librivox

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #178

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Who is Eleanor? – Kaleberg. “2 weeks ago, I was walking through New York when I saw a strange sign, above a building on 56th Street. It said, ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed.’ Curious, I grabbed my phone and started searching. Soon, I found out that this was Eleanor’s building. This page explains it a bit, and it seems others had been down a similar rabbit hole, leaving a trail of their findings that popped up in the New York Times in 2005. The story is cute; more interesting to me, however, is the way this became an ongoing digital narrative, a signpost in the real world that easily linked to an online detective story.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Makers: the New Explorers of the Universe – Make.David Lang thinks the ‘maker’ movement, spurred on by small-batch manufacturing, crowdfunding, cheap tech, and the availability of modular components, qualifies as the new frontier of exploration. ‘[In] the last century, discovery was basically finding things. And in this century, discovery is basically making things,’ he quotes Stewart Brand, one of the framers of the Web as we know it. His article makes a great case that, in an era lacking patrons, with corporations focused on the next quarter and for-profit universities abandoning hard research in favor of licensing, Makers are our best hope.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders – Amazon. “Every year since he took over the company in 1967, Warren Buffett – the greatest investor of them all – has sent a letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Here these letters – four-and-a-half decades worth – are collected in one place (and on sale, as of today for $3.03 in the Kindle store). Warren Buffett is not only one of the most successful businessmen ever, but is a charming writer, a good man. Anyone with a passing interest in business will be delighted reading what he has to say.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Instagram Is Spoiling Your Dinner – The Connectivist. “I am pretty sure that the first Instagram photo that I ever shared was a plate that had two hard boiled eggs on it with a piece of banana bread all strategically placed to make it look like a face. Yes, it was a picture of food. I often find myself watching the Food Network‘s Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives. Yes, a TV show that is nothing short of food porn. With that, I have no idea why I (or anyone else) takes pictures of their food and why we – collectively – have such an innate desire to share that with others. Until now…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Google Finally Gets Legal OK to Scan the World’s Books – MIT Technology Review. “It’s interesting to see that a project Google has been working on since 2002 suddenly has the legal green light to move forward. It also resurrects the much-heated debate about what, exactly, is fair use when it comes to books and literature. Some might argue that there will be significant copyright issues with this legal judgment, while others (like me) will be thrilled by the notion that the digitization of all books can (hopefully) mean the availability of knowledge and information to every human being on this planet with ease, speed and a low cost of entry. Pretty cool stuff in terms of the book world.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #177

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Amanda Pustilnik discusses “Models of Mind in the Law” – Center for Law, Brain & Behavior. “We ran a Strata online event on November 5th that looked at privacy and ethics in a digital age. While lots of the content was good, Amanda Pustilnik blew my mind. There were plenty of privacy-smart people on the event, and most of them wanted to put on their tinfoil hats when she was done. Did you know that there is a cap which police can deploy in the field to test whether you’re lying? That subjecting employees to a MRI, unlike a polygraph, is legal? That there’s a part of the brain which correlates with recidivism in parolees? Here’s a 20 minute video of Amanda talking about models of mind in the law. Mind, quite literally, blown.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • By Whom, For Whom? Science, Startups, and Quantified Self – Cyborgology. “There’s plenty going on in life-logging and the Quantified Self movement. But is this just relentless digital narcissism, or the Homebrew Computer Club of introspection? Whitney Boesel shares her thoughts on the 2013 Quantified Self Global Conference. In one session she ran, the theme of Quantified Self being bad science kept coming up. It’s an important point–are we building a world of sensors, from which we can glean patterns and treat the human condition? Or is this just tomorrow’s digital diary?” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Fresh Air Weekend: Chris Hadfield, Brandy Clark, Kennedy Conspiracies – NPR. “I watched Gravity the other day, which is amazing and you should watch it. They clearly did their homework: half of the things that happen in the movie have actually happened in real life to Chris Hatfield, former commander of the International Space Station. Hear him talk about life in space in this interview with NPR‘s Terry Gross.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • It’s The Golden Age of News – New York Times. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Read New York Times editor, Bill Keller, on the state of foreign news.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • No Stores? No Salesmen? No Profit? No Problem for Amazon – MIT Technology Review. “Technology, contextual marketing, data, analytics, game theory and more. Yep, Amazon is using a whole bunch of influence and persuasion techniques coupled with technology to get you to spend money and more money. On top of that, they don’t have any stores and have none of those pesky sales clerks working you over for a commission. So, that’s a good thing? A Creepy thing? Read this and decide. The future of retail may be a lot different from how we anticipated it.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Should Literature Be Useful? – The New Yorker. “Read more literature. You know, the literary fiction, not the stuff you find racked in airport magazine and book stores. You won’t only sound very sophisticated and intelligent during cocktail hour, but you will wind up being more empathetic. This is a fascinating read about the value of spending some time every day with classic literature. It may, in fact, make you a much better leader, but more importantly, a better human being. True story (not fiction).” (Mitch for Hugh), 

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

Amanda Pustilnik discusses “Models of Mind in the Law” from Center for Law, Brain & Behavior on Vimeo.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #176

