Shirtless Hacker Pleads Guilty, AirBnb Bans House Parties Forever, Atari Turns 50

It’s Thursday, y’all. It’s time for the Top Tech News of the Week! I’m on with  Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. It’s another week, without Elon dominating the headlines. This week’s top tech stories: a shirtless Canadian hacker pleads guilty in Florida, a new Atari collection is released in time for its 50th anniversary, and AirBnb bans party houses forever. You can listen to me and Mark Starling point and laugh at all things tech every Thursday at 643 am ET live on the radio or the iHeartRadio app.

I Was Just Telling Sabrina How Much I Missed Going to a Great House Party


Yesterday, Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins plead guilty in Florida court for being an affiliate hacker with the Russian cyber gang, NetWalker. Desjardins is an ex-IT employee who was a hacker for the group from April to December, 2020. NetWalker had extorted $40 million from Canadian, US, and other global companies during 2020 including $1.14 million from a US university working on a COVID-19 vaccine. Desjardins was arrested in Canada and extradited to the United States after US cyber authorities broke up the gang and lifted details of affiliates from the gang’s files. Desjardins was found holding $27 million in BitCoin across various accounts. There have been high profile hacks made in the last 3 years, but there have also been some high profile arrests and takedowns made by the US government. For bad guys seeking to hide cash in BTC or the blockchain anonymously that’s becoming increasingly difficult to do. Yes, Desjardins is pretty fit, and…cut.


How old am I? My first video game console was an Atari something that played Pong and a three other titles using a switch. No cartridges. Atari is working with retro game archivists, Digital Eclipse, to release Atari 50, a 90 title gaming collection for the Switch, PlayStation, XBOX, PC, and Atari VCS. The collection will span games from the 2600, Jaguar, and Lynx. The Atari 7200 was noticeably absent from the list. You can expect Atari 50 this November just in time for Christmas.


AirBnb announced it will be banning so-called party houses permanently. The company prevented AirBnb guests from renting a house to host a disruptive event or party in 2020 to halt COVID-19’s spread. AirBnb hosts have applauded the move saying party houses were an issue with their neighbors and maintenance. AirBnb suspended 6,600 users last year after violating the party ban. No more open-invites or event styled gatherings are allowed in AirBnbs anymore, even though mega mansion home owners can list properties that can sleep move than 16 people.

Tomorrow’s episode of The Cloud features AI and its impact on communities. We chat with Morgan State University’s founding member of the Center for Equitable AI and Machine Learning, Dr. Kofi Nyarko and Progressive Heuristics CEO, Gabriella Waters. You can subscribe to The Cloud on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and El Goog’s Podcasts. iHeartRadio will be coming soon.

Look the right and subscribe for Top Tech News Weekly. We’re coming soon on Substack.

Meta Announces Wallet for Dystopian Metaverse, Apple Sued Again, Cheap Moon Launches Ready for Artemis

It’s Thursday, y’all. It’s time for the Top Tech News of the Week! I’m on with  Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. There was so much Elon Musk news this week, it was hard to find some real stories. It seems like we’ve been reporting on, will he or won’t he, his child disowning him, and Elon’s love life for the last two month. How about a break?

This week’s top tech stories: Meta/Facebook wants you to carry around all of your digital assets in their wallet, NASA and Rocket Lab go to the Moon on the cheap, and Apple gets sued again for messing around with iPhone performance. 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. Listen now.

Rocket Lab Caught This Rocket in Mid-Air


If you’ve been on of the tens of millions of people who’ve lots money in crypto…like me, you know a little about the wallet technology used to hold your dwindling crypto-funds. Facebook slash Meta announced plans to create an interoperable wallet which would allow you to carry all of your digital items, identities, and cash around the metaverse, and use it anywhere. This news hot on the announcement of Facebook and Microsoft teaming up to create metaverse standards. *Shivers* Real talk…the met averse is the last I want. The idea of online life being better than real life is antithetical to me.


Commercial rocket company, Rocket Lab, and NASA announced plans to launch a cheaply provisioned mission to the Moon. The $13.7 million launch will place a cubesat, a small satellite into lunar orbit. The mission is designed to support the Artemis mission, the first manned Lunar mission since the Apollo days. This mission is designed to calculate a Lunar orbit that can be used as a way station between the Earth and the Moon. A Lunar way station can be used to relay signals to a Lunar habitat, manage growing space traffic, and provide materials for crafts on their way to the Moon. No word yet on when the launch will happen, but it will be blasting off in New Zealand.


Justin Guttmann, of the UK, has filed a 768MM pound lawsuit against Apple accusing the company of slowing down the performance of older iPhone users forcing them to upgrade their devices. Apple paid out $113MM and $500MM in settlements across the US for batterygate in 2020. If Guttmann wins this latest suit, or if it settles close to the asking amount, tack on another $941MM because of Apple tinkering with people’s performance. Thing is, these settlements are just a drop in the well for Apple. Apple’s first quarter 2022 revenues stand at a record setting $97.8 BILLION with a ‘B’. That’s only their first quarter revenue. From this year. The first three months of…this year. $97.8 billion.

