Ten Stories We’ve Enjoyed This Week

19th July 2019

Nice piece from The Monday Note, on The Rise of Influencers and the Decay of Journalism. ‘Traditional journalism is slowly yielding to influencer-driven ”information”. It results from an economic shift in favour of social media and the pervasive laziness of newsrooms. This month’s cover of Wired UK looks like a canary in the coal mine. As a novel spin to cover climate change, the magazine elected to put Greta Thunberg on its cover. This is a choice that speaks volumes about a growing trend in news: prominently featuring social-media stars.

It’ll be interesting to see how this goes. ‘The Convergence Alliance’s has launched… and the new organisation’s mission is to accelerate and diffuse a more equitable, scalable and usable Web 3.0 to effect a New Open Data Economy based on the sovereignty of the user. Countering the platform monopolies of Silicon Valley and enabling a more evenly distributed value creation from AI. Parties include, SAP, Imperial College London, Jaguar, Deutsche Telecom and Land Rover.

From MIT. Facebook’s new poker-playing AI could wreck the online poker industry—so it’s not being released. 

And this clever piece of AI, brings the Mona Lisa to life.

Elon Musk’s Neuralink says it’s nearly ready for human volunteers. On Tuesday, Elon Musk took to the stage to unveil a sewing-machine-like robot used to implant ultra-fine flexible electrodes deep into the brain. The threads are thinner than human hair and would be used to detect neuron activity. The robot would conduct the procedure under the direction of a neurosurgeon. Hands up anyone? 

From Marketoonist – ‘Make The Logo Bigger is an oft heard request from clients.’ A web agency called New Republique once channeled their creative frustration into a prank. They created an actual Chrome browser extension that makes any logo in a browser window ridiculously large. ‘In a client meeting, as soon as you hear the inevitable feedback “make the logo bigger”, you can use the plug-in to make the logo on any website enormous.’

Photo requests from solitary confinement. ‘I would like a picture of the Mexican flag at sunrise at the Zocalo, in the capitol of Mexico City, while the sun is rising and hits the Mexican flag un-furled.

This is a nicely done travel piece. ‘From Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan to the jewels of Samarkand and Bukhara, a kaleidoscope of teeming squares and bazaars housed in the ancient caravanserais, to the fortress-city of Khiva, recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.’ TheLostAvocado.com, document the treasures of Uzbekistan. The once closed and unexplored country is captured in a fast-cut film for the first time. This is Lost in Ubekistan.

Another great piece from IKEA. It’s time for the kids to leave home..

…And with markedly less good humour – a man, annoyed by loud music,
uses a drone to hit neighbours with fireworks.

‘Hundreds of Skateboards, Snowboards, and Surfboards are choreographed at 24 boards per second into an ebullient montage of flickering imagery, illustrating the history, artistic beauty, and physical consequences of board culture.’ This is The Board Shop.