for W3c validation
Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive.
How watercooler talk can improve productivity and culture
Jakkii says: A quick one here from me, and for this piece, an alternate title: Paper shows what internal community managers (and other proponents of tools like enterprise social networks) already knew: letting people discuss non-work topics in your internal tools is better than trying to stop it. After all, ‘watercooler talk’ has as much place online as it does around the metaphorical water cooler. As the saying goes, “trust is cheaper than control” and, according to this recent paper, it also delivers more bang for buck through increased productivity and an improvement in organisational culture. Hooray!
For me, it still comes as a surprise when I hear of organisations banning non-work, topic-of-interest groups and discussions in their internal tools. Thankfully, it seems to be fewer and fewer doing so these days, but if you’re an internal community manager who’s looking for some support to convince your leadership to allow it, this paper should be in your arsenal.
Stories of people who are trying to save us
Helen says: At a time when there is so much negativity about the future in the news and in conversation, I was buoyed reading about some luminaries working to solve a variety of big problems facing humanity.
Initiatives profiled include training cells to destroy a person’s cancer; ensuring solutions are checked for AI bias and other potential harm; developing browser health warnings; advocating for online privacy protections; building an iPhone from 100% recycled materials; securing individual personal data instead of entrusting it to corporations; using data to quickly detect plant viruses and improve food production; reimagining our economies in the face of climate change; creating a clearinghouse for disinformation, propaganda and security breaches; building an online voting system to ensure election accuracy; breaking big tech monopolies; and achieving global connectivity by closing the digital divide. These are just a few ideas featured in what is a long read.
The problems presented are both interesting and diverse, some solutions are in development whilst others are still conceptual. As diverse as and the people profiled are, it seems to me that common to all is their ability to intelligently challenge the norm, think creatively, embrace technology and expend loads of energy. Energy which, I believe, comes from having a purpose for good and an absolute belief in their vision.
Four hour flights from UK to Australia a step closer after technological advance
Joel says: We all love travelling the world or seeing new places, but one thing most people don’t enjoy is the travel time required to get to the destination. For many of us Aussies, travelling to the US or the UK can be close to 24 hours of travel time, but this new technological breakthrough could take that down to 4 hours.
We’ve been trying to find ways to travel in faster and faster ways for some time now. Just look at the bullet trains used in Japan that can get you from one side of the country to the other in hours, similar technology has been in the talks to speed up travel between Sydney and Melbourne too.
UK based company Reaction Engines has now had a massive breakthrough in this space, with their engineers successfully testing a new pre-cooling system that enables engines to travel at Mach 5 speeds without overheating and melting. Their technology prevents the engines malfunctioning at these high speeds by reducing the 1000C+ temperatures the engines experience while travelling at Mach 5 down to -150C in 1/20th of a second.
While the breakthrough is certainly impressive and will forever change air travel capabilities, we’ll need to wait quite a while for that 4 hour flight to the UK. The company is still very much in the testing phase with this technology and plans to begin test flights in the mid 2020’s and then begin rolling it out to commercial flights in the following decade.
Who knows, maybe in the mid 2030’s we’ll be travelling to the UK for a weekend holiday.
This is cool: The Lines of Code That Changed Everything
Jakkii says: This is a super interesting read, especially if you have an interest in technology, society and history. The article looks at a range of software that have had significant impact on us – not all of them positively. It covers 35 different pieces of code starting in 1725, going right through to the present day. I won’t say any more on the piece, instead, I’ll just suggest you give it a read – you might be surprised by what you learn.
This Week in Social Media
It’s been a big week in social media, mostly for Facebook. Sprinkled through the sections below are articles about their recent grilling at Congress, their algorithm being optimised for outrage, lawsuits and antitrust probes, solidifying their move into news, and, most fascinatingly and disturbingly, an article that looks into ‘how Facebook bought a police force.’
