media hacks

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #199

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:

  • Swedish Pop Mafia – Pacific Standard. “Normally I’d route musical stuff to Mitch, but Hugh, I think you’ll like the unintended-consequences feel of this. It’s about why Sweden drives modern pop music. Sweden, you say? ‘What Hollywood is to movies and what Silicon Valley is to computing, Stockholm is to the production of pop.’ And all because the country’s elders, in the 1940s, tried to put baby in a corner.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Our Comrade The Electron. “This is the annotated transcript of an amazing talk given in February at Webstock, a conference in New Zealand. It’s an epic talk about Communism, the Theremin, and how electricity concentrates power in more than just technical ways. I only wish I’d seen the talk live. Since you’ve been talking about Big Data, Mitch, this seems like a fitting anecdote.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Why UPS Trucks Don’t Turn Left – Priceonomics. “Data should drive your decisions, as Alistair (co-author of Lean Analytics – aka the ‘Measure-It Bible’) will tell you – if you give him half a chance. In the case of UPS, data drove the company to make an edict for all drivers: never, ever turn left, no matter what.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Carpets For Airports. “Mitch logs more hours in the air than anyone else I know. And, I wonder, does Mitch sometimes ask himself, before he gets on a plane, ‘What will the carpets look like at O’Hare?’ Now he can find out, so he isn’t surprised when he arrives. This, dear readers, is what the Internet was built for.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Why 40% of us think we’re in the top 5% – Smart Planet. “Here’s the thing about data: the more we get of it and the more we’re able to take these disparate data sets and meld them into a bigger bucket, we start seeing some truisms. These are the types of truisms that most of us are (presently and sadly) ignoring. Little things like: our gut decisions are often wrong, how we can’t truly identify genius and, probably most disturbing, how dumb we actually are. Data rules, you morons! ;) (Mitch for Alistair).
  • French say ‘non’ to work email after 6 p.m. – cNet. “Ahh, who doesn’t want to spend their entire childhood and teenage years studying in an old school education institution that is making young people miserable, feeling inadequate and, ultimately, forcing them into a regiment of memorization of things they should never need to remember? I see this often when you look at more traditional European countries and their non-progressive school curriculums The good news? You get to graduate and become a ‘fonctionnaires,’ (if you live in France). A place that makes insane rules like this. I have a better idea: why stop at email? Just shut down the electricity for all fonctionnaires so nobody has to do anything? Alternately, you could just say, ‘hey, what if we let these adults make their own rules and attempt to find their own balance? Wow, what decade are we living in? How stupid do we think that people are?” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #198

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 Uncomfortable – Facebook. “This set of artifacts, designed by architect, Katerina Kamprani, will drive you bonkers. She takes everyday items, and then changes them to render them completely useless. It’s definitely art. Most of these things could only come from a really twisted, deviant mind. OCD trigger warning.” (Alistair for Hugh). 
  • Motivation Wave – BJ Fogg. “As any marketer knows, changing behaviors is hard. Whether you’re trying to improve someone’s health, or convince them to buy your product, changing habits is tough. Stanford‘s BJ Fogg has spent a lot of time researching this in the university’s Persuasive Technology Lab. That ‘persuasive technology’ is a field of study in the first place says a lot about the world in which we live.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Demo of Beat It composed using only Michael Jackson’s voice – Rhythm Of The Tide. “I was going to send Alistair an amazing xkcd comic this week (you can look it up on Google: xkcd frequency), but Alistair has probably seen it, and will probably see 22 more amazing xkcd comics this year. Instead, I am sending this, which is more of a one-of-a-kind sort of thing. Michael Jackson, apparently, never truly mastered playing instruments, but he composed and arranged – note for note – in his head. He would record and layer vocals/acapella versions of his songs, using his voice for all the instruments. Here is the amazing vocal arrangement he did for Beat It.” (Hugh for Alistair).   
  • A Growing Number of E-Commerce Sites Are Moving Into Print – AdWeek. “You know what technology has great, finely-honed UI and really, really good user engagement? Paper. Here’s a surprising development: web/ecommerce companies starting to put out old fashioned print catalogs.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Knowledge transfer between computers: Computers teach each other Pac-Man – Science Daily. “Have they found that plane that’s still missing? I watch CNN relentlessly when I am on the road… and, I was on the road quite a bit this week. I am in no way trying to minimize the fact that this plane must be found (or the tragedy surrounding it for the families), but I’m amazed that the 24-hour news cycle spins a ‘breaking news’ moment of this missing plane with nothing truly ‘breaking’ at all. Instead, stuff like this comes out and you don’t even hear about it. It turns out that computers can actually train each other and teach skills to one another. What? No way! Way.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The Wikipedia For Numbers Just Made My Job Easier, But It Needs Your Help To Be Even Better – Business Insider. “Have you ever heard of Meterfy? Me neither. In fact, most people haven’t, so it ain’t as robust as Wikipedia… but it could be. Yes, this is a Wikipedia for numbers. A way for people to post and share anything and everything related to numbers. This is a smart, cool and fun place. I sincerely hope it takes off. A Wikipedia for numbers. Makes sense to 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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #197

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:

  • I’ve tracked one year of sex and masturbation between [M]yself and my wi[F]e: activity tags, a look at the role of the menstrual cycle, and other trends – Reddit. “Add this to the list of things I didn’t know I’d share with you guys when we started this. Since we’re talking health data, well, in for a penny, in for a pound. One of the most common uses of new tech – whether it’s the printing press, the VHS, or the Web – is adult content. So, it’s no surprise that life-logging enthusiasts are turning their all-seeing eye to data. Here, a husband tracks sex patterns, and draws some interesting conclusions. I’ll let you decide whether you want to click or not.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Parable of Google Flu: Traps in Big Data Analysis – Science. “Since you asked about big data on Facebook, here’s a nugget. Last year, Google made big news by predicting the outbreak of flu. Or did they? One of the problems with a reliance on data for decision-making is that the data shapes our behavior, which changes the data. It’s like a big data version of the observer effect (or, as some have less politely described it, ‘algorithms dumping where they eat.’) In this case, changes to algorithms and media hype around flu outbreaks caused Google to overstate the number of cases of the flu. ‘Big data hubris’ is the often implicit assumption that big data are a substitute for, rather than a supplement to, traditional data collection and analysis.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • When one New Zealand school tossed its playground rules and let students risk injury, the results were surprising – National Post. “I love stories about unintended consequences. For instance, what if bending over backwards to make things (playgrounds, classrooms, etc…) safe for our kids actually raises the incidence of injury? Maybe what our kids need to stay safe is a pile of broken glass, some rusty barbed-wire, and some broken up 2 by 4s.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Bitcoin’s Future – Hidden Flipside – The Economist. “Here’s an old tech innovator’s saw: ‘If you were to ask a group of smart people to create X with the technology of today, what would it look like? Nothing like the X we all know.’ We take many things for granted as facts of the universe, but if you think in depth about some things, they just don’t make much sense. Money is one of them. And, while Bitcoin itself might not win the day, Bitcoin as’”platform for financial innovation’ is a pretty exciting possibility.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Harvard’s Free Computer Science Course Teaches You to Code in 12 Weeks – Open Culture. “There was one thing that really stood out in my mind from TED 2014 in Vancouver. Something new and interesting was brought to my attention. It’s something called University of the People and its founder, Shai Reshef, explained it. Basically, anyone can apply to get a university degree. It’s online. It’s tuition-free. It’s got real profs. It’s accredited. Students pay $100 per exam. That’s it. Pretty cool. Pretty mind blowing. I don’t have a university degree… so yeah, I’m now considering it. Of course, you can study all kinds of courses online for free (have you checked out iTunes U yet?). How about a free computer science course that will teach you to code in twelve week from Harvard? Well…” (Mitch for Alistair). 
  • What are some great mind-blowing books? Why? – Quora. “Sick of lists online about what to read? I’m not only sick of them… I am guilty of creating them. I kind of rolled my eyes when I saw this question posted on Quora. Then, I checked it out (still a sucker for some good linkbait) and it did not disappoint. As much as you read, and as much as you may think that you are well-read, this list will show you otherwise. Some amazing books that I have never read, that I think that I should read. I’m sure you will find a few gems for yourself as well.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #196

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:

  • Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It – Wired. “If something doesn’t kill you, as the saying goes, it makes you stronger. That’s sort of how evolution works, so when scientists devised a form of corn that poisoned a common pest, they told farmers to plant normal corn alongside it — so the bugs that survived didn’t build a resistance. Guess what? Like vaccines and global warming, people were happy to enjoy the benefits of the science but less quick to heed its warnings. The rest, you can probably figure out.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Lumo Play – Give It 100. “My friend Meg Athavale, from Winnipeg, is in Silicon Valley for four months as part of Highway1 – a hardware startup accelerator. She wants to take interactivity and projection mapping and turn it into a kid’s toy. Meg’s been at this for a few years now and her time at Highway1 will take her to Taiwan and China to work with manufacturers. It’s a far cry from Winnipeg, where she’s better known for poking fun at the mayor. And, she’s keeping a journal, creating a video log of her experiences every day. Out of the Winnipeg chill, into the Logan’s Run-like fishbowl of San Francisco Maker tech. I suspect it will get interesting fast.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science – The New York Times. “Ever was it thus, I suppose, but billionaires seem to be getting much better at being billionaires faster than governments are getting better at governing, and here’s yet another indication of this direction.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • International Women’s Day 2014: What’s the difference between men and women’s brains? Very little, says neuroscientist – The Independent. “In the nature vs nurture debate, I’ve always been a ‘both’ kind of guy. Certain brains are pre-disposed to certain kinds of development; when exposed at a certain environment, they’ll grow in one way or another. Multiple by several billion times, and repeat over and during a lifetime. But: do girls and boys have different brains, biologically? I’m inclined to think yes-ish. Here’s a recent neurologist saying no-ish.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • We already live in the age of robots–we just don’t call them that – Quartz. “Does it need arms, legs and a face for us to call it a ‘robot’? Don’t laugh. This is a serious question. For a few years now, I’ve been fascinated with the growth of robots in our society. I’m a huge proponent that while everyone is paying attention to how robots are going to automate our workforce (as in, no more jobs for us, humans), that the real opportunity is in how robots are going to help us augment our work (make us stronger, allow us to focus more on the creativity and strategy, etc…). Well, in the meantime, it seems as though everyone (including journalists) are having a problem defining what a robot is. Is your bank machine a robot? What about the ATM? How about all of those Amazon drones that are coming?” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • A Tale of Two TEDs: Ideas Conference Triumphant on 30th Anniversary – Wired. “My head is spinning. If you could have dinner with ten fascinating people, who would it be? What if you could have dinner with people like Clay Shirky, Barry Schwartz, Nilofer Merchant, Steven Johnson, Scott Belsky, Jane McGonigal, Susan Cain, Amy Cuddy and Baratunde Thurston, would that be cool? I had dinner with those people (and a few others – can’t forget Curt Beckmann and Andrew Blau) on Wednesday night at TED… and that was the free night, the unorganized evening, so Nilofer and I pulled some friends together to hang out. I know… I know… it sounds like I’m name dropping. I apologize. My head is still spinning. It was a week that had me both fired up about the potential of what could be, and drained from the amazing connections, conversations and ideas that have filled a Moleskine. With each and every passing year, I get more and more excited about what the TED conference does for my professional and personal development. This article does a great job of explaining the diversity and some of the issues that TED faces. Ultimately, I feel that the conference is a lightning rod for contention (check out the comments) simply because it has become so popular. Personally, I can’t think of another event (with the exception of Google Zeitgeist) that I look forward to – with each and every passing year – as much as TED.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #195

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:

  • Interviewing the algorithm: How reporting and reverse engineering could build a beat to understand the code that influences us – Nieman Journalism Lab. “This is an important topic. Many of the decisions we’re going to face in the coming years will be made by machines, optimizing and ranking our lives and choices. But those algorithms are black boxes, opaque and arcane. How does Facebook know which stories to show you? An algorithm — and probably not one that serves your needs, but rather, those of Facebook’s: getting you to click links, and double-down on already-popular stories, while missing small updates from long-lost friends. If we want to report on the future, we need to understand the decisions these algorithms make.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Here’s What Happens When The Internet Decides A Newspaper’s Front Page – BuzzFeed. “Is crowdsourcing good? Or just pictures of cats all the way down? Editors decide what makes the front page — but what happens when the popularity of stories on social platforms decides what newspapers should cover? As it turns out, it’s not bad.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Between two Ferns Director Scott Aukerman on Obama’s Comedy Skills – GQ. “Unless you have been living under a fern, you have probably seen Obama’s recent comedy/communications coup to promote healthcare.gov. Here’s the story of how it happened.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Reaching 400K followers on @CBCNews – CBC. “This one is for Canadian history books, with a funny bit of local colour. Way back in 2007, a friend and ex-Montrealer, illustrator/animator, Matt Forsythe, decided that CBC News should have a Twitter feed. He registered @CBCNews, and started posting tweets with links to news items. Eventually CBC mucky-mucks got wind, and were shamed into joining Twitter: Matt, a nice fellow, handed the account over. A few short years (SIX YEARS!! WHAT?!?) later, @CBCNews has 400,000 followers.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Move over, small-time Bitcoin exchange startups–Wall Street has arrived – ArsTechnica. “Here’s my theory: as fragmented and uncoupled as the general news has become, we still only follow the same stories. If you really want to better understand what is happening in this world, you have dig a little deeper. Stores like this are the ones that we need to be paying attention to. When people think of BitCoin or virtual currency, they tend to think of either the people who are running these businesses into the ground or the wild fluctuations that the currency experiences (is it a bubble or isn’t it?). Well, while these more generic and mass media appealing stories block the sun, stuff like this is going on. Now, we’re going to have trading bots and high speed trading for BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies and exchanges. In short: things are about to get really crazy over there.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • No, His Name Is Not Ted – The New York Times. “I begin my annual pilgrimage out West to the TED conference on Monday (it’s now being held in Vancouver). I have been going since 2009 (can’t believe it has been that long). It’s a controversial conference that is constantly being slapped around in the media. I understand why, but it has no bearing on my decision to go. It is the one time a year that I do something (somewhat) selfish for myself. I go out there, I seclude myself from the rest of the world (with the exception of any emergencies) and drown myself in ideas, conversations, learning and my own thoughts. I fill up a notebook with my thoughts, spend time with old friends discussing new challenges and make no qualms about whether it is elitist or if the talks are like infomercials for intellects (I think the price is minor compared to the value and most of the talks inspire me in one way, shape or form). I find most of criticism against TED (and the people who create it) coming from people who don’t have an interest in this type of conference or who are simply there to poke holes in it. I’m lucky, as a professional speaker, I get to attend hundreds of events every year. For my dollar, my time and my personal growth, nothing has ever come close to TED (with the exception of the Google Zeitgeist event – which also helps me rethink everything). While this piece takes some shots at TED, it did nothing but get me even more excited for what’s to come next week. Can’t wait!” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #194

