Sunday, July 10, 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 July 4-10
Headline of the Week 
Why Tech Support Is (Purposely) Unbearable (New York Times)
         “Don’t think companies haven’t studied how far they can take things in providing the minimal level of service."

Other not-very-surprising headlines of the week

@ Few news providers will now be liking Facebook (TheGuardian)
         We all inhabit echo chambers now and all Facebook has done is to increase the level of insulation on those inhabited by its users.

@ This Plucky Robot Will Blaze a Trail Carrying Pizza (MITTechnology Review)
         Operating on the open pavement among ordinary pedestrians will present unique challenges, not least figuring out who has the right of way.

@ Researchers caution public about hidden risks of self-administered brain stimulation (ScienceNews)
         The growing trend of "do-it-yourself" transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) poses hidden risks to healthy members of the public who seek to use the technique for cognitive enhancement.

 @ Here's What Facebook, Google, And Apple Employees Really Think About Tech-Shuttle 'Hubs' (sfist)
         "If there isn't a shuttle stop within a 5 minute walk I will resort to driving to work."

@ Doctors have become less empathetic, but is it their fault?  (Aeon)
         Until hospitals, clinics and insurance companies take environmental factors seriously, patients will suffer and physician empathy will continue to decline.

 Think Piece of the Week

Mossberg: The tyranny of messaging and notifications (TheVerge)
         Can we endure even one more communications service?

Quote of the week
 "The rabbit holes are everywhere, and it’s too easy to fall down them."
                          Walt Mossberg

 *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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