It’s a cultured roundup of funnies this week, including Venn diagrams, sumo wrestling and Tinder.
Venn diagram of the week
Elon Musk this week published a paper of sorts titled ‘Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species‘. There’s a fair bit to read and it’s all very accessible for the layman.
My favourite part is the following Venn diagram, which basically answers the rhetorical question – “Why would anybody who is rich on Earth want to go to Mars?”
Okay, so Mars is more of a long-term bet. Even so, there’s something I find slightly depressing about the likes of Musk and Hawking being so keen to break their Earthly bonds.
Venn diagram of people who want to go to Mars versus those who can afford to go now
Ms Bishop is pissed her Airbnb guests just want to sit in their rooms
Bloomberg reports that Airbnb is planning a premium tier of its service, in order to compete with hotels.
Airbnb has been moving towards this level of consistency for a while – promoting standard check in/out times, toiletries, linen etc. as part of a more business-ready service.
Of course, this is (some might say) not quite in line with the friendly nature of the Airbnb brand – meeting hosts and making unexpected but worthwhile connections.
The NYT runs a terrific interview with Ms Bishop of Denver who bemoans the change in her Airbnb guests over the past years, saying of a recent guest “He really did just come in and sit in his room, with the door closed, while I sat in the living room.”
Sumo wrestlers aren’t usually this quick
Japan. Wonderful, wonderful Japan. Just watch these sumo bots go. They are entirely autonomous once inside the dohyō (sumo ring)
Ridiculous laptop alert
Lenovo showed this concept at an event in New York. The company isn’t claiming this is just around the corner, but it still seems dubious according to The Verge, which points out that flexible materials like this are a long way off.
Lenovo said the laptop would make use of “advanced materials” and “new screen technologies.” *Chin-stroking emoji*
Tinder helped swing the UK election?
There’s a link in the tweet below to the original NYT article, but the photograph gives you a good summary.
— colin horgan (@cfhorgan) 22 June 2017
Google Glass is back!
Apparently it never went away and has been part of Google’s enterprise solutions since it killed the Glass website and stopped selling the devices to consumers.
Anyway, Glass this week got an update for the first time since 2014, with the MyGlass app supporting Bluetooth so it can work with other peripherals such a keyboard.
What does it all mean? Presumably something for particular industries, but will Glass fall behind (again) in the race for usable AR products? Time will tell.
Editor David Moth wearing Glass when it was almost cool in 2013
RNC marketing firm exposes data of 198m US citizens
Not necessarily funny, but remarkable that the documents in question were sitting on a publicly accessible Amazon server, waiting for anyone who found the URL.
Personal information on roughly 61% of the US population, including home addresses, birth dates, and phone numbers, as well as sentiment analysis (on issues from guns to stem cells) was being used by Deep Root Analytics. The company is a conservative data firm that identifies audiences for political ads.
Cyber risk analyst Chris Vickery discovered the data (more than a terabyte) last week. No password was required.
Irony alert: Company behind UK government’s Cyber Essentials scheme suffers breach
Another breach, this one with enough irony for the most sardonic of our readers.
IASME, one of the accreditation bodies for the UK government’s Cyber Essentials scheme (which makes sure that suppliers bidding for sensitive government contracts can prevent cyber attacks) was itself breached
As a result of the breach, which affected IASME’s tech platform provider Pervade Software, the email addresses of registered consultancies (that may work with Government) were exposed.
Whilst the platform was not compromised, a log file became accessible after an engineer error. More from The Register.
That’s it for this week. Bonne chance!