Politics, democracy and regulation
- Facebook goes on offense ahead of next year’s elections
- Facebook, the world’s most powerful adolescent, needs parental control
- Facebook isn’t free speech, it’s algorithmic amplification optimised for outrage
- Facebook, the Rohingya, and internet blackouts in Myanmar
- Trump campaign floods web with ads, raking in cash as Democrats struggle
- TikTok banned political ads—but pro-Trump content is thriving and misleading teens
- Lebanon is swarming with protests that began over a proposed $0.20 WhatsApp tax but have since spiraled into chaos
- How social media will factor into the next presidential election
- Facebook co-founder and critic Chris Hughes spearheads a $10 million ‘anti-monopoly’ fund
- Facebook now faces 47 attorneys general in antitrust probe
- Facebook removed ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’ during Australian election
Privacy and data
- $35B face data lawsuit against Facebook will proceed
- How to control the privacy of your social media posts
- The creators of Pokémon Go mapped the world, now they’re mapping you
Cybersecurity and safety
- Facebook is developing anti-predator measures to protect children
- Phishing scam hits LinkedIn users
- Cybercriminals are doing big business in the gaming chat app Discord
Society and culture
- How Facebook bought a police force
- The people behind the memes they can’t escape
- Prison influencers are finding viral success on YouTube giving graphic accounts of life behind bars
- Facebook commits $1 billion toward affordable housing in Silicon Valley
- Online communities and the primal urge to belong
- What doctors can learn from the dark web
- WeChat app brings neighbourhood watch to Chinese community
- What it’s like when your parents are extremely online
- Instagram bans ‘cosmetic surgery’ filters
- How Twitter changed music
- How Bon Appétit became a YouTube sensation—and why Claire Saffitz is the perfect star
- Body positivity is lost on YouTube
Extremism and hate speech
- YouTube is erasing history
- Maybe it’s not YouTube’s algorithm that radicalises people
- TikTok removes two dozen ISIS propaganda accounts
Moderation and misinformation
- Human actors are changing the spread of disinformation
- Facebook’s Zuckerberg grilled over ad fact-checking policy
- Twitter planning policy changes to help combat deepfakes
- Facebook banned more fake Russian and Iranian accounts
- Hong Kong protests and ‘fake news’: in the psychological war for hearts and minds, disinformation becomes a weapon used by both sides
- Misinformation contributed to Martin Luther King’s assassination, daughter tells Facebook
- WhatsApp is the medium of choice for older Nigerians spreading fake news
Marketing, media, advertising and PR
- How Pinterest became the only place on the internet where people want ads
- Podcast: TikTok as the future of news
- LinkedIn now has a newsroom of 65 journalists. It’s hiring more
- Facebook reaches licensing deal with News Corp for headlines
- LinkedIn introduces enhanced Targeting tools for advertisers
- Snapchat launches ‘dynamic ads’ which will create ads based on uploaded product catalogs
- MIller Lite’s new campaign asks people to unfollow it on social media
- Meet the company that turned YouTube’s Ryan ToysReview into a business empire making tens of millions per year
- The fatigue hitting influencers as Instagram evolves
- [US] FTC rules that selling Followers and Likes is illegal, along with posting fake reviews
- What will the internet look like in 2030?
- Snap releases new developer tool for sharing web content to Snapchat
- Instagram tests new Following list categories to help manage your content feed
- Facebook tests ‘suggested time’ feature for scheduled posts
- Instagram is testing a feature to clean up your pity follows
- Instagram won’t let you lurk anymore without signing in
Facebook’s Libra and Calibra
- Congress couldn’t agree on what exactly was wrong with Mark Zuckerberg. But they all wanted a piece of him.
- How the wheels came off Facebook’s Libra project
- Facebook’s China bogeyman
- Facebook warns Washington that Beijing wins if Libra plan fails
- Tencent says Libra would pose serious threat to Alipay, WeChat Pay
Sydney Business Insights – Thinking with Daniel Kahneman
Should we let algorithms make decisions for us? Nobel prize winner and renowned author, Professor Daniel Kahneman, believes that the best way to eliminate noise when making decisions is to eliminate judgement altogether.
Join Dr Sandra Peter as she talks with Professor Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow and winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman’s best selling 2011 book
International Differences in Well-Being, a joint book on understanding and comparing well-being across countries and cultures
Heuristics and Biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment, a compilation of the most influential research in the heuristics and biases
Choices, values and frames, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky discuss choice in risky and riskless contexts
Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology, an account of current scientific efforts to understand human pleasure and pain, contentment, and despair
Judgment Under Uncertainty: heuristics and biases, an insight into judgements and how to improve them
Attention and Effort, a summary of a decade of research on attention and the role of perception
Dan Lovallo and Daniel Kahneman’s article on how optimism undermines executives’ decisions in the Harvard Business Review
How to overcome the high, hidden cost of inconsistent decision making in the Harvard Business Review
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, Michael Lewis’ book on the professional and personal relationship between Danny Kahneman and Amos Tersky
Professor Kahneman’s 2010 TED Talk on the riddle of experience versus memory and his TED interview with Chris Anderson
Graphic summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow