Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from October 8, 2018 Options

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

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Upcoming events:

Mon. May 25th, 6pm - 7pm: Steven Levy, author, "Facebook: The Inside Story" (More info...)

Options October 8, 2018: AI-inspired music with Jamie Brew, Botnik cofounder

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K |  Pop‑up player! | Add or read comments

October fundraiser: PLEDGE HERE - chip in with other Techtonic listeners! And thanks.

This week: Jamie Brew, Botnik cofounder, on AI-inspired songs

Above: "Pitchfork-reviewed band names + a recurrent neural network," by Botnik

Botnik pointers:

Botnik homepage, Twitter account, and YouTube channel

Botnik's predictive keyboards (make your own!)

The Songularity: A Pop Album by Humans and Machines (Kickstarter campaign)

I Have To Get My Car, using a smartphone's built-in predictive text keyboard.

You Can't Take My Door, using the lyrics from country music's greatest hits

I Don't Want To Be There, a predictive text song made by rearranging lyrics from The Strokes

Bored With This Desire To Get Ripped = Morrissey lyrics + Amazon customer reviews of a home workout DVD system

Shenandoah is an Amphipod: "This aquatic folk song combines Bob Dylan lyrics with transcripts of Sir David Attenborough's 'The Blue Planet.'"

Soviet Nights: "We combined the Beach Boys with Ronald Reagan speeches to create the greatest Cold War pop song."

Negatively 4th Street = Bob Dylan lyrics + negative Yelp reviews of restaurants on 4th Street in Manhattan

Pledge here for the October fundraiser!

Recent Tech News

• News broke today (so strange, on a holiday!) about a new home-surveillance device, the Facebook Portal. Weird, since Facebook's most recent major headline was news of the latest hack (50 million accounts) announced on a Friday afternoon a little over a week ago.

Facebook to offer wide-angle videocall camera that tracks you as you move around your home (BoingBoing, Oct 8): "To celebrate the leaking of 50 million user accounts last week, Facebook is today launching two 'video call machines' that 'automatically zoom in on users and follow them as they move.'"

It’s the Wrong Time for a Facebook Surveillance Device (Oct 8, Bloomberg): "With the debut of the Portal device and its sibling, the Portal+, the company has apparently decided that now is the right time to persuade Americans to put Facebook microphones, data-harvesting technologies and video cameras inside their homes. To which I say — nope."

Scott Galloway: "'I'd like a camera in my home controlled by Facebook.' -Nobody, ever"

Christopher Mims on Facebook's launch (Oct 8, Twitter): "For those of you who never read it or forgot, the 1984 reference you're looking for when talking about Facebook Portal is the 'Telescreen.'"

......and big, big news from Bloomberg. Keep in mind that China makes 75% of mobile devices worldwide and 90% of PCs.

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies (Oct 4, Bloomberg BusinessWeek): "The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain. ... Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. ... investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. ... investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China."

Apple vigorously denied the claims, as did Amazon.

Mathew Ingram (past Techtonic guest), Oct 5: "It's possible those who are doing the denying at Apple and Amazon weren't even aware of the Chinese hacking investigation." (referring to a TechCrunch article)

....speaking of Amazon......

• Amazon raised its minimum wage for US employees to $15/hour. Guardian: Don't thank Bezos for giving Amazon workers a much-needed raise. "Amazon is a powerful monopoly that undermines small businesses, extracts tax concessions and suppresses producers. ... it is happening not because Amazon is the best player in the market, but because it is the market."

......and more on Google......

Google Exposed User Data, Feared Repercussions of Disclosing to Public (WSJ, Oct 8): again, so strange for this to break on a holiday weekend! "Google exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users of the Google+ social network and then opted not to disclose the issue this past spring, in part because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage..."

...and finally...

Techtonic community news:

• Our friends at the Reanimation Library need a new home! Listen to the show with founder Andrew Beccone.

