Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from March 25, 2019 Options

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

Options March 25, 2019: Kevin Dugan, New York Post reporter, on Earnin app

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

This week: Kevin Dugan on the new "Earnin" app

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Thanks to everyone who supported WFMU and Techtonic during our recent fundraising marathon!

If you missed it, here's how to get the 2019 Techtonic T-shirt: Make a pledge at $10/month and click "1 DJ Premium" (as well as the "WFMU|Radio" T-shirt, the Japanese Funhouse T-shirt, and the bumper sticker!).

Then on the next page under Monday, click "Mark Hurst's Techtonic Anglerfish T-shirt" to get our T-shirt for 2019, shown below:

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This week's pointers:

• Kevin Dugan on Twitter: @KevinTDugan

Popular cash advance app Earnin operating in payday loan 'gray area,' critics claim (by Kevin Dugan in the New York Post, March 21): "If the service was deemed to be a loan, the $9 tip suggested by Earnin for a $100, one-week loan would amount to a 469 percent APR. 'It appears to me they’re calling it tips so they don’t have to disclose an APR, so they don’t have to comply with the Truth in Lending Act,' Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center, told The Post."

Google Fined $1.7 Billion by E.U. for Unfair Advertising Rules (NYT, March 20): "With the announcement on Wednesday, the European fines against Google total roughly 8.2 billion euros, or $9.3 billion. . . . Apple, which in 2016 was ordered to pay Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes, is now under scrutiny for its App Store policies. Facebook is facing separate inquiries related to its business practices and handling of user data." ... "Ms. Vestager’s office announced last year that Amazon was under investigation for its treatment of independent sellers who use its website to reach customers."

Thousands of Reddit users are trying to delete Google from their lives, but they're finding it impossible because Google is everywhere (Business Insider, March 23): "Use privacy-focused DuckDuckGo or Startpage.com as your default search engine. Swap Gmail for ProtonMail. Use Apple Maps."

Facebook Isn’t Going After Bitcoin. It’s Going After the Dollar (Ted Livingston, March 20): "Today 900 million people use WeChat for daily transactions, totaling nearly $10 trillion of payments per year. In China WeChat replaced cash. Facebook is about to have all the pieces needed to execute the WeChat playbook."

Facebook Stored Hundreds of Millions of User Passwords in Plain Text for Years (Brian Krebs, March 21): "Between 200 million and 600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by more than 20,000 Facebook employees. ... Facebook software engineer Scott Renfro said, 'We’ve not found any cases so far in our investigations where someone was looking intentionally for passwords, nor have we found signs of misuse of this data.'"

Killer Robots Movie Night at WFMU - Friday, May 10 in Monty Hall. See you there!

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Check out techtonic.fm for recent Techtonic interviews and Little Slice of Tech Pie segments.

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Artist Track Album Images Approx. start time
  Kevin Dugan discusses his New York Post story on "Earnin," a startup with over $100 million in Silicon Valley venture capital, which allows users to get an advance payment on their paycheck. But the startup claims that they're not engaging in payday loans - which happen to be highly regulated.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options Machinarium Soundtrack 
  Mark's intro    
  Interview with Kevin Dugan    
0:20:11 (Pop-up)
  Your calls and comments    
0:46:56 (Pop-up)
Baltimora  Tarzan Boy   Options  
0:54:40 (Pop-up)

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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm ultradamno:

Hello Mark, tech-sharks (shylocktonics? techsurers?)!
Avatar 6:01pm Bas NL:

Mark! Marketeers!
  6:01pm melinda:

Wearing my Techtonic t-shirt again today.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm Phillippe Bastille:

Hi everyone
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm annie:

Avatar 6:01pm Mehyah's Own Marinar-er:

Just what needed "disruption" so as to reduce "friction"—payday lending. Where is my flying car?
  6:03pm Dave Miss:

Howdy from Brooklyn
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm herb.nyc:

we be Learnin about Earnin
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm listener james from westwood:

Evening, Mark and all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Webhamster Henry:

