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The Good, The Bad, & The Awkward

Seamus Byrne
Seamus Byrne
5 min read
The Good, The Bad, & The Awkward

Last week I did media spots about the FaceApp excitement. Of course, ‘excitement’ starts with viral fun on social media and, these days, often ends with “and now here’s what that thing just did to your privacy.”

The good news, in a way, is that we’re getting better at noticing it. Maybe we should be slapping ourselves on the wrist for falling for it all over again. Or not thinking twice. But I think the fact there was a lot more mainstream attention this time around shows we’re caring more about these privacy issues by the day.

It wasn’t too bad, by the way. It wasn’t secretly uploading your photo library, as some suggest. But whatever you did apply the effect to, that image is now in an archive of images that the FaceApp company gets to keep forever, and do whatever they like with it. Including resell it.

There’s a story in the mix this week that speaks to the issues around that one.

This week I’m off to New York to cover the Fortnite World Cup. The biggest esports prize pool in history - over $50M Aussie dollarydoos up for grabs for not just the best Fortnite players, but even to some of the best users of its creative mode.

This week's podcasts

I’ll also have a big feature in four parts running this week at Esports Observer about the two year history of Fortnite. It’s quite the journey. Keep an eye out for that series.

The state of the boardgame scene in 2019
How’s the boardgame scene been going over the past few years? We explore some of the great games out there, as well as the sites and events to keep up with all the latest.
Whose Race Is It Anyway?
With a fresh Race To World First kicking off, we look at the controversy around Method and Red Bull falling out, wanting to see more guilds being involved, and what we hope the right way to run this all might be.

Socially awkward

AI photo editor FaceApp goes viral again on iOS, raises questions about photo library access – TechCrunch
FaceApp. So. The app has gone viral again after first doing so two years ago or so. The effect has gotten better but these apps, like many other one-off viral apps, tend to come and go in waves driven by influencer networks or paid promotion. We first covered this particular AI photo editor from a …
Instagram ‘tag cleaners’ are fighting against digital vandalism
A group of young women and girls stand watch over one late user’s account

Building a better world(?)

Mathematics is about wonder, creativity and fun, so let’s teach it that way
Mathematician Peter Taylor taught high school math to prepare to develop a new ‘RabbitMath’ curriculum that emphasizes collaborative creativity and learning to work with complex systems.
Elon Musk reveals his plan to link your brain to your smartphone
Step one: Drill holes in the skull. Step two: Implant “threads” into the brain.
Boston Dynamics’ robots are preparing to leave the lab — is the world ready?
Boston Dynamics’ robots get ready to walk the walk
Scotland Is Now Generating So Much Wind Energy, It Could Power Two Scotlands
Seeing countless renewable energy records broken and milestones passed has been a constant source of encouraging news for our planet. Now, we have yet another impressive stat to celebrate: in the first half of 2019, Scotland generated...

Fun Business

The Netflix business model is bad news for indie games | Engadget
The Netflix model doesn’t work for video games.
Every Marvel Phase 4 movie and TV show announced at Comic-Con 2019
Female Thor!
YouTube’s Trampled Foes Plot Antitrust Revenge
Brian O’Kelley built AppNexus Inc. to help companies advertise anywhere on the internet. Its software plugged into virtually every digital ad-trading hub, including those from Google, the biggest ad seller, and Google’s YouTube video service. By 2014, AppNexus was valued at $1.2 billion.
Google Stadia director clarifies that subscription service ‘is not Netflix for games,’ will only dole out ‘roughly one free game per month’
Starting with Destiny 2 As a reminder, Google Stadia is coming later this year with multiple plans in tow. The...

Seamus Byrne Twitter

Founder and Head of Content at Byteside.

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