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Frankenstein Reassembled: Monster – Eyestrain Productions. “My good friend, Shane, has a newly-tweaked blog, which every reader of these links should subscribe to because Shane is brilliant and funny and subversive. This week he dusted off a comic of a story he wrote, which he can now publish online, about Frankenstein. Seems appropriate for Halloween, or as some call it, ‘Goth Christmas.’” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Nordtsrom’s Big Data. “I was at Strata in New York this week. Since we launched the event two years ago, it has grown from 500 to nearly 3500 people, driven by a burgeoning interest in Big Data across nearly every industry. One of the companies that presented was Nordstrom, and they took us behind the scenes of how they analyze data. It’s fascinating–and beautiful. They also posted their content on GitHub for all to see.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • U.S. drone operator says he’s haunted by time in squadron that killed 1,626 by remote control: ‘The number made me sick to my stomach’ – National Post. President Obama, it turns out, is the most ironic winner of the Nobel Peace Prize since Kissinger. Obama has expanded and embraced a policy of global assassinations the likes of which we have never seen, with ‘unmanned drones’ – pilotless aircrafts -  raining down death on bad guys and children alike. Historians will someday debate whether the tradeoff between dead jihadists and terrorized civilians was worth it (Pop quiz: how many jihadis do you create when a drone strike kills an innocent family? Answer: who knows?). But regardless of the morality, or effectiveness of American drone assassinations, one thing is sure: drones make pretty grim work for the people who wield the joysticks back in Nevada and Utah.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Researcher Controls Another Person’s Brain Over the Internet – The New York Times. “In another decade or so, we’ll be saying: ‘Remember the quaint old days when people used to complain about the lack of jetpacks? Who needs a jetpack.’” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • How the TED website is being rebuilt from the ground up for a new generation of people and devices – TNW. “If you had to build a website today, would you just build a website? Of course you would not. Now, people watch videos on their smartphones, iPhones, websites and more (think Apple TV, etc…). So, when it was time for TED to think about what their digital experience should be, they went deep. Very deep. This isn’t just about building something that millions of people can use. It’s about thinking differently about what consumer’s need in this world. I called this ideology, The One Screen World in my second book, CTRL ALT Delete. Thrilled to see the people at TED embracing it and sharing their thinking with others, because every brand needs to start acting this way.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Remembering Lou Reed – Grantland. “For my dollar, Grantland could be one of the most fascinating online spaces for creative journalism and op-ed writing. Seriously. I was heartbroken to hear about Lou Reed’s passing (as others were). The difference for me is that I had the chance to meet him a couple of times over the years, when I was working in the music industry back in the nineties. Beyond having a deep respect for his work, I have to admit that I was never a fan of his work. I knew it, but it just wasn’t my genre (as I got older, my feelings have changed). In this awesome piece, Chuck Klosterman (who is awesome), pays respect.” (Mitch for Hugh). 

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #175

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • How to do good talks at conferences – The Startup Toolshed. “It’s the middle of the fall conference season. In gearing up for O’Reilly’s Strata, I’ve spoken with dozens of sponsors and keynote speakers, helping them to hone their presentations. My one go-to rule is this: ‘If your audience won’t feel smarter for tweeting your slide to their network, delete it.’ This post by Makeshift‘s Nick Marsh tackles the problem of salesmanship that inevitably infects any event as it grows. It’s a great checklist for speakers and event organizers.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Stay Put, Young Man – Washington Monthly. “Americans used to be a nomadic country, moving around both physically and economically. That’s changing. They don’t go West, and they seldom move up. ‘Between the 1980s and the 2000s, the percentage of young adults (those aged eighteen to twenty-four) who migrated across state lines declined by 41 percent.’ This piece in the Washington Monthly looks at the changing demographics of US citizens, rethinking a nation we think we know.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Why We Don’t Care About Saving Our Grandchildren From Climate Change  – Time. “Unless we do something about climate change, we are all doomed. We won’t do anything about climate change.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Resource riches pull Canada into geopolitical battle it can’t afford to lose – Financial Post. “Unless Canada does something about aggressively exploiting its arctic oil riches, Canada is doomed to be in the poorhouse. But. Wait. What about climate change? My head hurts.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Confessions of a Drone Warrior – GQ. “When killing people becomes like a video game (maybe easier), we have to be able to take a step back and ask ourselves, ‘what really is going on here?’ There has been a ton of ink on the topic of soldiers living in the basement of a Nevada military base blasting enemies away thousands of mile away with a joystick. This is a personal account of one such young individual. It’s kind of chilling to think that these people are handling drone strikes in the morning, heading to Taco Bell for lunch and then off to some cool concert in the evening, as if they just worked a shift at Target.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The decline of Wikipedia – MIT Technology Review. Every organization has its politics, in-fighting and challenges. Ones that are more open, non-hierarchical and Web-based open up a whole new level of issues. Beyond that, it seems like people just aren’t that into Wikipedia anymore. For people like Hugh and I (who love all things Wikipedia), this is somewhat heartbreaking. Personally, I use Wikipedia countless times on a day-to-day basis and I trust the content on there more than the vast majority of gunk I come across in general Web searches. Still, I make sure to double-check facts, etc… I love Wikipedia. I don’t want it to disappear. I hope whatever it is being challenged with gets resolved. Fast.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #174

