Issue #29: That's a wrap for 2023 🎬 — Thoughts on Tech & Things

Howdy👋🏾, my kids and I are packed and hopping on a plane traveling south to Orlando for Christmas. I’m crossing my fingers for warm days under palm trees and late evenings with a beverage of choice in the hot tub. I hope everyone has an amazing holiday and you get a chance to get in some much-needed relaxation before we dive into 2024.

So, I’m doing my version of Spotify wrapped for the first end-of-year edition newsletter and revisiting some of 2023’s newsletters with an update on current events. Share this newsletter if you’ve enjoyed reading it and want to get me something for the holidays. So now, onto some past thoughts on tech and things, along with some AI-generated images from Meta AI:

⚡️ Newsletter #25: At least they let Ceasar know in person

Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt "Ceasar in a crown being stabbed from behind by a techie AI-powered robot in a hoodie"
Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt “Ceasar in a crown being stabbed from behind by a techie AI-powered robot in a hoodie”

In Issue #25, I delved into the chaos at OpenAI as Sam Altman was fired and rehired after bringing on two new CEOs in just ten days.  What’s crazy is that no one knows what Sam Altman did, even a group of folks on a pretty exclusive billionaires WhatsApp group chat (can someone please invite me and thank you). Things might be over, but the damage was done, including concerns about how much power Microsoft wields over OpenAI, a board that seems unwilling to say what caused the disruption, and Ilya Sutskever – the former Chief Science Officer – is still left in the wind. Amazon responded with a multi-foundation model approach, which I covered in Issue #27, and I showcased the benefits of various models in Issue #28.

⚡️ Newsletter #06 Welcome to the Fediverse

Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt "A black techie guy in a hoodie walking into the Fediverse that looks like a virtual world of social media platforms connected"
Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt “A black techie guy in a hoodie walking into the Fediverse that looks like a virtual world of social media platforms connected.”

This summer, I wrote a piece on Fediverse in Issue #06 that explored the possibility of a new post-Twitter world – and hey, y’all, maybe it’s happening. I love Threads, and as Twitter, now X, continues a downward spiral, the idea of a federated social media platform feels like the correct answer to moderation and free speech. Facebook has avoided being the villain in 2023 and is starting to roll out features that connect its social platform Threads with the greater Mastodon fediverse. WordPress also made a huge move to make the Fediverse a first-party element of the blogging platform that powers 40% of the Internet. It even took things further by acquiring an open text messaging platform that feels like it could play into this larger open fediverse world.

⚡️ Newsletter #05 Passwords suck

Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt "A black man with large hair dressed like Zelda holding the glowing tri-force in the shape of keys."
Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt “A black man with large hair dressed like Zelda holding the glowing tri-force in the shape of keys.”

Also, way back in issue #05, I went on a bit of a rant on just how much Passwords Suck. They continue to suck, but more and more companies are taking action and ditching passwords for PassKey. Look at all the folks who have dropped or made passwords optional. The list includes many major companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Shopify, etc. Let’s keep the momentum going and be done with passwords in 2024.

⚡️Newsletter #03 WWDC 2023

Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt "Black guy in a red hoodie with large hair wearing AR goggles as he navigates a big high-tech city with a futuristic view in front of him"
Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt “Black guy in a red hoodie with large hair wearing AR goggles as he navigates a big high-tech city with a futuristic view in front of him”

Keyboards are one of the oldest, most antiquated ways we interface with technology, and I can’t help but feel that we’re in the dawn of a post-mobile and post-laptop world. This will not happen overnight, but in Issue #24, I spoke of how post-mobile devices like Humane’s AI pin are starting to imagine a new way we interact with computers. I didn’t cover a pair of Ray Band glasses from Meta that allow you to snap photos and videos or listen to music. They introduced some crazy cool AI features, allowing them to do autodetection and translation.

Apple is placing its bets on the way we interface with the future and, in June, announced the Vision Pro mixed reality headset, which we covered in Issue #03. Rumors say a release happens around March of 2024, and every single review I’ve read of the product makes this thing sound amazing – but at a $ 3,000-a-unit price tag, it better be! The most recent news is that iOS 17.2 turned on the ability for anyone to capture spatial video with an iPhone, which looks amazing on the Vision Pro headset.  I’m a huge believer that this is just the start, and a product with the name “pro” means we’re 1-3 years from something cheaper and closer to Meta’s Ray Band glasses that will truly start the introduction of a new and very different way we interface with computers.

⚡️ Newsletter #07 Are you ready for the EV🔌 Rental Car surprise?

Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt "A black guy with big hair and a hoodie "driving" a self-driving EV as he chows down on a Thanksgiving turkey leg"
Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt “A black guy with big hair and a hoodie “driving” a self-driving EV as he chows down on a Thanksgiving turkey leg”

Some of the most loved posts and newsletters have been around my adventure of buying an EV. Two that you all seemed to really enjoy was Issue #07 on the EV surprise, as rental companies like Hertz tripled down on their EV investments. Sadly, the charging infrastructure isn’t there to support them, but I can say Tesla’s Superchargers did me well over the Thanksgiving break in Issue #26, where I took my car on the road and offered some real-world thoughts on range anxiety. I’m prepared to embrace a future where automobiles autonomously navigate like Waymo vehicles did while I was in Phoenix, an exciting self-driving experience I aspire to relive – covered in Issue #19.

Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt "A black guy with big hair who writes a weekly newsletter in Orlando wishing a happy holiday and happy new year from a warm place in a hot tub toasting with a glass of champagne surrounded by family."
Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt “A black guy with big hair who writes a weekly newsletter in Orlando wishing a happy holiday and happy new year from a warm place in a hot tub toasting with a glass of champagne surrounded by family.”

Let’s hope next year has tons of new and exciting things to dive into, and please share this newsletter with anyone you think might enjoy it. Next up in 2024 is CES, and I can’t wait to share all the cool and exciting things from EVs, robotics, and AI. Mindgrub CEO Todd Marks and I will be live on the show floors and sharing tons of videos and content on all the exciting things to look out for while in Las Vegas. If you plan to be there, let’s connect.

Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt "A black guy with glasses and big hair who writes a weekly newsletter in Orlando wishing a happy holiday and happy new year from a warm place in a hot tub toasting with a glass of champagne surrounded by family."
Generated with Imagine with Meta AI and the prompt “A black guy with glasses and big hair who writes a weekly newsletter in Orlando wishing a happy holiday and happy new year from a warm place in a hot tub toasting with a glass of champagne surrounded by family.”

Why’s the guy with glasses smaller than the dude without? So not fair! Meta has some definite bias here! Anyway – I’m taking next week off for some much-needed relaxation, but the newsletter will be back in 2024. Until then, have a great holiday and a wonderful New Year.

-jason

P.S. A car dealership added an AI chatbot to their website, and pranksters had a field day! The whole thing is a bit crazy, but it’s a reminder that you can’t JUST toss an AI chatbot on a webpage.