Hey guys! Thanks for another week tuning into Top Tech Stories of the week. Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter and checkout our latest podcast, The Cloud. Next Friday, we’ll be premiering our next episode, AI and It’s Impact on Communities of Color. Thanks for listening!

Google Engineer Overreacts to AI, Crypto Plunges After Celsius Halts Withdrawals, Amazon Announces Drone Delivery

Another week, and we’ve doubled the downloads for The Cloud. Thank you for sharing our new podcast.

It’s Thursday, y’all. It’s time for the Top Tech News of the Week! I’m on with  Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: a Google engineer gives an overhyped AI story to the media, Celsius halts customer withdrawals citing crypto market turmoil, and Amazon finally gets around to drone delivery. 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. Listen now.

A Bank May Not Be My Friend, but I Can Get My Money


I’m just glad I wasn’t the only technologist who called BS on Blake Lemoine’s reveal about Google shipping a sentient AI. Blake Lemoine was speaking with a new Google Chatbot AI, LaMDA, which is designed to engage humans on a more conversational level. He reported that he felt the AI had gained sentience. He then went to the press after his Google bosses disagreed with him. Professionally, the evidence Lemoine supplied was dubious. State-of-the-art AIs are trained using millions of lines of text, and billions of parameters. Yours truly trained AI models using the New York Times corpus for AIs to write news summaries. LaMDA isn’t sentient and it was an overhyped story.


This past Monday, the crypto lending platform, Celsius, halted customer withdrawals propelling a slide in cryptocurrency values across the marketplace. Celsius has 1.7 million customers and manages $11.7 billion in assets. The platform halted customer withdrawals citing marketplace volatility. CAN YOU IMAGINE THIS HAPPENING AT YOUR REGULAR BANK??? Celsius halts withdrawals soon after news of Terra’s crash wiped out hundreds of millions of value. What’s crazy, is that someone took to Twitter and asked out loud if retail lenders like Celsius would be able to withstand Terra’s crash. Celsius’ CEO, Alex Mashinsky responded via Twitter to talk about how badass Celsius was, hours before announcing his company would be holding people’s real and virtual money. He should have talked to his CFO first.

Meanwhile, a new revelation came about this week. DogeCoin has lost 90% of its value since Elon Musk appeared on Saturday Night Live.


After a decade of talking trash about drone delivery, Amazon finally gets around to delivery packages via drone…in one California town. Amazon announced customers in Lockeford, CA will be the first Amazonians to receive Prime Air delivery. Prime Air service will be limited to delivering packages that weigh less than 5 pounds and within a 15 mile radius from Amazon’s distribution center. Customers will get their packages within an hour. The FAA is allowing Prime Air to operate in one town. No word yet, on when the service will expand.

We got all kinds of media for y’all. Don’t forget to signup for my weekly newsletter and you’ll get the Top Tech Stories of the Week on Wednesday before everyone else. And don’t forget to subscribe to The Cloud. Digital Technology. Decoded.

Apple Brings Back the Magic at WWDC, Musk to Mars and Not Twitter

Thank you, thank you, thank you! The Cloud has been out for a week now, and we’ve had consistent downloads. Thanks for listening.

It’s still Thursday, and I’m on with  Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: Apple brings back the Magic at this year’s WWDC, and Elon Musk looks to Mars and not Twitter in latest beefs. 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. Listen now.

FaceTime Has New Lighting Modes for Better Video


Let’s be honest, Elon Musk has been reaching for a reason to walk away from the Twitter deal. He hasn’t acted a would-be investor and buyer in a company he’s planning to take over at value. His behavior has been nothing less than erratic since announcing plans to buy Twitter for $44 billion, with a ‘B’. For those watching, he’s personally on the hook to pay $33.5 billion and is seeking $2 billion to $3 billion in financing from outside sources. He’s threatening to leave the deal because he doesn’t believe Twitter bots (non-human users) makeup only 5% of Twitter’s user base. He doesn’t believe Twitter’s math and modeling, despite Twitter disclaiming their user counts and reporting the figures to the SEC. If he welches on the deal, he owes Twitter $1 billion.

In the Latest Elon Musk Gossip

While he’s fighting this battle, he’s also beefing with Doge Coin’s creator, Jackson Palmer. Palmer called out Elon Musk saying, “he didn’t understand coding as well he purports himself to.” Musk as usual got upset and claimed Palmer didn’t right any Doge Coin code. Real talk, the allegation Musk isn’t that great of a programmer was made to me once.


Dear Apple, I still don’t have a press credential, but thanks for another WWDC. WWDC happened this past Monday and for the first time in a long time, I’m excited about some of the changes Apple is bringing to its latest iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS16.

Editable and Recallable Messages

iMessages is getting some remarkable enhancements. Users will now be able to recall an iMessage after it’s been sent. If you mistakenly sent a message, you can now delete it from the conversations stream at all endpoints. I think this is an awesome feature and one that many people already use on chat apps and social apps. The other killer feature for the, uses punctuation in text messages GenX crowd, is an editing feature. Users can now make edits to their outbound text messages and the edits will show up to all parties on the conversation.