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Inside 23AndMe Founder Anne Wojcicki’s $99 DNA Revolution – Fast Company. “A few years ago, I interviewed Anne Wojcicki about her fledgling startup. We bonded over the fact that neither of us had cavities until relatively late in life. I’m a user of the service, and a few months later, I filled out a 23andMe survey on whether I had cavities, helping the company point scientists at genes that might be tied to tooth decay. Later, with the arrival of my daughter, we sequenced her, my wife, and my mother. The results were amazing (and possibly life-saving.) I wrote about it, and got some grief for my actions. It reminded me of just how controversial this stuff is. Now, Fast Company‘s Elizabeth Murphy has updated things, and it’s a good read. 23andMe could save your life, and permanently change medicine. Which means it’s a pretty polarizing subject.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Hackers Meet Biology: Bio-Renaissance or the Makings of a Killer? – Casey Research. “Now, let’s talk about biohacking. What happens when try-it-and-see’ Maker mentality hits Silicon Valley’s can-do attitude? Plenty. It’s either the new frontier, or the first pages of a Michael Crichton novel, depending on who you ask. In this Casey Research piece by Doug Hornig — with a foreword by chief analyst, Alex Daley — you’ll learn more than you thought you needed to know. A friend of mine whose wife has made more synthetic biology investments than anyone right now bemoans the fact that investors think biohacking is just ‘wet software’, cautioning that DNA is vastly different and we stretch such analogies as ‘coding life’ beyond their breaking point. Read, and be a little afraid.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Why mathematicians make great comedy writers – Chortle. “Apparently The Simpsons writing team has been filled with mathematicians from the beginning of the show. Simon Singh explores the relationship between Simpson giggle and complex math. r d r r.”  (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Why Can’t a Congressman Be More Like a Mayor? – Bloomberg. “Well, the US government shutdown is over. As a columnist for the Globe & Mail quipped: ‘That was fun! Let’s do it again in the New Year.’ Margaret Carlson muses on the distance between congressmen and reality, and why a city’s government could never get away with the kind of behavior we’ve seen in Washington.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Snapchat admits to handing unopened ‘snaps’ to US law enforcement – The Guardian. “24 hours a day. Seven days a week. 365 days a year. They are watching you. We want to think that we have a semblance of privacy. We don’t. Everything we do is being being transmitted and stored somewhere, right? I find it amazingly fascinating that companies like Google and Facebook take so much heat from the public whenever they attempt to update or address their terms of service, and yet this craziness over at Snapchat was hardly a ripple in the zeitgeist. I thought that snaps weren’t stored anywhere and that the people behind Snapchat didn’t have access to these pictures. That’s not true. I never believed that. Now, it’s clear that the content we’re pumping through Snapchat is accessible – in some way, shape or form… and it’s accessible to the government too.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • 7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook – The Huffington Post. “There are days that I wish I had the courage to delete my Facebook account. The truth is that I don’t know how to best use it and I wind up seeing things from people I like… and it winds up making me like them a whole lot less. I hate judging people. I hate gossiping. It feels like this is all that Facebook is for me. I’m not sure why. A close friend sent me this link in relation to a mutual friend and how they poorly manage their Facebook page (you’ll understand it more when you read this article). The truth is, I see of lot of myself in these examples and… it really does sicken me.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #173

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • The Long Tail of Hardware – Slash Blog. “This is a great post by Amanda Peyton about the future of hardware. She wrote a widely viewed piece about how Best Buy is going out of business (I’ve heard it referred to as ‘the Amazon showroom’) but she has since concluded ‘it’s not just Best Buy that’s going to fade away, it’s our entire notion of ‘Consumer Electronics’. It will be gradual, but there are already signals that indicate a shift is happening.’ I think she’s right, and that this will shape what the next decade of electronic innovation looks like.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Why – and how – I wrote Bad Pharma – Bad Science. Ben Goldacre spoke at Strata in Santa Clara a couple of years ago. He’s a doctor, a skeptic, and above all, very curious. He’s the author of Bad Science, which sold 400,000 copies in Engalnd alone. And he’s just come out with a new book on the pharmaceutical industry. In this post, he explains why. As I see stories about healthcare in the US (including this heartbreaking/heartwarming one on Obamacare), I wish more people would write books like this.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Tesla’s $110,000 Model S is now Norway’s best-selling car – The Globe & Mail. “Is Norway really Valhalla or what? Not only is the Tesla (Elon Musk‘s amazing electric car) the country’s best-selling car, but… that means that everyone is rich enough there to make a $100,000 car a best-seller! Some parents at my kid’s daycare have a Tesla. I’m not much of a car guy, but when that thing glides silently out of the parking lot, I confess to some coveting. Fire or no fire.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Watch This Girl With Telekinetic Powers Freak Out Coffee Shop Patrons – Gizmodo. “OK, it’s a ‘viral marketing’ video. But it’s good. Great even. What makes it great, I think, is that we are in on the prank from the beginning. The reactions of the unsuspecting patrons – what looks to be genuine horror – are all pretty amazing. As is the whole set-up. Happy Halloween, a bit early.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • The mental block – Aeon Magazine. “Stressed out? Worried about that upcoming job review? Excited about the holiday season? Whatever you’re feeling, blame consciousness. This is an amazing (and long) piece that asks a massive question. It’s a question that most of us don’t think about, because – like most depressing philosophies – it will lead you to realization that it is consciousness that is to blame for everything we feel, because it is this one thing that makes us aware of our own mortality. Without getting too morbid, consciousness is what drives everything we do – the negative and the positive… and we have no idea why.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Great Spinal Tap Quotes You Can Use in Almost Any Professional Situation – LinkedIn Today. “OK, that last one might have been a little too depressing/freaky, so let’s turn it up to 11. The mockumentary, Spinal Tap, is probably (still) one of the best big-movie inside jokes of all time. You’re either in on the jokes or you’re not. I’m not sure if you could actually apply any of these quotes to a professional situation, but I’ve been ‘in’ on the Spinal Tap joke from day one. This one made me crack up, and was a fun romp down memory lane from my days when a lot of this stuff wasn’t just movie comedy and satire, but a sad reality of the people I interacted with day in and day out.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #172

