What we read this week (15 Mar)

A web-based “brain” for robots, a disturbing culture revolving around hijacked webcams, the trickiness of making digital publishing sustainable for its workers, misgivings about Google Glass and a former Pixar employee’s storytelling tips.

Quote of the week

No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

Emma Coats

Articles of the week

  • The Atlantic: A Day in the Life of a Digital Editor, 2013
    A long piece by Alexis Madrigal on the tricky state of digital publishing, in response to a similarly-titled post by Nate Thayer. Madrigal’s assessment: “So far, there isn’t a single model for our kind of magazine that appears to work.”
  • BBC News: Web-based ‘brain’ for robots goes live
    Rapyuta is a project that seeks to make robots smarter by freeing up some of their internal memory and giving them a central, online “brain,” or reference resource, to draw upon when they come across something new. There are many parallels here to the way we deal with unfamiliar situations these days – consulting YouTube, Wikipedia and Quora, for example.
  • Ars Technica: Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams
    A disturbing report on “ratters,” people who use RATs (Remote Administration Tools) to spy on their victims (“slaves”) by hijacking their webcams.
  • The Guardian: Google Glass: is it a threat to our privacy?
    Google Glass brings an element of uncertainty and distraction into human interactions, and raises even more questions than we already have about the boundaries of personal privacy. This article raises some interesting points as to how we could get around some of these problems, and in what situations society might object to this type of technology altogether.
  • Story Shots: 22 #storybasics I’ve picked up in my time at Pixar
    A list of tips that apply to much more than movie-making. (Many of them are in fact quite relevant for business consulting, among other things.)