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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

"La IA permitirá que recuperemos tiempo para las relaciones humanas"

El presidente y CEO de LG Electronics España, Jaime de Jaraíz, afirma que la inteligencia artificial no va a sustituir a los humanos, sino a mejorar las relaciones personales. En su opinión, el éxito de las empresas estriba en contar con talento capaz de adaptarse a la nueva realidad tecnológica
Source: MIT

Las seis cosas mas chulas creadas por impresión 3D en 2018

Puentes, casas y ¡hasta bodas! Aunque la fiebre por la tecnología haya decaído un poco, hay quien sigue empujando sus límites con creaciones increíbles. Le presentamos nuestra lista de favoritos
Source: MIT

Investors and entrepreneurs need to address the mental health crisis in startups

Colin Kroll, was the co-founder of Vine and HQ Trivia, both consumer sensations that brought joy to millions; Anthony Bourdain, had been a chef, journalist and philosopher, who brought understanding and connectedness to millions of lives; while Robin Williams built a career as a brilliant comedian and actor.

What these three share in common is that they were all people at the pinnacle of their industry and they all died too soon. Their premature loss is a tragedy.

The most brilliant and creative amongst us are sometimes the most troubled and nowhere is that clearer than in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. With each passing unnecessary death the importance of mental health comes briefly into focus… but that focus lasts no longer than a news cycle and nothing changes. The time for lip service came and went long ago. We must take these issues seriously and we need to act.

The mental health epidemic is real. There are 18.5% Americans that will suffer from mental illness this year, 4% of them will suffer so acutely that it will substantially limit their ability to live their lives.

That means it is extremely likely you or someone you know is suffering right now and could use support. Moreover, unlike many of the challenges we face today, the most common expressions of mental health disorder (anxiety, depression, substance abuse and imposter syndrome) are largely addressable through individual action. Not only should we all take action, we all cantake action.

While national mental health statistics are troubling, they are downright terrifying for entrepreneurs. According to a study by Michael Freeman, entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to report having a mental health condition with some specific conditions being incredibly prevalent amongst founders.

Founders are:

  • 2X more likely to suffer from depression
  • 6X more likely to suffer from ADHD
  • 3X more likely to suffer from substance abuse
  • 10X more likely to suffer from bi-polar disorder
  • 2X more likely to have psychiatric hospitalization;
  •  and 2X more likely to have suicidal thoughts

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Thomas Shahan

Addressing the ongoing mental health catastrophe in entrepreneurship is a moral imperative, and for wise investors, it should be a function of doing business.

Venture capitalists make their living off of the blood, sweat, and tears of founders. It is through their passion and efforts that we succeed or fail. We can either choose to see founders purely as a means to an end (generating returns) or we can see them as the whole people they are.

When I make an effort to get to know our founders beyond the most superficial level then I cannot help but be moved by their personal struggles. Seeing founders in our portfolio succeed on a personal level is just as rewarding for me as sharing in their professional success. Luckily, I believe the two are intrinsically linked, which means we don’t have to choose.

 As Michael Freeman writes:

“Mental health is as essential for knowledge work in the 21st century as physical health was for physical labor in the past. Creativity, ingenuity, insight, brilliance, planning, analysis, and other executive functions are often the cognitive cornerstones of breakthrough value creation by entrepreneurs.”

Depression, anxiety and mood disorders all actively work to undermine founder performance. They often contribute to burnout, co-founder conflict, toxic company culture, increased employee turnover, an inability to hire top talent, an inability to “show up” for important meetings and pitches and poor decision making in general. According to Noam Wasserman at HBS, 65% of failed startups fail for avoidable reasons like co-founder conflict. All of these experiences are exacerbated when founders are in a time of high mental and emotional strain.

Let’s assume that in a portfolio of 20 companies 15 of them fail or underperform and that Noam Wasserman’s 65% statistic holds true. That would mean that 10 of the 15 companies (65%) failed for avoidable “human centric” reasons. If a firm were able to help even half of those companies avoid failure caused by burnout and mental strain that would mean an additional five companies would be successful, doubling the number of successful outcomes in the portfolio.

