Hello Earth dwellers. We did it: it’s the final day of the year. 2021 can now kindly follow the arrow → 🗑️.
I actually started Horrific/Terrific in December 2020, so that means your favourite weekly tech blast is one year old — wow! I usually rate the week out of five but today if feels appropriate to just do the whole year.
This year was pretty cheerful on a personal level, even if I did spiral into burnout at the end there. But in terms of the technology landscape, it was definitely something I could have done without 👎.
- I will review some of the best/worst moments of the year in technology
- There will also be some news from this week: China’s space station have had to do some awkward maneuvers; Apple have awarded some awkward bonuses
- Time to cringe: for the first time in my life, I wrote a poem
👨👦👦 Innovation means hoarding talent
Okay, this kind of thing obviously happens all the time, but this one got out: Apple have awarded huge unplanned bonuses to some of their engineers. These bonuses are in the tens of thousands, and are tied up in shares which means the engineers are incentivised to stay working for Apple for longer (or something — I don’t fully understand shares).
So, I’m saying ‘this kind of thing happens all the time’ because large tech companies only do this to hold on to talent, so that their competitors won’t poach them. It’s really less about rewarding hard work, and more about keeping a tight grasp on their workforce so that they can keep producing iPhones.
Of course it’s not just about boring old iPhones — the promise to deliver our beloved Metaverse is really having tech companies scramble to be the absolute best at these key things:
- Engineering in AR and VR
- Wearables, including VR headsets and other hardware
- And... whatever else the fucking metaverse needs
And thus the talent poaching begins. Meta really need people who can build good hardware, because even though they own Oculus, this Morning Brew poll from June 2021 shows that adults in the US would sooner buy a VR or AR device from Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, or even Amazon, before they consider buying one from Meta. Apple are very much the favourite... and they haven’t even produced a VR or AR device yet.
The lesson here is: no matter how much talent you poach and coddle with endless benefits, no one wants hardware built by Meta, and everyone wants hardware built by Apple. Either way: the metaverse is coming for us (ruuuun).
🔭 Meanwhile in space...
Imagine: you’re just minding your own business on the Chinese space station when BOOM: Elon Musk ONCE AGAIN carelessly violates international space law.
Apparently, Starlink satellites are the problem. Their obnoxious orbit does not take other satellites into account, and so astronauts living on the Chinese station had to perform evasive maneuvers just to avoid being hit. Personally I think it’s worth it, Starlink provides very cheap internet for planet Earth (it doesn’t), and the multiple launches required to get the satellites into orbit have absolutely no effect on the environment (they do).
In other space news, you may have seen that NASA launched a new telescope. It will be able to see distant galaxy and brand new worlds — maybe it will find civilisations doing much worse than us?? Hahaha what a fun joke for the end of the year!.
☄️ How 2021 made us feel like we are all hurtling one-way into oblivion...
It’s fun to remember things! Here are some of biggest tech events that I wrote about over the course of the year:
January: Trump was de-platformed at the worst possible time: just when he was about to not be the president anymore.
Fast-forward to April: We learned that Amazon employees have to pee in bottles to save time, while Jeff Bezos boasted about an algorithm which is meant to reduce repetitive strain in fulfillment centres (why didn’t he just buy extra oil for their gears? Oh yeah, because they’re humans, not robots).
June: Ransomware became a very lucrative business (and Microsoft decided to make another operating system?? How DARE they).
More June: The internet just... disappeared for a bit?
July: Billionaires flung themselves into space, and returned to Earth without a scratch (idiots). Meanwhile, the non-billionaires were being attacked by something called Pegasus.
July again: Then, the word metaverse projectile-vomited into our viewports, and no matter how hard we muted it, it never went away
September: El Salvador had a Bitcoin day! Poor people are lied to, forced to download an app, and then ultimately disappointed. So just... just a normal day, really.
October: Facebook suffered an outage; some of us laughed while some of us were actually missing a key bit of infrastructure
November: Humanity broke the Qubit barrier. What does it mean? Encryption is irrelevant! Time crystals are a new phase of matter! Nothing is as it seems!
That's all I could be bothered to scrape together. I really hope you're having a nice break, and that reviewing the year in tech hasn't completely ruined it...
📜 In case you forget everything that happened this year, I’ve forced it all together in a rhyme (it’s a poem).
Well, as a bored ape, all I do is take. It’s not proof of work, it’s proof of STAKE — either way, the currency is fake.
Anyway, someone stole my NFT. Don’t they realise a JPEG has sanctity? How about I right-click save your liberty? Hahahahaha.
Just blockchain! Everything! I’d put my central nervous system on a distributed ledger if I could; Elon Musk would. Wanna get in on this? The time is now → ConstitutionDAO.
Meta is better and Twitter is shitter — I need to spread my opinion around, but the internet is down?? It’s not just the internet, it’s my LIFE; I cannot access the docusign to divorce my wife.
Why did we let it be? To make everything IoT? My pets are hungry, my garage door is CLOSED, and my virtual assistant won’t help me pick out my clothes.
What’s a CDN anyway? Who the fuck cares?? Attack the colonel pipeline if you so dare; I will never be afraid of ransomware.
The metaverse is not just a perk... it’s the future of work! A mixed reality board meeting will help you see, that we really are destined for web fucking 3.
I know all the tech but not everyone can; just invest in Gamestop to really own the man.
Fling yourself into space; deepfake your face; legalise Bitcoin and the dollar — ERASE.
Digital lube; a tungsten cube; oh fuck I caught covid while riding the tube.
There’s no lithium left? What do you mean?? Is this because of Evergreen? Yet another innovation blocker! Excuse me while I make the Earth hotter.
If you need a New Thing try quantum computing — old computers are the pits, this one has over 100 qubits.
Don’t you see? Connection is EVERYTHING. Technology does not separate, it unifies; the harder we work, the easier it will be to save all our lives...
Let’s not pretend! Technology will never be our end; it will be our FOREVER. Just log on and be my friend; craft a new life inside a computer — don’t be afraid, it can’t hurt you... it’s only < < < T H E F U T U R E > > >