What we read this week (26 Oct)

This week we read about that the continuity of thought is not necessarily a positive thing, geopolitics of energy, the Micheal Brutsch and Reddit case, drones and the modern design.

Quote of the week

(…)the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved.

Jeff Bezos

Articles of the week

  • 37signals: Some advice from Jeff Bezos
    We tend to criticize people who are like a flag in the wind, i.e. changeable, but Jeff Bezos serves us a completely different view on that. He believes the smartest people are those whose regularly change and revise their opinions.
  • Steve Le Vine: Ten indicators you should watch to predict the geopolitics of energy
    Hillary Clinton said that global occurrences connected to the energy supply often result in weighty geopolitical consequences. They lead to disharmony in the power division across the globe. Often, but not always. Not all of the events have an impact on the geopolitics. In order to learn how to distinguish them, Steve Le Vine came up with a set of 10 indicators which might help us understand what event may lead to a serious geopolitical disruption.
  • Lauren Weinstein: An Internet Monster, Reddit, and Free Speech
    Even though it is not the easiest for the author to write about certain topics, he decided he needed to make a firm stand. Lauren picked up the very important subject of free speech and responsibility of the online social media services, which provide an audience and a certain type of nourishing feedback for some nasty thinkers to thrive on. The Michael Brutsch and Reddit case.
  • BookTwo: Under the Shadow of the Drone
    James Bridle writes about the drones and describes the network they are a part of. He also points at very important issues connected with the usage of a drone: how we all now live under the shadow of a drone, even if we can’t see it, how the technology of obscuration and violence boldly makes its way into our daily lives.
  • Helge Tennø: How do we design for the everyware
    Helge Tennø’s insightful slideshow where he dissects the idea of the “design”, discusses the common mistakes the past and the modern designers keep committing without learning from each other and points out that it is not the visuals that matter, but the behavior that should determine the way in the design.

What we read this week (25 Nov)

Payment isn’t the future of NFC, Facebook is ruining sharing, privacy online is hard (so here are a few pointers), the US are building a firewall and Amber Case shares her mind-blowing tech setup. Enjoy!

  • Why payment isn’t the future of NFC
    Janne Jalkanen knows a things or two about NFC. Before becoming the CTO of the up and coming Finnish startup Thinglink, he worked for Nokia and was there known as ‘The Godfather of NFC’. Here he muses about why mobile payment is by far not the most interesting way to use NFC and what he hopes for that will come out of this technology. (➟ Instapaper)
  • CNET: How Facebook is ruining sharing
    Molly Wood share a very good analysis of the new “frictionless” sharing mechanisms in Facebook. They might not be such a good idea after all, and it’s obvious already that they make us more hesitant to click on links inside the social network. (➟ Instapaper)
  • Facebook is Gaslighting the Web. We Can Fix It
    Anil Dash with a scathing analysis of Facebook’s content sharing policies: Facebook has moved from merely being a walled garden into openly attacking its users’ ability and willingness to navigate the rest of the web. The evidence that this is true even for sites which embrace Facebook technologies is overwhelming, and the net result is that Facebook is gaslighting users into believing that visiting the web is dangerous or threatening. (➟ Instapaper)
  • Debating Privacy in a Networked World for the WSJ
    Researcher Danah Boyd shares indepth insights into the way privacy works online, and gives pointers for companies to get it right. (➟ Instapaper)
  • NYTimes: Firewall Law Could Infringe on Free Speech
    Rebecca MacKinnon, founder of Global Voices, summarizes the damage the so-called Stop Online Piracy Act would have – a bill discussed in the US House of Representatives that would emulate China’s system of corporate “self-discipline,” making companies liable for users’ actions. The burden would be on the Web site operator to prove that the site was not being used for copyright infringement. The effect on user-generated sites like YouTube would be chilling. (➟ Instapaper)
  • The Setup of Amber Case
    True geeks that we are, we love to learn how our peers set up their technology infrastructure. UseThis asked UX Designer and Cyborg Anthropologist Amber Case about her tech setup, and it’s absolutely fascinating. Mind=blown. (➟ Instapaper)
  • HBR: The Question That Will Change Your Organization
    Polly Labarre with a great reminder why questions rule. (➟ Instapaper)
  • Everything is a service
    Service is kinda big these days, nothing new here. But Dave Gray of Dachis Group has written a big article, connecting a lot of dots and giving a great overview about the change in our economy. (➟ Instapaper)
  • HBR: What I Learned Building the Apple Store
    Ron Johnson, CEO of J.C. Penney and former senior VP for retail at Apple, about how you don’t need Apple products to be successful in retail. (➟ Instapaper)
  • On Systems and Strategy
    Clay Parker Jones, another brilliant mind at Undercurrent, “explores the features of adaptable systems and puts forward four key things that will help you design strategies that don’t suck.” He looks at a lot of real world systems and how their creators try to fail proof them (sometimes without success). (➟ Instapaper)
  • Luddite legacy
    Technology is now killing jobs faster than it’s creating new ones. And more and more, the machines don’t even need workers to operate them. The only way to create new jobs today is to go for the things that “make people human”. (➟ Instapaper)

Btw. we really like what Evernote has done with Clearly, a Chrome extension that, similar to Readability, allows you to read content on the web in a much more comfortable fashion. If you read the articles above in Chrome, we highly recommend using Clearly.