Each episode is about a different technology topic in the news. We try to explain things in plain English and explain why they are important and how they may affect you. Each episode features a special guest and cool discussion such as Encryption to Bitcoin, to what technology will be cool soon. to how to browse the Web Safely, Cool plugins for Chrome, Raspberry Pi for Breakfast! Try us!
This is Your Brain and the Future
So what if you could play a video game with your mind? In the news this past week Elon Musk’s Neuralnet announced they had installed brain implants into the brain of a macaque monkey. They then taught him how to play Pong using a joystick by giving him banana smoothies via a straw while he was playing as a reward. They used the neural links to capture what his brain saw as his hands moved. Then they took the joystick away and he continued to play using only his mind via the neural links. This is Season 3 Episode5 and Today we are going to talk about technology and the future and visit some other tech news along the way. Welcome to the One-Off Tech Podcast. I am your host Roy Richardson and each week we talk about tech topics and how they affect you. So sit back, listen and open your mind. I have always dreamed of a world like science fiction predicts we will live in. Flying cars, computers the size of phones (oh wait we already have those). The flying cars aren’t here yet but we have phones in our pocket that are more powerful than the 486 CPU computers that launched the Space Shuttle. So what if we could use our computer with only our minds? The cool part is using a computer with our minds. I don’t have to type anymore. I can think “words” to the screen. We aren’t there yet but the time will come. On the flip side, I don’t know about you but my mind doesn’t’ have the filter my mouth has most of the time when I think thoughts and I am smart enough to keep them in my head and not say them out loud. Admittedly my filter isn’t as good as some others and I will say things that really should have been kept inside. But the next leap is someone puts the neural links into our brains or maybe they don’t even have to be implanted and every thought we have escapes. In the meantime, it is fun to watch a monkey play Pong.Chapter 2I am almost social. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and now Clubhouse as @aroyrichardson. So the question maybe if you are late to the party, what is Clubhouse? Clubhouse is an audio only, invite only, iPhone only social network. Folks who think they are authorities on something or who like to hear themselves talk (that would probably be me) to there and start “rooms” and become the moderators of the room. They decide who comes on stage. The stage is the area of the app where you are allowed to unmute to talk. You see, when you visit a room you come in muted unless you are invited to the virtual stage. And then proper Clubhouse etiquette is you stay muted until a moderator says it is okay for folks to unmute and talk. You ride the mute while in the room, kind of the way I do Zoom meetings. But Clubhouse is really cool and there is a lot of open dialog going on there. So far I haven’t seen a lot of troublemakers there but there are a lot of folks bragging about themselves and trying to sell you stuff. There are a lot of folks offering free and often helpful advice on faith and life and money, real estate and so on. In some ways it reminds me of a cross between a podcast and a call in radio talk show. Want to find out what Clubhouse is about? The first two folks who reach out to me via DM on Twitter or Instagram, I will send you an invite. You do have to have an iPhone as they have not released an Android app yet and they don’t seem to be in a hurry.
Is this real or Artificial Intelligence?
Is this real or did artificial intelligence create this episode? This week an article came out about Artificial Intelligence aka AI used all of Nirvana’s songs to create a new Nirvana song. The scientists feed all of Nirvana’s songs into an algorithm (first they converted all of the songs to MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) and then the computer created music that sounded like Nirvana. Then they followed suit with the lyrics. Between them both they created a “new” Nirvana song. Then they hired a singer from a Nirvana tribute band to sing it. He voice is close but not exactly Kurt Cobain, who died 27 years ago this week. They also did Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, and the Doors aka Jim Morrison. Visit this site to hear samples of each. This all lead me to thinking, what is real anymore? When will it be impossible to determine what is real news and what is artificially created. AI is now writing news stories This all reminded me of the movie Running Man with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Richard Dawson as a game show host. The movie created the gameshow. When a lead character on the show was tragically killed, they used AI to create the person again so they could die another way. Will one day, like George Lucas wanted to do, all of the actors in a movie are actually all computer generated included computer created voices that have never existed. Nvidia has a website where you can find faces of people who have never existed. It is an amalgamation of millions of faces in photos. Chapter 2Oracle V. Google. This week the Supreme Court ruled that Google’s use of Java code was fair use and that to rule otherwise would prevent others from creating amazing things from snippets of others works. I hate Java and I am not a fan of Oracle. I have my reasons. While it is wrong to hate people, is it okay to greatly dislike things? Entities? This case was huge and even Microsoft wanted Google to win. You see, Java was originally written to control cable TV boxes. And because I failed one college class my entire life in Grad school taking Java, I will never forgive Oracle.Part 3The Internet never forgets. This week an article in Wired Magazine talks about how the internet never forgets. In this case, a woman talked about how the Internet knew she was planning a big wedding and then they broke up and the wedding was cancelled yet a year or so later she was getting Happy Anniversary messages from websites she had registered with when she was planning her big day. She also detailed how it had remembered other hurtful events in her life and reminded her of them such as a miscarriage. You see, the Internet never forgets. It remembers. Tell your closest friends your troubles but not via the Internet.
