MADHATTERS Weekly – Issue 11: 31 Jan 2017



Tech news with a HAT perspective

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Tech News this week

The government wants your data…Last week, Twitter revealed it received two secretive orders from the FBI asking for user data without a warrant. Privacy advocates are saying that the Feds may have overstepped the line legally with these requests. Twitter is unhappy because it couldn’t tell anyone about the orders, not even the users themselves because they came with gag orders. In a world of eroding trust and reduced confidence, Twitter is fighting hard to keep its credibility with users, and have launched lawsuits for greater transparency as in the case of  Twitter vs Lynch, which will have its day in court on Valentine’s Day. It just irks some of us that when someone (even if it’s the government) wants our data, they have to go to a third party to get it. Somehow, that feels a little wrong…

Apocalypse now…Time to pack your batteries, seeds, favourite snacks and prepare for doom…oh wait, might be good if you are super rich first. It seems tech magnates and hedge fund billionaires in the US are turning to survivalism and becoming ‘preppers’…and with the Doomsday Clock being its closest to midnight in 64 years, the wealthy are stockpiling on cryptocurrency and snapping up boltholes such as the Survival Condo Project. The rest of us would just spend time making a map of where they are so that we know where we should go and freeload when the day comes…

We know how you think…Intelligence and data probably got Donald Trump his presidency and also the Pro-Leavers the Brexit vote, according to this piece of investigative journalism in Zurich-based Das Magazin. Seems that the use of psychometric profiling and voter data modeling may have helped influenced recent election and referendum results. Meh. We’ve always known that data-driven personality targeting exists; to deliver a different message to different voters. What we want is a data-driven personality targeting bot…Alexa, tell me a joke. “Would you like it sarcastic or political?”

Be Cautious About…

Embarassing searches driving you to private browsing…You might think you’re private, but like the 76% of Americans surveyed by DuckDuckGo recently, you may not realise that it’s not completely private. Or that websites and search engines can still track your activity. So choose your web browsers carefully…

Sharing private photos with BFFs. Teens are using Finsta accounts –  fake Instagram accounts – for sharing more private photos. Or photos about stuff you really shouldn’t have taken photos of. Remember, you’re at the mercy of Instagram who could change privacy settings without any notice to you. And everything could become public. Oops…

Impress Your Friends With…

Your killer VR room. You can now set up the perfect Virtual Reality room at home with some help from Oculus, which has started sharing tips for VR enthusiasts on its blog. Because staying in is the new going out…

Geek Out On…

Robotic barista. At the newly-opened Café X in San Francisco, a Mitsubishi 6-axis industrial robot makes your espresso. AND its cheaper coffee too…did someone say the bots are taking our jobs?

And Finally…

Local lingo. Time to sound like a real local, yo. Celebrate the world’s diversity with Localingual, an online map with recordings of different languages and dialects from around the globe.




HAT News

Traction baby, traction. Two big MOUs signed this week will bring HATs to customers of the consumer voice champion B.heard and personal data monetization platform Noggin in Singapore. “The companies on B.heard’s platform, from utility companies and loyalty cards to healthcare providers, will now be able to help people to understand what elements of their personal data are the most valuable.” Details in the media release here.

Calling all Founders. The community of MadHATTERs is looking to connect with anyone starting a business in consumer, enterprise or machine learning technology. We’re building a support community for entrepreneurs. If you know anyone who’d like to take part, let our Community Manager Jonathan Holtby know.

Any ideas? You can still weigh in on the features that we’re building into Rumpel and MarketSquare by visiting our feedback platform on the HATDeX website (remember, HATs are the technology and HATDeX is the company operating them). Vote for your favourites or make your own suggestions.

Parties abound. The Hub of All Events tech calendar is growing (and do you have your tickets to the Wolfson-HAT Annual Symposium yet?) – you can see it here or add it to your calendar application with this ICAL link. Next week there’s a seminar on responsible innovation at Warwick, a conversation on regulating digital advertising on the Westminster eForum, and Raspberry Jam at Pi Towers in Cambridge.

See you next week! Jonathan

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