| Tech Wire |

The Air Leaves the AI Balloon

If your job requires human emotion, then you’re safe — for now. Or for always

A University of Montreal research paper on artificial intelligence says that while AI has made considerable progress in the past decade, scaring half the world into thinking that their jobs will be gone and giving the other half dystopian nightmares, it isn’t so simple. Researchers have come to the stunning revelation that humans are incredibly complex, and it’ll take a lot more time, energy, and research to get AI near there. So, if your job requires human emotion, then you’re safe — for now. Or for always. Shockingly, the study posits that AI will never match human intelligence and social complexity.


Fix It

The Right to Repair movement is gaining steam. Apple parts are finally available for anyone to purchase and have any tech do the repair instead of overpriced Apple-certified techs. Microsoft, once again coughing Apple’s dust, recently partnered with iFixit to sell tools for surface repairs. Cheaper repair days are here. Go ahead, break your tech without a sweat.


Safari Bug

Important alert: If you’re using the Safari app on your phone, there’s a security bug. The good news is Apple developers have patched it. The bad(ish) news is that you need to update your operating system. Some people let their phones do it automatically (who are you?) while most people push off these seemingly minor updates indefinitely, or until they go on a cleaning frenzy and rid their phones of all notifications and suggestions. If you’re the latter, update Safari 15.3 ASAP. Unless of course, you like leaking your browser history for the world to peek at.



Google offers a new alternative to cookies and FLoC

Third-party cookies are still on the chopping block, and marketers still don’t have an identity solution that satisfies their targeting goals and is also protective of users’ privacy. Plain speak for they want to know everything about you without knowing it’s YOU. Google, who is doing away with third-party cookies for Chrome, initially came out with FLoC, which, long story short, nobody liked. They recently introduced a new identity solution called Topics.

In Topics, the information available to marketers are the five most popular topics (there are currently around 350 categories) for each user based only on the user’s activity for the past seven days. They plan on throwing in a sixth topic just to throw marketers off your scent. You’ll receive targeted ads based on that information. This information is stored on your device’s browser, not on Google’s servers, and deleted every three weeks. Users will be able to opt-out or block certain topics from being assigned to them, but c’mon, no one is touching their settings.

Is this the final version? Probably not. Does it help marketers? Not really — the topics need to be more granular and the lookback longer. Does it protect your privacy? More than current third-party cookies, but advertisers can still figure out you have a weird skin rash, are coveting a Range Ranger that’s out of your budget, and that you forgot your wife’s birthday.

Hey, if you really cared about privacy, you would have switched browsers years ago.


Keypad Shortcuts for Productivity (or Because Your Mouse is Broken)

Window (symbol) — opens start menu

Alt+Tab — zooms out so you can see all open applications, use the arrows to navigate to the one you want

Alt+F4 — closes programs

Tab — if you’re in a menu, pressing tab will jump you to the next section or field, and use the arrows  to navigate once you’re in the section you want

Windows+E — opens file explorer

Enter — confirms choices

Esc — lets you exit from menus or dialogue boxes

Windows+Up Arrow — maximizes applications

Windows+Down Arrow — minimizes applications

Windows+Left (or Right) — snaps the current window to either the right or left of your screen

Spacebar — lets you scroll through websites when you’re not typing

Shift+F10 — opens the right-click menu

Shift+Arrow Key — lets you bulk select text

Shift+Control+Arrow Key — use to select one word at a time

Control+W— closes down whatever is currently open

Cut out this section and tape next to your computer for quick reference until your fingers have it memorized.



“I think it has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time.”

— Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, discussing Optimus, the humanoid robot his company is developing this year. He’s realistic, saying that “it probably won’t work,” but he hopes to have a prototype within the next year. Sounds cool, now let’s wait and see.


What’s Up / Down Money Edition

Up: Stripe — The payment processor is considering an IPO and is currently valued at $95 billion (and significantly more on the secondary market, more like $250 billon). With no firm plans in place, it (and possibly you) can play its cards right and win big when they go public.

Down: Cryptocurrencies — Not that any of us understand them anyway, but Harvard economist Paul Krugman says the cryptocurrencies have “disturbing parallels” with the subprime mortgage meltdown. In the past few weeks, cryptocurrencies stocks have fallen significantly. Since November, some have lost nearly 50% of their value at the lowest point. Buh-bye, Bitcoin Billionaires.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 899)

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