Another killer application baked across the operating system is Apple’s Live Text. The operating system will allow users to select and lift text off of images and video. For instance, you can watch a how-to video that has text prominently rendered on the screen. Live Text will allow you to select the text in the video and copy in a real text document or elsewhere. This will be create for developers or people following how-tos, or people who need to translate text from an image or picture into their native language.

Customizable Home Screen

It’s not very important for me, but Apple has finally given users the ability to customize their iPhone’s home screen. Users can change the fonts, colors, and type faces of the clock and information labels on the home screen. Users can also add live widgets on the screen too.

Ecosystem Continuity

Apple has always touted continuity between devices. You can now use your iPhone as a web camera in the latest editions of iOS and macOS. The feature works wireless and includes real-time filtering capabilities for enhancing your face versus the background. Another magical feature is Deskview which uses the iPhone’s super wide angle lens to simultaneously show a person in a webcam view and their workspace directly in front of them. How useful is it? Uh, who knows.


New collaboration features between iOS and macOS were originally conceived in the mid-80’s in the NeXT operating system conceived by Steve Jobs. The latest Apple operating system provide app developers with tools to perform instant collaboration between multiple desktop, iPhone, and iPad users. Users can share their desktops, application screens, and application data in a number of ways. Apple claims anything that you can work with can brought into a shareable board.

A Lot More

There was a lot in this year’s WWDC. Apple is shipping updates to CarPlay with the ability to add stops using Siri in the Maps app. New watchOS updates feature more complications, enhanced battery life, and connectivity between devices. And we’ll see higher performing chips this fall in the latest MacBook Pro lines with an M2 chip that’s 40% higher performing than the M1.

The new MacBook Pro with M2 silicon will ship in July.

iOS 16 will ship in the fall, probably after the iPhone event in September.

The latest macOS Ventura, is available for Apple Developer Program members now, will ship with the latest machines in July.

Tune Into The Cloud

I want to extend a very warm and gracious thanks to everyone who has listened to The Cloud. We got a solid stream of downloads in our first week of release. If you have tuned in, our first episode asked, “what happened to smart cities?” We invited Nick Maynard, the CEO of US Ignite to talk about smart city projects and striking a balance between technology and community support.

Our next show will explore how bias in AI impacts communities. It’s going to be a treat.

You can listen to The Cloud on Spotify.

Musk Says Go to the Office or Go Home, Supreme Courts Unplatforms Texas Law, Chinese Hackers Target Tibetans

It’s Thursday, June 2nd, which means The Cloud has launched. I’m super excited about it. That also means, it’s time for the Top Tech News of the Week! I’m on with  Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: Chinese government hackers target Tibetan government reps, Musk tells Tesla employees to come to the office or else, and the Supreme Court halts Texas’ deplatforming law. 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. Listen now.

We’ve Been Featuring More and More Pics of This Guy


Musk just likes staying in the news. Many US employers have taken a pragmatic approach to returning employees back to the office. Employers with a high number of office workers have embraced hybrid models where employees can work days in or out of the office on a schedule. Others have forsaken their offices and have allowed employees to work permanently from home. Earlier this week, Elon Musk demanded that any employee wishing to do remote work must work in the office a minimum of 40 hours per week. Well, that’s a full work week. Not really remote work. Musk is assuming if people don’t show up, then they’ve resigned.


In a shocking 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court blocks Texas’ deplatforming law to take affect. The law would have banned social media platforms with over 50 million users from banning accounts held by politicians and office holders. The decision was bi-partisan with Democratic and Republican party justices deciding against the law. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all fell within the 50 million user count limits of the Texas law.


A new exploit targeting exiled Central Tibetan Administration was reported on Monday. The exploit originated from a Chinese government hacker group known as TA413. The Chinese government has been targeting exiled Tibetan government representatives for years. The CTA is actually based in Dharamsala, India. The exploit uses an especially crafter Microsoft Word document that can launch a script file through Microsoft’s Support Diagnostic Tool. Microsoft hasn’t issued a patch for the exploit yet, but is telling users to disable a URL embedding feature in its Support Diagnostic Tool. The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is urging organization to disable the feature. Microsoft products from Office 2013 to Office 365 are under threat. Yes, that’s a whole slew of products.

The Cloud is LIVE!

Hi Everyone, I’m proud to announce The Cloud podcast to you. Subscribers to this site and early adopters are the first to get links to the new podcast. The Cloud is like Hidden Brain for technology. Every episode will feature a big tech concept and we’ll explore if the technology is just hype or is really delivering on its promises.

We’ll be releasing new episodes each month. Please check out the first episode, What Happened to Smart Cities?

What Happened to Smart Cities, featuring Nick Maynard of US Ignite

Subscribe to the cloud at You’ll also be able to subscribe using your favorite podcast app. We’ll be on all of them.