Even if you’re a huge pessimist, to help change the trajectory for one out of ten companies, changes the portfolio from five winners to six. In other words, supporting founders before their “people problems” become business problems yields a 20% improvement in performance. Even if one were indifferent to the personal lives of the portfolio founders, they should care about founder health if they care about portfolio returns.

It’s great that investors profess to care about founders’ mental health, but words are not enough. We must act to reduce founders’ mental and emotional suffering. It’s the right thing to do and it’s good for business.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Thomas Shahan

Why do entrepreneurs suffer so much more acutely? 

Mental health problems permeate every industry not just the tech industry, but the statistics above would seem to indicate that we have a particular problem. What causes entrepreneurs to suffer at substantially higher than average rates? It’s a hard question to answer, and soon research from progressive labs like that of the Founder Central Initiative will help us to identify these drivers. For now, based on our own observations of founders, we believe there are several explanations which may contribute.

Self-Selection: Most founders are smart, driven and skilled people whose resume could almost certainly land them a job with a higher lifetime expected value (the median salary at Facebook is now $240,000) but they still choose the grueling, uncertain and more creative founder journey. Founders are almost certainly pre-disposed towards certain conditions (like ADHD) for example, Garret Loporto, in his book, “The Davinci Method” cites Fortune Magazine as claiming that people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own company than others.

Poisonous industry tropes: The narratives our industry tells are less real than pictures that grace the front of fashion magazines and are just as destructive. Photoshopped pictures of “perfect people” create an unattainable standard of beauty, the constant stream of stories about “overnight success” and “crushing it” create an unattainable standard for founders.

Startups are hard: The magic of a great team is in building a group with complementary skills. When just starting out founders don’t have a complete team and are required to do things they are not well suited to do. Working on projects that do not fit within a leader’s innate skills tends to be emotionally draining. It’s not uncommon in an early startup for introverts in the company to have to pitch and make sales calls while extroverts are forced to sit at a desk and grind away in a CRM.

Startups are alienating: The all-encompassing nature of a startup often causes founders to spend less time with family, friends and significant others and many are required to re-locate away from these support networks for funding or strategic reasons. As stress at a company builds, founders are more inclined to double down at work (a natural response to an emergency).  This tendency only further burdens the founder by muting their supportive relationships and reduces their ability to cope with company pressures.

A founder must be a rock: There’s a lot of pressure put on founders to stay steady in times of company turmoil.  As a result, they are often alone when they need others the most.  Founders report that they feel that they cannot talk with their co-founders, especially when the problem is with the co-founder, they cannot pass the burden of their worry on to their employees, and feel that their friends and family do not understand or are tired of hearing about the company.

The “I am my company” syndrome: Founders blur the line between themselves and their companies in such a way that company failures often are felt as personal failures. Losing a customer contract or receiving a “no” from an investor can feel like a deeply personal rejection.

Founders eat last: I have yet to meet a founder who has a budgeted line item for self-care or who takes guilt free vacations. In almost every other skilled industry there is recognition that people have a right to take care of themselves and that a little bit of self-care actually leads to a more productive workforce. Investors, founders and poorly trained middle managers all perpetuate a myth in the startup ecosystem that the only way to be successful is to grind yourself inexorably to the bone.

Financial risk: In addition to opportunity cost, founders often go without a pay check and pour a significant portion of their personal capital into their businesses. This creates enormous financial stress and anxiety that sets up a scenario in which a business failure also creates personal financial ruin. A certain amount of “skin in the game” can be positive but founders are often already all-in emotionally with their businesses. A founder with too much skin in the game may live under a Sword of Damocles and be unable to focus on the key tasks, ironically bringing about their own worst fears.

Imposter Syndrome: Founders often suffer from the sense that they don’t belong where they are and that eventually they will be exposed as frauds. This leads founders to chalk success up to luck but to take all the blame for any failures. 58% of tech workers suffer from Imposter Syndromeand I suspect the number is substantially higher among founders.

Moving the goalposts: Founders find it difficult to celebrate the small wins, each victory brings on the next, greater challenge. The second most stressful time for founders is right before they are able to secure a major fundraise, the most stressful time is right afterwards.

Substance Abuse: Our industry is awash in alcohol and other substances that founders and tech workers are encouraged to consumer freely for bonding, as a social crutch, and for performance optimization. These substances are both a cause and a symptom of broader problems in the ecosystem.

I wager that simply reading the above list left you stressed out and self-identifying with a number of the factors that cause founders stress. Luckily there are some things we can all do to combat mental health strain.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Thomas Shahan

What can investors and founders do about founder mental health?

Each of us who participates in the startup ecosystem contributes to the problem of poor founder health.  This puts each of us in a position to positively impact this experience by acting. Here are a few things we can do:

Destigmatize

o  Investors should make sure that the founders they work with know that they take mental health issues seriously. One way to do this is to take the Investors Pledge developed by Erin Frey and Ti Zhao at Kip. Just taking the pledge sends a powerful signal to founders that it’s OK for them to seek help. Better yet, investors, in their onboarding process with founders should explicitly touch on their support for the founders’ seeking mental health services when they feel compelled to do so.

o  Drop the act. Being an investor is different from being a founder but it isn’t easy and investors suffer in many of the same ways. If investors want to support their founders, they need to be authentic and vulnerable in front of them. Investors need to show founders its ok to open up and that it’s ok to have doubts or to struggle with mental health.

o  For founders, don’t spread or buy into the myths. When you’ve been grinding away on your business for years in anonymity and then have a major breakthrough, make sure your PR campaign accurately reflects the journey. You suffered to bring your company to the pinnacle of success and you had to invest heavily in yourself to survive the trip. Make sure when other founders read about your success they understand how you really got there.

Provide Resources

o  It’s easy for people to forget how financially constrained most founders are. Just because they’ve raised $5 million in a recent financing doesn’t mean they necessarily have the personal capital to seek help and support. A portion of financing rounds should be earmarked for the founders themselves and investors should hold founders accountable for investing in their wellbeing and development.

o  Founders need to include a line item in their P&L for wellness or self-care. Budgets are moral documents and they set the priorities of a company. If there is no line item for supporting the mental/physical/emotional well-being of the founders and employees, then the company will be devoid of the resources to offer this type of support. We, the participants in this ecosystem, need to put our money where our mouths are when we say that we are “founder friendly” and “invest in founders first”.

Don’t forget the mind body connection 

o  Mental, emotional and physical wellbeing are all deeply linked to one another. Just as mental health issues often lead to substance abuse, a lack of physical exercise or nutrition can also lead to depressive mood states and a lack of focus. The founder fifteen is as real as the freshman fifteen but it’s much more destructive.

Founders need to make sure to incorporate their physical activity of choice into their life, need to watch their nutritional intake and should consider activities such as yoga, meditation and intentional breathing that research shows help boost mood, sharpen focus and enhance emotional resilience. (Short plug, at Atlaswe work on addressing the whole person because we believe effective leaders are those who are both physically and emotionally fit.)

Connect, connect, connect 

o  Founders need to remain anchored in a support network. They should join a peer group, engage with old friends, go out on date nights with their significant other and make new friends. Not only is it a fun way to unload some of the pressure they’re under, but it’s a great reminder to founders that they have a separate existence from their company.

o  Founders should take an intentional vacation away from work, tech, and business. If, like me, a founder can’t voluntarily disconnect even while on vacation, they should consider joining a community like Soulscapeor traveling off the grid so that they are forced to disconnect and recharge. Burnout rarely appears as the primary track in startup postmortems, but a trained ear can usually find its influence.

o  Set a culture that is supportive of self-care. If everyone from the receptionist to the CEO is willing to seek help and take care of themselves, it creates a company-wide habit that enables everyone to thrive. A healthy culture will pay for itself a thousand times over in recruitment, lower turnover and happier, more productive people who are willing to sacrifice for the company when sacrifice is called for.

Set priorities not tasks

o  Founders and A-type personalities tend to live and die by their calendar and their task lists. Unfortunately, task lists are just reminders that there are countless things to be done. For most of us our task lists are quite literally infinite. This is a recipe for unbearable mental strain and unmanageable cognitive load. The definition of anxiety is when we perceive that our ability to achieve is overwhelmed by the tasks at hand, which is inevitable when our tasks are ill defined, too large or seemingly unending.  Instead of a task list, switch to a daily priorities list where only the urgent AND important items are listed. Completing these items may be more difficult but getting them off your plate is infinitely more satisfying.