Hi Mark and Techtonic Donators
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm Webhamster Henry:

Apple announced a new credit card (backed by Goldman Sachs, their first retail endeavor).
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Hello, Techto-Stadia-players! Pew pew pew!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Ike:

Greetings, you wingdings!
Avatar 6:06pm Fredericks:

Recently saw Mark's Hoof performance. It was remarkable.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm ultradamno:

If only the White House listened to this show then What's App might not have made the news this week.
Avatar 6:07pm Fredericks:

A media divide? In the United States?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Fuzzy:

The System will not save you.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm chresti:

Hello Techtonicologists
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm annie:

speak it, brother!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Ike:

I'd like to invoke a meme here, Mark:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm chris:

hi, Mark, i agree to a certain extent. however, still find it enlightening to know, without a doubt, Russian state actors used those tech companies to influence the election (and Brexit).
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm ultradamno:

That's TWICE, three times and he appears!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Facebook Amazon Microsoft Apple Google = FAMAG
Similar to the BUNCH companies in the 70s, except more evil.
  6:13pm Sam:

You dont level fines, you levy them.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm herb.nyc:

Google doesn't pay its fines? they giggle all the way to the bank!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Daddy Hernlet:

Good evening all!
  6:14pm Sam:

Google’s website should be blocked in the EU until the fines are all paid.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm herb.nyc:

you just keep on talking, mark hurst, and you'll be under investigation soon. but we've got your back.
  6:16pm Listener Robert:

Google would be idiots not to act that way.

Like here, EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE NOT FOR PROFIT, how long would someone last commenting that all your programming was lousy, your DJs schnooks, etc.? Even though not a single dollar, only egos are on the line?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Daddy Hernlet:

A coworker left to work for Foursquare. Sounds like a huge data mining and analysis project.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Webhamster Henry:

BUNCH was plenty evil , but it was mostly business-to-business and not in public consciousness!
  6:18pm melinda:

I think Ecosia also doesn’t track searches, and they fund tree planting projects.
Avatar 6:19pm Bic Lighter:

Do you think anyone at Business Insider has ever actually been inside a business?
Avatar 6:20pm Bic Lighter:

We Chat is They Listen.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm listener james from westwood:

Fuck no, ZuckBux.
Avatar 6:21pm Bic Lighter:

I actually worked two years on the Google Maps project. It's far worse than almost anything you you can imagine.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm Webhamster Henry:

Usually, the password is scrambled in the browser (or other user facing UI) and no plaintext password even goes to the server. (Facebook fail)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm dave wuz here:

so if i switch from gmail to another email provider but still have forwarding from gmail to the new account, is the benefit of switching negated?
  6:23pm Listener Robert:

Bic, were there payola opportunities for low-level employees and contractors?
Avatar 6:24pm colinfromvictoriabritishcolumbiacanada:

@Robert yes
  6:24pm Marcel M:

Dugan NASH
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm annie:

i've used yahoo mail for close to 10 years, two separate accounts. i rarely even peek at outlook now. once in a while yahoo asks me to"verify"or backup my account.. HAH!! i just refresh that page and it goes right to my inbox.
  6:25pm Robert Tables:

Hi! I'd like to mention OpenStreetMap which I use as an alternative to Google Maps. OSM recently won an "Award for Projects of Social Benefit." (https://www.fsf.org/news/openstreetmap-and-deborah-nicholson-win-2018-fsf-awards)
Avatar 6:25pm Bic Lighter:

I was a StreetView driver
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm annie:

duck duck go is my search engne; although i've noticed it's changed even within this last week.
Avatar 6:27pm Bic Lighter:

@Robert I was offered consideration to mess with things
  6:28pm Listener Robert:

I endorse OpenStreetMap.org as well. Even their color scheme is easier to read than Google's. As to accuracy, sometimes Google beats them, sometimes they beat Google; it's a wiki, so anyone can help imrpove it.
  6:28pm Marcel M:

Orville Sash
Avatar 6:29pm Bic Lighter:

Here's a pic of me!

