Here is a weekly selection of thoughtful opinion pieces, interesting analyses and significant yet under-reported information bits from the digital and technology world. Published and commented every Thursday, just in time so you have something good to read during the weekend.
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- Why I Fucking Hate Unicorns and the Culture They Breed
The headline speaks for itself and needs no additional comment from me.
- A Better Government, One Tweak at a Time
I loved reading that. In large systems and organizations, small experimental changes to the design and instructions of processes can have a big impact, especially if conducted in various areas simultaneously. The U.S. government is exactly doing that, with good results.
- Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.
Have you heard about the “rule of three” when it comes to using smartphones during conversations? Or the “seven minute rule”? If not, but you are interested to learn, read this piece by author and human-technology interaction researcher Sherry Turkle.
- For San Francisco Cab Drivers, Once-Treasured Medallions Now a Burden
Amazing how things can change within a few years. And obviously very unfortunate for taxi drivers like the one portrayed.
- The Man Who Created Second Life Thinks We Can Make an Earth-Sized Virtual World
I am pretty convinced that this indeed will happen. Hard to imagine how this would change the physical world and humanity. The creator of Second Life offers some possible answers in this interview.
- Twitter Plans to Go Beyond Its 140-Character Limit
After having written this post about the pros and cons of getting rid of the 140-character limit, it seems as if things really could be moving. I thought for a while about where I stand in this and have now made up my mind: I am in favor of such a change. We as Twitter users will lose something. But I expect the upside to be bigger. Somehow, the status quo at Twitter is a bit boring.
- Silicon Valley’s Latest Innovation? Paternity Leave
This is a pretty important “social innovation” for society, families, men and women.
- The Measured Working Man
When upcoming changes to the way we work and the impact of automation are being discussed, this aspect usually gets too little attention: Even those people who will not be competing with machines for their work could be strongly affected by them in a negative way: Because they will increasingly be subject to measuring, data analysis and surveillance.
- Uber’s technology is reportedly ‘hanging by a thread’ — but the company’s CTO is getting it together
Scalability is something that is talked about very little when it comes to Uber. Probably because the company has enough external challenges to deal with. However, traffic is growing rapidly, but unlike, say Facebook, the company really cannot afford any downtimes.
- Swish and Klarna Most popular Digital Payment Services in Sweden
Swish is a P2P money transfer app created by a bunch of Swedish banks. Today, half of all Swedes say that they use Swish. While this app is not available outside of Sweden, the app’s success proves that even incumbents can be innovative and disruptive in the digital world. They just need to allow it to happen.
- Happn Attracts $14 Million For Its Dating App Powered By Real Life Interactions
I am linking to this news article mostly so I can mention how I recently have run into several people who told me that they not only use Tinder for casual dating, but also Happn. This is actually remarkable, in two ways: Tinder has been dominating the mobile dating scene so much, so it seems a big deal to me that a young competitor manages to create somewhat of a momentum. Also, Happn is from France. Not usually a country which produces successful consumer apps that become successful internationally. How this one continues will be very interesting to follow. I am sure Tinder is watching closely.
- Mobile Web Is Top Of Funnel, Mobile App Is Bottom Of Funnel
In my opinion, this is a very constructive way to look at the “competition” between mobile web apps and native apps: There is none, because both serve different purposes.
- Is Twitter Tech Parody Persona ‘Startup L. Jackson’ the Banksy of Silicon Valley?
Startup L. Jackson for sure has become quite a celebrity among the tech digerati on Twitter. I am curious to learn who is behind that account.
- Bitnation Registers First Refugees on the Blockchain
This is one of the many game-changing use cases that people have in mind when they praise the Blockchain technology, I guess. Exciting stuff, even though I have no idea whether this, in practice, really works the way it is supposed to.
- Coding – the new Latin
I like this metaphor a lot, which is why I link to this piece. There is not so much more in the article other than an argumentation for why coding is the new Latin. So if you have little time, no need to read it. Just let the title sink in.
And recently on meshedsociety.com