Get Happy

Note to self: invest in a box of face masks featuring the sort of happy, smiley face modern employers like to see. Canon Information Technology actually announced its “smile recognition” cameras last year as part of a suite of workplace management tools, but the technology doesn’t seem to have gotten much attention. Indeed, the fact… Continue reading Get Happy


Once upon a time this scam would have resulted in ministerial resignations/sackings: Eight years ago the government had a plan so good it couldn’t tell you about it. It wanted to scrape everyone in England’s entire GP records and put them on one central database, where they would be anonymised – well, sort of! –… Continue reading Shamelessness

Sleep well

The Financial Times moves firmly into Black Mirror territory with We know what you did during lockdown: Just in case you were planning to rest easy tonight… [Via swissmiss]

This is fine

It’s almost as if the manufacturers of smart speakers want everyone to get used to accidental activations: Voice assistants in smart speakers analyze every sound in their environment for their wake word, e.g., «Alexa» or «Hey Siri», before uploading the audio stream to the cloud. This supports users’ privacy by only capturing the necessary audio… Continue reading This is fine

Social credit – a different view

[Executive Summary: Facebook-style Social Media needs to die now, before it gets a chance to grow into this monstrosity.] Given the distinctly Big Brother-flavoured response to the notion of China introducing a highly automated social credit system, an academic who has spent 16 months in China exploring attitudes to the idea of an automated social… Continue reading Social credit – a different view

Social Surveillance

Australia’s ABC News on China’s plans to leave no dark corner when it comes to monitoring the populace’s lives online: Dandan doesn’t object to the prospect of life under the state’s all-seeing surveillance network. […] The 36-year-old knows social credit is not a perfect system but believes it’s the best way to manage a complex… Continue reading Social Surveillance


Having caught up with Kashmir Hill’s Gizmodo piece ‘People You May Know:’ A Controversial Facebook Feature’s 10-Year History, I’m both supremely glad that I’m not on Facebook [note]I was briefly a member a few years ago for as long as it took me to conclude that I didn’t need any of the services they were… Continue reading PYMK