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 (15 June)

This week was all about speculations. Standing with one foot in the present and one foot in the future, we were reading about the downfall and rise of contemporary technologies, what science fiction has to do with economics, a futuristic urban art project and the digital metamorphosis of Starbucks.

Quotes of the week

The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense.

Tom Clancy

Articles of the week

  • Chris Ziegler: Pre to postmortem: the inside story of the death of Palm and webOS
    The “international darlings” Palm and webOS disappeared in the sea of the global irrelevance within only 31 months. Read about the factors that undermined the foundations of the promising device and platform.
  • Wired: Economist Paul Krugman Is a Hard-Core Science Fiction Fan
    Paul Krugman: American economist, Professor at Princeton University and science fiction amateur. He claims that nothing else gives you more opportunities to think about possibilities than science fiction. In this interview conducted by Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, Krugman talks about psychohistory, trends among fellow economists and his deep affinity for science fiction.
  • Under Tomorrows Sky with Liam Young
    Under Tomorrows Sky is a project initiated by Liam Young in collaboration with the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale and a variety of inventive people such as scientists, digital poets or speculative gamers. It aims at developing a proposal for a future city with complete visionary structure. The project will be exhibited at MU art space in Eindhoven (NL) on August 10th.
  • Venture Beat: How Starbucks is turning itself into a tech company
    The biggest international coffee company and coffeehouse chain is turning the tide when it comes to running an expansive business today. The article explains, step-by-step, the digital success of Starbucks and why it should be perceived as a role model in digital engagement.
  • Splatf: Exploring The New Foursquare
    If we could say that growth is the new business currency, then we could say that Foursquare is becoming pretty rich. Last week, the new version of Foursquare was published. Its creators decided to slightly modify the concept behind the previous versions of Foursquare in order to improve the user experience and meet their new expectations.