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 Backlist: Isaac Asimov’s Foundation – The Stake. “Perhaps the greatest fictionalization of applied Big Data, Asimov‘s Foundation series, while not amazingly written, is breathtaking in scope and concept. As this Stake piece observes, the series’ protagonist foresees the collapse of an empire due to ‘a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity.’ Sound familiar? A short piece with some great links in it.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Future of the News Business: A Monumental Twitter Stream All in One Place – Andreessen Horowitz. Marc Andreessen has a knack for the bon mot, and here he offers more than a few of them about where journalism is going. His take is a bit more bleak and Valley-centric than it might be, but still offers some thoughtful observation. Newspapers aren’t necessarily dying — but they are changing significantly, dragged kicking and screaming away from big offices and high-rise glamor and towards teaser headlines and A/B testing.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Shocking example of unintended consequences: Mandatory domestic violence arrests raise death rate 400%, study finds – National Post. “What do policies – such as mandatory sentencing – actually achieve? When you look at the data, can you see improvements in actual outcomes you are seeking? Here’s a study suggesting a laudable police/justice policy (mandatory sentencing for domestic abuse) may end up doing harm. I have no idea of the validity of this individual study, but it’s the kind of analysis we should see more of.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • What You Learn When You’re 60 – The Lefsetz Letter. “We’re getting older, not younger. Not quite 60 yet, but it’s closer than it used to be. Lots of good advice from legendary music writer Bob Lefsetz.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Slidedocs – Nancy Duarte. “I often get asked two questions after I speak in public. Question #1: Can I have your slides? Question #2: Who makes your slides? I take these both as compliments (and, for the record, no you can’t have them and I designed them all myself). I don’t give out my slides, because there is not much on them. It’s usually just a photo, a quote, a simple stat or an embedded video. I try to keep them as simple as possible, and they are merely there to support the words that are coming out of my mouth. I refined this technique because I follow the brilliant advice of Nancy Duarte (check out her books, Slide:ology and Resonate). She has a new book out and it’s called, Slidedocs… oh, and it’s free. A slidedoc is a hybrid of a presentation and richer content mixed together so that you’re reading (like a book) but enjoying it, because it’s more visual. I think Nancy is on to something. Slidedocs can either be the perfect leave behind or a whole new way to publish books. Either way, me likes!” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Why we love books by cool writers – The Globe And Mail. “You’re trying to impress someone. A girl. A boss. A relative. Whatever. You want them to think that you’re smart, right? Make sure you have the right books. Scratch that. Not just the right books, but the cool books. People will like you if they know you’ve read Kerouac, Hemingway and Bukowski, right? Why is that? What is a cool writer? Why do we love them so? We’re all suckers for a cool writer… right?” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #193

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:

  • Tupperware! – American Experience. “This is an hour-long documentary. It’s also a time capsule. And to understand modern North American society, you need to grok the tug-of-war between this technical optimism and the post-Vietnam, post-9/11 mistrust that pervades much of media today. But for now, go back to a time when the future was bright and plastic, and a generation of women found themselves building a business empire one plastic tub at a time.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • How Cash Would Be Seen by the Media if Invented Today – CoinDesk. “I once spoke with a proponent of electric cars who pointed out that, if we were trying to get the internal combustion engine approved today, nobody would allow it — it’s essentially an explosive on wheels. Well, Bitcoin proponent Antonis Polemitis took a similar approach to Bitcoin, writing this satirical piece about cold, hard cash. He makes a few good points about just how antiquated modern currency really is.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • This Looks Like A Charming Little Cabin. And It Is… But It’s So Much More Than That. Trust Me. – ViralNova. “Oh, to live in a tiny, wonderfully-designed cabin in the woods…” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • A Simple Strategy To Get More Replies To The Emails You Send – Buffer. “When you write: ‘Let’s schedule a call – how do things look for you next week?’ what you are really saying is: ‘a) I am too lazy to look at my calendar b) I want you to do the work of looking at your calendar c) I am going to make this a 4 x email exchange (1. how does your schedule look? 2. what about Tuesday? 3. no, Wednesday. 4. OK.)’ Instead of a 2 email exchange (1. Tuesday 10am? 2. OK!). Learning to be efficient and clear in emails is so much kinder to your contacts, and to yourself.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • How to Get a Job at Google – The New York Times. “Do you think it takes an awesome GPA and Ivey league college diploma to score a great gig at Google these days? Remember the countless blog posts and articles about the highly intricate questions that they were asking in the hopes of scoring the world’s best and brightest talent? Well, guess what? Grades (obviously) matter in some of the more technical jobs, but as Google grows and continues to employ more and more people, they’re looking at other – more fascinating – attributes to decide on who, exactly, they consider to be the best of the best. What are those attributes? You will have to read the article to find out (I am such a tease). But, more importantly, start asking yourself this: if Google is looking for people with these kinds of dynamic skill sets and thinking capabilities, just how well are the schools of today prepping kids for the workplace of tomorrow?” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • How Much My Novel Cost Me – Emily Gould. “I read this post on Medium and I didn’t know what to think. We live in such a strange world when it comes to book publishing. On one hand, because of social media, it has never been easier for great content to get noticed by people like literary agents and book publishers. On the other hand, it is so hard to get people to care about buying books (let alone reading them). If you look at the landscape, it doesn’t feel like there is much hope. Then again, I know countless people who are doing well financially on their books, because they understand how to either play the game or do things on their own. This is a fascinating piece that will make you think deeply about the true nuances that exist in the book publishing world and how we define success.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #192

