What we read this week (17 January)

Our favorite articles of this week. Have a great weekend.

Articles of the week

What we read this week (10 January)

Our favorite articles of this week. Have a great weekend.

What we read this week (6 December)

Our favorite articles of this week. Have a great weekend.

We need to separate the powers of economics and technology, not push them more tightly together. They’re the contemporary church’n’state — and they know it, too.

Paul Graham Raven

Articles of the week

  • Some publishers are optimising their sites for bot-generated traffic
    “Traffic analytics company Spider.io has discovered that some publishers are knowingly buying bot-generated traffic and optimising their websites to make sure as many ads as possible are exposed.” The article with the most WTF-moments this week.
  • Algorithmic Governance and the Ghost in the Machine
    “Moore’s Law has granted to 21st-century organizations two new methods for governing complexity: locally powerful god-algorithms we’ll call Athenas and omniscient but bureaucratic god-algorithms we’ll call Adjustment Bureaus.”
  • Shazam for Neo-Nazi Music
    “Put machine intelligence (Shazam for Neo-Nazi Music) and persistent surveillance (ShotSpotter) together and you would have a powerful system that presents some very difficult problems for fairness and civil liberties.”
  • A Genre in Crisis: On Paul Di Filippo’s “Wikiworld”
    It sounds like this review is much more fun to read than the collection of science-fiction stories it reviews.
  • Artist Blends Augmented Reality With Real-World Scenarios For Kickstarted Video Series
    “Admit it: When you think of the future you conjure up images of The Jetsons (1962) or BladeRunner (1982). Designer and filmmaker Keiichi Matsuda wants to move the conversation forward–way forward–in his new series of five-minute augmented reality films, Hyper Reality (March 2014); however Matsuda's vision of the future is less robotics and space travel–more AR, ubicomp, smart cities, wearable computing, and surveillance drones.”

What we read this week (28 November)

Our favorite articles of this week. Have a great weekend.

Articles of the week

What we read this week (22 November)

Our favorite articles of this week. Have a great weekend.

Articles of the week

  • What Screens Want
    Brilliant web essay by Frank Chimero, and not only because he features James Burke and The West Wing. I bet that this one will come up in a lot of conversations in the next months.
  • Prada Revolutionaries
    “Bright Green has become the left's version of right-wing transhumanism: an excuse to not solve today's problems, because tomorrow's technology will fix them for us.”
  • Tom Armitage » Driftwood
    “Driftwood is a talk I gave at Playark 2013. It was meant to be a talk about leftovers (the theme of the conference being ‘reclaim’), and about Hello Lamp Post. In the writing, it turned into a broader overview of my own work – on six years of projects around cities and play.”
  • Meet The ‘Assassination Market’ Creator Who’s Crowdfunding Murder With Bitcoins – Forbes
    “Assassination Market, a crowdfunding service that lets anyone anonymously contribute bitcoins towards a bounty on the head of any government official–a kind of Kickstarter for political assassinations.”
  • Ross Andersen – Humanity’s deep future
    "When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars?"
  • Bitcoin As Protocol | Union Square Ventures
    “There is no other widely used protocol in the world today that accomplishes this: with bitcoin anyone can make a statement (a transaction) and have this be recorded in a globally visible and fixed ledger.”
  • Content economics, part 4: scale | Felix Salmon
    "It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of the CMS when it comes to the question of who’s going to win the online-publishing wars."
  • InMoov » Project
    "Here is “InMoov”, the first life size humanoid robot you can 3D print and animate. You have a 3D printer, some building skills, This project is for you!!"
  • Apple and Google Maps, and Defaults | Matt Mullenweg
    “If Microsoft did this a decade ago we’d call for the DoJ to reopen their investigation. Apple has the best phone, best tablet, and in many ways the best operating system — we should not give them a pass for this blatantly self-interested and user-hostile stance.”
  • Instagram and Youtube — Benedict Evans
    "WhatsApp and Instagram are not in different categories – they're direct competitors for time and attention." – This spot on.

What we read this week (8 November)

Our favorite articles of this week. Have a great weekend.

Articles of the week

What we read this week (11 October)

Silicon Valley’s quest to make the rich live forever, the need to stop segmenting people and ebooks as malware and more.

Quotes of the week

Society is mostly built away from power, by the politically distant and ideologically vague.

Quinn Norton

Books are the best way to pay smart people for sharing their thoughts.

