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.
Oracle 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.
The 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.
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, non fungible and Ethereum gives it the token portion of this puzzle. And yet none of this is physical, it is all ones and zeros. Beeple, a digital artist who creates a picture a day, takes all of his works up to that date and creates a single image and someone buys it for $69 million at Christie’s Auction House. So now NFT makes the news.
Money always makes things bubble up for a bit and such big money has everyone selling anything as an NFT in order to make money. In fact, I think I will create an NFT for the last episode of the second season of this podcast and sell it. I will tell you about that adventure in a different episode.
Have you ever wondered what Google knows about you? I mean really who are you, how old are you, are you a male or female, what are you into, what websites do you visit frequently. See Google has a way of tracking you in all the places you go and so Ads that you see are tailored to you. So if you go to the website adsettings.Google.com you can look and see what Google knows about you now you’ll have to have a Gmail account of course and you’ll have to be logged in in order to get this page once you go there gets interesting.
What do you log into this page you’re going to find out that Google knows an awful lot about you you will see approximately how old is thinks you are you will see if it thinks you’re male or female you will see website that you visited before that is is decided that you have an interest in for example mine says I’m into hip-hop rock and roll Jazz and Blues mostly he also says that I am
Go out find out what Google knows about you. You can turn some things off for a bit and supposedly you won’t see ads about that stuff for a while. We are all digital souls on the Internet. I have joked I sold my digital soul to Google in 2004. That was the year Gmail started and I was lucky enough to get an invite. Back in the early days you had to be invited. Over time Google has given me trinkets and tokens of their affection for me. I received a free Chromebook one. Cool story for another episode and I helped beta test a lot of different Google products over the years. In exchange they sent me things, a Google Mouse (sadly it died). Google Minis, a t-shirt that I think I outgrew or expanded beyond? Google is collecting your data via tracking cookies and the ads you on purposely or accidentally click on. Facebook is too so Google hasn’t cornered this market. But we are building our digital personas and it is out there for folks to find. Who are you online?
Are you sharing your Netflix password? Netflix is experimenting with two factor authentication. Not to necessarily make your logins more secure, though that is a perk, but to perhaps slowly prevent password sharing. Recently password warnings popped up on several across the Internet. So it appears Netflix is testing our appetite for cracking down on password sharing. My oldest son spent some time in Argentina as a work-study in college. Many months after his return I looked at Netflix settings as it said I was out of sessions and discovered that somewhere in Argentina someone was still using my Netflix account. That explains why Netflix kept suggesting I watch Spanish language programs. I am embarrassed to admit having taken Spanish in college I still am not able to understand Spanish. I should have done my homework.
Netflix strikes back and scares password sharers with a future of two factor?
That’s it this week in Podcast land for the One-Off Tech Podcast. I really appreciate you listening and downloading the podcast. If you want to reach out to me, I am on Twitter as @aroyrichardson. I had several reach out to me and I was very touched that you did. It means some of you missed the podcast. That really touched my heart and I am very thankful for you.
Have a great week.
Complex passwords means never having to say, crap, they hacked my site.