I’ve been busy. Trying to get a comic out and a book. I’ve started this year’s annual gift guide and a few cool items are up. It’s Thursday, and I’m back in the chair with Mark Starling, Seth, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: Jennifer Lawrence to play Elizabeth Holmes in Apple+ drama, Kickstarter turns to crypto for crowdfunding, and don’t play with yourself while driving. 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.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the nonsense that’s Holmes vs. US you are seriously missing out. Apple will be producing a movie starring The Hunger Games’ very own Jennifer Lawrence in an upcoming movie based upon Theranos. Elizabeth Holmes and her business partner are being sued for wire fraud by the US government. Holmes is being accused of defrauding investors out of billions of dollars for a blood testing technology that never worked. It’s one of the marquee technology trials going on right now, with faked voices, patriarchal control, and bilking billions out of so-called Masters of the Universe. It’s the trial that’s getting top billing since there’s a stay granted on the Epic vs Apple ruling.
In a story that should be filed in the Bad Idea column, Tesla released a new software update that allows drivers, drivers, to play their in-dash Tesla Arcade gaming system while the car is moving! I know there’s a classic scene of Will Smith going over case notes in the movie, iRobot, but even Homer Simpson would think this is ridiculous. (Note: I just fit a movie and TV show reference of characters doing unusual things while driving. End Note) Regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are reviewing the feature with Tesla and have expressed concern that the feature may run afoul of the Vehicle Safety Act which bars vehicle manufacturers from shipping cars with defects. It sounds like the typical retort from software developers, “that’s not a defect. It’s a feature!”
This week was a big one for technology news. Even yours truly is getting involved with a company making an investment to support the cryptocurrency market. The crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, has announced plans to move its funding initiatives to blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. The company has started Kickstarter PBC to build out its tech. The company hasn’t announced any timelines for when they will switch over, but the intention is that funders will be able to take advantage of core Kickstarter capabilities like contributing funds and partaking in benefits using crypto technology.
Speaking of crypto, there are some new goodies added to the gift guide. The Bobcat Mining rig was well recommended by one of my friends who’s heavily in crypto. The Nutsac bag is a durable, water resistant, and urban cool way to transport your laptop and gadgets. The (S)Nobsound Vacuum Tube headphone amplifier rounds out this week’s additions to the 2021 Annual Gift Guide.
Bonus. CNET has a great article helping you avoid common mistakes while buying gadgets for your friends and family this Christmas.