 Be vigilant 

o  Learn the warning signs of depression and burnout. People who are drowning don’t wave their hands in the air and shout for help, they slip silently beneath the waves and only trained life guards tend to spot people in trouble. It’s the same way with depression. Depressed people don’t mope around and they aren’t necessarily sad so much as numb. Here are things to look out for:

  • Persistent feelings of pessimism
  • Sad, anxious or empty mood
  • Change in behavior and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Change in diet or eating schedule
  • Change in sleep schedule
  • Irritability
  • Inability to make decisions or concentrate
  • You can also use this validated self-assessment for depression

Building companies is inherently hard mentally, physically and emotionally but our ecosystem is a toxic one with dozens of factors all contributing to make it even more so. We are quite literally killing ourselves and thereby sabotaging our long-term competitiveness. There are tangible actions each one of us can take to start fixing this toxicity but at the end of the day but I believe most of those actions boil down to treating each other and ourselves as human beings. If we recognize and embrace our weaknesses and support one another in our imperfections, we will start seeing a healthier more sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Depression resources: https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/guide/resources/

Free/Cheap Peer Groups: https://www.evryman.cohttps://www.chairmanmom.com; Atlas Events and Peer Groups

(if anyone knows of similar free resources, please share them in the comments)


Source: TechCrunch

Malware attack cripples newspapers across United States

A malware attack affected the production and distribution of the Saturday editions of several newspapers across the United States. The purpose remains unclear, but the attack allegedly came from outside the country.

The post Malware attack cripples newspapers across United States appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Amazon reportedly plans to build new Whole Foods Market stores – CNET

Expansion aims to expand reach of its speedy two-hour grocery delivery service.
Source: CNET

Test your tech knowledge in TechCrunch’s 2018 Year In Tech Quiz

Think you know tech? Square off against TechCrunch editors with 2018’s year in tech quiz.

TechCrunch’s 2018 Year In Tech Quiz

Square off against TechCrunch’s reporters and editors in this year’s annual quiz, covering the major stories of the past twelve months. Have you got what it takes?

Which big tech company didn’t get called to Congress this year?

How many rockets did SpaceX launch this year?

Which company has never operated a bike-share program?

What was the share price that CEO Elon Musk said he’d take Tesla private?

Which company raised the largest VC round in the U.S. in 2018?

How many data breaches did Facebook disclose this year?

In January, the value of bitcoin peaked. What was its price?

This year, SoftBank disclosed a record level of debt. How much?

What did the first Presidential Alert say?

How many Facebook users had their data scraped by Cambridge Analytica?

Which tech giant became the first $1 trillion company?

What is Elon Musk’s flamethrower?

Which company made the largest tech acquisition this year?

How were the lock screens bypassed on some of the newest Android phones?

Which Apple product was promised but still hasn’t made it to market?

Which Chinese tech company did not go public in Hong Kong this year?

Which was the first company in California to be granted a permit to allow driverless vehicles on public roads?

Do you even tech, bro?

What are you, a wannabe techie? You didn’t keep up with anything in tech this year! You’re as good as net neutrality killer Ajit Pai. For shame! Try again next year.

Tweet and share your results below, or try again for a better score.

You can read more about the year in tech in TechCrunch’s Year In Review.

You’re a floundering founder

Well, you knew enough to convince your friends, but not enough fool the rest of us. Like former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, you’re done here.

Tweet and share your results below, or try again for a better score.

You can read more about the year in tech in TechCrunch’s Year In Review.

Good luck getting your Series B

You’re clued in enough with tech this year to bluff your way through your Series A, but will struggle to get that second round of funding.

Tweet and share your results below, or try again for a better score.

You can read more about the year in tech in TechCrunch’s Year In Review.

IPO, here we go!

Not bad! You’ve learned a lot this year, kept your ear to the ground, and it seems like you know your tech — and it’s paying off. Looks like you’re ready to IPO.

Tweet and share your results below, or try again for a better score.

You can read more about the year in tech in TechCrunch’s Year In Review.

An acqui-hire in the making

You’ve made it! You’ve put in the hard work and you’ve become a hot acquisition target for Silicon Valley giant. Company-wide bonuses all round!

