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Give me to the Russians

22 January Subscribe
Tech news with a HAT perspective
Issue 56 


An actual conversation that took place between Leila and Anna, MadHATTERs' Managing Editor:

Anna: Can we just not even talk about Bitcoin this week please.

Leila: Not even the $5 fake wallet that reached number 3 in the app store?

Anna: Please no.

Leila: What about a fictional browser extension that replaces the word Bitcoin with Gnome Dollars?

Anna: I don't think that's a thing but someone should go make that…

Leila: Come on… everybody loves a bit of Bitcoin.

Anna: Yeah, if they have some.

Leila: And when they don't.

Anna: We've already had to enforce Bitcoin-free time out periods in the office Leila, the situation is getting desperate.

Leila: What about the scheme that donates your computer power to mining crypto to raise funds for bailing people out of pre-trial detention?

Anna: You're getting radical on me now Leila, but anything that doesn't talk about the Gnome Dollar price, I'm okay with.

Leila: I don't think much of your Initial Cynicism Offering, Anna.

Anna: Stop. Can we do some news please.

Leila: 😏

Geek Out

The Last Jedi. They're saying it's the best one since the Empire Strikes Back. They're saying it's the best one yet. It's actually pretty hard to find a bad review. There is absolutely zero contest over what we're geeking out on this week. 

The Doghouse

A keylogger that records every letter typed by a keyboard is pre-installed (thought deactivated) on a bunch of HP laptops. Great. And the models affected date back to 2012 – that's a lot of letters, words, code, emails, novels, google searches. Not something you want a hacker to activate… Worst part is they had the same thing with audio just a few months back. 

Elsewhere in Techland

Feeling a bit nostalgic about the Apple—Shazam acquisition. It's an old old app by app standards (1999, anyone?) and people have changed phones three or four times while Shazam has remained a constant fixture. Can't help but feel I'd be happier with Shazam in the hands of Snap over Apple… just that liiiittle bit cooler.

There's a new kid on the (ad) block… Well, not really so new, and definitely not so small. Amazon is moving into the ad business, and has been for some time on the down low. It has a huge amount of customer spending data, shopping profiles and habits, and now viewing data from Prime – ad blockers have now got a new enemy...

What do AI and politics have in common? Nick Clegg apparently. The former deputy prime minister has started a new thank tank, Open Reason, (in a coworking space, obviously) devoted to marrying tech with policy in a constructive way. And he feels very passionate about the tech sector's role in the Brexit debate…

First up for the GDPR chop? Potentially large US firms. Wonder if they saw that one coming. According to a panel of security and policy experts, US companies who have a high EU profile, may be targeted by regulators first to make an example of those with lax data protection policies. Well you can thank Equifax for that one, America.

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief
HAT News

The 7 Trillion Dollar Secret Economy. HATs are in NY! Fresh from our event in Boston on Tuesday, this roadshow is headed to New York. Corporations are holding our personal data hostage – come find out what you can do about it. If you're in New York, we'd love to meet you! 

Christmas HATs! A big thank you to everyone who joined us for our Christmas party at the weekend. We had an awesome time cruising down the thames and celebrating everything that's happened this year. 

Jonathan Holtby, Community Manager

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