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Survivorship Bias – You Are Not So Smart. “We humans are daft, making all kinds of mistakes from the data around us. David McRaney has made a career of reminding us of this, and his post on how easily we misread the information around us is fascinating and funny.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption – Harvard Business Review. “A few decades ago, the legal profession underwent a big shift away from law firms and towards corporate counsel, with independent firms handling specialized tasks like discovery. Now, say Clay Christensen and his colleagues, consulting companies are in the middle of a similar shift, and should learn from their predecessors. Must-read for anyone offering advice to others for a living.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • In praise of Richard Stallman, GNU’s open sourcerer – The Guardian. “Thirty years ago, one of my heroes launched the most spectacular rearguard action against a prevailing view of ‘intellectual property’: the free software movement. Hardly a ‘hippies-only’ movement, free software underpins much of the tech infrastructure of the world, and forms the building blocks of modern (Web) technology development.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Giant hornet attacks in China leave at least 41 dead, 1,600 injured – National Post. “Run for your lives.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Why We Cry on Planes – The Atlantic.Scooter Braun is the guy who discovered Justin Bieber. Now, he’s widely recognized as one of the hottest music managers, and he’s an active investor in startups. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him and interviewing him live on stage. Prior to our first meeting, I decided to watch the Justin Bieber documentary, Never Say Never, on my flight over to see him. I cried like a baby (ok, a few tears here and there). I often find myself getting all teary-eyed while watching emotional movie moments on a plane. The thing is, I am not much of a crier at all. I figured it was from being away from my family that got me all emotional. It turns out that it could be something that much more. All of that to say: avoid sitting next to me on a flight if the sight of a grown man crying is too much for you.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Cell Phone Libraries Offer Books To Every Ugandan Home And School – PSFK. “Here’s what we know about our world: education is one of the key answers to ending poverty. Getting people access to books is not easy. Especially in the more remote parts of the world. We also know that there are more people on earth with mobile subscriptions than those with access to safe drinking water. So, why not give everyone with a mobile device access to books? A simple and genius solution. Sure, not everyone has a mobile device, but we’re starting to see these devices show up in the most rural and poorest parts of the world. Let’s hope we can close the gap on the last mile, and then shorten the chasm between the haves and the have-nots.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #171

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Transforming the Old Bay Bridge Into a Park for Adventure Tourists – Gizmodo. “I was in Oakland the weekend they switched the bridge over. After years of engineering, the earthquake-weakened Bay Bridge was replaced by a shiny new successor. Google was updating Maps in real time as the connections were made. It was a much-needed upgrade to a vibrant economic hub. But what to do with what was left? I immediately thought of William Gibson‘s Virtual Light, in which one of the Bay Area’s bridges is transformed into an aerial shanty-town. Turns out I wasn’t the only one.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Box – Vimeo. “Projection mapping is pretty cool. I saw Amon Tobin‘s ISAM at Brooklyn’s Masonic Temple, and it blew my mind. It’s light and illusion as performance art, making depth appear and vanish where it shouldn’t, couldn’t possibly be. Well, someone’s taken that to the next level, merging projection mapping with robot-controlled screens that move with impossible smoothness and precision. This video is mind-bending, and remember: it’s all done with a real camera. No CGI. Wow.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis – IPCC. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is releasing it’s 5th assessment of the science of climate change, an update six years in the making. We’re six years further down the path of climate change, six years further down the path of doing nothing about it. Six years further down the path of the anti-climate lobby eating the pliable media for lunch with their skillful balderdash. Read the report here.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the ‘pathetic’ American media – The Guardian. Seymour Hersh is a crotchety, uncompromising hero, an investigative journalist without peer. He broke Mai Lai, Abu Grhaib, and is the best writer on US military and foreign policy I know of. I’ve been wondering where he is, what with Iran and Syria and Egypt and and and. Turns out he’s taking a break from reporting, to write a book. Along the way he has a suggestion for saving news media: fire 90% of the editors in the world.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Lucasfilm shows off the future of filmmaking? Scenes get rendered out in real time, removing the need for post-production – That Video Site. “Without question, this is one of the coolest things I have seen in the past long while. Let’s put aside the fact that I am a massive Star Wars nerd, and that I am constantly fascinated with the integration of technology and movies. This is, simply, leaps and bounds ahead of anything we have seen in movie production in the past long while. It also opens up so many opportunities. I just can’t wait to see what the output of this will be. Watch… and be amazed.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • 19 Reasons We Should All Start Writing Letters Again – Buzzfeed. “I live a dual life. On one hand, I love all things digital. I read books on my iPhone via the Kindle or Kobo app. I send most of my message via email or text. I write, construct and share the vast majority of my content via digital channels. On the other hand, I can’t walk by a book store, magazine store or stationary store without walking on. I love looking at books, magazines, journals and writing instruments. I have drawers full of pens, notepads and more. I’m not a hoarder – by any stretch of the imagination – but I do love me some traditional pen and paper. I read this blog post… and I wanted to write you a note. Of course, I caved and went digital.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

Box from Bot & Dolly on Vimeo.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #170

