Bezos’s possible trillionaire status is the worst of capitalism and inequality

There is a lot wrong with the world especially our western capitalistic society. The very thought/notion of one person being personally worth one trillion (in less than 10 years) is just unthinkable with all the problems in the world.

Bill Maher sums it up nicely in new rules. Although not a fan of relying on these rich white men to share the wealth, Jack Dorsey recent pledge did take me by surprise. Especially how transparent he is with it all.

The whole Bezos issue reminds me of the talks and books by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, especially the spirit level. (I still haven’t read the inner level yet)

In their influential 2009 book The Spirit Level, the epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett demonstrated conclusively the pernicious effects of economic inequality. In more unequal countries, outcomes are worse for almost everyone in areas such as public health, education, obesity and social mobility.

Demostration of inquality in action
From Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s the spirit level book, this cartoon is just perfect.

 

Louis Theroux shows the geeks have won, for how long?

Louis Theroux: Selling Sex

I saw this piece from the independent and thought it was fun to read. Mainly because I thought throughout is the geeks have won.

But what is it that makes him quite so alluring? After all, Louis is not someone who immediately screams “heartthrob”. He’s a slowburner. A man of the pulled pork variety. A lamb tagine. A put-it-on-at-80-degrees-and-leave-it-to-simmer. But if you’re patient enough you will see beyond his slightly gawky posture to a man with a jawline so square you could dice vegetables on it.

He reminds me of those slightly confusing crushes that develop so slowly you don’t even notice them. Like that nerdy guy you sat next to in history class. The one you initially disliked because he says “that’s an ad hominem argument” so often. And then he goes to university and gets a nice pair of glasses and you kick yourself when you see his girlfriend walk around the corner and she’s Suffolk’s answer to Natalie Portman.

Theroux is proof that humans often want what they’re not supposed to. Not all heroes wear capes; not all hunks wear six-packs.

Ok seriously now, I find this Interesting…

However although while talking to my partner about this, I remembered this kind of talk previously in the 90’s. Who remembers the new man? Which brought rise to Lad culture. Who could forget magazines like Loaded. Ironically I was listening to the independent post while I walked past the office of Lads bible.

There is a ton of paths to head beyond this (although I’m so keen on the language used), but I wonder if the time of the new man is actually now? During the last throws of toxic masculinity, the thankful rise of feminism and the realization we all need to evolve together.

The whole notion of gender is so broken and maybe unlike in the 90’s when we couldn’t even utter words or thoughts like transgender or transsexual. Now has to be the time, you only have to look at what Grayson Perry has been up to over the last decade.

Immediate Action Required! Your SpiderOak One account will be canceled?

Spideroak logo

I received an email the other day. It looked like a classic phishing attack, except there was no link to fix the problem…

Your account is in violation of our terms of service

Hello. This is ************* from SpiderOak’s support team. I’m writing to inform you that your account is in violation of our Terms of Service immediate action is needed on your part.

Because of the amount of data stored in your account or the type of data you are storing, your account is negatively affecting the accounts of other SpiderOak users. Because of this it will be necessary to close your current account.

We realize this is sudden and we want to do what we can to help you.
We have two options to offer to help you move forward:

1. A 5 TB account at the same price as your existing account. If you choose this option a member of our support team will help you set up a new account, transfer your billing information, and place the new account on a 5 TB plan at the correct price.

2. Cancellation and a full refund of your most recent payment. If you choose this option our support team will set up a refund as soon as we hear from you.

If we don’t hear from you by the end of this week we will lock your account while retaining your data for a grace period of 14 days. At the end of the grace period if we still have not heard back from you your account will be canceled.

You can contact us by replying to this email, or by writing to support@spideroak.com. Please contact us as soon as possible so we can help you move to one of the options I mentioned.

Thanks,
**************
Customer Success

The first thing I did was check my account directly and then replied with this…

Hello ************* and support

To check this isn’t a phishing attack can you tell me the name of the device and how much data is currently stored?

I’m keen to resolve this but it strikes as a phishing attack.

It felt like a phishing attack and since I have seen a bunch of new data dumps, you could hardly blame me.

But once I could verify everything I suggested removing some of my older computer backups after seeing this. This fell on deaf ears.

Unfortunately that isn’t an option. Your account has been using excessive resources, which has caused issues for a number of other users on the same server cluster as you. Because of the No Knowledge nature of our product we can’t tell you exactly what is causing the issue. I’m sorry that I don’t have more details for you.

The two options I can offer you are moving to a new 5 TB account (at your current payment price, normally it is a $320 / year plan) or cancellation and a refund. You won’t be able to keep your current account.

Spideroak account

Note in option 1,  if I pay more money I could still upload the same files to Spideroak!!! Something is fishy here. Either theres a problem with my files or not. I get the zero-knowledge issue but something doesn’t add up.

Frankly I’m pretty peed off about this all. I’m not the only one either, a few searches later I found others who have had similar emails.

Spideroak a while ago stopped their unlimited option and it feels like this the nail in the coffin by removing all the unlimited users?!

I guess its been a good but I have been thinking about switching since Spideroak is American based, the change to the warranty canary and finally something which has always bugged me – No two factor auth!

Suggestions for places to store my backup data which is also zero-knowledge or I could client side encrypt it before uploading if needed.

Spotify exclusive ignites closed vs open RSS flames again

Spotify logo

So Joe Rogan, comedian and host of one of the standout hits in the podcasting world, is getting in to bed with Spotify. Making it a Spotify exclusive,

When I first heard this news I felt something had changed as I knew the time of the platform exclusives was on its way. Opening the debate about open ecosystems like RSS vs closed ones systems.

James Cridland is always on the ball and covered this much better than I could. He makes some very good points

  • The show will be free to Spotify users (both Premium and Free users).

This is Spotify’s platform play, exclusive free access but only if you use our player.

  • It will be available in video on Spotify as well as audio. Spotify tested video (May 7) but were tight-lipped as to why.

I was aware Spotify have been testing a few things for their player including video as James pointed out. Canvas their tool for creating interesting music videos went quiet a while ago.  I wonder what else they have added and are keeping quiet about. This is the big advantage of your own proprietary player/platform, do what suits you and make the rest come to you.  I keep wondering if perceptive podcasting needs to get ahead of this now before we are all buried in proprietary closed systems.

  • His full show won’t be on YouTube any more, though he will post clips. Possibly not that coincidentally, YouTube is readying a full launch of YouTube Music, a Spotify competitor.

I hadn’t really clocked that of course Youtube music is coming out almost exactly at the same time. The date makes a lot of sense now

  • His full library, going back 11 years, is to switch to Spotify from September 1; exclusivity comes later in 2020.

Moving all those archives to Spotify is a interesting but potentially bad news for future plans. Especially if things go wrong.

Sounds, Spotify and Luminary

I also found these reactions very apt as it doesn’t take much to see the important discussion over podcasts vs audio shows instantly flare up again.

  • “Fuck Spotify, and fuck any ”podcast” that’s only playable in one app”, tweeted Overcast’s Marco Arment, adding that “moving an existing, open, free show behind a proprietary wall results in massive audience loss. I hope he at least leaves his public feed up so he can return to it when his Spotify exclusivity fails.”
  • Spotify’s new strategy is to kill podcasts (Simon Cohen, Digital Trends)

James made clear podnews stance on this all.

A “podcast” is something that is delivered via an RSS feed to multiple podcast apps. Podnews refer to things available exclusively on Spotify, BBC Sounds or Luminary as “shows”. Accordingly, from late 2020, we’ll no longer refer to The Joe Rogan Experience as a podcast.

Harsh? I think not, he’s right this isn’t podcasting…

Films and TV for the lockdown or films you may have missed in late 2019/early 2020

Uncorked

Someone recently said to me, there can’t be that much films since all the film studios are shut due to Covid19? There will be a delay but people forget how much media is made everyday (no idea where the hours of youtube videos per hour is now).

Anyhow there’s a lot of media to watch and here’s a few noteworthy ones

Films

The assistant

Empathy, Inc

Quite indie sci-fi shot in black and white, its a interesting  pretense which plays out to a surprising  ending. Well worth seeking out.

Vanilla

Romantic comedy as such but with a edge, quite fun and charming.

The half of it

Another romantic drama/comedy which although not as edgy as Vanilla, still has something different to bring to your mind. The end church scene is some divine intervention.

The Rhythm Section

I quite like these films like Anna, La Femme Nikita, etc and this one is well told and executed well.

She never died

Never really a horror fan but I like this indie horror/thriller which has a great feel to it. The film feels like Black Mirror’s Metalhead crossed with Jessica Jones.

Official secrets

My friend recommended this one to me and its quite something. Always love these court room battles but know this is very true is just insane. No wonder there was such a worry about the UK – American relation.

