Nebula #24

September 21, 2018Nebula

The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared

Hey,

In his Whiskey’n’Weed interview (which you should listen to, by the way), Elon Musk said something that struck me:

“A company is essentially a cybernetic collective made of people and machines.”

It’s a very particular way to look at the world. Of course it’s possible that we’re already merging with the machine. Of course we might already be cyborgs. We might just not be conscious of it. One question is of importance: By merging with the machine and creating a cybernetic collective, what happens to our individuality?

  1. 🔑 A very well designed article by ABC News on China’s Social Scoring.
  2. 🔑 Apple gives people ‘trust scores’ based on their iPhone data.
  3. 🔑 People working on Brain-Computer Interfaces are now able to make one person controls a drone swarm.
  4. ℹ️ A good twitter thread on why cryptocurrencies might face the same fate as RSS if the base UX is not dramatically improved. The concept might stay, but might be successful in a different way.
  5. 👩‍🎨 A VR adaptation of Dragon Ball Z? Yes please!
  6. 🍴 I’m quite fond of Mezcal, and this article explains very well how it is done: Oaxaca’s Potent Secret, Mezcal Is Born of Time, Tradition and a Slow-Growing Plant.

Cheers,

Marc

Image Credit: The Blue Horsehead Nebula in Infrared by WISE, IRSA, NASA; Processing & Copyright : Francesco Antonucci


Nebula #23

September 7, 2018Nebula

The Pencil Nebula in Red and Blue by José Joaquín Perez

Hey,

Bitcoin is a rabbit-hole. It’s impossible not to fall into it once you start getting interested in this technology. Medium is the message, and trying to understand the impact of Bitcoin (or cryptocurrencies at large) in the world is daunting. What is money? What is privacy? What are states? Why should we organize this way when we have this kind of tech? Can we be sure that it’s a good thing for us? Well, we don’t know, and we can’t for sure. It took telephone 75 years to reach 50 million users. Radio took 38 years, TV 13, Internet 4, Facebook 2, and Pokemon Go 19 days. Social experiments gets distributed to the public quicker, especially now that we don’t rely on custom-made devices to access them. Will hyper-bitcoinization happen, like maximalists predict?

  1. 📖 I finished reading The Sovereign Individual. It’s been an interesting read. Back in 99, the authors made a few predictions on how microprocessing and asymmetric cryptography would impact the world. They compare our current political landscape with the downfall of the catholic church in the XVI century. They also talk in great lengths about how the Logic Of Violence changes during the transition to the Information Age and what will happen to our democratic industrial societies (Trumpism, etc…). They are off a few bets and sometimes are redundant or develop extreme and contradictory ideas but it is still a good book to understand why politics as we know it might cease to exist.
  2. 📖 I started reading The Bitcoin Standard. I already learned about Rai Stones in how an Irish-Americans named O’Keefe crashed a micronesia island’s economy. Informative!
  3. 🔐 Sarah Jamie Lewis on her favorite (and hilarious) vulnerability discovery: The Blowjob Injection Attack.
  4. 🛠 The Raspiblitz is a DIY bitcoin and lightning network full node on a RaspberryPi. One can now access a global payment network and transact with the entire world for around 150 euros. How mind-boggling is that?
  5. ⚡️ Could we create a new banking system on top of the Lightning Network? Nik Bathia thinks so and I’m clearly not in a position to have any valuable opinion on the question, but it’s inspiring.
  6. 🔐 The best privacy-respecting browser, TOR, gets a new release and hits 8.0.
  7. 👩‍🎨 A sub-reddit dedicated to empty and dead malls. It’s fascinating to take a look at these empty concrete buildings, and it’s impossible for me not to think of them as witness of the past. Will these buildings one day get a new life?
  8. 🎧 Sou Kono – Midnight Ravers. Sou Kono is a French-Malian band. They produce a music mixing electronic and traditional vibes, but without ever being a cliché.

Happy reading,
Marc

Image Credit & Copyright: The Pencil Nebula in Red and Blue by José Joaquín Perez.


Nebula #22

July 20, 2018Nebula

Rings Around the Ring Nebula by Hubble, Large Binocular Telescope, Subaru Telescope; Composition & Copyright: Robert Gendler

Humanity. What a weird bunch of biological individuals. We are able to travel space and time through electricity. We have so much medical knowledge that we can open our skull, remove a tumor attached to the brain, and still continue a healthy life. We are creative and dumb enough to fix our problems while creating unexpected new ones. We work hard to go to space, where it is one of the most hostile environments for our bodies. Why do we do that, when we can’t even agree collectively on what’s important? Well, I got no clue, but it’s fascinating to witness so much chaos.

  1. 📺 Sacha Baron Cohen is back with a new series called WHO IS AMERICA?. I can’t recommend this show highly enough!
  2. 📺 Simone Giertz, the queen of shitty robots, is back from brain surgery. Things I learn in this video: It costs more than 200K$ to have this kind of surgery in the US, you can hear air and fluids in your skull, and Simone can joke just after waking up from anesthesia.
  3. 🔑 Amy Hoy reminisces on the good old days of personal homepages. She even states that the blog broke the web. I kinda agree with some of her points. Sometimes I also think that PageRank broke the web, but that’s another story.
  4. 🛠 A cool DIY guide on how to create a portable boombox from a bookshelf speaker.
  5. 🔐 Researchers have found a way to produce images of people’s faces from their genomes. It’s just a start as the algorithm has a 50% to 80% rate of success. Crime shows are going to get very boring.
  6. 🚀 Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has successfully landed both booster and crew capsule after test launch. I hope to be able to see our planet from above with my own eyes one day.