Tweet and share your results below, or try again for a better score.

You can read more about the year in tech in TechCrunch’s Year In Review.

You’re a billion dollar tech boss

You’ve hit the big time! There’s nothing you don’t know from the world of tech this year. You’re the boss of a Silicon Valley empire.

Tweet and share your results below, or try again for a better score.

You can read more about the year in tech in TechCrunch’s Year In Review.


Source: TechCrunch

EU to offer bug bounties for finding security flaws in open-source software

From January 2019, the EU will be launching a bug bounty program as part of their Free and Open Source Software Audit project (FOSSA), focused on security issues with open-source software.

The post EU to offer bug bounties for finding security flaws in open-source software appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

The Best Tech Quotes of the Year

Fourteen memorable lines, from an ethicist ruing the use of CRISPR to edit a baby’s genes, to Elon Musk’s “plan” to take Tesla private.
Source: Wired

It’s the Jons 2018!

It was the best of years, it was the worst of years, it was the wokest of years, it was the most problematic of years, it was the year of AI, it was the year of scooters, it was the year of Big Tech triumph, it was the year of Big Tech scandals, it was the year of Musk’s disgrace, it was the year of Tesla’s redemption, it was the year of shitcoin justice, it was definitely not the year of AR or VR, it was the dumbest timeline, it was the spring of stanning, it was the winter of wtf.

It was, in short, a year tailor-made for The Jons, an annual award celebrating tech’s more dubious achievers, named, in an awe-inspiring fit of humility, after myself. So let’s get to it! With very little further ado, I give you: the third annual Jon Awards for Dubious Technical Achievement!

(The Jons 2015) (The Jons 2016) (The Jons 2017)

THE FEET AND LEGS AND TORSO OF CLAY AWARD FOR SUDDEN REGRESSION TO THE MEAN

To Elon Musk, who in the past year went from (in many eyes) “messiah who could do no wrong” to “man who has paid a $20 million fine and stepped down as chairman in order to settle with the SEC regarding allegations of tweeted fraud; been sued for very publicly accusing a stranger of pedophilia with no evidence; feuded with Azealia Banks; been roundly criticized for the conditions in Tesla’s factories; and been pilloried (though also, and to my mind more accurately, tentatively praised) for his new Boring Tunnel.” Don’t have heroes, kids.

THE BUT ON THE OTHER HAND THERE ARE ALL THOSE SHINY NEW ELECTRIC CARS AWARD FOR ATTEMPTED DOOMSAYING

Surprisingly, despite the previous award, this one goes to the herds of bears who spent much of the year claiming that Tesla’s imminent doom and bankruptcy would become obvious and indisputable any day now. The roars of the bears seem to have grown much quieter of late, probably because the Model 3’s production rate has rocketed from 1,000 per week at the start of the year to 1,000 per day of late. No mean feat on the part of Tesla employees.

THE YES BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS THE RUSSIANS KNOW IT’S DISINFORMATION AWARD FOR BAD OPSEC

To Donald Trump, who apparently continues to use an insecure iPhone which the Chinese and Russians listen in on. The good news? Officials have “confidence he was not spilling secrets because he rarely digs into the details of the intelligence he is shown and is not well versed in the operational specifics of military or covert activities.” Put less diplomatically, the President of the United States doesn’t pay enough attention to briefings to have any important secrets to share. Nothing to worry about there! Trump responded by tweeting a denial, saying he only had a “seldom used government cell phone” … from the iOS Twitter app.

THE YOU MUST ADMIT I WAS AT LEAST RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING BEING DIFFERENT NOW AWARD FOR BUBBLY BITCOIN PREDICTIONS

It’s too easy and obvious to give this award to John McAfee, who I suspect of actually angling for a Jon year after year. And as a believer that cryptocurrencies have long-term importance, I’m not going to award anyone for their less-outlandish-than-McAfee medium-term beliefs. So this award goes to Bitcoin uberbull Tom Lee, who claimed Bitcoin would end the year at $15,000 … in the second half of November. There’s a point you almost have to admire; the point at which hype becomes delusion.

