Here is this week’s edition of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with 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 over the weekend.
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Length indicator: 1 = short, 2 = medium, 3 = long
- A Swede Returns to Silicon Valley from China (2)
A brilliant, thought-provoking (and a bit provoking) piece. It’s season for opinionated takes on how China (Bejing) is becoming a more interesting, meaningful and innovative tech cluster than the US (Silicon Valley) right now. Related: China’s new traffic-straddling bus.
- What Does Uber’s Retreat Say About the Ability of U.S. Internet Innovators to Succeed in China? (2)
China was also center of attention when Uber a few days ago announced merging Uber China with its Chinese competitor Didi Chuxing. In this post, 4 China experts lay out their views on the deal. Insightful.
- How the Trump Presidential Campaign is Affecting Trump Businesses (2)
I have been thinking a lot about whether and how the businesses of Donald Trump would be affected by the questionable style of his candidacy and his controversial views on various matters. Now Foursquare has the answer, based on data from its more than 50 million monthly users (of course not all of them are US-based).
- The return of the Luddite president (2)
An important and not very pleasing assessment: No matter who of the two candidates will become the next president of the United States, he/she won’t be very tech savvy.
- Dark Patterns are designed to trick you (and they’re all over the Web) (3)
Interesting read about the widespread design practices used on websites and in apps to trick people into certain, involuntary decisions or purchases.
- I asked Alexa to make me coffee and it was anticlimactic (2)
Fun post to read. And with a solid message: Small daily needs that can be satisfied with a slight gain in convenience and without any significant additional costs will slowly push the smart home forward.
- Instagram Stories might be a Snapchat rip-off, but it’s better (2)
Instagram’s launch of the Stories feature was rather unanticipated. I don’t know if it is really better (as this piece claims), but it’s simpler. However, it also feels somewhat like a foreign object within Instagram right now. Like forced into it, which it obviously was. This might change over time. Or it might not. The initial intention among Instagram’s decision makers was not to enhance the app with what fits best to its current state, but to somehow build one of Snapchat’s most popular features into Instagram (which simply is how this industry works). Long story short: The competition between Snapchat & Instagram (Facebook) is pretty fascinating to watch.
- Facebook Isn’t Just Good at Mobile. It’s How Mobile Works Now (2)
True. It never ceases to amaze how well Facebook has nailed mobile.
- Facebook Is Not a Technology Company (2)
Is Facebook a technology company, or a media company, or an advertising company? Hard to say. Probably everything. But the text is right by pointing out that in an age in which more or less every bigger company makes heavy use of technology, maybe these labels need to be adjusted.
- Singapore Is the Perfect Place to Test Self-Driving Cars (1)
Especially important apart from the technical and environmental factors is open-mindedness for that kind of stuff among the broad public. Singapore has it.
- Verizon: No. We Can’t Become Dumb Pipes (2)
Why did the US telecom giant Verizon buy Yahoo? The chronical fear of becoming dump pipes (which I think Telecom companies should be).
- iPad-only is the new desktop Linux (2)
Spot-on. People who prefer the iPad to the Mac or PC or who go on a long trip only with a tablet do it for one thing: the challenge.
- Refugees build Bureaucrazy app to solve German paperwork problems (1)
The bureaucracy is one of my major points of criticism of Germany and actually, in parts, motivated me to move to Sweden. Thus I can really understand the need for such an app. Fantastic initiative.
- Crypto Tokens and the Coming Age of Protocol Innovation
This is a bit advanced, but also a pretty sexy: incentivizing the creation and governing of protocols through crypto tokens.
- Israel Proves the Desalination Era is Here (2)
The ability to create drinking water from sea water at low cost and without negative consequences for the environment could be one of the biggest contributions to a peaceful future.
- Tesla’s entire future depends on the Gigafactory (2)
Over the past days multiple news websites have published articles describing Tesla’s giant Gigafactory which is poised to become the world’s biggest building (based on the area occupied). If you haven’t read one of them yet, now is your chance. It’s a fascinating project and one which will decide about whether Tesla’s grad ambitions become reality.
Recently on meshedsociety.com
- What 1 billion iPhones mean for the world
The old structure and order of the world is being shaken up right now. Pinpointing the force that causes all this remains a challenge. But here is a suggestion: the Internet-enabled smartphone.
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