When you listen to someone’s voice online, are you sure it’s a real person? Because there’s a chance it might be Descript.

Image for post
Image for post
Descript.com

Have you seen this Arthur C. Clarke quote about new technology?

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

It’s what people thought when they heard their first radio or experienced their first elevator.

It’s also how I felt the other day when I stumbled across something called Descript.

At first glance, Descript doesn’t sound that remarkable. It is a collaborative audio/video editor that includes a screen recorder, publishing and full multitrack editing.

This seems very neat and useful but it hardly sounds like magic.

But it is. Let me explain.

Imagine you just finished a clip of yourself talking…


Critics say the cryptocurrency is an energy glutton that produces too much CO2, but they couldn’t be more wrong

Image for post
Image for post
Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

Some people really don’t like Bitcoin.

People like the Bloomberg columnist Lionel Laurent. Last week he called it a predatory hoax on desperate people. Worse, he sniffed, this speculative gold rush is consuming more energy than entire countries.

He’s right about the second part.

The computerized calculations that are used to create Bitcoin consume more energy than some countries, including the UAE and the Netherlands.


Google and Facebook have never been more powerful, but thanks to new competitors it’s never been easier to leave.

Image for post
Image for post
Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

We made a deal with Big Tech. They are allowed to vacuum up our personal data and become billionaires, and in return we get cool things to do on the Internet.

It has been a great deal for them. Google alone has raked in $1 trillion since 2000, while Mark Zuckerberg is now richer than entire countries like Iceland and Bolivia.

But for some reason being a billionaire isn’t enough for these guys. It turns out that more than wealth, what they really want is power.

So Amazon is buying up media like the Washington Post, Google is manipulating searches…


A decade after hearing about crypto I decided to jump in

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Wikipedia Commons

The first time I came face-to-face with Bitcoin was a humid Friday night in Singapore. We were on a pub crawl along a stretch of river that slides past the skyscrapers in the financial district before emptying into Marina Bay. Several hours into the evening we ducked into an old shophouse and then up a flight of narrow wooden stairs to a bar on the second floor called the Spiffy Dapper.

I stepped inside the dimly lit room and stopped, my eyes drawn to a strange machine against the wall. I stood there a moment, a little drunk and unfocused…


Singapore becomes the first country to approve lab-grown meat

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Eat Just

After years of discussions with Singapore regulators, the US company Eat Just has been given the green light to sell its lab-grown chicken in restaurants and stores.

This is the first time cultured meat has been cleared for sale to customers anywhere in the world, and could mark the start of a revolution in how we produce and consume our food.

“We’re going to start out with a single restaurant and then scale out to five, 10, 15 and then eventually into retail,” Eat Just CEO Josh Tetrick said. …


Dominos and F45 are, and it’s not because they’re providing better pizza or fitness

Image for post
Image for post
Gerd Altmann / Pixabay

The gym is tucked away in a dingy downtown mall known for its all-night bars and prostitutes. Pointed in the right direction by a mall security guard, I walked down a long corridor made sticky by spilled beer. I gave a wide berth to a couple drunks who trailed a fug of cigarette smoke and started wondering if I should be somewhere else on an early Saturday morning.

Things didn’t improve when I finally reached the gym. It was small and squarish with no mirrors and little equipment.

It didn’t look like much but this is F45, the fitness phenomenon…


A stranger arrives with the truth about our past, and a warning for what lies ahead

Image for post
Image for post
Pixabay

The black torus dropped out of hyperspace into the emptiness beyond Saturn and started scanning the solar system. The ultrawave flickered over the gas giants and their icy moons before moving quickly inward to the rock worlds and finally to the water planet, where it paused.

Back on the torus, a small bubble emerged from its surface and kept growing until it formed a perfect black sphere which then detached and moved away. …


We are nearing the day when no one forgets, unless they want to.

Image for post
Image for post
Flora Westbrook / Pexels

Did you forget anything recently?

Your keys maybe. Or someone’s name.

You’re in good company. A typical person forgets about 4 things a day. Most are minor lapses but then there are the big ones: a third of us have forgotten a partner’s birthday, and 1 in 5 Dads has forgotten to pick up the kids from school.

A couple years ago, I experienced one of the big ones. I forgot to call my Dad on his birthday. We live in different countries so that call is really important. He expected me to call. And I didn’t. …


We were promised 10 million self-driving cars by the end of this year. Guess what happened?

Image for post
Image for post
StockSnap by Pixabay

We’re nearing the end of 2020 and all those fully automated self-driving cars promised by Toyota, Nissan and Elon Musk are finally here.

According to Business Insider, you should have already seen some of the 10 million automated cars on American roads today.

What, you haven’t seen any? That’s strange, let me check how many are actually out there.

Okay, here it is. The exact number of fully automated vehicles on the road today is:

Zero.

That’s right, despite all the rosy predictions from the car companies and media, we will end the year without a single fully automated vehicle.


SpaceX has overtaken the world’s biggest airlines, and it’s just the beginning

Image for post
Image for post
Pexels

Something interesting happened on our way to space.

The rocket company SpaceX quietly became more valuable than the five biggest airlines in the world, combined.

SpaceX is now valued at $46 billion while the total market capitalization of Delta, American, Lufthansa, United and Air France is just $42 billion.

The airlines blame the pandemic and say this is temporary. But the shift to remote work isn’t temporary. Nor are the rockets that can take us anywhere in the world in a fraction of the time that it takes an airplane.

Travel has changed forever.

Here are the 4 reasons why…

Craig Brett

Writer and product designer. I’m also on Substack: https://craigbrett.substack.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store