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First Tech Loves -Cell Phone Edition
In this episode I talk about Technology First Loves -Cell Phone edition. I have had so many mobile devices throughout my life. My first cell phone was an Audiovox 9000. What is known as a candybar phone because it was shaped a lot like a candy bar. It was a good clear phone and one of the first digital/analog phones.It was able to receive text messages but could not send them. This was literally how it was designed and I never understood why. Also during this time I carried a pager. A pager was a device that could receive messages and then you had to find a phone somewhere and call people back. Luckily while this technology isn’t dead, it is on life support. Next I had the Blackberry. We called it the “Crackberry” as being able to now read your email anywhere was addictive and we all scrolled to our hearts content to look at our email at all hours of the day or night. Somewhere in there I had a Motorola Razr. It was a great flip phone. The cool kids all had Motorola Startac phones but these were very expensive and not anywhere need my income bracket or position in the world. The Razr phone could only look at mobile pages done in Mobi format. This was not the same as surfing the web on your PC at the time and was really a painful experience. Then I went to the Droid 2 and soon Verizon released the Droid R2D2, which was a Star Wars themed phone with R2D2 sound effects, Star Wars sound snippets, and backgrounds and icons inspired by Star Wars. The back of the phone looked like R2D2. Really a cool phone. Then my next phone was the Droid 4. That was the end of my Motorola journey. My next phone was the HTC M One 8. This was the most amazing phone. My favorite feature was being able to remote control TVs with it. It was a great phone and because I wrote a review for it, HTC reached out and asked me to be a brand ambassador. They sent me a gift certificate for their HTC store and I bought their early version of the Tile which allowed me to connect my keys and then find them via Bluetooth but my bedroom was too far and so if I moved too far away, it beeped annoyingly. I wanted to HTC M One 10 but that was not to be. My next phone was Samsung Galaxy S7. This was an good okay phone but the batter did not last and the phone did not make it 18 months before I needed another phone. So it was replaced with the Galaxy S8. This was a good phone. I miss remote controlling TVs but other than that it was a good phone. But then the company decided it was time to move to iPhone. So they sent me an iPhone 11. Sure, the 12 is out but this was a reasonably priced phone and well, after having being with Android since 2009, this was a very different experience. I am hitting so many brick walls as this phone doesn’t have so many things I have come to know and love about Android phones. But the interaction between Airpods and iPhone is probably my favorite iPhone feature so far. But it has been taking some getting use too.
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What are Non Fungible Tokens and what does Google know about my digital soul
What are Non-Fungible Tokens?
What is Fungible? Fungible is a term that means something that is replaceable. Exchangeable Originally used as a finance term.
Fungible means interchangeable. Fungible goods are…
Fungible goods are items that are interchangeable because they are identical to each other for practical purposes.
Fungibility is the ability of a good or asset to be readily interchanged for another of like kind.
Like goods and assets that are not interchangeable, such as owned cars and houses, are non-fungible.
Money is a prime example of something fungible, where a $1 bill is easily convertible into four quarters or ten dimes, etc.
So Non meaning No and Fungible meaning changeable you have Non Fungible and now we add Non Fungible Tokens to our vocabulary.
What is a Non Fungible Token or NFT? It is how you can make digital things one of a kind. If I have a picture of my kids as a png file on my desktop, I can copy the file hundreds of times, share the same image with different file names on Facebook and other social media and I can send it via email to my mom. All of these are copies of the same file. But how do we know which is the original?
The Mona Lisa exists in the Louvre in Paris France. We assume it is the original and yet we all know the Mona Lisa. There are pictures of her everywhere. But the rest are all copies and not the original. Say I want to be able to confirm to the world the original digital image I took with my cell phone of my kids is the original then how would I prove this?