- - -

PODCAST: Subscribe to the Techtonic podcast

Artist Track Album Images Approx. start time
  Jamie Brew, cofounder of Botnik, talks about AI-inspired pop songs. Then we listen to a few.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options Machinarium Soundtrack 
  Mark's intro    
0:01:22 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Interview with Jamie Brew, Botnik    
0:23:06 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Botnik  I Have to Get My Car   Options     0:28:41 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Botnik  You Can't Take My Door   Options     0:32:00 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Botnik  Bored With This Desire To Get Ripped   Options     0:36:00 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Botnik  Soviet Nights   Options     0:45:30 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Your calls and comments 201-209-9368    
0:47:40 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
Webhamster Henry  I Ain't the Dust   Options     0:55:51 (MP3 | Pop‑up)

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm Webhamster Henry:

You can add to the Google Plus story that Big G is shutting down G+. This data beach was a kind of last straw for the under socialized social media platform that only Jeff Moore and I use.
I liked G+! I found it useful for posting ideas that I knew people wouldn't read.


I guess I'll have to post them on Orkut. No wait - iTunes Ping. Or Friendster.

Or my blogs. Or ECHO ECHOnyc.com
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm ultradamno:

Hello Mark, techigitators!
  6:01pm average earbuds:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm listener james from westwood:

Howdy, Mark and all! Sonic 'tonic tonight, I see!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Webhamster Henry:

Greetings Techtones!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Bas NL:

Hi Mark & Techtobillies!
Avatar 6:03pm geezerette:

Hallo,Mark and Techies!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm chris:

hi there, Mark and folks.
  6:04pm melinda:

@henry poor blogs, I keep mine going but all the action is at the social media platforms.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Sounds like it's G- now, Henry. Good evening, Techtroids.
Avatar 6:05pm herb.nyc:

Hi mark and all, wnyc 82am had a favorable facial recognition segment earlier, 5.25pm. I am now of "what, me worried?" about it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Webhamster Henry:

@melinda I think there's a service that turns blogs into podcasts (read by robots)!
Avatar 6:07pm northguineahills:

I call dibs on the Tristan Zara and Kurt Switters AI lyric generators!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Bas NL:

Wow! Stealth motherboards!
Avatar 6:09pm northguineahills:

@Henry, yeah, a shame, I keep in touch w/ a dozen or so friends w/ random stories and we opine via G+. It helps since I live far from all of my old friends.
Avatar 6:09pm geezerette:

NGH, me too me too! :D
Avatar 6:10pm geezerette:

...Zara & Schwitters...
Avatar 6:11pm geezerette:

...Apple Sider...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Webhamster Henry:

@NGH all you have to do is "clean up" the corpus before uploading it to the Botnik generator, and voila! By "clean up" I mean toss out any funny looking characters and non-relevant matter first.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Michael 98145:

"with a name like Schwitters, it -has- to be good"

:), hey, gz'ette
Avatar 6:13pm geezerette:

Howdy, Michael! :)
  6:13pm melinda:

@Henry I could create a really boring podcast!
  6:13pm spodiodi:

Great points, Mark Hurst
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Bas NL:

We know nothing and deny everything!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm queems:

my doctor's office made me scan my palm today for some administrative reason and i wish i hadn't let them do it
Avatar 6:14pm geezerette:

no coll-ooze-shun...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm Webhamster Henry:

What do you mean that Apple/Amazon & Bloomberg can't both be right? Both Ford and Kavanaugh were right!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm Michael 98145:

The Fb monster just won't die; the video chat bot : www.nytimes.com...
Avatar 6:16pm geezerette:

Wow, the generosity of Bezos knows no reasonable bounds!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Ken From Hyde Park:

That was Jessica Bruder on IRL: www.wfmu.org...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Michael 98145:

( of course, Techtonic beat me to it ... :)
Avatar 6:19pm northguineahills:

@Henry: I allow my friend to do it, since it was his project to start w/. I'll run it by him.
  6:19pm wolfman13:

amazon wage rise doesnt balance out at the end of the day, they took away VCP (monthly bonuses that can add up to 400-500 extra bucks on your check) and other bonuses too. id say its nuetral or bad
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm Webhamster Henry:

Bust The Trust! ©1890
  6:19pm melinda:

@queems kinda creepy but hard to know what to do on the spot in a situation like that.
  6:20pm wolfman13:

former amazon worker here
Avatar 6:21pm northguineahills:

*bangs head on keyboard like Guy Smiley* Fümms bö wö tää zää Uu,
kwii Ee. 1
Oooooooooooooooooooooooo, 6
dll rrrrr beeeee bö
dll rrrrr beeeee bö fümms bö, (A)
rrrrr beeeee bö fümms bö wö,
beeeee bö fümms bö wö tää,
bö fümms bö wö tää zää,
fümms bö wö tää zää Uu:

Yes, I created Kurt Switters tone poetry (seriously, I love it, and used to have his poems up on my walls).
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm listener james from westwood:

Facebook Portal: "The privacy is a lie."
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm listener james from westwood:

Alterna-headline: "Read the Room, Facebook! No, Not That Way!"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm listener james from westwood:

What the hell does the Portal Plus do, prostate checks?!
Avatar 6:23pm geezerette:

there are actually no nations now, just global corporations and the acronyms that love them. Oh no! I'm becoming cynical! Quick, quick, some birthday cake and balloons for an antidote!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm Megaroni:

Thanks for bringin us these truths on this powerful New Moon!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm listener james from westwood:

@geezerette, you are edging toward the "Network" speech and I am HERE for it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Webhamster Henry:

Facebook is just trying to remove impediments from sex cam streaming.
Avatar 6:24pm geezerette:

L. James, HA!
Avatar 6:25pm geezerette:

I want out!!! Forward!...into the past!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm Michael 98145:

@WH, that was my thought when i heard about the Portal. xxx.
Avatar 6:29pm northguineahills:

@geezerette: Here you go!
Avatar 6:30pm JakeGould:

Anyone remember back in 2011 or so when Google+ switched to a new design and people all over (as if they were paid shills) kept on saying how “beautiful” it was? I always remember that as being a creepy thing few talk about.
Avatar 6:30pm geezerette:

Must...find...penpal...(koff!,koff ! drags self across desert toward mirage of stationary store).
Avatar 6:31pm geezerette:

chill enough song to save a glacier.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm ultradamno:

I could hear this as a Daniel Johnston song.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Webhamster Henry:

I've been drawing pictures on pre-stamped postcard and sending them to my kid at college.
Avatar 6:34pm geezerette:

webhamster, brilliant! :D
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm Folsom:

since G+ is going away I'll have to go back to usenet groups
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Bootsie:

I want Becky to play this! ;-)
Avatar 6:38pm JakeGould:

If anyone wants to experience Usenet, just go to Union Square and start a casual conversation about politics… BOY HOWDY IS THAT REAL!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:39pm melinda:

@ngh Guy Smiley! "I'll never get, never!"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm Michael 98145:

love this :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm Folsom:

A Devo cover would be cool
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm melinda:

Wait, that was Don Music!
Avatar 6:40pm geezerette:

Botnik is brilliant !
Avatar 6:40pm Jeff Moore:

Bwaa ha ha!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm Webhamster Henry:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm chris:

classic one, Henry! lol
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I want Clay Pigeon to play this!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Michael 98145:

robot meat is murder
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm Webhamster Henry:

Doing a Clay Pigeon song Botnik keyboard would be pretty good!
Avatar 6:44pm northguineahills:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm Webhamster Henry:

BTW the videos for some of these tunes are really good!
Avatar 6:51pm BigCat:

I have a poll on TWTR @realBenEmerson
when you don't know the truth
and you're just sharing what you've herd?
+ + +
[pun: herd]
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm ultradamno:

Went for the jackal and Micah's premium this time out.
Avatar 6:52pm BigCat:

btw, hi Techtonoidz
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Michael 98145:

woof wooo www.instagram.com...
Avatar 6:55pm BigCat:

I'm f_cking joble$$ (and obviously self-pitying)
my support and word of mouth will hopefully have value for the pledge
  6:55pm nat:

more botnik songs: thesongularity.com
Avatar 6:56pm BigCat:

poll dancer:
Avatar 6:57pm northguineahills:

Don't worry, BigCat, When i was unemployed, others picked up the slack, now that I can, I'm doing the same.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Webhamster Henry:

I hope you like Autoharps cuz you're gonna hear one!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm listener james from westwood:

Thanks, Mark!
Avatar 6:59pm northguineahills:

Squeee! Do I hear an autoharp!!!!!!!!!!!!
Avatar 6:59pm northguineahills:

answer confirmed!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Michael 98145:

just get out there and vote ...www.youtube.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Bas NL:

Yeay! Good one Webhamster Henry!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark!
  7:01pm nat:

that was good! henry, who are you? get at us
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:02pm Webhamster Henry:

Thanks Mark ( & Jamie) .
@nat, click on my name here in the playlist to see a profile!
  7:06pm nat:

Okay but how do we assimilate you?
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