Sascha Lobo

Articles of the week

  • Medium: Age-ism, Transhumanism, and Silicon Valley’s Cognitive Dissonance
    A poignant and well argued critique of the life extension narrative that Silicon Valley tells itself and the rest of the world. While scenarios in which significant life extension is realistic, it’ll be only available to the super-rich and in no way scalable even to tech industries populous.
  • New Yorker: Freedom of Information
    Ken Auletta set out, in a classic New Yorker style, to compile a comprehensive look into the Guardian and its editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger. He highlights both the Guardian’s ambition to become the worlds prime source for investigative journalism as well as its struggle to finance the newspaper independently.
  • activities not audiences
    Russell Davies reflects about the differences between thinking in target groups and learning from user needs. As he’s leaving the marketing world farer behind himself, he recommends to stop segmenting people.
  • The attention economy
    In this thoughtful essay on Aeon Magazine, Tom Chatfield digs into the current hype around ‘attention’ and looks for the real costs behind the buzzword.
  • Polemic: how readers will discover books in future
    SF-author Charlie Stross is at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, participating in the [Sprint Beyond The Book][8]. In this text coming out of the sprint, he describes a future in which ebooks will basically becoming malware, spamming the readers’ libraries and sending fake recommendations to friends etc. It’s a fun read that leaves you thinking “Wait a minute …”

What we read this week (4 October)

Understanding the cloud, a bust making waves, a bad decision by Tim Berners-Lee and more in this edition of the Weekly Reads

Quotes of the week

Vision is worth exactly nothing without timing.

Horace Dediu

Articles of the week

  • How to see through the cloud
    James Bridle put together a tutorial that helps you to better understand the actual infrastructure of the internet that has been obscured by the marketing term ‘the cloud.’
  • The Silk Road Bust
    Lots of attention this week around the end of one of the most fascinating stories of the “deep web:” Silk Road. Ars Technica has a lot. But also look statements by the EFF and Tor about how anonymizing technology is not to blame here.
  • Bitcoin’s role in the future of micropayments
    Here’s another aspect of what becomes possible with Bitcoin. Micropayments have been a topic for almost as long as there is a commerce on the internet. Nobody quite solved it, because of the fees associated with using credit cards. Bitcoin, potentially, can help solve this issue.
  • Time to Fight Against a DRM’d Web – by Forking It
    The W3C including its director Tim Berners-Lee are seriously looking at including DRM features into the next web standard. So not cool. That’s why Glyn Moody is suggesting we work around that, which has worked before when the W3C tried to push XHTML.
  • Inside the Underground Spam Machine That’s Overrunning Social Media
    Meghan Neal looks at different studies and reports to reveal the $200 million industry behind those link spam tweets and chain-mail messages on Facebook.

Weekly Reads (27 September)

Some post-XOXO reflections, a short story by Doctorow, a fictional presidential candidate’s speech and a long essay about public spaces.

Quotes of the week

Snowden issued a call for action, and the world failed to respond. I now have a term for this retreating reaction – shocked acquiescence. When faced with something so large and unfathomable as PRISM or climate change, the most common reaction is to accept or pretend it’s not happening and move on.

Tobias Revell

I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it. I cannot in good conscience sign a nondisclosure agreement or a software license agreement.

So that I can continue to use computers without violating my principles, I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that I will be able to get along without any software that is not free.

Richard Stallman, 30 years ago

Articles of the week

What we read this week (20 September)

Spies, Tech Intellectuals, the truly smart people at Improving Reality 2013 and ethnographers writing fantasy. Enclosed by JG Ballard and Scott Smith.

Quote of the week

The totalitarian systems of the future will be subservient and ingratiating, the false smile of the bored waiter rather than the jackboot.

JG Ballard

Articles of the week

  • WSJ: The Fine Art of Spying
    An meticulously researched piece on artist who explore the new realm of us spying and being spied on. Artist from around the world attempt to give us a new perspective onto the world that already surrounds us. As with science fiction writers, the work of artist seems to have changed into explaining the world around us instead of artist, whether or not they are science fiction writers, are increasingly preoccupied with describing the world that surrounds us instead of a world that will do so.
  • Democracy Journal: The Tech Intellectuals
    Great analysis of the current group of tech thinkers (Shirky, Jarvis, Morozov etc.) who’s dependence on the attention economy often stands in the way of them contributing the really great ideas and insights that would move the conversation forward.
  • Improving Reality 2013
    If there’s one conference that we’re still really frustrated about having missed this year, it’s Improving Reality, and this write-up by Natalie Kane will tell you why. We’ll let you know when the videos are available.
  • Towards Fantastic Ethnography and Speculative Design
    For September, Ethnography Matters is looking at the relationship between ethnography, speculative fiction and design. The first contribution comes from Anne Galloway who describes how she’s combining design and fantasy writing to explore new futures beyond the scientifically sound and feasible.
  • Going Critical
    Scott Smith is describing the anti-MOOC future of education without even mentioning MOOCs. His reflections read more like a manifesto of imparting the skills to explore and create different futures than teach the knowledge of one “particular future” we seem to have decided upon.