Just mercy

Like official secrets, court room battles around real cases is always compelling. Just mercy touches so many emotional levels and does it without actually tugging on them.

The assistant

Slow and calculated film timed perfectly around the movement. What I find interesting is to see the everyday attempts by women to stop harassment knocked back in subtitle ways.  This won’t be a surprise for most women and any minority of course.

The platform

Most people have heard of this one and its actually quite a interesting take on the nature of human and kindness. Well worth watching a couple of times once you get over the shock value it provides.

Uncorked

I liked this one because of the relationship with the father. It could have easily been a whole film about prejudice but its so much more.

Dark waters

This one dropped under the radar but it very apt as we all discuss the importance of human values in our capitalist society. Is the money worth peoples lives?

The good liar

Such a smart and compelling story. I can’t say anything more about it than just find it and watch it. You won’t be disappointed if you like thriller dramas.

The coldest game

Good fun drama around around a chess game during the cold war. The tension and cinematography are great  and well worth your attention.

TV series

Gangs of London

Devs

I mentioned here already. Fantastic TV series by Alex Garland (the creator of Annihilation, Ex Machina and other great films. Stunning to watch and lots of deep routed theories.

Gangs of London

I was tipped off to this currently running TV series by a friend. I usually find some of the UK production lack the levels of realistic violence (sounds weird saying that) but I’m impressed with this TV series as it has the right balance of standout moments, character development and narrative.

The last dance

A documentary about Air Jordon? You got me! Annoying ESPN have spun it out over 10 episodes.

Watchmen

If you haven’t seen the Watchmen TV series, I highly recommend this to all, especially those who are fans of the original comic and film. I won’t spoil this TV series but its as deep and meaningful as the film and comic book.

Its been a while… the mayday rave up in your flat live mix

 

Its been a while since I uploaded a mix to mixcloud. I have plans to self host my own mixes using funkwhale or airsonic. But its not quite happened yet. So in the meanwhile I have done a few mixes and I’ll do the posse thing and upload it to mixcloud with a smaller amount of metadata.

Of course I’ll be keep a copy of my metadata for when I get my own system up and running. In the meanwhile the mixes will form not travels with pacemaker but locked in mixing out.

I present the mayday rave up in your flat live mix. Recorded live while mixing live on R&Dio the other day. The volume levels were a bit high sorry but its not horribly distorted

Here’s the tracklist… (at about 133bpm) as always enjoy!

  1. Gouryella (fall from heaven remix) – Gouryella
  2. The Desert – protoculture
  3. Arise – victor ruiz & d nox
  4. Switch (oliver klien & peter jurgens remix) – beckers
  5. Special K (timo maas remix) – Placebo
  6. Prosac (original mix) – Tomcraft
  7. Floyd (extended remix) – Jerome isma-ae & alastor
  8. Soundbar (extended mix) – Giuseppe Ottaviani
  9. Cuckoo – Jon Mangan
  10. Breathe (Blake Jarrell remix) – Anna nalick
  11. Cut and run feat Emma lock – Beat Service
  12. Freedom (extended mix) – Arty vs Muvy
  13. Tears (protoculture remix) – Dakota
  14. Megalodon – MaRLo
  15. Grotesque – RAM & Alex M.O.R.P.H
  16. The Legacy 2.0 (alphazone remix – Funabashi pres Saltwater
  17. Anahera (extended mix) – Ferry Corsten pres Gouryella
  18. Echoes (extended mix) – Henrik B, Niklas Gustavsson, Peter Johansson
  19. Higher State of Conscientiousness – Josh wink

.

10th Anniversary of #mybrushwithdeath

I honestly can’t really believe its 10 years since my brush with death.

Its been a long time and something I will never ever forget, 10 years ago after the general election of 2010. Will never forget how different the world was after I woke up in hospital and someone (pretty sure it was my sister) told me the liberal democrats have gone into collation with the conservatives.

5 years ago I did a catch up of what happened 10 years ago.

Even closer to the time, I wrote a reflective blog with thank you posts (part 1) (part 2)

I still have the cards and plan to put them up again, so look out for them if you happen to be on a zoom with me.

As we are still in lockdown due to Covid-19, there won’t be a party. To be fair last years 3 birthday celebration was pretty epic. But I do have plans for a zoom call or something later in the month. Look out for the invite…

What american’s think of socialised health care?

