Friday Finds – 4/12/19

Yes, Alexa is Listening to You but People are Getting Paid to Listen.

  • Tech juggernaut Amazon and its army robots are recording you. This should come as no surprise. I saw the editor from “Wired” tell CBS something to the effect that you shouldn’t be surprised that the listening device you bought for your house listens to you. The robot listening isn’t the story here though. The story is that Amazon is gathering this data and paying human beings to listen to all sorts of audio. That has got to be an interesting job. Amazon claims the intrusive recording is done in the name of improving Alexa’s A.I. In comparison to other voice operated A.I., Alexa is the shittiest on the market. These kinds of practices weren’t used to make Siri or Google’s A.I. even though they are much better products. Amazon is sketchy.

The Deputy’s Son is Accused of Burning Churches.

  • In a vain attempt to not be racist, I left the fact that the suspect is white and that the churches were predominately attended by Black people out of it. Everyone in the media loves a good hate crime story. The alleged perpetrator of the crime was into the scene of Norwegian Black Metal. Church burning is a staple in this genre of music. The music’s most prominent figures are known for church burning, alongside murder, and suicide. The over-arching theme in black metal is an inversion of Christianity. The National Association For the Advancement of Colored People or NAACP (whose name needs to change) has already classified this as a hate crime, but they may have to back off as the hate may have been simply directed at Christianity. If the case ends up that the alleged was motivated by his racial hatred, and equally by his hate of Christianity, which one gets preference?

Julien Assange Arrested at Ecuadorian Embassy

  • Wikileaks Julien Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy on Thursday. He is charged with basically not showing up to court. In 2012, Assange was met with charges over an alleged sexual assault, which has since been dropped. The big deal with Wikileaks is the finding and publishing of classified documents with alleged co-conspirator and former Army Intelligence officer Chelsea Manning. The U.K. is facing “freedom of press” ethical dilemma on its decision on whether or not to approve extradition to the United States where Assange faces charges pertaining to espionage.

Used Hot Air Balloons

  • It only takes ten hours of training to fly a hot air balloon. I’ve never really heard of one crashing, and if you were to crash, one would surmise that odds of survival would be better. I’ve also witnessed bungy jumping from a hot air balloon. It’s possible to buy a used hot air balloon for $10-$20,000. Flying a drone isn’t really flying. A drone freaked everyone out at a Red Sox game last night. A hot air balloon would have been better.
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