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When Social Giants Get Digital Personas Wrong

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Apparently I’m mistakanely PERCEIVED AS a Grammy nominated Recording Engineer FOR CarDi B.

The recent Capitol Hill hearings with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook got me thinking about how I was being tracked by the social giants of our world, namely, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook (Instagram included).

I began by going through my ad preferences under the –> settings –> Ads section of my profile settings in Facebook. I started deleting companies that had me tagged, and removing interests that I had no idea were there. I can only surmise they got there by Facebook scraping my gmail account and the many advertising related emails I receive. I certainly hadn’t clicked on all these companies ads. I did notice a similarity between companies that email me and those tagged in my FB ads profile.

In the capitol hill hearings Zuckerberg said if we opted-out of these ad preferences, our Facebook experience would get far worse. However, mine has improved greatly! Now I see posts from friends I had almost forgotten about since I’m no longer being bombarded by ads I didn’t care to see in the first place. Try it, you’ll see.

I also noticed the “Your Information” section. I have very little provided there beyond my relationship status saying “Married”. There is also a “Your Categories” tab under that section. When I clicked this I noticed a “Mulitcultural Affinity” section (see graphic). This has me labeled as “African American (US)”. Isn’t that interesting? I’m happy to see I have a multi-cultural affinity.

It got me thinking, why I would I be labeled with this “affinity”? I figured because I have social friends of many ethnicity’s due to my involvement in my business, which is very rewarding and allows me to meet and know people of many ethnic backgrounds all around the world.

But then I decided to “Google” myself. I was quite surprised at the first result in Google. It was a link to my LinkedIn profile, with a picture of someone who isn’t me (see graphic). Google apparently thinks this is what I look like; a handsome young gentlemen with a nice shirt and tie.

The picture is actually that of Michael Ashby, who recorded the highly publicized and popular recording artist Cardi B. Michael and I have had many conversations both on and offline over the past couple of years. I consider us good acquaintances if not friends. My company had also released a press release with this photo of Michael. Did Facebook get my “Multicultural Affinity” from a picture on Google results? Maybe, maybe not, but it does give the perception that Michael is me.

Have Google and Facebook been scraping my data and incorrectly identified me as Michael Ashby?

I guess I’m now a Grammy nominated Recording Engineer for one of the hottest modern recording artists in history, in addition to being the owner of a microphone company.

What is alarming to me in all this is that we are living in an era where computer algorithms are running wild and generating our personas, without our control, and obviously falsely at times. As much as I’d like to turn back time a couple generations and have that young energy again, I’d rather just like to be presented as me, and not someone else.

In the mean time, I look forward to the Grammy’s sending me a trophy when Michael wins. I’ll be sure to forward it on to its real persona when it comes…

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Recommendations For Must Hear Classic Country Records

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My music appreciation goes back a very long way, and I am not exaggerating when I tell people, I appreciate ALL types of music. Sometimes people are shocked when I tell them I was and still am a huge fan of Slayer; I mean their 1986, “Reign in Blood” is the greatest heavy metal record ever made…

Garth Brooks-Ropin' the Wind (album cover).jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

However, beyond Garth Brooks “Ropin’ the Wind”, which nearly everyone in the USA heard, I have never delved into Country music. I might have tuned the radio station to a country channel now and then, but that’s about it.

I’m seeking recommendations for must hear classic country records

So, I asked my “social media” friends, knowing some are country fans, many in Nashville in fact, and see what they recommended. My question was “I’m seeking recommendations for must hear classic country records”.

these two have stood out

I purchased all the recommendations and these two have stood out.

  • Johnny PaychecksThe Real Mr. Heartache: The Little Darlin’ Years
    • This one is long out of print, even the “reissue” is out of print, and folks are asking $60+ for a used CD -as of writing this.
    • It was recommended as “probably the best country music ever written” by well known Nashville Resonator/Dobro player and Producer/Engineer Randy Kohrs.
    • I have to agree with Randy and say it probably is the best classic country, and it seems Johnny Paycheck lived the modern “cowboy” life complete with bar fights and prison time.

 

  • Buck OwensLive At Carnegie Hall
    • Another recommendation from Randy. If you don’t have a smile on your face after listening to this, you may have a happiness issue.
    • The musicianship is excellent and sound quality is very good for a live show.
    • It’s a funny and fun ride of music among family a friends at a classic country concert.
    • Even the cover wants to make you smile.
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China’s Predicting Toilet Paper Theft, Or Are They?

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Stretching the truth

Anyone who isn’t hiding under a rock knows the media is getting a bad-rap for stretching the truth. Sometimes there’s some truth to that stretching, even in stories about Artificial Intelligence and theft prevention.

For example, in a recent article over on DailyDot.com entitled “China is using predictive AI to stop crimes before they happen” they state

The systems aren’t just being used to prevent potentially fatal offenses. As Mashable points out, petty crimes like jaywalking or stealing toilet paper are also being monitored.