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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #191

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 Little Girl from the 1981 LEGO Ad is All Grown Up, and She’s Got Something to Say – Women You Should Know. “This article revisits Lego‘s iconic ad showing a pigtailed redhead playing with Lego. It provoked all kinds of reactions online — from those lauding it for pointing out gender bias, to those wondering why liking ‘girly things’ is somehow less worthy. Wherever you stand on the issue, it’s interesting to see how Lego has changed over the last few decades.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Dinner Party – Oliver Walker. “I’m a big fan of changing formats to shift how people interact. It’s something I try to do at Bitnorth. But I’ve never taken it this far. Here’s a social-experiment-slash-art-piece that investigates just how much of our interactions are nonverbal. I really want to try this sometime.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Hi, I’m Jack – jack.minardi.org. “Take a healthy dollop of BitTorrent, add a dash of BitCoin, shake until you get a decentralized browser with decentralized domain ownership: SyncNet. Early, experimental days. Fascinating direction for the ‘Web’, as the original idea of a independent, decentralized Internet is slowly getting gobbled up by a small number of mega-centralized behemoths (Facebook/Google/Amazon/Verizon etc).” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Conrad Black: This anemic recovery – National Post.Conrad Black is the most famous ex-convict former newspaper baron Canada has produced to date. Since his release from US prison (for various fraudulent uses of company money), Baron Black of Crossharbour (long story) has been penning long-winded and delightfully grouchy essays for Canada’s National Post newspaper (the right-leaning paper he founded back when he was a newspaper baron). Black is one hell of a personality, whatever you think of him, and a renaissance man to boot. His articles are pompous and wide-ranging, and pretty great reads. Here’s one about the 2008 economic collapse and Canada and a few other things.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • This Dad Coloured-In His Kid’s Art To Kill Time On Business Trips – We Interviewed Him – Lost At E Minor. “If you ever have those moments when you think that you’re not that great of a father, don’t worry because there’s always the Internet to confirm it for you. You may think that you’re an awesome dad, but you’re not this awesome. Of course, I’m kidding. I’m sure everyone is a great parent (including you, Alistair), but this hyper-creative dad takes it to a whole new level in what can only be described as the most heart-warming story that I have read all week. Truly beautiful and powerful.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Wikipedia vs. the Small Screen – The New York Times. “Sometimes you read something on the Internet that gives you pause. Most people (myself included) take Wikipedia for granted. After all, I don’t contribute, edit or even correct anything on the platform. Yet, I use it constantly (and I love it). Sure, I am more than happy to support them on their annual giving campaign, but I take more than I give when it comes to Wikipedia. Well, what happens in a mobile world where creating and editing content is not as easy as it is in a Web-browser-based world? I had not thought about this, but Wikipedia is going to be in lot of trouble if they can’t figure out how to encourage people to contribute to Wikipedia in a world where most people are simply using their smartphones for content.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #190

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:

  • Should A Robot Decide When To Kill? – The Verge. “I grew up reading Asimov‘s Laws of Robotics. Turns out that wasn’t escapism — it was just preparation. This rather chilling Verge piece on DARPA‘s autonomous soldiers paint a robotized future as inevitable. ‘Either we’re going to decide not to do this, and have an international agreement not to do it, or it’s going to happen.’ Rather than ‘A robot must not harm a human’ we get the more loophole-ready, ‘A robot must always follow a human operator’s intent, for example, while simultaneously guarding against any failure that could cause an operator to lose control.’  Yikes.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Here’s the leaked Uber email to drivers, showing it’s finally taking background checks seriously – Pando Daily. “One of the biggest economic shifts this century comes from the removal of the friction that justifies middlemen. From travel agencies to parking meters, everything’s going digital. AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, even white-label airlines are getting in on the action. The honeymoon, however, may be over. Nearly every one of them is under scrutiny for predatory pricing, liability claims, and mis-set expectations. P2P rideshare startup Lyft recently announced insurance, but the real story is Uber, which sent a letter to drivers about background checks. Up next? I’m betting it’s unionization. What’s good for the management goose is good for the employee gander.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Our quantum problem – Aeon Magazine. “The head-scratching problems with Quantum Theory.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Spotify: how a busy songwriter you’ve never heard of makes it work for him – The Guardian. “Want to hear a song about mayonnaise? Or, Brisbane? Or, door-handles? Matt Farley churns them out at an amazing pace, and puts them all on Spotify. I originally heard about Matt Farley on the podcast TLDR.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • What Brands in Sochi Are Doing for Security May Surprise You – AdWeek. “Part of the advertising business is schmoozing clients. That’s a lie. It’s a big part of every business. So, when the Olympics roll around, brands see an amazing opportunity to really work their networks and lock in some solid business opportunities while taking in the event, wining, dining and who knows what else? The problem is that some places aren’t that safe. There has been lots of concern over the safety at the winter Olympics. It’s not something you read about often, but this is what brands are doing to ensure that their guests have a blast… in a different kind of way.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Please Click On Our Website’s Banner Ads – The Onion. “This is one of those pieces that is so funny because of how true and sad it is. It’s from The Onion, so you know it’s satire of the highest form. It’s also true for just about any traditional publisher pimping for clicks, while trying to amp up their banner advertising inventory. Special thanks to Michael Lautman for shooting it my way on Twitter.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #189

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:

