January 18, 2019

Tech

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "

"34 technology companies announced their membership of a Cybersecurity Tech Accord, it was portrayed as proof that the private sector was, at long last, taking responsibility for protecting civilians online... that’s not automatically a good thing."

"If Apple is serious about its future growth relying on software and services, should Tim Cook be going ‘all-in’, sacrifice some of its walled gardens, and ensure that Apple’s popular services are available on every platform to promote growth?"

"Cutting ties with Facebook would mean consciously cutting ties with my own community, and I can't bring myself to do it. When I asked my connections on Facebook why they were staying, their answers were very similar to mine..."

"Despite what you hear about artificial intelligence, machines still can't think like a human, but in the last few years they have become capable of learning."

" “E-Mail My Heart” [by Britney Spears] was a love ballad with a digital twist: “Email me back and say our love will stay alive,” Spears crooned in the song’s chorus."

"A study from the National Institutes of Health found that children who consume two hours of media a day have lower thinking and language scores on tests than peers who didn’t."

"...the past month has seen drones become something of an obsession around London. Over the past three weeks, the region’s police, air traffic controllers, and even its armed forces have been squinting at the sky..."

"TV is a new medium for Juul, which has grown through social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, although the company claims most of the marketing is organic and unpaid."

"the two most popular shows on Netflix are The Office and Friends, in some order. But Netflix doesn’t ultimately control the streaming rights to those shows beyond the windows it has licensed them from NBCUniversal..."

"WeChat , the Chinese state social-media operation, has managed to eliminate almost everything the Communist Party regards as hate speech, fake news or threats, however vague, to the social order."

"That technology could impose itself on the future was a revelation of the Nuclear Age... Nuclear technology introduced a new kind of legacy, one read into the body and carried there through time."

"How much of the internet is fake? Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot."

"More than three-quarters of all Americans own a smartphone. In 2018 those 253 million Americans spent $1,380 and 1,460 hours on their smartphone and other mobile devices."

"For eight months this year, I used a flip phone. For most of those eight months, I hated myself and everyone else. Frankly, I’m embarrassed to write about this semifailed experiment."

"...the biggest and most important science stories of the past few years will probably also be one of the biggest science stories of the next few years. So this is as good a time as any to get acquainted with the powerful new gene editing technology"

"We may remember 2018 as the year when technology’s dystopian potential became clear... It’s been enough to exhaust even the most imaginative sci-fi visionaries."

"Along with Hawking and Musk, prominent figures at Oxford and UC Berkeley and many of the researchers working in AI today believe that advanced AI systems, if deployed carelessly, could end all life on earth."

"Two years after Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, we’re finally beginning to understand the nature and extent of Russian interference in the democratic processes of two western democracies."

"Facebook users, in the middle of what seems to be a moment of broader cultural backlash against social media and technology, are also clearly grappling with the ramifications of their use of the platform."

"Facts have proven to be inconvenient things for Facebook in 2018. Every month this year—and in some months, every week—new information has come out that makes it seem as if Facebook's big rethink is in big trouble."

"[Instagram's] increasing commercialization is further evidence that no simple joy is uncomplicated when it's on the internet."

"Virtual worlds give back what has been scooped out of modern life . . . it gives us back community, a feeling of competence, and a sense of being an important person whom people depend on."

"The iPhone could be an incredible tool, but most people use their phone as a life-shortening distraction device... follow the steps in this article you will be more productive, more focused, and — I’m not joking at all — live longer."

"A reflection on my month without Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, plus a how-to guide if you want to quit the biggest companies in tech."

"What if Twitter is mostly a closed ecosystem, relevant only to and within itself? What if its ability to shape the real world is, as they say, greatly exaggerated?"

"Traffic. Congestion. Pollution. Hours-long commutes. What if you could leave it all behind and trade it in for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient personal copter—all without a pilot’s license?"

"Explorest is just an app-shaped version of something tourists already do: flit from attraction to attraction to take the same photos they've already seen of Buckingham Palace, the Golden Gate Bridge or even Brussels' Peeing Boy."

"...in the midst of this growing competition, the United States has yet to produce a national artificial intelligence strategy or adequately prepare for future implications of current developments."

"Even as phones and tablets extend their reach into daily life, a bigger screen remains supreme... the average American household watches nearly eight hours of television a day."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."

"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."

"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"

"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."

"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "

"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."

"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."

"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."

"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"