I did find this short video of voxpox’s on the streets of New York interesting. Not only to hear what they think of the NHS but also the difference between the people interviewed.

In US news and current events today, NowThis News hit the streets of New York to ask everyday Americans about the universal health care debate. A recent video featuring British people commenting on the health care system in America went viral, consider this video the answer. These people gave their thoughts on private healthcare vs public health care. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, health insurance is more available in the U.S., but without a public health care or National health care system like the U.K. or Canada, many people in the U.S. will still be uninsured and at risk.

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (May 2020)

Silicon Valley TV show

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed by celebrity culture on lockdown or looking at the sorry state of instagram during lockdown.

To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

You are seeing aspects of this happening in litmus test of thoughts from 45 non-journalist students from 17 nationalities students about the post-covid19 mediascape.


China’s plans to fundamentally change the internet stack from the bottom

Ian thinks: China’s attempt to change IP by going to the ITU is substantial and quite terrifying even in the face of the misinformation warfare. For anyone creating devices/services/apps for the Chinese market, its a real wake up call.

The secret market for your web browsing data

Ian thinks: These secret markets/ecosystem for personal data has been revealed over and over again. But this reveal is based purely on our web browsing data but is no less scary

How much is data worth?

Ian thinks: The discussion about the price of data pops its head up again. Its a difficult question but its worth something to someone.

But I have nothing to hide? Really?

Ian thinks: Really good video summary you can share with friends and family, for those who “have nothing to hide…”

Sorry was that, EST, BST, GMT, CET or just UTC?

Ian thinks: A good balanced look at what would happen if we all switched to UTC (Coordinated Universal Time. Makes some very good points on both sides. Tom Scott, adds his views from a programming point of view.

Snowdon on the privacy woes of Covid-19

Ian thinks: Vice interviews Edward Snowdon about how the different governments are taking advantage of our fear around Covid-19

Lilian Edwards proposal for Contact tracing

Ian thinks: Lilian is very creditable and while everybody is concerned and focused on contact tracing technology. Shes approached it from the equally important angle of policy.

Abolish Silicon Valley and rethink our future

Ian thinks: I haven’t read Wendy Li’s book yet but she makes some good if a bit over optimistic in points. But shes got the scars to back up every point.

Time to talk seriously about Universal basic income?

Ian thinks: Good to see a view outside the silicon reality distortion valley. Discussions for the post Covid-19 future lean heavily on Universal basic income.

Always been meaning to read The Age of Surveillance Capitalism?

Ian thinks: The dutch broadcaster VPRO kindly posted their documentary with Shoshana Zuboff online for all the people who didn’t make it through the 500+ pages of her book. Not deep enough try the 2hr lecture.

Motiv ring sold to the corporate world

My Motiv ring on my hand

This was a surprise…Motiv smart ring gets bought – and will stop selling to consumers

It seems the world of consumer wearables has lost Motiv – the smart ring company that’s been an underdog hit in the world of wearable technology.

The company isn’t dead – but it’s being bought by Proxy – a digital authentication start-up that sees potential in using Motiv’s technology in enterprise. As a result of the buyout, Motiv will cease selling its smart ring device through consumer channels, and there’s no word of how long devices will be supported.

Motiv started life back in 2017 as an activity tracking smart ring that put its focus on active minutes rather than simple step counting, with a heart rate sensor on board.

But its feature set widened over the years. In 2018 a second generation landed that put its focus on biometric security – and these are the features that will have interested Proxy.

Likely explains why they returned the full price of my ring a while?

The secret episode of Seinfeld in the age of Covid-19

I mentioned how weird it is seeing films with lots of touching and no social distancing.

Someone decided to pull together a bunch of Seinfeld into a Covid-19 special.

How would Seinfeld look like in a world taken over by the coronavirus? Well, Jerry would probably disinfect everything. Kramer would try to find his own cure. George would think he’s dying all the time. Elaine would try to take everyone in her path. Lucky for us, there’s a secret episode that was never finished to find out!

CRISPR: The First Truly Allergy-Free Cat

Cat face

The notion of a truly allergy-free cat, I won’t lie sounds amazing although there is a lot of questions I certainly have. This before even thinking about CRISPR concerns.

Although I found this sums it up…

If the new drug works and doesn’t have any major side effects for our feline friends, it could eliminate nearly all cat allergies. If you’re allergic to cats, however, you probably shouldn’t go out and get one now in the hopes that your allergies will be cured soon.