More on Technology
1 year ago
Holographic concerts are the AI of the Future.
A few days ago, I was discussing dall-e with two art and tech pals. One artist acquaintance said she knew a frightened illustrator. Would the ability to create anything with a click derail her career? The artist feared this. My curator friend smiled and said this has always been a dread among artists. When the camera was invented, didn't painters say this? Even in the Instagram era, painting exists.
When art and technology collide, there's room for innovation, experimentation, and fear — especially if the technology replicates or replaces art making. What is art's future with dall-e? How does technology affect music, beyond visual art? Recently, I saw "ABBA Voyage," a holographic ABBA concert in London.
"Abba voyage?" my phone asked in early March. A Gen X friend I met through a fashion blogging ring texted me.
"What's abba Voyage?" I asked while opening my front door with keys and coffee.
We're going! Marti, visiting London, took me to a show.
"Absolutely no ABBA songs here." I responded.
My parents didn't play ABBA much, so I don't know much about them. Dad liked Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Deep Purple, and New Orleans jazz. Marti told me ABBA Voyage was a holographic ABBA show with a live band.
The show was fun, extraordinary fun. Nearly everyone on the dance floor wore wigs, ankle-breaking platforms, sequins, and bellbottoms. I saw some millennials and Zoomers among the boomers.
I was intoxicated by the experience.
Automatons date back to the 18th-century mechanical turk. The mechanical turk was a chess automaton operated by a person. The mechanical turk seemed to perform like a human without human intervention, but it required a human in the loop to work properly.
Humans have used non-humans in entertainment for centuries, such as puppets, shadow play, and smoke and mirrors. A show can have animatronic, technological, and non-technological elements, and a live show can blur real and illusion. From medieval puppet shows to mechanical turks to AI filters, bots, and holograms, entertainment has evolved over time.
I'm not a hologram skeptic, but I'm skeptical of technology, especially since I work with it. I love live performances, I love hearing singers breathe, forget lines, and make jokes. Live shows are my favorite because I love watching performers make mistakes or interact with the audience. ABBA Voyage was different.
Marti and I traveled to Manchester after ABBA Voyage to see Liam Gallagher. Similar but different vibe. Similar in that thousands dressed up for the show. ABBA's energy was dizzying. 90s chic replaced sequins in the crowd. Doc Martens, nylon jackets, bucket hats, shaggy hair. The Charlatans and Liam Gallagher opened and closed, respectively. Fireworks. Incredible. People went crazy. Yelling exhausted my voice.
This week in music featured AI-enabled holograms and a decades-old rocker. Both are warm and gooey in our memories.
After seeing both, I'm wondering if we need AI hologram shows. Why? Is it good?
Like everything tech-related, my answer is "maybe." Because context and performance matter. Liam Gallagher and ABBA both had great, different shows.
For a hologram to work, it must be impossible and big. It must be big, showy, and improbable to justify a hologram. It must feel...expensive, like a stadium pop show. According to a quick search, ABBA broke up on bad terms. Reuniting is unlikely. This is also why Prince or Tupac hologram shows work. We can only engage with their legacy through covers or...holograms.
I drove around listening to the radio a few weeks ago. "Dreaming of You" by Selena played. Selena's music defined my childhood. I sang along and turned up the volume (or as loud as my husband would allow me while driving on the highway).
I discovered Selena's music six months after her death, so I never saw her perform live. My babysitter Melissa played me her album after I moved to Houston. Melissa took me to see the Selena movie five times when it came out. I quickly wore out my VHS copy. I constantly sang "Bibi Bibi Bom Bom" and "Como la Flor." I love Selena. A Selena hologram? Yes, probably.
Instagram advertised a cellist's Arthur Russell tribute show. Russell is another deceased artist I love. I almost walked down the aisle to "This is How We Walk on the Moon," but our cellist couldn't find it. Instead, I walked to Magnetic Fields' "The Book of Love." I "discovered" Russell after a friend introduced me to his music a few years ago.
I use these as analogies for the Liam Gallagher and ABBA concerts.
You have no idea how much I'd pay to see a hologram of Selena's 1995 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo concert. Arthur Russell's hologram is unnecessary. Russell's work was intimate and performance-based. We can't separate his life from his legacy; popular audiences overlooked his genius. He died of AIDS broke. Like Selena, he died prematurely. Given his music and history, another performer would be a better choice than a hologram. He's no Selena. Selena could have rivaled Beyonce.
