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The Sundar-ing

12 December Subscribe


Tech news with a HAT perspective

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Tech News This Week 

Para... para... Paradise Papers... Behind all the headlines was a big big pile of data – 1.4 terabytes of it. Data which needed formatting, reading and analysing, and it was a big old job. Wired interviewed the lead researcher who made a steaming data dump into headlines everyone understands... 

Reining in the spies... If you're confused about the whole GCHQ, Privacy International, surveillance, Human Rights, Investigators Powers Act fiasco, weeell, everyone else kinda is too. This week, the European Court of Human Rights heard the case. Just about all of the turns in this shady story have been described as ‘watershed’, but we'll still have to wait until 2018 for the ‘landmark’ ruling.

Facebook vs. revenge porn... FaceyB has a plan to stop revenge porn – and it involves (bizarrely) uploading your nudes to messenger. The idea is that Facebook can make an image ‘key’, which is then used to bar the image from being uploaded elsewhere... huh? Somehow uploading my naked pics doesn’t seem to be an answer to getting my ex to stop uploading my naked pics...

Waymo is hitting the streets... Waymo's driverless cars have jumped into the next stage of testing – on actual, IRL roads, with real life people and people-driven cars, without a safety driver. They're doing it in any routes within a set area of Phoenix, and are testing the services with employees and resident users of their ride hailing app. So does that mean we can’t honk at it??

Be Cautious...

Filters fail... and when nasty nasty content is made with the sole purpose of tricking those filters – specifically filters designed to protect children – then the consequences are severe. The New York Times reported on ‘pirated’ videos on YouTube Kids, where trusted children's characters are manipulated in a way that is undetected by YouTube's protection measures. 

Online content, YouTube videos and apps will be part of children's development whether we like it or not, and there's some thoughtful writing on how weird and dual parents feel about this. The question of how best to protect kids is never really going to go away – but you can take the advice of a Data Scientist, for starters. 

In Depth... 

Even Facebookers are embarrassed of Facebook... Silicon Valley is the new Wall Street – the 1% baddie of choice. Hear from employees at Facebook and Google about why they have fake answers to the dinner party ‘so what do you do?’ But what would it actually take to detoxify tech? Pro Bono work? A cross-company answer to Californian gentrification? There's some bright kids at GAFA... maybe they could put their heads together...

Geek Out On...

The crypto-pastoral idyl... So there's a family who sold everything to buy some bitcoins. They travel around the world, live a wholesome nomadic life, without a cumbersome traditional bank to hold them back. The perfect modern day fantasy? Pure stupidity? Whatever you think, the crypto brand seems to be moving well beyond hacker-in-a-basement and birthing its own kind of glam... even if it's laced with idiocy... 

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-Chief 

HAT News...

HATs going stateside. HAT will be hitting up New York and Boston in December, with talks on ‘The 7 trillion dollar secret economy’  and ‘The great and glorious user: who owns them, and what they're worth’. Gonna be a blast, so see all you east-coasters there!

Children's personalised learning. This week, Irene spoke at the Children's Media Foundation's ‘Perspectives on personalisation’ event, posing HATs as a solution for running personalisation algorithms (be that on entertainment content, or tailored education) for children, whose personal data shouldn't be stored by publishers or content providers.

HATDeX Board. HATDeX will be having a Board Meeting this Friday in London, discussing the coming raise, and the productisation road map ahead. 

Happy Birthday MadHATTERs! Next week's going to be a special one... and we may have some surprises in store. It's (nearly) been one year since we started MadHATTERs magazine, and guess what, we never missed an issue!

Jonathan Holtby, Community Manager
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