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Automatic style spotter can spot your next book – New Scientist. “‘Software can build a visualization of a novel’s style, helping to spot the next bestseller or holiday read.’ Shoot me now.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • James Burke predicted the future in 1973. Now he does it again – PM.James Burke changed my life with his Connections series. I think I’ve actually used it as a link before. Well, he’s a smart guy, and he’s still at it. Here’s an audio interview in which he compares his predictions of the future to what the world is like today. They’re pretty accurate; he also guesses at the future from today’s perspective.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Self-referential chart – Boing Boing. “I love good data visualization.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Fuck You. I’m Gen Y, and I Don’t Feel Special or Entitled, Just Poor – Adam Weinstein. “There was a post flying around Facebook about how Gen Y is spoiled. You probably read it. I read it, or enough of it to conclude that it was condescending bullshit. Here’s a great response from someone at the older-end of Gen Y, born in 1977. (I think I’m at the young end of Gen X). Especially great is the exchange between commenter ‘shootingfan’ and the author.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Google is starting a new company to monetize life extension and disrupt the death space – Quartz. “I spent a lot of time with the people at Google this past week. From attending the Google Zeitgeist event in Phoenix (where I was one of the first non-Googlers to go for a spin in a self-driving car), to speaking at their Think Performance event at the Googleplex. When you have conversations with brands about Google, it’s hard for them to see beyond AdWords and Android. Google is disrupting so many spaces – at so many levels – that it is staggering. They are miles ahead of most (and most people don’t even know it). Now, this company called Calico. It just keeps getting more and more interesting.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Why I Am A Superhero – James Altucher Insider’s List. “I was kind of upset with Hugh, this past week. In the last 6 links, he wrote about James Altucher and called him one of his favorite writers on the Web today. I could not agree more. I’m just mad that I didn’t say it first. This post is a killer. He is clever, funny, deeply personal and, ultimately, right. There is a sense of directness in his writing that keeps it from creeping into the awkward self-help category. With that, his writing style is so powerfully personal, that you can’t help but feel like you know him. I loved this one. I saved this one. I am going to keep on sharing this one with anyone that will listen.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #169

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Blinded By False Redemption – Fritz Nelson. “My friend, Fritz Nelson, wrote this recently. It’s just a good read; nothing clever or geeky. People don’t write enough stuff like this.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • “How can they be so good?”: The strange story of Skype – Ars Technica. “An amazing write-up of the life and times of Skype‘s founders. This reads like a roaring adventure tale.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The 100 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur – The Altucher Confidential. “Great list from the great James Altucher (one of my favorite writers on the Web).” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Where 500 Retweets Can Win You 3 Years in Prison – Bloomberg. “New twist on ways governments deal with the Internet. This one from China. In the West, we just let the NSA read everything.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Glass Just Two Atoms Thick Shatters World Record – Futurity. “Every week, there is another amazing news item like this. Something that really makes you stop dead in your tracks. We think about technology in terms of what Facebook is doing or how fast the next iPhone will be. We’re all wrong. This is the true stuff of innovation. Do yourself a favor: Read this article, grab a notebook and spend one minute listing off all of the incredible things that can happen when glass becomes like this. Here’s my guess: you’re probably not even seeing a fraction of the possibilities. That’s true innovation… and a true sense of just how amazing the coming years are going to be, in terms of technological discoveries that will, hopefully, make us more interesting and smarter humans.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • What Is Creativity? Cultural Icons on What Ideation Is and How It Works – Brain Pickings. “This is just one big ‘wow!’ If you’re at all interested in creativity and what some of the greats think about where ideas come from and how it works, then this is one massive, meaty piece. Pack a lunch for this one. It’s long, deep and heady. I’ve had it opened as a tab in my browser for this entire week. I keep going back to it. Thinking about it. Taking notes on it. When was the last time a piece of Web content had that kind of longevity? It’s truly a fascinating topic: what is creativity? Why are we creative? Why are we drawn to things that are creative? Like I said… wow!” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #168

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #167

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #166

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • The Histomap – David Rumsey Map Collection. “I hadn’t seen this epic map until a Slate article by Rebecca Onion explained its history. It’s a gigantic, unified map of history–a four-thousand-year cheat-sheet. While it was first revealed nearly a century ago, it seems strangely modern, full of potential for a navigable, interactive application or life-feed.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Slow Ideas – The New Yorker. “Some notions spread like wildfire; others take decades to catch on. In this The New Yorker piece, Atul Gawande considers why. I love the contrast between anesthesia (fast) and antiseptic (slow) and it’s an example I will likely us often; I’m sure that someone as interested in how messages disseminate as you are will find it equally useful.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • There’s a Hole in My Bucket – Wikipedia. “In which Wikipedia wins the award for the most pedantic page on the Internet, for the week of August 24, 2013.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Ballet dancers in random situations – Leenks. “With the NSA spying on everything we do on the Internet, Egypt falling to pieces, UK spies smashing newspaper hard drives, Syria falling to pieces, journalists’ partners getting detained under terrorist laws, Fukushima leaking radioactive water, fracking, Quebec sinkholes, bankrupt exploding railways, prorogued parliament, for starters, I’ve had my fill of shitty news this summer. Instead: ballet dancers in random situations.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • What Is Medium? – The Atlantic. “I was speaking with Anil Dash this past week at HubSpot‘s Inbound 2013 summit in Boston and we somehow got on the topic of Medium. Medium is a new publishing platform founded by two of the people who created Twitter. It’s all the buzz now. I was curious as to what Anil thought it was, and if there was any merit to it (he actually blogged about it right here: What Medium Is). Sure, the content is stellar, but what makes it anything more than WordPress or The Huffington Post? Is the hype there simply because of who created it or is there something more… creeping beneath the surface that isn’t so obvious? The Atlantic investigates (and, make sure to read Anil’s piece too!).” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Then and Now: Photos of Real Places Mentioned in Fiction – Flavorwire. “I love features like this. They hunt down the moments and real spaces that took place in some of fiction’s greatest work and show us what it looks like today. As a marketing professional, I’m all about the modernization of our world (and I love technology), but it can be jaw-dropping to see just how much change has transpired in a few short years.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #165

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • NSA: The Decision Problem – Edge. “I had the pleasure of meeting George Dyson a couple of weeks ago, and while I only spoke with him briefly, I heard him present and explain the tides of technical history. He is a careful, convincing researcher of the near past, and in doing so, of the probable future. So when I saw that he’d chimed in on recent NSA revelations, I thought it was worth a look. I wasn’t disappointed. ‘The ultimate goal of signals intelligence and analysis is to learn not only what is being said, and what is being done, but what is being thought.’” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Snooping on your kids: Sometimes surveillance defeats the purpose – GigaOm. “Two very different pieces on spying, this week. Next up: Mathew Ingram is one of my favorite tech writers. He’s never better than when he looks beyond the news to its consequences. In this epic, four-part series, Mathew talks about how he’s snooped on his kids for nearly a decade–and what he’s learned. Part confessional, part cautionary tale, as Mathew says, ‘it was the interference with their development as fully functioning social human beings (whatever that means in an online context) that really gave me pause, and finally made me step back from all of my monitoring.’” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • How The Government Killed A Secure E-mail Company – The New Yorker. “When the Snowden affair broke, it occurred to me that there would be a huge new market for secure, encrypted Internet communication services; where users would pay for privacy. It turns out that the US government is pretty much making such services illegal. The government position is: let us spy on all your users communications, or you will go to jail. The scary thing about all this is that the companies and individuals who are trying to provide these services are not even allowed to talk about the legal threats they receive from the government: secret courts make secret orders. The contents of which must remain secret. Welcome to modern freedom, everybody.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Out Loud: Everything Is Interesting – The New Yorker. “Mitch and I share an admiration for what might be the best article ever written about participation culture on the Web, Nicholson Baker‘s The Charms of Wikipedia. Here is a The New Yorker podcast interview with Baker about LCD screens, the craft of writing, the importance of slowness, cigars and many other things.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Struggling Immigrant Artist Tied to $80 Million New York Fraud – The New York Times. “My cousin loves this online marketplace where he can pick any piece of art, choose the sign and someone – in some village in Asia – will paint it (by hand) for next to nothing. The results are impressive and it looks a whole lot better than a poster or print. I couldn’t stop thinking about this story. Imagine this: taking a hot and breaking artists and then convince someone to paint original work that is similar and then position it as an original. It scary. Scary smart. Until you’re caught. Then, not so good. (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Reshaping New York – The New York Times. “If you want to make online publishing interesting, you have to do something with it that you can’t do in other formats. The traditional copy and paste of content to the Web has been an example of what not to do. Still, it’s mostly all that we’ve got. This is a fascinating piece. Not just for the breathtaking changes that New York has gone through in the past decade, but because of how this is all presented. It’s inspiring. Still, it feels like we’re at the very nascent stages of what digital publishing is… and what will soon be able to do.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #164

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Why you should write – Medium. “I love writing. It’s like a less-absent-minded narrative of myself, without the breathless tumbling-over of ideas and side roads. But because I also do it (partly) for a living, sometimes it feels like a chore. Drew Hoolhorst‘s piece on Medium reminded me of some important things about the act of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Music Industry, Explained – Pando Daily. “Everything you want to know about the changes the recording industry has undergone, in one well-written interactive post. Must-read for anyone who wants to understand publishing, licensing, and royalties.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • High ‘Game of Thrones’ piracy is ‘better than an Emmy,’ says Time Warner CEO – The Verge. Time Warner CEO (and owner of Game of Thrones TV franchise) says that piracy is, sigh, destroying their business blah blah… oh… wait. No. That’s not what he says. He says: piracy is making them tons and tons of money.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • In ebook case, Apple wants a stay, and DOJ argues publishers are conspiring again – GigaOm. “Don’t you wish the Department of Justice spent as much time chasing the people behind the financial crisis, as they are spending on arbitrating what is, essentially, a war for marketshare between Apple and Amazon? (Hat tip to Craig Mod for the observation about financial collapse vs. ebook prices).” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • How and Why to Teach Your Kids to Code – Lifehacker. “This is a great piece with a ton of resources that speaks to a concept I have shared multiple times on this blog and in my latest book, CTRL ALT Delete. We often talk about the profound effect that learning multiple languages can have on a child’s development and their success. I believe one of the best languages (and gifts) that we can give our children is the opportunity to learn how to code. Well, if you think that your educational systems are failing on this grade, do yourself a favor and check out this article (big hat-tip to Darrin for the link).” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • David Ogilvy’s Timeless Principles of Creative Management – Brain Pickings. “A beautiful piece full of wisdom and insights from one of the original Mad Men. David Ogilvy was not only one of the founders of modern day advertising, but a creative spirit. But, here’s the thing: I can’t help wonder what he would think about the Publicis Omnicom merger news and the current state of advertising as we have seen it. Is advertising still the intersection of creativity and commerce, or has the money truly taken over? If you listen to a slew of the world’s top Chief Marketing Officers and agency leaders, it has become rare to hear them talk about the creative craft of advertising. Lately, it feels like data is the new creative. I often wonder what David Ogilvy might say about this… and what this industry has become.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #163

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #162

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #161

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Netflix’s “Streamageddon”: Why Do Streaming Video Services Still Suck? – Flavorwire. Netflix delivers movies in two ways. First,  or by DVD; and second, by streaming. But the differences don’t stop there–one is a long-tail play that delights film buffs, while the other is a numbers game and a mathematical popularity contest. As this Flavorwire piece explains, balancing commercial commitments with diversity isn’t easy. There’s a good lesson here for anyone in publishing.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • This DJ Shadow mix was “too future” for Miami – Consequence Of Sound. DJ Shadow is a giant of progressive mixing and mashups. He’s always pushing the envelope, and sometimes, that rips through the edges of crowd-pleasing mass-market tastes. So when he was prematurely ushered from the decks by promoters who found his set too futuristic, he put it online. Pundits are divided: is the mark of a great DJ someone who knows how to please a crowd, or someone who can school them in what’s new? You decide.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Settled – xkcd. “I’ve heard Alistair say, on a couple of occasions: ‘Who knew that the killer app for cameras was an internet connection?’ Along those lines, Randall Munroe, the mind behind the comic xkcd makes an observation about cameras, phones, and UFOs.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Woman’s work – Columbia Journalism Review. “An important essay about journalism, and Syria. A heartfelt essay, with a most astounding (and depressing) factoid: risking your life to bring the reality of Syria to western news outlets will net you: $70 a story.” (Hugh for Mitch). 
  • 9 Facts About Quantum Computing That Will Melt Your Mind – Business Insider. “You had me at: ‘quantum particles can exist in two places at once, move forwards or backwards in time, and even teleport by way of what physicists call quantum tunneling. This is the stuff of science fiction to us, but in the quantum world it’s business as usual. And scientists can’t really explain it.’ So, um, yeah… chaos and technology is coming to computers. Buckle up!” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Authors Guild Warns Of ‘Dark Underbelly Of Mass Digitization’ – The Daily Online Examiner. “You know, if we can just stop the digitization of books and force everyone to buy a physical, paper copy, the whole industry would bounce right back and that would be much better for authors. These people are delusional. It scares me, because I saw the music industry ignore digitization. There is an 800 pound gorilla in this conversation that these traditional, antiquated groups and organization always fail to acknowledge: they would not be crying had they cannibalized and disrupted the industry themselves. Their frustration comes from someone else (Amazon, iBooks, Kobo or whomever) who has developed a new technology and market and commanding money. I hate it when art and the protection of artists is actually shrouded in greed, money and control. We have to ask the really tough questions: what’s best for the author… and the reader.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #160

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Sid Meier: The Father of Civilization – Kotaku. “An amazing look at Sid Meier, the nicest, smartest guy in gaming, who has sailed relatively unscathed through the ups and downs of the gaming industry because, well, he’s just that good.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Let Us Blaze New Trails – Letters of Note. “Last week I looked at Mad Men. Here’s a letter from a slightly mad ad-man, Bill Bernbach, which was forwarded to me by friends on two coasts. In it, Bernbach laments the death of creativity that often accompanies a growth in size. In a software-eats-everything world, companies that valued scale are quickly eclipsed by those who favor cycle time and disruption. This letter may explain why.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The coming crisis for the oceans – The Science Show. “A sobering look at the state of our oceans, from Callum Roberts, author of The Ocean of Life, interviewed by Robyn Williams on Australia Radio National‘s The Science Show.” (Hugh For Alistair).
  • The Pageview Race – Magellan Media. “My friend and colleague Brian O’Leary takes a critical look at Josh Sternberg‘s post at Digiday, about Who’s Winning at volume publishing. Sternberg awards the gold medal to Forbes.com, which produces the most volume of content per editorial staff (ratio 1:8). Brian asks a good question: if advertising rates continue to fall, is ‘winning’ at volume publishing winning anything? Or, is it better to start thinking of ‘content’ as ‘part of a value chain, but not all of it.’ The example given is AirBnB‘s content strategy, seen as a model of new ways of thinking about using content for marketing, rather than content as a vehicle for advertising”. (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Zipcar For Office Space: A New Service Lets You Rent A Desk By The Hour – Co.DESIGN. “This past week, Alistair, Hugh and I spent a good chunk of time at International Startup Festival held in Montreal. Our mutual friend, Julien Smith was along for the ride. Julien has been making a lot of noise (and raising significant capital) for his startup, Breather. As the company begins to roll out these available spaces in urban centers that members can access, you can begin to feel how significant of an opportunity this might be. This Fast Company piece tickles at what could, ultimately, become a whole new way to look at spaces, how we live, work and more. At first, I couldn’t wrap my head around what, exactly, Julien was trying to do with this startup. Now, I can’t stop thinking about how interesting it truly is.” (Mitch for Alistair). 
  • 23 Books You Didn’t Read In High School But Actually Should – BuzzFeed. “I was doing my best to not get sucked in by the seductively ridiculous headlines that BuzzFeed pumps through the tubes. When I saw someone post this link on Twitter, I could not resist. I spent a good chunk of my elementary and high school days daydreaming of wanting to be anywhere else. Thankfully, I never let school get in the way of my education. We’re given reading lists and the like all of the way through school. Some of us read the books, but most of us probably just skimmed the surface of the content. I was about to make the foray into reading some fiction this summer. I was considering the latest from Neil Gaiman, before this list came along. It’s somewhat depressing that I own, but haven’t read a lot of these books…and I should… and so should you (in case you haven’t). And, even if you read these in high school, I’m pretty sure they’re that much more magical now that we’re adults.” (Mitch for Hugh).  

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Are We At The Beginning Or The End Of Publishing?

What would you make out of a question like that?

