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A litmus test for technology critics

6 days agoMedia / New Media : Rough Type

Evgeny Morozov has written, in The Baffler, a critique of technology criticism in the guise of a review of my book The Glass Cage. He makes important points, as he always does — Morozov’s intellect is admirably fierce and hungry — but his conclusions are wrong-headed, … Continue reading ?

Meerkat Made a Splash at SXSW, But Will it Last?

Featured Image by Hans Hillewaert (CC BY-SA 4.0) Like designers at New York Fashion Week, app developers at South by Southwest use the conference to show off their latest, hottest creations. Just replace the catwalks and models withShow More Summary

[NUJ New Media] Court makes it harder for US companies to steal your data

European Court of Justice, Picture by Gwenael PiaserARS TECHNICA. New York, 25 March 2105.

Why New Products Fail

What is the difference between new products that take off in popularity and those that essentially get ignored? How do you know when your new product is ready to sell? Today I would like to share with you the key strategy that will allow...Show More Summary

Harmonic surveillance

“Morals reformed—health preserved—industry invigorated—instruction diffused—public burthens lightened—Economy seated, as it were, upon a rock—all by a simple idea in Architecture!” —Jeremy Bentham “Could this spell the end for speeding tickets?” asks Ford Motor Company’s UK arm as it introduces Intelligent Speed … Continue reading ?

[NUJ New Media] Google's ties to the White House

According to the Washington Post on 25 March, 2015, Google makes most of its close ties to the W...

The mosquito

Every time I convince myself that I’ve disabled all sources of automated notifications on all my devices, something slips through. The latest was from Twitter, and it took this form: @soandso retweeted one of your Retweets! I deleted it with the same … Continue reading ?

[NUJ New Media] Google's Adsense a blunt instrument for censorship

MANCHESTER. NUJNewmedia, 25 March 2015. Under a headline reading "Google Disables All Ads o...

[NUJ New Media] First lawsuits against the FCC's net neutrality rules

WASHINGTON POST. Washington, 24 March 2015. An industry trade group and a small, Texas-based Int...

Jonathan Swift’s smartphone

Evolution has engineered us for social interaction. Our bodies are instruments exquisitely tuned for tracking and measuring the auras of others. In quantifying ourselves, therefore, we also quantify those around us. This is the insight that underpins the brilliant new iPhone app … Continue reading ?

Maps, mind and memory

In concert with the UK publication of The Glass Cage, Penguin Books’ Think Smarter site is running an article by me on satellite navigation. Titled “Welcome to Nowheresville,” it’s adapted from a chapter in the book called “World and Screen.” Here’s a … Continue reading ?

An ear for an ear

In Vocal Apparitions, Michal Grover-Friedlander describes the origins of our modern communication network: In 1874 Alexander Bell invented the first model of a phone receiver using an ear membrane taken from a human corpse’s ear. The first telephone receiver was, in fact, … Continue reading ?

First, kill all the artisans

“The built environment is an $8 trillion per year industry that is still basically artisanal.” So said Astro Teller, head of the Google X research lab, during a speech at South by Southwest last week. Reading that sentence in isolation, you … Continue reading ?

Guided by satellites

I will be in Cambridge, Mass., this afternoon to give a talk entitled “The World Is Not the Screen: How Computers Shape Our Sense of Place.” It is part of the ongoing Navigation Lecture Series presented by Harvard’s Radcliffe  Institute for Advanced Study. … Continue reading ?

The medium is the morality

In 1870, W. A. Rogers, a British bureaucrat in the Bombay Civil Service, wrote of the fortifying effect that modern transport systems were having on the character of the local populace: Railways are opening the eyes of the people who are within reach … Continue reading ?

Where will driverless cars drive us?

I have an article in Fortune that looks at the hype surrounding autonomous cars. Here’s a bit from the piece highlighting recent research that calls into question some of the common assumptions about robotic vehicles: At a car conference last September, Steven Shladover, a research engineer at … Continue reading ?

@Gilligan #Franzen #Facebook #TV

From Susan Lerner’s interview with Jonathan Franzen in Booth: SL: I want to ask you about technology and social media. … I was wondering, given your change of heart about television and its place within our culture, can you comment on this … Continue reading ?

Peak code?

“Will human replacement — the production by ourselves of ever better substitutes for ourselves — deliver an economic utopia with smart machines satisfying our every material need? Or will our self-induced redundancy leave us earning too little to purchase the products our … Continue reading ?

Brains, real and metaphorical

A few highlights from Lee Gomes’s long, lucid interview with Facebook’s artificial-intelligence chief Yann LeCun in IEEE Spectrum: Gomes: We read about Deep Learning in the news a lot these days. What’s your least favorite definition of the term that you see … Continue reading ?

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