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.
If you want to make sure not to miss this link selection, do like more than 200 other smart people (as of April 2016) and sign up for free for the weekly email. It is sent out each Thursday right after this post goes live, including all the links. Example.
- Technology is changing how we live, but it needs to change how we work
Insightful, lengthy article loaded with high-profile quotes describing the partly unclear connection between technological progress, productivity and quality of life.
- Will Technology Cause or Solve Humanity’s Biggest Problems?
That’s the essential question that nobody really can give a definite answer to. Although I try anyway: Technology solves humanity’s biggest problems while at the same time introducing new, biggest problems.
- Meet the Woman Who’s Created the 21st Century Finance Model for Emerging Technologies
A very remarkable and inspirational story.
- Apple, Microsoft and Google hold 23% of all U.S. corporate cash, as tech sector accumulates wealth
How likely is it that this concentration of cash (and thereby power) will not continue? I first wanted to call this a rhetorical question, but after closer consideration, maybe this trend won’t continue indefinitely. Microsoft is failing big time in the mobile market, while Apple’s future also looks cloudy. Basically, from here, it can go either way.
- The Curse of Culture
A brilliant analysis of how the culture of organizations prevents them from radically reinventing themselves. A dilemma which only can be solved through outstanding leadership.
- The Amorality of Self-Driving Cars
Stimulating text about the ethics of cars that kill humans.
- Unsafe Cars Can Save Lives
Is it morally wrong to sell a car with a zero-star safety rating in a developed country? An interesting question.
- Why Everyone Hates UberPOOL
Both Uber and its big American rival Lyft are pushing a ride-sharing option which lets multiple passengers take the same ride simultaneously, thereby lowering fares. In theory, this is a fantastic idea both from a sustainability point of view as well as from the perspective of price-conscious riders. In theory. In reality, this service is causing headache to each party involved, as this piece outlines. Very insightful.
- What It’s Like to Live in a City Without Uber
One more thing about Uber & Lyft. Or rather, about the city of Austin and how its people deal with the sudden suspension of all services offered by Uber and Lyft. The thought that dominated my mind while reading this was how unfortunate it is that the majority of American cities have no proper, modern & safe public transport.
- This is Seelampur: India’s digital underbelly where your phones go to die
About India’s growing e-waste problem and the informal industry comprising of hundreds of thousands of mostly men who dismantle discarded gadgets, looking for tiny parts made of gold, silver and other metals.
- The Future Belongs To Leaders Who Get Artificial Intelligence
The two authors recommend leaders to “ride the surprise-fear-embrace curve” in regards to artificial intelligence instead of trying to keep all their decision making to themselves. Because computers’ decisions might be better.
- China’s scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works
A depiction of the effectiveness of China’s “great firewall”.
- Spotify seeks more personalized playlists after Discover Weekly finds 40M users
On social media you can frequently see people raving about Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature which every Monday provides every user with a personalized list of recommended songs. Now the music streaming service – which still delivers a mixed financial performance – has revealed user numbers for Discover Weekly: Almost half of all Spotify users have accessed the feature at least once since its launch last year. That’s quite an impressive result. I love it too. So much that I would like to have it as a separate app.
- Commission releases the 2016 “European Digital Progress Report”: unequal progress towards the Digital Single Market
The European Commission’s report on digital progress in the EU. Interesting read. Did you know that Romania is among the top 3 countries with the most advanced ultrafast broadband adoption?
- WTF are Progressive Web Apps?
Try this new web app of the Washington Post on your phone. Blazing fast. This article explains the technology behind.
- Your brain is not a computer
I’m also guilty of utilizing the nowadays popular metaphor of brains as some type of computer. This essay takes a stance against this widespread comparison.
- Can BuzzFeed News survive the shift to video? (Warning: the article contains an auto-playing video)
Good Journalism is expensive to produce and does often fail to create the same kind of attention as trivial entertainment. A few years after Buzzfeed famously expanded from lists and clickbait to serious journalism, it is forced to justify whether this strategy really will work out.
If you like what you read, you can support meshedsociety.com on Patreon!