Regardless, that was the exact question that Alistair Croll (co-author of Lean Analytics, BitCurrent, Year One Labs and one of my weekly link buddies) asked of Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto and my other weekly link buddy), Julien Smith (Breather, co-author of Trust Agents and The Impact Equation and author of The Flinch) and me at today’s International Startup Festival. Under normal circumstances, this is a tough question to dissect and answer in a cogent way. We were asked to answer this during a concurrent session being held outdoors in a tent set-up with people mingling and networking outside. Trying to create some energy and excitement in the room (err…. tent) made my attempt frazzled. I’m hopeful that this blog post can clear it all up.

Traditional publishing still matters.

This isn’t about big book and magazine publishers killing trees and maintaining the transport industry while feeding a distribution channel to retail. It means that these big publishing houses still have professionals who love and care about content in a way that allows customers to get true value from the products that they are buying. These products may be physical, digital, audio, digital audio or whatever. When I look at the people who work at Grand Central PublishingHachette Book Group (the publishers of my two business books, Six Pixels of Separation and CTRL ALT Delete), I do not see the same type of professionals that I was subjected to for over a decade while I was in the music industry. These book publishers know and understand that the landscape has changed, they know and understand that their consumers are buying their products and using them in new and different ways and, they’re trying their best to not make the same bad decisions as those in the music industry. It’s not perfect. They are some ugly things happening. There is going to be more messy stuff as we wander this road through business purgatory. Still, traditional publishing matters. It brings long form content to a bigger and more diverse audience. Not every author is going to have a shared experience, some will get book deals because they have a lot of followers on Twitter, and others will get a book deal because some editor believes that their content could set the book world on fire. As Seth Godin likes to say, your mileage may vary.

Self-publishing matters more than it ever did.

Take a look at the bestselling business books on Amazon‘s Kindle ebook page. Along with the expected slew of new and notable business books, you will find self-published and independent authors rocking this list with books as cheap as one dollar. With minimal technology and investment, anyone who wants to write a book can do so. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to work, and it doesn’t mean that it’s going to sell, but it does mean that they can not only write a book, but have access to a viable marketplace to sell and promote it. This doesn’t mean that big book publishers go away, it simply means more competition and more choices for the consumer.

Digital publishing opens up a world of opportunities.

It is very alluring. Anyone can have a thought and publish it in text, images, audio and video instantly (and for free) to the Web (and to the world). Whether it’s a simple tweet or all the way up to building a robust online publishing platform like Tumblr or Medium. The opportunities and the ideas are endless when it comes to digital publishing. With each and every passing day, we are seeing new and creative ways for people to publish – look no further than what is happening on Vine or what people are creating with Instagram‘s 15 second video.

It’s just the beginning…

People crave content. It has never been easier to get content published or to make the decision to become a publisher. With that, more and more startups will launch new and inventive ways for content to find an audience. Will other kinds of publishing disappear? Possibly. Is it the end of the book as we have known them to date? Doubtful. People will still want and enjoy this type of content and media. I can’t imagine an end to books or magazines. With that, this moment in time is a new beginning for the publishing industry with no end in sight.

What do you think? Are we at the beginning or the end of publishing?   

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #159

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • The Weird, Recursive “Mad Men” Ads – The New Yorker. “Since Mad Men is about advertising, and since its stars like Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks are celebrities in their own right, the ads have become a little meta. Okay, more than a little: tone and tenor borrows from a bygone age, blurring the line between show and ad. Who needs product placements when the pitchmen are doing the pitching?” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Where Don Draper ends, D.B. Cooper begins – Medium. “I haven’t watched much Man Men, so this could be a horrible spoiler. I really want to spend a week consuming them, uninterrupted; my undergrad focused on advertising and my uncle was a larger-than-life ad man in the South Pacific. If this speculation isn’t how the show ends, then I really want them to create an alternate ending. It’s so symmetrical, so perfect, that if Lindsey Green‘s conclusion of the show is mere coincidence, something is fundamentally wrong with the universe.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • First-ever human head transplant is now possible, says neuroscientist – Quartz. “This week’s links are not for the faint of heart. I have a cousin who got a full lung/heart transplant, which is astounding and terrifying to me. But here’s something… well I don’t even know where to start. The title to this story says it all.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • A short film about the monkey head transplant experiment of the 1960s – io9. “The astounding article above is a bit ‘disappointing’… in that the science discussed seems to be theoretical, and not tested.  But, if you can stomach it, take a look at this short documentary about Dr. Robert White (referenced in the above article) and his (successful) experiments doing monkey head transplants. In 1970. Don’t watch this if you are squeamish. Even if you aren’t squeamish, be careful watching this.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • First Human-Made Object To Travel Beyond Our Solar System – PSFK. “I’m not sure if it’s because I watch too much Star Wars and Star Trek, but I would have thought that we have already had satellites and probes peek past our solar system. We have not. This explains why I probably should have stayed in school, instead of watching Star Wars, reading comic books and playing video games. We’re so used to seeing things like warp speed and more on our favorite science fiction shows, that we forget how little we actually know about space and what is beyond our solar system. The cool news is this: we’re about to find out.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • How the Hum of a Coffee Shop Can Boost Creativity – The New York Times. “How inspired are you to create from the corner coffee shop? It’s a cultural thing, isn’t it? Sitting there, sipping a cafe au lait, staring at the glow from the screen as patrons chat, mingle and co-work. The hum of the coffee machines and people’s conversations can be inspiring… or, do they distract you? Well, it turns out that there is some research that demonstrates how hard it is to be creative when it’s quiet and how hard it is to be creative when it’s too loud. Its turns out that that there is a goldilocks theory for your creativity as well. Enter Coffitivity. Perhaps this ambient coffee shop sound generator will boost your productivity?” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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