sara A's speciality.
Avatar 6:42pm Fredericks:

Hell is other radio.
  6:43pm Dean:

I thought "to beg the question" was to state a conclusion a premise of which assumes the answer to the question.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm JeremyB:

Yay! Arb is back!
  6:44pm ?:

it’s terrorism / psychological warfare basically
  6:44pm Rolando:

Sorry I’m late I’ll have to catch up in the archives, but here I am now anyway. I hope everybody is well and the avoiding big surveillance.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm DanFA:

I'm reading the story about Katz hosting a Diplo show and as someone who used to frequent Katz for their hot dogs I am disturbed.
  6:45pm ?:

snakes
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm ultradamno:

I thought it was when there was a film festival Q&A and you had to panhandle in the lobby for premises to participate
  6:46pm FDNY John:

There’s a similar situation on Staten Island with a mysterious unmarked utility pole (?) with many cameras. The local paper has tried to identify which department or departments are using this technology without success.
Avatar 6:46pm Fredericks:

'Beg the question' is a phrase from formal logic—it's a 16th century translator's rendering of Aristotle's 'petitio principii'. A better translation would have been "assume the conclusion."
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Handy Haversack:

Advice from Mark on VPNs, BTW: goodreports.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm chris in the redwoods:

yes, begging the question is a logical fallacy. Sam, Dean and Fredericks are all correct. :)
  6:48pm Sam:

Usually it means assuming something is true in one of your premises that might actually be controversial or unsettled, but you gloss over it
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm Handy Haversack:

Cop Mayor would never abuse surveillance. Or, you know, anything at all.
  6:48pm ?:

that was some fancy talking
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm chris in the redwoods:

thanks, Handy. will need to look into Mark's recommendations on VPNs! may need a change...
  6:49pm ?:

Mayor McCheese
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm The Butterman:

Oh see, he seems nice. No evil intentions!
  6:50pm Sam:

Whenever a politician plays dumb like that they are lying through their teeth
  6:50pm ?:

cough cough acab
Avatar 6:51pm Fredericks:

It seems like the "begging the question" malapropism is spreading. Bill Burroughs did point out that Language is a Virus.
  6:52pm ?:

🇺🇸😎
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Handy Haversack:

I'm sure privacy is the cornerstone of the administration -- making sure that what they do is kept secret from the people of NYC is a crucial part of selling us out.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm chris in the redwoods:

we could go all philosophy of language and talk about how colloquialism is perfectly capable of changing the connotation of a word or phrase. :)
  6:52pm Rolando:

I would not want to be cross examined by Mark Hurst !
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm JeremyB:

@Handy: Yup!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm The Butterman:

5,4,3,2,1,…Mark’s evil, fed up laughter!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm DanFA:

@Rolando, Mark is Tom Cruise in Few Good Men
  6:53pm Sam:

Sometimes you have to surveil people to protect their privacy
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm ultradamno:

I like ending sentences with HUZZAH!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm chresti:

The mayor gave a typical shifty politician non-answer
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm The Butterman:

It depends on what the definition of “is” is.
  6:54pm David in London:

It was an answer worthy of Lewis Carroll.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm StringOFperils:

This is what I felt when Google actually seemed to believe that the city of Toronto would give them a big piece of itself, including a lot of what amounts to the public's beachfront in the east end, to redevelop as some kind of sovereign tech pod/WestWorld development complex/town, and I thought,"Why would that happen, and WTF?....but then there actually were many questions asked, so they pulled out. There was something too fast and out of the public realm about it
Avatar 6:54pm Fredericks:

It's called a word salad, Mark. It's not intended to be understood, only accepted.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm chris in the redwoods:

i stepped in some google the other day and had to leave my shoe outside.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Franco Twinkie:

The soundwaves of outrage from the other room made me drop my book and perk up my ears.
  6:55pm Sam:

When you see what China’s doing with surveillance to oppress people, every American politician should be against it on principle!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Handy Haversack:

In New York we use "EXCELSIOR!" ultradamno.

Thanks, Mark. Always good to remember that Cop Mayor has not even really begun to fuck us over yet. So much more yet to come. At least the search runs on time.

Stay angry, Techyons!
  6:56pm ?:

great show Mark. thank you
Avatar 6:56pm Annette:

Thank you Mark! What a show!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm DanFA:

I await the return of our most glorious leader Arb.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm chris in the redwoods:

thanks, Mark! signed up for Hell Gate.
  6:56pm David in London:

Thanks Mark, leading the charge as always.
Avatar 6:56pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark! Thanks Molly!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm chresti:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm StringOFperils:

Thank you!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Webhamster Henry:

Scott will do a good show here! HI folks - I was busy monkey minding in another room.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm DjLorraine:

Thanks Mark and concerned citizens
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm ultradamno:

@handy tenor.com...
  6:58pm Sam:

I was just up in rural Maine - no cameras anywhere, it was so nice.
Avatar 6:59pm Fredericks:

Is Dean Wareham a member of The Special Pillow?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm coelacanth∅:

Thanks Mark
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Thanks, Mark. There should be a standardized method to test these towers for security and privacy. Connect to its wifi or whatever and verify personal data is not encroached.
  7:00pm Rolando:

@Sam - Not Yet!
  7:00pm Sam:

I just love that they can build these ugly-ass things everywhere that literally nobody wants.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone!
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