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 to Become Indistractable
Anne says: I was planning to write about something else this week – then I got distracted by this YouTube video. After all, it was only short – just a few minutes… and… it was about being distracted! Perfect!
This is a fascinating Spotlight video from RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce – UK) that briefly unpacks some of the myths about distraction and technology addiction. The speaker is author, Nir Eyal, a leading expert in addictive technologies. His recent book, Indistractable, explains how we can escape distraction, beat the urge to scroll, refresh and reply and do more of the things we want to do. Yes – I think I’ll be adding that one to my bookshelf (or Kindle).
“Why don’t we do the things that we know we should?”
Eyal says that understanding distraction is a fundamental step towards avoiding it – however, the opposite of distraction is NOT focus! But don’t worry – I’m going to let you watch the video (it’s only 6.49mins) and find out the answers.
Would You Read A Novel Written By A Machine? They’re Closer Than You Might Think
Joel says: Reading our Friday Faves, you’ll easily be able to see that AI technology has come leaps and bounds in recent years and it is finding itself integrated into new industries every week. I’ve read articles in the past talking about how artworks and even music could be auto-generated using algorithmic patterns powered by AI. Now it seems the literary novel industry could see a shake-up thanks to predictive writing technology.
If you use the Gmail mobile application, you may have noticed over recent months that the app is now capable of suggesting sentences and sign-offs based on your email history and patterns it picks up on as you type. This same style of technology is now being used to generate other bodies of text, and once the systems get refined, who knows? Maybe they could possibly pump out the next bestseller.
AI systems can be trained quickly and can easily be given a whole database of information to pull patterns out of. The article attached even talks about a software engineer who fed an AI system the text from George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books to try and generate what the future book could be. While that was a pretty cool idea, I’m more interested in the fact that in future we may all be reading a book written by a faceless AI author whose influences and patterns could easily be based on the works of JK Rowling, Stephen King, George RR Martin or all of the 3.
Would you read a book you knew was written using AI algorithms? Or do you prefer a more human side to your art?
Helen says: Like many, I love travelling, though I could do without many of the hassles encountered along the way. However, there is hope! Internet of Things (IoT) technology has the potential to provide greater efficiencies, improve revenue through airports and provide customers with an enhanced airport experience. This report gives an insight into the value IoT can bring to airports in their quest to address many of the business problems they face.
Opportunities for airports to benefit from IoT seem limitless. Examples include equipment tracking with automated maintenance schedules to optimise asset use, capturing data through sensors to monitor consumables and know exactly when to top up toilet paper or refill soap dispensers, capturing passenger movement and dwell time to determine the best locations for ad placements, and input buttons for measuring customer sentiment. These are the lower hanging fruit, more complex is a vision for IoT to connect autonomous vehicles and robots to complex airport data, unlocking huge potential for a fully automated ground operation. Access to data through IoT will also be key to achieving that seamless door-to-door experience we all hunger for – yes, travel nirvana.
The report highlights many hurdles airports need to jump over to achieve their IoT ambitions such as safety and security considerations, funding (significant) development and ongoing operational costs, and skilling a workforce for the transition to the new style of work. These challenges and the numerous stakeholders to be considered – retailers, customers, local residents and government – make delivery complicated but airports will need to push on because IoT is seen as key to their future.
This is cool: 5 milestones that created the internet, 50 years after the first network message
Jakkii says: Last week I shared ‘the lines of code that changed everything’, and this week in tech, society and history we have the 5 major milestones that led to the internet as we know it today. The milestones from the article might not be what you expect. They are:
- 1978: Encryption failure
- 1983: ‘The internet’ is born
- 1996: Online speech regulated
- 1998: US government steps up
- 2010: War comes online
You’ll notice there’s no reference of the first message sent over ARPANET, for example, in this list of milestones. This is mentioned in the article’s opening, however, where the author explains that, in their view, it is largely the collective impact of decision-making from governments and regulators that have given us the internet as we know it today. I’d even go a step further, and suggest there’s also a collective impact by way of the lack of decision-making, thinking of the many stories, hearings, and general concerns about and around social media – particularly the giants such as Facebook – over the past couple of years.
Whichever way you slice it, these milestones offer an interesting insight into the way the internet as we know it today has been shaped by us – the people and societies who use it every day.
This Week in Social Media
Politics, democracy and regulation
- Silicon Valley should take Josh Hawley’s big war on big tech seriously
- This fake Green New Deal ad perfectly illustrates Facebook’s bullshit political ad policy (it’s since been taken down)
- Facebook employees ‘strongly object’ to policy allowing false claims in political ads
- TikTok could threaten national security, US lawmakers say
- Protests in Iraq find an outlet to the world: Snapchat
- WhatsApp in the Arab world: an essential but controversial tool
Privacy and data
- Facebook AI can ‘hide’ people from facial recognition
- Who owns the content on social media?