Pop shows' size works for holograms. Along with ABBA holograms, there was an anime movie and a light show that would put Tron to shame. ABBA created a tourable stadium show. The event was lavish, expensive, and well-planned. Pop, unlike rock, isn't gritty. Liam Gallagher hologram? No longer impossible, it wouldn't work. He's touring. I'm not sure if a rockstar alone should be rendered as a hologram; it was the show that made ABBA a hologram.
Holograms, like AI, are part of the future of entertainment, but not all of it. Because only modern interpretations of Arthur Russell's work reveal his legacy. That's his legacy.
Large-scale arena performers may use holograms in the future, but the experience must be impossible. A teacher once said that the only way to convey emotion in opera is through song, and I feel the same way about holograms, AR, VR, and mixed reality. A story's impossibility must make sense, like in opera. Impossibility and bombastic performance must be present for an immersive element to "work." ABBA was an impossible and improbable experience, which made it magical. It helped the holographic show work.
Marti told me about ABBA Voyage. She said it was a great concert. Marti has worked in music since the 1990s. She's a music expert; she's seen many shows.
Ai isn't a god or sentient, and the ABBA holograms aren't real. The renderings were glassy-eyed, flat, and robotic, like the Polar Express or the Jaws shark. Even today, the uncanny valley is insurmountable. We know it's not real because it's not about reality. It was about a suspended moment and performance feelings.
I knew this was impossible, an 'unreal' experience, but the emotions I felt were real, like watching a movie or tv show. Perhaps this is one of the better uses of AI, like CGI and special effects, like the beauty of entertainment- we were enraptured and entertained for hours. I've been playing ABBA since then.
1 year ago
Apple AR/VR heaset
Apple is said to have opted for a standalone AR/VR headset over a more powerful tethered model.
It has had a tumultuous history.
Apple's alleged mixed reality headset appears to be the worst-kept secret in tech, and a fresh story from The Information is jam-packed with details regarding the device's rocky development.
Apple's decision to use a separate headgear is one of the most notable aspects of the story. Apple had yet to determine whether to pursue a more powerful VR headset that would be linked with a base station or a standalone headset. According to The Information, Apple officials chose the standalone product over the version with the base station, which had a processor that later arrived as the M1 Ultra. In 2020, Bloomberg published similar information.
That decision appears to have had a long-term impact on the headset's development. "The device's many processors had already been in development for several years by the time the choice was taken, making it impossible to go back to the drawing board and construct, say, a single chip to handle all the headset's responsibilities," The Information stated. "Other difficulties, such as putting 14 cameras on the headset, have given hardware and algorithm engineers stress."
Jony Ive remained to consult on the project's design even after his official departure from Apple, according to the story. Ive "prefers" a wearable battery, such as that offered by Magic Leap. Other prototypes, according to The Information, placed the battery in the headset's headband, and it's unknown which will be used in the final design.
The headset was purportedly shown to Apple's board of directors last week, indicating that a public unveiling is imminent. However, it is possible that it will not be introduced until later this year, and it may not hit shop shelves until 2023, so we may have to wait a bit to try it.
For further down the line, Apple is working on a pair of AR spectacles that appear like Ray-Ban wayfarer sunglasses, but according to The Information, they're "still several years away from release." (I'm interested to see how they compare to Meta and Ray-Bans' true wayfarer-style glasses.)
7 months ago
7 Mac Apps That Are Exorbitantly Priced But Totally Worth It
Wish you more bang for your buck
By ‘Cost a Bomb’ I didn’t mean to exaggerate. It’s an idiom that means ‘To be very expensive’. In fact, no app on the planet costs a bomb lol.
So, to the point.
(Freemium. For Pro, $24.99 | Available on Setapp)
You probably have trouble keeping track of dozens of bills and subscriptions each month.
Add payment due dates and receive reminders,
Save payment documentation,
Analyze your spending by season, year, and month.
Observe expenditure trends and create new budgets.
Best of all, Chronicle features an integrated browser for fast payment and logging.
iOS and macOS sync.
($39 for lifetime)
Background Music, a free macOS program, was featured in #6 of this post last month.
It controls per-app volume, stereo balance, and audio over its max level.
Background Music is fully supported. Additionally,
Connect various speakers to various apps (Wow! ),
change the audio sample rate for each app,
To facilitate access, add a floating SoundSource window.
Use its blocks in Shortcuts app,
On the menu bar, include meters for output/input devices and running programs.
($39 for lifetime | Available on Setapp)
This software is heaven for UI designers.
It aids you.
quickly calculate screen distances (in pixels) ,
Drag an area around an object to determine its borders,
Measure the distances between the additional guides,
screenshots should be pixel-perfect.
Adapt your tolerance for items with poor contrast and shadows.
Use your Touch Bar to perform important tasks, if you have one.
($3.99 a month / $29.99 a year | Available on Setapp)
Mate Translate resembles a roided-up version of BarTranslate, which I wrote about in #1 of this piece last month.
If you translate often, utilize Mate Translate on macOS and Safari.
I'm really vocal about it.
It stays on the menu bar, and is accessible with a click or ⌥+shift+T hotkey.
It lets you
Translate in 103 different languages,
To translate text, double-click or right-click on it.
Totally translate websites. Additionally, Netflix subtitles,
Listen to their pronunciation to see how close it is to human.
iPhone and Mac sync Mate-ing history.
($16 for lifetime | Available on Setapp)
Swish is awesome!
Swipe, squeeze, tap, and hold movements organize chaotic desktop windows. Swish operates with mouse and trackpad.
• Pinch Once: Close an app
• Pinch Twice: Quit an app
• Swipe down once: Minimise an app
• Pinch Out: Enter fullscreen mode
• Tap, Hold, & Swipe: Arrange apps in grids
and many more...
After getting acquainted to the movements, your multitasking will improve.
($24.99 for lifetime | Available on Setapp)
It turns webapps into macOS apps. The end.
Unite's functionality is a million times better.
Provide extensive customization (incl. its icon, light and dark modes)
make menu bar applications,
Get badges for web notifications and automatically refresh websites,
Replace any dock icon in the window with it (Wow!) by selecting that portion of the window.
Use PiP (Picture-in-Picture) on video sites that support it.
Throughout macOS, use floating windows
and many more…
I feel $24.99 one-off for this tool is a great deal, considering all these features. What do you think?
(Basic: $29 one-off. Pro: $8/month | Available on Setapp)
CleanShot X can achieve things the macOS screenshot tool cannot. Complete screenshot toolkit.
CleanShot X, like Pixel Snap 2 (#3), is fantastic.
Scroll to capture a long page,
With webcam on,
• With mic and system audio,
• Highlighting mouse clicks and hotkeys.
Maintain floating screenshots for reference
While capturing, conceal desktop icons and notifications.
Recognize text in screenshots (OCR),
You may upload and share screenshots using the built-in cloud.
These are just 6 in 50+ features, and you’re already saying Wow!
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10 months ago
Crypto Inheritance's Catch-22
Security, privacy, and a strategy!
How to manage digital assets in worst-case scenarios is a perennial crypto concern. Since blockchain and bitcoin technology is very new, this hasn't been a major issue. Many early developers are still around, and many groups created around this technology are young and feel they have a lot of life remaining. This is why inheritance and estate planning in crypto should be handled promptly. As cryptocurrency's intrinsic worth rises, many people in the ecosystem are holding on to assets that might represent generational riches. With that much value, it's crucial to have a plan. Creating a solid plan entails several challenges.
the initial hesitation in coming up with a plan
The technical obstacles to ensuring the assets' security and privacy
the passing of assets from a deceased or incompetent person
Legal experts' lack of comprehension and/or understanding of how to handle and treat cryptocurrency.
This article highlights several challenges, a possible web3-native solution, and how to learn more.
The Challenge of Inheritance:
One of the biggest hurdles to inheritance planning is starting the conversation. As humans, we don't like to think about dying. Early adopters will experience crazy gains as cryptocurrencies become more popular. Creating a plan is crucial if you wish to pass on your riches to loved ones. Without a plan, the technical and legal issues I barely mentioned above would erode value by requiring costly legal fees and/or taxes, and you could lose everything if wallets and assets are not distributed appropriately (associated with the private keys). Raising awareness of the consequences of not having a plan should motivate people to make one.
Having an inheritance plan for your digital assets is crucial, but managing the guts and bolts poses a new set of difficulties. Privacy and security provided by maintaining your own wallet provide different issues than traditional finances and assets. Traditional finance is centralized (say a stock brokerage firm). You can assign another person to handle the transfer of your assets. In crypto, asset transfer is reimagined. One may suppose future transaction management is doable, but the user must consent, creating an impossible loop.
