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The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.
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Once, while sitting in my car waiting to get onto the Bay Bridge, I was physically assaulted by a man with a bag of rocks who seemed to be strung out on drugs. The experience was disconcerting, to say the least, but what I also remember is the shock of looking around at nearby cars that were likewise stopped. One guy was chatting on his phone, sipping a drink, casually glancing back and forth between me and my car being attacked and the road ahead. A woman next to me was holding up her phone in my direction, presumably filming…

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

There’s a part of me that thinks one day I’ll have to get an Apple Watch. I don’t want one. I don’t need one. I don’t even use a regular watch, so it wouldn’t make any sense to strap several hundred dollars of tech to my wrist and commit myself to upgrading it every year or so. I see friends with smartwatches and have no desire for one. Yet I have this creeping suspicion that one day Apple Watch will somehow inveigle itself into my life and onto my wrist.

“Have to” buy one is perhaps over-stating it. I don’t…

Photo: Facebook

If you’re an avid user of Facebook, it likely knows you better than you know yourself. It has access to your data, your friend’s list, your memories, your messages, and a record of everything you’ve ever clicked on, commented on or scrolled past on the platform throughout your history on it.

Not content with the data pool it has built (read: stolen from unwitting users), Facebook now wants to see what you see by living in front of your eyes.

It’s hard not to be cynical about the launch of Ray-Ban Stories, the $299 Smart Glass collaboration between Ray-Bans and…

Photo by Denis Cherkashin on Unsplash

Will Tim Cook unveil an iPhone 13? That’s the million-dollar (or multi-billion-dollar) question circling next week’s big Apple product event.

Just as we were still shaking off the sleepy vestiges of a long Labor Day Weekend, the Cupertino technology giant sent out invites early Tuesday for a “Special Apple Event broadcasting from Apple Park.”

Almost two years into the pandemic and many months from our last in-person product event with any company, we’ve all grown used to these streaming product productions. Apple, in particular, appears more adept at it than most. …

Original photo: Sound On/Pexels

You’re probably familiar with apps like Photo Lab. You hop in, upload a selfie, then wait a few seconds only to find yourself marveling at what you’d look like in a comic book or an ancient painting.

Now picture a similar app but instead of a cute portrait, you get a porn clip with you as one of the actors. The tagline? “Turn anyone into a porn star with one click!”

Oh come on, you might think. Cut the scary far-fetched dystopian bullshit. Except, there’s zero bullshit involved. MIT Technology Review recently reported that such an app exists. …

Photo by Bill Mead on Unsplash

As the reach of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin expand, societies are becoming increasingly aware of their massive environmental impact. The Bitcoin network now uses more electrical power than many countries, generating over 23 million tons of carbon emissions in 2019 alone. Crypto evangelists like Elon Musk have sworn that they won’t promote currencies like Bitcoin until they go green.

That change is happening, albeit slowly. Companies worldwide are finding creative ways to mine cryptocurrencies sustainably. One technology for sustainable mining, though, is often overlooked. It uses existing infrastructure, fits perfectly with the distributed ideal of cryptocurrencies, offers the promise of rapidly…

The following is a selection from Big Technology, a newsletter by Alex Kantrowitz. To get it in your inbox each week, you can sign up here.

Of the many sentences the Wall Street Journal published about Facebook this week, one stood out: “The fear was that eventually users might stop using Facebook altogether.”

Facebook’s executives, according to the Journal’s document-based reporting, feared the service’s decline in 2017 — and for good reason. Comments, likes, reshares, and original posts were all falling that year. Without this activity, Facebook would be a shell, and people might stop coming back. …


Hey nerds: I recently stumbled across “Marginalia Search”. It’s a search engine with a fascinating design — rather than give you exactly what you’re looking for, it tries to surprise you.

How does it do this? By up-ranking web sites that are text-heavy, and downranking ones that are highly visual, loaded with modern web cruft, and SEO-optimized.

The upshot, as the creator suggests, is that you wind up with a lot of weird results very different from the usual fare coughed up by Google or Bing or even DuckDuckGo. Marginalia is doing …

… in a sense the opposite of…

Jeff Bezos — Source

Space has always felt like the final frontier for humans. But after billionaire turned it into a destination for tourists, it started to appear within reach. And so, one can’t help but wonder: What’s next?

“Given our past record and our current values, humanity’s next targets are likely to be immortality, happiness and divinity,” Yuval Noah Harari wrote in his book Homo Deus. “We will now aim to overcome old age and even death itself.”

The prediction Harari made in 2015 turned out to be exactly right. Becoming Godlike or Homo Deus has entered the agenda of the world’s richest…

Photo by on Unsplash

Social media is where the world comes together, where everyone from the Pope to the grocery store clerk, and the megawatt pop-star to the Uber driver can share their thoughts equally.

Except nothing is equal. The status we have in real life (IRL) carries through to our digital ones. And it’s not subtle. Verified tags instantly let you know who on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms are important people. No longer are we all just humans chatting on social. We’re normals engaging with celebrities, politicians, popstars, and Presidents.

What is true is that we can all make the…


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