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18 April Subscribe
Tech news with a HAT perspective 
Issue 110
Om nom nom bullsh*t
Working on your five-a-day? @Faris, the founder of Genius Steals, has a pyramid for you in which it is outlined that we are all being brainwashed.

In an eye-catching pyramid that he completely made up (he cops to it) the point is made that we love junk food for the brain just the same as we love junk food for the body. There's research to support this. And as "the war for attention and the magic glowing rectangle in your pocket push media into every nook and cranny of your day" peak (god I hope it's the peak) we have reached an average media consumption per day of 12 hours, 7 minutes. We had sure better hope there's a healthy way to consume.
 
@Faris' whole article is lovely and worth a read, but his core advocacy is downright beautiful. The food pyramid peddled by the WHO for 20 years taught us to "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" to be healthy - he suggests we "Eat media, not too much, mostly arts" to do the same. In such a pyramid, the crap at the top is unhealthy, the wholesome foundation is good for you, and the structure itself is your total consumption.
 
@Faris puts "info-toxification" at the top, the content that confirms your existing worldview but embraces falsehood, and says to cut it out entirely. Social media and rolling newsfeeds are next - consume in limited amounts as they increase anxiety and decrease happiness. Interpersonal comms, broadcast tv, and email are fine (spam is bad) and come next, then at the bottom is self-selected entertainment like games and sows or movies, followed by educational, hobbyist, non-fiction, and journalistic media. This edification at the bottom is what we need to most of -good for the brain and the heart.

Go forth and consume - this news week may want to make you switch off a bit.

Yours in HAT,

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief

The present

 
Facebook pissed us right the hell off this week (on-brand for us). Brace yourself. Right on cue, Zuckerberg asserted he will integrate WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger technologies, like he SWORE he "would not be able to do" when Europe allowed him to purchase WhatsApp all those years ago. The lure of progress.

As a result, advocacy groups are urging the US Federal Trade Commission to break up the company. No one thinks it will go very far.

Throughout all of this, the impact of Fake News was reported on (kinda) this week, which is what prompted Leila's editorial. The conclusion is frustrating - we know Fake News permeates, but cannot really know how much. It was described as "counting people in a fun house." Modern media certainly looks like a fun house. I bet we'll all go back to boring print in the end.
 
Then to CAP IT ALL OFF (ughghgagag) a breaking TechCrunch story asserted the company has been paying teenagers to spy on their smartphones through the use of a VPN. Facebook would install a "Research" VPN that sucked all of the users phone and web activity, something they could only make legal by using frontmen and pissing off Apple. Anything for growth, right?

The future


Call us "The Guardians of Data" (movie premiere pending). BBC put out a piece asking if people care enough to bother about your personal data, featuring Irene, Julian Ranger of Digi.me, and Nicholas Oliver of people.io. A quote we love: "Facebook says you own your data, but that's like saying you own your body when you're a slave." The only way to own your data is to actually own it.

Blippar, once a UK AR tech darling, may have life after death

The doghouse

Your most intimate secrets are public and online (you can de-clutch your pearls). Google and the IAB have published a list of ad categories that include male impotence, substance abuse, STDs, and mental health. Blech. 
 
The trade war heatens. Huawei's CFO was charged with fraud following an international investigation. 

HAT News


News. We made the BBC! Tweet and share the piece if you are of a mind. Letting the world know you care about this stuff helps us out immensely.

Friends. A very warm welcome to our newest HAT partners WeTipp and Mark and Maven who signed new paperwork last week. Check 'em out.

Cohort. Another warm welcome to Beam App, who formally joined the HAT Accelerator Class of 2019 last week. Class begins 15 February.

International friends. We're very pleased to be in the last stages of negotiation with iCube UK to support local Malaysian student entrepreneurs (and loving it).
 
Yours,

Jonathan Holtby, HAT Community Manager

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