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April 20, 2015
Interesting Things on the Internet: April 20th 2015
- Internet.org is a failed exercise in misdirection. Just because you call something "Internet.org" doesn't mean that it's access to the Internet. Doc Searls provides a perfect critique of Facebook's free-mobile-data-for-Facebook-access programme.
- Don't know who to vote for? Then learn who to vote against. "The suffragettes understood that. They understood that democracy does not end at the ballot box. If we are lucky, it starts there. It starts with choosing your enemy. [...] Vote today and change the world tomorrow. We are not as powerless as they would have us believe. Choose your enemy and choose wisely. Good luck."
April 13, 2015
Interesting Things on the Internet: April 13th 2015
- Mikey Dickerson to SXSW: Why We Need You in Government "Some of you, not all of you, are working right now on another app for people to share pictures of food or a social network for dogs. I am here to tell you that your country has a better use for your talents." and "this country belongs to you and me and it is exactly as good as we make it. Grownups are not going to fix it for us and billionaires are not going to fix it for us. We either do it ourselves, or nobody does."
- The internet won't forget Cameron's lies, and neither will the British people.
- Code and Law between Truth and Power. Great lecture from law professor Julie E Cohen about privacy, data, networks and power. Great to see someone pointing out that - like code - law is not a neutral actor in good or bad. There's a write-up of the lecture at We are citizens, not mere physical masses of data for harvesting if you want a shorter read.
- Why Are Glasses Perceived Differently Than Hearing Aids?. All technology is assistive, so why is some stigmatised over others?
April 06, 2015
Interesting Things on the Internet: April 6th 2015
- Post-Mortems at HubSpot: What I Learned From 250 Whys. Detailing a good approach to technical project post-mortems.
- MPs - please post your CVs here. Francis' Democracy Club CVs gets a write-up in the Guardian.
- A Year of Reflection. Fantastic set of thoughts on learning curves, relevance and running an agency. That description doesn't do the article justice.
- NO DICKHEADS! A Guide To Building Happy, Healthy, and Creative Teams. Lots of insight into how to build a team and set the culture of the company. Especially for "No dickheads allowed. Really! My definition of a dickhead is a person whose ambition for themselves or their own career is greater than their ambition for the project or team."
- Welfare Makes America More Entrepreneurial. Giving would-be business founders a better security net is a better way to increasing how many companies we have than increasing the spoils for those which are lucky enough to be successful (by lowering taxes).
March 30, 2015
Interesting Things on the Internet: March 30th 2015
- Everything is Made up and the Points Don’t Matter "But I've come to see that the most successful of our students have a worldview shift during our program, an entire change in their demeanor towards the built world around them. They come to see rules as malleable, power structures as changeable, and culture as embodied."
- The graph George Osborne doesn’t want you to see
- Roger Martin's Unconventional Wisdom. Good thoughts on strategy and innovation (with a dash of #bigdata).
- Hidden stress. A good article on harder-to-spot depressive tendencies from Roo Reynolds.
- Liverpool's Open Data portal. Early days, but Ross Jones has fired up a CKAN instance for Liverpool. Basically, somewhere to store links to open data sets about the city. Add any you know of.
- On the politics of lying: Hillsborough and the British institutional malaise. It's good that the truth is finally being officially acknowledged. It's a disgrace that it's taken such effort to get to it.
- Slow boat to China. Lovely travelogue of a trip aboard an ACL container ship from the US to China.
March 23, 2015
Interesting Things on the Internet: March 23rd 2015
- Why the alternative is called alternative. "Having thoughts like this now, and sharing them is becoming more and more normal. You could say, that the alternative is becoming the normal."
- The Man Behind MakerBot on Finding the Stories That Build Your Brand.
- Coase cost and web 2.0 (explained by Cory Doctorow). "if any worker, anywhere, can communicate with any other worker, anywhere, for free, instantaneously, without her boss’s permission, then, brother, look out, because the CoaseCost of demanding better pay, better working conditions and a slice of the pie just got a *lot* cheaper."
March 16, 2015
Interesting Things on the Internet: March 16th 2015
- Towers of SIAM, trade associations and Civil Servants. Good analysis of how the UK Government is changing how it approaches IT. I'm with Simon in it being a great move.
- A Richter scale for outages. An interesting idea from Matt
- My IxD15 conference talk: “Jumping to the end”. A lovely talk about (interaction) design from Matt Jones. It's been a while (I think) since he gave a talk, and I've missed that.
- Warren Buffett’s “2 List” Strategy: How to Maximize Your Focus and Master Your Priorities. Simple to explain, difficult - I suspect - to implement.
- How Apple Makes the Watch. A great, detailed look at the manufacturing processes shown in Apple's videos for their new watch. Far better than the annoying breathless commentary on the videos themselves.
- People are more likely to spend time together in public spaces than they were 30 years ago. I'm surprised by this, but it's good to have your assumptions challenged.
March 09, 2015
Interesting Things on the Internet: March 9th 2015
- Alternative Innovation — Do we really need startups?. Not just for Belgium, this is a good manifesto for tech everywhere.
- Interview: Bruce Sterling on the Convergence of Humans and Machines. Another interview with Bruce Sterling about the future of technology. Just as good as the one I linked to last week.
- Sixteen Years. It won't get reported in any of the mainstream press, but this is the next stage in the well executed life of the right sort of Internet firm.
- The beige world of clickbait journalism. Alison Gow on the endless froth of brands and media titles chasing clicks. I hope the clicks are worth it for the firms in question, compared to the damage to how I perceive them.
- The Web’s Grain. Interesting thinking about how to approach web design.
March 02, 2015
Interesting Things on the Internet: March 2nd 2015
- A different cluetrain. Charlie Stross on finance, politics and power.
- The Seven Reasons Why Super-Rich British Tax Dodgers Don't End Up in Jail. And following that, a more concrete and depressing example of how the establishment works. When is there going to be a political party that makes some inroads on that?
- Emma Thompson on tax-strike until HSBC tax evaders are jailed. Maybe this is a way forward for the rest of us?
- Bruce Sterling on why you shouldn't care how SIRI feels. Bruce Sterling doing an excellent job in reminding us that artificial intelligence is our era's horseless carriage. We should be having discussions about the ethics or dangers of the systems we're building, but we shouldn't only apply that approach to something we can identify as AI because then we'll miss the important developments.
- Hardware by the Numbers. Great read if you've anything to do with building hardware.
- Hacking for the planet. In Chicago, civic hackers are working to improve local life with data and technology.. "Getting the right people together is more important than patching the right code together. That’s one of the most important things to understand about this movement. This is not a bunch of coders coming in on white horses going ‘I can fix this with code!’, but rather people with technology skills partnering with non-profits, government agencies, community activists, to build something together that solves problems in our cities.". I wonder who wants to run something like this here in Liverpool.
February 23, 2015
Interesting Things on the Internet: February 23rd 2015
- The Sharing Economy-Poverty of Ambition. The problem with the "sharing economy" is that it's all about adding the economy to sharing, rather than adding sharing to the economy.
- Startup advice, briefly. Good, honest advice about how and why to start a startup.
- Product Land (Part 2). Interesting post about how to explore "a hypervolume of potential products". Much more actionable than that phrase makes it sound.
- Becoming Homebaked. A suitably human write-up of the history of Homebaked Anfield, a lovely success story of people, art and placemaking.
February 16, 2015
Interesting Things on the Internet: February 16th 2015
- Millions of Facebook users have no idea they’re using the internet. An interesting look at the risks of the behemoth walled gardens on the Internet.
- Crash Override: "Our mission is to return control to the victim". Shame it's needed, but good to know there are options out there to help people being abused online.
- Of robber Barons and Corvo antics. JP is right, we need to work out ways to reduce inequality.
- Of barons and corvos, continued.
- An Update on Indie.vc. This funding model from Indie.vc is a promising development in new ways to fund good companies.
- Press Play. Looks like it was a fantastic course in writing, and if nothing else read the "Personal Standards" section - applicable to so many groups/workshops.
- Shabby housing and shiny skyscrapers "The dereliction of the Liverpool waterfront is a result not of the port’s disappearance, but of its new insubstantiality. The warehouses that used to line both sides of the river have been superseded by a fragmented, mobile space: goods vehicles moving or parked on the UK’s roads. The road system as a publicly-funded warehouse.” So true.