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Brains Byte Back
39 minutes | 16 days ago
The Final Chapter? (The Best Of Brains Byte Back)
Today we will be sharing 5 clips, from 5 of our best episodes. But first, we have some sad news. Brains Byte Back will be coming to an end, for now at least. After more than two years, the show has come a long way and we want to thank everyone who has supported the show through your plays, follows, messages, and reviews. However, we have a treat for you. In today's episode, since we did a Best of 2020, we decided to finish with a mix of episodes from 2019 and a handful from 2021. We hope you like it!
24 minutes | 23 days ago
Flash Drives for Freedom: The Organization Smuggling Forbidden Information Into North Korea
In North Korea, the internet as we know it is almost non-existent. Only a few high-level officials are allowed access, and most universities, are given a small number of strictly monitored computers. But for the majority of citizens, the only internet they know of is Kwangmyong, a walled-off network that allows access only to domestic websites and emails. Thus, access to foreign media and outside information is limited and treasured. This information is often obtained through the grey market, distributed using USBs and SD cards, and as it stands, this technology could be the most effective weapons to bring down the authoritarian regime In today's episode of the Brains Byte Back podcast, we will be speaking with Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer at Human Rights Foundation, which is responsible for Flash Drives for Freedom, a campaign that helps North Korean defectors smuggle USB drives and SD cards, loaded with outside information, into the hermit region to weaken the dictatorship. Gladstein explains how this all started, a little over 10 years ago when DVDs, CDs, and radio broadcasts trickled into the country and began to significantly change citizens' perspectives of the outside world. According to Gladstein, in interviews with numerous North Korean defectors, it was this foreign media that encouraged many of them to get out. From our interview with Gladstein, you will learn what information is put on these drives, how external information getting into the hands of its citizens is a threat to the North Korean regime, and what could happen if a North Korean citizen is caught with one of these drives. Additionally, you will learn how the 2014 comedy film "The Interview" made an impact in North Korea, becoming one of the most sought-after pieces of foreign media.
28 minutes | a month ago
How Not To Become A Prize Catch From Phishing Attacks
Every day hackers send out emails cleverly disguised, posing as legitimate institutions or individuals to lure recipients into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking, and credit card details, and passwords. You might be thinking you are too smart to fall for this, but the truth is, these attacks are often so sophisticated they can cause even the most tech-savvy individuals to fall for them, hook, line, and sinker. In this episode, we explore how to identify phishing attacks, how they evolve with current affairs and trends, and what to do if you become the victim of an attack. To do this we are joined by Dan Merino, CEO of Green Dot Security, a cybersecurity company offering services to small and mid-sized businesses. Today, you will learn how hackers use themes based on larger events such as COVID-19 or tax season to add a legitimate edge to their phishing attacks, why 2-factor authentication is so important to protect yourself, and why the information you post online could be a goldmine for phishing attacks. We discuss how humans are often the weakest point for a cyberattack, but can also stand to be the strongest defense when trained well. We also explore how call centers become the target of hacks, in order to access the information of their clientele, so the attackers can pose as a member of the call center to conduct phishing attacks over the phone using this information.
38 minutes | a month ago
True Crime Stories From The World Of Crypto Hacks And Ransomware
In today’s episode of the Brains Byte Back podcast, we will take a look at three separate cybercrime stories, attacks, and events, told by three different cybercrime and crypto experts. We have seen many bank heists and robberies portrayed in movies and TV shows, and they are often high octane, adrenaline-fueled, and exciting. But times have changed, and no longer are the most sophisticated and lucrative heists carried out by a crew of heavily armed robbers. Instead, it is cybercriminals behind computer screens that stand to make the most money. This was proven by The Bangladesh Bank Heist that took place in 2016, when unidentified hackers attempted to steal $951 million from the Bangladesh Central Bank in Dhaka. Even though a lot of this money was recovered, the thieves still managed to get away with $81 million, and the attempt is considered one of the biggest bank heists of all time. First on the podcast, we will hear Pamela Clegg, Director of Financial Investigations and Education for CipherTrace, an intelligence company working to eradicate financial crimes and provide prevention strategies in the cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces. Clegg shares a story of how CipherTrace teamed up with McAfee to tackle NetWalker ransomware, a ransomware that has become a franchise within the cybercrime underworld. Secondly, we are joined by Ondrej Krehel, CEO, and founder of digital forensics firm LIFARS, who has worked with the FBI, DHS, Interpol, and many other government organizations on cyber defense and threat hunting. Krehel joins us to discuss his work with NiceHash, a crypto-mining marketplace, which came to LIFARS for help in response to a $67M crypto hack perpetrated by the North Korean military. And finally, we are joined by Rytis Bieliauskas, CTO of cryptocurrency payment platform Coingate, to discuss how a DEA agent and a Secret Service agent stole Bitcoins from the Silk Road owner and got caught because of Bitcoin's traceability.
30 minutes | a month ago
Self-Aware AI On The Battlefield: Should We Fear A Terminator Scenario?
In this episode of the Brains Byte Back Podcast, we want to explore if "The Terminator" could ever become a reality, and what other forms of AI weapons and warfare we might see in the near future. To do this we are joined by Marshall Barnes, an advanced concept science and technology R&D engineer who has been associated with advanced weapons concepts involving robotics and computerized weapons systems since 1982. Barnes began his career working on ideas for antisubmarine warfare and was a recruitment target by the attorney of Arm-Tech, James Maxwell. In 2008 he published a paper through Scientific Americans' blog community on current and future weapons systems that was scrubbed off the Internet by DARPA because it revealed too much. Barnes kicks off the episode by explaining how he first got started in the technological weapons space, and how a love for sci-fi inspired him to design futuristic weapons. He also breaks down how he would revise classic Star Wars weapons and vehicles to make them more effective, and how his career was launched by a desire to create his own sci-fi movie. We also discuss a recent BBC article titled "Biden urged to back AI weapons to counter China and Russia threats," and Barnes shares his thoughts on why he is not afraid of AI becoming self-aware. He also discusses China's super-soldier program, and how he likes to contemplate countermeasures against new technological weapons from foreign threats as a hobby in his free time. Additionally, Barnes explains what "Digital Centrism" is and why it holds back many in the tech community.
34 minutes | 2 months ago
The Rise of TikTok: What Are The Components Of A Successful Social Media Platform?
There is no doubt that 2020 will be remembered as the year that COVID lockdowns stole from us, but it will also be the year that TikTok broke headlines, records, and became an enemy of the former US president. As of February 2021, it is estimated that TikTok now has over 1.1 Billion active monthly users. But how did the app become so big and what are the driving factors behind the app's rise to fame? In today's episode of the Brains Byte Back podcast, we break down the psychological components that allow social media apps, like TikTok, to rise to the top and snowball with users. To do this we are joined by Austin Luliano, a Social Media Marketing Consultant that has worked with major emerging social media such as Meerkat, Periscope, Snapchat, Musical.ly/Tiktok, and Live.ly. Luliano shares with us how he went from homeless sleeping in his car to one of the fastest-growing live streaming influencers, and the steps he took to achieve this. He also explains why and how TikTok became so successful, examples of social media companies that have risen and fallen due to major mistakes, and strategies for emerging social media sites that anyone can use to grow their audience. In this episode, you will also learn why successful social media sites have to help their users achieve something or get better at something, how Vine rapidly fell apart, and why Andrew Yang's book "The War on Normal People" is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the business models of social media. Luliano also shares with us why he has a Reddit account dedicated to just following, puppies, animals, and "kind, cuddly things." And finally, he explains how to use the algorithms of new social media features to your advantage.
24 minutes | 2 months ago
How AI-Driven Crisis Recovery Tackles The 'Second Disaster' Of Disorganization
Around the world, natural disasters and tragedies strike every week and during these tough times, we often see the best in human nature thanks to donations and charity work. However, despite good intentions, a lot of money and resources are lost to waste and fraud. In today's episode of the Brains Byte Back podcast, we speak with Naysa Mishler, the co-founder, and CEO of Everest Effect, an AI-driven crisis recovery marketplace removing waste and fraud from donations with transparency, so that people affected by crises can get the exact help they need at the moment they need it. Mishler explains how disorganization, also known in the industry as "the second disaster," can be counterproductive when it comes to donations, highlighting the example of winter coats being sent to Haiti following the earthquake in 2010. Additionally, she speaks about the current situation the United States faces in terms of crisis recovery from the pandemic. And finally, we dissect the psychology behind donations, and how Everest Effect taps into this. In its most basic form, Everest's marketplace verifies the identity and need of those affected by the crisis to request a basket of items at $100 or less. Those who wish to give can fill those baskets. Mishler also explains why fraud is such a big issue within charity work, and how Everest Effect tackles this through its verification process, to ensure the right people are getting help.
38 minutes | 2 months ago
Connecting Everything To The Internet: Our Future With IoT Technology
According to Statista, by 2025 we can expect to see a total of 30 Billion IoT devices, up 50% from 20 Billion in 2020. With such a huge rise in numbers, IoT technology stands to change every corner of our lives, and in this episode, we briefly explore each of these areas, from our toilets to our cars, and beyond. To do this we are joined by Vats Vanamamalai, an IoT Data Strategy Mastermind from Solace, a company that specializes in the smart movement of data. In this episode, we discuss a new disease-detecting “precision health” toilet that can sense multiple signs of illness through automated urine and stool analysis. Vats shares with us how soon he thinks this will be in all of our homes and references an interesting historical fact citing the date the flushing toilet was invented and how soon it took to be widely adopted. Spoiler alert, it took a while. We also discuss how vertical farming will become more prevalent in the food production industry and potentially our back gardens, and how IoT can help cars detect when a tire will puncture before it happens. Additionally, we explore the potentially deadly threat of a smart car being hacked.
40 minutes | 2 months ago
Are Fully Autonomous Vehicles Fast Approaching?
In July 2020, speaking via video at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, Elon Musk stated that "I'm extremely confident that level five - or essentially complete autonomy - will happen and I think will happen very quickly." While this is exciting, we still don't have a clear idea of how or when AI vehicles will become a normal part of our everyday lives. In this episode, we look to explore how far away a future of fully autonomous vehicles really is, where we will see this transition first, and what it will take for us to arrive there. We also debate whether we could live in a future where humans will no longer be allowed to drive and AI-operated vehicles become legally mandatory. To do this we invited a number of experts on the show to share their thoughts on this topic. In this episode, we are joined by Jason Torchinsky, the Senior Editor for the automotive technology site Jalopnik, and the author of Robot, Take the Wheel: The Road to Autonomous Cars and the Lost Art of Driving. Torchinsky breaks down the five different levels of autonomous vehicles, Elon Musk's comments at last year’s World Artificial Intelligence Conference, and he explains how far he really thinks Tesla, and other companies, are from full autonomy. We are also joined by Carl Anthony, the Detroit-based managing editor of Automoblog and AutoVision News. Anthony joins us to highlight what countries are leading the way for autonomous vehicle technology, and how consumer psychology stands to influence the production of autonomous vehicles. And lastly, we are joined by Melanie Musson, an autonomous vehicle and insurance specialist that produces written content for the auto insurance comparison site AutoInsurance.org. She explains how autonomous vehicles might make certain personal details irrelevant for car insurance companies, why manual driving could become unaffordable for the majority of drivers, and how car insurance companies stand to influence the psychology of consumers.
21 minutes | 3 months ago
The Silk Road (Psychology After Dark)
In today's episode, we will be sharing an interview of Brains Byte Back host, Sam Brake Guia, on the podcast Psychology After Dark, where they discuss the moral and ethical implications of dark web markets. If the name Psychology After Dark sounds familiar, the show's hosts Dr. Jessica Micono and Dr. David Morelos joined us on our previous Brains Byte Back episode “The Psychology of Conspiracy Theory Beliefs.” In this episode of their show title “Silk Road,” they discuss what is crypto-anarchism, the philosophical underpinnings of dark web markets, and how dark web markets impact everyone even if they are not actively buying or selling goods or services. Sam also shares his thoughts on the case of Ross Ulbricht.
35 minutes | 3 months ago
How To Unlock Your Creativity With Fun-Based Neuroscience Techniques
Creativity is a skill that so many corporations and businesses aspire to foster and harness. However, businesses often struggle to create a conducive environment for this, especially in workplaces riddled with dull meetings and never-ending PowerPoint presentations. Many businesses place great importance on intelligence but forget the fun, and that is what our guests today are trying to change in the corporate world. In this episode of the podcast, we are joined by Kenny White, Chief Creativity Architect and Co-Founder of Funworks, a creative agency using neuroscience research to bring fun into the corporate setting, allowing businesses and their employees to achieve their creative potential. Alongside White, we are also joined by Erica Fortescue, neuroscience expert, and the former Creativity Architect at Funworks. In the episode, White explains how a road trip from Alaska to Costa Rica led him to become a co-founder of the company and how the company created "(fun)workshops" in business environments, based on the founder's experience of writing in sketch comedy groups. He highlights how the company uses sketch comedians alongside graphic illustrators to record ideas in image form to create an environment of fun and laughter to produce content. Fortescue also explains how her work, alongside some of the most pre-eminent neuroscientists and psychologists in the world, allowed her to optimize Funwork's creative process. You will learn what the phrase "Neurons that fire together, wire together" means, how we get stuck in thinking loops that stifle our creativity, and how to get out of these loops. Hint, it involves driving through a house (metaphorically). She also shares with our listeners what fMRI and EEG studies tell us about how our unconscious produces creative ideas, and how we bring them to the surface. The pair also give examples of unique work environments they produced to help come up with ideas -- like how they rented out the Swedish American Hall and sat in Viking chairs to come up with a new promotional video for the game "Assassin's Creed Valhalla," which became the best selling game in the franchise's history, with 1.7 million copies sold at launch. And finally, Fortescue explains how open-ended questions can lead to better ideas. And even though this sounds straightforward, Fortescue provides an example that highlights how Funworks takes an unconventional, yet effective approach to this.
54 minutes | 3 months ago
How To Retain More Information, Improve Recall & Learn A New Language
We now have access to more information at our fingertips than ever before. YouTube videos, podcasts, audiobooks -- all of these forms of media have allowed us to consume information faster than ever, but we still face the challenge of retaining this information. In this episode, we will break down scientifically proven methods to retain more information and improve recall. To do this we are joined by two memory specialists. The first is Scott Crabtree, the Chief Happiness Officer at Happy Brain Science, a company that strives to improve happiness for professionals and organizations using neuroscience. In addition to Crabtree, we are also joined by Marissa Blaszko, a polyglot that speaks 6 languages and the founder of the website Relearn a Language. Crabtree specializes in the science of learning, memory, and happiness. He shares with us the reason why we forget what we are looking for when passing from one room to another, why emotions are important to recall information, and how chocolate can help with memory. From our discussion with Blaszko, you will learn the two secret weapons of polyglots, some of the most out-of-date myths about language learning that annoy her the most, and how you can create your own memory palace to store information. Moreover, Blaszko also explains what are Memory Championships and how listeners can apply the techniques of champions in their own lives.
49 minutes | 3 months ago
Bitcoin FOMO: How Our Psychology Drives The Price Of Bitcoin
Imagine seeing someone you fancy but you don't have the courage to ask them out and then someone else does, or not going to a party, only to see numerous pictures of all your friends having fun there later on, on social media. Now imagine this, but instead of a party or a date, you lost out on thousands of dollars. That is the crushing feeling of fear of missing out, or FOMO as it is more commonly know, and the feeling many are probably having at this very moment due to Bitcoin. In today's episode, we will explore how this FOMO, alongside other psychological factors, influences the price of Bitcoin. You will learn, what are the biological mechanisms that happen when we are having FOMO, how the news influences public opinion of Bitcoin, and the different types of Bitcoin investors, and what separates them psychologically. Joining us on the show is Federico De Faveri, a full-stack software engineer and Bitcoin fanatic who has closely watched this space since 2014. We discuss how "Pump and Dump" scams work in the crypto world, how trading bots with stop losses create a domino effect that can lead to price dips or rallies, and the best ways to find trustworthy Bitcoin news. But before our chat with Faveri, we take a step back to briefly understand how Bitcoin works, how it is mined, and the technical factors that influence its price. To do this, we are joined by Nick Hansen, CEO of Luxor Technology, the largest Bitcoin mining pool in North America. Hansen shares with us an analogy to better understand how Bitcoin works, how Bitcoins are mined, and what a Bitcoin halving is. And stay tuned to the end where we ask both these Bitcoin experts what their predictions are for Bitcoin's price in 2021.
34 minutes | 4 months ago
Changing The 'Chatter' Of Our Inner Voice From Destructive To Productive
As Elon Musk's Neuralink and other implantable brain-machine interfaces continue to advance, it seems like we will soon be living in a world where our mind can control everything. But before we reach this future, it is important for us to first understand our own minds, how they work, and how to control them. In this episode, we will explore the power and importance of our inner voice. To better understand the chatter in our heads, we are joined by Ethan Kross, an award-winning professor at the Psychology department of the University of Michigan. He is also the author of the new book CHATTER: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, which comes out today. In this episode, we discuss the TED talk "Mind Control: How to win the war in your head" and why our inner voice can often be very negative. We also look at how we can change this, shaping our inner dialogue to become more positive, thus creating the basis of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). In addition to this, you will learn how meditation influences our inner voice, his work relating to social media and well-being, why using our name when talking with ourselves can help us overcome difficult situations. Kross also explains how he uses mental time travel to put problems into perspective.
56 minutes | 4 months ago
Social Media and our Psychology (Don't Worry, We'll Talk It Out)
Sam Brake Guia, the host of Brains Byte Back, featured on a handful of podcasts as a guest last year, however, on today’s episode, we share a special interview that is likely to be of interest for listeners of Brains Byte Back. Sam was invited onto the podcast “Don't Worry, We'll Talk It Out” hosted by Randon Heim And if you're a longtime listener of Brains Byte Back, you might remember Randon as he was a guest on the episode “Cancel Culture: A digital witch hunt.” In this episode, titled “Social Media and our Psychology” we discuss the effects of social media, political polarization, conspiracy theories, information overload, and ways to form a healthy relationship with technology and social media.
25 minutes | 4 months ago
Brain Plasticity: How Technology, Environments, and Language Change Our Brains
Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku once said, “The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10,000 other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe.” Our brain is undeniably an incredibly complex and impressive object, and this is best demonstrated with brain plasticity, a term that refers to the brain's ability to change and adapt as a result of experience. Listen to this podcast on Spotify, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Overcast, Listen Notes, PodBean, and Radio Public. To better understand how the brain does this and the processes that take place when we learn new skills, we spoke with Alicia Walf, Ph.D., a neuroscientist and a senior lecturer in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer. Walf studies the brain mechanisms of stress and reproductive hormones as they relate to behavior and cognition, brain plasticity, and brain health over the lifespan. Her specific areas of expertise are memory, emotions, and social interactions and how these functions not only arise from the brain but change the brain itself. In this episode, Walf explains how the job of London cab drivers impacts their hippocampus (the area of the brain responsible for memory), how capable we are to retrain in tech jobs relating to cyber and coding at a later age, and what studies on frequent video game players vs novices show us about brain plasticity. She also discusses how the olfactory sense can help us better understand dementia and memory.
33 minutes | 4 months ago
Software That Predicts Employee Burnout Through Language
Imagine being at your computer, busy with work and on the brink of burnout, when you receive a message that tells you to relax and take the rest of your day off, for the benefit of your mental health. This is the goal for Erudit, a software company that uses algorithms to predict and prevent employee burnout. In the same way that Netflix strives to understand each individual user and offers them options tailored for them, Erudit wants to do the same to reduce employee burnout, understanding what they need to stay mentally healthy and well. To understand how this software works and how it was created, we are joined by Ricardo Michel Reyes, Erudit AI co-founder and AI director, alongside Pablo Gil Torres, the CPO of Erudit. In this episode you will learn the differences in difficulty when identifying meaning between Germanic languages such as German, English, Dutch, and Romance languages, such as Spanish, French, Italian, etc). You will also learn about the origins of how they created their natural language processing algorithm and how their software advises companies when an employee is close to burnout. In addition to this Pablo and Ricardo explain how they developed their own psychological theory named Semantic Analysis, based on math and linguistics.
40 minutes | 4 months ago
Brains Byte Back: The Best of 2020
As 2020 finally comes to an end, on today’s episode we take a look back at some of the best and most insightful episodes of the year. Episodes include: How to Become an Effective Critical Thinker Neuromarketing: Psychology That Influences Consumer Behavior ‘The Psychedelic Renaissance’ with the former VP of content at High Times Sex Robots, INCELs and Porn Addiction with a Neuroscientist Researching Human Sexual Behavior The science behind learning soft skills and hard skills, with Neuroscience specialist Todd Maddox, Ph.D.
41 minutes | 5 months ago
Increasing Happiness With Evidence-Based Techniques
According to The Guardian, lockdown measures significantly increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression in the UK. And according to the American Psychological Society, Americans across the pond also felt the stress of living in lockdown. It has been a stressful year for many of us. In light of this, we want to dedicate this episode to happiness and explore what makes us happy, along with actions we can take to improve our levels of happiness in our everyday lives, based on psychological research. Today we are joined by Dr. Alan Chu, an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin. He joins us on the show to discuss research relating to happiness based on positive psychology, the PERMA model (Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment), and how to implement practices based on this model in our everyday lives. In this episode, you will learn Dr. Chu's four steps and how to incorporate these happiness practices in your daily life. In addition to Dr. Chu, we are joined by Dr. Mike Rucker, Chief Digital Officer for Active Wellness, a company that delivers wellness services to inspire people toward a healthy, active life. He is also the author of The Fun Habit that will be coming out next year. He joins us to discuss why he believes traditional psychological research into happiness is inaccurate, and what we should aim to achieve in order to obtain a greater level of happiness in our everyday lives.
41 minutes | 5 months ago
Heuristics: How Our Mental Short Cuts Can Mislead Us
We live busy lives in a hectic world, so to take in every piece of information available in order to make a decision would be a long and laborious task. That is why our brains use heuristics, a mental shortcut that allows individuals to solve problems and make judgments quickly and efficiently. While these shortcuts allow us to save time, they can often trip us up, causing us to misinterpret information. In this episode, we are joined by Jillene G. Seiver, a Senior Lecturer of Psychology at Eastern Washington University and active Youtuber, to explore five heuristics that we face in our daily lives. Seiver breakdown Representativeness (and its relative, the base rate fallacy), availability, framing, anchoring, and the sunk cost fallacy. You will learn how AI may be impacted by the heuristics used by humans, why Seiver likes to demonstrate the Anchoring bias with her students by asking how long the Mississippi River is, and why a 95% effective rate for condoms tricks our brain into thinking they are more effective than they really are.
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