Peace,

Marc

Image Credit: Rings Around the Ring Nebula by Hubble, Large Binocular Telescope, Subaru Telescope; Composition & Copyright: Robert Gendler.


Nebula #21

July 13, 2018Nebula

LL Ori and the Orion Nebula by  NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team

For Marshall McLuhan in 1964, it was clear that electricity was a way for humans to externalize their nervous system. I’ve yet to grasp how he could be so prescient. While his main lesson remains “Medium is the message”, we are far from being able to understand what societal transformations we will live.

  1. 🔑 3D printed guns are a reality since a few years. 3D printed assault rifles are a reality now. It’s now legal in the USA to provide digital files to 3D print guns (this is considered as free speech). These rifles are of course unregistered and untraceable.
  2. 🔑 Any data is just a number (Big or small). If any data is illegal, it means that the number is illegal. Can a number really be illegal?
  3. 👩‍💻 The Free Speech Flag was created by John Marcotte in 2007. It was a subtle way to propagate the cryptographic key used for copying HD DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.
  4. 🔑 The 0,1% is afraid that the apocalypse is coming. They are so afraid that they don’t know how they’re gonna protect themselves from their own employees. This surrealist meeting lived by Douglas Rushkoff is a must read.
  5. 🔑 Since the American election in 2016, We all know that social networks are heavily used by political forces to influence the mass. This article by a French hacker uncovers foreign trolls trying to influence French elections on Twitter.
  6. 🔐 Twitter leaks so much metadata that it is possible to identify anonymous users with a 96.7% accuracy.
  7. ℹ️ A reminder of how cool tech is when it is inclusive: Apple’s AirPods and Live Listen are a revolution for the hearing impaired.
  8. 👩‍🎨 The mechanical keyboard hype is raging. People are so enamored with their keyboards that they are willing to pay for artisan made keycaps. You have to admit, these are beautiful keycaps.
  9. 👨‍💻 A real browser in the terminal? Yes, please!

Peace,

Marc

Image Credit:LL Ori and the Orion Nebula by NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team.


Nebula #20

July 6, 2018Nebula

Pillars of the Eagle Nebula in Infrared by  NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Processing: Lluís Romero

Hey,

  1. ℹ️ The German police raided homes of „Zwiebelfreunde“ privacy activists this week. Reasons are dubious to say the least.
  2. 🎧 Martyn’s new album ‎Voids is out on Ostgut Ton. I love his music.
  3. 🔑 Protecting cryptocurrencies correctly is hard. This talk about “Building Crypto Castles” raises interesting points about new security models coming with the Information Age.
  4. 👨🏻‍💻 Cryptocurrencies is not only about money. It is also about rare digital collectibles. Collectibles can be purchased on specialized marketplaces like OpenSea or Known Origin. Technically, collectibles are defined by the ERC-721 standard. Don’t know how to code? Don’t worry, the fine people of Smartz provide free smart-contract code.
  5. 👩‍💻👩‍🎨 Crypto-collectibles are huge opportunities for digital-minded artists as they can help expand Patronage Collectibles for Creators.
  6. 📺🇫🇷 La nouvelle saison d’Au Service De La France est disponible sur Arte+7. C’est du bonheur! Jean-François Halin prouve encore qu’il est un des meilleurs auteurs comiques Français.

A bientôt,

Marc

Image Credit: Pillars of the Eagle Nebula in Infrared by NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Processing: Lluís Romero.

 


Nebula #19

June 30, 2018Nebula

NGC 6960: The Witch’s Broom Nebula by  Martin Pugh (Heaven’s Mirror Observatory)

Hello you,

The digital age we enter is full of promises and new-found dangers. Our brains are given unique possibilities to learn and create everyday. They are also constantly under attack. Rogue companies trick our brain chemicals for profit. Just like fast-food is engineered for elevated levels of sugar and fat, information delivery is engineered to provide dopamine hits. As our brain is dedicated to information processing, we have to be aware of what gets in. In the context of our brain, Brillat-Savarin’s aphorism also rings true: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are”.

  1. 🔑 We live in a hyper-personalized digital world. The more data you give to companies, the more tailored your experience with their product will be. Is this a fair balance of power? Terence Eden’s doesn’t think so: Personalisation is Asymmetric Psychological Warfare.
  2. ⚡️ The Lightning Network aims to fix the scaling problem with Bitcoin. If it reaches further adoption, it will revolutionize the entire payment experience on the internet. This excellent post covers the User Experience of the Lightning Network while this one gives more technical information about routing payments through multiples nodes.
  3. ⚡️ People are building stuff on the Lightning Network. Check out Satoshi Place, a mix between The Million Dollar Homepage and Reddit Place.
  4. 🤖 Do you want to have home-made Indian Food at home but are too busy to even take time to cook? The MechanicalChef is here for you! Not for me though, I love cooking. The video is impressive and hilarious at the same time. We’re far away from kitchen automation.
  5. 👨‍💻 What if you had your own open-source self-hosted version of IFTTT? That’s what Huginn wants to be. It’s still a bit rough on the UX side, but has great features and a promising future!
  6. 🔑 This post from Paul Graham about cities and ambition raise good points about how a city’s dominant culture influences its economic power. According to him, Paris is style-focused, NYC is money-focused, and Silicon Valley is… power-focused. Surprising, heh?
  7. 🎧 This festival in the South of France is now on my watch list. Pointu Festival gives a hell of a line-up, in a dream location, for free.
  8. 📺 Netflix released a new documentary series that immerses viewers in the artists, makers, designers, players and coders who are revolutionizing the new digital worlds through screens all around us. Watch at least the first episode!

Speak soon,

Marc

Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh (Heaven’s Mirror Observatory)