THE SURE BUT IT’S A MORE CONNECTED KIND OF MISERY, EXPLOITATION, AND DISINFORMATION AWARD FOR DESTROYING THE GLOBAL VILLAGE IN ORDER TO SAVE IT

Not to Mark Zuckerberg, actually, whose company has, in its zeal for connecting the world, and its belief that this is always and automatically a good thing, amplified genocide, provided a platform for manipulation and disinformation which may have helped tip the Brexit referendum, and 2016 presidential election (both of which were admittedly so close that there were probably dozens of aspects which “helped tip” them) and is increasingly widely viewed as a significant net negative for the world thanks to its business model of incentivizing “engagement” above all else. He’d be a worthy recipient, but this goes to Sheryl Sandberg, for epitomizing Facebook leadership’s thin-skinned tunnel vision wherein they automatically suspect anyone who criticizes Facebook of having a bad-faith ulterior motive, when she “asked Facebook’s communications staff to research George Soros’s financial interests in the wake of his high-profile attacks on tech companies.”

THE PICK A HORSE ANY HORSE BUT LOOK JUST ONE HORSE AWARD FOR OXYMORONISM IN THE FACE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

To everyone — especially journalists and media executives — who thinks that the big social-media companies are too powerful and that tech companies should exercise more control over the dissemination of public speech, and/or to everyone who says that the big social-media companies shouldn’t ever censor while being perfectly aware that they are already exercising control over the dissemination of public speech via their timeline algorithms. There are many, many copies of this particular award to go around.

(Note that there are at least two intellectually consistent approaches here: one is to be explicitly supportive of social media companies moderating speech; another is to favor non-algorithmic, non-amplifying, non-optimized-for-engagement, strict-chronological feeds)

THE COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE SPECTACULARLY OUT-OF-TOUCH COVEN OF CLUELESS OLD WHITE MEN AWARD FOR REMINDING US THAT SOMETIMES THE CURE IS WORSE THAN THE DISEASE

To the members of the United States Congress, both houses, for making Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai seem cuddly, friendly, wise, warm, human, plugged-in, and in-touch with the common man and woman, by comparison with their unbelievably clueless question. Who can forget “Senator, we sell ads,” and/or “Congressman, iPhone is made by a different company”?

THE STREET FINDS ITS OWN DISUSES FOR THINGS AWARD FOR BOOTLEG URBAN RENEWAL

To Lime, Bird, and the other scooter companies whose products have spent the year being thrown by the dozen into Lake Merritt in the heart of Oakland, presumably with the collective intent of turning that empty water into reclaimed land, just as downtown San Francisco is built on the carcasses of sailing ships from the 49er gold rush.

THE OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ TRONC TRONC TRONC AWARD FOR FINALLY GETTING THAT THE JOKE WAS ON THEM

To Tribune Publishing, until recently known as Tronc, for reminding us of their unbelievably terrible name when they finally — finally! — decided to abandon it in favor of something not risible. A small silver second-place award goes to Oath, the owner of TechCrunch, for thereby rising to the top of the “Worst Media Company Name” rankings.

THE SOMETIMES NOTHING IS A REAL COOL HAND AWARD FOR DOING NOTHING BECAUSE NOTHING WAS NECESSARY

To Twitter, who, when noted far-right wacko Laura Loomer handcuffed herself to Twitter’s NYC building after she was permanently banned by them for hate speech, responded by — brilliantly — doing nothing at all. They did not ask the police to remove her. They did not press charges. They ignored her completely. And Loomer went from “she will not remove the handcuffs until CEO Jack Dorsey reinstates her account” to “After several hours of complaining about the cold, Loomer eventually requested to be removed from the door.”

THE COME ON NOW DON’T BE EVIL WAS A LONG TIME AGO AWARD FOR REDEFINING GOOGLEY

To Google, obviously, for being forced to come to terms with what sure looks from the outside like a culture of pervasive sexual harassment by a massive employee walkout in the same year its plans for a new censorship-friendly China search engine leaked. Look not for the trigram in thy brother’s eye, etc.