  6:30pm Listener Robert:

"Nice business location ya got there. Be a shame if someone moved it, know what I mean?"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:31pm herb.nyc:

469% ??? wow, way better than "5 will get you 10".
Avatar 6:31pm Bic Lighter:

Nice day at work for me. Most of the shots are of me peeing.

Avatar 6:31pm Bic Lighter:

@Robert....oh yeah, the brand has leverage
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm ultradamno:

Why does everything have to go back to fucking star wars?
Avatar 6:33pm Bic Lighter:

Ok, here's a pic of The Man taking pics of you watering your lawn during drought restrictions.

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm VincentNifigance:

Big old Jedi-sigh.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm chresti:

@Bic- a google maps pic of our address shows my boyfriend standing in the front yard holding a camera, from a few years ago
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm Fuzzy:

Beware the All-seeing Eye Of Sauron, a.k.a. Google Guides.
  6:36pm Doug C.:

This is disaster capitalism but now the disaster occurs every week for Americans. The owner of this predatory business deserves jail not the praise he laughably expects.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm chresti:

I like how you're coming out of the asphalt @Bic
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm ultradamno:

It's like being in thrall to a vampire who needs to know where you are at all times.
  6:42pm Listener Robert:

Some years ago John Stossel wrote about how his employers never tried to slant his reporting on air because it'd ruin their reputation. Then a year or two later when he reported on his employer, they did.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm ultradamno:

By sundown? Again vampires are much closer to the truth than jedis.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

This is why Christianity in Medieval Europe considered Usury to be a Mortal Sin...& had the Jews do it for them instead - & have been scapegoating them for it ever since.
Avatar 6:45pm Bic Lighter:

@chresti It was very hot that day
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm melinda:

Mark your initial reaction to the jedi comparison made me lol
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm Folsom:

Earnin shot first!
Avatar 6:48pm Bas NL:

I the good old days people like those called them self Napoleon..
  6:49pm Doug C.:

And by the way, that’s the greatest needlepoint ever.
  6:49pm Mandy:

Cyber-Dickensian Age
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm Carmichael:

Hey Melinda, just curious, why do you have a pic of a CO monitor as one of your avatars?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Luuuvs Godzilla.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm melinda:

@Carm I liked how it looked. I took the pic when I was kind of groggy in a public restroom. What is a CO monitor?
Avatar 6:54pm Jeff Moore:

John DeVore:

The visionaries of Silicon Valley preach a lot these days about “disruption,” which is a shiny word that means “building a new house while burning down the old house at the same time.”

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Aaron in Minneapolis:

Mark, when will the robot uprising take place?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm Carmichael:

Carbon Monoxide, although it could just be a plain ol' smoke detector. Nice symmetry ...
  6:56pm P-90:

Thanks Kevin and (as always) Marktonic
  6:57pm Sam:

The Jedi shit is a way to invoke the credibility of religion without actually using religious language, which would alienate the demographic. Jedi. =karma in American pop culture. As soon as you can invoke that whiff of sanctity, there’s no limit to the tithes or tips you can rake in.
Avatar 6:57pm Bas NL:

I wish i could be there..
Avatar 6:57pm colinfromvictoriabritishcolumbiacanada:

The robots!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm listener james from westwood:

Thanks, Mark! And holy 80s, Baltimora!
Avatar 6:57pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark & Kevin!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Cue Pee-Wee Herman: "You won't take my check?!?!"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm listener james from westwood:

For those who remember YTMND, this got used on a good number of pages.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm chresti:

Thanks Mark! Business models show that poor people will do anything to get cash. There are more poor people in the world than there are rich
Avatar 6:59pm Bas NL:

Next Hoof 'n Mouth, Mark? Tarzan Boy?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:03pm Aaron in Minneapolis:

I want Mark to Rick Roll us
Avatar 7:10pm slugluv1313:

excellent, informative show, Mark -- thank-you!!
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