- Twitter says government demands for user data continue to rise
Cybersecurity and safety
- Facebook sues hosts behind hacking sites that it says target the social network
- WhatsApp sues Israeli firm over spies’ global ‘hacking spree’
- ‘I was a victim of the WhatsApp hack’
- Hackers plead guilty in Uber, LinkedIn ransom case
- Facebook emphasizes women’s safety on social media
- These YouTube alternatives offer children and parents a digital safe space—but there’s a catch
- Discord abused to spread malware and harvest stolen data
Society and culture
- Obama said publicly shaming people on Twitter is “Not activism”
- Inside r/Relationships, the unbearably human corner of Reddit
- Virtual spaces mirror income inequality
- Meet the men documenting their divorces on TikTok
- MrBeast changed YouTube and launched an entire genre of expensive stunt content
- Inside Instagram’s nudity ban
- How to sell drugs and influence everyone on Instagram
- Instagram refused to run an HIV preventative drug campaign because it contained ‘politics’
- Teens explain their YouTube obsession (because adults don’t get it)
- A binge-drinking farmer is giving Twitter a taste of China’s “village bro” internet culture
Trolling, extremism and hate speech
- Facebook is failing to prevent another human rights tragedy playing out on its platform, report warns
- What white nationalists and incels have in common: Blaming feminism
- Dismantling the ‘Alt-Right Playbook’: YouTuber explains how online radicalization works
- Don’t just blame YouTube’s algorithms for ‘radicalisation’. Humans also play a part
- Charity to trial dyslexia hashtag to stop social media trolls
- Opinion: 50 years ago, I helped invent the internet. How did it go so wrong?
Moderation and misinformation
- Reddit’s automoderator is the future of the internet, and deeply imperfect
- EU tells Facebook, Google and Twitter to take more action on fake news
- It’s not easy to spot disinformation on Twitter. Here’s what we learned from 8 political ‘astroturfing’ campaigns.
- ‘It’s a fine target’: Census bureau to fight misinformation
- Twitter says it now removes half of all abusive tweets before users report them
- Facebook fact checkers did not know they could vet adverts
- Facebook, Twitter and the digital disinformation mess
- Facebook has a plan to tackle fake news – here’s why it won’t work
- Misinformation makes its way to TikTok
- WeChat rumour sparks bank run
Marketing, media, advertising and PR
- LinkedIn finds that digital marketers are too hasty to try to determine ROI
- After sluggish starts, more publishers are finding Snapchat a moneymaker
- ‘Way beyond our expectations’: Inside Reuters’ Twitter strategy
- Influencer marketing has an implicit bias problem
- Meet the Instagrammers who try on clothes so you don’t have to
- Twitter admits that it showed more ads to less popular users
- No evidence disclosure hurts Influencers: Instagram
- Why shopping on social media is booming
- The Economist is trying to convert its 1m YouTube subscribers into paying members
- Why YouTube’s paying celebrities to start channels
- Watch Google, Facebook, and YouTube’s rise to dominance in this hypnotic video
- Facebook launches new tool to help you get health tests and screenings
- Snapchat’s latest effect lets you draw in AR
- LinkedIn moves into content curation with Daily Rundown
- Instagram expands ban on images that depict self-harm or suicide
- LinkedIn engagement continues to rise, as per Microsoft’s latest performance report
- WhatsApp fixes the notification badge on muted iOS chats
- The kind of creative thinking that fueled WeChat’s success
- In the escalating fight between Twitch and Mixer, YouTube is the real winner
There’s so much happening with FB News at the moment that, for now, we’ve popped it into its own section
- Mark Zuckerberg talks Facebook News and journalism in the digital age
- Facebook News launches in testing phase as local newsrooms fear being left behind
- Why the Facebook News tab shouldn’t be trusted
- Mark Zuckerberg is struggling to explain why Breitbart belongs on Facebook News
- Facebook’s return to News sees it tap into human-curation of stories
- Facebook just dealt another potentially lethal blow to local journalism
Facebook’s Libra and Calibra
- Facebook could do to banks what it did to newspapers
- Can we trust Facebook to run a bank?
- Jack Dorsey says ‘hell no’ to joining Libra
- Facebook defends Libra comparing it to some of the ‘most meaningful innovations’ of our time
Sydney Business Insights – Seeing in Colour with Alvy Ray Smith
What is the history of digital colour? How did Moore’s Law shape the future of computer animation? Mike Seymour sits down with Pixar co-founder and lifelong innovator Dr Alvy Ray Smith for a discussion on building businesses from dreams and overcoming roadblocks.
‘Genesis effect’ for Star Trek II – the Wrath of Khan, the first use of 3D CGI used in a movie that was shown to the public
Short film, Sunstone, showcasing pioneering animation techniques
From Pencils to Pixels, BBC documentary featuring John Lasseter