I passed away and must send a transaction to the person I intended to deliver it to.
I have to confirm or authorize the transaction, but I'm dead.
In crypto, scheduling a future transaction wouldn't function. To transfer the wallet and its contents, we'd need the private keys and/or seed phrase. Minimizing private key exposure is crucial to protecting your crypto from hackers, social engineering, and phishing. People have lost private keys after utilizing Life Hack-type tactics to secure them. People that break and hide their keys, lose them, or make them unreadable won't help with managing and/or transferring. This will require a derived solution.
Legal Challenges and Implications
Unlike routine cryptocurrency transfers and transactions, local laws may require special considerations. Even in the traditional world, estate/inheritance taxes, how assets will be split, and who executes the will must be considered. Many lawyers aren't crypto-savvy, which complicates the matter. There will be many hoops to jump through to safeguard your crypto and traditional assets and give them to loved ones.
Knowing RUFADAA/UFADAA, depending on your state, is vital for Americans. UFADAA offers executors and trustees access to online accounts (which crypto wallets would fall into). RUFADAA was changed to limit access to the executor to protect assets. RUFADAA outlines how digital assets are administered following death and incapacity in the US.
A Succession Solution
Having a will and talking about who would get what is the first step to having a solution, but using a Dad Mans Switch is a perfect tool for such unforeseen circumstances. As long as the switch's controller has control, nothing happens. Losing control of the switch initiates a state transition.
Subway or railway operations are examples. Modern control systems need the conductor to hold a switch to keep the train going. If they can't, the train stops.
Sarcophagus is a decentralized dead man's switch built on Ethereum and Arweave. Sarcophagus allows actors to maintain control of their possessions even while physically unable to do so. Using a programmable dead man's switch and dual encryption, anything can be kept and passed on. This covers assets, secrets, seed phrases, and other use cases to provide authority and control back to the user and release trustworthy services from this work. Sarcophagus is built on a decentralized, transparent open source codebase. Sarcophagus is there if you're unprepared.
9 months ago
In this recession, according to Mark Cuban, you need to outwork everyone
Here’s why that’s baloney
Mark Cuban popularized entrepreneurship.
Shark Tank (which made Mark famous) made starting a business glamorous to attract more entrepreneurs. First off
This isn't an anti-billionaire rant.
Mark Cuban has done excellent. He's a smart, principled businessman. I enjoy his Web3 work. But Mark's work and productivity theories are absurd.
You don't need to outwork everyone in this recession to live well.
You won't be able to outwork me.
Yuck! Mark's words made me gag.
Why do boys think working is a football game where the winner wins a Super Bowl trophy? To outwork you.
Hard work doesn't equal intelligence.
Highly clever professionals spend 4 hours a day in a flow state, then go home to relax with family.
If you don't put forth the effort, someone else will.
He'll burn out. He's delusional and doesn't understand productivity. Boredom or disconnection spark our best thoughts.
TikTok outlaws boredom.
In a spare minute, we check our phones because we can't stand stillness.
All this work p*rn makes things worse. When is it okay to feel again? Because I can’t feel anything when I’m drowning in work and haven’t had a holiday in 2 years.
Your rivals are actively attempting to undermine you.
Ohhh please Mark…seriously.
This isn't a Tom Hanks war film. Relax. Not everyone is a rival. Only yourself is your competitor. To survive the recession, be better than a year ago.
If you get rich, great. If not, there's more to life than Lambos and angel investments.
Some want to relax and enjoy life. No competition. We witness people with lives trying to endure the recession and record-high prices.
This fictitious rival worsens life and work.
If you are truly talented, you will motivate others to work more diligently and effectively.
No Mark. Soz.
If you're a good leader, you won't brag about working hard and treating others like cogs. Treat them like humans. You'll have EQ.
Silly statements like this are caused by an out-of-control ego. No longer watch Shark Tank.
Ego over humanity.
Good leaders will urge people to keep together during the recession. Good leaders support those who are laid off and need a reference.
Not harder, quicker, better. That created my mental health problems 10 years ago.
Truth: we want to work less.
The promotion of entrepreneurship is ludicrous.
Marvel superheroes. Seriously, relax Max.
I used to write about entrepreneurship, then I quit. Many WeWork Adam Neumanns. Carelessness.
