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Tech Round-Up – The Audacity of the situation!

Hello and welcome to the Geeky Brummie Tech Round-Up!

Each week I’ll be deep diving into the world of technology. Bringing back some new pearls from Birmingham and beyond! If you want to send any local tech articles over, feel free to reach out to me at ryan@geekybrummie.com.


Audacity looks to fork itself with Data Privacy Concerns

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) darling of the Open Source Community was purchased back in May by the newly formed Muse Group, with the promise the software would remain free to use and without restrictions. With over 100m downloads Audacity is the preferred editors software of hundreds of those annoying podcasters, who keep reminding you to download their podcast all the time…. Frustrating aren’t they!

If you’re wondering why an Open Source piece of software can become private, me too, but LWN.Net have a good writeup of the situation which goes into depth about the Contributor Licence Agreement (CLA):

https://lwn.net/Articles/859599

So private investment is good yeah? Maybe they’ll get around to finally fixing the interface which looks like it was etched on stone tablets some time around when the Babylonians were a world power.

Well, no…

On 13th May there was a Pull request (889) hosted on GitHub (The website that keeps the world moving) around telemetry features (read data tracking) and using Google and Yandex to provide this service (835). There was lots of positive feedback about the removal of this tracking at the time.

https://github.com/audacity/audacity/discussions/889

Since then, things have developed with a new privacy notice published too the audacity team website:

https://www.audacityteam.org/about/desktop-privacy-notice/

Lots of new data privacy rules have been added, notably, under 13s are no longer intended to use Audacity. What has worried many is the inclusion of ‘law enforcement agencies’ ‘any potential buyer’ having access to the data collected which is a bit odd for a piece of software which is standalone and doesn’t require an internet connection. As the headquarters of Muse Group are in Russia, many are worried about their data integrity.

Some have dismissed this as standard practice, but it has caused others to raise eyebrows. Users are already moving to alternate software, and as The Register notes a ‘Fork’ looks to be on the horizon, depending on how the situation progresses:

https://www.theregister.com/2021/07/05/audacity/


Great Scott! Ocado’s hivemind is something to witness

Avid red shirt enthusiast and YouTube explainer person Tom Scott, has blagged his way into an Ocado packing warehouse in London. The fascinating video shows how Ocado manages to pack a million items a day with minimal human interaction. As you guessed, this is by using 2000 bots, some 3d cameras (yes they’re Kinects if you spotted the logo) controlled by the glorious Ocado hivemind.

If the grocery bots start asking “Does this unit has a soul”? I for one will be getting to the billionaire Space flotilla and getting off Earth before the inevitable uprising, where grocery bots control the worlds food supply.


Billionaires are blasting off again

Things are heating up in the billionaire boys club, as they are getting closer and closer to playing with their favourite toys IN SPACE…

I mean, who wants to solve world hunger, when you can be like Benny in the Lego Movie and just keep repeating Spaceship Spaceship SPACESHIP!!!!! over and over.

Anyways, the bearded one (Branson) is planning to hitch a ride aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity crew of six to the edge of space on 11th July. Lets hope it goes better than the launch of Virgin Cola.

Not to be outdone, the bald one (Bezos) fresh off stepping down as head of retail overlord Amazon will be snapping at his heels. Bezos, bro Mark and Wally Funk (who by rights should have been in space by the 60s), will join the unannounced auction winner on their trip towards the stars on July 20th. they’ll be flying in Blue Origin’s New Shepard which reminds me of a certain scene from Austin Powers…

File photo of a New Shepard launch in 2019. Credit: Blue Origin

https://www.virgingalactic.com/

https://www.blueorigin.com/news/wally-funk-will-fly-to-space-on-new-shepard

https://www.npr.org/2021/07/02/1012417310/jeff-bezos-is-headed-to-space-richard-branson-decided-to-beat-him-there?t=1625554081901


Want to get inside Windows 11? Now you can

If you want to get inside and probe Microsoft’s latest Operating System (more on that here), you now can access the Windows Insider Preview build. It includes features such as docking, emojis in the virtual keyboard, widgets and everyone’s favourite the Microsoft Store.

It’s inevitable and you’ll have to get used to it, so get past that eye twitch over the centrally justified taskbar now, or, you know, move to Linux / MacOS.

Of course, you’ll have to join the Windows Insider program if you want to get your mitts on it.

https://blogs.windows.com/windows-insider/2021/06/28/announcing-the-first-insider-preview-for-windows-11/

https://bit-tech.net/news/tech/software/windows-11-insider-preview-released/1/


And that’s it for this week, if you have anything tech related you want me to shout about, let me know at ryan@geekybrummie.com! See you next week!

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