Chaos & Amazement #2309 X, the Everything App, Worldcoin’s Eyeball Scans, and Dollar Street
Hey there, greetings from Ilha de Mozambique, a tropical island in the Indian Ocean. 🌴 I've been enjoying the sun and the sea, but I didn't forget to bring you some amazing tech stories.
X - The Everything App is replacing Twitter. One of the most striking new features is the ability to upload and watch videos up to 10 hours long. Imagine binge-watching your favorite shows or podcasts on X. More features in this Twitter thread:
Musk’s project as an extended act of cultural vandalism: “Just as he graffitis his 420s and 69s all over corporate filings; and just as he paints over corporate signage and office rooms with his little sex puns; so does he delight in erasing the Twitter that was.”
Elon Musk renames Twitter to X, because why not? What if other media moguls did the same? https://niemanlab.org/2023/07/if-other-media-companies-thought-about-brand-equity-the-way-elon-musk-thinks-about-twitters-er-xs/ via @NiemanLab
In 1999, Musk founded http://X.com , an online bank that became PayPal just a year later. Now, biographer @WalterIsaacson says, he is ready to complete his original vision from 25 years ago: turning X into one-stop everything platform
Facebook and other social media companies will be citing these studies in every hearing and in response to every congressional letter anytime lawmakers claim platforms are driving political polarization.
Worldcoin wants to give you free money for scanning your eyeballs with an orb.
Sounds like a sci-fi dystopia, right? But maybe it's also a way to create a more fair and inclusive world.
OpenAI admits its AI classifier tool was a flop. How can we trust anything online when AI can mimic humans so well? We need better ways to spot fakes and hold creators accountable. OpenAI’s tool struggled with accuracy.
“I can speak from the perspective of an educator working with AI to say that, as of now, AI writing is undetectable and likely to remain so, AI detectors have high false positive rates, and they should not be used as a result."
EU takes a big step towards a greener future with a new law to boost EV charging stations. This will make driving an electric car more convenient and affordable for millions of Europeans. The chargers must be placed every 60km (37mi) and allow ad-hoc payment by card or contactless device without subscriptions.
Flatio's 2023 digital nomad report:
- Cost, sun, safety matter most
- Nomads earn €41k-50k on average
- Accommodation and friends are hard to find
- Nomad visas are a plus
The new voices on @elevenlabsio are pretty good. They sound realistic and diverse, and they suit different purposes. I like the ASMR voice, it's relaxing. I might use these voices for some of my projects, like a podcast or a voice-over. https://elevenlabs.io
AI can now recreate music from brain activity. Google researchers used a method called “Brain2Music” to generate music that matches the genre, mood and instruments of the original stimuli. This could lead to new ways of visualizing and creating music. Interesting. 🎶 Here’s the paper: https://huggingface.co/papers/2307.11078
AI companions are here to stay! They're not just chatbots, they're friends, lovers, and community members. @a16z explores why people are forming real relationships with AI, how they're doing it, and what's next for this exciting space. Chatbots have been around for decades, but this time is different. Today’s bots are making inroads into our social lives.
How do you feel about ChatGPT being able to recognize and comment on faces? It could be a useful tool for the blind, but also a potential threat to privacy. An advanced version of ChatGPT can analyze images and is already helping the blind. But its ability to put a name to a face is one reason the public doesn’t have access to it.
Not from my blog
Internet cafes were once the portals to the digital world, where people from different cultures and backgrounds could connect, learn, play, and dream. Now they are vanishing, along with their sense of community and optimism.
Did you know that your recycled clothes might end up in a landfill or incinerator in Africa? A shocking investigation by @TheSundayTimes reveals how a skirt and a top travelled 15,000 miles from London to Mali, thanks to a hidden #Airtag
In an internet flooded with machine generated content, this means that Wikipedia becomes even more valuable.
Weird and Wonderful
What if you could see how people from different income levels live around the world? Dollar Street is a website that lets you do just that. It uses data and photos to show you the homes, families, and everyday lives of people on a street ordered by income. https://gapminder.org/dollar-street
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