This is where Cryptocurrency comes in. A long time ago okay, 2012 if that is a long time ago, a group of folks used the unique transaction code nature of buying cryptocurrency. A group created Colored Coins. These represented the smallest unit of Bitcoin called a “Satoshi” Listen to Episode 1 if you want more in depth on Bitcoin. So basically it represents a bitcoin. But things didn’t’ take off from there and there were flaws. So next up came “Counterparty” around 2014. They used the concepts that were Bitcoin 2.0 and used Bitcoin to create collectables that were represented by an amount of bitcoin and it allowed folks to be able to buy and sell digital assets. Because it was certified against a bitcoin transaction id, these collectables couldn’t be counterfeited. So now I could take this image file of my kids and tie it to bitcoin and then sell the bitcoin aka the digital collectable. In 2017 Cryptopunks create digital collectables based on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is another cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin. They created 10,000 of these Crypto characters and they were quickly snapped up. So then because the Internet loves cats in that same year CryptoKitties were created. These looked like cards and were intended to be part of a game. The drawings remind me of The Oatmeal’s Exploding Kittens animation. These sold well for a while but rarely for crazy sums but it proved out the concept of NFT. This same concept was used to sell Digital parcels of land in a VR game Decentraland.
Time passes, things happen and we arrive in 2021 after a long period of time trapped in our house where the Internet became strange again because we were trapped and needed a creative outlet like say a podcast.
Anyway, so suddenly the world is crazier and folks are selling virtual NBA trading cards and short clips of video moments in Basketball for crazy money. A certified copy of the Nyan Cat gif is sold for $531,000 worth of Ethereum. Sure, everyone has a copy of Nyan Cat but now this is certified as one of a kind,...
The Return of the One-Off Tech Podcast (Bitcoin, Facebook vs Apple and Creepy Nostalgia)
This is the return of the One-Off Tech Podcast. In this episode we talk about Bitcoin, its origins and why it is "HOT" right now. Then we talk about Facebook versus Apple and the fight for our privacy or lack there of. Finally we talk about Creepy Deep Nostalgia.
Death of a Podcast
The Last Episode of the One-Off Technology Podcast? Maybe. This episode talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly that is/was the One-Off Technology Podcast and ends with a big thank you to all of our many listeners and a survey to find out if what you thought we did right or wrong and if we should start over.
The One-Off Technology podcast was first broadcast on February 27, 2016. First season covered a gambit of things, from how to start a podcast, how this one went together, complaints about software and software companies, hardware and hardware companies. We also talked about how to keep your computer safe, cool things you can do with Raspberry Pi computers and about 3D printing.
S1E5 Part 1 was the most popular episode of the entire series. Over the course of the series, we have nearly 1,000 unique users download the podcast but to be honest, only about 244 folks consistently downloaded the podcast. This is only the stats from iTunes Podcasts. We are also on Stitcher and Google Play and we have no easy way to track our success there. Something I plan to fix should we attempt this experiment again.
Episode 9 was the least downloaded episode. I want to thank all of our listeners but I especially want to thank the 36 who downloaded an episode that appeared out of nowhere. Basically there was a 7 month gap between episode 8 and episode 9. To make matters worse, episode 9 was recorded but unedited for over six months. My life had become so hectic and I had lost faith in the podcast. I know and sadly knew that in order for a podcast to gain and keep traction, it had to be consistent and released on an expected schedule whether that been weekly or biweekly or whatever, consistently. Oh, and it had to be interesting.
My issue is that I am interested in so many things. How do you create a podcast that is a catch all for every interest that you have? I often considered doing two or three different podcast titles so I could cover more topics and not steal from one title. But until I can do one podcast consistently it is not time to branch out into other topics.
The other issues with the podcast are the title. What did the title even mean? Also the title was too long to create a Twitter account or an Instagram account. I created a Facebook account but most of the material was the same stuff I posted on my page on Facebook so nothing to drive folks to it really.
Also I lack the art of self promotion. Yes, I see how people hype things but hyping myself is not something I am comfortable with. I am not the greatest things since sliced bread and so to say such things would be lies and I prefer to be my true self. Let the topic be the interesting thing and the way we present it. That was the hope.
I did a survey in some areas where I post frequently asking what people wanted to hear a technology podcast talk about. The winner, Windows patching. Seriously?