Favoriting Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from December 31, 2018 Favoriting

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

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Favoriting December 31, 2018: Matt Haughey on getting scammed, and the Internet in 2018

Listen to this show: Pop-up listen Pop-up player!

This week: Matt Haughey, founder of Metafilter, on getting scammed online - and reviewing the Internet in 2018

A Whole Lotta Nothing, Matt's weblog

Metafilter, the online community founded by Matt

• On Twitter: @mathowie

Recent News

Juul employees get a special $2 billion bonus from tobacco giant Altria — to be split among its 1,500 employees (CNBC, Dec 20): "The bonus averages out to roughly $1.3 million for each of Juul's roughly 1,500 employees."

The Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Nightmare Came True (Gizmodo, Dec 20): "An Amazon user in Germany recently requested data about his personal activities and inadvertently gained access to 1,700 audio recordings of someone he didn’t know. ... The recordings of the victim were from May. That same month, a Portland woman found her Echo had sent a recorded conversation between her and her husband to one of his employees."

• from Tech That Will Change Your Life in 2019 (WSJ, Dec 30) on how "Big Tech targets health care": "Amazon has started selling software that mines patient medical records for doctor information ... Apple is in talks with the Department of Veterans Affairs about software to allow veterans to transfer their health records to iPhones. The Apple Watch’s new electrocardiogram features allow you to easily share heart health information with your doctor... insurance companies, like John Hancock, have begun to encourage policy holders to share their fitness tracking data..."

Supermicro says investigation firm found no spy chips (TechCrunch, Dec 11): "Supermicro has sent a letter to its customers saying that it has found no evidence of malicious chips on its motherboards. ... On October 4, a Bloomberg report claimed that China’s spies managed to conceal tiny malicious chips on Supermicro motherboards [used by] Amazon and Apple... Bloomberg hasn’t published any retraction or irrefutable proof since then."

Zuckerberg-funded researchers are testing implantable brain devices (Business Insider, today, Dec 31): "researchers are studying a wireless implantable brain device — called the "WAND" for short — in primates... [WAND is] a wireless brain device implanted in a primate that records, stimulates, and modifies its brain activity in real time, sensing a normal movement and stopping it immediately."

Tech News of the Year

- Critics of Facebook finally were proven right.

- Google went from developing a censorship-friendly Chinese search engine, to not-exactly-telling-the-truth to Congress ("we are not close to launching a search engine in China"), to reportedly killing the project.

- Also, Google bought or rented several million square feet of NYC real estate in Chelsea and Tribeca. (What are they doing in there?)

- Also also, Google continued to expand its citizen-surveillance operation, aka Link NYC.

- Amazon bought Whole Foods.

- Also, Amazon announced its new offices (not headquarters) in Queens and DC. Oh, and New York taxpayers will pay Amazon $3 billion for the privilege.

- Apple announced some new gadgets at BAM event. It still doesn't pay its fair share of taxes. ("Apple uses an accounting trick to move its profits to domains such as Ireland, which results in lower taxes for the most profitable firm in the world." -Scott Galloway writing in Esquire, Feb 2018)

- Home surveillance devices ("smart speakers") gain popularity: Apple HomePod, Facebook Portal, Amazon Echo, Google Home.

- Other stories: Consolidation into Big Tech monopolies ... AI/machine learning and continued attempts at self-driving cars ... NASA's InSight MARS Lander ... CRISPR gene editing ... the fall of Bitcoin ... Musk building car-computers, launching rockets, digging tunnels, and acting out ... the continued rise of China & Chinese internet.

Some of Mark's favorite tech books this year

- Artificial Unintelligence, by Meredith Broussard - interviewed on the May 28 show

- Anti-Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy, by Siva Vaidhyanathan - interviewed on the June 25 show

- The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms that Control Money and Information, by Frank Pasquale - interviewed on the Nov 29 show

- Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley, by Corey Pein - interviewed on the April 30 show

- The Technological Society, Jacque Ellul - excerpts read on the Dec 24 show

- Re-Engineering Humanity, by Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger - interviewed on the June 11 show

- The Attention Merchants, by Tim Wu

- The Billionaire Who Wasn't, by Conor O'Clery

- Technics And Civilization, by Lewis Mumford

- Heads: A Biography Of Psychedelic America, by Jesse Jarnow - interviewed on the Oct 29 show

- Feed, by M.T. Anderson - interviewed on the Nov 12 show

- New Dark Age, by James Bridle - interviewed on the Aug 13 show

- The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition, by Jonathan Tepper - interviewed on the Nov 26 show

- From Know-How to Nowhere, by Elting Morison

- Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet, by Yasha Levine - interviewed on the Oct 22 show

- The Art of Screen Time, by Anya Kamenetz - interviewed on the May 7 show ("Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly with others.")