That’s not exactly what Yi Shu Ng of Mashable wrote. Here’s the actual quote I suppose DailyDot.com is referencing. It’s the only time “toilet paper” is mentioned.

China continues to embraced facial recognition technology in its public services. It’s used cameras to ID jaywalkers and watch over university dorms — to even limiting how much toilet paper you can get at a time.

“limiting how much toilet paper you can get” 

Calling it a petty crime and stealing is a detour from the original context.  If we dig a little deeper, by taking less than 1-second to click a link Yi Shu Ng’s article is referencing, like a good journalist should, we find the original Mashable article is referencing a Mashable video which states

This bathroom uses facial recognition technology to ration toilet paper

There’s no mention of “petty crime or stealing”. It goes to show how quickly the truth can change and the lack of effort in checking and understanding sources.

Ethics Policy

The very first sentence in The Daily Dots ethics policy states “The Daily Dot’s first and most important responsibility is accuracy. ”

Is it now? Many news outlets use false or misleading headlines to draw you in, and it appears Daily Dot is no different, regardless of their ethics policy.

Bigger picture

Obviously, the Mashable articles are talking about controlling the overuse of toilet paper, not that people were “stealing” anything.

And if you’re really paying attention and checking my sources, you might also notice China has implemented a type of “Minority ReportWOW!

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THE RECORDING ENGINEER IS THE CTO

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In the past couple weeks my company, Lauten Audio, released some exciting news regarding our microphones being used on significant recording artists.

First, we announced that Darrell Thorp, an astounding 7-time Grammy award winning mixer/recording engineer (in just a handful of years…) used a bunch of Lauten Audio microphones on the new Foo Fighters record ‘Concrete and Gold’. The album went number 1 on the Billboard Hot 200. This is a big deal.

Second, we announced that Michael Ashby, who compared to Thorp, is just getting his start in the business, but what a start it is. Michael used Lauten Audio’s flagship Eden LT-386 microphone to record and engineer the vocals for Cardi B’s ‘Bodak Yellow’ a.k.a. Money Moves. Cardi cemented her name in history when this track bumped Taylor Swift from the number 1 spot on Billboard Hot 100. She became the first female rapper to achieve that milestone as a solo artist since Lauryn Hill in 1998. Cardi B is a true rag to riches story, you should look into it. This is a bigger deal!

But here’s my reason for this post

Being a “Recording Engineer” isn’t as financially rewarding as many people think. It’s my perception the general public thinks the above engineers are getting rich. However, the reality is, and has been for a long time, Recording Engineers don’t get rich. They get paid a flat rate and that’s it. There’s no obligation for the Producer or record company to give them points (a percentage on sales of the record or song), and most don’t.

I do not know the details of Michael Ashby’s deal with Cardi or her Producer and record company but, it’s quite possible he got paid a few hundred dollars to record her that night and that’s it… Darrell on the other hand, engineered and mixed the Foo Fighter record. Mixers typically get some type of residual. But again, Darrell is likely seeing nothing from the “Engineering” part.

The Recording Engineer is the CTO

I’ve never understood this, because in my opinion, the “Engineering” part is one of the most time consuming, intense, and impactful tasks in the recording of music. The lead Recording Engineer is the equivalent of a CTO at a tech company. Do you think they should be receiving profits from a products success which they helped developed?

There is a bill

In March of 2015 Rep. Joe Crowley introduced the AMP Act, a bill to allow Music Producers, Mixers and Engineers to receive fair compensation. In my opinion, it’s the Engineers that need to most help, not the Producers and Mixers…

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Robot Vacuums Battle For Your Homes Layout, Acoustics and Airflow

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Cesare Ferrari – KC7U5443 – A long exposure of a roomba at work

As reported in a Reuters article, ‘Roomba vacuum maker iRobot is betting big on the ‘smart’ home’. There is a move to use artificial intelligence inside a robot vacuum to help it collect and then monetize on information about your home.

Here’s a few examples of what they might collect.

  1. The robot vacuum can analyze the acoustics of your home and then sell this information to companies who can help improve your homes acoustics. Actually if you’ve never considered the acoustics of your home, improving on it can truly create a much more pleasant, and in the case of a home office, professional, sounding environment.
  2. Analyze the air cleanliness and temperature in each room. This data could then be fed to your climate control unit to better regulate your homes temperature and filtration on a room by room basis.
  3. Analyze your homes layout and provide this information to furniture and decor related companies so they might recommend items that will fit in your space.
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Kalashnikov develops fully automated neural network-based combat module

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© Kalashnikov Group

I remember Terminator, and I understand why Elon Musk is a little concerned. We are well on our way to autonomous robotic soldiers and this automated combat module is just the beginning…

The Russian Kalashnikov arms manufacturer has developed a fully automated combat module based on artificial neural networks, which allows it to identify targets, learn and make decisions on its own.

Source: Kalashnikov develops fully automated neural network-based combat module

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