Friday roundup: A week in tech

Social Media

Hello, readers. What madness has occurred in the ever-baffling world of global tech this week? Read on – you will NOT be disappointed…

A man who doesn’t sound real but apparently actually is, Kim Dotcom, has announced plans to build his own social media network, an aspiration he shares with the government of Papua New Guinea.

The New Zealand-based “internet entrepreneur”, who currently spends his days fighting extradition to the US on copyright infringement and fraud charges, reckons Facebook and Twitter are ‘deep state conspirators’ – which doesn’t sound good at all.

To prove this theory, Mr Dotcom reached out to his 732,000 Twitter followers, asking them if they thought the network was in league with the scheming ‘deep state’. Nearly 90% of them said ‘yes’.

So, that’s nearly 90% of his Twitter followers using Twitter to claim they think Twitter is a ‘deep state conspirator’. Uh-huh.

Anyway, Mr Dotcom has asked, via Twitter, CIA grass Edward Snowden and the embassy-bound Julian Assange to join him in his crusade against…Twitter.

Tweeting, naturally, the would-be next Mark Zuckerberg said: ‘All it takes is a real alternative with real privacy protection and zero censorship from a trusted source and Twitter will become the next MySpace, an online ghost town.’

One way to demonstrate his opposition to Twitter might be to leave the network while encouraging his thousands of followers to do likewise – but that would be silly, wouldn’t it.


Do you remember Cambridge Analytica? Well, apparently, they were some kind of data collecting outfit that folded after becoming embroiled in a Facebook-user-details-elections-democracy-destroying scandal way back in 2018.

Anyway, the vanished firm’s former boss, Alexander Nix, has appeared before British MPs to answer questions – except he didn’t answer them.

Mr Nix claimed that answering the politicians’ questions would be wrong while the ICO is conducting an inquiry into all things Cambridge Analytica (CA).

The put-upon chief was at pains to tell everyone that most of this nonsense is down to the antics of one-time CA employee, Christopher Wylie, who is currently enjoying some minor celebrity as some kind of digital liberal hero of freedom and democracy – though a closer inspection of the man reveals he ain’t quite the ethical powerhouse he likes people to think he is.

Accusing Mr Wylie of being ‘bitter and jealous’, Mr Nix went on to say that he was ‘deeply embarrassed’ about Channel 4 New’s successful attempt to capture him making outrageous statements on camera, including that he could deploy sex workers to help discredit people.

But, Mr Nix insisted, we shouldn’t take these words literally – they are out of context: though the words are seen to be coming out of his mouth, what he was thinking/feeling on the inside is quite invisible, and it’s what’s inside that counts.

Read the whole long ridiculous report here.


In signs that it might be growing something like a moral backbone, internet-owner Google has decided not to renew an artificial intelligence (AI) contract with the USA’s centre for planetary destruction, the Pentagon.

Following resignations and a petition signed by thousands of staff, the giant firm has opted not to carry on with project Maven when the contract expires next year.

Google and its staff are concerned that any AI it comes up with for the Pentagon may be used for the purposes of killing, maiming and general mayhem. And they’ve just worked this out, apparently.

The late George Carlin used to say that ‘military intelligence’ is an oxymoron, which is quite funny. Can anything witty be said about ‘military artificial intelligence’? Hmm, I’m struggling. Please be funny in the comments section.

Friday roundup: A week in tech

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