  • Burnt: A heated hullabaloo over $4 toast – Edible San Francisco. “The always-quotable Alex Howard once told me that tax rates are simply the cost the rich are willing to pay to stop the poor rising up, or something like that. There’s a class war brewing in the Bay Area (and even Tom Perkins has agreed Kristallnacht might not have been the best choice of words). But whatever side of the burbclave fence you’re on, something’s got to give. And apparently, it’s toast–hipster, organic, toast for the one percent. On a recent NPR comedy show, the host remarked that he ‘hadn’t seen thin, scruffy men in hats this excited about toast since the great depression.’ That might make for good copy, but the story’s a bit deeper. Here, then, is a piece in defense of toast, suggesting that perhaps it isn’t the perfect lightning rod for income-inequality debaters.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Former FCC commissioner thinks it’s time to go nuclear on ISPs – BGR. “Decades ago, the US federal government gave carriers billions of dollars to build out broadband. The carriers pocketed the money, the US is still miles behind other countries in terms of access to fast bandwidth, and carriers want to treat traffic that makes them money differently from traffic from, say, Google or Facebook. Well, things are about to get worse. Earlier this month, the FCC‘s regulatory framework for forcing carriers to respect net neutrality was thrown out. The FCC still has a trick up its sleeve, though: reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers, the way they treat phone companies. This would have wide-reaching consequences for the fortunes of every ISP, and who makes money from communications. Watch this space.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The Three Leakers and What to Do About Them – The New York Review of Books. “One of the defining debates of our time will surely be: what to do about privacy now that (almost) all our communications, locations, buying habits, reading habits, watching habits, among other things, are trackable? These kinds of questions cut in many directions: what should states be able to know? What should states be able to conceal? What do journalists have a responsibility to expose? Not to mention, what all those private companies should  be allowed to do with our data  the Googles and Facebooks everyone frets about; the Visas and Mastercards no one seems to notice; and the ISPs and telcos on whose wires and towers our communications travel. In this age of data, spying and just-about complete capture (of private citizen information; of government secrets) three people  Snowden, Assange and Manning – have more or less given up their lives in exchange for bringing these questions front-and-center. And the conundrum, especially for the American government, is: what to do about them?”  (Hugh for Alistair).
  • The Paratext’s the Thing – The Chronicle Of Higher Education. “Why the aside, the conversation, the Tweets and blog posts and Facebook comments are becoming more important than the things they are talking about.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Everything I need to know about management I learned from playing Dungeons and Dragons – Quartz. “I was at my parent’s house earlier this week. It is the house that I grew up in. On my journey to rediscover the electric bass, I was trying to find all of my old books from school on the subject. Of course, it was all just where I had left it. Right next to the stack of books, I discovered my original Dungeons & Dragons starter kit box. It included instruction manuals, adventures, the famous dice and even some characters I had developed. It transported me back in time to my early teens. I didn’t think I was a nerd (or I didn’t care), but I loved creating characters with friends and taking them on adventures. It was much more than a board game, it was much more than role-playing, and it was much more than something we did to kill time. I learned a lot from building these characters and these worlds. It’s quite possible, that I never realized just how much…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • What You’re Worth To Facebook – The New Yorker. “Facebook had a great week. Just look at their stock. Just look at how they’ve managed to embrace and run with mobile. Just look at the pending launch of stand-alone apps like, Paper. The question becomes this: is there any chance that Facebook can outdo Google at this point? The real promise of Google’s revenue from advertising is that they are able to put a message in front of people who are searching for something, in specific. Is it possible, that Facebook can take this a step further by putting messages in front of people that are hyper-relevant without those people even having to search for it? Facebook thinks so. Let’s see if they can pull it off and what this means to companies like Google and Yahoo.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #188

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:

  • Debunking Princeton – Facebook. “A recent Princeton study claimed Facebook would lose eighty percent of its users in the next few years. Sure, we all know the kids love their Snapchat, but that seems dubious to me. Apparently, it also seemed dubious to the whip-smart data science team at Facebook, who took them to task with this brilliant rebuttal. Oh, and based on this analysis, we’re running out of air, too.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • What are the best travel hacks? – Quora. “I spent a lot of time on the road last year. My favorite travel hack is using the ironing board as a work desk you can adjust to your perfect height in a hotel room, so you don’t destroy your back in a marathon writing session. This Quora thread is packed with gems.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Last Alan Moore Interview? – Slovobooks. Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen and a few other cult comic classics, gives a delightfully grouchy interview, which he seems to claim will be his last. In it, he pillories contemporary adults for raising kids’ entertainment from the last century (superheroes) to the center of our cultural life; attacks claims that his work is prevalent with misogynist scenes of rape and violence against women (‘prevalent’ compared to what?’ he asks, ‘Consensual sex? Non-sexual violence?’); and bridles at the idea that white men shouldn’t write characters of other races. A thoughtful and detailed piece on our art, politics, culture.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Sit Back, Relax, and Read That Long Story–on Your Phone – The Atlantic. “It’s no suprise to me (since the thing that sold me on ebooks was reading War And Peace on my iPhone), but certainly marketers and content producers should have a think about this little stat: one of Buzzfeed‘s most popular stories (Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500) is 6,000 words long. Average time spent on the article by tablet readers: 12 minutes. Phones? 25 minutes. Movies, television, books and long articles. Turns out phones are *built* for these things, no matter what David Lynch has to say about it.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Why Bitcoin Matters – The New York Times. “I get asked about Bitcoin and digital currency all of the time now. Bitcoin is sweeping pop culture like Facebook once did. I believe in the power of digital currency and the massive opportunity that lies ahead for it. Who cares? Who am I? Just some dude with a blog and an opinion. Let’s ask the experts what they think. Someone whose opinion I hold in the highest of regards would be Marc Andreessen. So, here’s what he thinks about it…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Jerry Seinfeld on how to be funny without sex and swearing – The Guardian. “I don’t care what you do for a living, if you’re not spending your time truly honing your craft, skills and talent, they are being wasted. Someone who takes this job to a whole other level of dedication and care is Jerry Seinfeld. He’s no longer a spring chicken, but this doesn’t stop him from always having a spring in his step. This is a fabulous read that should motivate you to keep at it. Whatever your ‘it’ is.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #187

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 Economics behind the Everpix Shutdown Decision – Ivan’s Research. Everpix was a photo-sharing site that recently shut its doors. The founders were candid about why they closed shop, going so far as to share all kinds of research that is a goldmine for startups. But this post takes it one step further: a stealthy competitor figured out that the photo sharing business wasn’t viable, and used this modeling to sell early, under NDA. This kind of hard-nosed economic analysis is rare in the startup world, which is often characterized by hubris and an ignorance of the realities of business.” (Alistair for Hugh, HT to @eoinbrazil).
  • Some Facts On The Flu – Solve For Interesting. “Canada’s gripped by la grippe, and things are bad South of the Border too. So I asked a friend — who happens to be an infectious disease specialist with a knack for explaining things clearly — some questions. I’m not really breaking my rule about posting links to my own stuff, since this is an interview with him, but caveat emptor. Know what the first North American Avian Flu death and AIDS have in common? Read on.” (Alistair for Mitch, HT to a smart physician; let’s call him Dr. F.).
  • Minimiam: Playful Mini Dramas By Photographers Pierre Javelle And Akiko Ida – Demilked. “Photos of tiny people making their way in the world.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • The Book Is Not Dead – Daily Infographic. “Will ebooks destroy the paper book? Not anytime soon, says this pundit-defying infographic. All sorts of interesting things to chew over, the key stat: ebook sales appear to be leveling off at about 25% of the market.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Why Twitter’s Co-Founder Is Asking Brands To Use The Receipt As A Publishing Medium – PSFK. “I spoke this past week at the National Retail Federation‘s big show in New York City. There was George W. Bush followed by a lifetime achievement award to Costco co-founder, Jim Sinegal, then me. Weird. I agree. This is such a massive show, that I didn’t even realize that Jack Dorsey was also presenting. I’m a huge fan of Dorsey. From Twitter to Square, he is making some inspiring entrepreneurial moves. What I love most about people like Dorsey is when they make statements like the one presented in this article. The receipt is a publishing medium that most retailers are wasting. Wow. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Granted, when I first saw Twitter – after it first launched – I’d be lying if I said I understood what, exactly, it would be good for.” (Mitch for Alistair). 
  • How To Write For A Living – James Altucher. “Have I told you this week how much I am enjoying the writing of James Altucher? This piece isn’t posted on his blog yet (I got it because I subscribe to his free e-newsletter… and I would recommend that you subscribe as well). I get asked this question a lot. Which is funny, considering that I don’t actually write for a living (but that’s another story and I do understand why people ask me this question). Many other authors have done their best to explain this, but I think Altucher really nails it on this one. You can feel his emotion bleeding through the words. You won’t be surprised by his answer: a lot of hard work and dedication.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #186

