Jeepers. I need hip waders. There is just so damned much stupid over the last 24 hours. It’s a veritable flood.
The Future is here, and it’s stupid
- Law firm “hires” first artificially intelligent lawyer (Futurism) — Oh how nice. Treat human misery like a fungible commodity by using IBM’s AI ‘lawyer’ Ross to process bankruptcies. Want to bet it’s cheaper to hire paralegals to do the work Ross does? Want to bet Baker & Hostetler’s Ross will be replaced by a competing internet-based firm processing bankruptcies even more inexpensively? Hey Congress: doesn’t it say something to you about the number and kind of bankruptcies when a ‘robot’ can process them?
- Facial recognition expected to be $6 billion by 2020 (Curatti) — No invasion of privacy issues there, nor any security risks whatsoever. No chance at all two or more people have the same facial characteristics in terms of dimension.
- Chinese tech company prepares for future where our consciousness lives forever in a computer (Bloomberg) — This is really creepy, and yet very much possible in the near-term future. If AI can nearly reproduce you from your social media, why can’t it replicate your consciousness?
The Past remains, and it’s stupid, too
- Staffing company Portico sent home a receptionist for not wearing high heels (BBC) — A petition emerged in response, asking Parliament to outlaw such policies; 100,000 signatures mustered overnight. They’ve reversed their position today after a furor arose about their policy requiring women to wear 2-4 inch high heels on the job at a PriceWaterhouse Cooper facility. PwC says it’s not their policy. Come on now — it’s 2016, not 1956. It’s just plain stupid to ask workers of a specific gender to wear attire for looks — attire which causes discomfort and is not recommended by doctors.
- Belgian beer company changes iconic American brand name to pander to voters (AdAge) — Take one of the oldest and most recognized U.S. brands on which hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to entrench an immigrant’s name into the American psyche. Then remove it and replace it with the country’s name for six months. My gods, the stupid on this one. Fortunately a West Michigan brewer is taking advantage of this opportunity with ‘Murica! I could use one right about now.
- Some SAP accounting software users attacked because they screwed up in 2010 (The Register) — Talk about time travel. I’m sure there’s some folks who’d like to go back to 2010 and execute that security patch correctly this time before hackers smite their business to smithereens.
The Present’s no gift
- Don’t feed the sea turtles (Scientific American) — Surprise! When tourists feed junk food to sea turtles, the turtles’ health mirrors that of humans fed the same crap.
- Study: Ransomware cybercriminals provide better, faster service than internet service providers (Nature) — Not even a rational comparison next to Comcast. Seems like there’s a market opportunity here; if crooks held a machine hostage AND offered a PC tune-up, would PC owners happily fork over cash? Hmm.
- Marijuana use during pregnancy increases risk for pre-term birth (ScienceDaily) — What a surprise that a psychoactive drug combined with toxic by-products from smoking a plant product might have negative effects on pregnancy.
Ugh. Hope tomorrow is kinder to us. See you in the morning!