RE: DOGECOIN EN LOS MEDIOS
Mencion a Dogecoin en el New York Times
Cita:Mike and Nicole’s Week in Tech: United’s Troubles and Burger King’s ‘Hack’
Each Saturday, Farhad Manjoo and Mike Isaac, technology reporters at The New York Times, review the week’s news, offering analysis and maybe a joke or two about the most important developments in the tech industry. Farhad is out this week, so Nicole Perlroth, a Times cybersecurity reporter, is filling in.
Mike: Hola, Nicole! Thanks for filling in for Farhad this week while he’s off gallivanting in New York, wearing makeup and getting photographed doing God knows what. How are you? I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever.
Nicole: My man Mike! Thanks for inviting me to fill in for Farhad this week. I’ve been enjoying your Uber scoopage while on book leave. But, I gotta tell you, for security reasons, you really shouldn’t be letting the world in on your annual Hawaii vacay. If you’re not careful, you could end up on pleaserobme.com.
Mike: That sounds not so friendly. Anyway, welcome back. Our cybersecurity coverage hasn’t been the same without you, and yet the hacks continued unabated.
O.K., on to tech news.
This week in nerd currency, Minecraft — the computer game in which kids spend hours building “Game of Thrones”-style fortresses and entire worlds, digitally — plans to introduce its own in-game currency in the near future. Watch out, Dogecoin.
Nicole: My brother will be thrilled. His kids keep finding ways to hack him, and his bank account, via computer games. At least with Minecraft, they’ll just be playing with virtual currency. But honestly, I have never played Minecraft. I have no idea what Dogecoin is.
Mike: Yeah. I tried to get into Minecraft a little while back, but ended up getting bored and just breaking out my old box of Legos. In unrelated news, I’m a 32-year-old adult male.
Moving on, Fitbit’s death spiral continues, after its marquee smartwatch continues to be delayed with all sorts of hardware problems. I sort of feel bad for them, but then I remember that it’s a company whose product essentially makes me feel guilty for not getting off my couch, and my bad feelings disappear.
Do you own a Fitbit? My parents love them, but me not so much.
Nicole: I actually sold my Fitbit on eBay. It was chipping away at my soul. Sometimes I just want to eat chicken wings and not tell my stupid fitness apps that I just had a chicken wing. Feel me?
Mike: You have no idea how much I identify.
In other news, Apple tacitly confirmed that it is working on autonomous vehicle technology, as the company filed a public permit for testing the tech in California on Friday.
Frankly, I’m happy to see them kinda sorta admit this, though who knows when or if it will actually take shape. It had to happen eventually, though, as you can’t test a car like you can an iPhone. And if you get drunk and leave your secret car at a bar, people will definitely notice that sort of thing faster than the next secret iPhone.
Nicole: Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook has been playing coy about the iCar for a while now. I never understood why they didn’t just admit they were working on this. Also, are they calling it the iCar? Because they should.
Mike: Mhmm. But what I really wanted to talk about this week wasn’t exactly tech focused. It’s the whole United Airlines incident.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past week, you’ve probably heard about what happened. United overbooked a flight, a customer decided not to leave his seat after the airline started kicking folks off, and the police bloodied the man trying to get him off the flight. The whole thing was caught on video, and it’s an epic disaster in every sense.
Don’t tell Farhad, but I really enjoyed his piece on this. He said, essentially, that technology has failed in improving our airline experience, something that isn’t necessarily true for many other industries.
But I wondered something: Farhad makes use of Uber as an example of how technology has significantly improved the experience of getting in a car. That’s true for now, but perhaps Uber and other industries like it end up going the way of airlines eventually? If an industry isn’t regulated and essentially holds a monopoly over the sector, what keeps Uber from making things worse on consumers over time? We’ve already been asked to use UberPool, which makes us pack into the car with other people. Perhaps there are other ways to improve Uber’s margins over time.
Is that me being too cynical?
Nicole: Not at all. I stopped using UberPool after my Uber driver picked up a man and a woman wearing shower caps, audibly crying on their way to the airport to say goodbye. It was awkward.
Mike: Wow. That’s like a short story waiting to be written.
Nicole: As for United, I think something like this was bound to happen anytime you outsource your customer service to automation. What happened to this passenger was absolutely horrifying. In this case, a computerized lottery determined he would get dragged down the aisle.
The bigger story is that algorithms are widening the gap between businesses and people. Outsourcing these tasks to computers may save companies money in the short term. But these public relations disasters are likely to cost them far more in the long term. United lost $1 billion from its market cap in a day. And I heard one class-action lawyer on CNN say the passenger could get a dollar for every person who has watched the video of him being bloodied up by airport cops. That’s a lot of dollars. The irony is that this guy will never have to fly commercial again.
Mike: I’m reorganizing my retirement plans around such a scenario.
Is there anything in the security world I should be paying attention to right now? I probably have to change all my passwords or something, huh?
Nicole: Security is a lost cause at this point. Just make sure you use different passwords for different sites and maybe stop using I<3Farhad420.
Mike: Hmm. I’ll think about it.
Nicole: Actually, the big story in security this week was an epic hack of Dallas’s emergency sirens that set off some 150 emergency sirens across the city last Friday and sent people flooding 911 operators with calls. Increasingly, we’re going to see this style of hacks play out as more and more of our infrastructure migrates online. Until now, everyone’s just been hooking up their smart fridges, thermostats, traffic lights, bodies online, which is cool, until you get hacked and someone’s pumping you full of insulin. Uplifting, isn’t it?
Mike: We are all so dead.
Nicole: Oh, and before we go, can we please talk about how Burger King essentially hacked Google Home with its ad this week? The company slipped an “O.K. Google, what is a Whopper burger?” into its television ad this week and next thing people knew, their Google Home device was telling them all the wonderful, and I’m sure perfectly organic, ingredients that go into a Whopper.
Then Google tweaked its algorithms to make sure Google Home stopped responding to the ad, but it seems like the possibilities for marketers to exploit these in-home devices are endless. I’m sure we could find a way to order 100 pizzas to Farhad’s house while he’s off gallivanting. Mwwuuhahahaha!
Mike: Nicole, I’m not going to lie: I really like that you’re back from book leave. Please feel free to join me in conspiring against Farhad anytime you wish.
Till next week!
NY Times articles have 26 tracking cookies and 10 tracking scripts. This comment has none.