Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Not So Fast Digest

A digest of the week's news to remind us: Technology is not always our friend*

Note: This digest is brand new and a work in progress. I will be refining its format and improving its appearance in coming weeks. The ideas here reflect the perspective of my book, Not So Fast: Thinking Twice About Technology, forthcoming this fall from the University of Georgia Press.

Week of June 27-July 3

Headline of the Week

Elizabeth Warren says Apple, Amazon and Google are trying to ‘lock out’ the competition

"Google, Apple and Amazon aren’t just giant tech companies. They’re giant tech companies that use their size to 'snuff out competition.'" (Recode)

This was reminiscent of an article from The Conversation five days earlier:
What’s wrong with the web and do we need to fix it?
"More than 20 years after the first web server started bringing the internet into our lives, a recent conference in San Francisco brought together some of its creators to discuss its future. 
“Their main concern is that the internet – and the information on it – has become increasingly centralized and controlled." 

Other not-very-surprising headlines of the week: 

 @Fatal Tesla Autopilot Crash a Reminder That Autonomous Cars Will Sometimes Screw Up (MIT Technology Review)

Media use in America up a full hour over just last year (PhysOrg)

AI beats top U.S. Air Force tactical air combat experts in combat simulation (Kurzweil News)
             "ALPHA works 250 times faster than humans, researchers say."

@ In hot water: Climate change is affecting North American fish (Science Daily) 

@ Amazon will let you order Trojans and Doritos from a plastic button on your fridge (Recode)
               “We want you to go from ‘I want that’ to ‘I bought that’ in 10 seconds.”
@ The irony of awkward: Study shows the effects of problematic media on social withdrawal for young millennials (Science Daily
                "The study, published this month in Developmental Psychology, found that individuals who use problematic media (think violent video games, gambling, pornography) become more withdrawn over the course of a year. "Regardless of your initial levels of withdrawal, problematic media use predicted becoming more shy and unsocial later."

Think Piece of the Week 

 ISIS and the Culture of Narcissism:  
Using Hollywood’s methods to make young Westerners think they’re starring in a ‘Hero’s Journey.’  (Wall Street Journal)

Quote of the week

“VR is relevant to us.” 
                                                       Atif Rafiq, Chief Digital Officer, McDonald’s


*Disclaimer: When I say that the The Not So Fast Digest is "a digest of the week's news," I mean news that has come to my attention during the week in question, or that is relevant to issues that arose during the week in question. Most of what is posted here will, in fact, be news of that week, but some items will have appeared earlier; I always have a lot of catching up to do. Posts of news that has not yet occurred will be rare. 


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