This Week’s Top Ten Stories

1) An online Magna Carta . Tim Berners-Lee calls for an Internet Bill of Rights – The inventor of the world wide web believes an online “Magna Carta” is needed to protect and enshrine the independence of the medium he created and the rights of its users worldwide.

2) This can make us all feel better when things aren’t going quite to plan – 10 Rejection letters sent to famous people. Among them – U2, Andy Warhol, Madonna and Tim Burton.

3) Our obsession with ( online ) quizzes comes not from wanting to show off, but from a sense of insecurity From Wired : Basically, we’re trying to get a number, ….People want a read on the self, an order to it. They’ll use a [body] sensor to get the number; they’ll use a quiz to get the number. It gives people something to look at, an object to think with. I think these quizzes are a kind of focus for attention for thinking about yourself.” 

4) The big debate about music when you are working. Should you listen or not? But if you are listening , what are the most productive tunes and you can listen to? Here is what different the genres will do for you –

  • Jazz: A massive variety of moods and tempos are available, most of them without lyrics. Try Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk.
  • Classical: An even larger variety here. Many people swear by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach for its elegantly mathematical processions and variations.
  • Minimalist composers: Repetitive by design, at their best they can induce just the sort of trance-like flow that you’re looking for. Try Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
  • Chill-out: The name is self-explanatory. Try Bonobo and Cinematic Orchestra.
  • Ambient: You will barely know it’s there. Listen to Brian Eno or Aphex Twin.
  • Movie soundtracks: Use these to get your heart thumping, like the Top Gun theme song; or find a particular mood with Daft Punk’s score for The Social Network.
  • Video game soundtracks: As one redditor observed, these are designed to keep you engaged without being too distracting. The London Symphony Orchestra recently recorded nearly two dozen, or there’s the spare, beautiful music from the game Minecraft.

5) This app will allow you to read a novel in under 90 minutes 

6) Pretty risky for a President? President Obama wanted to tell young people about their health insurance options, so he went on Between Two Ferns – ‘If I ran a third time, it would be like doing a third Hangover movie. Didn’t really work out that well, did it?’ . Key question: “What should we do about North Ikea?” 
It worked really well – received a big spike in traffic.

7) The Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 goes on. From Wired: How it is possible to lose an airplane.
…and The Economist uber-logical to the last, shows how safe air travel is. Not sure how re-assuring this is though…

8) This is wonderful – Classic paintings of world cities meet Google street view in pictures … and in similar vein – Here are Photos of townsdestroyed by Japan’s tsunami, re-built, three years later.

9) From Pew Research, 15 theses about our Digital Future. This from the introduction ( fasten your seatbelt)

A global, immersive, invisible, ambient networked computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centres in a world-spanning information fabric known as the Internet of Things.

“Augmented reality” enhancements to the real-world input that people perceive through the use of portable/wearable/implantable technologies.

Disruption of business models established in the 20th century (most notably impacting finance, entertainment, publishers of all sorts, and education).

Tagging, databasing, and intelligent analytical mapping of the physical and social realms.
10) A clever and moving idea from Save The Children Taking the concept of a daily video diary and turning it on it’s head by portraying a child in a war torn city – London. ‘Just because it isn’t happening here, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening’