Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

14th May 2016

The Song Remains The Same? A perspective on how music consumption is changing.  ‘Songs now stay in the UK’s Top 40 singles chart for more weeks, on average, than at any point in the last 40 years. At the end of 2014, Happy by Pharrell Williams, had spent 49 weeks in the Top 40 – an all-time record. This slowdown in chart turnover resembles a type of ‘stagnation’ in popular music. But unlike economic stagnation it does not necessarily carry the same negative connotations. What the slowdown does reflect, though, is the massive shift in how music is sold and consumed.

Contrary pieces regarding Facebook and whether or not it is biased in its selection of content. According to Gizmodo Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers, from the social network’s influential and supposedly independent “trending” news section. Here is Facebook firing back – ‘Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to systematically discriminate against sources of any ideological origin and we’ve designed our tools to make that technically not feasible.‘ What do you reckon? 

 The first commercial spam message was sent in 1994. ‘A US law firm created a “cancelbot,” which compared the content of messages to a list of known “spam” messages and then, masquerading as the original sender, sent a special kind of message to “cancel” the original message, hiding and deleting it.’ This is how bots were borne out of spam.

According to Gawker, Internet Video ‘views’ is a ‘100% bul***it metric’. ‘If BuzzFeed’s watermelon video had been measured the way a TV show is, its viewership would’ve been closer to zero, than 807,000.’

Dag Kittlaus, a 48-year-old engineer from Norway, built the AI personal assistant Siri and sold it to Apple for more than $200 million. Now his company have created Viv, a new AI-powered personal assistant and, whilst not fully ready, its first public demo showed a service that makes it ludicrously easy to buy things. Here’s the man who wants to take on Facebook. 

Why White people don’t use white emoji . From The Atlantic – ‘This…..may also signal a squeamishness on the part of white people. The folks I talked to before writing this story said it felt awkward to use an affirmatively white emoji; at a time when skin-tone modifiers are used to assert racial identity, proclaiming whiteness felt uncomfortably close to displaying “white pride,” with all the baggage of intolerance that carries.

Extraordinary infographic that shows how, and how fast the Earth’s temperature is increasing.

For all fellow ‘fontophiles’ out there. Love this piece about the importance of typography , different types of font and upper and lower cases. With examples from : The US National Weather Service, cigarette warning labels and NASA. How Typography Can Save Your Life.

Dangerous’ payday loans join guns and drugs on Google’s banned ad list. This is a big and brave call as it bans a 46 billion dollar industry. 

Great footage achieved by an amateur drone pilot, that marine biologists would have given their left arm for. This footage shows a pack of whales hunting down a shark.  Still with drones, love this ‘old tech beats new tech’ moment, as a Middle Ages re-enactor spears a drone out of the sky.