Yelp and Gofundme decided to automatically create Gofundme campaigns for businesses and promote them on Yelp. Then, they decided to make it opt-in only after backlash from business owners.
Maybe their heart was in the right place. However, Yelp should have resisted the idea of soliciting donations on behalf of a business without the business owner’s knowledge or permission.
This reminds me a bit of Grubhub’s actions recently. While it is a very different situation, it is still a tech company doing things that might affect a business, without the business owner’s consent or knowledge.
In this video from 1984, Herbie Hancock shows Quincy Jones what his synths can do. After Herbie jams for a bit, he has some sage words about the role of machines in our lives that still hold true today.
Heather Zheng and Ben Zhao, computer science professors at the University of Chicago created a wearable that jams microphones. I immediately thought of Alexa/Echo/Google Home type things, but their demo video reminded me that we may be surrounded by devices that are listening to everything all the time.
This is a just a proof of concept, but with a smaller form factor, I could see people using this. I wonder if it might be more fashionable as a necklace or hat, so long as it doesn’t reduce its ability to jam microphones.
It reminds me a of the infrared privacy glasses that we saw a few years ago. I could see these used together to help insure some privacy in our increasingly surveilled world.