I’m about to have a busy two days. Today, I’m traveling to a college to give a talk and do a reading from one of my projects. Tomorrow, I’ll be getting my makeup done for my second guest featurette for a promo video. But, before I do that, I’m in the saddle with Mark Starling, Seth, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: an Alexa user discovers how much data Amazon has collected on them, Facebook prepares us for a dystopian future, and the Fruit Company announces a new round of MacBook Pros. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern by tuning into WWNC on the iHeartRadio app.
TikTok wunderkind, @my.data.not.yours, (ironic that she goes in a data analytics gulping site to gripe about this) went on the platform to complain about just how much information Amazon is collecting on her; especially through the Alexa devices. @my.data put in a request to Amazon to review the data they’ve collected on her. It was a data scientists’ treasure trove. Amazon had collected her phone contacts, Alexa skills, certain messages, thousands of her voice recordings, and the locations she used Amazon products. She was astonished (I’m not) at the volume of information Amazon collected on her. She’s since gone viral and her TikTok has received 2.6 million views. If you’re curious to find out how much Amazon has on you, you can request it by clicking here.
S.K.Y.N.E.T. Or, maybe that’s El Goog. Next week, Facebook is expected to unveil a name change at its annual Connect conference. The name change is coming because Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be known for more than social media and all of the negativity that’s come with it. Mark Zuckerberg’s focus now is on the metaverse the all encompassing everything that comes with connectivity, virtual reality, and and reality. If you’re wondering, the word metaverse was invented by SciFi author Neal Stephenson to describe a virtual world people escape to in order to remove themselves from their crappy, dystopian real life. No thanks, but it appears that’s where we are headed.
Key on the word pro. Apple, the Trillion Dollar Fruit Company, announced a new wave of MacBook Pro devices that are finally aimed at professional users. The new MacBook Pros will feature its latest M1 silicon and the specs on these things are mind-bogglingly powerful. There are 3 primary models with each M1 having 10 CPU cores. It’s where the GPU cores get sick. Apple is shipping models with 16- and 32-core GPUs. Fully tricked out, an Apple MacBook Pro can ship with a 32-core GPU, 64GB of RAM, and 8TB of storage. It’s been a long time since I’ve been excited about computer specs, and this much power in a laptop is kind of ridiculous. The reason I say, Pro, is back is because after 2016 Apple stopped shipping its Pro models with a myriad of ports and connectors thinking power users would only need wireless accessories. That was a bone head mistake. Even when I DJ, I’m using connected high speed storage. You can order today, and expect to receive your machine by Black Friday. I’m still using my MacBook Pro which I’ve used for AI training from 2015 with all of these ports. I finally feel compelled to upgrade. Oh, and they ditched the digital touchpad at the top of the screen. I still say this, however, I think a digital screen/touchpad combination in place of the trackpad could you a useful innovation! You heard it here, first!