THE CENTRAL CASTING MAD SCIENTIST AWARD FOR BRINGING US THE DYSTOPIA WE DESERVE

To He Jiankui, the self-funded doctor who apparently brought us the world’s first two human babies genetically edited via CRISPR, without letting anything like an ethics review board, a well-considered benefit/risk ratio, the pre-existence of well-established less-dangerous ways to achieve the allegedly desired result, or anything else stand in his way. But then, if he had, that wouldn’t really have captured the 2018zeitgeist, would it?

THE WHAT ARE THE NEW RUULES AWARD FOR MAKING NICOTINE MORALLY AMBIGUOUS AGAIN

To Juul, which has made a ridiculous boatload of money and more importantly made a lot of people seem very silly as they moral-panic about vaping as if it is the same as smoking, and others seem just as silly as they moral-panic about that moral panic as if vaping has been guaranteed on stone tablets to have no deleterious side effects at all. Where is the nuanced middle? Ah, let’s not kid ourselves, it’s 2018, no one cares about the nuanced middle any more. Bring on the outrage!

THE LISTEN UP YOUNG WHIPPERSNAPPER I WAS THE CEO OF A CYBERSECURITY FIRM AND THE PRESIDENT’S CYBERSECURITY ADVISOR I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW AWARD FOR NOT ACTUALLY KNOWING ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT HOW TO CYBER THE CYBER. CYBER!

To Rudy Giuliani, who really was the CEO of a cybersecurity firm (Cyber!) and really was the president’s cybersecurity advisor (Cyber! Cyber!) and yet, as shown by his bewildering yet hilarious accusations that one of his tweets was sabotaged by Twitter, does not actually understand the Internet at all. Or, we may presume, the cyber. Cyber!

THE LOOK WE’RE ONLY A $30B COMPANY HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO KEEP TRACK OF ALL THESE LITTLE DETAILS AWARD FOR FORCING PEOPLE TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS NEARBY

To Ericsson, who accidentally disabled phone service for hours for tens of millions of people around the globe because it failed to renew a (presumably TLS) software certificate used by its switching services ahead of its expiry. You can get those for free and automatically these days, btw. Never mind the cyber (Cyber!) attackers; it’s malingering incompetence that will get us all in the end. Speaking of which …

THE WHO COULD POSSIBLY HAVE IMAGINED THAT SUCH A THING WOULD HAPPEN OR IF IT DID THAT WE WOULD RESPOND TO IT IN ALL THE WORST POSSIBLE WAYS AWARD FOR A REPERTOIRE OF PANICKED FLAILING INEPTITUDE WORTHY OF ARTHUR DENT

To the authorities at Gatwick university, who first shut down one of the busiest airports in Europe for almost a day and a half during the pre-Christmas rush because there were reports of drones seen over its runways; then said they couldn’t possibly shoot down those drones for fear the stray bullets might harm someone; then conceded the possibility that there were no drones at all (though it seems like there probably were); then arrested a couple who turned out to be completely innocent; then reopened the airport with no resolution but that of the installation of an expensive new anti-drone system and the discovery of a single, untraced, damaged drone. This dithering paralysis raises many terrifying questions. I have two in particular. One: the people in charge of Gatwick — again, one of Europe’s biggest and busiest airports — never done any threat modelling / scenario analysis / contingency planning at all? And two: how many minutes-rather-than-hours would this shutdown have lasted if it had happened at a major airport in, say, Texas, before the bullet-ridden carcasses of the drones in question were dragged off the runway? I guess we’ll never know. But it gives me a certain dubious pleasure to bequeath to Gatwick, an airport I have known and disliked for many years, this year’s Jon of Jons.

Congratulations, of a sort, to all the winners of the Jons! All recipients shall receive a bobblehead of myself made up as a Blue Man, as per the image on this post, which will doubtless become coveted and increasingly valuable collectibles. (And needless to say sometime next year they will become redeemable for JonCoin.) And, of course, all winners shall be remembered by posterity forevermore.


1Bobbleheads shall only be distributed if and when available and convenient. The eventual existence of said bobbleheads is not guaranteed or indeed even particularly likely. Not valid on days named after Norse or Roman gods. All rights reserved, especially those rights about which we have reservations.


Source: TechCrunch

Best Video Games (2018): *God of War*, *Spider-Man*, and More

Indies and blockbusters, exclusives and multiplatform delights, these are the 10 standouts of the year.
Source: Wired

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