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 annotated every Thursday (CET), just in time so you have something good to read during the weekend.
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- Soon We Won’t Program Computers. We’ll Train Them Like Dogs
Utterly fascinating and vivid read about how machine learning changes computer engineering and turns software into incomprehensible black boxes.
- What to do with billions of useless humans?
I think this is the more accurate question than what’s usually at the core of the slightly tiring debate about whether new jobs will replaced those made obsolete by machines: What happens once (or “if”) machines outperform physical and cognitive abilities of humans. What are we going to do?
- Broker vs. bot: And the winner is…
When a potential home buyer got suggestions by a real estate agent and a bot, the bot chose better.
- Power laws rule everything around me
Great point: Power laws are one of the major dynamics shaping our current world. In technology it is also known as “Winner takes it all”.
- What Was the Greatest Era for Innovation? A Brief Guided Tour
Pick your favourite. It all depends on one’s perspective, I guess.
- Why Apple Music is So Bad When the iPhone is so Good
Apple is a hardware company and pretty good at that. When it comes to services, the picture looks much more bleak, as Om Malik explains. Read also Ben Thompson’s recent analysis about Apple’s challenges with becoming a service-focused company.
- Podcasts Surge, but Producers Fear Apple Isn’t Listening
Apple’s lack of excellence in services can also be witnessed when it comes to the company’s podcast ecosystem, which is dominating the market yet not reaching up to users’ and podcasters’ expectations at all.
- Face recognition app taking Russia by storm may bring end to public anonymity
Facial recognition technology that accesses public (or semi-public) profile photos automatically and at exceptionally low cost and matches people to their identities is an inevitable by-product of the advances in digital technology. It’s creepy but what could really be done to prevent it?!
- The blockchain is a threat to the distributed future of the Internet
Few new technologies are causing so much excitement as the Blockchain, which is considered being as revolutionary as the Internet was. But, as this piece argues, its centralized nature and need for large-scale infrastructure could become a threat to the distributed future of the Internet.
- Estonia – the Skype effect
A short reminder to what extent success is being built on previous success.
- After three weeks in China, it’s clear Beijing is Silicon Valley’s only true competitor
Insightful read. The most mind-boogling fact about China’s tech industry is the scale of things.
- Nest products gain a ton of new smart home integrations
Google just announced the upcoming launch of a voice-controlled smart home device. Meanwhile, the Google owned smart home company Nest has been generated some negative headlines lately, but it still seems to push forward. So Google is following its usual playbook even when it comes to the smart home: Having 2 horses in the race.
- The FBI Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny Wiretapping Your Amazon Echo
This is the dark side of the smart home, and especially of devices equipped with microphones: Possible, if not guaranteed privacy intrusion. The big question is: Can the smart home be made bulletproof against surveillance?
- 85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound
Short viral videos which can be consumed without sound thanks to captions have become a huge thing.
- US outpaces Europe for wearables
Interesting study results: Overall Americans are more into wearables. However, among those who purchased a wearable device, Americans prefer fitness bands whereas Europeans favor smartwatches.
- The Shift to a Cashless Society is Snowballing
The state of cashless payments around the world.
- BMW to launch iNext autonomous car in 2021
A sign of how remarkable our times are: In a historical context 5 years are nothing, especially for such product. Yet 5 years also feel like an eternity. So much can happen until 2021.
Recent articles on meshedsociety.com
- People abandon the web, Google inserts it into their apps
If people on smartphones stop visiting Google and stop accessing the open web in favor of native apps, chats and bots, then Google feels it must bring its search engine and the access to the web into apps. And that’s what it’s doing.
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