Significant events in the history of information previously covered on Beyond the Frame.
Podcaster Joe Rogan Signs With Spotify
Joe Rogan announced an exclusive deal with Spotify that sent data archivists scrambling to save the media and community discussions surrounding his show on YouTube. The deal is worth more than $100 million according to Anne Steele of The Wall Street Journal, “Spotify Strikes Podcast Deal With Joe Rogan Worth More Than $100 Million.”
Apple and Google Announce Bluetooth Contact Tracing Efforts
Apple and Google decided to bake an automated exposure notification service into their portable devices. The software will enable intra-device information exchange over Bluetooth while keeping each individual’s identity a secret.
NotPetya Malware Appears
The NotPetya malware first appeared in 2017, on the eve of Ukrainian Constitution Day. It affected thousands of systems in over 65 countries. Maersk, the Danish shipping company, lost $300 million in revenues and was forced to replace 4,000 servers. Even still, Ukraine was the malware’s clear target, suffering 80% of all infections.
Bret Victor Publishes “What Can a Technologist Do About Climate Change?”
Midway through What Can a Technologist Do About Climate Change?, Victor opines that public discourse on climate relies on “tips, soundbites, factoids, and emotional rhetoric” rather than “evidence-grounded models.” He suggests a solution for working with and discussing profound problems: better tools for model-driven debate, model-driven reading, and model-driven authoring.
“Fuck the EU.” Malinformation Effort
An anonymous source posted a conversation between the US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. Amidst all the political banter, one line stood out, “Fuck the EU.” The leaked audio was a crude effort to sow dissension between the US and its EU allies during a tense moment in Ukraine - a move that would clearly help Russian interests.
Les Immatériaux was presented at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. It chronicled many of the confluent developments of media, art, theory, and technology. Christiane Paul suggested that the exhibition “argued that the immaterial is matter subjected to interaction and conceptual processes,”† highlighting the shrinking gap between our lives in cyberspace and the physical space.
The Untied States Privacy Protection Study Commission Issues Their Report
The Privacy Protection Study Commission generated 162 recommendations to help protect citizens against the intrusive nature of digital data collection, storage, and dissemination. They found that the Privacy Act of 1974 “had not resulted in the general benefits to the public that either its legislative history or the prevailing opinion as to its accomplishments would lead one to expect.” These recommendations were never codified into law.
- Personal Privacy In An Information Society: Appendix 3: Employment Records
- The full report is here.
California Constitutional Right of Privacy Amendment
A 1972 amendment to the California Constitution that included the “right of privacy among the ‘inalienable’ rights of all people. The amendment established a legal and enforceable right of privacy for every Californian. Fundamental to this right of privacy is the ability of individuals to control the use, including the sale, of their personal information.”
California Legislative Information Website, Assembly Bill No. 375: Legislative Consunsel’s Digest: Today’s Law As Amended, 2018.
Project Minaret at the National Security Agency
“The project, which became known officially as Minaret in 1969, employed unusual procedures. NSA distributed reports without the usual serialization. They were designed to look like HUMINT reports rather than SIGINT and readers could find no originating agency. Years later the NSA lawyer who first looked at the procedural aspects stated that the people involved seemed to understand that the operation was disreputable if not outright illegal.”
Cybernetic Serendipity was an exhibition of electronic, cybernetic, and computer art curated by Jasia Reichardt, shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England. It was organized in three sections:
- Computer generated work
- Cybernetic devices-robots and painting machines
- Machines demonstrating the use of computers and the history of cybernetics.
“The Computer As A Communication Device”
“First, life will be happier for the on-line individual because the people with whom one interacts most strongly will be selected more by commonality of interests and goals than by accidents of proximity. Second, communication will be more effective and productive, and therefore more enjoyable. Third, much communication and interaction will be with programs and programmed models […]. And, fourth, there will be plenty of opportunity for everyone to find his calling, for the whole world of information, with all its fields and disciplines, will be open to him.”
J.C.R. Licklider and Robert W. Taylor, “The Computer As A Communication Device”, Science And Technology, April 1968.
Bach Writes “Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht”
Musical notation falls short of capturing the composer’s intent, the performer’s performance, and the audience’s experience. However, it is the reason we have access to the music of Bach and Beethoven. Musical scores embody information that has traveled through the centuries, slowly and subtly mutating along the way.