Watch This Week in Tech! (No, really: You want to watch this...)

I was on This Week in Tech, the world’s greatest tech podcast, with host Leo Laporte and guest Caroline Haskins!

We talked about Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Google, Apple, Palantir (who?), emotion-reading cars, Area 51, MacBooks, robot privacy violations, Hong Kong protesters using Apple to defeat censorship, TV, scams, taxes and pickles!

Check out the TWiT show notes and links, and make sure you subscribe to TWiT!

How hearables will drive the attention economy


In the coming world of AI-enhanced wearables, context-aware wristwatches, smart glasses and hearables will guide and inform and provide the help we want when we want it. Of all these categories, hearables will be the best and most popular, and for one important reason: Because they can control access to our ears, they can help us more than any other wearable to control our attention.

In the attention economy, attention is the most valuable resource we have. The new generation of hearables are giving us control, and automating the shifting of our attention to favor the sounds that benefit us in any given context. Read my column.

Cancel your Sunday plans! I'm on TWiT!!

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This Week in Tech is the number-one technology podcast in the galaxy, and I’m on it today!!

Leo is hosting, of course. Georgia Dow, Caroline Haskins and I are guesting!

TWiT is live-broadcast every sunday at 5:15pm Eastern, 2:15pm Pacific, 21:15 UTC.

You can watch the show live here. You can subscribe here. And you can see all TWiT’s shows, show notes and other info on the TWiT website.

And if you REALLY want to be an insufferable technology know-it-all, subscribe to the TWiT firehose — “All TWiT shows,” which is a subscription that literally gives you all the TWiT shows and specials.

Coffee table has power, wireless charging, music, personal assistant and beer!


The Coosno coffee table sports a built in refrigerator, Bluetooth speakers, glowing LED table top, wireless charging, Google Assistant and a drawer to hold all your junk.

The fridge part can hold 68 cans of beer. An LED light show pulses to the sound of your music. And it’s got built in outlets for both regular power and 2 USB devices.

Court says Trump can't block people on Twitter. He's blocking me anyway.

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The Knight First Amendment Institute sued President Trump, saying that blocking critics (like me) on Twitter violated the First Amendment. The suit argued that the @realDonaldTrump account is a “public forum” under the First Amendment, which means the government can’t exclude Americans from it because of their opinions. The suit also claimed that the White House is violating the seven plaintiffs’ First Amendment right to petition their government for redress of grievances and also that blocking people violates the right of the unblocked to hear the complaints of people like me.

Trump lost the lawsuit, but apparently it applies only to the plaintiffs and people named in the suit, so I’m still blocked.

The following Twitter accounts were un-blocked after the court ruling:











































In other words, I have to sue a billionaire in order to exercise my Constitutional rights.

Is anyone keeping a list of the people Trump is still blocking?

Jaguar to add AI "mood detection" to cars


Jaguar Land Rover announced a new artificial intelligence-based system that detects and monitors the mood of the driver, and making changes to reduce stress. The system uses a “driver-facing camera and biometric sensing” system to monitor the driver. If they’re stressed, the car will change heating and ventilation based on facial expression.

This particular implementation will fail, I predict. When someone is having a meltdown, taking control away by changing the environment in the car will just aggravate them further.

This sort of thing is just the beginning. A revolution is coming in mood and emotion and activity detection in cars, and I wrote about the revolution in Fast Company.

Phrase of the moment: "kills you slower"

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The marketing language for a new fake chicken nugget product called NUGGS is hilarious. They say to reticent customers: “Don’t be chicken” and to try their “nugget simulation.”

(NUGGS are made with “pea protein” instead of birds using “the world’s most advanced nugget technology.”

Their health claim is the pièce de résistance: Their product, they say, “Kills you slower.”


Why your company's "invisible workforce" needs more visibility


The cybersecurity workforce is becoming more invisible. Trends in employment and talent seeking for specialized skills are increasingly shifting organizational workloads from employees to nonemployees — such as freelancers, independent contractors, service providers, consultancies and agencies. But just like the employee workforce, this “invisible workforce” still needs access to — and participation in — the organization’s data and IT infrastructure. And that needs to be factored in during security planning.

Read my column!

Word of the moment: "techno-fascism"

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Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr, who blew open the Cambridge Analytica scandal, asks Silicon Valley tech workers (in an interview with Kara Swisher): “Are you really okay with this stuff? Are you really okay with your company’s leadership? Are you really sure that they are doing everything that they can? Because you should be troubled and you are part of it. You are part of this. You can’t pretend that you don’t know anymore.”

She describes the social-media enabled rise of populist authoritarians, a phenomenon she calls “techno-fascism.”

IBM patent shows watch with an unfolding screen


IBM patented the idea of a watch with a screen that unfolds into tablet size while still on the wrist. First filed way back in 2016 and published on June 11 and first reported on by Lets Go Digital, the patent describes a smartwatch with all screen and no bezel that unfolds to grow the display area by up to 8 times the size “simultaneously displaying a tablet-like array of 16 icons, a newsfeed, search bar, and time/weather information.“ (The patent doesn’t say how, exactly.) The name in the patent is: “Variable display size for an electronic display device.“ (Branding needs work.)

Of course there are other folding smartwatch ideas, including this one from TCL.

This smart band lets you listen by sticking your finger in your ear

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The Get bracelet uses bone conduction for audio, as well as an accelerometer for hand-movement gestures. You hear the audio of phone calls, notifications and other sounds by literally sticking your finger in your ear. The bone conduction conducts the noise from your wrist bone to your finger bone and into your ear bone, or whatever.

You can answer the phone by doing an answer-the-phone gesture with your hand and arm. And you can control other features with other gestures.

I’m probably in the minority, but I’d love to see a stereo version involving two smart bands, two fingers and both ears.