👎 Walk Out

A very hackable grid | Please walk out of Netflix... not Tesco | The Metapurse

👎 Walk Out

Hey there cyberpunks — get ready to cyberFUNK

This week was something I could have done without 👎. But why? WHY??

  • Did you know: if you keep EV charging stations OFF the internet, they WON'T be vulnerable to hacks?? Wow...
  • Tesco are testing a new 'convenient' walk out shop in central London.
  • Facebook are getting a new name soon — prepare yourselves to make fun of it

🔌 Do EV charging stations need internet to work?

Apparently the old crusty man in charge of America wants there to be 500k electric vehicle charging stations around the country by 2030. That sounds good and I'm all for it. There's just one problem: these charging stations are all going to be... connected. You know, to the internet.

💅 Georgia's #1 rule about technology: as soon as you're connected, you're vulnerable.

  • We, the humans (or however you identify), should all be online as much as we like, because we have sentience and free will etc.
  • But our dumb, inanimate objects should not — they don't know what's good for them.

Putting EV chargers on a network leaves them open to DOS attacks, ransomware attacks, and whatever else bored teenagers might feel like doing to pass the time before their next wank. Get that tin foil hat away from me! I'm not being paranoid, just look at this report from a cyber security firm you probably have never heard of.

My wholesome and very hard to disagree with opinion: when EVs are finally in the mainstream, I want them to work, and not be subject to getting stranded just outside Milton Keynes because the service station owners don't know how to pay the Bitcoin ransom to make the chargers work again...

I wonder: is there a way we can invent ANYTHING new without assuming it should be an IoT device? Is there?? Asking for a me.


🛒 Just walk out, it's so easy, there are no consequences at all...

Good news! A Tesco in Holborn has decided to copy Amazon and do that thing where customers don't have to scan items or check out at a till — they can just walk out.

🚨 Spoiler: this isn't actually good news at all, and you were a fool for thinking it was. Let's all join brains and think: when a large, faceless corporation says that they are going to use technology to make life more convenient for you (the loyal begrudgingly reliant customers), aren't they just making it more convenient for them?

The answer is yes, and here's a list of reasons:

  • This shiny new Tesco only works for you if you have the Tesco app — they use the app to charge your account. Companies just love it when you have to get their apps, don't they?
  • They use weighted shelves and special AI cameras (provided by a company called Trigo) to keep track of what you're buying. Companies just love using AI on you, and analysing what you buy at scale.
  • Don't worry! No facial recognition though! Companies just love making sure you understand that they are godly saints for very generously deciding not to violate your human rights just this one time...

Before I complain about the tech, here's an observation: in London, where there are a million tiny shops everywhere that all sell the same food, most of my time in a food shop is spent on deciding what to buy, and definitely not checking out. In fact, checking out is the fastest bit. So I just... I just don't think any of this is going to make much difference to our lives.

☝️ Except it is, because: as soon as we start normalising the idea that you need an app to enter what is essentially a corner shop, we're basically sending this message: if you cannot afford a phone; you cannot shop here. Furthermore, apps are literally the gateway to the contents of your phone. And the contents of your phone is the gateway to your PERSONALITY. Think about it.

I'm not sure what to say about Trigo, who don't use facial recognition but do track a 'skeletal outline' of your body which still sounds bad, and like something that can be stored in an advertising profile. But anyway, it's CONVENIENT I guess...


🎯 Here are some more cheap shots at tech to make you sound smart at your next party

📺 Speaking of walkouts: there was a Netflix employee walkout this week, because Netflix think that being transphobic is funny. Question to Netflix employees: did you not realise this when you agreed to work there? Yes, I'd find it hard to spot red flags through my $300k salary too...

🤡 More confirmation that ISPs suck and should all be dissolved in acid: the FTC did a study that shows us how little ISPs tell us about how they're constantly monitoring our browsing, and selling the data to whoever will buy it. Shocking that an ISP — an antiquated middle-person that doesn't need to exist — would do this.

🔤 Facebook's new name: yes, Facebook the company would like to change their name so that we forget about how bad they are, and so that they can more properly align themselves with that new thing I love to hate: the metaverse. My guess for the new name: Metapurse — it rhymes with metaverse, and it reminds us all that they want to extract value from us.


💌 Seeing as you're at the end of this week's Horrific/Terrific, I guess you enjoyed it. Please express gratitude by donating money to me so I can keep doing this. You can share opinions/submit news stories any time on my Twitter or email.