Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-01-13

  • Wrest control from a snooping smart speaker with this teachable ‘parasite’ | TechCrunch
    “We looked at how cordyceps fungus and viruses can appropriate and control insects to fulfill their own agendas and were inspired to create our own parasite for smart home systems,” explain Karmann and Knudsen in a write-up of the project here. “Therefore we started Project Alias to demonstrate how maker-culture can be used to redefine our relationship with smart home technologies, by delegating more power from the designers to the end users of the products.”
  • Elad Blog: Interesting Markets: 2019 Edition
    Just as there was a prior prosumer wave as part of IT productivity 1.0, we are experiencing a new “devsumer” wave, where consumers are more likely to take on lighter versions of developer-like work and products.

    A number of products have emerged that allow people to build simple software applications, or to use templated applications for their own work flow or productivity. You can think of this as taking a SQL database or excel spreadsheet and turning it into an app platform. These companies include Airtable and, in a vertical way specific to internal tools, Retool.

    In a different market segment, Notion and Coda are focused on the future of docs & productivity software, while other companies, such as Zapier and IFTTT allow you to simply stitch together APIs into workflows. There is the old saying that money is made by either bundling or unbundling products or services. Devsumer companies are virtually re-bundling disparate productivity tools into single companies.

  • The Kids (Who Use Tech) Seem to Be All Right – Scientific American
    Technology use tilts the needle less than half a percent away from feeling emotionally sound. For context, eating potatoes is associated with nearly the same degree of effect and wearing glasses has a more negative impact on adolescent mental health.
  • RIBOCA review: A disturbingly tangible Anthropocene – We Make Money Not Art
    In October 2012, the artist selected a lone tree alongside a dyke of the Rhine, in the Ruhr area, one of the most heavily industrial regions of Europe. Once the first leaves began to fall in early autumn, he and his team collected them, preserved them, painted them and then re-attached them to the tree using a fine wire and a mechanical cherry-picker. This painstaking task continued until mid-November, by which time the tree had shed all of its foliage and the leaves had all been reattached.
  • Dropgangs, or the future of darknet markets • Opaque Link
    The other major change is the use of “dead drops” instead of the postal system which has proven vulnerable to tracking and interception. Now, goods are hidden in publicly accessible places like parks and the location is given to the customer on purchase.

    ******
    geocaching for criminals 🙂

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