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Tech Roundup – Gaia, Space, Down…

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

Each roundup 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.


Hello All!

This week, we look at big Gaia globes on Brum, Seeing what space looked like 30 years ago, Twitter trialling downvotes, Meta Money and musically tree NFTs


Gaia – See the Earth indoors

You might remember about 5 years ago, The Museum of the Moon, an artwork installation by artist Luke Jerram, was brought to the Thinktank in Birmingham. This week another artwork Gaia has landed at Millennium Point. In place until the 28th March, it’s free to go and see with no booking – every day from 8 am to 11 pm.

A technological marvel, it’s made from 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s Surface on a globe measuring seven metres in diameter. The artwork is 1.8 million times smaller than the real Earth with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture describing 18km of the Earth’s surface.

I was lucky enough to attend the launch on Wednesday with Mrs Geeky Brummie and it’s a mesmerising experience up close, taking approximately 5 minutes per rotation. I heartily recommend a visit if you get chance over the coming months.

There’s also a few vents going un including Yoga under Gaia (free to book), and a silent disco (£10 plus fees)

Further Reading:

https://www.millenniumpoint.org.uk/gaia/

https://www.millenniumpoint.org.uk/presents/whats-on/yoga/

https://www.millenniumpoint.org.uk/presents/whats-on/silentdisco/

https://my-earth.org/about/


Source: NASA

See what Space looked like on your birthday 30 years ago

Though tis much younger sibling, The James Webb Space Telescope, is grabbing all the headlines recently, Hubble is still soldiering on 30 years later.

Capturing such stellar photography (groan! ed.) over it’s 30 years, as part of its birthday celebrations, NASA are asking you to have a look at what the venerable eye in the sky has captured on your birthday and share it using the hashtag #Hubble30.

Source: Nasa

Further Reading:

https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/what-did-hubble-see-on-your-birthday


Meta Money, Meta Problems

Oh dear, oh dear oh dear…

For the first time in it’s history Facebook has had a reduction in Daily Active Users (DAUs), which fell to 1.929bn inQ4 2021, compared to 1.930bn in the previous quarter.

A reduction of 1 million users. Which sounds like a small amount compared to nearly 2 billion users, but shrink, rather than growth is never viewed kindly by the capitalist beast Wall Street which hungers for internet expansion.

This was reflected in Meta’s share p[rice which plunged from $323.00 per share to $244.98 per share overnight on 2nd February, a 24% reduction, with further losses in the day’s trading. Overall it was the biggest ever daily loss on the US stock market.

The company’s share price slide saw chief executive, and sleep paralysis demon made flesh, Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth fall by over $30bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Even after that drop, Mr Zuckerberg has an estimated net worth of almost $90bn, an obscene amount of money which should never be controlled by one individual, who’s worth nearly one and a half times the the entire GDP of Belarus, a country with 9.4m population.

Further Reading:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60255088

https://www.vox.com/recode/2022/2/2/22915110/facebook-meta-user-growth-decline-first-time-metaverse-mark-zuckerberg-tiktok-competition-earnings

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/feb/03/facebook-stock-shares-meta-mark-zuckerberg


Twitter trials downvotes

As Facebook and Reddit try to become Tik Tok, Twitter is trying to become… Reddit…?

I suppose the doomed fleet feature was Twitters Tik Tok toe in the water, so they already failed on that one.

Instead of adding an edit button, which users have been screaming loudly about for YEARS now, Twitter instead is doing a worldwide beta of downvoting.

Though the downvotes won’t be public (yet?). Twitter said that it’s using the test to gather feedback on what users find useful—in other words, data collected during the test is probably being used as training data for its ranking algorithm, and to ‘help’ better choose content to display to you.

It’s interesting to see Twitter implementing a feature like this especially after the YouTube dislike furore recently so we’ll be keeping an eye on this.


Further Reading:

https://www.gsmarena.com/twitter_downvote_reply_test_expands_worldwide-news-53023.php

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/02/latest-twitter-tweak-to-test-what-happens-when-users-downvote-replies/


Duran Duran NFT Nonsense

Local new wave ‘rock’ music sexagenarians Duran Duran have decided to jump on the #NFT bandwagon off the back of the release of their latest album Future Past.

The unique project that will connect NFTs to newly-planted trees in New Zealand. they’ll kick-off this by gifting the digital owners of the existing “INVISIBLE” NFT collection, which was released last year in support of the band’s last album a new a brand-new ‘eco-friendly NFT’ featuring a themed artwork designed by Huxley, an AI artist.

Along with the NFT, a living tree will be planted in Jardine Park, Queenstown, New Zealand, in the person’s name. Each new tree will be traceable on the blockchain via the corresponding NFT. Planting will take place over the next few days.

As you might be aware from mine and Leigh’s articles in the past we’re not huge fans of NFTs, their massive energy consumption to basically have a name stored in a ledger somewhere unattached to the actual ‘asset’ itself.

No information about the sustainability of the blockchain used but a standard NFT Ethereum transaction uses roughly 48 kWh, which can be equated to roughly the amount of energy used by a UK household for 5 DAYS.

So a single tree being planted doesn’t seem to offset this very much. Not very ‘Bon’ you might say…

Further reading:

https://duranduran.com/2022/duran-duran-connects-trees-to-their-nfts-as-part-of-initiative-to-start-new-micro-forests-around-the-world/

https://nftexplained.info/how-much-energy-does-an-nft-use/


That’s it for this round of tech. And again If you want to send any local tech articles over, feel free to reach out to me at ryan@geekybrummie.com.


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