I now utilize the side hustle title when writing about online company or entrepreneurship. Humanizes.
Stop glorifying. Thinking we'll all be Elon Musks who send rockets to Mars is delusional. Most of us won't create companies employing hundreds.
The true epidemic is glorification. fewer selfies Little birdy needs less bank account screenshots. Less Uber talk.
Fun, ego-free business can transform the world. Take a relax pill.
Work as if someone were attempting to take everything from you.
I've seen people lose everything.
Myself included. My 20s startup failed. I was almost bankrupt. I thought I'd never recover. Nope.
Best thing ever.
Losing everything reveals your true self. Unintelligent entrepreneur egos perish instantly. Regaining humility revitalizes relationships.
Money's significance shifts. Stop chasing it like a puppy with a bone.
Fearing loss is unfounded.
Here is a more effective approach than outworking nobody.
(You'll thrive in the recession and become wealthy.)
Overworking is donkey work.
You don't want to be a career-long overworker. Instead than wasting time, write down what you do. List tasks and processes.
Keep doing/outsource the list. Step-by-step each task. Continuously systematize.
Then recruit a digital employee like Zapier or a virtual assistant in the same country.
Intelligent, not difficult.
If your big break could burn in hell, diversify like it will.
People err by focusing on one chance.
Chances can vanish. All-in risky. Instead of working like a Mark Cuban groupie, diversify your income.
If you're employed, your customer is your employer.
Sell the same abilities twice and add 2-3 contract clients. Reduce your hours at your main job and take on more clients.
Leave brand loyalty behind
Mark desires his employees' worship.
That's stupid. When times are bad, layoffs multiply. The problem is the false belief that companies care. No. A business maximizes profit and pays you the least.
To care or overpay is anti-capitalist (that run the world). Be honest.
I was a banker. Then the bat virus hit and jobs disappeared faster than I urinate after a night of drinking.
Start being disloyal now since your company will cheerfully replace you with a better applicant. Meet recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn. Whenever something goes wrong at work, act.
Loyalty to self and family. Nobody.
Outwork this instead
Mark doesn't suggest outworking inflation instead of people.
Inflation erodes your time on earth. If you ignore inflation, you'll work harder for less pay every minute.
Financial literacy beats inflation.
Get a side job and earn money online
So you can stop outworking everyone.
Internet leverages time. Same effort today yields exponential results later. There are still whole places not online.
Instead of working forever, generate money online.
Overworking is stupid. Don't listen to wealthy football jocks.
Work isn't everything. Prioritize diversification, internet income streams, boredom, and financial knowledge throughout the recession.
That’s how to get wealthy rather than burnout-rich.
1 year ago
Wall Street's Bear Market May Stick Around
If history is any guide, this bear market might be long and severe.
This is the S&P 500 Index's fourth such incident in 20 years. The last bear market of 2020 was a "shock trade" caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, although earlier ones in 2000 and 2008 took longer to bottom out and recover.
Peter Garnry, head of equities strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, compares the current selloff to the dotcom bust of 2000 and the 1973-1974 bear market marked by soaring oil prices connected to an OPEC oil embargo. He blamed high tech valuations and the commodity crises.
"This drop might stretch over a year and reach 35%," Garnry wrote.
Here are six bear market charts.
The S&P 500 Index plummeted 51% between 2000 and 2002 and 58% during the global financial crisis; it took more than 1,000 trading days to recover. The former took 638 days to reach a bottom, while the latter took 352 days, suggesting the present selloff is young.
Before the tech bubble burst in 2000, valuations were high. The S&P 500's forward P/E was 25 times then. Before the market fell this year, ahead values were near 24. Before the global financial crisis, stocks were relatively inexpensive, but valuations dropped more than 40%, compared to less than 30% now.
Every stock crash, especially earlier bear markets, returned stocks to fundamentals. The S&P 500 decouples from earnings trends but eventually recouples.
Central banks won't support equity investors just now. The end of massive monetary easing will terminate a two-year bull run that was among the strongest ever, and equities may struggle without cheap money. After years of "don't fight the Fed," investors must embrace a new strategy.
Bear Haunting Bear
If the past is any indication, rising government bond yields are bad news. After the financial crisis, skyrocketing rates and a falling euro pushed European stock markets back into bear territory in 2011.
The current monetary policy climate differs from past bear markets. This is the first time in a while that markets face significant inflation and rising rates.
This post is a summary. Read full article here