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:

  • When tech culture and urbanism collide – Ascent Stage. “This year’s International Startup Festival‘s theme is, The City and the Startup, and we’ve been looking for relevant content. This piece by John Tolva argues that tech companies are bad urbanists, and that the old myth of a company ‘started in a garage’ suggests a suburban bias, even as tech titans live in cities like San Francisco.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World – A Sheep No More. “I’m a visual thinker, so I love maps. And here’s a great resource: forty maps of the world that help you understand a variety of topics. Knowing where Google street view is available tells you a lot about the world’s economies; seeing the only 22 countries that Britain didn’t invade reminds us of how far the empire once reached; and so on.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The Darkest Place on the Internet Isn’t Just for Criminals – Wired. “Now that we know that everything we do on the internet is watched by government spies as well as the all-knowing eyes of Google and Amazon, it might be time to start taking privacy seriously.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • A Glimpse Into The Future of NPR, From It’s First-Ever Creative Director – Fast Company. “I’m a bit of a ‘radio’ junkie, or anyway, an ‘audio’ junkie, since I do almost all my listening to podcasts these days (using the Stitcher app, mostly). It turns out that most of the ‘podcasts’ I love are public radio shows from around the world: BBC, Australia Radio National, and NPR. And most of the best stuff these days is coming from National Public Radio, NPR. In the early days of podcasting, NPR really jumped in with two feet. They have continued to build not just an impressive network of ‘radio’ shows, but a lot of stuff tailored to modern, web-connected podcasty listeners: shows like This American Life, RadioLab, On The Media, Bullseye, and 99% Invisible. What’s in store for NPR in the next few years? Read about its new Creative Director, Liz Danzico, and what she’s got in mind for our ears. (As a sad sidenote, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, once a source of much tasty audio, has declined to the point that it is hardly recognizable).” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • How to Build a Productive Tech Economy – The Atlantic. The Atlantic has an amazing online property called, The Atlantic Cities, that focuses on urban centers and the evolving world and the cities that we live in. This article by Richard Florida (who is the author of The Rise Of The Creative Class, along with many others) looks at cities and their real abilities to turn themselves into a technology hub. We often head mayors and other leaders talk about the need for their cities ad states to become ‘the next Silicon Valley.’ Well, Florida has some data and thoughts on what is (and what is not) possible…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • TED isn’t a recipe for ‘civilisational disaster’ – The Guardian. “There is a very persuasive TEDx talk that is making the rounds titled, New perspectives – what’s wrong with TED talks?, that is also an article in The Guardian titled, We Need To Talk About TED, by Benjamin Bratton. I can understand Bratton (and others) perspective, but I just don’t agree with it. The fact is that I have been going to TED for many years and believe (without sounding all snooty about it), that it’s hard to understand what the event is like until you attend it. I often tell people that the TED Talks (which is what everyone talks about online and watches) account for, probably, five percent of the whole TED experience. It’s easy to sit back, watch an 18-minute talk and wonder what that is going to do to truly change the world or solve some of our very real problems, but I thought that TED’s curator, Chris Anderson, did a great job of trying to explain to the masses what the conference is really about. For my dollar, no other event has inspired me more. From business success to community involvement and more, I learn so much at each event that I can’t imagine having a successful year with TED not being a part of it.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #185

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:

  • Mapping The Wealth Of U.S. ZIP Codes Shows The Haves Hiding From The Have-Nots – Fast Company. “One of the things I’ve loved about 2013 has been the rise of visualizations that help convey data–congressional deadlock, the outbreak of conflict, spending habits, and more. The intersection of a connected populace and widely available tools to crunch large amounts of data makes this possible. Here’s a Fast Company interactive infographic that shows the rich hiding from the poor, in what Harvard philosopher, Michael Sandel, calls the ‘skyboxification’ of American life.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Nordic Soul Top 100 Albums of 2013 Mix – Sean Horton. “A couple of years ago, I helped run Seattle’s Decibel electronic music conference. Decibel is the brainchild of Sean Horton, who is also an amazing DJ and the guy who programs music for a bunch of big retailers and brands. If you want to know what artists and sounds you’ll be familiar with three years from now, look no further than his annual lineup.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • George Saunders’s Advice to Graduates – The New York Times. “In short, be kinder. Wise words for all of us in 2014.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Structure. Beyond The Picnic Table Crisis – The New Yorker. “This is one of those crazy, long pieces The New Yorker is famous for. In it, John McPhee explores – in a long, digressive, but highly structured essay – how to write long, digressive, but highly structured essays. Even though you don’t know at all where it is headed, you want to stick with it, with the writer on his journey of discovery and exposition. And that is the best kind of writing, for my money, the kind that doesn’t tell you where it is going, but when you get there, it all makes sense (and you’re glad you stayed till the end).” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption – The Washington Post. “Well, here’s a thought: if you want to beat the encryption and privacy game, why not just build and SUPER super computer. One that uses quantum computing. One that is so powerful that it simply glides through all of that private stuff that all of us think is protected by passwords and security. Plus, if let’s say you were a government agency that had the resources and capabilities to build that type of system and then have access to everything, who would know? Creeped out? You should be.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • In Speed Metal, Fastest Drummers Take a Beating – Wall Street Journal. “The technology makes it hard to tell the difference between a human doing a double bass drum blast beat or a drum machine. So, bands that are trying to push the limits of heavy metal (in terms of aggression and speed) are turning to technology when the feet fails. If there’s one thing I can tell you about heavy metal (and trust me, I have tons of experience on this topic): the faster it is, the better it is. The problem with that equation is that fans of the genre want it faster, but they also want it to be real. So now, the great debate begins. What wins? Feet or algorithms? And, for the record, Mike Mangini (currently in Dream Theater) is one worthy of checking out -video below).” (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.

