Insights

Killer app of AI is advertising

The impact of Big Tech’s planned obsolescence model on the environment is devastating. However, for Big Tech, the more materials it uses to create new products, the more money it makes. The more waste Big Tech produces, the more money it makes. The less reusable and repairable and recyclable Big Tech makes its products, the more money it... Read More »

Big Tech hates quality

Quality has long been the enemy of Big Tech. The more quality a product has, the longer it will last, and thus the less money Big Tech will make. Sure, there is the service and repair opportunity. That’s not a bad business. It is not, though, the type of business that Big Tech has grown supersized on. Big Tech has mastered the branding o... Read More »

Big Tech’s great men

The Great Men are forever chasing energy and materials. At whatever period in history, we find them striding the earth, seeking out energy and the most precious materials. All to make themselves large, throbbing, energetic, eternal. They dig and they build and they wrap themselves in layers and layers of energy and materials. They believ... Read More »

Getting rid of crap data

Most of the data that exists shouldn’t. It’s crap. In practically every data environment I have worked in over almost 30 years, you can easily delete 90% of the data and make everything work much better. We store all this crap data because it costs less to store it than it costs to think about how to clean it up. We also store it because... Read More »

Communist networks are better for environment

“What’s intrinsic about the 5G network is that it’s designed for one-to-one communication,” network expert Ben Schwarz explains. “On the kind of influences were seeing on young people—not always young people—it’s done on a very individual, targeted basis. And 5G supports that kind of streaming, where the server creates a specific stream ... Read More »

Designing waste out of networks

"Most people have a Wi-Fi router in their home," network expert Ben Schwarz explains to me. “The latest generation Wi-Fi router will typically consume about 15 watts per hour of use. The difference between when the Wi-Fi network is empty and when it is completely full is around 10%. If it requires 14 watts of power ticking along with not... Read More »

The magically efficient oven

A friend of mine bought a new oven that he says is the most efficient of all the ovens he’s ever tested. (He’s big into this sort of stuff.) He says that this oven is so special that it doesn’t matter how much you cook in it, it’s still the same basic cost. The more you cook, the better, basically. So I went around to have a look. The ... Read More »

Keeping information up to date

In November 2022, Soumya Swaminathan, the departing chief scientist for the WHO gave an interview to ScienceInsider. She was asked whether “your biggest mistake as chief scientist was not calling SARS-CoV-2 airborne?” She replied that, “We should have done it much earlier, based on the available evidence, and it is something that has cos... Read More »

When the tech bros come for me

First, the tech bros came for the warehouse workers, and I said nothing. Paying them terrible wages, working them to the bone, tracking their every second, injuring them at record levels, all in the pursuit of customer obsession and profit. Then, the tech bros came for the delivery drivers, and I said nothing. Calling them gig workers,... Read More »

Vitaly Friedman: Cleaner Web design for a better environment (part 3)

“Everyone is collecting so much data that frankly is rarely used, and if it is used, it’s not in a good way,” Vitaly Friedman tells me. “The real perspective, the real feeling of what it’s like with the actual users of our systems – there’s this disconnect has been growing significantly over the years. The experiences we are deploying to... Read More »