What we read this week (11 Jan)

On gradual change in job descriptions, not-yet-smart parking, Valve’s Steam Box and more.

Quote of the week

[…] Most tech companies use the rhetoric of inclusiveness, openness, progress, etc. to hide their actual aim, which is simple financial speculation pursued for the potentially immense gain of the very few at the cost of the many.

Ian Bogost

Articles of the week

  • Changeist: Third Economy
    Scott Smith talks about how job ads have been changing over the past few years, and what these changes indicate about the state of society and the economy. The Third Economy he speaks of here is “sensemaking,” which has increasing market value.
  • The Verge: Valve’s Gabe Newell on Steam Box, biometrics, and the future of gaming
    Gabe Newell describes what the company’s new gaming hardware will be able to do and where it finds its place in the market. Key to the success of the Box, which is still in the prototype phase of its development, will be its user-centric design and customizability.
  • Smart Parking Has a Learning Curve, Too
    From Smart Cities to Smart Parking. Some say that the future of cars in a city can only be solved by someone who can first solve the problem of parking. Whether or not this is true, these are some valuable insights into the current state of innovation in parking, and what hurdles will have to be overcome to make serious progress on this front.
  • Ian Bogost: Educational Hucksterism
    The debates over whether MOOCs (massive open online courses) are great or terrible, helpful or ethically questionable, educational or superficial are all raging louder and louder over the last few months. In this piece, Ian Bogost objects to the concept on the grounds that the corporate structure behind many MOOCs encourages profit rather than good education, and that the corporate goals are not compatible with those of the learners.
  • Seth Godin: Four reasons your version of better might not be enough
    Here Seth Godin describes insightfully and incredibly succinctly much of what gives new companies a great deal of trouble: convincing customers that their new, better way of doing things is the one to go with. These are good points to keep in mind when building upon already-existing structures.

What we read this week (23 Nov)

This week we read about Gulf futurism from the female perspective, Misfit Wearables’ new shiny gadget, what new things Valve is up to, ‘native advertising’ and Twitter’s core identity.

Quote of the week

The thing we give our information to today is not necessarily the thing that will have it tomorrow.

Warren Ellis

Articles of the week

  • Dazed Digital: The Desert Of The Unreal
    Gulf futurism, and why the oil-rich region’s restrictive desert consumerism holds the keys to the future. A fantastic insight into the female perspective on youth and art culture in Arab countries.
  • Forbes: Misfit Adds Shine To Wearable Health
    A small sensor created by Misfit Wearables that not only tracks movement, but on top of that is waterproof and carefully designed in a way that will not make the wearer want to hide it.
  • AllThingsD: Valve’s Gabe Newell on the Future of Games, Wearable Computers, Windows 8 and More
    Gabe Newell doesn’t look for the spotlight, but when the managing director of Valve speaks, people should usually listen. Don’t put him aside as the guy who runs that gaming company. Yes, Valve produces games – like Half-Life – and yes, it distributes them – through its very successful Steam service – but it is potentially on the brink of building its own gaming console. Not only that, the company is openly exploring how gaming can solve big issues.
  • Jack Marshall: What is ‘Native Advertising’?
    After having caused a lot of buzz in the media and advertising industry, the term ‘native advertising’ gets broken down and redefined by some of the advertising heavyweights out there.
  • Dalton Caldwell: Twitter is pivoting
    Everyone inevitably goes through a time when it is necessary to redefine oneself. That time has also come for Twitter. After reading this, the claims that Twitter has been befallen by the Myspace illness will seem less exaggerated.