Transitions with John Digweed – 19th December 2013 by John Digweed on Mixcloud

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #184

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:

  • High Frequency Dating – Mostly Harmless. Rob Rhinehart wonders just how much of the act of dating can be handed over to machines. Not politically correct, and maybe a bit NSFW, but definitely good satire. Besides, it’s the holidays, and you shouldn’t be working anyway.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Solitude And Leadership – The American Scholar. “Leaders do strange things. They get up early. They spend a lot of time thinking, and are very deliberate in their decisions. This piece by William Deresiewicz, delivered at West Point in 2009, underscores the importance of solitude and contemplation. As the holiday season descends upon us, many of us will disconnect from our daily flood of data and interruption. Maybe this is a reason not to reconnect quite as much after the holidays.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The 13 Best Books of 2013: The Definitive Annual Reading List of Overall Favorites – Brain Pickings. Maria Popova picks her best books of the year.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Our Thirteen Most-Read Blog Posts Of 2013 – The New Yorker. “A lazy week of links. The New Yorker‘s 13 most read blog posts of 2013.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • How The Sex Pistols Saved Christmas – Dangerous Minds. “Is there anything I could possible say that might get you to click on this piece more than that title? If it were mere linkbait, it might be an act of frustration. It isn’t. Just a little piece of a fantastic story that most people don’t know about a band that had a crazed reputation. See, even the most metal of metal bands or the most punk of punk bands have a warm heart beneath the tattered t-shirts, piercings, leather, addictions and spit.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Li Hongbo Explains His Flexible Paper Sculptures – Colossal. “Well, if we do stop using paper to print books, magazines and newspapers, I think Li Hongbo has an idea of a magical way to rethink what paper is and what it is used for. This is one of those pieces that will have you marveling not just at one individual’s creativity, but that these stories may not have nay sense of longevity were it not for the Internet.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #183

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:

  • Autonomous Vehicles and the Labor Question – Taming The American Idol. “Stories of self-driving cars, or flaming batteries, grab headlines. But if you look at the long-term impact of autonomous transportation, it becomes a jobs question. Pushed into the limelight by Amazon‘s announcement of drone-delivered packages, this is a topic that, much as steam power did, will galvanize unions and make us reconsider the boundaries of work. When we had steam power, we got the weekend and the end of child labor. What will automated logistics yield, and how much fighting will happen beforehand?” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Thailand: Videos of police and anti-government protesters clashing – Asian Correspondent. “While we’re on the subject of drones, it’s fair to say that when it comes to revolutions in big squares, Twitter is so 2011. No, the new tech for protesters and uprisings is aerial drones that show the battlefield, helping protesters thwart the authorities and show the world the lobbing of tear gas. Exhibit A: protests in Thailand.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Pirate Bay switches address for the sixth time this year – The Guardian. “The ongoing battle between big media companies and various file sharing/streaming/unauthorized copyright infringing entities continues to be a fascinating case of the ponderous legal apparatus chasing the nimble motivated techie. The Pirate Bay is the best-known torrent site – where visitors can find links that let them download all sorts of things – most of it infringing copyright – from peer-to-peer networks. Legal pressure has meant that The Pirate Bay has had to change its domain name multiple times. This finally got so annoying to The Pirate Bay that they have built a new kind of browser, based on peer-to-peer technology, that will ‘enable users to store and share files without requiring a central hosting, eliminating the need for a domain name.’  This technology, if it works, is a fundamental reshaping of how the web currently operates. Time, as they say, will tell how successful the pirates are at keeping the legal system at bay.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Is It Already Too Late to Stop the NSA? – The American Prospect. “After Mitch’s David Simon link last week, here’s another one to add to the Christmas cheer (1984 version): has the power of the NSA grown so great, and the distance between the people and our governments grown so large, that we just can’t do anything about the NSA?” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Google’s Robot Army – The New Yorker. “I have become very fascinated with robotics, wearable technology and the Internet of things. So much so, that over a year ago, I started a new blog (on Tumblr) called, We, Robots. The main area of interest for me is not in how robots and this physical technology with automate our lives, but rather how this technology will augment the work that we do. And, if you check out We, Robots, you will see so many instances where technology and robots are helping humans be so much better at the work that they do. While everyone is spending their time and attention thinking about Amazon and drones, they may not have realized that Google has been on an acquisition tear by scooping up close to ten of the major robotics companies out there… and there is no sign of them slowing down. While this may seem curious to some, it seems obvious to me. If we have the Internet and connectivity everywhere (think Web, Android, driver-less cars, Google Glass and more), why wouldn’t we have robots as an important part of lives as well? Google has the war-chest to make an early run at this for market dominance, and that’s what they’re doing.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Negative Emotions Are Key to Well-Being – Scientific American. “Not to be a downer, but as everyone preps for the holiday season, it’s not all about joy and cheer. This time of year, people get stressed out and depressed… a lot. If fact, if someone is prone to be more anxious or depressed, these holiday seasons are prime time to get pushed further along the downward spiral. Whether you are dealing with negative emotions or know someone who does, the medical community is making significant strides in this space. Guess what? Telling someone to ‘cheer up!,’ ‘get over it!,’ or ‘just try to enjoy yourself,’ is probably the wrong strategy. What we’re learning is that negative emotions are important to our well-being. They help us create balance and get us off the treadmill of constantly battling to be ‘happy’.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #182

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:

  • Meet The ‘Assassination Market’ Creator Who’s Crowdfunding Murder With Bitcoins – Forbes. “The only way this headline could sound more like a cyberpunk novel is if assassins were required to use 3D printed swords with nano-sharp edges.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Pantene Breaks Down Every Sexist Workplace Stereotype in One Ad – Time. “I just came back from the Lean Startup conference, run by Sarah Milstein and Eric Ries. It was an excellent event, in part because they really focused on diversity. The speakers ranged in color, gender, and age, far from the usual lineup at conferences. There’s a great write-up of how they did it, too In this ad spot, Pantene pokes fun at how common workplace stereotypes are; it’s eye-opening and really well done.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Die, Selfish Gene, Die – Aeon Magazine. “Did you know that grasshoppers (quiet, solitary, peaceful eaters) are actually the *same animal* as locusts (noisy, swarming, voracious)? In times of scarcity, certain species of grasshoppers transform into locusts, changing not just their behavior, but also their physical attributes: their legs and wings get shorter, their color changes, even their brains change, growing to manage the more social interactions of a locust horde. This phase change is the result of what scientists call ‘gene expression’ – the genes themselves don’t change, but the way they express themselves – how they shape the animal and its behavior – does. Genetics, it turns out, is more complicated than we thought, and much of what we learned in biology class is wrong.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • David, Grostern & Lozeau: Imagining Montreal As A City-State – National Post. “This one is for the locals. I love Montreal. It’s an amazing city. Speaking personally, I came out of the uncertainties of the mid-nineties (when Quebec voters narrowly defeated a referendum to separate from Canada) with a sense of growing optimism about Montreal, and I moved back here (from NYC) in 2002. Montreal seemed on the rise: a city increasingly comfortable in two languages, well-positioned to bridge Europe and North America as a nexus of trade and culture, had plenty of natural resources (including a plentiful supply of hydro-electricity) keeping the province wealthy, more universities per capita than any other city in Canada, and a kind of off-center political climate that made things exciting. But my optimism over the last decade, and especially the past few years, is waning. Quebec seems increasingly isolationist, and keeps implementing (or threatening to implement) policies that will chip away at Quebec’s ability to compete in the world, not to mention its global reputation. Defending language and culture are surely important, but if these defenses result in a decline in Quebec’s vibrancy and wealth – then we all need to ask ourselves some questions. Maybe the solution is for Montreal to go it alone?” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Jony Ive’s Secret Coffee Ritual – The Blog Of Tim Ferriss. “I know how much Alistair likes someone who is dedicated to the point of obsession about a topic. I also know how much more Alistair likes it when that passion is on something obscure or weird. Well, this one may just take the cake. Listen, I love a great cafe au lait as much as the next person and there is nothing quite as amazing as a killer cup of java meshed with great conversation and ideation, but this is taking things to a whole other level. If I’m not mistaken, Apple may be able to create these products that fascinate humanity because the design team is caffeinated unlike any other human being on the planet. If they care this much about the coffee, it’s no wonder that their hardware is so glaringly gorgeous.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • David Simon: ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’ – The Guardian. “If you live in the United States or visit it on a more frequent basis, it’s hard not to read this piece by David Simon and not be moved. Most people know Simon as the creator of the amazing TV series, The Wire. If you do some quick searches of him on YouTube, you will also discover someone who frequently gives speeches on the state of our states. In this piece, you’ll get a vibe for the kind of presentations he gives and how he will (hopefully) get you thinking very differently about the rich and the poor, and about capitalism and social impact. Powerful, powerful stuff.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #181