- The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter, by David Sax - interviewed on the May 14 show

- The Encyclopedia of Misinformation, by Rex Sorgatz - interviewed on the Dec 10 show

- How to Break Up With Your Phone, by Catherine Price - interviewed on the April 16 show

- Earth Gazers, by Christopher Potter - interviewed on the Feb 5 show

- Move Fast and Break Things, by Jonathan Taplin - interviewed on the Jan 15 show

- Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture, by Jace Clayton - interviewed on the Jan 8 show

- Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, by Jaron Lanier - interviewed on the July 16 show

- How to Fix the Future, by Andrew Keen - interviewed on the June 4 show

.....and finally, to set the record straight:

- - -

PODCAST: Subscribe to the Techtonic podcast

Artist Track Album Images Approx. start time
  Matt Haughey, founder of Metafilter, explains how he got scammed. Also: Mark & Matt review the Internet in 2018.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Favoriting Machinarium Soundtrack 
  Mark's intro    
  Interview with Matt Haughey    
0:21:12 (Pop-up)
  Your comments    
0:44:01 (Pop-up)
The Raffeys  Big Brother   Favoriting Eep Snörpsh Now 
0:55:15 (Pop-up)

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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 12:25pm listener james from westwood:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 1:31pm herb.nyc:

scams? I love scams, and (early) David Mamet movies. I hope to catch the show later but don't know if my parent's radio will catch 91.1. anyway, happy happy to all us TechnoNewYearites.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm ultradamno:

Hello Mark and old techquaintances!
Avatar 6:01pm TDK60:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm queems:

hey folks
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Howdy-doo, Mark and Techto-drifters!
Avatar 6:03pm Beast of Boonton:

Is it live 'Mark' tonight or a bot cover again?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:03pm chris:

hi, Mark and tech-concerned folks.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm queems:

wtf at the juul story
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm coelacanth∅:

hey Mark and techtonicrons
  6:05pm ike:

Hello all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Rand al'Thor:

Hello, all! Always try to listen on Monday nights but rarely post in chat.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:06pm brycepunk1:

Happy New Year!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm listener james from westwood:

What's the radio-broadcast version of a CAPTCHA?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm queems:

add this to the list of reasons why i miss astoria
Avatar 6:07pm mb:

Hello Mark and people of spaceship Earth.

Nice to know i am not the only stick figure that was unsure the day of the week this last month of December.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm RomanDogBird:

will they be making e-cigarettes for legs?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Ken From Hyde Park:

There was a South Park episode recently about kids vaping.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm coelacanth∅:

maybe they should make nicotine pacifiers
  6:09pm JakeGould:

Juul is a big thing. You can see teens charging their Juul’s at USB charging stations like LinkNYC kiosks around. NYC.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Rand al'Thor:

'Tegridy Farms, Ken
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm queems:

i dated someone briefly who was hardcore addicted to his dumbass juul
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:10pm chris:

they're actually owned by PAX, a vaporizer company that made its mark in cannabis
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Juul ∅:

"we have an announcement. We don't give a shit about people."
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:13pm Ken From Hyde Park:

South Park also busted on Amazon this season. "Alexa, kill Kenny."
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Rand al'Thor:

The price of "convenience".
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm coelacanth∅:

"Give me convenience or give me death!"
  6:15pm DaveinPA:

we're all doomed
  6:16pm JakeGould:

“Alexa, fuck Siri. Siri, marry Cortana. Cortana, kill Eliza.”
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm dale:

alttria/philllip morris makes a lot more money selling cigarettes in asia and southeast asia than they ever did in the u.s.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Ken From Hyde Park:

My prediction for 2019: Juul / Alrtia introduces meth vape kits.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm Rand al'Thor:

"ooh, but wand, like in Harry Potter, so it must be cool!"
Avatar 6:22pm TDK60:

brain devices: why am I not surprised? but still, flabbergasted. Desert island time...
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:23pm chris:

i though he had created that already and called it 'facebook'
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Ken From Hyde Park:

If they could WAND that orange guy to believe that his wall is up and running, I'd go with that.
Avatar 6:24pm TDK60:

..glad you listed Lewis Mumford (1934).
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm ultradamno:

This will be great, you can talk to Alexa directly by WAND
Avatar 6:31pm Beast of Boonton:

Beware the WAND Mark (first target)
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:34pm chris:

biggest story of the year has to be facebook's data exploitation. that said, i'd hope it falls into the larger category of building awareness of our data use and misuse. maybe *that* is the biggest story of the year: self-awareness of our data online.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm dale:

i was smart - i just used the same password for everything.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm melinda:

