Friday reading #6

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 8 June 2012

Here’s the sixth edition of “Friday Reading” - my weekly round-up of links to articles that caught my eye as I was wandering round the web and which I’ve enjoyed and wanted to share. So fill up your Kindle, Instapaper or Pocket app and get ready for the weekend...

Friday reading

“The Era of Pervasive Computing” - Steve Schlafman, Schlaf Notes
“Over the last few months I’ve been cataloguing startups / organizations that are paving the way for the Era of Pervasive Connected Devices. These companies are building sensors, media devices and appliances, robots, 3D printers, and appcessories which extend the value of our current mobile devices. The list I’ve complied below is far from exhaustive but should offer a glimpse into where the world is heading.”
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“Opinion No. 1651” - Bostock, Studio Noshoko
“I really liked this sentence, from James Bridle: ‘Telling someone your opinion is like telling them about your dreams.’...Can you imagine a social network built on dreams? I reckon it would be something I’d never use, but simultaneously find the most fascinating thing ever, on that day.”
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“10 Timeframes” - Paul Ford, Contents
Fascinating thoughts about how changing the way you measure time changes what is valuable to you - and how when you design systems you should care about the timeframes of your users. “If you told me that I was going to die in a couple of years, I would pretty much do what I’m doing. I’ve got this one interaction that I keep prototyping in my head, about organizing objects on a timeline, and so I’d probably hire someone to help me turn it into a product and make sure it was released, at least open-source it. I’d try to learn grammar, I’d spend time with my family, and I’d prototype my interactions. And I’d do some user testing. Because even if you are dying you should still do user testing.”
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“Designing digital public services: where we went wrong” - Asil Abrar, Guardian Local Government Network
“Even though Buddy is doing well and will be in use in 12 areas by summer this year it has been a long road, and not without moments where we found ourselves in cul-de-sacs with no obvious route out. I think we did a lot right, but we also got lot wrong. I hope you can learn from our top five failures.”
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“Journalists? They’re media masseurs” - Andrew Jennings, British Journalism Review
“I’ve had a hoot exposing sports secrets over the years. I got a suspended jail sentence in Switzerland for saying that International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch was corrupt – I’m really proud of that. I’m quite chuffed to have been banned from FIFA press conferences and premises since 2003, when I published a documented story about a big secret bonus Blatter paid himself. Of course, FIFA shouldn’t have done that. It’s authoritarian, pure censorship. Still, I take it as a compliment.”
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“Alan Rusbridger: the quiet evangelist” - Peter Wilby, New Statesman
Interesting, and lengthy, analysis of the state of play at the Guardian
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“Let’s get a little louder” - Julia Elman
It will be a happy day when I read an article that tells a story of a woman being made to feel uncomfortable at a tech conference that isn’t immediately followed by loads of weasel-worded excuses for what happened in the comments by men who weren’t there. An even happier day when no more articles like this need writing.
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“Wouldn’t with yours, mate” - Rachel Weber, Gamesindustry International
See also this take-down of a games “news” site for having a booth-babe rating feature.
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“The North West London Blues” - Zadie Smith, The New York Review of Books
“During another period of ex-pat existence, in Italy, I sat at a Roman café table in a Renaissance square rolling my eyes at the soap opera of Italian political life: wire-tapped politicians and footballers and TV stars, backroom media deals, glaring conflicts of interest, tabloid culture run riot, politicians in the pockets of newspapers. I used to chuckle over la Repubblica and tease my Italian friends about the kind of problems we didn’t have in our basically sound British parliamentary democracy.” I did exactly the same misguided thing when I lived in Greece.
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Things you might have missed...

By me on currybetdotnet and the Guardian this week:

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