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Our war against the machines has begun, folks. But humanity’s hope for salvation doesn’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, it looks more like... an oversized bracelet. That’s right: There’s a new “bracelet of silence” that’s designed to save you from the robot overlords… or at least mess with Alexa. Today:
Our war against the machines has begun, folks. But humanity’s hope for salvation doesn’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, it looks more like… an oversized bracelet. That’s right: There’s a new “bracelet of silence” that’s designed to save you from the robot overlords… or at least mess with Alexa. Today:
Humankind’s war against robots is getting real
America’s pro soccer league got a raw deal
In the age of esports, chess still has appeal
Fashion’s New Frontier
Hey Alexa, quit eavesdropping — tech to protect you from tech is on the rise
Do you want your smart speaker to stop snooping? Try on the “bracelet of silence.”
The funky-looking gadget was designed by computer-science professors to jam the Amazon Echo and keep any nearby microphones from listening in on your conversations.
The researchers say they could manufacture the device for just 20 bucks. That’d give us a thrifty (but oh-so-chic) way to tell Bezos to butt out.
The bracelet is more than a cyberpunk fashion statement
It’s part of a growing economy of gizmos and apps that are meant to protect us from the rise of the machines.
With smart speaker sales booming and facial recognition tech taking off, privacy armor might be the next big trend on the runway.
A project called CV Dazzle uses avant-garde hair and makeup styling techniques to fool facial recognition algorithms.
An eyewear company is selling frames and lenses called Reflectacles. They reflect infrared light to obscure the wearer’s face on security cameras.
An artist once created a line of metallic hoodies that mask body heat to thwart the thermal cameras of overhead drones.
This new wave of anti-tech highlights a weird phenomenon: Companies have been slow to patch the problematic parts of our smart infrastructure. So entrepreneurial types are selling products to mitigate the downsides of connected tech.
It’s a whole new market for privacy apps
Services like Disconnect.Me and Jumbo work like digital cloaks — to shield your devices, not your face.
They’re designed to help you manage privacy settings and put more layers between your personal info and the snoopers who might be after it.
Soccer is becoming more popular in the US — but MLS broadcasting deals haven’t kept up
MLS has come a long way: 15 years ago, the league had 12 teams, and 1 ownership group paid just $7.5m for the right to start a new franchise.
Today, there are 26 teams in the league, and one billionaire paid a $325m fee to launch a new team.
So, the increasing number and price of these teams must mean they are turning huge profits, right? Not exactly.
The majority of MLS teams lose money
Pro soccer is gaining in popularity among US viewers (soccer is the 2nd most popular spectator sport among Americans 18-34 after US football), but the MLS has struggled to negotiate lucrative broadcast contracts.
But despite booming popularity, the broadcasting biz is backwards
Last season, average per-game attendance in MLS was 21.3k, while average attendance at NBA games was just 17.9k.
But the MLS broadcast deal with ESPN, Fox, and Univision (which doesn’t expire until 2022) brings in just $90m annually, while the NBA’s broadcast deal (which extends through 2025) guarantees the league $2.6B in annual revenue.
Can businesses love their bookkeeper? Survey says… yup 💘
When you think of bookkeeping, the terms “amazing,” “life-saving,” and “love it with my whole heart” probably don’t come to mind…
But those are exactly the kind of words folks use to describe Pilot.
Pilot is about to be your new S.O.
See, like you, Pilot’s customers have endured the more painful aspects of bookkeeping and taxes. The good news is, now they don’t have to.
Why? Because Pilot’s expert team is assisted by powerful software that automatically eliminates common errors, inconsistencies, and third-party mistakes — and it’s saved their customers thousands of dolla-dolla-bills.
Add that to the fact that they send you accurate financial statements every month on the dot, so you can focus on building your business with the right numbers, and you’ve got a winning combination.
If that wasn’t enough, readers of The Hustle get 20% off the first 6 monthsof Pilot Core.
Chess pawn stars could be the next kings and queens of esports
The grandmasters are going online. And they’re making old-school chess look like checkers.
NBC Newsreports that a new breed of chess champions is using Twitch, the livestreaming platform, to reach big audiences — and maybe even make money.
If only Bobby Fischer could see them now
Compared to video games, the audience for streaming chess games is small — but growing fast.
Time spent watching chess has shot up 500+% since 2016, according to Twitch data.
In 2017, Twitch teamed up with Chess.com — which has around 33m members — to promote chess streaming.
A company called Chessbrah has 6 full-time programmers for its Twitch and YouTube channels.
Alexandra Botez is one of the most well-known streamers — she has 60k+ Twitch followers.
Botez is famous for pioneering a power move called the Botez Gambit — screwing up and accidentally losing your queen. (Look, ma, we’re just like the pros!)
But checkmate ≠ checks, mate
Making money off the game can be difficult — even for the most decorated knights of the chess board.
In some years, a world championship hasn’t been held because there isn’t enough sponsorship money.
The Hustle Says
On average, Americans read 12 books a year. Our Media Strategist is going for 50. This week, she recommends The Correspondence by J.D. Daniels. Jiu Jitsu, janitorial work and morning beer.
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Google Health is growing — despite privacy concerns and a federal inquiry
Google has moved 500+ employees under the banner of its booming health business, according to CNBC.
The search giant’s health biz dates back more than a decade, but its 1st “Google Health” product was terminated back in 2012.
These days, the health unit is working on improving the search results that consumers see when they consult Dr. Google, and making it easier for real docs to search medical records.
One of those efforts got Google into hot water
A couple years back, Google quietly teamed up with Ascension, the 2ndlargest health system in the US, to start Project Nightingale. The partnership gave Google access to Acension’s trove of medical records.
Google says they’re organizing these records into a database for doctors and nurses. The data will feed algorithms designed to identify lung cancer, eye disease, and kidney injuries.
The feds are currently investigating whether Google and Ascension are protecting patient data sufficiently.
Google’s not the only company keeping an eye on your health
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft are also in the space. David Feinberg, the head of Google Health, says they’re in it for the greater good, not for profit (the health division isn’t connected to Google’s ad business).
Although he gets why people have privacy concerns, he’s asking the public to just trust Google.
Here’s why that might be a hard sell
Google’s efforts raise a few red flags: The company hasn’t always been clear about exactly what it’s going to do with all this data, and in some cases, the info is personally identifiable. Feinberg has expressed reluctance to let patients opt out in some cases, too.