I don't use a password manager for that reason, seems like it would be an obvious target.
  6:38pm Franco Twinkie:

Starting tomorrow you will only be able to ride the MUNI system in San Francisco if you surrender your PIN.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Mark Hurst:

Hi all! Thanks for joining in the chat. Questions tonight: (1) what do you think is the biggest tech story, and (2) what is the best tech book you read this year? See my own answers at left.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Webhamster Henry:

Using the same password all over the place is not a good idea, no matter how secure. 2(or more) Factor is really good, mostly because you don't know what those other factors might be.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm melinda:

@Franco that's fucked up.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:39pm Ken From Hyde Park:

If your phone dies or is lost or stolen, I guess you're inconvenienced until you get things back again.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Webhamster Henry:

I declined an interview request from Juul - I don't think I would be able to face myself in the morning if I were to work there.
  6:41pm JakeGould:

I have a decent password scheme. And that is in my head!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm dale:

i was kidding webhamster henry - but not by much. i have to write all of of my passwords down - having a 9 chaacter password including u&lc, numerals, unique characters etc is a pain in the ass before your morning coffee.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Webhamster Henry:

Passwords need no length limit, and allow any unicode characters like emoji and spaces.
  6:44pm JakeGould:

Err… What he just said about anonymity and small towns versus big cities is a fairly conservative and wince-worthy POV.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:44pm chris:

a resounding YES, to that idea, Henry!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Webhamster Henry:

Be secure! V hfr gur hygen frpher EBG13.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm dale:

i hate to say i let chrome remember some passwords for me - like the woodworking, snowblower and vintage boombox forums i visit. don't ask.
  6:47pm sim:

What about YC's Hacker News?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm Daddy Hernlet:

I miss AOL 3.0 and dial up... Kinda :p
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm Webhamster Henry:

I was describing the pre-internet world to my post-internet son.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:49pm Ken From Hyde Park:

The erosion of net neutrality was my biggest concern of 2018.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:49pm coelacanth∅:

i pick the easiest, most obvious passwords i can for websites that don't involve exchange of currency. (like wfmu)
  6:50pm Franco Twinkie:

Hi Melinda! I was just goofing.
  6:50pm sim:

Unicode made URL spoofing so much easier.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm ultradamno:

I seem to recall hearing a couple of years ago that emoji passwords were the future.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Webhamster Henry:

Yep I did all those things! Some are still buried in the WFMU website. Like this:www.wfmu.org...
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:52pm chris:

net neutrality will be restored, Ken. i'm optimistic.
  6:52pm sufferwords:

my passwords all have the same base password then i add site specific at the end- dffggf53fggatt or dffggf53ggwfmu that way i always know according to the base + site
Avatar 6:52pm Beast of Boonton:

always increment passwds by '1'
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Daddy Hernlet:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm melinda:

@Franco haha, I guess I was thinking they were only accepting debit cards for which you would need to enter your PIN, part of the whole cashless trend.
  6:53pm sim:

I have a little password notebook.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm dale:

...blood scan.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm coelacanth∅:

dna samples
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Webhamster Henry:

If it's an iPhone,you can wipe your phone remotely when you lose it and feel like writing it off.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm ultradamno:

Birthmark scan
Avatar 6:55pm Beast of Boonton:

I use 'abc123'
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Fecal samples
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm coelacanth∅:

"user name: ___________
...dna sample, insert here: ..."
Avatar 6:56pm TDK60:

melinda & franco: they (metro systems) might soon try to get rid of cash - only credit cards or bitcoins or...biometrics!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Webhamster Henry:

Really, biometrics should be 2 factor at least, face, fingers retinas, tongue, smell detector.
Avatar 6:56pm TDK60:

Great show this year, DJ Mark H. I plan to use your '18 archives for future reference. Now, it's time for the Dance of the Calendar Change Fairies.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:57pm chris:

thanks, Mark! 2019, the year of the tech consumer!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Webhamster Henry:

Thanks for giving me airtime!
Hey, speaking of de-teching! I was reading a book just today!
  6:57pm sim:

if FB was penned and perved, it would be wise to be quiet about it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm listener james from westwood:

Thanks, Mark!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Rand al'Thor:

Happy new year, all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm coelacanth∅:

Thanks Mark! Excellent as always.
Good luck in 2019
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm queems:

happy new year!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Webhamster Henry:

See you in Y2K+XIX
Avatar 🤖 7:00pm Bas NL:

Best wishes Mark! We're already 2019 here!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone! Happy New Year (and happy 2019, Bas!)! Hope to see you all back next week.
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