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:

  • Bjork Explaining Television Is Everything You’d Imagine Bjork Explaining Television to Be – The Atlantic. “I have seen pixies and they are real.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Changing Minds and Changing Towels – Psychology Today. “One of the things I spend a lot of time talking about these days is how to get people to change their minds. Not just the data that shows they should, but actually getting their behaviors to change, too. It’s a tough problem, because we often make decisions subconsciously. Habits that have served us well in the past guide us in the future, as any dieter or nail-biter will tell you. Here’s a good example of this in practice: What’s the best way to get a hotel guest to re-use their towels? What kind of message compels, rather than just informs? ‘simply changing a few words on the standard sign, guests… were 26% more likely… to recycle their towels.’” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Sony Seeks ‘SmartWig’ Patent for Hairpieces With Sensors – Bloomberg. Sony vs. Apple vs. Google vs. Amazon. Sony 1, everyone else, 0. Let the battle for our technology future begin.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Battle of the Band: Jawbone UP vs. 3M Tegaderm Band-Air – Carol Torgan. Band-aid vs. Jawbone UP. Band-aid 1, everyone else, 0. Let the battle for our technology future begin.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Climate Change Is Creating Anxious Fish – The Atlantic. “What do you make of a title like this? Do you think that humans are the only ones stressing out over our ever-changing world? Well, it turns out that a lot of the bad things human create and try to dispose of is now stressing out the fish. That could make you laugh, but it’s not all that funny at all. Stressed out fish will do erratic things. The truth is that we can all cry about climate change all that we want, and the harm that it causes is not as direct as we may think (pollution, etc…). Another proof point that everything on our planet is connected and that we have little knowledge of the depth of the damage that we are creating as we try to evolve.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The Ghostwriting Business – Priceonomics. “There seems to be this strange, somewhat, newish trend of young and up n’ coming business book authors who brag about the fact that they not only didn’t write the books with their names on them, but that they actually don’t read that many books at all. It bothers me. But, I think it bothers me only because of my love of writing and creating long-form content. I’m probably more jealous than anything else. From the reader’s perspective does it matter? Who cares if the author spoke the words to someone, or if someone came up with a voice for an individual who struggles with writing but has a great story to tell? The audience isn’t being duped anymore. More often than not, the ghostwriters are getting their names on the covers and – to a lesser degree – becoming celebrities as well. Still, I struggle with it…” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #180

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:

  • Moldover’s Four Track – Documentary.I first met Moldover at Foo Camp a few years ago, and he’s an amazingly creative guy. Some traditional musicians hold on to their analog instruments, bemoaning the saccharine of autotune; others dive so far into electronica that the result is almost unrecognizable as music. Moldover seems to have found the right balance. Watch this brief (4 minute) documentary and pay attention to the instruments and general hackery: when was the last time you saw a singer design their own mic?” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Infinite Jukebox. “While we’re on the subject of music technology, this one blew my mind. It’s the missing piece for computers to do remixes humans couldn’t possibly manage. Pick a song, or upload one (there are already plenty) and the software will figure out how to loop it endlessly. It shows fragments of a song that are similar, making it possible to jump around in a track without noticing the changes. I could play with this for hours.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The great middle-class identity crisis – FT Magazine. “How we used to define ourselves by our professions, and how that is changing.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • The Hidden Technology That Makes Twitter Huge – Bloomberg BusinessWeek.Paul Ford looks under the hood at Twitter, and finds all the metadata that is attached to every tweet you make. And why that’s so important.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • This I Believe: A Manifesto for a Magnificent Career – Occam’s Razor. “There is no hiding my love and admiration for my close friend, Avinash Kaushik. Over the years, I have probably quoted or been inspired by Kaushik’s thinking more than anyone else (he’s right up there with Seth Godin, Tom Peters and Clay Shirky in my mind). I have no idea what I did to deserve the honor of becoming friends with him, but I’m so thankful that he found his way into my life. Most people know Avinash as the analytics guy from Google (he was their former Analytics Evangelist). Avinash is still at Google, with an expanded role of Digital Marketing evangelist. He’s written two amazing (and bestselling) books (Web Analytics – An Hour A Day and Web Analytics 2.0). He is a blogging behemoth. His posts are deep and long (some can be as long as 4000 words). He is as tactical as he is strategic. So, when he dug deep into what a great career looks like, this became the result. It was first published on November 11th, but I have read and re-read it countless times since then. When was the last time you could say that about a blog post?” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Banning the Negative Book Review – The New York Times. “It doesn’t get more meta than this, when it comes to books. This is a very well-written (and funny) op-ed piece in yesterday’s New York Times by advertising pundit and author, Bob Garfield. Apparently, BuzzFeed‘s new book editor, Isaac Fitzgerald, will no longer publish hatchet job book reviews. There are so many layers to this story, that I don’t know where to begin. Let’s just say that this is a criticism piece about literary criticism and the end of literary criticism (which the writer is criticizing). You can follow this piece of yarn to figure out your own nuances and ironies in all of this. Decades ago, I wrote tons of record reviews. Personally, I never liked trashing a band’s work. It was a matter of two personal principles. Number one, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it. Number two, if a reader is going to spend any time with you, why not turn them on to something they will like, rather than dismantling the hard work of someone else based on my own, personal, biases.” (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.

Tags:

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #179

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.

Tags: