Here is this week’s issue of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Published every Wednesday/Thursday (CET), just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.
Please note: The next issue of meshedsociety.com weekly will be published in the first week of 2018.
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Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
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- 1000 different people, the same words (textio.ai, 1)
Fascinating analysis of the language that is used to describe the culture at 10 tech firms. Do you want to be “maniacal”? Join Amazon.
- The sales blog cult of LinkedIn (theoutline.com, 2)
An entertaining dive into a very particular subculture that exists on LinkedIn.
- The Sound of Music (asymco.com, 1)
Horace Dediu presents some thought-provoking observations about the (changing) role of music in today’s society – and explains why Apple sticks to its affiliation with music.
- No, Google’s Pixel Buds won’t change the world (1843magazine.com, 2)
A field report from someone who tried the translation feature of Google’s wireless headphones Pixel Buds in Buckow, a tiny town in eastern Germany.
- In China, a Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society (wired.com, 3)
The in-depth story about China’s never-seen before experiment in using technology and big data to “nudge” (and force) people into desired forms of behavior.
- Coinbase is investigating claims of insider trading from its Bitcoin Cash launch (techcrunch.com, 1)
This makes me generally wonder how a major ecommerce site or online platform would go about (think, Amazon or Facebook), were it to implement a specific, existing crypto currency. How would they manage this internally? Would it be necessary to prevent employees who are not savvy speculators from investing large sums into the coin in anticipation of a big jump in value?
- How altcoins are pumped and dumped (businessinsider.com, 2)
Surprise… The crypto currency landscape is riddled with scammers and unethical actors.
- How the Winklevoss Twins Found Vindication in a Bitcoin Fortune (nytimes.com, 2)
Hard to argue against that these guys did a lot of things right ever since they sued Mark Zuckerberg, claiming that he stole their idea.
- The Other Tech Bubble (wired.com, 2)
Erin Griffith wrote an excellent end-of-the-year roundup of what changed in tech in 2017 (and shows how to be critical without using tired labels). It has been a pretty fundamental change, not only in sentiment. Related: “The Most Spectacular Startup Flameouts of 2017“.
- I Hacked HQ Trivia But Here’s How They Can Stop Me (hackernoon.com, 2)
On its finish line, 2017 is seeing a new viral break-out app: the interactive quiz show HQ Trivia (there is no website, it’s on the Apple app store), which hands out cash prizes to its users. Unsurprisingly, people are already trying to “hack” the system. By the way, I would not be surprised if this format will be heavily copied (and tweaked) next year by tech giants and startups alike. One cannot even rule out a very quick exit of HQ Trivia, considering that its founders, who previously built Vine, allegedly have questionable reputations (at least according to Recode), which in the post-Travis Kalanick world means that VCs are hesitant to invest.
- The surprising use case that has made Google Wifi one of the company’s sleeper hits (cnbc.com, 1)
The unexpected killer feature of a new generation of smart WiFi routers: Being able to conveniently disable WiFi access for certain periods or to selectively block websites. Parents seem to love that, according to this article.
- Estonia planning its own cryptocurrency, called ‘estcoin’, in bid to become global ICO hub (venturebeat.com, 2)
Estonia’s “estcoin” might go on sale already in 2018, as efforts within the Government “are now moving rapidly.
- Social and media will split (niemanlab.org, 1)
That prediction makes sense to me, and reminds me of what I wrote about the “post-social media era”.
- Theater chains are terrified of MoviePass because of subscribers like me (theverge.com, 2)
MoviePass is a US startup that sells a “all-you-can-eat” subscription for physical movie theaters. In this piece, a frequent user worries about the economical implications of this model for theaters.
- Sensor Fusion: The Only Way to Measure True Emotion (medium.com, 2)
On how machines read and “understand” human emotions.
- Why these friendly robots can’t be good friends to our kids (washingtonpost.com, 3)
Sherry Turkle isn’t a fan of robots that feign emotion and empathy.
- Truth, facts and absolutism (github.com, 2)
What does it mean when people speak about “truth”, and what does it not mean? And why is “absolute truth” a problem? Some philosophic thoughts to chew on.
Recently on meshedsociety.com:
- Is Digital Capitalism Aligned With Public Interest? Probably not.
Whenever I think about the events of 2017, I keep ending up with the same question: Is digital capitalism aligned with the interest of the people?
Quote of the week:
- “When I left Myspace, I didn’t shake hands for like three years because I figured out that people were disgusting. And I just could not touch people.”
A content moderator quoted in “The Basic Grossness of Humans“. Things were bad already back in the early days. (theatlantic.com, 2)
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