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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- War Goes Viral (3)
A must read about how social media is changing warfare. Basically, everyone who takes stances on current conflicts online or who just shares news about them is participating in the new type of warfare.
- The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Small Optimizations (3)
Very smart ideas and observations regarding characteristics of systems thinking.
- What $50 Buys You at Huaqiangbei, the World’s Most Fascinating Electronic Market (3)
Entertaining and highly informative even if you are not a gadget freak.
- Horrified by Trump, Silicon Valley Leaders Debate Cutting Ties to Peter Thiel (1)
As much as I try to counter my own initial gut feeling, I still end up thinking that Y Combinator should not work with a business partner who actively supports a reckless, characteristically extremely flawed and unpredictable demagogue such as Donald Trump (here is an unsettling historical analogy by the way). Especially if this business partner is a powerful billionaire who knows very well what he is doing. It damages the YC brand.
- Pixel, iPhone 7, and grading on a curve (2)
Google now has its own very expensive high-end smartphone for those who want something which looks, feels and costs like an iPhone but is not from Apple.
- Tesla’s big bet: $8,000 worth of self-driving hardware in all new cars — before the software is ready (2)
Look at the title and you understand what makes Tesla such a significant player. Once the full self-driving capabilities are there, the company will also launch a ridesharing network – owners of supported Tesla cars will be prohibited to send them alone onto the road to earn money with competing services such as Uber or Lyft. That’s kind of a bold move with potential to backfire.
- Link Analysis and Structure of the web (1)
Turns out that the structure of the web can be compared to a bow tie. It does make more sense if you look at the illustration shown here.
- Finland: The land of five thousand Megabytes (1)
A few statistics and graphs detailing how mobile data traffic consumption is developing in a country such as Finland where operators offer unlimited data.
- A Generation of False Entrepreneurs (2)
Hard to argue that enterpreneurship has become so trendy (in California at least) that a lot of people are creating companies who shouldn’t. However, I still think this is better than the other scenario, in which too few are becoming entrepreneurs.
- Did trolls cost Twitter $3.5bn and its sale? (2)
I would not be surprised. No company wants to deal with the kind of toxic elements that loiter on Twitter and that justify their unbearable behaviour with the free speech principles that of course are, in general, a very essential part of the Twitter experience. If Twitter would end its defense of free speech, this would send the company down a rabbit hole of censorship, eventually killing it. Twitter without the free speech principles wouldn’t be Twitter anymore. Twitter with the free speech principles is heavily limited in its potential by trolls and extremists. It’s a catch 22.
- We Will Live Forever Through Bots and AI in the Near Future (1)
Considering the progress in the field of deep learning and machine reading, the claim made here is not far-fetched.
- WeChat made a drone that flies around and streams video to your friends (1)
This is actually kind of a no-brainer. Social networks that extend their services to dedicated hardware devices.
- Celebrities’ endorsement earnings on social media (1)
Overview of how much money influencers earn for commercial endorsements on various social media platforms. YouTube is the most lucrative channel.
- The IT Era and the Internet Revolution (2)
Ben Thompson is pretty skilled at writing analytical pieces which lack a clear focus but nevertheless (or maybe because of it) animate you to look at a bigger picture from different angels. This is such a piece.
- Want to Know Julian Assange’s Endgame? He Told You a Decade Ago (1)
Interesting philosophy: Afraid of leaks, organizations have to either pay a heavy secrecy tax or reduce their levels of abuse or dishonesty. Sounds great in theory but for the moment, with the current dynamics of human cooperation and communication, I am not optimistic that a such a level of radical transparency can work (without massive negative side effects). I do not think that humanity is ready for a world without secrets and I am not sure if it ever will be.
- How Russia Pulled Off the Biggest Election Hack in U.S. History (3)
When politics and propaganda meet sweeping technological disruption.
- Barack Obama Talks AI, Robo Cars, and the Future of the World (3)
Possibly the world’s most tech savvy political leader right now, who really grasps the challenges (and possibilities) ahead. A pitty that he’ll hand over power to someone much less suited for the digital age.
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